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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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That's probably why the MC said it was a textbook case. A lot of people--men AND women--don't realize that it's such a big deal, each seeing it from their own sides. They don't know or understand how their partner thinks or what they need.

A lot of people live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others and you would have them do unto you. And that works in a lot of situations.

But sometimes, you have to remember, do unto my partner as my partner would prefer, not the way I would prefer. If you can do that, you're in a. Much better position for success.

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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:38 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

If you're putting together a book list, it won't be complete without This One
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 08:50 AM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

@Deejo is a huge advocate for that book, as is @jld. I have tremendous respect for both of them.

I have still not yet read it, and I need to.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 06:39 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

QFT! Brilliant. This is so true. Emphasis added.

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@WorkingWife said pretty much exactly what I was going to say. Most men are inherently fixers. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not what most women need.

Sharing in a marriage IS important. It leads to emotional intimacy, which is what most women need in a relationship. Because many men are like you @MovingForward and are reluctant to share, when you DO share with your wife all these things--your hopes, your dreams, your fears--they become hers, too. And that's what makes a marriage special and intimate the way no other relationship is, because she knows you truly intimately, the way no one else ever possibly could.

This is why emotional affairs (on the husband's part) can be so much more painful than just a physical affair (CAN be, not making grand sweeping generalizations), because he is sharing with his AP things that are emotionally intimate and should be reserved for the special intimacy between a husband and wife.

When you keep things from your wife, you are denying her the emotional intimacy that she needs in a relationship, and when that happens, she stops feeling SAFE in the relationship. If she stops feeling safe, she will likely pull away from physical intimacy--which is usually the husband's biggest need in the marriage. It makes HIM feel safe, and allows him to be emotionally vulnerable. When she starts pulling away physically, he withdraws even more emotionally--which in turns causes her to pull away more physically. It creates a vicious cycle which can eventually spiral out of control and ruin a marriage. It takes at least one person--preferably both--not pulling back, despite the feelings of (sometimes extreme) discomfort, to keep the cycle from continuing, and to turn it around.

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I would add regarding the emotional affair -- it would be especially painful if the husband is sharing things with this OW that he won't share with his wife. To me, that would definitely be a worse betrayal than having sex. (Though either would be a deal breaker.)
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 06:42 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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If you're putting together a book list, it won't be complete without This One
That's funny, this whole conversation from the beginning made me think of that book. The "information" on this difference between men and women has been around for ages, but it's so anti-instinctual for both that if you don't learn it, you can spend a life trying to have good relationships with the opposite sex extremely frustrated and confused.
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 06:53 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Well you have never listened to my wife tell a 30 minute story that i can summarize in 30 seconds. Sometimes i just want to put a gun to my head.

When i ask what time do we have to be at an event, I don't want a 10 minute story. I want a 5 sec reply. To me, it is disrespectful to be subjected to that.
And your wife needs to learn what most men want - the summary/answer, and then the story if the story is even necessary.

Then, when your wife needs someone to talk to and tell her rambling, 30 minute story to, you can summon the energy to be there for her knowing that it makes her feel loved and connected and intimate with you that you're communicating with her like this. And maybe you'll be happier to do it understanding that if you want to have a wife (and get regular sex) this is just how most women are wired.

And you are right, it is disrespectful to give a 10 minute story when asked a simple question for information. So your wife should understand how you are wired and that it's incredibly frustrating to you, and to learn how to just answer the damn question when you ask her something. And if there's a back story, ask you if you want to know it, and if you say "no, not really," respect that.

It seems to me that if both sides understand the other, they can accomodate the other and still get what they need.
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:04 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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And your wife needs to learn what most men want - the summary/answer, and then the story if the story is even necessary.



Then, when your wife needs someone to talk to and tell her rambling, 30 minute story to, you can summon the energy to be there for her knowing that it makes her feel loved and connected and intimate with you that you're communicating with her like this. And maybe you'll be happier to do it understanding that if you want to have a wife (and get regular sex) this is just how most women are wired.



And you are right, it is disrespectful to give a 10 minute story when asked a simple question for information. So your wife should understand how you are wired and that it's incredibly frustrating to you, and to learn how to just answer the damn question when you ask her something. And if there's a back story, ask you if you want to know it, and if you say "no, not really," respect that.



It seems to me that if both sides understand the other, they can accomodate the other and still get what they need.


I understood most of your post. What do you mean by get regular sex?
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:24 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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I understood most of your post. What do you mean by get regular sex?
Well maybe you are already getting all the sex you want. But typically, men's top two needs are sexual fulfillment and recreational companionship. Ironically, those are typically women'sw bottom two needs.

On the flip side, women's top two needs are usually conversation and affection. Again, the irony, typically men's bottom two needs.

So typically, it's a given than men want sex. It's a physical drive they have. But it's not a given that women want sex. Women are wired differently, usually with a lot less testosterone. What women need most is intimacy and to feel "connected" - when they have that, they feel in love, and when they feel in love, then they are much more likely to want sex.

So the road to more enthusiastic sex for most men runs through non-sexual affection and conversation. Women who are not getting their needs met will often give men the sex they want for a period of time, thinking that will get them the intimacy they want, and because it's a very intimate thing for a woman to do. But many men, being wired as they are, just think "cool, she loves lots of sex and I don't even have to endure her inane babbling or "hold her" without groping her! Then they get married, and the woman realizes, this is it - you have sex with him and he ignores you. Then the woman feels distant and unfulfilled. Then she stops desiring sex. Then the guy goes on TAM and asks why did sex stop when I got married? Why is my wife a cold fish? And the wife goes on TAM and says how her husband wants sex from her and wants her to go to ball games with him, but shows her no affection and is preoccupied and disinterested when she tries to talk to him and she doesn't know why but she just really doesn't want him touching her anymore.

That's what I meant. I was trying to be succinct, but, as a woman, I find that very difficult! :-)
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 11:19 AM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Well maybe you are already getting all the sex you want. But typically, men's top two needs are sexual fulfillment and recreational companionship. Ironically, those are typically women'sw bottom two needs.

On the flip side, women's top two needs are usually conversation and affection. Again, the irony, typically men's bottom two needs.

So typically, it's a given than men want sex. It's a physical drive they have. But it's not a given that women want sex. Women are wired differently, usually with a lot less testosterone. What women need most is intimacy and to feel "connected" - when they have that, they feel in love, and when they feel in love, then they are much more likely to want sex.

So the road to more enthusiastic sex for most men runs through non-sexual affection and conversation. Women who are not getting their needs met will often give men the sex they want for a period of time, thinking that will get them the intimacy they want, and because it's a very intimate thing for a woman to do. But many men, being wired as they are, just think "cool, she loves lots of sex and I don't even have to endure her inane babbling or "hold her" without groping her! Then they get married, and the woman realizes, this is it - you have sex with him and he ignores you. Then the woman feels distant and unfulfilled. Then she stops desiring sex. Then the guy goes on TAM and asks why did sex stop when I got married? Why is my wife a cold fish? And the wife goes on TAM and says how her husband wants sex from her and wants her to go to ball games with him, but shows her no affection and is preoccupied and disinterested when she tries to talk to him and she doesn't know why but she just really doesn't want him touching her anymore.

That's what I meant. I was trying to be succinct, but, as a woman, I find that very difficult! :-)


Sorry WW. I was being facetious. If i was getting regular sex I wouldn't be on TAM and I wouldn't have a copy of this book.

Your post was helpful though.

I am putting TAM down now on going off to read the book. I am on page 8.

It might help my next relationship.
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 01:08 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Hi I have another thread going below but wanted to keep this separate for some feedback.

Entering Divorce proceedings

During MC last night it was discussed my inability to effectively show emotion has caused my W or STBXW to feel unloved and lonely and to detach from me, I do have a lot of feelings but maybe don't always show them in a way that she wanted. I was told that I am a fixer and I need to not try and fix everything all the time and sometimes just listen.

He recommend I read a book called Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson, has anyone read this book and did you get anything out of it? Also any other recommendations for books which have resonated well would be appreciated.
Conceptually, I think Sue Johnson has figured out something fundamental and very important.

I am struggling to read the book. Struggling, because I think it needs a re-write. Sue Johnson is an academic. Most of her books are for an academic audience. She has the same writing problem I have - she cannot rest until she's put ALL the details of a concept into the book - and that makes it hard to read. There are place in which I can tell that it probably flowed well - but she HAD to add several sentences to make sure this or that got covered well.

In an attempt to render it more readable, she presents the ideas in the form of "conversations" between married people...possibly because this was John Gottman's technique in his outstanding book "Seven Principles for making Marriage Work". However, while Gottman (or his ghost writer) were able to create believable people using English to express themselves, the characters in Sue Johnson's conversations are not differentiated from each other. In page after page of words in quotations, you can't tell which person is saying what. Sue interjects her own observations within the conversations, and sometimes it's hard to tell when the conversation stopped and Sue began making her observations.

Another challenge with the book is that it's unclear at times whether she's intending it for self-help for couples (this is the claimed objective) versus trying to show therapists how to use her EFT (Emotnon Focused Therapy) techniques.

My own estimate is that the essential information could probably be covered in 100 pages, not the 332 that it is.


So, the book - 2 stars
The concept - 5.5 stars out of 5. I think she's made a real breakthrough.

I listen to Youtube video interviews of her while I'm doing chores, and have absorbed what I think are the basics. I have also looked on the web to see if someone else has summarized the book.


Here's my take on it.

Part 1 - attachment style
Background for each individual: You have an attachment style, and it was created by how you were treated in the first weeks of life. Depending on how your primary caregiver (usually your mother) treated you when you were a newborn and most vulnerable, you have come to intrinsically view all people initially the same way.

If your mom responded to your cries instantly, and all the time, then you probably have a secure attachment style - you expect people close to you to be supportive, when you need it, and at the right level.

If your mom didn't respond every time, but sometimes ignored you as an infant, then you will likely have an insecure attachment style, in which you trust people but not all that much - you form relationships carefully and spend a lot of time looking for "red flags".

Worse, if, when you cried for attention, your mom showed up and did NOT support you - e.g. stuffed a bottle in your mouth and left - then your insecure attachment style will be one to never trust people - you may be viewed by others as shy, introverted, etc. You prefer solitude and when you are with people, you don't share your emotions, since your inner being expects people will abuse you with them.

Ultimately, knowing your style is useful but not required...but the background helps you understand how you and spouse may end up not working well together.

Part 2 - the Breakthrough

The breakthrough is that Sue Johnson seems to have cracked the love code- she has identified what we 'need' in a romantic relationship. It boils down to an acronym - A.R.E.

A = Available: Are you available to me? When I exhibit the need for emotional support, are you there? Even if you, yourself, are struggling with something, when I show my need, will you come to my aid?

R = Responsive - Will you respond when I show a need? John Gottman refers to events called "bids". Any time your spouse does something that you might respond to, you can consider it a bid for attention. Gottman says your responnse to these bids is crucial. If you "Turn Toward" your partner, you will show emotional support. Not fixing the problem, but acknowledging that you can see why your partner feels that way (even if you don't agree that it's a big deal). You can Turn Away - ignore the bid, stay focused on your computer, etc. Gottman has identified that you must Turn Toward 80% of the time...when a person is in distress, they are more prone to receiving things as negative, so your response to a bid must be positive (Turn Towards) the overwhelming majority of the time. John's wife (Julie, I think) also created a third category - Turn Against. This would be when your wife comes home irritated that someone at work insulted her and you say "It's not very smart to care what others think if you" - that's basically telling your wife that her feelings are invalid.

Note that in R, you need to be Responsive even when you are struggling - and even if what you're struggling with is your spouse! Not easy to do!

E = Engaged. Are you Engaged with me? Do my feelings matter, and are you regularly sharing your feelings?



===

Sue explains this stuff in maybe the first 100 pages of the book, then the Seven Conversations are supposed to show us a path to get from dysfunctional to functional in four steps. But that's where I get lost, the conversations are just too hard to follow for me to interpret the four steps.

Sue uses metaphors for many of her concepts - if you're not a social dancer, you'll miss many of them because she uses lots of dancing references.

====

You can find two and three page documents that repeat what I wrote (and probably better), and hopefully at some point, someone will summarize the seven conversations in a manner that I (and hopefully others) can absorb properly. I find useful stuff if I search for "Cliff Notes: Hold Me Tight" or "Summary of Hold Me Tight".


If you are the sort who can dive into any kind of writing, then you may move yourself through this book far better than I did.


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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:25 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Sorry WW. I was being facetious.
Oh, haha. Well, you gave me a chance to pontificate - and you know how much we women love that. :-) Now go ask your wife her opinion on something, and when she gives it, pay rapt attention. Nod and murmur and say "Really?" "Oh?" and "Tell me more..."

In 6 to 10 months, you'll be getting laid regularly!!! :-)
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:55 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Yes this is mostly what she told MC and me although there was some of the above also. I told the MC last night its weird I cannot explain it I want to open up but I can't and I do not know why. Also never really thought that not sharing problems could be an issue.
I recommend you start small and positive. Tell your wife when you are happy or when you appreciate something she does and how you feel about it. Showing appreciation is a great way to start in terms of communication and sharing emotions. For example, Thank you, Wife, for making dinner. I enjoy your cooking and appreciate the effort you put into making meals.

Each of us contributes something in a family. It doesn't matter if it is our job to do something. Everyone wants to be appreciated and their efforts noticed. I find that since I recognized this small and obvious point that there is a lot more affection around our house and people have learned to appreciate each other's contributions and to voice it. Sometimes our house sounds like a mutual admiration society. It's really nice.

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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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It seems to me that if both sides understand the other, they can accomodate the other and still get what they need.

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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

Just been reading the books I got from Womansinfidelity.com interesting stuff and a lot echo's advice I was given on my other thread such as aspects of the 180 and not allowing Limbo, two books one written talking to a man and one on the Females side.

Not sure on all the other fluff as flicked though it but will read in more depth over the next week or so until I get the Hold me Tight book.

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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:31 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Well you have never listened to my wife tell a 30 minute story that i can summarize in 30 seconds. Sometimes i just want to put a gun to my head.

When i ask what time do we have to be at an event, I don't want a 10 minute story. I want a 5 sec reply. To me, it is disrespectful to be subjected to that.
Hmmm, could be THIS explains the lack of sex in your marriage..? At least partially....

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-c...ionships-fiff/
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