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    Support for a good husband
    Gr8me posted:
    Last night I had a dream and I think it is an answer for a question I had for a while. It's a short dream but we can learn from short things too. In my dream my friend was sitting with his wife having a nice time. His wife then needed a straw for a drink and he got up without hesitation and got it for her. In my dream I remember thinking, "why doesn't she just get it herself?" I then woke up. Obviously, when I woke up I was thinking, "what is with me? Of coarse he should get it for his wife." I then realized that my childhood selfishness is still so much with me that it actually bothers me to stop what I am doing to go help my wife. Even if I do it I either do it grudgingly where she realizes that I don't want to do it or I hide it well but inside I feel like, "you're annoying." I know in my childhood I saw very selfish behaviors from my parents. I love my wife and I am very faithful. However, although we have children and no time for each other, I know that if I can be more of a giver we would cherish each other more and want to cherish our time together rather than watching TV or surfing the Internet [or watching my porn >. I'm a good man and I'm asking for friendly support. I'm brand new to this and I'm sure there are very friendly people here to support me. I appreciate all sincere responses.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    Gr8me- I'm glad you decided to post this and I hope we can help. You have already taken the first big step by recognizing this dynamic. I suggest that you make a conscious effort to notice each time you feel annoyed with you wife for these kinds of things. Then - and this is a tricky part- don't criticize yourself for this. If you do, you will just get all caught up in how you are not ok and that's not going to do you any good. Instead, try being compassionate toward yourself. Just as you might tell a friend, note how you are enacting a pattern that you saw as a child (and maybe how you never felt you were fully cared for as a child, so were left with a "selfish" need to be cared for), and that this makes your current thoughts and feelings understandable. Then state to yourself that you want to change this. Think about how you love your wife and want to show this to her, even as you also want it to be shown to you. Pay attention to how doing these things affect her. Hopefully she shows appreciation that you can then feel good about.

    I hope this helps. Please let us know how it goes.
    dfromspencer responded:
    Yes indeed, you should get up and get that straw, or anything else your wife might want. That is how we men show our wives how much we love them. I'm not sure why this is, but we men dont like all that mushy stuff. By doing these little things, we show them that we do care. I hope she shows her appreciation.

    Make sure you show your appreciation for the little things she does for you. If you have time to watch porn, or surf the net, then you have time to be with your wife. Make the time, life is too short! Dennis
    Gr8me replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    Thank you, Leslie, for your response. You hit it on the nail. I wasn't neglected to an abusive extent but I was not cared for that mus=ch as a child nor did my parents show a giving relationship at all. What I do now is recognize within myself when I can do more. I do a number of "extra" outputs of caring just to make it more of a habit. My wife has a hard time noticing my positive doings but I notice them. Hopefully I will continue regardless to show her care and eventually she will see it and really appreciate it.
    Gr8me replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Strong response, Dennis. Not much more then I already know.
    darlyn05 replied to Gr8me's response:
    Not that long ago I watched a YouTube video titled 'Why your relationship instincts may be wrong' by Kim & Steve Cooper. It describes this very thing and how we need to learn healthier relationship skills. It also points out what and how we are teaching (our) future generations. I'm hoping she, your wife, does recognize your efforts. At the onset she may not know what to think of it or how to respond.
    Gr8me replied to darlyn05's response:
    Hey darlyn05, Thank you very much for your response. I will check out the youtube clip you referred. However, my wife does not seem to notice my efforts and that's what makes it so hard. I have to do it for myself; because I know this is what I want to do for my beloved wife. It gets difficult though but I do try. I know eventually things will work out nicely.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Gr8me's response:
    It's great that you are so motivated because it will serve you well. To help keep up your motivation, you might want to keep a daily journal of times each day that you are good to your wife (no need to write more than one thing each day). Writing these things down can help you keep doing this more in mind and help you feel good about the progress you are making. -- If you are aware of times when you did something grudgingly, you might just want to talk yourself (in your own head) through being more understanding of what she asked of you -- but if you still have a problem with something, you might need to talk with her about it.

    In addition, you said that she does not seem to recognize the good things you do. Is she critical, or is she more not aware of them (a bit neglectful like your parents)? Do you notice when she does positive things-- and do you tell her? It is important for couples to acknowledge these things to each other. Saying thank you can help both partners feel good. Maybe the two of you would benefit from talking about being more appreciative of each other -- and from making it an ongoing conversation in some way.
    darlyn05 replied to Gr8me's response:
    In my relationship I always say thank you and show my appreciation in small subtle ways. When my partner doesn't say thank you(which is far too often) I will sometimes say 'You're welcome', that prompts a thank you. Or If I show appreciation or say thank you I'll say "See how I did that". It's just a small reminder or teaching skill for him.

    I do agree how DfromSpencer described the subtle ways men show appreciation and love for their spouse. If a person didn't grow up with this modeled in their lives it's a whole new skill to learn. Women included.
    _hurtHeart replied to darlyn05's response:
    Oh Gr8me:: if i can just say YES, please do show your wife the love, respect and honor that she deserves. I think you should explain to her how you want to do things for her, and that you expect and would SO appreciate her when she does things as well.. I would give almost anything if my husband had done those "small" things years ago,, i wouldnt be leaving him now! I was the giver, he the taker, and years down the raod, i realize i was used, taken for granted and now i dont love him, and getting divorce.. a very happy marriage, gone south because he NEVER headed my begging for love, respect, compassion, help, and affection.. so sad! do yourself a favor, and head all these words.
    Gr8me replied to dfromspencer's response:
    I need to respond to you again, DfromSpencer,
    I reread your response. The second part I was familiar with. However, the first part about the tremendous meaning it is to a woman when you do something for her, which might seem as a tiny thing to us, is a very valid and good point.
    Gr8me replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    Thank you Leslie for those ideas. I do try to make a point to remember the good that I do. Of coarse I do a lot for her I just am a little too into myself. So when I am watching something and my wife needs something I have to pluck myself out of my selfish world to do something for my wife.
    In addition, yes, she is the negative and global type like "you never do ... for me." While in reality I did that this morning just not right now. On the other hand I do praise her and thank her and I am at times critical myself.
    Gr8me replied to _hurtHeart's response:
    I will hurtHeart. I feel for you that you are so pained . The anguish is overwhelming. I can't say anything that can make you feel better about your situation but I will heed your words to try to offer and give more. Not to avoid divorce but because I love and I do want to give to her. Plus it is lousy to always take.

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