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How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! #261295
10/16/12 02:15 PM
10/16/12 02:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Ace Offline OP
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The following was posted by Mark1952 on the <<<MAgnify MArriages>>> thread entitled "Bad things that did NOT happen."

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
I have been using something like this...



The barrel is made up of staves that represent various things that make us feel loved/in love. The water in the barrel is that set of feelings. The problem is that certain things might be really strong, that is, at maximum, while others might be less than the best possible. The barrel can never hold more than the lowest variable, the minimum factor.

Now for us, we might easily provide one of the variables without much effort. Our spouse, however, might not see that as a problem and in fact, that factor might be one of those on which we would score very high. The thing is, when our spouse complains or otherwise states that something is lacking, it is this set of easy to provide things we supplement first. We always seem surprised by the fact that we gave more, did more, provided more and the barrel never got any fuller than it began.

Think love languages here... If what I do to show care is something my wife needs very little of, or little of right now, no matter how much beyond what I have already given I continue to give, her feelings toward me never grow stronger. Instead, she tends to voice her dissatisfaction over the state of our relationship, which to me comes across as nagging... She feels neglected. She feels less fulfilled. She feels the love running out and no matter how much I try to put in, the level never goes up...

Until, that is, I find a way to improve the weakest piece of the whole puzzle. Once I improve that one single part, the level increases. It goes as high as I can build that piece until some other piece is now the one that is the lowest, the minimum factor.

So if we can find a way to identify and communicate to each other what specifically it is that will increase our love toward one another, and once we have improved that one thing, we identify the next thing that is keeping us from filling the barrel and work on it... We can continue around the barrel, identifying what is most lacking, what is the minimum factor and improving it until it is no longer the weakest link. We then move on and fix the next weakest and so on until the barrel is easily filled and kept full without a lot of changes, jumping through hoops or self sacrifice.

Love bank...Love bucket... Love Barrel...

Spend the time and energy fixing what will make a difference and stop wasting energy on changing stuff that is either good enough already or that tweaking further can actually cause to end up broken because we suddenly starting doing it wrong after years of doing it right.

In Harley parlance, the barrel is made up of various ENs. Some need improvement. Others are fully adequate. Some might be good for now, but once others start to improve, those too will need to get better for a couple to reach the goal of being in love again. A single problem with one EN that is highly needed going unmet, allows the barrel to drain almost completely.

Love busters then, are holes we shoot in the sides of the barrel. They don't keep us from filling the barrel beyond that level, but it doesn't stay filled once we stop or slow our effort. The relationship becomes that black hole that we can never fill. He/she is never satisfied, never getting enough, never staying happy with us for long.

_________________________
mark1952.ma@gmail.com


Last edited by Ace; 10/16/12 02:18 PM. Reason: add link
Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: Ace] #261328
10/16/12 05:48 PM
10/16/12 05:48 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Love the barrel analogy. Perfect description of how my marriage operates.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: holdingontoit] #261493
10/18/12 01:46 PM
10/18/12 01:46 PM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Love the barrel analogy. Perfect description of how my marriage operates.


Just curious, Hold.....is your "barrel" perspective (regarding the type of staves you "feel") the same as what you perceive your wife's staves to be?

In other words, do your perceptions of the emotional needs you provide match your wife's preferences?

(I'm curious partly because of your sig line quote.)

Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: Ace] #261505
10/18/12 03:45 PM
10/18/12 03:45 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Thanks for asking. I do not want anyone to misunderstand the nature of my marriage, since that might color how people react to the advice I give.

I do not claim to meet all of my wife's emotional needs. I know I do not. I am aware of the areas where the staves are too low to allow her barrel to fill with much water. I do not feel I am able to raise those staves to a higher level, so I have accepted that there will never be much water in her barrel.

Same in the other direction. She knows where the low staves in my barrel are and she feels unable to raise them higher.

We remain in equilibrium because we both get enough from the relationship to want to be married, but neither of us is motivated to move toward a more fulfilling relationship. Both of us are unwilling to address the areas where we fall short, which forces us to grudgingly accept that we can't reasonably ask the other to "raise their game", either.

Not what anyone here should strive toward. But so far it works for us. We have great kids and we enjoying raising them together.

My comments about the barrel being an apt metaphor was not meant to imply that we use it in my marriage to build a bigger barrel. But it explains perfectly why 2 reasonably good hearted people have not been able to improve their marriage despite 20 years together, great kids, 8 years spent in marriage counselling, substantial effort toward learning to communicate better, etc. Simple really. Neither of us is willing to raise the lowest stave any higher. And raising other staves makes little or no difference. Hence decades of "limbo".


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: holdingontoit] #261555
10/19/12 07:08 AM
10/19/12 07:08 AM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit

My comments about the barrel being an apt metaphor was not meant to imply that we use it in my marriage to build a bigger barrel.

Bigger barrel?...or better barrel?

Quote:
But it explains perfectly why 2 reasonably good hearted people have not been able to improve their marriage despite 20 years together, great kids, 8 years spent in marriage counselling, substantial effort toward learning to communicate better, etc. Simple really. Neither of us is willing to raise the lowest stave any higher. And raising other staves makes little or no difference. Hence decades of "limbo".


I know the limbo drill, Hold...BTDT for over 30 years. During the two years after I gave up (and actually hoped H would cheat so I'd have a justiable reason to dump him), I was actually quite proud of the fact that we never fought....cuz we seldom spoke to each other. blush

In fact, as odd as it may sound, we might still be in limbo today if H's E/PA hadn't jolted us out of limbo-land. Our sitch seems to be an example of something bad providing the foundation for something potentially good.

No, I'm not thankful for the A. But I am glad for the changes that evolved as a result of the A's impact on both our lives.

As for the staves in our barrels, when H saw that I was more concerned with finding out how I could help raise HIS staves, and I quit condemning him for not raising MY staves, he decided to change.

Why?

Because his viewing my willingness to change gave him hope. (Wish I knew that 3 decades earlier.)


Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: Ace] #261600
10/19/12 09:40 PM
10/19/12 09:40 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Very glad to hear that you took the high road and that his A triggered changes in you that redounded to both of your benefit. Always happy to hear about happy resolution to limbo.

Who knows, maybe if she had an A then I might become willing to raise her staves. Stranger things have happened.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: holdingontoit] #261628
10/20/12 04:03 PM
10/20/12 04:03 PM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Very glad to hear that you took the high road and that his A triggered changes in you that redounded to both of your benefit. Always happy to hear about happy resolution to limbo.

Who knows, maybe if she had an A then I might become willing to raise her staves. Stranger things have happened.


Thanks, Hold. Have you read my our story? That's almost what happened for us.


Married for the wrong reasons
+
Kids came along so stayed together for the kids
+
Status Quo or worse due to emotional abuse (for over 3 decades)
+
Gave Up and waited for H to cheat
+
H cheated
+
I felt relieved that I could dump him for justifiable reasons and start over
+
DS 20-something said "Fight For Family First (before fleeing)"
+
We started fighting together to save our M so we could tell DS "we tried but it didn't work."

=

It worked and we renewed our vows (a little prematurely but we did it.)

5 years later, we have a growing intimate marriage I never thought possible.

HOW?

We are choosing to help each other build up each other's staves in our barrels (and it feels pretty good).

Ace

P.S. Maybe you should jump in a tardis tardis and picture yourselves in our shoes. (Write a short story about it if nothing else.) Then you might be able to fix whatever's wrong in your M without the nasty lifetime of creative triggers that the A bestows upon you.

Last edited by Ace; 10/20/12 04:12 PM.

We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: How a full love barrel can make your marriage a barrel of fun! [Re: Ace] #261793
10/22/12 07:35 PM
10/22/12 07:35 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Ace, always good to hear about your success. Sorry you had to endure such pain to get there. I am sure your S appreciates you gave it the effort.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.

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