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#282044 - 02/25/13 12:48 PM Accepting Influence From Your Partner
AntigoneRisen
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This is one of Gottman's seven relationship tips. The full quote is:

Originally Posted By: Gottman Institute
In studying heterosexual marriages, we found that a relationship succeeds to the extent that the husband can accept influence from his wife. For instance, a woman says, "Do you have to work Thursday night? My mother is coming that weekend, and I need your help getting ready." Her husband then replies, "My plans are set, and I'm not changing them." As you might guess, this guy is in a shaky marriage. A husband's ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than vice-versa) is crucial - because research shows that women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men. A true partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same thing.


I decided to start this thread since the meme above has been quite popular on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think about the above marriage tip?
_________________________
Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"Defensiveness is really a way of blaming your partner, which is saying in effect 'The problem isn't me; it's you.'" - Dr. John Gottman

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#282053 - 02/25/13 01:00 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: AntigoneRisen]
Jayne241
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Registered: 08/08/10
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At first I thought it was sexist. Thanks for expanding it on this thread to include this part:

Quote:
A husband's ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than vice-versa) is crucial - because research shows that women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men. A true partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same thing.


Soooooooooooooooo........... Is it a bad idea to email this to my H?
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#282056 - 02/25/13 01:03 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Jayne241]
Miranda
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Loc: midwest
Lol, that's what I was thinking too, Jayne! Although my DH feels he DOES accept my influence, and to be fair, he does on some occasions. Just not as often as I would like... wink blush
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282060 - 02/25/13 01:25 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
Mary Emma
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Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 4508
Yeah, I would like this more. I am not sure if my hubby sees it as I do however.
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#282061 - 02/25/13 01:25 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: AntigoneRisen]
ForeverHers
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Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
Originally Posted By: Gottman Institute
In studying heterosexual marriages, we found that a relationship succeeds to the extent that the husband can accept influence from his wife. For instance, a woman says, "Do you have to work Thursday night? My mother is coming that weekend, and I need your help getting ready." Her husband then replies, "My plans are set, and I'm not changing them." As you might guess, this guy is in a shaky marriage. A husband's ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than vice-versa) is crucial - because research shows that women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men. A true partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same thing.


I decided to start this thread since the meme above has been quite popular on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think about the above marriage tip?

hmmm....it's generally a good idea to be able accept influence from one's spouse and amend a schedule if possible....

however, as written as an example this appears either oversimplistic or contrived to make the husband look bad.

If it relates to work, so much of the "flexibility" is often determined by the employer, not the employee.

Is the wife a stay-at-home wife or is she also working and is finding it tough to find time to clean the house before her momma gets there and she might be perceived as a "bad housekeeper"?

It just seems as though too much information is missing from this blurb and that it is slanted to make the husband appear unfeeling, uncaring, and unwilling to "help out."


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#282070 - 02/25/13 02:00 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
AntigoneRisen
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I don't think that the results of research are designed to make anyone look good or bad, just to describe the results. I find it interesting that you appear to believe that research follows this methodology:

1.) Decide on your goal, with your bias. Who is the good guy and the bad guy?
2.) Perform research.
3.) Regardless of the data and its meaning, declare that the research says what you decided it should say in #1.

With this paradigm, it seems that the research is just a waste of time, as it has no impact whatsoever on the result. Perhaps it's just for showmanship - like fireworks at the Super Bowl.

I wouldn't describe someone who uses the above methodology an academic, researcher, or scientist. The methodology described above is simply dogmatism.

In academics, research, and science, the conclusions are drawn from the evidence - not the other way around.
_________________________
Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"Defensiveness is really a way of blaming your partner, which is saying in effect 'The problem isn't me; it's you.'" - Dr. John Gottman

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#282077 - 02/25/13 03:57 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: AntigoneRisen]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
I don't think that the results of research are designed to make anyone look good or bad, just to describe the results. I find it interesting that you appear to believe that research follows this methodology:

1.) Decide on your goal, with your bias. Who is the good guy and the bad guy?
2.) Perform research.
3.) Regardless of the data and its meaning, declare that the research says what you decided it should say in #1.

With this paradigm, it seems that the research is just a waste of time, as it has no impact whatsoever on the result. Perhaps it's just for showmanship - like fireworks at the Super Bowl.

I wouldn't describe someone who uses the above methodology an academic, researcher, or scientist. The methodology described above is simply dogmatism.

In academics, research, and science, the conclusions are drawn from the evidence - not the other way around.

AR, your "outrage" over my comments may well reveal an underlying bias of your own toward me and not just a disagreement with what I posted. Be that as it may, I made my comments on what you POSTED, not on the research itself.

The part you posted was quite obviously a hypothetical, not direct research:

"For instance, a woman says, "Do you have to work Thursday night? My mother is coming that weekend, and I need your help getting ready." Her husband then replies, "My plans are set, and I'm not changing them." As you might guess, this guy is in a shaky marriage. A husband's ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than vice-versa) is crucial - because research shows that women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men. A true partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same thing."


The "example" they used was not a real situation, it was constructed to make the point of the conclusion already reached, the premise upon which it appears they crafted the hypothetical "conversations".

I don't particularly care what you find "interesting". You did, however, correctly state what it appears that these researchers did, and that they used a hypothetical conversation to "prove their point."

"I find it interesting that you appear to believe that research follows this methodology:

1.) Decide on your goal, with your bias. Who is the good guy and the bad guy?
2.) Perform research.
3.) Regardless of the data and its meaning, declare that the research says what you decided it should say in #1."


That a "true partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same thing" may or may not be factual, but the implication they give, or you do in quoting this particular piece of the whole, is that husbands do not "do the same thing" to things their spouses bring up.

I personally reject the premise that husbands in good marriages do NOT do this. But then we would also have to extend the discussion into the ROLES of husbands and wives within a marriage to adequately address the "influence" factor for both husbands and wives and not just as the article seems to push...that husbands should DO whatever the wife "requests" no matter what.

That's not my idea of how a partnership works and not at all how a Christian marriage founded on submission to God works. But perhaps it is for you.


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#282078 - 02/25/13 04:01 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Miranda
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Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
FH, they used a hypothetical to ILLUSTRATE their point, not to prove it. For goodness sake, people!

And I will give you that the hypothetical is an overly simplified exaggeration, but that is fairly common when you are reading something for public consumption, and not in a peer reviewed journal. Gotta dumb it down for the lowest common denominator. Which neither proves or disproves this particular bit of research.
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282082 - 02/25/13 04:14 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: Miranda
FH, they used a hypothetical to ILLUSTRATE their point, not to prove it. For goodness sake, people!

And I will give you that the hypothetical is an overly simplified exaggeration, but that is fairly common when you are reading something for public consumption, and not in a peer reviewed journal. Gotta dumb it down for the lowest common denominator. Which neither proves or disproves this particular bit of research.

uh huh. And it appears they manufactured a hypothetical illustration to MAKE their point....a point, by the way, that is nothing new in successful marital relationships.

But Miranda, it wasn't ME that posted this "excerpt" from something to allegedly slam husbands as unfeeling, uncaring, and disrespectful of the "little woman."

Bias seems to drip from this "illustration" and can only cause one to wonder about the "research."


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#282083 - 02/25/13 04:21 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Miranda
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Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Originally Posted By: Miranda
FH, they used a hypothetical to ILLUSTRATE their point, not to prove it. For goodness sake, people!

And I will give you that the hypothetical is an overly simplified exaggeration, but that is fairly common when you are reading something for public consumption, and not in a peer reviewed journal. Gotta dumb it down for the lowest common denominator. Which neither proves or disproves this particular bit of research.

uh huh. And it appears they manufactured a hypothetical illustration to MAKE their point....a point, by the way, that is nothing new in successful marital relationships.

But Miranda, it wasn't ME that posted this "excerpt" from something to allegedly slam husbands as unfeeling, uncaring, and disrespectful of the "little woman."

Bias seems to drip from this "illustration" and can only cause one to wonder about the "research."



I won't disparage research when I cannot even tell what research was done. That's just not nice, IMO. If I was interested in refuting someone's conclusions I would search out their research and then go about showing where they went wrong.

I'm so not good at 'guessing'
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282084 - 02/25/13 04:25 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
NewEveryDay
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Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 6517
FH, I came to a totally different set of conclusions reading that than than you did.

1) Wives in general accept influence from their partner
2) Some husbands do accept influence from their partner. These folks' marriages succeed.
3) Some husbands do not accept this influence. These folks' marriages don't succeed.

And the example given I thought was a really apt one. The wife asks for help. The husband in a shaky marriage says "My plans are set, and I'm not changing them." A husband in a good marriage talk would talk through the solution together. Like talking through the questions you asked. The answer may turn out to be that he isn't changing his plans. But there is a difference in the success rate between the couples who talk through that stuff together and the ones where one person consistently decides for both.
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#282085 - 02/25/13 04:29 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
And once again I will incur the wrath of Gloria Steinem's ghost by saying.....I can see FH's point. I do believe being flexible and influenced by each other is very important; I just saw an obvious presupposition and oversimplicity in the example.

I mean, as a woman I wouldn't want to be married to an inflexible autocrat anymore than I would want to be married to a mysandrist if I were a man.

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#282097 - 02/25/13 05:39 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: NewEveryDay]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
FH, I came to a totally different set of conclusions reading that than than you did.

1) Wives in general accept influence from their partner
2) Some husbands do accept influence from their partner. These folks' marriages succeed.
3) Some husbands do not accept this influence. These folks' marriages don't succeed.

And the example given I thought was a really apt one. The wife asks for help. The husband in a shaky marriage says "My plans are set, and I'm not changing them." A husband in a good marriage talk would talk through the solution together. Like talking through the questions you asked. The answer may turn out to be that he isn't changing his plans. But there is a difference in the success rate between the couples who talk through that stuff together and the ones where one person consistently decides for both.

NED, I don't dispute the premise, I happen to agree with it.

But that doesn't also mean that the example "proved the point." All the hypothetical example did was set up an example to prove the point that Husbands, supposedly unlike Wives, DON'T accept things or influence what they do from their wives.

I reject that premise, that husbands DON'T. I could just as easily set up a hypothetical example that "illustrates" wives who don't allow themselves to be influenced by their husbands.

This whole thing is something of a joke. This is not "new news" as it pertains to less than optimally functioning marriages.

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#282124 - 02/25/13 08:41 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Telly
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Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 1749
I have a friend who was going to do her doctoral dissertation on a very similar subject. She was curious as to whose personality accommodated to allow for more expression of the partner, the man or the woman.

I thought this was a very interesting question. Unfortunately, she had a child before she was able to complete her dissertation (rats!).

One of the things I like very much about Gottman was that he actually sets aside his presuppostions to study what tends to be true in strong marriages and what tends to be true in weak. He and his staff actually observe married couples for quite a while (and quite a lot of them, too!) and describe what they see happening in their relationship before they associate it with an outcome.

I really applaud his work.

FH, I think if you read some of his materials, you might find it less bias in reality than it comes across here. One of the reasons his work is set apart from so many others is because of his rigorous efforts to leave pre-suppositions out of it.
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#282135 - 02/25/13 11:23 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Telly]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: Telly
I have a friend who was going to do her doctoral dissertation on a very similar subject. She was curious as to whose personality accommodated to allow for more expression of the partner, the man or the woman.

You mean men and women actually do have differences in personalities? I wonder how much of those differences are cultural/societal based versus genetic/gender based?

I wonder if this is restricted to just heterosexual unions or how it might apply to homosexual unions?



Originally Posted By: Telly
I thought this was a very interesting question. Unfortunately, she had a child before she was able to complete her dissertation (rats!).

Oh crud! You'd think her husband would have been more accommodating to her plans and not just go ahead and knock her up. eek



Originally Posted By: Telly
One of the things I like very much about Gottman was that he actually sets aside his presuppostions to study what tends to be true in strong marriages and what tends to be true in weak. He and his staff actually observe married couples for quite a while (and quite a lot of them, too!) and describe what they see happening in their relationship before they associate it with an outcome.

I really applaud his work.

FH, I think if you read some of his materials, you might find it less bias in reality than it comes across here. One of the reasons his work is set apart from so many others is because of his rigorous efforts to leave pre-suppositions out of it.

It's possible. But I'll just take your word for it for now. I really don't have the time to go read up on him right now.

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#282307 - 02/26/13 06:48 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Gladstone
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Posts: 2179
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I fully believe that this principle is true. And I've seen it in my own marriage.

In our "bad old days", I refused to accept any influence from my wife. I chafed any time she suggested anything, and if she wanted to do one thing and I wanted another, I always insisted we do it my way. I didn't always get my way, but when I didn't, I was full of resentment.

Since we reconnected, I started to listen to what she was saying. And I've found that she is very practical and level-headed - much moreso than I am. And she is very insightful as well. And to this day, 8 years later, I have never gone wrong by following her suggestions.

We've gotten to the point now that if I want to do something one way, and she wants to do it another way, we compromise and do it her way. And its not that we simply do everything her way - she listens to me, too, and is willing to change her mind if that's the way to go. So what it boils down to is that if I can't convince her my way is better, than it probably isn't.

It's worked well for us for the past 8 years.


Edited by Gladstone (02/26/13 07:14 PM)
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#282353 - 02/27/13 05:43 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Jayne241]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: Jayne241
At first I thought it was sexist. Thanks for expanding it on this thread to include this part:

Quote:
A husband's ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than vice-versa) is crucial - because research shows that women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men. A true partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same thing.


Soooooooooooooooo........... Is it a bad idea to email this to my H?

Hey Jayne. IMHO it's only a bad idea if you already know your husband is not receptive to something that might say "You are doing things wrong and you need to do it my way."

Other than that, the idea in the quote makes common sense for any marital relationship.


However, I tend to also be a bit skeptical about "programs" from people who are engaged in the business of making money off of "helping" others and extending their program ideas as "the answer" to whatever ails you or your marriage.

I also find it mildly interesting that few, if any, of these sorts of research projects discuss at all the biblical concept of marriage and the roles of men and women in marriage. If we want to talk about "influencing" behavior in a marriage, it would seem to make more sense to look at the "influence" of God on a marriage wherein both the husband and wife are submitting their own lives to God in humble obedience to Him rather than just "doing whatever they feel like doing or whatever feels 'natural' to them," with the seemingly inevitable position that "I'm okay, YOU need to change".



Anyway, here's a link and an excerpt that discusses Gottman and his theories upon which is based his "program."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gottman

Building Strong Families Program


BSF 15-Month Impact Report

Independent research on the impact of Gottman's marriage strengthening programs for the general public have given added credibility to challenges raised by Heyman[10] and Abraham[11] and further concerns about the replicability of widely published studies that relied primarily on research Gottman either authored or co-authored.[5][6][7][8][14][15][16]

The largest independent evaluation of a marriage education curriculum developed by Gottman, known as "Loving Couples, Loving Children,"[17] was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research[18] at nine sites in five states through the federally-funded, multi-year Building Strong Families Program study contracted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. The study group included low-income, unwed couples.

An impact report released by the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation[19] showed that the intervention had no positive impact and, in one case, "had negative effects on couples’ relationships."[20]

The findings were reported In 2010 by Mathematica based on a 15-month follow-up of program and control group participants in the Building Strong Families Program, most of whom participated in Gottman's "Loving Couples, Loving Children" curriculum:

The program had no effect on whether couples were still together 15 months after they had applied for the program, when data from the eight BSF programs are combined. At this point, 76 percent of BSF couples were still romantically involved, compared with 77 percent of control group couples. Similarly, BSF and control group couples were equally likely to be married to each other at that time (17 and 18 percent respectively) and to be living together, whether married or unmarried (62 percent for both research groups)."[21]

Fifteen months after they applied for the program, BSF and control group couples reported being equally happy in their romantic relationships, with average ratings of 8.4 and 8.3 respectively on a 0-to-10 relationship happiness scale.

Similarly, BSF and control group couples gave very similar ratings of supportiveness and affection in their relationships, with average support and affection scale values of 3.5 on a 1-to-4 scale for couples in both research groups. In addition, BSF had no overall effect on how faithful couples were to each other.[21]

When results are averaged across all eight programs, BSF did not improve couples’ ability to manage their conflict. Couples in both research groups reported similar levels of use of constructive conflict behaviors, such as keeping a sense of humor and listening to the other partner’s perspective during disagreements. Similarly, there was no difference between the research groups in the avoidance of destructive conflict behaviors, such as withdrawing when there is a disagreement or allowing small disagreements to escalate.

In addition, when results are averaged across all programs, BSF had no effect on how likely couples were to experience intimate partner violence.

Similarly, when results are averaged across all programs, BSF did not improve co-parenting or increase father involvement. BSF and control group couples reported that their co-parenting relationships were of equally high quality. In addition, at the 15-month follow-up, couples in both research groups were equally likely to report that fathers were living with their children, spending substantial time with them, and providing them with substantial financial support.[21]

The Baltimore BSF program [Gottman's "Loving Couples, Loving Children" curriculum] had negative effects on couples’ relationships. BSF couples were less likely than control group couples to remain romantically involved, 59 percent versus 70 percent. Baltimore BSF couples reported being less supportive and affectionate toward each other than control group couples did. In addition, women in the Baltimore BSF program were more likely than women in the control group to report having been severely physically assaulted by a romantic partner in the past year, 15 percent compared with 9 percent. Baltimore BSF couples also rated the quality of their co-parenting relationship lower than control group couples did and reported that BSF fathers spent less time with their children and were less likely to provide them financial support than control group fathers were.[21]




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#282354 - 02/27/13 05:47 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Gladstone]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: Gladstone
I fully believe that this principle is true. And I've seen it in my own marriage.

In our "bad old days", I refused to accept any influence from my wife. I chafed any time she suggested anything, and if she wanted to do one thing and I wanted another, I always insisted we do it my way. I didn't always get my way, but when I didn't, I was full of resentment.

Since we reconnected, I started to listen to what she was saying. And I've found that she is very practical and level-headed - much moreso than I am. And she is very insightful as well. And to this day, 8 years later, I have never gone wrong by following her suggestions.

We've gotten to the point now that if I want to do something one way, and she wants to do it another way, we compromise and do it her way. And its not that we simply do everything her way - she listens to me, too, and is willing to change her mind if that's the way to go. So what it boils down to is that if I can't convince her my way is better, than it probably isn't.

It's worked well for us for the past 8 years.

That does seem to illustrate quite nicely the idea of being "co-equals" in marriage, the idea of "Roles" in a marriage, and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses we all have and being able to 'pool' the resources of both spouses, doesn't it?

_________________________
In Christ-like love at all times.

So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2Cor 1:4b)


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#282361 - 02/27/13 08:32 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
I like some of Gottman's materials. Some of it doesn't really fit me. I would say that this is pretty much true of any program or author. That is why it is important to develop the skill of critical thinking so that we can take the positive of an author or program's points and leave what doesn't work for us.

I never found Gottman to be either sexist (in either direction) or anti-God, though his program is not religious.

I do wonder where he got his samples. Though traditionally women have shown the capacity to be accommodating, I think that is becoming less and less true as being "softer" is seen more and more as some sort of weakness instead of simply being feminine....which is also becoming some sort of handicap instead of a beautiful part of womanhood, which makes me very sad.


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#282364 - 02/27/13 08:51 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
Miranda
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Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Though traditionally women have shown the capacity to be accommodating, I think that is becoming less and less true as being "softer" is seen more and more as some sort of weakness instead of simply being feminine....which is also becoming some sort of handicap instead of a beautiful part of womanhood, which makes me very sad.



I think a lot of this type of thing comes from the thinking pattern that what is 'feminine' is also 'weak' Of course there is nothing further from the truth, as we well know, but the myth persists. Until we see the feminine gifts as a different kind of strength we'll see the suppression of those gifts in the name of appearing strong.

It bums me out too.
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282372 - 02/27/13 09:33 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
Quote:
Until we see the feminine gifts as a different kind of strength we'll see the suppression of those gifts in the name of appearing strong.


This needs to go on a giant plaque - I'd buy it! smile

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#282375 - 02/27/13 09:36 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
Miranda
Global Moderator
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Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Quote:
Until we see the feminine gifts as a different kind of strength we'll see the suppression of those gifts in the name of appearing strong.


This needs to go on a giant plaque - I'd buy it! smile


How about if I cross stitch it on a pillow?
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282376 - 02/27/13 09:43 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
Even better smile

I can't cross stitch. I don't know if it is the depth perception or because my astigmatism in one eye is so bad, but it makes me dizzy lol

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#282377 - 02/27/13 09:48 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
Miranda
Global Moderator
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Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
I think it would be coolly ironic to have it cross stitched on a pillow, and have a brick IN the pillow.
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282386 - 02/27/13 10:44 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
I like some of Gottman's materials. Some of it doesn't really fit me. I would say that this is pretty much true of any program or author. That is why it is important to develop the skill of critical thinking so that we can take the positive of an author or program's points and leave what doesn't work for us.

I never found Gottman to be either sexist (in either direction) or anti-God, though his program is not religious.

I do wonder where he got his samples.

I didn't get the impression that he was anti-religious either, just that he most likely didn't include people in his limited study pool who did place obedience to God as being important in their decision making process related to marriage and marital issues.



Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Though traditionally women have shown the capacity to be accommodating, I think that is becoming less and less true as being "softer" is seen more and more as some sort of weakness instead of simply being feminine....which is also becoming some sort of handicap instead of a beautiful part of womanhood, which makes me very sad.

I think you raise an important point here. This seems to be a lasting legacy of the Feminist Movement, one of the "gifts" that Steinem, et. al., have given to women. "Femininity" seems to be lost on a lot women, but ironically accepted for a lot of gay men. Somewhere between the rise of Feminism and the time of the Gottman's study (around 1992) society seems to have turned a somewhat derisive eye on a woman being feminine and likes them to be either "just like men" or "dressed up to look like like shark bait for men".


Also, given the thought of embroidering something, I'd love to see the Triangle of Marriage embroidered on that pillow! smile

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#282392 - 02/27/13 11:00 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
My SIL cross stitched a gorgeous, 20X24 thing for me for a wedding gift that was Proverbs 31:10-31 in beautiful script with lovely artwork. I still have it up in my kitchen. Religious or not, I have always loved the picture that passage paints - she was not pushover, but she was very feminine.

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#282404 - 02/27/13 11:17 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
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Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 902
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Dropped by and saw this fun discussion about Accepting Influence. Glad you started it, AR.

I like removing the perhaps "tone" of sexism as you chatted. I like Gottman's work and read/studied it a lot. Actually I have the recollection that he did use what FH calls "Christian" couples in his studies, but don't think the results might have been what FH might hope for.

I like the "brick"-in-the-pillow image, not for it's "let's bash those dumb guys" potential, but for the firmness-inside-gentle/kindness that seems to be necessary for a good relationship. I see this in "tough love", "love and logic", and oh the "peaceful warrior" work.

My last addition is I think Gottman stayed away from "gay couples". I could be wrong. (He was/is in Seattle after all.) I don't think it was cuz of a bias but because he chose to focus on "marriage." Not sure what he's done about that since marriage equality has surfaced so much. My experience is that gay couples have exactly the same troubles/benefits as straight couples but with the addition of having to deal with societal/family sanctions.
_________________________
Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle

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#282438 - 02/27/13 12:44 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: AlTurtle]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
Here's a little blurb on Gottman's study -

According to hitchedmag.com, UW emeritus psychology professor John Gottman, Ph.D., has done extensive research indicating that couples will not be compatible 69 percent of the time. Although his research tends to be more focused on marital relationships, Gottman, claims that not only can he and a team of marital researchers predict which couples will end their relationships, but when they will split as well.

Love and relationships between couples are described in terms of "chemistry" more often than not, but Gottman, along with his team, came up with an equation that has a 94 percent accuracy of the prognosis of relationships, which means the outcome of relationships can almost all be pinpointed by math — calculus to be exact.

"This isn't just some parlor trick," Gottman said to The Seattle Times. "The math model gave us a scientific theory for understanding relationships."

The formula results from observations of 700 couples over the duration of 14 years. Now, all it takes to apply the formula to couples is a simple 15-minute interview.

For the study, Gottman and Sybil Carrère, another UW psychology professor, videotaped couples discussing problem topics and analyzed these tapes using a computer-assisted system; it is then coded in the UW lab in order to score the couple based on a system that measures using an index of facial expression, voice tone and speech content. This was all used in order to characterize the emotion expressed by each couple and, depending upon positive or negative codes, points will be accumulated that can predict the relationship prognosis.

For example, a subtle, but scornful roll of the eyes will earn a negative four, while an interested nod will earn a positive two, as well as a good-natured joke earning another positive two.

Positive codes include interest, validation, affection, humor and joy, while negative codes consist of disgust, contempt, belligerence, domineering, anger, fear, tension, defensiveness, whining, sadness and stonewalling.

"At first I thought it was ridiculous to try to translate something as ethereal as a human relationship into numbers," UW applied mathematician Kristin Swanson told The Seattle Times. "But I really can't quibble with over 90 percent accuracy."

According to UW research coordinator Kim Buehlman, how people talk — not the content of what they say — is the key.

"What is amazing about the coding system is that there is a pattern that emerges in the happiest and the least happy marriages," Carrère said. "The happiest couples are speaking almost in one voice because they are so tuned into each other's wants and desires. These people know the value of their partner in their life and know they are not out to get them."

With the unhappiest couples there is no symmetry. There is no respect for each other. Individuals are really nasty with each other and they struggle to find positive things to say about each other or the relationship," she said.

Results from the study mean this: "Women need to learn how to soften their approach when they bring up a problem," Carrère said, "and men have to learn how to be more accepting of what she's saying."

Results from this study don't necessarily mean doom for the majority of relationships. Therapy, among other solutions, is one that Gottman recommends that can lead to a relationship renaissance. One of the main problems, though, comes from the ever-so-clichéd communication bridge that some couples just have a difficult time crossing.

"What typically happens is one person reaches out to the other to get the partner's interest and it just falls flat," Gottman explained. "The basic problem is emotional connectedness, and people are just asking their partner to 'show me you love me.' Many people live in an emotional desert. That's why they are so needy."

Ultimately, all relationships require some amount of work, whether it's a steaming-hot summer romance or a decades-long marriage that seems to have fallen flat.

No amount of fortunetelling can be substituted in place of a little bit of sweat and tears that's inevitable to every relationship. So it's not completely hopeless, even if Gottman gives your relationship the death sentence.

If you want to make it work, the first step is probably working on your communication skills. Or, you can hope that you and your sweetheart are part of the minority about which Gottman is wrong.

http://dailyuw.com/archive/2007/10/03/imported/everlasting-love-meet-uw-psychologist-john-gottman
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#282475 - 02/27/13 08:26 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: AlTurtle]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Actually I have the recollection that he did use what FH calls "Christian" couples in his studies, but don't think the results might have been what FH might hope for.

It's possible he may have I suppose, Al. But I couldn't find any reference to it and his sample size appeared to be very small (around 60 couples).

I think the results from the BSF work are perhaps indicative that trying to draw universal applications from a small study may not be any better than doing nothing (the control groups).

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#282479 - 02/27/13 08:36 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
herfuturesbright
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Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
Like I said, there are some really good things that Gottman has to say. Some of it doesn't float my boat. I'm not a throw the baby out with the bathwater kinda gal, so I just take what makes sense.

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#282489 - 02/27/13 08:59 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
I don't understand why this can't just be taken as a suggestion of a concept that might be helpful in improving your marriage.

Why all the discussion about studies? What possible difference does it make? Either this resonates with you or it doesn't. If it does, take steps to remedy the situation, to be more careful listener or a more adept communicator.

Otherwise, discard the concept.

EVERYTHING is NOT a big goddamn deal.
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282491 - 02/27/13 09:03 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
Miranda
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Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I don't understand why this can't just be taken as a suggestion of a concept that might be helpful in improving your marriage.

Why all the discussion about studies? What possible difference does it make? Either this resonates with you or it doesn't. If it does, take steps to remedy the situation, to be more careful listener or a more adept communicator.

Otherwise, discard the concept.

EVERYTHING is NOT a big goddamn deal.


Quoted for TRUTH! Love you LG
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#282496 - 02/27/13 09:16 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Some of it doesn't float my boat. I'm not a throw the baby out with the bathwater kinda gal, so I just take what makes sense.

That's pretty much how we all approach things, Herf. At least that's probably why so many of us are here on this system instead of the systems we first visited.


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#282500 - 02/27/13 09:26 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I don't understand why this can't just be taken as a suggestion of a concept that might be helpful in improving your marriage.

Why all the discussion about studies? What possible difference does it make? Either this resonates with you or it doesn't. If it does, take steps to remedy the situation, to be more careful listener or a more adept communicator.

Otherwise, discard the concept.

EVERYTHING is NOT a big goddamn deal.

Quoted for OPINION!

tsk, tsk, temper, temper.

Perhaps it has more to do with the implied statement in what was quoted to start off this thread...that men DON'T accept influence from their wives.

As was said previously, if they don't, then they will likely have a dysfunctional marriage. But to imply that ALL men, or even most men, don't seems to be a big stretch, especially when based on such a small study sample size.

And for the record, LG, just because you don't consider something to be a big deal doesn't mean that others can't think its a big deal, so why "diss" people who may think it's a big deal to them?

If Gottman is being held up as a "guru" source, then it's perfectly reasonable to look at what he has said and also to look at what other's (like the BSF studies using his methods) have found.

IF it's not a big deal to you, don't read the thread and save yourself from getting up in arms about it or so emotionally invested in it.


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#282501 - 02/27/13 09:29 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
herfuturesbright
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Registered: 09/15/10
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Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
In looking at my own situation, I see ways and areas in which I accepted more influence than J, ways and areas in which he accepted more influence than me and ways where we were both about the same. I don't think I could have categorically said who adapted the most. I have met men who seem so controlling and stubborn that I cannot imagine trying to live with them. I have met women who....quite frankly kinda scare me at times, and I cannot imagine being married to them either. The same goes for examples I know of men and women who are very good team players. And I think in some ways that is what it boils down to - do couples work as a team? J knew way more about, say, doing taxes than me, so I would go with whatever he thought was best on that. I knew more about certain interpersonal situations, so he would ask my advice about that. People bring their own strengths and weaknesses to situations.

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#282505 - 02/27/13 09:40 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
ForeverHers
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Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
In looking at my own situation, I see ways and areas in which I accepted more influence than J, ways and areas in which he accepted more influence than me and ways where we were both about the same. I don't think I could have categorically said who adapted the most. I have met men who seem so controlling and stubborn that I cannot imagine trying to live with them. I have met women who....quite frankly kinda scare me at times, and I cannot imagine being married to them either. The same goes for examples I know of men and women who are very good team players. And I think in some ways that is what it boils down to - do couples work as a team? J knew way more about, say, doing taxes than me, so I would go with whatever he thought was best on that. I knew more about certain interpersonal situations, so he would ask my advice about that. People bring their own strengths and weaknesses to situations.

And that would seem to be the point....influence is a two-way street, as is utilizing strengths to complement the marriage.

Good observations, Herf.

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#282507 - 02/27/13 09:50 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I don't understand why this can't just be taken as a suggestion of a concept that might be helpful in improving your marriage.

Why all the discussion about studies? What possible difference does it make? Either this resonates with you or it doesn't. If it does, take steps to remedy the situation, to be more careful listener or a more adept communicator.

Otherwise, discard the concept.

EVERYTHING is NOT a big goddamn deal.

Quoted for OPINION!

tsk, tsk, temper, temper.

Perhaps it has more to do with the implied statement in what was quoted to start off this thread...that men DON'T accept influence from their wives.

As was said previously, if they don't, then they will likely have a dysfunctional marriage. But to imply that ALL men, or even most men, don't seems to be a big stretch, especially when based on such a small study sample size.

And for the record, LG, just because you don't consider something to be a big deal doesn't mean that others can think its a big deal, so why "diss" people who may think it's a big deal to them?

If Gottman is being held up as a "guru" source, then it's perfectly reasonable to look at what he has said and also to look at what other's (like the BSF studies using his methods) have found.

IF it's not a big deal to you, don't read the thread and save yourself from getting up in arms about it or so emotionally invested in it.



Perhaps you should learn how to chill out. Personally, I don't consider any of this a big deal. In my world, a big deal involves a failure by our society to honor the spark of my God in every human being by providing a basic level of subsistence, health care and education.

This thread wasn't an attack on you and your willingness to accept influence from your wife. And, by the way, do you? Accept influence I mean. I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.

Who is holding Gottman up as a guru? Not me for sure. I think Gottman would be the first to agree that there aren't absolutes in marriage -- that it is a question of degree and temperament.

Seriously, every battle isn't dispositive. Take what you need and leave the rest.
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282508 - 02/27/13 09:59 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Gladstone
Board of Directors
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Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 2179
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Originally Posted By: Gladstone
We've gotten to the point now that if I want to do something one way, and she wants to do it another way, we compromise and do it her way. And its not that we simply do everything her way - she listens to me, too, and is willing to change her mind if that's the way to go. So what it boils down to is that if I can't convince her my way is better, than it probably isn't.


That does seem to illustrate quite nicely the idea of being "co-equals" in marriage, the idea of "Roles" in a marriage, and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses we all have and being able to 'pool' the resources of both spouses, doesn't it?



Well, yes, but more specifically, I would point out that the change in our relationship happened after I started accepting her influence. The other point is that, as I said, when we have a dispute over how to deal with something, if I cannot convince her that my way is better, we do it her way. The way things have worked out for us, she does not have to convince me her way is better - that part is strictly a one-way street. If I can't convince her my way is better, than I cheerfully agree to do it the way she thinks is best.

Again, it has worked out very well so far, and I attribute that to her particular strengths that she brings to the marriage - and for which I am very grateful. And it was really short-sighted of me for all those years to ignore that quality of hers, believing instead that as the husband, I was automatically the one who had the final say in everything. THAT belief was a byproduct of my religious upbringing, although I think it was a misunderstanding on my part and not the actual teaching of the church(es) I grew up in.
_________________________
**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story

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#282547 - 02/28/13 08:14 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Gladstone]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
Quote:
I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.


I don't really have a dog in this race except to say regardless of what propaganda the media has spun, if one understands the whole of Scripture one will understand that husbands are called to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." That is just one place in scripture where it is clear that husbands are not to be boors. People who wig out over the phrase "wives submit to your husbands" tend to ignore all the verses around it, which explain the high standard of love husbands are held to. I am only pointing that out in general because, quite frankly, there is a high ration on this forum of women who tend to think Christian husbands all rule with some iron fists and Christian wives who believe in Biblical submission must be cowering twits. Since I actually DO ascribe to what Ephesians 5 says....it gets real "bicycle/fish" old after awhile.

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#282594 - 02/28/13 11:07 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Quote:
I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.


I don't really have a dog in this race except to say regardless of what propaganda the media has spun, if one understands the whole of Scripture one will understand that husbands are called to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." That is just one place in scripture where it is clear that husbands are not to be boors. People who wig out over the phrase "wives submit to your husbands" tend to ignore all the verses around it, which explain the high standard of love husbands are held to. I am only pointing that out in general because, quite frankly, there is a high ration on this forum of women who tend to think Christian husbands all rule with some iron fists and Christian wives who believe in Biblical submission must be cowering twits. Since I actually DO ascribe to what Ephesians 5 says....it gets real "bicycle/fish" old after awhile.


I've noticed that some men will latch onto any justification for denigrating and demoralizing women. The Bible just happens to hand them that justification on a silver platter.
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282617 - 02/28/13 11:57 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
Actually, the Bible doesn't. Some people's selective reading of the Bible may make them THINK they can denigrate women, but they are wrong. If someone read's ALL of what the Bible has to say about love and about how husbands are to love wives, etc. then they have no excuse to denigrate women. however, most of the time that doesn't get through. Back a few years ago the media harpies went ballistic when the Southern baptists made a statement about women being Biblically submissive. What they failed to include in their harping was that they also made a statement about husband's loving their wives (which, by the way, is the verse BEFORE the submission verse).

I have no problem with people not believing in diety or not believing in the Bible or not believing in the same God as me. That is a personal choice. The problem is, I not only believe the Bible, I actually know what it says in context when it comes to things like love and submission and marriage. So no, the Bible never tells husbands to denigrate their wives.

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#282619 - 02/28/13 11:59 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
20yrsdone
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Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 3307
Loc: Wonderland
The term MasterDebater comes to mind.
_________________________
Accept what is,
Let go of what was
and have faith in what will be.

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#282625 - 02/28/13 12:05 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
Gladstone
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Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 2179
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Actually, the Bible doesn't. Some people's selective reading of the Bible may make them THINK they can denigrate women, but they are wrong. If someone read's ALL of what the Bible has to say about love and about how husbands are to love wives, etc. then they have no excuse to denigrate women.


I would be inclined to agree with this. The Bible calls on husbands to love their wives as Christ loves us, and that is, by definition, the kind of love that would literally die for you. I agree it is easy to misinterpret this via selective reading, because I did so myself for years and years. So yes, I think some men might use selected passages from the Bible to justify ruling with an iron fist. But that's not what the core message is.


Edited by Gladstone (02/28/13 12:05 PM)
_________________________
**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story

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#282628 - 02/28/13 12:12 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: 20yrsdone]
herfuturesbright
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Registered: 09/15/10
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Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
I am not a fan of people being obnoxious about their faith. I admit this strikes a chord with me because I grew up with parents who have been very happily married in a strong marriage for 52 years, and they follow the Biblical model (and believe me when I say my mom is NO pushover lol). I also dreamed of being in a M that followed the Biblical model. Yes, there are people who abuse it, and I have called men out on it before. One of my dear friends was being abused, and when she told me her pastor's advice was to pray and submit more, I told her that was unscriptural BS. But I think the Ephesians 5 model of marriage gets a bad rap because of the media and other groups focusing and distorting only one aspect and taking it out of context.

As far as master debator goes and what I know you mean by that....let me make something clear that should garner....interesting thoughts from a variety of sides.

There is a lot of back and forth on this site about who likes who and who gossips about who and who is in what group and other crap that has nothing to do with marriage. I understand that this kind of thing happens anywhere people gather because people are....people. BUT...I have nothing against LG. In fact, I care quite a lot for LG. She and I disagree on some things and agree on some things, and I will say that there have been several times over the years when I have envied her ability to give voice to feelings that I have had at times but been to afraid to say. I do not subscribe to the whole "in order to be 'with' me you must be 'against' them" idea because I think it is childish and stupid.

So I didn't post any of that as anything personal to do with LG because, as I said, I care about her. And I will continue to care about her. I see things that we have in common, and I have learned from her. No one on any site is perfect, and considering my own bad choices and imperfections, it would be incredibly arrogant of me to decide that I am better than anyone else.

As I have been working through my own personal recovery and become more sure of who I am, I have garnered....disagreement from a variety of sources from time to time over my authentic posts. I confess that for a long time that used to tempt me to pull back, rescind my truth, etc. But no more. I believe what I believe, and even though it is entirely possible for me to be wrong, that is something I will explore and learn in my own way. I have come to the conclusion that being brought to heel no longer fits my personality.

So, no, I am not a master debater. I am just being honest about my own thoughts.

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#282631 - 02/28/13 12:35 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
And, by the way, do you? Accept influence I mean. I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.

Spoken by what appears to be a basically unrepentant Wayward Wife and by someone who really has no clue what the Bible actually says. So pardon me if I just ignore your personal attacks, I consider the source. True to form, you go after the person and ignore the argument and only read what you want to hear.

So what you have to say to me is irrelevant to me. And that from someone who has recovered his marriage with his formerly Wayward Wife.

Is it possible, LG, that your medical problems have just made you more bitter?

yflag TOS Violation. Attack/disparaging.


Edited by Fiddler (02/28/13 05:16 PM)

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#282633 - 02/28/13 12:38 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Actually, the Bible doesn't. Some people's selective reading of the Bible may make them THINK they can denigrate women, but they are wrong. If someone read's ALL of what the Bible has to say about love and about how husbands are to love wives, etc. then they have no excuse to denigrate women. however, most of the time that doesn't get through. Back a few years ago the media harpies went ballistic when the Southern baptists made a statement about women being Biblically submissive. What they failed to include in their harping was that they also made a statement about husband's loving their wives (which, by the way, is the verse BEFORE the submission verse).

I have no problem with people not believing in diety or not believing in the Bible or not believing in the same God as me. That is a personal choice. The problem is, I not only believe the Bible, I actually know what it says in context when it comes to things like love and submission and marriage. So no, the Bible never tells husbands to denigrate their wives.

Herf, you get what the Bible says. But you may also find that opponents of Christ and the Bible have "selective hearing" and can't or won't hear what you are saying.

And that's also why I've said that the premise of this thread is "old news," some 2000 years old.

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#282637 - 02/28/13 01:06 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
And, by the way, do you? Accept influence I mean. I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.


Spoken by what appears to be a basically unrepentant Wayward Wife


Ah yes -- the "unrepentant" card -- the most favored strategy for dismissing what I have to say.

Rubbish.

Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
and by someone who really has no clue what the Bible actually says.


I'll be sure to tell Sewanee which promulgates the four year Education for Ministry course that despite having studied their materials and attended EFM class once a week for three hours nine months out of the year, I have it on good authority that I have no clue what the Bible says.

Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
So pardon me if I just ignore your personal attacks, I consider the source. True to form, you go after the person and ignore the argument and only read what you want to hear.


You seem to take the hard line fundamentalist Christian position, and there is no shortage of leaders from that segment of the church who maintain that the husband is superior to the wife and the wife should, indeed, "submit."

Personally, I don't know how you can read that passage without concluding that the wife is the lesser being, although I appreciate that people want to dress it up to be politically correct.

Submit:

1. to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender.

2. to permit oneself to be subjected to something <had to submit to surgery>

3. to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.

Seems unambiguous to me.

Try reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd if you want a taste of how painful it is to be considered a second rate citizen by your faith. Over the course of her book, an autobiography, she goes from Southern Baptist to liberal Episcopalian. She brilliantly vocalizes the distress that I and many other women feel.

Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
So what you have to say to me is irrelevant to me.


Well, I'm guessing that means you won't read the book.

Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
And that from someone who has recovered his marriage with his formerly Wayward Wife.


I'm happy for you.

Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Is it possible, LG, that your medical problems have just made you more bitter?


The second most favored strategy for dismissing what I have to say.


Edited by LadyGrey (02/28/13 01:14 PM)
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282667 - 02/28/13 03:27 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
SmilingWife
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 4203
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
And, by the way, do you? Accept influence I mean. I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.

Spoken by what appears to be a basically unrepentant Wayward Wife and by someone who really has no clue what the Bible actually says. So pardon me if I just ignore your personal attacks, I consider the source. True to form, you go after the person and ignore the argument and only read what you want to hear.

So what you have to say to me is irrelevant to me. And that from someone who has recovered his marriage with his formerly Wayward Wife.

Is it possible, LG, that your medical problems have just made you more bitter?



Good grief. You are very mean. Very condescending.
_________________________
26 year marriage to Wh ended--divorce final in November 2009.
Remarried in November 2010.
Ds14
Dss12
Dss17
Loving my life

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#282690 - 02/28/13 04:23 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
Amadahy
Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 3144
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
you seem to take the hard line fundamentalist Christian position, and there is no shortage of leaders from that segment of the church who maintain that the husband is superior to the wife and the wife should, indeed, "submit."

Personally, I don't know how you can read that passage without concluding that the wife is the lesser being, although I appreciate that people want to dress it up to be politically correct.

Submit:

1. to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender.

2. to permit oneself to be subjected to something <had to submit to surgery>

3. to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.

Seems unambiguous to me.


Actually LG - you can be a strong powerful christian woman and submit to a loving christian husband and still be equal to him.

That is feminist nonsense that a christian woman isnt equal to her husband. It is a simple organization structure to have the H be CEO of the family...Wife is CFO, COO and well "she who must be obeyed...if mama aint happy then nobodies happy"

I know countless christian woman who submit to their husbands authority and everyone knows who wears the pants. You seem to not understand the concept.

Truth is men have it worse...if family fails the man is blamed by society regardless of if its the woman who works. People dont like at a struggling family and say - what does the mother doo...where is she? They say "where is the father, why isnt he caring for his family."

We put the responsibility on the man to make a succesful family, regardless of what the mother does. She can stay home or work, and she is not judged...but a stay at home father is looked at sideways as a failure...what does HE do.

So if all the weight of responibility is put on the husband, than the authority should fall there too. I dont have an issue with it. I am a partner...but there is always a head partner in all corporate structures...someone has to be where the buck stops...and christianity as placed that burden on the man.

You cant have all the rights of a man but leave him with the responsilbity. I have supported my family for the last year and half. My hsuband may be going to work soon but we dont know yet. He was injured on the job. But...us filing chapter 13 is viewed by society as his failure...not mine. Paying the bills - society looks at him sideways if we dont...not me. Its not an easy gig, walking around with your tender parts exposed all the time...cut them some slack.


Edited by Amadahy (02/28/13 04:25 PM)

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#282698 - 02/28/13 04:32 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
Amadahy
Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 3144
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Quote:
I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.


I don't really have a dog in this race except to say regardless of what propaganda the media has spun, if one understands the whole of Scripture one will understand that husbands are called to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." That is just one place in scripture where it is clear that husbands are not to be boors. People who wig out over the phrase "wives submit to your husbands" tend to ignore all the verses around it, which explain the high standard of love husbands are held to. I am only pointing that out in general because, quite frankly, there is a high ration on this forum of women who tend to think Christian husbands all rule with some iron fists and Christian wives who believe in Biblical submission must be cowering twits. Since I actually DO ascribe to what Ephesians 5 says....it gets real "bicycle/fish" old after awhile.

i see herf said what i was trying to say but better.

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#282699 - 02/28/13 04:39 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
Amadahy
Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 3144
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Quote:
I'd wager not given the Biblical role conferred upon husbands. I'd wager that any such attempt to influence by your wife would be drowned in a veritable tidal wave of scripture.


I don't really have a dog in this race except to say regardless of what propaganda the media has spun, if one understands the whole of Scripture one will understand that husbands are called to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." That is just one place in scripture where it is clear that husbands are not to be boors. People who wig out over the phrase "wives submit to your husbands" tend to ignore all the verses around it, which explain the high standard of love husbands are held to. I am only pointing that out in general because, quite frankly, there is a high ration on this forum of women who tend to think Christian husbands all rule with some iron fists and Christian wives who believe in Biblical submission must be cowering twits. Since I actually DO ascribe to what Ephesians 5 says....it gets real "bicycle/fish" old after awhile.


I've noticed that some men will latch onto any justification for denigrating and demoralizing women. The Bible just happens to hand them that justification on a silver platter.


the bible does NOT hand it to them on a silver platter unless they ignore HUGE parts of it. My husband iss not a christian and I am - so my ssitch is different - but I know many trully biblical men and woman and the husbnad NEVER treatss his wife poorly.

I long for a marriage where i might submit to a husband who follows scripture

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#282704 - 02/28/13 04:51 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Amadahy]
Squeaky Tree
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 5241
Loc: Not quite here
Certainly makes me feel very uneasy, but I've witnessed it and do.
_________________________
Married 15 years
DD10 and DS8
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny

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#282707 - 02/28/13 04:53 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: SmilingWife]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
Good grief. You are very mean. Very condescending.

Yep, just returning it to the one who started it. For the record, I notified the Mods who ignored it or chose to take no action. Thus I felt a response was in order. Sorry if you don't like it.

She trots out Christianity when it suits her, usually as a means to attack someone she disagrees with or doesn't like, and ignores it the rest of the time.

Try reading her post again and then evaluate your "good grief, etc., etc.." It could be that "one size fits all."

But let's face it, if LG doesn't like the opinions of others, she doesn't hesitate to say so and attack the person instead of just ignoring the thread or discussing the differences of opinions.

In the past, SW, I reached out to LG, primarily via PM, when she was being pummeled by others. I guess there's some truth in the notion that no good deed goes unpunished. Or perhaps others saw some things that I was willing to overlook at the time.

It doesn't really matter, does it?

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#282731 - 02/28/13 05:32 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
and by someone who really has no clue what the Bible actually says.


I'll be sure to tell Sewanee which promulgates the four year Education for Ministry course that despite having studied their materials and attended EFM class once a week for three hours nine months out of the year, I have it on good authority that I have no clue what the Bible says.

You could also ask for a refund.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
So pardon me if I just ignore your personal attacks, I consider the source. True to form, you go after the person and ignore the argument and only read what you want to hear.


You seem to take the hard line fundamentalist Christian position, and there is no shortage of leaders from that segment of the church who maintain that the husband is superior to the wife and the wife should, indeed, "submit."

Ahhh….so now it’s the old tried and true “hard line fundamentalist Christian position” again.

LG, do you even know what the fundamental beliefs of Christianity are?

Do you even know what “fundamental” means?

Do you even know that the STANDARD is what God has said in His word, not the twisting of what God has said to “use” the Bible by ripping verses out of their context?


Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Personally, I don't know how you can read that passage without concluding that the wife is the lesser being, although I appreciate that people want to dress it up to be politically correct.

Submit:

1. to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender.

2. to permit oneself to be subjected to something <had to submit to surgery>

3. to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.

Seems unambiguous to me.

It is. I agree.

Now let’s see what God has said about it:

[17] Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord [is]. ... [21] submitting to one another in the fear of God. [22] Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. [23] For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. [24] Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything. [25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her[u], [26] that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, [27] that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. [28] So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. [29] For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, [u]just as the Lord [does] the church. [30] For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. [31] "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." [32] This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. [33] Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife [see] that she respects [her] husband. - (Eph 5:17, 21-33 NKJV)

LG, the wife is the “lesser being”, if that’s the way you want to think of it, in ROLE only, not in substance. In substance, woman was created from the side of Adam, not from the ground, not from his feet, not from his head. Woman was created to be the equal helpmeet of Man. And woman did not “submit” to God or to her husband when she chose to believe Satan over them. One might even think of Satan as the first Other Person in infidelity.

Men are given the role of “head of the family” because Man was influenced by his wife, and sinned against God by NOT exercising his God-given responsibility to obey God first. But Man did not escape punishment either by blaming the wife. God holds us all accountable. The passage in Ephesians quoted above should also tell you that God requires the husband to love his wife JUST AS Christ loves His bride, the church. There is no “lording it over” someone, there is fulfillment of roles in ways that honor God.

What you are doing is twisting Scripture to justify your position, which is decidedly anti-male, or at the very least, anti-husbands. But then again, you were the WS in your marriage, so it might make sense that you seem to want husbands to NOT love their wives as Christ loves the church.

rflag TOS Violation - attack/disparaging.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Try reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd if you want a taste of how painful it is to be considered a second rate citizen by your faith. Over the course of her book, an autobiography, she goes from Southern Baptist to liberal Episcopalian. She brilliantly vocalizes the distress that I and many other women feel.

No thank you. I am familiar with many of the liberal Episcopalian beliefs, and they run contrary to God’s revealed Word. If you want to work on that distress, take it up with those who don’t want to submit their lives to God according to HIS will.

rflag TOS Violation - attack/disparaging en entire religion.
The two flags in this post will only count as one.



Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
So what you have to say to me is irrelevant to me.


Well, I'm guessing that means you won't read the book.

As I said, you’re right. I won’t be reading that book. I prefer reading the Bible. You might want to try it some time.


Edited by Fiddler (02/28/13 06:37 PM)

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#282734 - 02/28/13 05:42 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
It's all coming back to me... Women need to be under the authority of their husband and we can blame it all on Eve...

Nowdays their is a kinder, gentler Christianity that expands on Paul's words. It wasn't always that way. I'd say it's happened in the last 20 years.

In a fundamental Christian marriage (I know, because I was in one), where the rubber meets the road, the husband (being the head of the family and all that) makes the final decision. Even if he is full of shinola. The wife works on having a quiet and gentle spirit...
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#282737 - 02/28/13 05:48 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
CajunRose
Member

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 8090
Loc: TX
Can we please get back on topic?

My xH and I had many discussions, and then many arguments, that boiled down to this topic.

I'd ask him for advice or for his opinion on something (from the layout of the flower beds to what to feed DD for dinner to whether remodeling the kitchen was a good idea, etc), and if I didn't do exactly what he recommended he'd generally be angry at me for not listening to him or not considering his point of view at all. My favorite was that he'd say I had obviously made the decision too fast (because if I had thought it over for longer, I would have seen that he was correct). So basically, he accused me of not accepting influence.

Pretty much any time I did not follow his suggestion or agree with him 100% on an opinion, he'd do this. This made me feel attacked and dismissed. I interpreted him as saying that if I didn't agree with him and do *exactly* what he said, then I was stupid or that my opinion didn't matter at all because his was obviously right. He'd also say if I wasn't going to listen to him (do what he recommended), then why did I ask at all?

As our marriage broke down more, he'd start offering his opinion unsolicited, and then get angry if I wouldn't agree (he once suggested getting purple curtains and I said "but I don't like purple" and he told me I was wrong).

In my POV, asking him for his opinion was very important - I wanted to know what he thought, what his preferences were, what his concerns were. Most of the time I had already considered the points he brought up; sometimes he showed me new ways of looking at things. Sometimes I agreed with him. Sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I suggested an alternative path.

I never figured out how to handle these situations. I've seen others here who have the same or similar problems. What kind of advice can we give?

I don't believe that accepting influence means you HAVE to do what the other person wants - but how can a person demonstrate that they are at least considering their spouse's POV? How can you identify the line between accepting influence, being a pushover, and being overly wedded to your own opinions?
_________________________
Current spouse: Night. D8, D7, S5

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

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#282744 - 02/28/13 06:06 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: CajunRose]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: CajunRose
Can we please get back on topic?

Sure.

But you probably better ask that of LG as she is the one who set up this detour.

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#282749 - 02/28/13 06:22 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: believer
It's all coming back to me... Women need to be under the authority of their husband and we can blame it all on Eve...

yaaaaa.....that's right, Adam ate the fruit and then got his wife to eat it too. I forgot how it went. Silly me!

And I forgot that what God says, whether we like it or not, understand why or why not He established something according to HIS will, isn't the way it is because God really isn't the Authority, we are (where have we heard that one before?).



Originally Posted By: believer
Nowdays their is a kinder, gentler Christianity that expands on Paul's words. It wasn't always that way. I'd say it's happened in the last 20 years.

Or at least since the rise of Feminism.



Originally Posted By: believer
In a fundamental Christian marriage (I know, because I was in one), where the rubber meets the road, the husband (being the head of the family and all that) makes the final decision. Even if he is full of shinola. The wife works on having a quiet and gentle spirit...

Ah yes, if we can't "influence" the decision we just make the decisions.

"Fundamental" (as you seem to be using the word disparagingly) Christian or not is not the cause. Pig-headedness on the part of the husband would be. But you are not going to find that sort of thing in marriages where the husband BELIEVES what was written in Ephesians. By the same token, women have no right to usurp the role God assigned to husbands.

Being obedient to God is what both husbands and wives should be doing, imho. But then few people seem to care much about God these days, so why not blame things on "fundamental Christian beliefs."


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#282752 - 02/28/13 06:31 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Amadahy
Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 3144
or for petes sake - in marriages where a man is truly walking with god and in the scriptures it does not work the way feminists say.

Yes it is abused - like anything else - but that means its not working properly at all.

You cant point to a disfunctional "fundamental christian" marriage and use it as an example...because its broken.

REAL fundamental christian marriages are based on love, respect, partnership etc. and in those marriages a woman lovingly "submits" to her husband who respects her and puts her needs first. He listens to her council and advise. There is a reason the bible says un believing man can be saved by a believing wife...and that is because the bible believes a believing wife can INFLUENCE her unbelieving husband...who she is required to submit to - even though he is not a beliver.

So if you think that a christian marriage is one where the woman is dominated - then you have no understanding of a REAL christian marriage...just a broken one.

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#282755 - 02/28/13 06:36 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: CajunRose]
SmilingWife
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 4203
Originally Posted By: CajunRose


My xH and I had many discussions, and then many arguments, that boiled down to this topic.

I'd ask him for advice or for his opinion on something (from the layout of the flower beds to what to feed DD for dinner to whether remodeling the kitchen was a good idea, etc), and if I didn't do exactly what he recommended he'd generally be angry at me for not listening to him or not considering his point of view at all. My favorite was that he'd say I had obviously made the decision too fast (because if I had thought it over for longer, I would have seen that he was correct). So basically, he accused me of not accepting influence.

Pretty much any time I did not follow his suggestion or agree with him 100% on an opinion, he'd do this. This made me feel attacked and dismissed. I interpreted him as saying that if I didn't agree with him and do *exactly* what he said, then I was stupid or that my opinion didn't matter at all because his was obviously right. He'd also say if I wasn't going to listen to him (do what he recommended), then why did I ask at all?

As our marriage broke down more, he'd start offering his opinion unsolicited, and then get angry if I wouldn't agree (he once suggested getting purple curtains and I said "but I don't like purple" and he told me I was wrong).

I never figured out how to handle these situations. I've seen others here who have the same or similar problems. What kind of advice can we give?

I don't believe that accepting influence means you HAVE to do what the other person wants - but how can a person demonstrate that they are at least considering their spouse's POV? How can you identify the line between accepting influence, being a pushover, and being overly wedded to your own opinions?


I had a similar experience in my first marriage. He would say things like " you are just going to do what you want anyway". I think it came down to a fundamental insecurity that he felt. He is a deeply fearful person always certain that the worst will happen. He also feared what others thought of him.

And he had a brutal way of insisting on his way when he wanted it.....I remember when I wanted a black and white kitchen floor in our first house.....he felt it said contemporary....I tried to explain to him that it was versatile and would only looke contemporary if the rest of the room was. I guess he felt he was ' loosing' so he went for the jugular and told me "what do you know. Your family never had anything nice."

Those kinds of reactions would stun me into silence or enrage me into a maniac. It took me a long time to understand that he didn't feel secure in his position and thus he would either totally dominate me or shrug and say he didn't care. I never felt like we thoughtfully discussed things or had a give and take.
_________________________
26 year marriage to Wh ended--divorce final in November 2009.
Remarried in November 2010.
Ds14
Dss12
Dss17
Loving my life

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#282759 - 02/28/13 06:52 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
Okay, I'll bite and call it pig-headedness instead of fundamental Christianity, FH. You know I like you, right?

So, give me an example in your life of how you let your wife influence you.

Here's an example from my life. My ex had kids with his ex wife. He had custody of them because she was a drug addict. Then she had two more kids. She constantly got evicted from different apartments. She asked my husband to co-sign for an apartment for her, as she and her children were going to be tossed out on the street. I was against it, because we were raising 6 kids together, and I knew her history.

My husband co-signed. He prayed about it, determined that it was the right thing to do, and announced that as the head of the family, that was his decision.

His ex moved into the new apartment and papers were filed to evict her after only 1 month because she had her crack friends over all of the time. Of course, it took almost 6 months to evict her, and we were on the hook for $6,000.
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#282761 - 02/28/13 06:57 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
SmilingWife
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 4203
Originally Posted By: believer
Okay, I'll bite and call it pig-headedness instead of fundamental Christianity, FH. You know I like you, right?

So, give me an example in your life of how you let your wife influence you.

Here's an example from my life. My ex had kids with his ex wife. He had custody of them because she was a drug addict. Then she had two more kids. She constantly got evicted from different apartments. She asked my husband to co-sign for an apartment for her, as she and her children were going to be tossed out on the street. I was against it, because we were raising 6 kids together, and I knew her history.

My husband co-signed. He prayed about it, determined that it was the right thing to do, and announced that as the head of the family, that was his decision.

His ex moved into the new apartment and papers were filed to evict her after only 1 month because she had her crack friends over all of the time. Of course, it took almost 6 months to evict her, and we were on the hook for $6,000.


The thing is...he made a decision that was VERY disrespectful of you and dressed it up with saying he prayed about it.
_________________________
26 year marriage to Wh ended--divorce final in November 2009.
Remarried in November 2010.
Ds14
Dss12
Dss17
Loving my life

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#282763 - 02/28/13 07:04 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: SmilingWife]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
Yeah, SW, but he had his reasons. His ex and her 2 girls were about to be thrown out on the street. And BTW, those girls were like our own.
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#282764 - 02/28/13 07:12 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
SmilingWife
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 4203
Originally Posted By: believer
Yeah, SW, but he had his reasons. His ex and her 2 girls were about to be thrown out on the street. And BTW, those girls were like our own.


But he knew she was a drug addict? The that was a foolish decision. And he did it against your wishes....foolish AND disrespectful.
_________________________
26 year marriage to Wh ended--divorce final in November 2009.
Remarried in November 2010.
Ds14
Dss12
Dss17
Loving my life

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#282765 - 02/28/13 07:14 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
Amadahy
Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 3144
Averge Jo - hes a deacon at my church. Married and has three little girls. The head of the household and sole provider. Stay at home wife. He wanted to put his daughters in my churches school - she wanted them in a school with an art program...they go to the art program.

He used to be a fierce fiery guy until he became a christian. Now he is even keeled and calm. I love that my boys spend time with him and he lives next door. He is a man of god...a true one. Who thinks the sun rises and sets on his wife and little girls. He listens to her..and often changes his mind when she talks...but I have seen him lead and be firm. He is a strong, Godly man who is kind and compassionate and a wonderful husband.

His wife Anna is latin. He is german and cherokee. There is NO way his wife wouldnt speak her mind. She is a strong passionate woman...who submits to her husbands authority...and her husband listens to and rspects her and she influences him.

It can and does work and when it does it is a truly beautiful thing.

But only when the husband is listening to the scriptures and walking with christ...

If your not listening to christ and allowing him to influence your life - why would you listen to your wife?

Men who listen to god will also listen to their parnter.

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#282766 - 02/28/13 07:17 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: SmilingWife]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
I think that both spouses come into marriage with preconceived notions about a lot of things, including each other. They can be simple things, like "in my family mowing the lawn was the men's job," or more serious things like, "the man/woman is in charge of the finances." Of course, the pre-conceived notion usually originate from a data sample of one marriage - the marriage they observed growing up. I think one of the first examples most couples have of the challenge with allowing influences is when those differences in our data samples of one clash. For example, in wife's family the women cleaned the house and the man did the yard; but in husband's family the man did the farm work and the wife cleaned the house and mowed the lawn. That, by the way, was something J and I encountered. I had never even turned ON a mower lol. In the end, our yard was small and we had no farm so he mowed the lawn smile However, at least in the beginning of our marriage, because detail was no my forte, HE did the financial stuff like paying the bills and calculating the balances blah blah, even though my mom always did that. Which was fine by me because I didn't WANT to be in charge of that lol.

I actually think that the back and forth about the famous "submission" conundrum illustrates the ability or lack thereof to let go of preconceived notions quite well. We tend to take our data sample of one or a couple of people/marriages close to us and generalize them to all situations. My dear friend who I mentioned before, whose husband abused her and whose pastor told her to pray and submit.....she was wary for quite awhile after her D. But she concluded that the fact that her husband used and distorted God's Word for his own abusive purpose spoke volumes about HIS character, but didn't necessarily mean that GOD was wrong. She has been happily remarried for many years now to a godly man. They both believe in complimentary roles and the Biblical principle of the loving husband as the servant leader.....but it looks NOTHING like her abusive marriage did. They and their four children are an amazing family.

Just like it is hard to have a harmonious marriage when the spouses choose to cling to THEIR world view and are not open to another's point of view....so is it difficult to have an adult and civil conversation about these kinds of topics when those discussing it cling to their small data samples as well.

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#282782 - 02/28/13 10:22 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
I'm fine with influence.

Submission is totally out of the question.

What happened in my marriage is that we rarely saw each other so we each established our own bailiwicks.

I had no "influence" on decisions about his job, and he had no "influence" on my decisions about the kids. All other issues aside, the term influence suggests a baseline level of knowledge about one another's lives that we just didn't have.

I think that makes perfect sense under the circumstances. At the end of the day, I wasn't going to be in the trenches with him about his job and he wasn't going to be in the trenches with me about the kids.

I think "influencing" someone when you, the "influencer," are not going to have to implement the advise and live with the results is an excellent definition of controlling behavior.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do or die:
Into the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.


Weird how so many completely irrelevant and pointless passages my evil English teachers forced me to memorize periodically pop into my mind and seem suddenly relevant.

You'd almost think the evil English teachers knew something.......

OK, I'm a tiny bit weird -- I won't deny it.
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282792 - 02/28/13 11:36 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Telly
Member

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 1749

Quote:

Spoken by what appears to be a basically unrepentant Wayward Wife.


Is it possible, LG, that your medical problems have just made you more bitter?



Good God, you are a jackass, FH.

And I'm glad to get flagged for saying it.

yflag Name calling is, indeed, a TOS violation.


Edited by right here waiting (03/01/13 04:11 PM)
Edit Reason: TOS
_________________________
Married 13 years
D10
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#282796 - 03/01/13 02:53 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Telly]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Yep, I can be at times. Of course others can't be don't you know?

Thankfully none of them is my wife, only other people with opinions of their own.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall....."

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#282803 - 03/01/13 07:08 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
Squeaky Tree
Global Moderator
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Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 5241
Loc: Not quite here
Locked pending moderation

The thread is now unlocked - while it is okay to address the topic from a perspective of your own religious beliefs, please do not denigrate the beliefs of others. Even if from a religious perspective, please make it relevant to the topic of the thread. And it ought to go without saying that name-calling is not acceptable.


Edited by Fiddler (03/01/13 06:47 PM)
Edit Reason: Unlocked thread
_________________________
Married 15 years
DD10 and DS8
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny

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#282950 - 03/01/13 11:17 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Squeaky Tree]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
I think this topic raises some hard issues that weren't immediately apparent from the initial post. (I'm insightful that way....)

I have tentatively divided the gradations of influence:

Suggestion: Did you consider the oysters? They are on the second page. I know how you love them. (No investment in outcome.)

Hint: I've really been enjoying the photography I've been doing. I've been thinking I would love to take more close ups of the kids while they are playing sports. There is a deal on this telephoto lens that I think I want, but then I remembered my birthday is next month. (Some investment in the outcome, but no big deal).

Influence: I would prefer we paint the living room taupe. I am not very adventurous color wise and while I think sage might be OK, I am concerned I won't like it. (Big investment in the outcome -- left unaddressed, I will resent you every time I walk in the living room.)

BIG ?????? there.

Dictate: I bought this house for you and the kids and I want taupe. (OK, OK, -- no man would ever say "taupe" but YKWIM). (The walls I am building between you and me would put the Berlin Wall to shame.)

So.... if one wants to influence an outcome, what are the approach words?

This is NOT my strong suit. I'm good in the upper range of opinion, but below that, I suck.
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282952 - 03/01/13 11:27 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
LadyGrey
Professional Attorney
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4026
I do know that in theory all of this should be POJA'ed, but good golly, the amount of energy that it would take to POJA our lives would bring anyone to their knees in a week.

It just isn't practical for us. I can't imagine we are the only people out there who find the process too cumbersome to be remotely realistic.
_________________________
Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I'll dance there with you -- cheek to cheek.

Rumi

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#282956 - 03/02/13 12:50 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
CajunRose
Member

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 8090
Loc: TX
And POJA only works when both parties are committed to finding a solution that works for both of you. My xH was not interested in that exercise.

LG, I do like the way you've separated the different types of influence.
_________________________
Current spouse: Night. D8, D7, S5

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

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#282958 - 03/02/13 02:24 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: CajunRose]
Chrysalis
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Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 4824
Loc: SoCal
Seems to me that the sphere LG called "influence" is also called "respect" and is where most of the negotiating of life together ought to take place.
_________________________
Chrysalis

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#282964 - 03/02/13 02:47 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Chrysalis]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 902
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
Thanks, Chrysalis. I've been reading along and wondering if someone would find that (to me) wonderful word "respect."

I originally had trouble with John Gottman's formulation relating to "accepting influence." A clear definition seemed elusive, to me. Certainly the issue (power and influence) was centrally important to my work, but I came from a slightly different angle.

In fact, my first thoughts originated in a couple of discussions between Imago professionals who went off into name-calling and insulting behaviors at each other. (Something like this thread.) My assumption was that they were all "good people", doing their "best" and still they almost came to blows. I was able to examine the exact style of phrases that kicked them off into behaving badly.

My first observation was that they were speaking "disrespectfully". I thought "they just shifted from sharing their thoughts and beliefs and began acting disrespectfully - particularly of those who disagreed with them."

From that original observation came all my stuff on MasterTalk, use of temper, dialogical communication and PreValidation, etc. Most lately I've just been thinking that I teach, and try to practice, the specific skills (in detail) of acting "respectful" or at least showing that I am trying to be "respectful" and am interested in coming across as "respectful."

You might want to notice that while Gottman's thoughts focus on the receiver (accepting influence), I tend to focus on the dilemma of the sender who wants to influence while remaining "respectful."

Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
is also called "respect" and is where most of the negotiating of life together ought to take place.


I like it. Thanks.

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#282973 - 03/02/13 09:11 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: believer
Yeah, SW, but he had his reasons. His ex and her 2 girls were about to be thrown out on the street. And BTW, those girls were like our own.

All very confusing, Believer.

WHO was his wife, his partner, at the time of this decision...you or his ex-wife?

Did you assent to his decision? Did you even say anything about it? Very confusing as to how this might be an example of a wife (partner) influencing a decision made by your husband that affects your marriage.

Did you discuss it? Did you, following that discussion, agree to his action? I'm not sure if there was some POJA on this or if it was even attempted.

Or is your husband just a "softy" and uses the children as the rationalizing for what he does with respect to his ex-wife?

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#282974 - 03/02/13 09:23 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: LadyGrey]
ForeverHers
Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 4660
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Influence: I would prefer we paint the living room taupe. I am not very adventurous color wise and while I think sage might be OK, I am concerned I won't like it. (Big investment in the outcome -- left unaddressed, I will resent you every time I walk in the living room.)

BIG ?????? there.

Dictate: I bought this house for you and the kids and I want taupe. (OK, OK, -- no man would ever say "taupe" but YKWIM). (The walls I am building between you and me would put the Berlin Wall to shame.)

So.... if one wants to influence an outcome, what are the approach words?

Perhaps consider the approach from the perspective of what your spouse typically thinks is important.

For example: If he was "into" resale value effects of changes to the house, perhaps a neutral color (taupe) is much more 're-salable' should you ever want to sell the house. Then it's not so much about what I think or want, but what you think that would influence the decision. Neutral colors (in this example) ARE more salable, ask any Realtor. So it "makes sense" to him on the logic level moreso than the emotional (likes and dislikes) level.


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#282979 - 03/02/13 11:07 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ForeverHers]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
Originally Posted By: believer
Yeah, SW, but he had his reasons. His ex and her 2 girls were about to be thrown out on the street. And BTW, those girls were like our own.

All very confusing, Believer.

WHO was his wife, his partner, at the time of this decision...you or his ex-wife?

Did you assent to his decision? Did you even say anything about it? Very confusing as to how this might be an example of a wife (partner) influencing a decision made by your husband that affects your marriage.

Did you discuss it? Did you, following that discussion, agree to his action? I'm not sure if there was some POJA on this or if it was even attempted.

Or is your husband just a "softy" and uses the children as the rationalizing for what he does with respect to his ex-wife?


It is confusing, FH. I was his wife and we had been married around 8 years. The children she had were half sisters to my step children. He was a very good man who listened to my input, prayed about it, and then made final decisions.
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#282981 - 03/02/13 11:27 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: AlTurtle]
Mark1952
Board of Directors
President
Member

Registered: 08/29/10
Posts: 4415
Loc: SW Chicago 'burbs
We see in our current political climate something at work every day that I think too many couples find themselves experiencing. This thread became such an experience, I think.

There is a type of problem that is called a wicked problem. This is not using the word wicked to indicate evil or misguided in some way, but to distinguish such problems from what might be called simple problems.

In a simple problem, the facts are easy to spot, there aren't a lot of things to consider and choices for solutions fall into few categories, often only two or three.

Wicked problems are a lot more difficult to find solutions for. This is because even identifying the problem itself can be time consuming, even mind numbing. What you believe is the solution is determined by how you define the problem. How you define the problem is in large part a function of your world view in general and is influence heavily by your experiences in life. We apply general solutions to our own lives as a test for fitness of use and determine whether or not the solution will fix it for us.

How you see the role of government in the lives of the nation's citizens will weight heavily the way you define such problems as gun violence, budget short falls, tax rates and even who gets to decide who will be allowed to legally marry. It's that old quote again; "Where you stand depends on where you sit." When two opposing views collide over a wicked problem, each side tests various solutions for fit with core values and beliefs. Experience weighs heavily in this hypothesis testing even though most of what we believe about experience is based on false assumptions to begin with.

And that is where opposing solutions to wicked problems break down. The assumptions are the things that the opposing side can easily attack and so leaders often seek to polarize the populous around extremes that demonstrate the separation of values and beliefs rather than actually presenting any viable solutions. One side says "Not ABC" and the other says "Not XYZ" and neither side considers how many combinations of letters might be possible, especially if you consider all letters in the alphabet. What I find most interesting in the world of politics is that so few people not directly involved in the debates even know what the players are actually saying. The politicians stop providing facts and begin to play to the emotions of those who might be influenced. They polarize the populace around extremes, neither of which is very sensible and neither of which is actually anyone's opinion or proposed solution to a problem. When proof fails to materialize, we define the problem to fit our solution and nullify the solution of our opponents.

Thankfully, most problems in marriage don't turn out to be wicked problems. Almost all are simple ones. But something happens along the way that makes them seem more complex than they really are and makes us fall into this directly opposite way of selecting solutions. We make simple problems into wicked problems. What happens is that the emotions get involved. How we define the question is in great part a function of how we feel about the solutions instead of solving the problem that needs solving.

What color to paint the walls is a good example of this. I have witnessed churches split over what color the walls in the kitchen were painted and whether the tile in the entrance was quarry tile or ceramic. When a solution is presented that we don't like, disagree with or are afraid of for any reason, we become more or less willing to examine it for viability based in large part on our emotional connection we feel toward the person presenting it.

Look; there aren't two possible answers to the question "What color should we paint the walls?" Just take a look at the color chips at the local big box home store. This is why someone selling a house paints the walls "Cream off white" and hopes for the best when showing the place. A possible solution even might be to paint the place and see what it looks like after a short evaluation and then paint the place again.(we aren't talking about tearing it down and building a new one) Maybe "sage" doesn't work with the "barn red" dining room, but would be fine with a repaint in there as well. It's paint! The reason people make so many colors is so that people will buy more paint to change the color of stuff as the way the feel changes.

Most couples don't start out arguing over what color to paint the bathroom. We feel like we can weather any storm, that no matter how bad the world gets, our connection, commitment and care will help us get through it together and stronger than when we began. "Where do you want to eat?" "I don't care." "What color car should we get?" "I don't care." "What channel should we watch the news on at 6 pm?" "I don't care!"

I don't care = it doesn't matter to me.

One day we end up with things starting to reverse. "I don't care; we're going to McDonald's." "I don't care. I want the yellow one." "I don't care!. I'm trying to watch my show!"

I don't care = I don't care about your feelings(or much of anything else about you)

The reason couples find Harley's POJA so difficult is that they begin with the notion that every problem and conflict will be resolved my way or his/hers and POJA makes selecting one of those options impossible. We don't enter into problem solving with an open mind seeking solutions but instead with preconceived solutions and feelings, that often exclude any options but our first choice. We spend our energy trying to convince each other of our own rightness. We start to see problems as "my way" or "not my way." Not my way translates to his/her way. Blue or Red/Ford or Chevy/Chocolate or Vanilla/Up-Down/Black-White/Liberal-Conservative/Democrat-Republican...more dead children<->right to own a gun.

One thing about choices made based on emotions or even when emotions are heavily weighted that I always find most interesting is that those choices seldom actually weigh much in the way of facts/data or possible outcomes. The feelings and the functions aren't in the same parts of our brain so we can only use one at the expense of the other. We don't decide which might be best, we choose based on how we feel. Feelings change. What we choice can change the feelings of ourselves and others.

How do couples that start so connected end up so disconnected that nothing can be agreed upon without feeling like the world as we know it will end if we don't get our way? What happened to the respect?

If there are two possible solutions to a problem and you must choose between them or die, you can usually pick one unless you know that one will lead to death and the other will lead to life but don't know enough about either to weigh the outcomes. Choose Door 1 or Door 2, and live or die, you have ten seconds or someone will decide for you. When you have no idea what is on the other side of the doors it can be quite the dilemma. Presented with such options we would immediately seek Door 3 and find a way to extricate ourselves from such a place. So few choices we face are actual live or die choices in life and we tend to make them daily without even knowing we made the choice at all. The light turns yellow; do you hit the brakes to stop or the gas to go through as the light turns red? Stop smoking or shorten your life by ten or more years? Earn a lot of money and end up with cancer or earn less and not get cancer from exposure to chemicals and by-products of chemical production.


What we tend to do is to weight our current circumstances so that we can do what feels best right now. So it is when we decide what we will do in our marriage. The result is that we often do stuff that shows our spouse how little we actually care about his/her feelings. Sometimes we do something and then lie because we know it would be seen as a threat by our spouse. Other times we do stuff and never even think about how our spouse might feel about it. None of it is very important. None of it is life or death. Nothing we do without considering our spouse matters much in the scope of how the universe operates or who will pay more taxes than somebody else.

If you feel very connected to someone, like your life is tied directly to their life in some way, and that person does something that hurts your feelings in any way, you see it as a threat. But what is harder to see is that even if something doesn't hurt your feelings you might see it as a threat because your feelings were not considered before making the choice. If your spouse doesn't care about what might hurt you, you have to protect yourself. You need to look out for #1. You have to be careful to not let him/her make choices that could hurt you. You disconnect and move away from allowing yourself to be so closely tied together. You build a wall to protect yourself from the person you promised to live with for the rest of your life.

Now when two solutions to a problem are presented, you can't allow yourself to even consider the merits of anything that you haven't already chosen for yourself. In fact, assuming you feel like you have weighed the consequences of you choice sufficiently, you know that your way is the only way that is right for you. You are willing to define the problem in terms that only allows for your solution, even if it means that you will hurt your spouse by doing it. You prevalidate your own feelings and preinvalidate your spouse's feelings.

When you have a hard time seeing your spouse's POV the problem you are facing is that you don't feel very trusting and so are disconnecting further. You do this until you disconnect enough that things become comfortable again and you once more feel safe. But if this is a point where you no longer feel connected at all, resolving conflict will become pretty close to impossible. Instead what you will find yourselves doing is living as if the other does not matter, nothing you do influences your spouse and accepting no influence from him/her on any topic is impossible. This is a really bad place to be as a couple because any steps toward connection and allowing yourself to be influenced is felt as a threat to our own safety and well being.

If you are married, your spouse IS influenced by you. What you do matters a great deal to your spouse and the more connected your spouse feels, the more what you do matters to him/her. When what you do doesn't take your spouse's feelings about it into consideration, your spouse will feel like you have threatened his/her safety. To self-protect, your spouse will dismantle the things that make him/her feel connected to you. Eventually, left unchecked, he/she ends up building walls of protection until he/she simply disconnects entirely.

What you do affects your spouse. If you hurt your spouse, he/she will disconnect from you. If you show that you care about how he/she feels, then he/she will connect even more. You are basically making them want to be with you more or make them want to not be with you more. Very little we choose is net neutral. We are either bringing our spouse closer or driving him/her away.

We are influenced by our spouse in ways we never imagined possible. The less accepting we are of purposeful influence, the more our choices influence our ability to resolve conflicts or even to interact as a couple. We either make the marital bond stronger or weaker. The less we allow our spouse to influence us, the less connected our spouse will feel. If we ourselves feel disconnected, we are willing to accept less influence from our spouse and so more likely to do things that make our spouse disconnect from us...Lather...Rinse...Repeat...

Whenever you and your spouse find yourselves in conflict, it is more important (to your relationship) to avoid hurting each other than it is to resolve the conflict. Yes, failing to resolve the conflict might result in other consequences that are as yet unseen or that might be predictable. If you get your way now, you might do damage that you will need to resolve later. You can win the battle and lose the war. You can win the war and lose the nation. You can gain the nation and lose your home.

The more strongly you feel that you are the only one who is right, the less likely you are to be influenced by your spouse. The less influence you will accept the more likely you will make choices that benefit you at the expense of your spouse. The more you hurt your spouse with your choices, the less influence you will have over what your spouse does. The less influence you get to direct your spouse's choices, the more likely you will be hurt by those choices. The more you get hurt by your spouse, the less influence you will give your spouse over choices you face.

We define our problems as my way or his/her way. It's win or lose, up or down, black or white, right or wrong. The more lines you draw, the less you can work together for solutions. The less you work together for solutions, the more conflicts that will arise. Almost nothing has to happen right now if your spouse will disconnect from you, shove the relationship into the junk drawer in the kitchen with the used AA batteries that might be good enough for an emergency some day and feel so little connection toward you that you are less than a roommate.

You might think it needs to be fixed right now, but if you make it worse by trying to fix it, your problems increase instead of getting fixed. The more strongly the feeling you are right and your spouse is wrong, the more likely your choice will make things worse instead of fixing it. The less influence you are willing to accept, the more likely making the choice without influence of your spouse will hurt your spouse and your relationship.

Feelings are a REALLY bad way to make choices.

Choices affect feelings, our own and the feelings of those around us. The more connected your lives, the more your choices affect the feelings of the other person. If you hurt each other by your choices, your spouse will disconnect until there is no connection left and the marriage dies. If the marriage is dead, the first signs of resurrection will be a strong feeling that you need to be right in order to reconnect. The less influence you accept, the less you will have, except as it relates to your own self. The more influence you give yourself over yourself, the less control you have over your spouse because you lose the ability to influence the choices he/she makes.

When we try to take a single atom out of the universe to examine it and describe something about it, we find that the atom is inextricably attached to everything else in the universe.

A: It's long and skinny, with short hair on it.
B: It's long alright, but it's kind of fat and spongy with a wet end.
C: I don't know what you guys are looking at, but it's almost like a tree trunk and has gooey stuff around the base.

Three blind men describing their first encounter with an elephant.

All three know they are right.

All three ARE right.

Negotiation breaks down when you decide that in order you be right, everyone else must be wrong.

Where you stand always depends on where you sit.

Before you can solve a problem, you must define it. How you define it might not be a complete definition and not every definition that disagrees with yours is totally incorrect.

You get one chance to pronounce this English word: POLISH

Just KNOW that someone will disagree on what you say.

Sometimes how you say it changes the very meaning. It almost always changes the way others perceive it.
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The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman

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#282983 - 03/02/13 11:38 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Mark1952]
Mark1952
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BTW, infidelity is a wicked problem, not a simple one. That is why how it gets defined matters a great deal to what you see as the solution.
_________________________
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I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman

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#282991 - 03/02/13 12:09 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Mark1952]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
Originally Posted By: Mark1952

If you feel very connected to someone, like your life is tied directly to their life in some way, and that person does something that hurts your feelings in any way, you see it as a threat. But what is harder to see is that even if something doesn't hurt your feelings you might see it as a threat because your feelings were not considered before making the choice. If your spouse doesn't care about what might hurt you, you have to protect yourself. You need to look out for #1. You have to be careful to not let him/her make choices that could hurt you. You disconnect and move away from allowing yourself to be so closely tied together. You build a wall to protect yourself from the person you promised to live with for the rest of your life.

Now when two solutions to a problem are presented, you can't allow yourself to even consider the merits of anything that you haven't already chosen for yourself. In fact, assuming you feel like you have weighed the consequences of you choice sufficiently, you know that your way is the only way that is right for you. You are willing to define the problem in terms that only allows for your solution, even if it means that you will hurt your spouse by doing it. You prevalidate your own feelings and preinvalidate your spouse's feelings.

When you have a hard time seeing your spouse's POV the problem you are facing is that you don't feel very trusting and so are disconnecting further. You do this until you disconnect enough that things become comfortable again and you once more feel safe. But if this is a point where you no longer feel connected at all, resolving conflict will become pretty close to impossible. Instead what you will find yourselves doing is living as if the other does not matter, nothing you do influences your spouse and accepting no influence from him/her on any topic is impossible. This is a really bad place to be as a couple because any steps toward connection and allowing yourself to be influenced is felt as a threat to our own safety and well being.

If you are married, your spouse IS influenced by you. What you do matters a great deal to your spouse and the more connected your spouse feels, the more what you do matters to him/her. When what you do doesn't take your spouse's feelings about it into consideration, your spouse will feel like you have threatened his/her safety. To self-protect, your spouse will dismantle the things that make him/her feel connected to you. Eventually, left unchecked, he/she ends up building walls of protection until he/she simply disconnects entirely.

What you do affects your spouse. If you hurt your spouse, he/she will disconnect from you. If you show that you care about how he/she feels, then he/she will connect even more. You are basically making them want to be with you more or make them want to not be with you more. Very little we choose is net neutral. We are either bringing our spouse closer or driving him/her away.

We are influenced by our spouse in ways we never imagined possible. The less accepting we are of purposeful influence, the more our choices influence our ability to resolve conflicts or even to interact as a couple. We either make the marital bond stronger or weaker. The less we allow our spouse to influence us, the less connected our spouse will feel. If we ourselves feel disconnected, we are willing to accept less influence from our spouse and so more likely to do things that make our spouse disconnect from us...Lather...Rinse...Repeat...

Whenever you and your spouse find yourselves in conflict, it is more important (to your relationship) to avoid hurting each other than it is to resolve the conflict. Yes, failing to resolve the conflict might result in other consequences that are as yet unseen or that might be predictable. If you get your way now, you might do damage that you will need to resolve later. You can win the battle and lose the war. You can win the war and lose the nation. You can gain the nation and lose your home.

The more strongly you feel that you are the only one who is right, the less likely you are to be influenced by your spouse. The less influence you will accept the more likely you will make choices that benefit you at the expense of your spouse. The more you hurt your spouse with your choices, the less influence you will have over what your spouse does. The less influence you get to direct your spouse's choices, the more likely you will be hurt by those choices. The more you get hurt by your spouse, the less influence you will give your spouse over choices you face.


This stood out for me.
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#282996 - 03/02/13 12:21 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
It did for me as well.....and I ashamedly admit it reminded me of something I used to do with J. When something struck me as a good point, I often went straight to using it to "take down" J instead of first evaluating MYSELF in light of the point, since often the behaviors we tend to become irate about are behaviors we ourselves exhibit. I regret that.

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#283010 - 03/02/13 01:28 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: herfuturesbright]
ohmy_marie
Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 1992
this is all so sobering. and sad. and i don't really understand this thread-- is it about wanting to be a better spouse, religion, fighting, marriage??

my husband told me two or three days ago that he felt i was "mean to him 40% of the time." huh. good info.

(but wait... i'm nice 60% of the time!)

i tend to think in positives. and, it never even occurred to me to consider what percentage of time i felt he was mean to me.

is he influenced by me? apparently so-- and he sees "mean."

my first thought: "how do i get him to see the 60% good?"
my second thought: "who takes the time to figure out their spouse's % of meanness?"

not sure this has anything to do with this thread. but, i'm guessing that if he was able to see my 60% good, i'd be doing a better job at "influencing" him.
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as small as a world and as large as alone. -- e. e. cummings

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#283013 - 03/02/13 01:46 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: ohmy_marie]
Squeaky Tree
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Posts: 5241
Loc: Not quite here
I like the turn this has taken. I know J is influenced by me and he looks for my influence particularly where the children are concerned... I seek his thoughts on logisitcs and plans....generally I think we have a good balance and going back to the original topic, I would say that our relationship has improved since he began to allow himself to be influenced by me.


What I really hate and what really hurts, is when he asks for my opinion about something..."what do you think about this?" and then totally and completely dismisses my opinion/thoughts and ideas. Why does he do that?

If I volunteer my thoughts he is more likely to listen than if he asks me for them.....

Maybe he asks becuase he "knows" my thoughts won't be in line with his???



"Why did you ask, when you had decided/made up your mind anyway?"
"I didn't think your answer would be so sily/ridiculous/stupid/complicated/unrealistic etc"
_________________________
Married 15 years
DD10 and DS8
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny

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#283021 - 03/02/13 02:08 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Squeaky Tree]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19184
It's very complicated, ST. The only thing my husband complained about (or at least the only complaint he voiced) during our marriage, was that I wasn't assertive enough. I enjoyed doing anything with him, and would often tell him it didn't matter what we did together. But it bothered him that I didn't express my wishes, so I started doing that. However, it felt like he still chose what he wanted to do.

Toward the end of our marriage, we went out for dinner for Mother's Day. When he asked where I wanted to go, I told him. He didn't like the place because he they didn't serve alcohol. So we went where he chose.

A couple weeks later, I wanted to go to a free concert on the beach. He didn't want to go because of the crowds. I announced that I was going nowhere with him until he went somewhere I wanted to go. That's when he hooked up with the OW.

Maybe it was just my imagination, but I got the idea that he wanted my input as long as I agreed with him.
_________________________
"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#283026 - 03/02/13 02:29 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: believer]
Miranda
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
Originally Posted By: believer
It's very complicated, ST. The only thing my husband complained about (or at least the only complaint he voiced) during our marriage, was that I wasn't assertive enough. I enjoyed doing anything with him, and would often tell him it didn't matter what we did together. But it bothered him that I didn't express my wishes, so I started doing that. However, it felt like he still chose what he wanted to do.

Toward the end of our marriage, we went out for dinner for Mother's Day. When he asked where I wanted to go, I told him. He didn't like the place because he they didn't serve alcohol. So we went where he chose.

A couple weeks later, I wanted to go to a free concert on the beach. He didn't want to go because of the crowds. I announced that I was going nowhere with him until he went somewhere I wanted to go. That's when he hooked up with the OW.

Maybe it was just my imagination, but I got the idea that he wanted my input as long as I agreed with him.


IMO this happens because people ask for input when what they truly want or need is support
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#283044 - 03/02/13 04:07 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
herfuturesbright
Member

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 17282
Loc: The Castle Aaaggghh...
Your statement about your ex only wanting input if it agreed.....really struck me. J and i had conflict when he asked for my advice about scool or teaching......then didn't like what I said....THEN it would turn out i was right and that would make it worse.

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#283097 - 03/02/13 11:44 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
CajunRose
Member

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 8090
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: Miranda
Originally Posted By: believer
It's very complicated, ST. The only thing my husband complained about (or at least the only complaint he voiced) during our marriage, was that I wasn't assertive enough. I enjoyed doing anything with him, and would often tell him it didn't matter what we did together. But it bothered him that I didn't express my wishes, so I started doing that. However, it felt like he still chose what he wanted to do.

Toward the end of our marriage, we went out for dinner for Mother's Day. When he asked where I wanted to go, I told him. He didn't like the place because he they didn't serve alcohol. So we went where he chose.

A couple weeks later, I wanted to go to a free concert on the beach. He didn't want to go because of the crowds. I announced that I was going nowhere with him until he went somewhere I wanted to go. That's when he hooked up with the OW.

Maybe it was just my imagination, but I got the idea that he wanted my input as long as I agreed with him.


IMO this happens because people ask for input when what they truly want or need is support


I agree. I see this on the forum a lot too.

Like believer, my marriage crumbled when I started voicing more opinions rather than just going along with whatever he wanted. A lot of times I tried to follow POJA - I didn't like his idea but wanted an alternative that would make us both happy - but he was in the space where it was his way or he'd give in and hold a grudge. (And sometimes I insisted on my way too.)

I think in some ways this can tie into a large need for admiration. My xH interpreted my disagreeing with him in part as the opposite of admiration. If I admired him, surely I'd do what he wanted. If I didn't do what he wanted, I was telling him I didn't think he was important or worthy. And he found a woman who fawned all over him instead.

In our case, this dynamic had roots in a) his low self-esteem, b) his extreme conflict avoidance, and c) one huge disagreement 5 years into our marriage that he never got over. Any time I disagreed with him after that, his old resentment came back, and he was unwilling to find a compromise on this issue, because he thought he'd given enough 5 years before.

It was very frustrating.
_________________________
Current spouse: Night. D8, D7, S5

About me

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#283107 - 03/03/13 03:37 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: CajunRose]
Squeaky Tree
Global Moderator
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Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 5241
Loc: Not quite here
hmmm, it's very useful to look at how you view your experiences...don't know why I hadn't looked at that....J mostly does this asking and dismissing relating to house rennovations. The thing that we both really hold responsible for our sudden downhill turn was my insistence that we moved (7 years ago) and his reluctant agreement.
_________________________
Married 15 years
DD10 and DS8
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny

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#283254 - 03/04/13 12:04 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Squeaky Tree]
Vibrissa
Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 924
Loc: Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
I saw this thread when it started and wanted to chime in but never got a chance to - now it's taken several turns but this stood out to me:

Quote:
Wicked problems are a lot more difficult to find solutions for. This is because even identifying the problem itself can be time consuming, even mind numbing. What you believe is the solution is determined by how you define the problem. How you define the problem is in large part a function of your world view in general and is influence heavily by your experiences in life. We apply general solutions to our own lives as a test for fitness of use and determine whether or not the solution will fix it for us.

Look; there aren't two possible answers to the question "What color should we paint the walls?"

The reason couples find Harley's POJA so difficult is that they begin with the notion that every problem and conflict will be resolved my way or his/hers and POJA makes selecting one of those options impossible. We don't enter into problem solving with an open mind seeking solutions but instead with preconceived solutions and feelings, that often exclude any options but our first choice. We spend our energy trying to convince each other of our own rightness. We start to see problems as "my way" or "not my way." Not my way translates to his/her way. Blue or Red/Ford or Chevy/Chocolate or Vanilla/Up-Down/Black-White/Liberal-Conservative/Democrat-Republican...more dead children<->right to own a gun.


This is what I think is a key component of POJA - and it seems such a given that Harley never really discusses it. It is implied in his steps for negotiating but is never explicit.

DH and I actually ran into problems when I first started getting us into MB because I decided to implement POJA as a rigid framework, not realizing that we were fundamentally POJAing all along.

One of the first things jettisoned in our first few years was the concept of 'my way' 'your way' and 'right' and 'wrong'. So often early in our marriage we'd come out of a disagreement saying 'No that's what I'm saying.' Realizing we'd been arguing in circles and only managed to get hurt feelings out of the exercise. I hated it - I remember telling him I hated feeling like he was the enemy. I hated having to try to convince him I was right, I hated being persuaded I was wrong. So somehow - and I don't know how - we managed to shift from seeing each other as enemies when problems arose, to seeing each other as partners attacking the problem.

So when there is an issue that needs to be resolved, we put it on the table, and we examine it. We spend forever, it seems, DEFINING what is going on, then thinking of ways together of how to deal with it. And we go back and forth on pluses and minuses, pros and cons, and eventually a solution will emerge, but because of the process it isn't 'his' or 'mine' it's ours.

Because we started with no preconceived notions - there's no emotional attachment to any particular solution, so if it didn't get picked no one feels left out or disregarded. If I don't like a proposed solution, it gets thrown out. If H doesn't like a proposed solution I have no trouble throwing it out b/c it wasn't around long enough for me to become attached to it. It wasn't around long enough to become a symbol for me and my value to H.

Quote:
You might think it needs to be fixed right now, but if you make it worse by trying to fix it, your problems increase instead of getting fixed. The more strongly the feeling you are right and your spouse is wrong, the more likely your choice will make things worse instead of fixing it. The less influence you are willing to accept, the more likely making the choice without influence of your spouse will hurt your spouse and your relationship.


Exactly. Some POJAs go on forever, for us. It took us 6 months to figure out what to do with our dead car. It sat dead in the driveway the whole time until both of us could feel comfortable with a solution. We could have rushed it - but it was more important we both be on board than to rush.... so we found work arounds until then.

And then there is respect. None of this works unless it is on a basic foundation of respect. What matters to your partner HAS to matter to you - even if part of you wants to think it silly or meaningless. Because:

Quote:
What you do affects your spouse. If you hurt your spouse, he/she will disconnect from you. If you show that you care about how he/she feels, then he/she will connect even more. You are basically making them want to be with you more or make them want to not be with you more. Very little we choose is net neutral. We are either bringing our spouse closer or driving him/her away.


DH and I have been negotiating the troubled waters of raising a toddler. It is amazing how much they grow and absorb at this age. We've both been very aware of language - the things we say and how we say them and what affect they will have on DD.

I sent my H an email letting him know I didn't want to use the words 'bad girl' and 'good girl'. I didn't want to tell her when she was throwing a tantrum that she was being a 'bad girl' rather I wanted to focus on choice, that she was making poor choices when throwing a tantrum, because I don't want her to internalize the idea that she is somehow bad, and that become part of her inner critic, her inner dialogue when life gets tough. Plus - I don't want to reinforce the idea that she is not in control of her actions and behavior - that she's just bound to throw tantrums because she's a 'bad girl'; rather that she is choosing to throw a tantrum and could chose to not, she's in control of her actions not the other way around.

DH replied basically saying he didn't agree with my reasoning, didn't think using that language would have the results I thought - and it all seemed a bit of psychological gobbeldigook. BUT - he stopped doing it - stopped using that language. He has not used it once since I brought it up. He doesn't put the same weight into what I've read and thought that influenced my feelings on the matter - but because it mattered to ME, it mattered to HIM.

Similarly - when we have company over - it's really tempting to put some of them up in DD's room. She has an enormous room and putting a queen size air mattress when 4-5 people are staying the night would be nice. However, DH was the youngest and always pushed out of his room for other people. He hated it and so feels the need to preserve DD's space as her own. I think there's no problem with putting them in DDs room - he doesn't like it - so company never says in her room. They can use the couches, the spare bedroom, the living room floor but DDs room is hers.

I don't have the same experiences as DH to see things his way on this, but I respect that it is something important to him - and respecting that is more important than where people sleep when they come over.

So just because we don't see the problem the same way - and don't necessarily have the same feelings on an issue - because it matters and because we respect that it matters it is enough to make a decision on.


Edited by Vibrissa (03/04/13 12:09 AM)
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M: 8/2005
DD 4 yrs
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"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Thomas S. Monson

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#283290 - 03/04/13 09:17 AM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: CajunRose]
Miranda
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 8233
Loc: midwest
A lot of times DH asks for my input and then does the exact opposite. It used to bother me a great deal. Now I've started asking myself a pair of questions when he does it. I say "is it possible he was just asking for/needing support on this?" and "is it possible he was using me as a devil's advocate, or to 'spitball' his solution to make sure it was the one he felt strongly about?" What I mean by the second one is that he didn't feel secure about his decision being a good one until he had a conversation with me where he gave voice to WHY he was deciding as he was. He used my view to force himself to make a case for his own, and then once he did that, he felt better.

In any cas, if it is possible that either of the two questions come up with 'yes' (and most of the time it IS possible) then it is easier for me to let go of the outcome, and not feel so slighted/ or so much "why did you ask me at all if you were going to do xyz anyway!"
_________________________
real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all.

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#283364 - 03/04/13 12:10 PM Re: Accepting Influence From Your Partner [Re: Miranda]
AlTurtle
Retired Therapist
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 902
Loc: Northwest Washington State, US...
I like the twists and turns in this thread. Thanks, all, for sharing. It has given me a chance to reflect on how Sandra and I go about "influence." I think a lot of it comes down to communication skills, boundary skills, and decision making skills that we've developed into.

Communication skills basically lead to both of us feeling understood, all the time. I think the "influence" part is found in that both of us focus more on trying to understand the other than in trying to explain ourselves. So when I have a decision to make, I go to Sandra who takes the time to help me figure out what I am up to by seeking to understand me. For her to understand me, I have to get clear what I am trying to share. As a result of participating in that, I get more clear what decision I want to make.

Boundary Skills result in crisply discriminating between what is mine, what is hers and what is the "stuff" we call ours. If its mine, I decide. If its hers, I assist her in deciding. If it is "ours" then we use decision making skills. "Our" stuff can be simple things like "what's for dinner on Wednesday?" or who "owns" the cat vomit on the rug in the livingroom. Or it can be complex stuff like we are facing right now. We are selling our house after 28 years and moving to a new part of the country. Very, very complex.

Decision Making skills for two (or more people) seem to simply be strategies that result in a Win-Win solution. Not a Win-Lose and not a compromise. And especially it can't be a Win for one and the other pretends its a Win for them, too. It has to be something that both people really think is a Win for them at the same time. We started learning with this "kernel of truth" years ago. Along the way I wrote a couple of articles: one on simple but frequent decision making on vacation together, and another more theoretical on Problem Solving or tough decision making.)

I think we are applying all our skills (Communication, Boundaries, decision making) every day during this huge transition. Keep books? Keep bed? Keep dogs? Keep horses? Keep cats? New house with large lawn/small lawn/no lawn? 2 bedroom or 3? On and on. Wow!
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