Well, no sooner than I started reading DR, the W initiates conversation tonight. Says she wants to move out in a month. I spoke to her logically though she was very emotional. I remained very composed the whole time. She says she has not felt content. Not calm. She feels I deserve more from someone else. She says on paper there is no logical reason to leave. But is not in love with me. We did speak for a good hour and together, I prayed for us. We have to live under the same roof for another month. How in the world do we do that? Please help.
Forget the logical talks! She is reacting out of emotions. Everything is based on her emotions! The more you try to get her to see things from a logical point of view, the worse it will make things.
Finish reading DR.
You wanted help with 180's. Does that mean you want examples? Here's a few:
.Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore! This turns the spouse completely off!
2. No frequent phone calls to spouse.......let him/her be the one to call you. Then don't try to hang on to your spouse through conversation.....instead, you say good-bye first.
3. Do not point out good points in marriage or try to get him/her to read marriage books, look at your M pictures, etc. Especially, do not get him/her to read the DB/DR book. That is for you only!
4. Do not follow your spouse around the house like a puppy dog trying to get his/her time and attention.
5. Do not encourage talk about the future. They don't want to think about a future with you at the moment, so stay clear of that subject.
6. Do not ask for help from family members or friends. Don't discuss private matters with them that would upset your spouse.
7. Do not ask for reassurances (That is showing neediness and being clingy.) Show self-respect and self confidence.
8. Do not buy gifts to make "brownie points". (Can't buy his/her love and affection.)
9. Do not schedule dates together at this point. (That is pursuing.) Save for later when the R is much better.
10.Do not spy on spouse by checking emails, phone bills, etc. (Not good for you and will make matters worse.)
11.Do not say "I Love You" (It is being "pushy" and trying to make your spouse say it back to you......he/she will despise you for it.)
12.Act "as if" you are moving on with your life with or without them and that you are going to be okay. Keep a good attitude.
13.Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive at all times! In other words, be the best you can be and look the best you can look at all times. Even when wearing jeans and T-shirt, wear good cologne, b/c it does cause the spouse to take notice.
14.Don't sit around waiting on your spouse to see what kind of mood he/she is in or what he/she is going to do or say – get busy, think of things to do. Go to church, go out with friends, etc. in order to get a life for yourself without waiting on your wife/husband.....but it is okay to invite them, just don't act as if it will change your plans if they do or don't go.
15.When at home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation---then don't, wait for him/her) then, be rather scarce or with your words, but don't sound rude or too short like you are mad. If your spouse asks what's wrong....just say "nothing" and have a pleasant expression on your face. Keep it short and simple. Don't get into an argument! Stay polite and don’ t act like you are pouting. Use poise and class. This does not mean to act like you aren’t speaking, but don’t be overly talkative.
16.If you are in the habit of asking your spouse his/her whereabouts, ASK THEM NOTHING!! No matter what time he/she comes home! You are giving them space and asking no questions! You enjoy your time with your kids, friends, etc. Remember, you are getting a life, also.
17.You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.
18.Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what he/she will be missing. (But never ask him/her if he/she has noticed any changes!!) This is important! If you do, then you have blown it.
19.No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. This can confuse some of them b/c it is not what they expected. Show your spouse someone he/she would want to be around all the time, somebody that can be attractive and fun to be with. That somebody is you! Don't overkill in your attempts to outshine another person your spouse may be having an A with (if there is OP in the picture) to the point of looking like your attempts are "fake" b/c your spouse will see through all of that.
20.All questions about marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while)so this takes patient on your behalf.
21.Never lose your cool! Don't let your spouse trap you into a fight. Don't take her/his bait.....leave the room or the house for a while, if you have to, in order to avoid a fight.
22.Don't be overly enthusiastic, don't over-kill; in anything you do b/c it will come across as fake.
23.Do not argue about how your spouse feels about something (it only makes his/her feelings more negative.) Only they know how they feel!
24.Be patient......very, very patient. Give your spouse space and time. When you pull back, it will draw them towards you. It feels opposite of what you want to do, but it works!
25.Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you. Look them in the eyes when they talk to you. Do not interrupt them when they are speaking and stop what you may be working on to look at them when they talk. This shows them that you really care about what they are saying.
26.Learn to back off, shut up and walk away when you want to speak out (or scream and yell).
27.Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil). This is for your health's sake.
28.Be strong and confident and learn to speak softly. Read self-help books, inspirational books or listen to tapes. They are for you only.
29.Know that if you can do 180's, your smallest CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write.
30.Do not be openly show that you are "desperate" or "needy" even when you are hurting more than ever and truly feel desperate and needy. This is a large turn-off for your spouse.
31.Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse, instead, focus on them.
32.Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because he/she is hurting and scared.
33.Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
34.Do not ask your spouse if he/she has noticed your changes. Those changes are for you and for the rest of your life...with or without your spouse. If it is just to get your spouse back...they won't last and the same problems will return.
35.Do not send several TM's or emails throughout the day unless absolutely necessary.
36. It is best to stay away from the bar scenes where other problems easily arise. (That's JMHO.)
37. Do not backslide from your hard earned changes.
It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
Thanks Sandi. Great points. Yesterday morning, I told my W that I was going to spend the night at my parents. That's all. Now I did discuss these issues with them but the W doesn't know the depth of the conversations. No emails, texts or calls yesterday or this morning. I'm going back home tonight. I feel like I am on Fe right path now but hope I can start seeing some positive reactions. Of course, I don't want to force anything. Im just trying to give the W as much space as possie now while we are still living together. And I hope I didn't blow it by staying at my parents last night. I just needed to get out of the house. It was very therapeutic. We are going back to our MC tomorrow night. We'll see how that goes. Any thoughts on these most recent developments and where to go from here?
Came home tonight and my W definitely noticed a more upbeat person. On fact she said "you seem to be doing well." She did not appear to be doing that well. My one question - tomorrow night, we are attending a previously scheduled session with our MC. How open do I need to be in this session given the fact I'm working on a 180 right now?
The MC is definitely pro marriage and while the general curriculum of our counseling is not Christian-based, the MC is a Christian and brought in elements of Christianity into our session. I am glad my W still wanted to attend the session, even though she has expressed her desire to move out next month. The meeting with the MC lasted longer than normal - about 90 minutes. Obviously we told her we had hit a fork in the road and expressed my W's desires. W said that she had felt this way for some time and had just now told me exactly how she felt. She had not told me because she was worried about hurting me (which hurt in and of itself - I would hope that she would have considered what she'd be losing if she left). Anyhow, I expressed my desire to work on the marriage. W talked a lot about how we had not been able to communicate honestly and openly, about real feelings and emotions; that our marriage was one on the surface free of real confrontation or connection. I expressed my honest sorrow for my part in the communication breakdown. We both acknowledged that we were both to blame for where we were. The difference now - I want to make this work; I'm not sure if my W does.
The catch-22 of this situation is this: our MC recommended a weekend together at home where we could be around each other in an effort to jump start communication. The 180 approach would have me out of the house, doing my own thing. I am not going to follow her around, beg, plead, cry and act pathetic. I want to follow the advice of our MC while still demonstrating my ability to live my own life. In fact, I said something to the effect of "right now, I can't control this situation and I have to live my life."
Bottom line: I want to work on this. I believe my W thinks this is over and she is ready to move out. Not really sure how to go about business this weekend at home with my W but God willing, whatever we do somehow brings our hearts back together.
I can relate to your story. My husband has neglected to be forthcoming with communication also citing that he felt it would be hurtful to me, so he just didn't say anything and it all came to a head without me being able to do anything about it. I guess that is the most frustrating part for me. Had I known how he truly was feeling, things probably would have been different.
Hang in there.
Me- 43 H- 45 Married - 3 yrs Together (off and on) 9 yrs No kids Bomb- 9/2011 Separated - 2/1/12 Filed for Divorce - 2/10/12
After our meeting with the MC (who told us we needed to spend all this time together last weekend), I feel like I made it known to my W that I was indeed willing to spend time together. But that was not on her agenda. She told me she simply didn't see the point. We largely spent the entire weekend apart doing our own thing. W has shown no interest in seriously working on our problems and our marriage right now. We've been very civil towards each other and have even laughed a few times, but in terms of working on the M, it's just not happening.
On Valentine's Day, I did absolutely nothing special. We got home from work and she made a light dinner for us. During dinner, the W asked what I had planned for this weekend (I had planned a special out-of-town weekend for us a few months ago). I mentioned that I still had a hotel booked for Saturday but she quickly said she thought that wouldn't be a good idea. At that point, she began crying and told me she is moving out on March 1. I sat there rather emotionless. No pleading, no begging, no crying. She said she just needed space and time to be alone. I told her "if that's what you want, that's fine with me."
I've read DB, have read a lot of these posts, have thought a lot about the principles. Here's where I'm at right now:
After the W said she was out March 1, I honestly felt nothing. No sadness, no hurt, no emotion - just nothing. The next day, I had a good day at work and spent some time that evening with some friends. Same thing Thursday and Friday. Tonight, I'm headed out of town to hang out with old friends from college. I have felt upbeat, positive and... CALM. I've had an unbelievable sense of CALM the past week. Obviously I've been praying a lot. But I have felt a tremendous calm about me. The W has one foot out the door but I'm not letting it detour my life. She very well may be leaving for a while in March, but I can't do anything about it right now, other than let her do her thing.
Now, I say I'm calm and feeling okay. If/when she leaves, the calm and this okay feeling may quickly disappear, to be replaced by sadness and loneliness! But I sure hope not.
Sandi, is this feeling of "calm" a normal part of the grieving right now? It's been two-and-a-half weeks since the W first told me she wanted to leave. The way I felt was simply horrendous the first week, but my attitude has slowly changed over the past week. I'm curious to hear your thoughts.
For what it's worth, we're supposed to have an appointment with the MC on Monday night. This is the MC who is indeed pro-marriage, but suggested NOT a 180, but instead a ton of time together. Clearly, that's not what my W wants. Now we have to go back to the MC and tell her we've spent virtually NO time together. Perhaps we'll just cancel the appointment. But anyhow, thank you Sandi for checking back in. Look forward to hearing back from you.
I think having a MC who gives opposite advise from what DR gives, will cause you to be more confused. Speaking as a former WAW, I do not agree with your MC about spending a ton of time together with your W. If your W feels anything like I did, spending additional time with her right now, will do more harm than good.
Sandi, is this feeling of "calm" a normal part of the grieving right now?
I haven't been in your shoes, so I can only go by what I've read. It may be that your mind more accepting now. Could be that you're worn down and your body is going into survival mode. And, you may be right and it's grieving the M that once was.
Don't worry about what you're feeling at the moment. If you're calm, then just go with it.
It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!