The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new)

Posted By: job

The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 12:40 PM

Many of the "old" threads have been locked and/or purged over the years and newbies have not had the opportunity to post to them. So, with that in mind, I found a thread where D. Money had copied my original first posting on pursuit/distance and I thought it would be helpful to start a new thread for those who wish to post about their "dance" w/their spouses/partners.

Many moons ago, I wrote about the Pursuer and Distancer behavior and how to cease the "game". Many old timers will remember our discussions about this subject. After reading many of the postings and how your mlcing spouses are pleasant to you one time and then slam dunk you the next, I thought it was time
to bring this topic back into existence.

There is a wonderful book out there entitled, The Solo Partner" by Phil DeLuca. In this book there is a chapter on Pursuers and Distancers and how they have a dance/game going on w/their spouses. I'm going to share a bit of this w/you now and you'll be able to identify the reactive behaviors both you and your mlcer play.

In many instances, your mlcing spouse is the Distancer because he/she has distanced themselves from you. In order to attempt to get them to come back, you'll make all sorts of sacrifices, promises, deals, etc., i.e., w/promises of change, anything they want you'll do, etc. You then become the Pursuer. Pursuers are more motivated to initiate change in order to get the spouse back. A Distancer will rarely initiate change and never changes in response to direct efforts by others. He/she will only change when he/she fears losing his pursuer, and this can happen only when the pursuer stops her/his pursuit. This is when the Distancer becomes the Pursuer. He/she will pursue with apologies for the rude and crude behavior, little gifts, nice emails, cards, phone calls, etc. Whatever you do, do not let your guard down when they are being nice. This is where they attract you back into the game like a moth to a candle. They know that you want them back and will do anything to get you back; and they also know just what strings to pull to get you to pursue them all over again. Stop! Do not pursue or the game will continue on indefinitely!

Take a minute and think about this another way. When you detach and distance yourself from your spouse, notice how they start coming around, being nice, etc.? Well, he/she feels that you are not pursuing them. They want the chase, they want you to pursue them so that they can come back and slam dunk you all over again. It's a dance of madness. They may not even be aware of what they are doing, but once you snap up the niceness all over again, they will most definitely come back w/anger to distance themselves from you again for their safety and security. Does this sound familiar to you?

Here are some specific ways you can avoid pursuing your spouse at this time:

Emotional Level:

Don't initiate conversations or give advice (even if they asked for the advice, refrain from giving it).

Abstain from trying to change or improve your partner in any way.

Do not seek his emotional support or help with any of your problems, concerns, or worries.

Do not look to him as someone to talk to.

If you've been babying him, stop.

Identify whatever you are doing for him, and stop doing it.
An example of this is: stop doing his laundry, picking up after him, cooking especially for him, or waiting on or for him.

Stop "keeping the peace". If you've been intervening between him and others, be it children, family or friends, stop doing so. He needs to learn how to interact w/others all on his own.

Physical Level:

Do not initiate expressions of affection, such as hugging, kissing and saying "I love you," or "I'll miss you," or asking questions such as "Do you love me?"

Do not appease your partner sexually any longer.

Do not plan your schedule around his, and do not do things for him.

This is not the time for a romantic vacation or second honeymoon.

If he spends his spare time at home, arrange to be out while he's there.

Do things with family and friends or by yourself.

In short, do as little as possible for him or with him, with the goal of doing absolutely nothing.

The most important pointer to be made--DO NOT give The Solo Partner to your spouse.

In other words, leave your spouse out there and do not take the bait when he puts it under your nose. The sooner your spouse (Distancer) realizes that you aren't going to react and pursue him/her all over again, the sooner the dynamics of your situation will change. Take back control over your life and don't allow the mlcer to control and/or manipulate your life any longer.

I recommend to each of you to get this book and read it. I read this book in 2001/2002 and I highly recommend it. It's not only good for what you are dealing w/at this time, but you can apply the techniques in the work place as well.

Posted By: Cadet

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 05:47 PM

I have also read this book and written about it.
I will add my reviews in three posts as some of them are copied directly from the book.

With what I have copied it may not be necessary to buy the book but I would suggest a lot of study of these posts.

Many of the gender pronouns have been neutralized with they.
Originally Posted By: The Solo Partner By Phil Deluca Page 183-188

Emotional Pursuers (predominantly female)


SENSE OF SELF: Strongly non-individualistic.
Has difficulty being alone or acting independently for any length of time.
Rarely does things on own.
Primarily does what others want.
Tends to be clinging and overly anxious.
A follower.
Depends on others for guidance.
Sees the world as centered on others "Gives to get"
Feels taken for granted.
Overly Concerned and protective of others.
Always looking out for others never for self.
Overly Adaptative. Chooses to be like others or to yield for the sake of unity.
Feels empty without interaction with others.
Constantly seeking love, approval, and appreciation.
Will give up individuality for the sake of relationship.

TRUST: Tends to be naive about relationships. Optomistic about other's motives.
Overly trusting; frequently taken advantage of.

EMOTIONS: Primarily people and feeling oriented.
Places these above material things.
Seeks out emotions and emotionality.
Overemotional and effect is heightened.
Openly shows feelings to everyone.
Expresses a full range of emotions.
Frequently intensely expressive, at the expense of thought or reason.
Overinvolved with others.
A Codependent.
Overly sympathetic and empathetic.
Heightened response to others.
Avoids pain,Tries to protect others from the consequences of their behavior.

EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES: Ill defined. May be nosy, intrusive.
Always has to know whats going on with everyone in the family at all times.

RELATIONSHIP SKILLS: Immaturely applied

SENSE OF RESPOSIBILITY:Overly responsible; Assumes to much resposibility for the relationship.
Assumes solution is in their power with sufficient effort.
Most comfortable emotionally(although not truly happy) when tending to others. Tends to infantilze others.
Is a "rescuer"

CAPACITY TO CHANGE: Insight into others, but little into self.
Often held back by looking for explanations.
Much talk of change while still passive.
Changes made to appease. Avoids significant change because of anticipated pain and lack of approval.
Wants prior guarantees.
Open to direct change. Overly amenable.
Fears taking a stand and dealing with consequences.
Believes problems must be dealt with instantly.
Seeks advice, counseling.
Open to offered solutions via own efforts.

Cannot delay dealing with problems. Lacks restraint; impulsive.

PATTERN OF EMOTIONS: High peaks and deep lows.
Depends on the distancer for stability.

RELATIONSHIP EXPECTATIONS: High Expectations of others, low for self.
Believes they "exprct nothing in return" but hold expectations no one could fulfill.
Prone to resentment, bitterness in later years.
Very critical of others

Seeks emotionally charged, reactive situations.
Uncomfortable in calm situations.
Tends to provoke reactivity and crises. Generates worry about about everyone and everything.

CONTROL AND MANIPULATION: Controls to protect others from themselves.
Manipulates controls others through guilt, advice, retaliation, criticism and or/submissiveness.
Acts for others "own good." Feels powerless and ultimately incapable. Seeks someone to exert control for and over them.

DECISION MAKING: Difficult, confused, inconsistent. Depends on others to make decisions(parents, partner)

VIEW OF LOVE: Overly romantic. Overlooks practical aspects of relationship.

TYPICAL BELIEF: Love conquers all.

SEXUALTIY: Caring for the partner takes precedence over physical enjoyemnt. sex seen as a sign of caring for and by partner.

SUBSTITUE ACTIVITIES: Overly involved with family, house(for approval), sexual liasons (to feel cared for), medications, particularly tranquilzers

SELF-DECEPTION: Believes living for an extension of partner brings a sense of security, self esteem, contentment.
Believes they can catch a distancer.

DEMEANOR: Assumed invulnerability. Self righteous. In later years bitter, cold, emotionally and physically fatigued. Prone to martydom.

FACIAL CHARACTERISTICS AFTER FOURTY: Stress lines(from turmoil, anger) Fatigued look (from pursuit)

GREATEST RELATIONSHIP DIFFICULTY: Inability to remain univolved, particularly with own children.

TYPICAL STATEMENT: "All I ever needed was a home and to be loved. I'll do whatever I have to do to keep everyone happy.If they really cared about me, they would know what I want"
Posted By: Nitty

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 05:48 PM

Thank you, Job, for preserving the old threads.

I read the Solo Partner around the time you did and it really helped me "stop doing the dance". It improved things back then. I lent the book to a SIL who needed to stop dancing, too. She lost it and now it appears to be out of print! So thank you for reposting this.

Posted By: Cadet

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Phil Deluca Pages 183 - 185

Emotional Distancer (predominatly male)
SENSE OF SELF: On the surface, aggrandized self; strongly individualistic.
In reality, pseudo-individualitic. Individualistic only in a supportive environement, such as at home, in presence of, but but unresponsive to, his partner.
Does things in his own way, through defiance or passive resistance.
A leader and self-initiator.
Sees the world as centered on himself. Tries to be the center of attention. Feels unappreciated.
Overly self concerned and self protective; always looking out for self. Difficulty perceiving others point of view.
Prefers independent activities with buddies not organized group activities. Chooses to be different for its own sake.
Experiences his individuality to the exclusion of relationship.
TRUST: Highly suspicious of others and relationships with them.
Pessimistic about other's motives.
EMOTIONS: Primarily object oriented. Relates to and puts material things first, feeling and people second.
Results in an overemphasis on thinking and logic.
Fear emotions and emotionality. Avoids them.
Unemotional, and affect is elusive. Impossible to tell his feelings by looking at or listening to him.
Only emotions expressed regularly is anger.
Either explosively and briefly or passive-agressively, as if he's not angry when he really is.
Self-gratifing and unresponsive.
Little sympathy for, or empathy with others.
Feels little for others or self.
EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES: Overprotective. Needs a lot of "space"
SENSE OF RESPOSIBILITY: Underresponsible; feels little resposibility for his situation or relationship.
Tends to blame others.
Most comfortable emotionally(although not truly happy) behaving like a baby.
CAPACITY TO CHANGE: Lacks insight and/or follow-through.
Inability to adjust. Clings rigidly to position regardless of circumstances.
Resists direct change. Tends to evolve rather than cjhanging directly in response to circumstances.
Will change when faced with loss of significant other.
Rejects advice, couseling. Solutions must come from self.
Frustrates others' efforts to change them.
RYTHYM OF INITIATING CHANGE: Tends to be overly "patient"
Procrastinates. Avoids facing relationship problems.
Prone to relationship paralysis.
PATTERN OF EMOTIONS: Little variation. Tends to be reasonable, but boring. Depends on their pursurer for highs and lows.
RELATIONSHIP EXPECTATIONS: Expects the pursurer to always be there. Prone to despair and self-pity when not fulfilled.
PERSONAL PROBLEM-SOLVING STYLE: Avoidance. Seeks peace, avoids emotional crises. Believes if you ignores a problem long enough it will go away.
CONTROL AND MANIPULATION: Strives to maintain central position to protect self from getting hurt.
Manipulates enviornment to meet their needs.
DECISION MAKING: Decisions made and then clung to regardless of changes in cicumstances.
VIEW OF LOVE: Overemphasizes practical aspects. Minimal expression of love, sharing, or romance, expect when courting or pursuing a distancing partner.
TYPICAL BELIEF: Love is fine, but it doesn't pay the bills.
SEXUALTIY: Physical enjoyment takes precedence over caring.
Sex seen as conquest or performance, not shared experience.
Objectifies Partner.
SUBSTITUE ACTIVITIES: Overly involved with objects, e.g. sports, cars, house(for prestige), work, sexual liasons(conquest), alcohol.
SELF-DECEPTION: Believes overemphasis on individuality brings a sense of security, self esteem, contentment. Fears emotional closeness.
Believes they can evade a pursurer.
DEMEANOR: In later years: boring to be involved with. Arrogant, cynical, pessimistic, negative. Prone to self-pity.
FACIAL CHARACTERISTICS AFTER FOURTY: Appears emotionless. Dark circles under eyes.
Avoidance of relationship issues.
TYPICAL STATEMENT: "I like myself the way I am and you should too. If you don't like me the way I am, you're free to leave.
I give you a comfortable life, don't sleep around - what more do you want?"
Posted By: Cadet

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 05:54 PM

This is a chapter outline and review.The Solo Partner, Repairing your Relationship on your own by Phil Deluca .

Chapter 1 The Pain of Change
There can be no Pain Free Solution.
Changes must be the appropriate changes.
Who must change? - Only one person - YOU!

Chapter 2 Self Deception
False Hope - Unrealized Expectations.

Chapter 3 Emotional Reativity
Old Brain vs New Brain

Chapter 4 Being Defensive
Chapter 5 Togetherness
Balancing I and We

Chapter 6 Who is to Blame
Stating your position without Blaming
Venting to your Partner - not when marriage is in turmoil
Clearly stating your "I" position
Confronting yourself

Chapter 7 Using your Anger constructively
Anger = Unrealized Expectations

Chapter 8 Pursuit and Distance**************
The most important chapter in the book
For every action there is a reaction
80% of Men are sexual pursuers and emotional distancers
The more you pursue the further the distancer moves away.
Pursurers and Distancers exist in almost all relationships
How to stop pursuit and distance - must come from the pursuer.
Distancers tend to change in direct proportion to how much they are pursued
Traits of Distancers and Pursurers

Chapter 9 Stopping Pursuit
Never pursue a distancer
Different phases of distance and pursuit

Conclusion Separation and Reconcilliation
Do not drop your changes

This book really excited me and really brought together the concepts that we learn.
Detachment is key to not pursuing.
The traits in Chapter 8 really help me in what changes I need to make in ME!
Phil Deluca is the first person who really explained what "the changes" are that you need to make when you look in the mirror.
It is not going on a diet or to stop smoking. (although you can do those too)
It is stop your pursuit!!!!
Posted By: Nitty

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 05:58 PM

I forgot to say: a great book on this topic is "The Passion Trap" by Dean Delis. I think I first heard about it in this forum somewhere.

Really an amazing book; spends more time on the mental states of the Pursuer/Distancer than Solo Partner, as I remember (I could be wrong), rather than strategies, although it does contain strategies for both.

It focuses on helping the Distancer understand their need for distance and deal with it. It also describes how the Pursuer might understand why they pursue and how to stop it. Not a book a clueless Distancer is likely to read, unfortunately.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/31/14 07:14 PM


Zebra came on board w/the forum back a long time ago and from what I see on the net, the posting goes back 2002. This would have been around the time of my original posting on the "dance" of pursuit and distance.

I'm sorry, but I didn't copy any of the postings of other posters as there were entirely too many to choose from.
Posted By: BrightFuture

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 04:42 AM

Job, I've been doing almost all if the things you listed to avoid pursuing. The only exception would be sending H’s mail to him. It doesn't seem to make him wanting to pursue me. On the opposite he is getting more and more distant. Am I an exception? Or, is he?
Posted By: beatrice

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 07:46 AM

Bright - as I understand it, if your relationship was, or became pursuer/distancer it seems to me that they do not change their behavioru quickly to pursue.

Also having looked at the distancer behaviour I realise that my xh became more like this profile, and you know, I do not think I would ever want a relationship with a distancer. I got suckered in for a while (not my real profile), and now I have broken free I can see how dysfunctional it is. They get you believing all of this stuff about their needs, and their need for space, whereas the reality is they can't handle relationships any more. Until they can, I think they are better left alone - we do not leave them alone so they start to pursue us (at the moment they do not want to do that, very often - although some do) but because they are not healthy people.

My xh sometimes pursues, but seems to expect me to fall into pursuer role so he can distance again. I just have no interest in that game any more.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 11:08 AM

There's nothing wrong w/you sending him his mail since he's on the move quite often for his job. However, if he's becoming more and more distant, it could be that he's going into a deeper withdrawal due to depression or he could be becoming a distancer to see if you will up your communication w/him. Keep in mind that there could be any number of reasons why he appears to be more distant. It could be work, new friends, depression, new interests or just plain tired and doesn't know how to mend the broken fences w/you.

I wouldn't worry too much about either of you being "exceptions" to the dance of pursuit/distance. I haven't seen much of the "dance" between the two of you from your postings because you both have a business that keeps you in touch w/each other periodically, as well as good friends who stay in touch w/both of you. Is it possible that your friends are keeping him in the loop as to what you are doing w/your life? The reason that I'm asking is that your friends share what's going on w/him w/you and they could do the same w/him about you.

Bright, when he's ready, he'll contact you. They always do and when he does, just be yourself.
Posted By: Ggrass

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 12:33 PM

Oh dear, yes that game was a big dynamic in my m! Very big.

First big fight h bolted to the coast for a caravan holiday, he took three weeks to decide if he was going to comit for the long haul.
Posted By: Atsbaby

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 12:42 PM

The Solo Partner is hard to find, but not out of print. I recently (a month maybe), got it from Amazon.

I've only read chapter 8-end. What an eye opener! Cadet posted the important stuff from the readings.

I do like that there is a workbook to help you realize what you are doing and how you can better respond to your distancer (or in our case not respond). It's a book for us to learn to change OUR behaviors.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 01:06 PM

That is correct, the book is a tool to assist us in changing our behaviors and how to respond to others. We have to be the ones to change the dynamics of how we deal w/people, i.e., especially our spouses.

I'm glad to see that located the book. I found the workbook to be an excellent tool and made me think and truly look at my own behavior and how I responded to others. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Posted By: Shining

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 02:06 PM

I just ordered mine.

Is the workbook inside, or is it separate?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 04:42 PM

When I purchased my copy 12 years ago, the workbook was included in the book, not separate.
Posted By: Atsbaby

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 05:25 PM

Mines part of the book...follows at the end of each chapter.
Posted By: Mighty

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 05:35 PM

I am so glad this discussion is being had... again. Thank you to the vets for understanding the importance of the archives. Job and Cadet, thanks for saving this and bringing this topic back.

OK, so... The distancer describes my xh to a T! Oh my goodness! The only thing is, xh always needed reassurances. There is no doubt this came from abandonment issues.

While he was wildly independent- never let anyone too close. I was the exception. Yes, he would distance himself from me, and liked his "alone time" (he would go on the computer every day looking at things to buy) and was drastically emotionally distant (as the description states). However, he always wanted me around or to know that I would be at any second. He was highly uncomfortable if I wasn't available at a given second. It would enrage him!

H always wanted me around and wanted to do everything together. Even the same bed time. So, I was confused by the pursuer/distancer at first before I had the listed definitions. I do fit many characteristic of pursuer, mainly in our r, not so much outside of it. I always wanted to fix it, even if he were wrong, I would assist him in making it right.

I just felt like him wanting me around was his type of pursuit. That is not it at all! It was just his own insecurities stemming from childhood abandonment. And, I think part of the control and self-centeredness as listed as a distancer.

There is an amazing article about abandonment on HeartsBlessings website. It explains how one may be emotionally distant and reserved but also may be clingy and needy.

I do think that some of these behaviors go hand-in-hand. It can be confusing when it comes to pursuers & distancers, because like my xh, he is textbook distancer, however can be very clingy because of abandonment issues.

Again, thank for keeping this important stuff "alive"!
Posted By: BrightFuture

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 09:00 PM

I can see how I became more of a pursuer in my M. A lot of the trends describe me, but not all of them. For example, I’m not overly trusting, not that people oriented, don’t openly show my feelings to everyone – just the opposite actually, I was hiding and suppressing my feelings. And I’m definitely not noisy and intrusive, and not overly involved with family and children. There are others, but I will not be going into much detail.

There are more traits of distance that fits H perfectly. There are only a couple that don’t. For example he was always overly trusting. But this “Chooses to be different for its own sake.” Is so him! And this “Experiences his individuality to the exclusion of relationship.” And, oh boy, THIS: “Decisions made and then clung to regardless of changes in circumstances.”

Bea, you made me think. I guess it could be that H is just too slow to change his behavior and he definitely cannot handle the relationship right now.

Job, as always, what you write makes so much sense. For some reason I keep thinking that H is in withdrawal. I think that his work is not going too good. I don’t think he has new friends. And your description of him just being too tired and not knowing how to proceed also sounds realistic. As for my friends, I went to the vacation home this weekend and saw them, and they mentioned that they got a call from H two weeks after the heavy rain over there. He was worried about the condo. Two weeks later… So, I think he also avoids communication with them at this time for whatever reason. I will have more updates on my thread.

So, you still think that he is going to contact me when he is ready. Will he ever be ready, or I will have to break the pattern? Do you think I need to continue to not pursue him?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/01/14 10:37 PM

I think you need to leave well enough alone for a while. He's got to have some time to himself and I mean to be really alone to think. Yes, I do think he'll contact you again very soon. After all, he uses quite a number of excuses to contact you and when he does, open the door just a little bit more and not just say thank you. When he does contact you, post a bit of what he says and we'll help you w/a response.
Posted By: BrightFuture

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/02/14 10:56 PM

Job, it was not too long until your prediction came through. H just sent me a text. I will update my thread, so I don't high jack this one.
Posted By: beatrice

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/03/14 07:26 AM

The dance of pursuit and distance raises the interesting question of the way in which we love. Both parties are needy and feel unloveable.

For either party to break the cycle frees then to love in a more unconditional and less needy way. I have learnt that I can live without my former husband's approval and love. I do not need it to be happy and fulfilled. It is much more important to love than to need to be loved back (that is a nice-to-have but not the driver of loving).
Posted By: mahhhty

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/06/14 01:58 AM

Thank you all for keeping this information alive. I found the book on Amazon. It'll be here in a week.
Posted By: LouR

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/06/14 03:44 AM

Really informative read, thanks for posting it.

It will be really interesting to see what happens with my sitch next. I am about to embark on extreme going dark, I don't think i can remove myself from him further !!

So will the distancer become the pursuer ..... only time will tell .....
Posted By: Faith20

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/22/14 04:57 PM

I have a question on this topic. I was always the Distancer in the M, especially the end. I would play hard to get and pull away (physically and emotionally) which was one of my H's complaints. Wouldn't it be a 180 to be the pursuer for once? I am afraid that continuing to be the Distancer might just continue to push him away?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/22/14 05:02 PM

The beauty of dbing is trying new things. If something doesn't work, try something else. I would say try it, but do it in a very subtle way. You could be a little bit flirty, start w/a touch on the arm, a smile, a compliment, etc. If he pulls away, then you will know that he's not ready for any of that.
Posted By: CaliGuy

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/22/14 09:54 PM

I need to read this one a few times ... I am so entirely guilty of this dance and its gone on for far to long. Just when I think I have made enough room for myself there is a way she [censored] me in ... something I really need to work on.
Posted By: GoatGal

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/23/14 01:52 PM

Hey job,

I have the book, and H is a distancer, emotionally, sexually, and in every other way. I am also not a "pursuer" although I do crave closeness.

My problem is that the more I distance myself from H, the LESS he reaches out to me. He appears to enjoy my little attempts to touch base (no expectations, no strings, easy out for him) but NEVER reciprocates.

If I pull back (still a "friendly neighbor"), it *feels* like his feelings get hurt and he gets sulky and passive-aggressive. He *seems* to take it as rejection.

I've been at this DBing about six months now, and it hasn't changed. I've played around with different levels of darkness (nicely), but he NEVER pursues.

He never really pursued me when we first met, and OW threw herself at him---a "sure thing". I am certain it would have never happened otherwise.

Any advice for me? We just are stuck in limbo, the limbo of both of us playing nice but nothing really happening.

Changes have been very, very slow and small. And I'm not sure if in the end, they are meaningful.


Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/23/14 02:00 PM

You and your h play the distance/pursuer dance! For example, he doesn't have to openly pursue you when you distance yourself. Look at what you posted: "If I pull back (still a "friendly neighbor"), it *feels* like his feelings get hurt and he gets sulky and passive-aggressive. He *seems* to take it as rejection." The way to rein you back into the dance is to get sulk and passive-aggressive and then you come back around to being there again for him.

If you want to try something different, try doing a little bit of pursuing and see where it goes. Show him a little bit more attention, like a touch on the arm, a text message here and there, etc. If he reacts in a negative way, then you'll know to stop these actions.

When something isn't working, try something different. MLC is an experiment of sorts and when in the lab, if something doesn't mix up well, then toss it out and try a different mixture, but don't allow the lab to blow up.
Posted By: Cadet

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/23/14 05:52 PM


I agree with Job but just understand that the whole pursuit and distance thing, and the book Solo Partner was not written for MLC'ers.

Also read the sections that say primarily female, or primarily male.

Remember that anything we DO is not going to shorten or change his MLC.
I am not really sure how productive it is to try to have an interchange with them while in the crisis.
But - I guess if you like experiments. smile smile smile
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/23/14 05:59 PM

Cadet is right...there is nothing that will change or shorten their course once they've entered into MLC. One thing...I thought about is that if he's sulking and being passive-aggressive when you distance yourself, stay the course. When he sees that you aren't giving in and returning to where he thinks you should be sitting, he may very well begin to pursue you at some point, in some fashion.

You are the one that can break the cycle by not giving in. Again, you can also experiment a bit, but if you don't see a reaction, then I would continue as you have been.
Posted By: GoatGal

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/26/14 10:08 PM

Thanks, job, Cadet---

I guess I was thinking that if I pulled back, H would start to "pursue", rather than act petulant and put-out. I didn't see that as "pursuit", therefore, I didn't recognize the response, as you both did when I described his reaction.

(I tend to miss the obvious, have you noticed? smile )

Every time I distance myself, this is how he acts; sulky, passive-aggressive, unhelpful... I don't even have a problem with that, except that it appears to push the goal of getting closer/future R further off.

I don't WANT to pursue!

I want him to pursue ME if and when he ever wants me. I think I'm worth the effort.

So I'm fine with no pursuit.

I will take what you said and put it into practice. I'll try withdrawing more and remaining consistent even when he gets snippy and pushes my buttons.

I'll try that consistently and report back. The only other thing left to try is to give him more openings and see if he takes them.
(My "openings" have been very open-ended with no pressure at all, leaving a very easy out for him.)

For the record, I've tried inviting him/getting a little closer.
The result has been that he:
1. Declined and seemed to feel pressured. (No pressure from me.) Stated he was sad and he was a victim of "circumstance".
2. Declined saying he preferred to do such-and-such alone.
3. Declined, saying he "was in a weird place" and he was "not trying to be a jerk".
This last one, most recently.

He has allowed small touches without flinching (Wow! Imagine that. My husband of 23 years didn't flinch when I touched his shoulder. Woo-hoo!!!)
Yet the other night he almost fell over himself backing up to "let me pass" when I was on my way out for the night and he was "pet-sitting".
I couldn't help myself.

I said: "Geez, it's not like I have cooties or something..."
To which he answered, "I was just...just... giving you space to get by."

Yeah. OK. Like he has the last five years. Backing up when passing me in a hallway or doorway so he wouldn't have to touch me. Like I'm so disgusting...

Sorry---I digress.

I will take your advice and get to it. I only have 12 months or so left, (fortunate, I know, compared to some), so I'd better try everything in my arsenal.

I think where I get stuck is him getting so negative with me, going MIA, being snippy, trying to undermine my PMA...

I think if I can get past that, I'd be OK. After all, what is he going to do?
Cheat on me and lie to me?

Been there, done that.

If that didn't destroy my PMA, nothing he can do now will, either.

Thanks for responding.
(I'm on a strange computer in another state, so this is a bit disjointed.)

Posted By: Cadet

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/29/14 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: GoatGal
I said: "Geez, it's not like I have cooties or something..."
To which he answered, "I was just...just... giving you space to get by."

MLC'er do think we have cooties,
But it is all about them, not about us.

So not much we can do except agree with his projection.
Posted By: happy1

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/31/14 08:44 PM

I am glad that Cadet directed me to this thread!

It has been many years since I have posted and thought I had a good relationship with my H. Until yesterday when he told me he never wanted to be married (which he has said before) that he did not want children and he has wasted his life. Then he left for the night and must have come back very late to grab some of his things for work.

I would like to break the cycle as it seems H = D & Me = P. It has been years since I have had to P to save him from walking but I do not want to have to go thru this again. Right now: I am looking for a new job/out of work, have a 1 year old that rises at 4:30-5:00am, a house under construction, and had a terrible 2 years of miscarriages, family illness and lost a baby.

I might be too tired to P someone who:
-says he should have never married (to me)
-says he should have never had children (with me)
-does not want to have more children
-thinks I am not naturally nice to him
-says I talk meanly to him
-has depressions
-is overly sensitive and is described by others as a difficult person
-b/c I am not nice, and does not want me to get pregnant, and is worried about his performance has withheld sex from me...we have had sex 3 times since August. I have had to beg for it.

But if I do not P, will the relationship fall apart?

I am conflicted as I feel like I should save this and in the past have had to P my butt off to get him to stay.

Generally: I feel confused. But we are so lucky to have our DD after years of loss and her premature birth that I am over the moon with her and am focusing on being happy with her.

Please: I need some help here on how to proceed.


I call my H a runner...but I think he is a distancer and I know I am the pursuer.
Here is my recollection:
1) H distanced in 2003 when we were dating and we did not see each other for a year, got back together in 2005 after a very long pause of contact and then a major pursuit by me
2) H distanced in 2005 when were were engaged. Wanted to stop the wedding. I pursued, not hard, but enough and we married. The day of the wedding I was running a tiny bit late to the church and he thought I was not going to show and was very worried I was not going to show.
3) H distanced in 2006 and 2008 (isn) and we saw a DB coach many times and it got back on track: we then had 6 years of pregnancy ups-downs which actually brought us closer than ever
4) H distanced 2014, Dec 30: He is not happy, never wanted to be married or have children and then left our home.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/31/14 09:29 PM

Hello happy1!
So, you are aware that you are a pursuer? If you've been doing the pursuing, then stop right now, drop the rope and have faith in yourself and in the process. Sometimes, you have to drop the rope and allow the other person, your h, to realize that you are not going to run after him any longer. In order to break this cycle of the "dance" of pursuit and distance, you will need to be the one to do so. If he goes off to sulk, let him, because like a child, he'll get over it. If he leaves the house for a while after an argument, let him. He'll either come home or not, but that will be his choice to make.

Will the relationship survive if you stop pursuing and doing the things that you've been doing? You have a far better chance of turning things around if you stop what is not working. The more your pursue, plead beg, etc., the more determine he will be to run and make your life miserable because he doesn't want to be pulled back into a relationship that he sees as not what he wants right now. There are no guarantees that he will want to return even if life is better between the two of you. It's too soon to tell what he may or may not do.

From your list, I would suggest that you get back into the saddle and start dbing once again. Of course, you know that dbing is not about saving your marriage, but about saving you, teaching you how to react to things, as well as how to communicate better not only w/your h, but w/everyone. I would also suggest that you get the DR book that is out as well.

You do realize that he's going to point the finger at you for everything? Notice he's certainly not pointing it at himself. Work on the things that he's pointed out, if they are true. If they aren't, pitch them out the window. Sounds like he's a master at manipulation and/or he's passive-aggressive. Please stop begging for sex. I know you want that closeness, but it puts you in a "needy" position. Go out and purchase some toys to help you when he's in that mood of not wanting any.

Please understand that you can't fix him. He has to do that all by himself. You can only work on yourself and take care of your child. The time has come for me to say "focus on you and allow your h to swing in the wind." You didn't break him, therefore you can't fix him. When he starts to realize that you aren't begging, pleading and pursuing, he'll begin to wonder what's going on and will become curious. If he does, stay the course and do not take up the "hunt" again.

Drop the rope, have faith in the process. It does work.
Posted By: kml

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/31/14 10:30 PM

And, Happy1? A VERY important question to ask your self is this:

Why did YOU choose someone that was so ambivalent about the relationship? What part of YOU thinks you don't deserve someone who worships you and wants to be with you?

I ask this question because it's one I had to answer myself. My ex was ambivalent before the wedding; cheated on me the night before our wedding; I thought we worked it all out a year into the marriage, but periodically throughout our 24 years marriage issues would come up. He cheated again about 17 years into the marriage. We reconciled (thanks DB!) and had several of the best years of our marriage - but as he approached 50 he went down the rabbit hole for good.

I would have said that overall our marriage was quite good; I know that friends saw us as a great couple. But the truth is, I was stuck ALWAYS trying to keep an unhappy man happy. He saw my flaws through a distorted funhouse mirror, and nothing I did was ever quite enough for him.

After my divorce, I had to figure out why I was attracted to emotionally unavailable men. I also found out that I'm quite a catch, and every single one of the men I dated after my divorce thought my ex was a fool for leaving me.

Now I have a man in my life who adores me, goes out of his way to care for me, and thinks I'm perfect just the way I am. It is so refreshing, to be with someone who treats me with the same care that I always put into my relationships.

I'm not saying you should give up on your man. But if it is ever going to work, you need to stop the dynamic; you need to trust that YOU are worth it, that HE is losing out if he walks. You need to be of the mindset that you don't WANT a man that isn't totally into you.

Act as if YOU are the prize and he is making the biggest mistake ever. Take whatever steps necessary to move forward with a successful independent life for you and your child. Let go of the rope with H and just trust that if he is MEANT to come back into your life, if he is WORTHY, he will eventually start to pursue you.
Posted By: SunnyB

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 12/31/14 10:53 PM

KML, this is a beautiful post. Thank you.
Posted By: happy1

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 01/01/15 02:53 AM

Thank you job and kml for the swift and honest responses.
You both have great points and both were thought provoking. It feels good to have people that can give support.

So I do not hi-jack this thread, I am going to respond on my new thread in newcomers H is Running Again
Posted By: nero

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 01/01/15 04:52 PM

Hi Job, Cadet, bea-

glad this morning i bumbled into this bunch of posts. i'll look for the books mentioned. life seems to be at it's usual "peaceful but (for me ) unresolved and not so "happy" place. Not sufferin all that much - not the abject misery of a few years ago - so yay for that.

in reading cadet's descriptions of pursuer and distancer- so many of the qualities fit both of us. me as pursuer since i always did (note- "did") honestly believe somehow that love would conquer all. (I definitely cared more about our r than he ever did - i see that - tho i'm a rather "coolish" pursuer. i am not clingy or emotionally needy - something he always said he loved about me. (ha!) just a fool mam - nothin more.

i can look back and see where i've been incredibly "polly-anna-ish" in general in life. He was always a very quirky and self-contained guy, but yes, the "baby" as well as the "alpha male". i always bought his 'story" about why he was and who he was - i just trusted without restraint. (alot of my unreal expectations were engendered by his unreal & glowing disclosures about "who he was inside". sheesh ! what a pair... perfect - a liar and a gullible doofis.

some one above said that they now have someone wonderful in their lives that cherishes them and tries hard to show them how special they are, etc. (i lost the quotation so i'm paraphrasing) That is exactly what i felt when i met H 40 years ago - while married to ex-H of a year or two and had newly realized this guy got drunk & violent occasionally.

holy cow-

it would be a more comfortable thing for me to buy into it "all being my fault" I'm scrappy but waaay too accepting in life (across the board) of blame and responsibility. but ya know, i just don't. it's embarassing how much some of the pursuer (needy jackass) traits fit me and my r's in life (family as well as him). I always thought it was a good thing to be a kind of person that "got along" and smoothed things over, nurtured, etc. i haven't gotten to that place yet- wiping all that out of my personality. it maybe who i am - tho needing moderation.

It seems now to me , that he always had a liar and cheater side (most probably) and i didn't even suspect or see it. i'd say this business of having an optimistic outlook and seeing the good rather than the bad - can backfire a bit with regard to putting good spin on bad behavior - etc. for everyone i've ever known. what the heck is that anyway? i am not sure i want to be a suspicious and negative (and realistic) person - - on the other hand- what i've been is not very appetizing to think of one's self. (giant well-meaning sucker???)

so, what do we do with this information? I don't hate myself about who i was - I do feel "different" but am not sure where to go with it. I've 180'd a bit (if not alot)

1) I do not honestly care if he gets mad. i would have said in past 38 yrs i always "feared" his anger. for no concrete reason other than that's who i am- hate confrontation & giant emotion & conflict. (he did not get mad as continually tho, until last ten or so years) Now, i do not get mad and i do not get scared or scurry to make it better. i stay calm - my innerds are calm anyway- it bores the life out of me - his bs and anger. (total perspective 180 change for me)I do not take him as deadly serioyusly any more. he's "just another person" - I and just say you're angry, not me. if we can't talk without yelling- lets just forget it now. and walk away- yes, turn my back. sounds small- but huge for me.

2) i am less insecure than ever about him walking. - i've been sitting here "facing down" my fear and insecurity of being alone, being poor, having no one - etc - but you know - i kind of see it as inevidible now and am savoring the last days (years? months?) of having someone in my life. *(unless a miracle happens and i don't think one will). i'm getting adjusted to no mother, no sister, no him, no body. i don't particularly like it- but it's clearer and clearer that it's the life i've constructed and for the moment I'm not rushing to embrace it- but i'm not feeling sick with dread over it either. that sounds pretty lame - but it's progress for me. it couldn't intellectually be worse - so like, nothing left to fear much. merely awaiting the worst - it's kind of freeing to not have any hope about it anymore.

i'm sorry to think he can 'do this" forever and not care about what i think. I feel badly to be of so little value to him - it would appear so tho. he's got ow for sex - he's got me for whatevertheheck he thinks i provide (???) - he knows we're bound together with ownership of this nj house (50-50) maybe that makes him think he's 'safe". he supports me and i let him- *(yeah- laziness & the lack of desire to embrace my alone-ness and poverty) and make no mistake- that's big. this house is my place to be. he cannot 'share" properly in life. (anything or everything.) he's generous- but he is all about him. somehow conflicting traits - but both. i can see how i got tricked - knowing he was inarticulate about feelings & resented having them too (just like my mother) but showed caring in acts (or so i thought).

i still don't know about all that- what's shown by good or caring acts. possibly nothing - someday i'll know.

it's probably like db book says - he thinks because i don't talk about it and i don't yell or figtht about it- it's all OKAY WITH ME. NOT..... i'm just figuring out what the heck i'm doing or going to do and be, etc -

hey - another 180 - i just took him to airport- on the way i wondered if loverwoman was picking him up at airport - i thought of asking for one second because i used to be that kind of a guy - up front- honest - curious - but DIDN'T because it was just more bs - nothing to talk about any more. nothing to be gained. recognition that not one single constructive think in universe would be gained - i didn't say a darn thing or act "nicey-pooh" or anything. i just was pleasant and not-involved. any other day in my life i'd have just asked and out with it- today i figured "why bother" ?

i'm not sure what that is- but it's waaay better than emotional involvement and the bad old days of "how could you" and "why"....

i feel detached in a liberated yet cr@ppy way. oh well- i guess progress isn't always necessarily a good feeling.

nice to be alive and healthy and my life still is (at the moment) better than most. i do appreciate that. i do swallow my pride and accept his support- gift of time to organize myself so that when i walk - it's my decision?? idk

what the heck good is "pride" anyway. i know who and what i am- no one to impress or get permission from.

. I can see a million mistakes in my values in life (and yes, maybe expectations from others that were nutty) - but idk, so i guess i'm watching myself morph as well as him. i do not know this new guy- i am not sure what i will do with him and any r with him. i don't feel overwhelming love i always did- it's bashed into the turf at the moment. i just feel like i'm learning to walk allover again- th ere's soooo much "junk" - i do not feel desire for him or anyone- tho i loosely would like to feel loved in life- i sure do not feel "up to" looking for it. still tired - more content than last bunch of rotten years - expectations about people and life lower than ever - but curiously optimistic still aboutfuture.

don't know where that co mes from- faith(I wonder) - idk- i just don't know much any more. great at stayin in the day tho- in the moment- maybe that makes one feel okay and content or "happy-ish".

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL- sorry to be ramblie - thanks for all your hel[ps and input & patience over years- it's changed soo many lives mine (and still is/does) ...

xxoo (( ))too
Posted By: Karma12

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 01/04/15 04:34 AM

I'm reading these posts at a good time. I am not a needy clingy purser but can see where this dance has played a role in my life with Hubby. I have also read books that talk about this as a fear of commitment. Passive committment phobics and aggressive committment phobics. The purser is often passively committment phobic attracting emotionally unavailable partners. The aggressive committment phobic usually jumps in with both feet at the beginning and then starts to distance once they know their partner is hooked. They can't committ to yes and they can't committ to know so if the purser gets fed up enough to drop the rope the distancer will try pursing only to distance again if the bait is bit. I think it's also known to be the dance of intimacy. I believe it's normal for there to be smal steps forward in back in relationships it's when its a constant cycle it becomes an issue.
Posted By: nero

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 01/07/15 02:15 PM

Hey Karma -

your insights are true - at least of us. I am definitely commitment phobic (passive) - i do get panickie when i'm "too committed" and can remembeer really neeeeding to get some "space" when i began coming to nj house by self. I'm a nurturer who gets really unhappy when somenoe NEEEEEDS ME too much- i don't even really want responsibility for me , much less someone else!! he is militently commitment phobic- yet pursued like a banshee in beginning???

i do not know now why he is planning little trips (i love trips) and doing nice things, buying me things - yet has lovelife with ow? insanity - he's both "pursuing & buyuing me" and distancing and makin me feel like nothing. i am off balance all the time.

In beginning (38 yrs ago or so) he was soooo ardent a ursuer - desirous of my companionship every minute of every day- fun & nice - but at some point tiring. i always bought his "marriage is no guarantee" spiel because i was newly divorced from a guy rabid to marry me and always verbally reassuring (but - actions crappola) - i was less keen - so, it blew up anyway (his booze - violence) . it surely is no guarantee.

now- i see it's a "protection" of sorts with legal rights - and it's also a "commitment" to hang in there and be there and so on- i do think mentally it's a big step- writing your name and making the commitment. maybe just the legal entanglement and problems to get out of - encourage loyalty?

i both would like it- and squirm and thinK "oh God, then i'd be shackled to this guy forever til i die" and a bit panickie.

oh well- never said i was not neurotic0-

human beings are too weird. maybe our brains have out-evolved our instincts. & we're all off balance all the time. i think our instinct is to find a mate to protect us (as woman) - part of me wants to sign up. However, my brain says , what if it goes bad, he turns weird, just needs someone with some $$ to save him at moment, has anger issues - hidden mine field - that's from life's little bad discoveries over years. with tv and acess to the experiences and thoughts of every other person alive - every day- we've become "scared" of things we shouldn't know- ignorance is bliss. i think i'll be a dog next life... keep it simple.

idk- whattyado>????
Posted By: BEClem

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/27/15 03:24 AM

This topic is interesting for me because I (the man) am both the sexual and emotional pursuer. My wife is actually the sexual and emotional distancer. So it is flipped from the "norm".

Reading the description there are also some crossover with us. For example: I am a leader even though I am the pursuer. My wife is the controlling one even though she is the distancer.

How often does this type of thing happen? Where the man is the more emotional one and the pursuer and the woman is the more stoic and controlling distancer?

My pickle is this. My wife wants a divorce because I went through some depression and she deemed me an unavailable husband and father and felt abandoned. During our separation (which is going on 6 months) I have pursued her like crazy. It has backfired. The last month I have been trying to strike a balance. I am NOT pursuing her but am making a 180 in ensuring that I am much more pro-active in the relationship with my kids and being "helpful" to her in things like chores etc.

It's a strange dynamic for me because my wife has said she is done and wants a divorce. I can't just go dark because that would be viewed as validating her image of me as an absent father and husband. But I also can't pursue her. So I'm distancing myself from her by not talking about our R. I only initiate contact if it is to discuss the kids. I am making sure I am going out of my way to talk to my kids everyday and spend as much of my time off from work with them. I also do chores around my house when I am there with the kids and she is not. But I don't advertise it to her. So I'm giving her the space she needs from me by not emotionally pursuing her. But at the same time I am showing her through my actions that my depression is gone, that the depressed me was not the real me and am being the most attentive father and helpful husband I can be.

It's a strange dynamic in my situation. Anyone have any thoughts?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/28/15 11:34 AM

Do you have a thread on the forum? I did read the thread over in Newcomers and think you may get more responses if you have one in the MLC Forum. However, that is your call to decide whether to post one here or not.

I'm going to try to provide you w/a couple of responses on this thread, but I would really like to see a thread posted in MLC so that we can see your entire story and then you can have a journal to refer back to about you and your situation. Okay?

Anyone can be a distance/pursuer. It doesn't necessarily mean the wife has to be the pursuer. Both the husband and wife can switch up the dynamics at any time because of what his transpiring in their lives. What you have described about you and your wife isn't unique...but you are still pursuing in a way. Sure, you aren't talking to her about the relationship, but your actions are saying something different. Instead of doing the chores around the home when you are there, I suggest that you just leave them be. Your actions are still telling her that you want her back and will do anything to prove that your depression has lifted. Even though you don't draw attention to those completed chores, she is very well aware of what you are doing.

So, instead of doing the chores, spend the time w/your children. Do things that are fun w/the children. Get out of the house, take them somewhere and just spend quality time w/them. As for the chores, since she's living in the home, that is now her responsibility to take care of them. If she should ask you to help out w/them, then fine...unless the toilet is overflowing or the air conditioning is on the fritz when you are there...leave the chores alone. She can't miss you if you are continuing to do things for her.

As for showing her that your depression has lifted, start living your life. Find hobbies and outside activities that will help take your mind off of the situation. Get together w/friends and actually starting living again. Actions of this nature say more than doing the chores.

Live your life for YOU and your children. Give your wife the time and space she requires and allow her to figure things out for herself and that includes the chores in the space that she is living.

Posted By: BEClem

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/28/15 04:47 PM


I do have a thread in the newcomers forum. However, I can certainly post my story in the MLC forum.

I get what you are saying about the chores. It makes complete sense. But my concern is this: Her reasons for no longer loving me and being done is that while I was depressed I ignored my responsibility as both husband and father. So your advice on the kids is spot on and I am actively doing that. However, she also viewed my lack of availability and assistance with domestic responsibility as a major issue as well. For my particular case, I believe that if I am not showing her through action on both the father and the responsible and helpful husband end that it could backfire on me and will only validate her reasoning for wanting to divorce.

Her gripe being that I abandoned her and the kids tells me that my 180 needs to be total focus on being the best and most involved father I can be and also just do what needs to be done around my house when I am there. That would be the true 180 from what I was when I was depressed and that is what the real me was before my depression.

Of course, I need to be doing this while giving her space and not pursuing her in terms of talking about us.

It's a delicate balance in my case because if I just "let things alone and let her do everything on her own" than I am not doing a 180. I am actually doing one of the things that has made her feel that she is done with me.

Does that make sense?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/28/15 04:55 PM

Yes, it makes sense, but you also have to remember that, if she's in crisis, she will use any excuse to justify her wanting a divorce. Keep in mind, that this is a darn if you do, darn if you don't situation. You could jump through hoops while doing chores and planting gold bricks and she may still be unhappy.

If something is working, then by all means continue to do it, but if it's not, then try something different.

Just remember...whatever changes you are making, they must become permanent and a part of your day-to-day life, i.e., not to win her back. Give her as much space that she can choke on. No more discussions about the relationship and I would scale back the chores for a while to see if she says something.
Posted By: BEClem

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/28/15 06:44 PM

Good advice. Thanks job. I think what I am doing right now is working. Remember that I am in the very early stages of all of this. It was only 6 days ago that she attended our very first counseling session with a new counselor (she had agreed to give counseling a second chance) and revealed that she had made her decision. That she couldn't do this (counseling) and that she was done.

Now I have been working on the permanent changes for a month. So right after that happened (the counseling session) I just got right back on track with what I was doing. She apologized to me after the session, but said she didn't want to stay married to me only to not hurt me. I told her that I didn't want her to stay with me for that reason only. Told her that I loved her and that all I want is a chance. Told her that I don't want to speak about it and asked her if we could give it some time to breathe. She said yes (reluctantly).

That was last Wednesday. On Thursday I went right back on track. So far so go in that she has made no mention to me of us. Has not talked about divorce. Hasn't said anything like "hey stop trying I'm done". She had expressed to the counselor last Wednesday that she noticed the changes I'm making but said that she did not believe they were real and it was "too little too late".

But, I believe that by asking her after the session if we could just let it breathe for a while, by her agreeing to it and by me going right back to what I was doing, I believe that I am buying some time.

She says she is done but I don't believe her. If she were done she would have taken action. I think she is sitting back and observing me right now to see how I react. To see if my efforts and changes are genuine or fabricated.
Posted By: BEClem

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/28/15 06:52 PM

By the way Job, I loved the "give her as much space as she can choke on" line.

Made me smile smile
Posted By: BEClem

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 04/28/15 07:26 PM

Job: Here is the link to my thread. Would you mind joining in on that thread. I appreciate your advice and insight very much.

Posted By: Cadet

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 08:41 PM

For anyone else reading here I really dont think you need to buy the book.
Read this thread and it has all you really need to know.

I recently had a conversation with the author of the book and he wrote this to me,
so I thought I would add this to the thread as good to know stuff.
Maybe I will add more in the future.

Originally Posted By: pdelucca
We are born, in my experience, either a pursuer or distancer. environment merely moderates the severity but does not change what we are. Pursuers and distancers change around different people and events. However, around your primary relationships our true self comes out since this is what we seek most intensely and intimately. You can see this when you track people in different relationships. They end up with the same patterns and same people, just in different skin.

and also this
Originally Posted By: Pdelucca
Pursuers, like myself, have a difficult time distancing. we are made for relationships, connections. Not to pursue forces us to deal with our own incompleteness and emptiness, or fill it in with other things or people. Pursuers, and distancers, are on a scale of 1-10, Ten being the most severe. Pursuers in the 7-10 range have the most issues and the most extreme loneliness/emptiness, thus the need to fill it in. We run from ourselves but never quite escape. I am probably about an 8, so I know of what I speak.

He also says that we need to change our core selves to stop being pursurers,
easier said than done.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 09:19 PM

Thanks Cadet!

Yes, it's easier said than done to change our core selves from being pursuers.
Posted By: CaliGuy

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 09:44 PM


I think that is the thing... I always have been the pursuer and Mr Fixit ... I feel now I am better, I catch myself ... I almost feel like I should have some variation of a Sobriety Coin, Hello fellow DB'rs I am a pursuer and its been 3 weeks since my last attempt.

Its such a part of who I was, and I can see the sliders move depending on the situation, small events I am a 3, I notice it ... bigger ones and that thing goes up to an 8 and I have to talk myself down, do not chase, do not fix

I think it will be a struggle for some time, just like working out, you have to stick to it and you get better and stronger.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 09:57 PM

Couple question re: the pursuer/Distancer.......are there any success stories with saved relationships using this method? Reading through this thread, I see quite a few folks talking about xH.

Also, the part where it talks about the distancer starting to contact the pursuer, and then states for the pursuer not to fall for it......at what point do you openly start to communicate with them.....how do you know they are sincere?

When H and I first met, he was definitely the pursuer, he would drive an hour to bring me flowers at work, or a poem he had written for me. I know this method could work if done right.
Posted By: CaliGuy

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 10:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Lucy105
Couple question re: the pursuer/Distancer.......are there any success stories with saved relationships using this method? Reading through this thread, I see quite a few folks talking about xH.

Also, the part where it talks about the distancer starting to contact the pursuer, and then states for the pursuer not to fall for it......at what point do you openly start to communicate with them.....how do you know they are sincere?

When H and I first met, he was definitely the pursuer, he would drive an hour to bring me flowers at work, or a poem he had written for me. I know this method could work if done right.

Lucy ... its not that this is a 'tactic' per say, its more of how the WAS and LBS interact and how its easy for the LBS to pursue which typically results in the WAS running faster. When the LBS pulls back, seems the table flips a bit and the WAS comes closer. ... hence "The Dance"

As far as knowing when they are 'sincere' ... yeah, I fell for that a couple times and now find myself in a position where the WAS is being sincere, to answer ... you know, its different, the communication, the exchanges, even the spats are all different when they decide to be sincere.

I have not been here as long as most .. but I have never seen a pursuer win the WAS back by continuing that behavior.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 10:49 PM

I have been a forum member since January of 2000 and I am also a member on 4 other internet forums concerning MLC and during the 15 years that I have been around, I have never seen anyone who was a pursuer win the distancer back by pursuing them. In fact, the distancer will run faster than a race horse to get away from you, the pursuer.

Also, keep in mind that people can actually be both the pursuer and distance. For example, the MLCer may distance themselves enough that the LBS, becomes the pursuer. Once the LBS (pursuer) ceases pursuing, the MLCer will turn around after a period of time and pursue the LBS, i.e., to rope them back into the game or to see if there is still any interest in the LBS for the MLCer. This particular behavior is called taking the bait from the MLCer.

Cali is correct, this is not a tactic, but more of personality traits. People posting here are generally fixers and want to fix the MLCers, i.e., the relationships, marriages, etc. and they will pretzel themselves to try to please the MLCers and convince them to come home. None of this will work. You have to detach and move on w/your life as if they aren't going to return. Of course, it's a 50%-50% either way as to whether they will return and that's why it's very important that you try to pick up the pieces and live your life for YOU.

You will sense a change in the MLCer's behavior that will tell you that they are sincere. Actions speak louder than words and yes, the communications, the exchanges and the "spats" will be different. However, it does take a very long time for this to happen.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/08/15 11:51 PM

So when he contacts me because he needs something for the business, which technically we still co-own, what do I do? Not respond?

This last week was the first week we had any civilized contact since he left. He picked up the phone to actually call me. This was after the DB coach had me send out the letter to him that she helped me put together. He was actually pleasant. However, all we talked about was generic things, nothing relationship related, and I did not get a sense he was interested in leaving the OW.

Also, he is supposed to be coming over sometime in the next week to pick up a lawn mower, he said he will contact me before he comes. Do I respond, and should I not be here when he comes?

Job.....when you say a very long time, do you mean for the initial contact from him, or before they become sincere?
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:08 AM

I guess I'm still I'm still kind of curious too, if there are any success stories here using this method? I understand being a pursuer will not win the battle, however, does this method have success? I'm getting scared because I see a lot of xH or xW in these posts. I am willing to put in the time, but I want my marriage to work. Seeing so many X's doesn't give someone much hope for succeeding. It makes me feel like I should just save myself some heartache, and throw in the towel now.
Posted By: AJM

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:17 AM

What is your definition of 'success' ?

Posted By: Georgiabelle

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:17 AM


I haven't posted much lately and I'm no expert. I'm sorry you find yourself here and it's a difficult place to be. I have an x in my signature as well, however I want to just mention something. I took my vows very seriously- parents together 50 years and xh's parents together 48.

Yes, you can rebuild your R but your marriage is dead. It was dead prior to BD but your h just officially notified you then. You can rebuild a R, however it does take time. You own a biz with your h so obviously there will be interaction. Focus on you though and listen to the vets. Job 's advice is spot on.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:52 AM

AJ....I guess my definition of success is a relationship rebuilt to a loving one started by using this method.

Thank you Georgiabelle. Somehow this all just makes me so sad. I had hope, and now I'm left feeling defeated.
Posted By: BklynMom

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 01:36 AM

There are a lot of people that have saved their marriages.

Ladybug is one person who posted a lot when I started - she still posts updates on the piecing thread.

She left her stbx alone and went about her life. She got her own hobbies and she worked on herself. After 2 or 3 years he came home. It was only when she was ready to be without him forever that he came back.

There are many other people that have reconciled like 25 and other whose names are not coming to me.

Don't give up.

Just when the catapiller thought the world was over he becomes a butterfly.

Stay strong. Head to the light
Posted By: Mighty

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 01:40 AM

I, too, was intimidated by the amount of "x's." In fact, I didn't think mine would come to that- however, it ended up charging like a steam-engine full speed ahead. I don't say that to freak you out. I was divorced only months after bd. I knew deep down, he had to have it. He's just that kind of guys... goes 1000 MPH fast and hard. I just saw it as part of db. I knew I had to let it go if it were ever to come back.

I second what gb said. Now, I think things would have been different for me if xh hadn't crashed and burned so severely. So I guess my point is, don't be intimidated by the "sign" of what h or xh is. After all... it isn't until recently that I even thought of him in that capacity! And i think the same goes for him!

Yikes, sorry I have a tendency to go way around the bush... circle it a few times... before getting to the point.

It stinks... that's the bottom line. You never know what is going to come out of this thing. That's one thing you will learn. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

I knew I had to let it happen for him to see or feel anything. I know he regretted it. i know it. I know he wasn't convinced totally he wanted it. But... that just happened to be my story. Yours could very well be different. .

Actually... your story will be different. You never know what will happen at the end, Lucy. But, if you keep taking the right steps, you will be ready to handle whatever it is. Enjoy whatever is to come. Be who you are meant to be.

Keep posting. We will be here for you.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 02:26 AM

Thank you so much to you all for the help. Going forward is all I can do at this point, so forward it shall be.

Can someone please just advise me what to do when he comes to pick up the mower? Should I be here, or should I leave?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:05 PM

That is up to you. Do you feel comfortable enough to be at home? If so, I would be there just in case he decides he wants to take some other things. You can always stay in the house while he's loading the mower. I usually suggest that the spouse be there to ensure that the items identified are the ones that the MLCer takes.

Again, it's your call.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:21 PM

I don't know job. I'm not afraid of him at all, it's not like that. After he started the affair with the OW, before I knew about it, he always told me that coming home he would get so pissed off. I know it was the guilt, about lying to me, and the excitement of the OW making him be that way, but part of me wonders if I wasn't here, if it might make him think a bit differently. Make him wonder.

I'm not concerned about him taking anything. If he needs it that bad, let him have it as far as I'm concerned.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:24 PM

Part of me would initially Iike to be here when he gets here, to show him the new me....down 30 lbs, new hair style, and contacts, then excuse myself to leave, but I think that might make me a bad person, I'm not sure.

I want to mention.....not to long ago, 2 weeks maybe, he told 2 of our waitresses that he was going to break it off with OW. He confided in one of the girls, that she's a major alcoholic. But he hasn't broken it off yet, I'm thinking me pursuing has kept him with her. But, he knows this is wrong, and that she's wrong for him at least.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:34 PM

I posted a reply on your thread about the idea that you had concerning the mower. It's a good one and as I stated previously this is your call to make.

I'll continue to monitor your thread and respond when needed.
Posted By: AJM

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/09/15 12:48 PM

I want to mention.....not to long ago
Job's advice is spot on. Something you may have seen in Cadet's links - believe in half of what they "do" and none of what they "say". Why? Because they are trying to hide things from you and they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. A lot like a teen who feels entitled to things, so to your spouse is off the rails in "me town".

Go back and re-read the links, Lucy. And listen to Job's advice. Focus on that for a while.

Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/12/15 04:15 AM

I found out today that my husband is in deeper with OW than I thought he was. I was told he is flaunting it quite a lot around our restaurant. They say he's gotten very good at lying to justify his situation. He has told everyone we are divorcing, except for me. Last we talked about it, he took it off the table because he agreed we weren't in any position to be making those decisions.....he so very angry, and it was an emotional time for me. He hasn't taken any legal steps that I am aware of. He can't afford an attorney.

He is neglecting all the bills for the restaurant, he hasn't picked up the mail from the PO Box for two weeks, so he's not paying anything. I think he knows I will be there to save him if he doesn't take care of things. He doesn't seem to care about anything except her.

He hired another cook to give him more time off to be with her also.

I believe he likes having the security of having both her and I in the picture, we both offer different things to him. From me he gets knowledge of the business, many of the things we do are in my name and contact, and I am his fall back to handle what he hasn't. I have been extremely uplifting and positive to him, saving him a couple times when he needed last min favors for the restaurant.

But being positive isn't working, and I've pulled back. I have a couple questions that I need help with. If I'm going to become the distancer, and hoping for him to become the pursuer, if I do not speak to him or see him, and he needs favors for the business......what if it just makes him angry? He only wants me in the business when he needs something, so I don't have an issue not doing for him, I just want to know if anger is a normal part of it?

I don't want to be used! He needs to realize that if he's going to push me out, he has to be willing to stand on his own two feet.

Also, If he pushes the issue, is there anything I should say to him to kindly let him know where I stand. I had read somewhere to say something like "I love you, and I hope you can free yourself from the addiction of your affair."
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/12/15 11:45 AM

You are right...he doesn't care about anything but himself and right now the ow. Life as you knew it w/him is gone. You will need to keep an eye on your finances and unfortunately, if you want your business to continue to thrive, you will need to be up front and center stage to ensure it doesn't go under water. He's really into himself and could care less. He wants freedom and no responsibilities.

Lucy, you have to understand that remaining positive is a good thing, but it takes a very, very long time for them to come through MLC. It takes years! If you are normally a positive individual, then remain so and don't do it to get him to notice you and think he'll come back to you right now because it's not going to work.

As to the distance/pursuer situation, yes, he can become angry if you aren't doing for him and he will find other ways to get you to pursue. However, I do want to point out that anger is also a part of their normal day-to-day setting if things don't go their way. They have absolutely no patience for anything, especially if things aren't going their way. They are like toddlers and when mom says no, they sometime throw a fit. Go back and re-read my first posting on this thread. It may give you some info that you may have missed the first time around.

If you feel comfortable in slowly disengaging in the activities of the business that's fine...but if you are co-owner of the business, is this truly what you want? You've worked hard to get the business up and running...but if you are ready to call it quits, then it's time to think about having a plan in place just in case it goes belly up or you want out.

All you can say is "I wish you well and hope you find what you are looking for". If you mention the affair, he'll deny it and it will just give him something more to use as justification for having one.

I want to emphasize here that this is not a game and distance/pursuer is not a tactic to be used to try to win your h back. Many people do this and don't even realize that they are doing it.
Posted By: Lucy105

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/12/15 01:18 PM

This all feels so hopeless right now. I can see now that what I thought were his attempts at being friendly with me last week, when I helped him out, was just manipulation on his part. It's just heartbreaking.

At this point, there is no way I could be front and center with the business. Emotionally, I just couldn't bear to see what he is flaunting, and his anger would be pushed to limits I couldn't deal with I'm sure. Aside from that, our customers would know the truth of what's going on, all our regulars anyway, he's told them I couldn't handle the business, and that's why he's divorcing me, but they can see through his changes to I'm sure. If he loses it, he loses it. It was his dream to begin with, that he is supposedly so passionate about. He has a secure job to fall back on if he does.

My issues go so much more deeply than just the restaurant. Over the summer someone hit the front of our attached garage of our home, and pushed it off the foundation. I've been sitting here for the last nearly two months with no garage door, and just a tarp covering the opening. He has the nearly $7,000 check for the repairs. One of the customers, who is a contractor, is supposed to be doing the repair, and my H is supposed to help him as an employee.

We have a young family waiting to do a walk through on our home, but the repairs aren't done, and I've been waiting, holding off, because I haven't been sure what is going on. I just don't know what to do. I know I have no desire to speak with H right now.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/12/15 02:43 PM

I'm going to move your last posting to your thread over in the newcomers. Why? Because it is important to post these things also on your current thread so that others may read and comment and hopefully provide advice to you.

I will respond there.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/12/15 02:58 PM

Lucy's current thread on the Newcomers' Forum:


Posted By: gr8ful3

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 05/23/15 10:15 PM

Wow Job, I'm new to posting and this thread really hit home for me. this is the game my H and I have been playing for years. We have a fight, my H quits talking to me. I beg him to talk and try to work things out. He gives me the silent treatment for a week or so. I back off a bit but continue to check in. Somehow, we get through it but nothing is ever really resolved. I'm always afraid he's going to leave because I've said the wrong thing. Consequently, I never ask for what I want for fear of anger or worst he'll leave me. And here I am, my worst fears are a reality.

It is so difficult for me to stop the pursuit. I feel like I'm being unloving. Everything you and others have said on this thread makes so much sense, yet, it's still very hard. I guess I haven't gotten to full detachment yet.

I am going to try to find the book you referenced and start to read it and learn some better techniques. Thank you for your advise.
Posted By: kyrie

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/09/15 08:41 PM

Question - I can see so much value in the distancing thing... but my husband is having an EA (long distance). If I distance, then won't he just run to her all the more?
Posted By: Cristy

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/10/15 06:52 PM


I would suggest posting your story in Newcomers. You will be more visible to others so they can offer you support and feedback.


Resource Coordinator
The Divorce Busting Center
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/10/15 08:27 PM

The Distancer/Pursuer tactics are not a game. They are behaviors that many of us have. You do not distance yourself to get him to pursue. What you do is stay the course, remain yourself. What you don't do is react to all of his antics and/or comments that come out of his mouth. No begging, pleading, etc. Keep the focus on you.

What are you? Distancer or Pursuer?

Please start a thread either in Newcomers or this forum, MLC, so that we can help you. We need to know more about you and/or your situation in order to do so.

Posted By: Chippie

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/02/16 10:28 AM

I have a question about this... I'm definitely the pursuer. He has had that he will most likely leave unless I change (with no offer to change himself). If I stop doing everything for him then that seems unkind when he does stuff for the house too... building projects for example. I get the rest of it - not starting conversations, not giving gifts... I'm working on detachment with love. Is this wrong to do things for him? I stopped folding his laundry but I still do the washing. Recently he stopped making me a cappacino in the morning. He said he doesn't want to do for me what I can do for myself... but the point is to do kind acts not remove all kindness. What do you think?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/02/16 11:40 AM

Well, he's basically told you what he's going to do for you, i.e., he doesn't want to do for you what you can do for yourself. He's basically telling you that you need to start doing for yourself and become more independent and not to rely on him for such things.

Is he currently folding his own laundry? If so, then I would gradually slow down on doing other personal things for him. But, that's your call. If you are comfortable doing his laundry, by all means continue...but it sounds like you are probably living as roommates at the moment. If you are, then I will ask you this...would you do your roommates chores for him/her? While they are in crisis, you have to think of them as roommmates and/or distant relatives who come to visit. Keep your expectations at zero at all times.

As for doing projects around the home...be sure to tell him thank you and that you appreciate his efforts. They do love the attention and affirmation.

Again, you have to decide what is acceptable to you when it comes to doing personal chores and errands for your MLCer.
Posted By: Chippie

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/02/16 01:32 PM

OK thank you!
(definitely MLCer although he denies it.)
Posted By: Chippie

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/02/16 01:42 PM

Oh I forgot to mention that he frequently asks me to scratch his back or examine bumps on the back of his neck etc. So I guess he is not flexible enough to scratch his own back. If I ask him to squeeze my shoulders he does so begrudgingly so I stopped asking. Should I continue to scratch his back when he asks? It's not something I would do for a roommate. I like being asked but I'm not sure how it works within the 180 plan.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/02/16 02:42 PM

Purchase him a back scratcher. They are fairly inexpensive. You can order him an inexpensive one from Amazon for about $5.95.

I also see that you have a thread over on Newcomers. If you think he's in MLC, please consider starting a thread over here and tell us about yourself and why you think your h is in MLC.
Posted By: Chippie

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/02/16 09:00 PM

So really? Get him a backscratcher? isn't that sort of obnoxious, especially since I crave the intimacy - or is that the idea... giving him some of his own medicine? Is it retaliatory? I might have tried to introduce myself in newcomers, I'm still getting used to this platform.
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/03/16 06:42 AM

No, it's not obnoxious or retaliatory. It's called being real here. I know a number of people that have them and they love them. Why? Because they can take care of their "itch" whenever they want w/o rubbing up against a door frame or asking someone to help them out. Your h just might be very appreciative that you thought of him.

Even though you crave intimacy, he may not. From what you posted, it sounds like he's looking for ways to break you. Your description of the situation and him sounds very much like a person w/some NP traits, if so, there's no winning/pleasing w/them. The more you try, the more they add to the checklist of our failures and the more they point them out.

Are you in a support group or seeing an IC? You need to have someone you can talk to, especially if he gets angry and destroys things in the home or takes his anger out on you. Please take care of yourself and your children. That is what is important here.

You posted that you thought he was in MLC...what makes you think that? You've also mentioned that you think he might have NPD? Besides the info that you have provided what other clues do you have? Many people who are experiencing a MLC exhibit traits of some sort of personality disorder, but that doesn't mean that they are definitely NPD, borderline, etc. Depression makes they act out in various ways. MLCers feel entitled, they are selfish and self absorbed and are looking for someone to admire them and stroke their ego, i.e., somewhat like a person w/NPD.

I posted a response on your thread in Newcomer's. It would be helpful if you could share more of what his behaviors are, did he exhibit them throughout the marriage or did something transpire in the last 12-24 months that could have triggered a crisis. This info would help us give you the proper support that you require now.
Posted By: Esame

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/04/16 03:55 AM

Thank you for "resurrecting" this thread job, it is really informative!
Posted By: Esame

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/05/16 02:18 AM

So I read the book this extract is from, and even though it is not entirely MLC focused it can work so well in addition to the Divorce Busting books. I found that have the traits of the "Pursuer" to a stronger extend than H's "Distancer" traits. Maybe that's were his MLC comes into account? I think it is a heard read as it forces you to look at your own faults and is honest in not making promises and explains how painful the process can be.
Posted By: ciluzen

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/05/16 07:17 AM

I read "The Solo Partner" right after my H left in October. I remember it being an eye opener, but I was so deep in depression and wanting him back at the time, I could not stop my pursuing behavior. I still was fighting (and at times failing) my pursuit even a few weeks ago, although I had convinced myself I was doing well. It took some very recent events for my fog to truly clear and see my H for what he is (at least, who I believe he has become) but also for me to truly see the extent of my own pursuing ways...even when I thought I wasn't. It may be too late for this R, as we have another mediation coming up and I believe that that's it. But I no longer initiate ANY contact. Not even if I have questions. It all will go through my L from now on, as I know I can't trust myself to not fall for his manipulation. It IS a very painful process.
Posted By: Buxom

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/20/16 10:07 AM

I'm about half way thru the book and just jumped ahead to the stop pursuing chapter. I've been trying to practice and observing what happens. He's starting more convo, he takes his time away in the house and then approaches me in a better mood, he will seek me out just to check in, he calls or texts at end of day when working. If I stood morning and wait, he will start talking but it might not be right away. It's always better when he comes to me.
If I have to approach, I keep it short and end contact first where possible. I will have to be more sensitive to him once he starts seeing IC for his incest issues in two weeks time. Not sure when and how it will affect him and what it'll bring out. This info on distance and pursuit is working for me to be calmer and in my own space. I'm liking it lots!! smile
Posted By: Esame

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/21/16 02:29 AM

I'm so glad it's working for you! I'm reading it for the second time (I skipped a lot the first time) and by being more honest about my own flaws I think my relationship has a better chance. I also believe it works so well alongside Michele's books, the advice complements divorce busting really well.
Posted By: Buxom

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 08/21/16 07:53 AM

I agree esame! It stuff we need constant reminders about, or at least I do ,to keep from backsliding or settling for less in an unequal relationship.
Posted By: Treasur

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/18/17 05:18 AM

Reading this, and reflecting on my M (and 6 years together before then), I think my H and me changed roles...Initially for maybe the first 9 years, I was the Distancer (and the main breadwinner)...we probably met in the middle for about 5 years...then he became the Distancer, and since BD with go faster stripes while my shock and bewilderment ramped up my Pursuer.

Well worth reflecting on for me now in terms of who I want to be after I stagger out into the sunlight after my M to my MLC H ends soon...nothing I can do about him!
Posted By: AMartin

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/25/17 09:20 AM

This describes my marriage almost entirely. I obviously need to stop pursuing my husband. How do I do that and deal with all of the pain?
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/26/17 06:51 AM


I think I may have answered your question on your thread. Also, go back and re-read the very first page of this thread and there are some ways of how not to pursue someone.

As for the pain, you will need to work through that pain and not try to find ways to just ease it, i.e., like the MLCer. It's best to bust right through it and yes, it will take time to do so, but you can do it. I know that you can!
Posted By: RR17

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 07/26/17 10:13 PM

Guidelines like this are great. It takes the emotion out and reminds you of how to act and react. Good stuff.
Posted By: Fin831

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/12/18 08:20 PM

Great read! thanks.
Posted By: toenail

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 09/19/18 11:57 AM

thanks for the great advices, job
Posted By: SJSF

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 11/15/18 09:08 PM

I'm not saying ILU or initiating any physical intimacy- she has done some- hand holding, hugging, and once said ILU- I'm not sure how to respond. I want more of this from her, so feels like i should reciprocate, but worried that makes me look weak/longing/pursuing....
Posted By: job

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) - 11/16/18 02:41 PM

She is leading the dance, so follow her lead if you feel comfortable in doing so.

Pursuing is when you initiate the action. You won't be looked upon as pursuing if you follow her lead and do it w/no expectations and if you don't continue to do it afterwards. Allow her to come to you.
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