Posted By: Jamesjohn More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! - 09/03/06 06:54 PM
From KentS..........

How do you act as if you are moving on and still work on your marriage???
You don't!

Moving forward is different to me than moving on. Did your H say he wanted to work on the M?

If not, You are probably entering the pre-rebuilding phase where the WAS has calmed down and is questioning their choices. You are probably a bit more calm (centered) yourself as well.

In this phase you need to focus on remaining calm and experiment with different ways of dealing with H, especially when his resentment flares up.

You act as-if by showing that you are going to be happy regardless of his choices. You show strength by finding some new activities/friends that are aside from H. You start going out some alone. You act as-if you still want the M to work by your actions not your words.

If i'm off-base on where you are at, say so.

If and when your H says he wants to work on the M, alot changes.

From KAW


Hi Julie,
You just need to give it some time. The changes you have made are working to bring you closer together ... continue to do more of it.

Its hard not to get sucked into their rollercoaster ride, but in order to keep up a good PMA, remind yourself, "No thanks, I don't want to ride today."

Keep in mind what Michelle's says about about this stage of their crisis, "Believe in none of what they say and only in half of what they do." The half to believe in is the positive things they do, because these manage to surface from their core-self despite of their focus on running away from the negatives things in their life. Repeat this to yourself each time he says something negative. Reaffirm your PMA by reminding yourself that YOU believe that you will get through this and for the better. Act "as-if" your PMA can overtake whatever negativity he throws your way. This basically is what detachment is about. A simple way of stating it is that it is a battle of wills ... not allowing his attitudes to affect yours.

If you find you cannot shrug it off, then its time to physically detach. Seek some physical space in order to prevent his drama to affect your PMA. By keeping a consistant PMA in his presence, you are demostrating that you can no longer be the source fueling all his negativity.

'til later,
From birdonawire


Here I am again preaching the message of patience and working on yourself again.

Something that I noted in a recent post kind of bothered me about your sitch:

I know I can win as long as I can convince him that we have a chance if we both participate. I know that's not Michele's stand but it would help if he participated a little. That's my biggest challenge.

This is STILL not about winning. If you win and you are alone with your kids, what have you won??? Yes, it is a challenge for you. This is not a game to be won or lost. It is a relationship to be renewed, reclaimed, and rejuvenated. DR is not a set of tactics, tricks, and strategies to lure and win your spouse back into the same old marriage. You have to ask yourself - do I want everything to be the same as it was? - or can H and I build something better? Think of DR as a diet - a new diet for your M. For any diet to work, it takes lifestyle changes on a large scale - and they have to stick. Dedication, hard work, goals that take you step by step to the new you - these principles apply just as much to DR as they do to a new diet. There is the immediate and the long term to think about.

There is no magic bullet. There are no magic fixes.

You appear to be a bright and caring person. You want this to work. I can understand that, we all do. What may be missing from what you are doing now is focus. Is your focus on you and your kids, or on H and "winning" him back? What have you done lately to make changes that fit you and make you feel better about yourself? Your happiness in life cannot come from others or your relationships. Happiness must come from within and radiate outward onto the people and things that YOU love. Obviously your relationships are a part of your happiness, but they cannot become the only source. There must be a base level to start your love engine.

I hope this doesn't seem too harsh, but I see you trying hard, but spinning your wheels. You want a magic rapture to occur and make everything all better. Make the magic happen inside of you first, then spread it to others - one person at a time.


Greg - Patient, vigilant, hopeful
From DB Coach ChuckF!


Hey, Allenja;

I did not read your other thread - have you read DB or DR? If not, pick up DR and start reading. It is both instructional and encouraging.

One thing that is really important is to begin setting goals for yourself. The book goes into detail, but the goals must be positively stated - what you will be doing differently, rather than what you will stop doing. The goals must be action-oriented - what actions will you be taking that will be different, healthier, more attractive? The goals must also be short-term, something that you can complete in the next week or two.

Focusing on your goals will help take your mind off of the OG. The key is to pursue authentic personal growth - that is your best shot at attracting W back.

I wish you well, friend,

From farfromhome


I was pretty close to the brink, well about a week away from it and got to the stage we we had been to court three times, had only talked 4 times in 4 months and hadnt seen each other for 14 months. We are now back together and working through things.

In the end you cannot stop the Divorce if that is what she really wants. I just said this is your you want it I wont stop it but Im not going to help in anyway. We then got bogged down in property settlement issues (that was the 3 court appearances). Through this time I treated the property side as any business arrangement, I wasnt going to give wife stuff in the hope she would come back (this never works by the way). I went completely dark and tried to get a life back. In my case I had completely given up on my marriage which in the end was the thing that made her want to give things antoher go - she realised the finality of it all.

In the end dont freak out, this isnt a good look for you in her eyes. All I can suggest is to concentrate on yourself and detach. I know it is hard it was the hardest thing that I ever had to do. You also have to accept that this is not a 'trick' to get your wife back but is you generally looking at getting on with your life.

My wife and I have talked a lot about what was going on in our minds through the seperation. I was positve through this period that she had written us off, she was not thinking about me and was out having a good time. In fact she was continually thinking about us and working through issues in her mind. Dont believe what they say to you, it is soooo different from what is going on in their minds.

My wife said something to me that was a bit of an eye opener. I did get the ILYBNILWY talk, the trust talk, the change talk ,etc that seem to be a very common thread through most stories on the board. She told me that even through she was saying these things she knew inside that she still loved me, missed me and what we had. She was angry so she would deliberately do things to push my buttons to make me get mad thus reinforcing in her mind that she had made the right decision to walk away. One big word of advice - Never get into an arguement with the WAS about what they have done, never try to change their mind - You will NEVER win - this is something that they have to go through themselves (well in my experience anyway)

I dont think there is any right thing that makes things 'work'. But from what I have seen is the process of detachment, looking after yourself and doing things to make your life good. This does get the WAS thinking and it certainly did in my sitch. In the end for us she made the contact to stop the court case and asked to give it another go and I am very happy that she did.

From hacker


Read the Success Stories if you need inspiration. Be patient. This will take time...

Every situation is different. Even if all the success stories were about R's that came together after a D, there is no guarantee. The same goes for if they were all about R's coming together before D.

This is not about odds. This is about the amount of effort you put into it. Have hope, faith, trust and be ready to do the absolute impossible for her.

Don't focus on the end result right now. It's way too soon and will discourage you. Focus on accomplishing small goals. Focus on the baby steps. Focus on the Butterfly Effect. This is not going to happen overnight and may not even happen before the Big D. Unfortunately, the reality is that it may not happen at all and you have to be ready for that too.

That's why the first thing to do is to shift the focus to you and making yourself better. Once you do that, she will see the changes. That's when you'll start seeing the butterfly effect take hold. Where it will lead is unknown but you'll never know until you start applying the principles correctly.

I know you're DB'ing to save your marriage but you can't do that until you take a good look at yourself and change the things that can be improved. DB'ing is not about fooling your spouse into thinking that you changed. It's about really changing your behavior. You can't do that until you focus on you.

If you keep focusing on her and the end results rather than you and the small achievable goals just ahead, then it's not really DB'ing is it?

I know it's hard but that's the way it works. I know in my case, my attitude shifted when all this started. I went from wanting to "keep my wife" (as if she was a possession) to wanting "to be with my wife" (as a walk through life together).

That was a big shift in the perception of my marriage. It was no longer about a "need". It was about a "want". Once that happened, I was able to detach more and concentrate on what I needed to do, not what I wanted to happen. The needs and wants shifted from my marriage to myself.

At first, I needed to save my marriage and wanted to change. Now I want to save my marriage so I need to change.

Hang in there. I know it's rough and sometimes seems hopeless. It's not. But you gotta stick to the plan.
And another from hacker


When deciding what to do always remember your goals. Will it help achieve your immediate goals? Will it bring her closer or push her away farther? What does this action communicate? Which ways in the past have you handled conflict and been successful in reaching a solution?

Also remember in the book that Michele said that "timing is everything." Was it really necessary to tell her that you won't sign the divorce papers yesterday? That's in a month and a half. You know she's not in a good mood right now and this doesn't improve things.

Also be careful of "loving" seeing her in distress about your actions. People have ways of communicating their thoughts without saying anything. If she picks up on the fact that you love the fact that your actions are "killing her", it will only add to the mountain to climb. Besides, is it really killing her? Or is it justifying her anger towards you?

At this point, I really strongly suggest you hook up on the phone with a DB coach to plan out a strategy. It's well worth the investment.

Right now, I get the feeling that you're jumping the gun a bit too quickly on things and reacting to her. You really need to step back from the sitch for a while and figure out what you're going to do. YOU HAVE TIME TO IMPROVE THINGS!!!! Don't rush it. Remember rule no. 1: PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.

Hang in there but really try to focus on your immediate baby goals, not the big picture.

Forgot to add: Don't worry about OM right now. If you approach him after she told you she ended the affair that will completely blow up in your face. LET GO!!!! DETACH YOURSELF!!!! You have got to focus on you right now and let her be alone. Stop chasing because the more you chase, the less she'll want to be with you.
And MORE from hacker!!


You don't go dark just for the sake of going dark. You go dark when everything else has failed and there is no hope left. I don't think you are at that point. You just need to focus more on apply DB'ing techniques.

Call her back but keep the conversation light. Avoid R talk at all costs since it seems to cause friction at this point. If she is calling, she is reaching out. Don't ignore her. Just be patient, kind, understanding and lighthearted on the phone with her.

I thought about going dark after I got my D papers but when I called Dottie, she asked me "what for? So she filed! Are you having more pleasant conversations? Are you getting along?" I said yes, seems that way. So she asked "why stop?"

If you can keep the conversations going and focus on her being your friend right now, that's good. Forget the overall goal and stick to baby goals. My wife tried to make me laugh on the phone today: baby goal. She was cold as ice when I saw her later in the day. So I forget that she was a snowman and take credit in having achieve a goal. At first, I thought she was just being like ice to show her SIL (her brother's wife) that she is "strong" but, then again, I'm assuming and that serves no purpose. So I ignore it and forget it.

Don't go dark because it's the catch phrase of the week. Go dark with a purpose. At this point, I'm not quite sure what the purpose would be...

If you do call her, don't start the conversation with "what's this bullsh** you want to talk about?"
From thesane1, in response to "Why Are We Doing This?"


I definatly used to have this worry however I dont now and I will tell you why.

The minute i started the "AS IF " Stuff H changed towards me
He was not afraid to be around me as he now knew I was no longer going to beg, plead, cry, maon or what ever else I was doing.

Any way then I get these thoughts, what if he thinks im happy and hes happy im getting on with it.

Now I realise that this is what DBing is all about. YES-I want H back desperatly, but I only want him back if he wants to come back, whats the point otherwise, he will just come back and problems will continue, he needs to want to come back.

All the time we LBS are miserable, moaning, clinging, they will not want to come back, If they never come back we know its because they never wanted to and we have tried all we could and hopfully in the process of doing all the "AS IF" stuff we have got ourselves a life and can get on with it.

One thing for sure is doing all this will definatly change the dynamics of the R, whether they come back or not.

We have to truly let go for them to see their issues, untill we are able to do that they can not see things clearly. If we persue beg plead are vindictive or anything else like that they are to busy focussing on all that to focus on other stuff.

Maybe for a while it does please them that we are happy, maybe it helps their guilt, maybe they are happy we are getting by without them, but untill all that happens they are not going to see the nice people we are, they will just see someone who clearly wants to make their life hard, whilst TOP is standing by and being lovley because they still have their mask on.

This is hard to explain lol

This is just my humble opion, I think the only way to get back to their heart is through this way.

More from thesane1, re "Is this a Baby Step?"


This is why I think goal setting is such a good idea.

When I first started to DB, I read the bit a out Goal
setting and I thought... hmmm skip that bit.

Then I came on here and Jamesjohn grabbed me on my goals
and I thought gawd I will have to do this ( Thanks JJ )

So I set my first goal, was just a small goal, but it was something that told me I was heading in right direction, it seemed stupid at the time.

2 weeks later it was reached, I thought hmmm fluke, I know pessamist aint I ?

So I set some more, within a month these goals were reached.
Now the point is if you are on a journey and you have your map and you keep hitting towns which are on the map, well you know you are going the right way, if you dont see those towns then u turn around go back and start again.

When I kept reaching my goals, I could no longer keep beleiving this was a fluke, I had to start beleiving I was half way through my journey.

When I got to this point it was a little easier to continue, it got a little harder, but Hey!! I had my map

so if you both feel you are getting Baby steps, set some goals, just small things that would tell you you are on right track, then work out Action oriented things you can do to get those things to happen. It Works!!!

From workinghard


I don't know your sitch, but maybe I can help with your question.

I will assume that your W already knows that you want to stay in your marriage, that you have already told her this, that you have already had some R talk with her. If so, then she already KNOWS that you want to stay married to her. What you SAY, as far as talking about the R right now, is not going to "change her mind." This is all about your actions. Go about making your relationship the best you possibly can WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT IT. I am sure that you can identify some behaviors that do not work with your W. What can you do instead? What are things that you see working that you can do more of?

In thinking about what is working, don't be looking to see if she is ready to jump back into the relationship with you as a guide. You need to list some goals, small ones. What will she be DOING that will tell you you are headed in the right direction? These are little things, baby steps.

Although you might think that R talk is the way to go, you need to resist it as much as you can. Your W will see by your actions that you care about her. There may be a time in the future when R talk will be OK, but that time is not now. Be patient, it can take a long time, but rest assured that the changes that you make will have an impact on your W and your relationship.
From princess7


I wanted to stop in and say that being separated doesn't mean the end to your M. My H moved out in April, 2001 and moved back in the beginning of June, 2002. I was one of the "lucky" ones in that I wasn't home when my H moved out. We had a huge argument on our cell phones that ended with him saying that was it he was leaving and my saying fine.

I was on my way to work and he stopped by long enough to tell me that he had packed all of his things and was moving in with his parents. Of course I cried when he told me this because I didn't think he would actually move out but looking back I personally feel that it was the best thing to happen to us.

I found this site and the DB book almost 4 months after my H moved out so I had 4 months worth of crying, begging and pleading already under my belt. I wish I had found this site when we first separated but it wasn't meant to be that way.

Through the help of my friends here I found out how to act "as if" everything was just fine between us when we saw each other or talked on the phone. I also made sure that I came here to vent whenever I felt the need.

What kinds of things do you like to do? You need to remember to take care of yourself and make yourself happy first. What things can you do that would be 180's for you? Sometimes it helps to list your goals/180's here so you can go back and re-read them if necessary and it helps us to help keep you on the path to your goals.

Good luck and do something just for yourself today.

From Jeannine


I, along with many others, can relate to what you are presently experiencing. Only those who have gone through this can understand the full impact of the pain and the disruption to one's life. The same goes for the process of DBing. Only those who have practiced the techniques can really know the strength, resolve, support and patience it requires.

Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two situations are exactly alike either, so it is not possible to say how long the process might take.

Reaching out on this bb, as you have begun to do, is going to be a tremendous factor in your recovery, this will be more and more obvious to you over time.

Take heart in knowing that some of the most hopeless looking situations have turned out to be great success stories. So read, read, read and be sure to post to your thread and to other's.

We're all here to help each other.

From DB Coach Laurie, regarding these goals....



I had lots of marriage goals, but narrowed it down to a few that are achievable within two weeks and then plan the next goals. My number one goal is that we recreate a marriage that is strong, passionate, and lasting. I should really write them up and carry them around with me.

* Hubby seeks counselling
* I will be friendly and self-reliant
* Be clear about my goals for reconciliation

I am going to ask you rethink the changes you want to be seeing in the M that will give you some hope. Your goal of your R going to counseling is a great goal, but I am wondering if that is realistic for the short term? The other three you listed:

* I will be friendly and self-reliant
* Be clear about my goals for reconciliation

These are more about YOUR behavior changes and that’s great. But first, it is important that you know what you are watching for that says things are improving.

Once you get 2-3 specific, positive, and very realistic short-term goals (some things that could take place in the next few weeks), then take a look at what you can do (or not do!) to encourage your goals to happen.

IT WILL BE YOUR GOALS that will help you decide how to behave or what to say or not say. With each situation you have with your H, ask what types of behaviors or words will help you succeed.

By the way, if you’ve “trashed” your goals, I hope don’t get too down on yourself. No one does this perfectly, OK? Just get back up and keep doing what has been working. Remember that you knew even before you received DR, how to do relationship –saving behaviors! Keep it up, keep going, and you have my major support !!

From Midnight Lace1


There is hope at the end of the rollercoaster ride we are on. It is just going to take a while. You asked when is it going to end. Well know one knows that one for sure. It probably took a while to get to this point. And it will take a while to get back on track.

But as far as any tricks etc. Yes the trick is to do things for your self right now. Yes my H is still in the home. The only diffrence is that it never got to the point of I dont love you any more or the D talk.

But he was still distant and would pull away from me etc. I felt when we made love it seemed like he was just filling a need not really meaning it.

But things are starting to change and i thank god every day that they are. I focus on the small positives. And am learning to let the big negitives slide a little more easily.

The best thing for you to do. Is think about you for real. Not the day to day things you do. But the person that you have really become. Because even tho we didnt turn around and break the trust of our H/W. We still contributed to some degree what is going on.

Things I found out about my self when I really looked at my self.

1) I have become negitive.(changing that.)
2) I became subserviant to him not an equal to him. (changing that.)
3) I stoped thinking about my self. (changing that.)
4) I had become depressed. (trying to get help for that.)
5) Stoped listening. (working on that)
6) Became defensive. (changing that.)

See there were a couple things that he could see that I had changed about my self. But until I really looked at it all i saw is i am trying to do things to make you happy.
Well they werent making him happy. Who wants to be around a person like that. Around my friends I was the postive,up beat,giving, caring,funny person that he married.

Not this other person I had become at home.
And he would try to point these things out to me and I didnt understand or see what he was talking about till i really started to look at the things I was doing.

And the key is I didnt want to change these things for him. I wanted to change them for me and my chilren. Not to please him any more. To make a better life for my self.

Start doing things for you. Become stronger inside. Start a making goals for your self. I dont mean well today i am going to get the laundry done. I am going to make the kids beds. I am going to dust today. Not those kind of goals. Goals for your self.

Like today I am to spend some time reading that book I want to get finished.
Today when he does blank i am not going to react to him in this way.
Or when i feel like i need a hug today. I am going to go out and play with the dog. Or I am going to go for a walk.
Or I am going to hug the kids instead.
Or today I am going to dye my hair the color I want so that I can feel better about the way I look.

Those kind of things get to know your self. Do things for yourself. Yea there are still times like right now while i am posting here. The OS. just called for stuff for his work. But actually I am doing okay with it. When she called she treated me with respect and stuck to the business at hand. I went in told him about the phone call. And he asked if i was okay. Cause he knows how much it upsets me when she calls. And he was thinking about me. She was told not to call here ever gain no matter what was going on. But she refuses. But if i stay confident about our relationship. And that things are going good and i dont let her get to me she doesnt win. Cause she does it to test the waters on how things are going with me and him. Well if i act all paniced and pissed off and yell at him about it. Then she wins.

So stay strong and know that there is an end to this..
From missy10


Timeline? My suggestion would be to set a timeline for you personally - and I wouldn't make it 3 weeks. I would say I will give him 6 months to show some effort towards our marrige. If nothing has improved by then - then I will sit him down for a talk. You give him any type of ultimatum now and you might as well say goodbye. He isn't ready for it yet. You have to decide in your heart do you really truly love him, do you love him enough to endure this time of pain and struggle? Remember your marriage vows - through thick and thin - this is that point in your marrige that unfortunately is being tested. Try and keep yourself distracted as much as possible (without including him) so he can get to really miss you, wonder about you, what you are up to. I know you have questioned if you are letting him have best of both worlds? Perhaps, but again if you really want to give this marriage a shot - I say give it more time - and you set the timeline in your head or journal and see what happens after that point. One thing Iwould suggest (and you don't appear to be leaning this way) but I would not go out on any dates. You will only confuse your heart and head.

Hang in there! We are here for you!

From putter


Okay here is some of what I learned and I hope it helps others:

1. Quiet, persistent, nondemanding loving by someone who loves himself or herself is almost impossible to resist.

2. Be aware of your own thoughts and visualizations as they can determine the course of your life. What we tell ourselves can affect the outcome of our interactions with others.

3. We all know that threats, begging, convincing chase a S away and are counterproductive for anyone seriously interested in salvaging a R.

4. To love is to pay heed to the needs of the person you love. When you resort to begging, convincing etc. you are only focusing on yourself.

5. When you feel overwhelmed by your own feelings and want to vent at your S regardless of the consequences ask yourself if what you are about to say is an expression of love or a need.

6. The anger that you feel at having been left by your S if not really about your S but rather has to do with you.

7. Remember the pleasant moments from your M. Opportunities to create more of these moments strenghten your R.

8. It is important to turn all encounters with your S into pleasant encounters even if the purpose of the encounter is unpleasant.

9. You cannot argue your lover back to you. Renewing your R with your S has little to do with being right and everything to do with mutual experience of pleasant or positive moments.

10. We can only control ourselves and our own actions.

11. Cursing, name calling, pouting, begging, accusing or demanding does not get your S back. Communication should be based on the awareness that your S has a point of view and then empathize with their point of view.

12. Relax and take care of yourself. Do not neglect friends, interests, excercise etc.

From KAW


The problem with advise on "should I contact her more or wait until she contacts me?" is ... its different for each sitch. It all depends on the issues that brought you here and what you find works for you. It really trial & error and monitor closely to she how close you've come to what works best.

Since in my case one of the major factors for her to WA was because I didn't pay enough attention to her, so I would be the first to suggest doing something together acting "as-if" she would say yes, but would always have a back up plan. If she hesitatied or said no, I say no problem then I will then go do (plan B) and you're welcome to join me. If she still wasn't interested, then I would pleasantly excuse myself and go do my thing. After a while, I started getting calls at work from her, asking if I would want to meet up with her after work.

Try different variants of contact vs no contact to strike upon the right equation that works for you.

'til later,
From gbon


Sit back, take a deep breath, and relax.

Time, unfortunately, is something that you need to learn to deal with right now. Your W has not been gone long enough for significant change to take place with either of you. You need to work on yourself right now. You can't control your W or her actions, if you try to control her you will only be pushing her further away and possibly closer to the OM if there is one.

Be patient. Use the time wisely. Don't initiate contact with her. Right now you are your worst enemy. Control your emotions, especially the anger, and never say anything to hurt her. Right now, anything and everything you say and do will be remembered down the road. Think of your long term goal: to get your wife back.

The 180's that you must do involve paying close attention to your wife's words and actions. If something you do pisses her off or pushes her away, simply stop doing it. Yes, you will make mistakes along the way and backslide on occasion. Don't sweat it, just pick yourself up and continue DBing. Nobody ever said that this was easy, so you must work hard at it.

The feelings and emotions that you are going through right now are natural and will be helpful once you learn to control them.

I don't think it's time for LRT yet. But, you should not initiate contact with her. She is looking for time and space, you must respect that and give it to her. There will be times when she might try pressing your buttons as well, just something you need to be aware of. She will do it to try and validate what she is doing. She will look for and expect a reactive response. Don't let her suck you into that trap. Remain calm and let any crap she gives you slide off your back. The response I like to give goes something like this: "I understand that that's how you feel honey". And leave it at that.

I wish you the best of luck. We are here for you when you need help.

Take care.

Another from gbon


You're trying wayyyyy too hard buddy. Sometimes trying too hard can be as nonproductive as not trying at all.

Ever had a particular problem in school with a subject like, say math for instance, that you just could not solve? You spent many frustrating hours trying to work it out this way and that and then that way again only to come to a dead end? You pretty much gave up on the problem and went about other business for a few hours or even a few days, and lo and behold, the next time you looked at the problem the solution is right there staring you in the face and you wonder how something so simple could have eluded you the first time around. Does that make sense?

Take a break. Yes, this board can be addicting. Hell, my marriage is back on track and I still get sucked back to the board at least several times a month.

Take some time out for YOU. Life is short, go out and enjoy it!

From cliff, on rebuilding trust


Trust is something that had to be built in the first place, when you were dating or whatever. So, it has to be built again. If your SO comes back and is ready to work on the R, then the trust issue needs to be explained. If you are honest with each other, it's a straight forward issue. Talk about it and set some rules. Be up front that discussion will occur, and that questions will be asked. Michele has some guidelines in DR, and there are other good R books about repairing things after A's.

I'm going through this, and it's not always easy. There are good days and bad days, but there are way more good days now than bad days. You'll never forget about what happened, but you can build something stronger. Michele's little article about Forgiveness has sustained me many times.

Unfaithful partners took time to get that way and they take time to come back full circle. It's a time intensive/trust building process. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen if both of you are willing to work it out. There are lots of stories of couples that have rebuilt the trust and wound up with something far stronger than before.

Can the trust come back? Yes. Is it easy? Not necessarily so, but is it worth it? If you wind up with something better than you had before, it's well worth it.

Hang in there,

From SuitedUp


I think there are differing levels of R talks and the level which seems to get the most attention on this board is the "sit down, be all serious" type of R talk. These are the type that I pained to have with my W and which I now believe suck hard.

If you think hard about it, what can be achieved from an R talk? I mean it's not like a planning meeting where a set of action points fall out of. We know by now that marriages don't work as objectively as businesses do. So it's like all the other things we have learnt here - do what works, don't do what doesn't work and actions speak louder than words.

If you are "relationship aware" and by that I mean doing things for the relationship (as opposed to for the spouse), there is absolutely no need to have a meeting over it. Now that my R with my W is working, I know now that it's all about the flow of love. If the flow stops for whatever reason, YOU gotta make it flow again and not by having a meeting over it.

From dontgo, a WAW, on "laying guilt trips" on your WAW


I was the WAS and because my H wasn't here to pressure me was the whole reason that I came to my senses. I was left to think about things on my own. If he had told me how wrong I was, I would have hated him for it. I know it is almost impossible to do but you have to let the other person think about things. My H was being so nice to me, that is the reason that I came to my senses. There is nothing you can do. The good news is is that the WAS IS having guilt. You can't not have it. You have to wait for the day that the guilt becomes greater than the emotional feelings from the OP. It will most likely happen if you can distance yourself. Once the person is getting everything they want, they will probably feel even guiltier. The other posters are right. You are the enemy right now. You are the one that "caused" her to look elsewhere. I know it's not "right" but that is the mentality. You just have to show her that you aren't the cause anymore. Just my two cents. I know it's not what you wanted to hear but you should know.


Yes, I did have an affair. Unfortunately, a couple of our friends know as well and that actually makes it harder. It is much better if only you know. The embarrassment sometimes is so hard to handle that I have thoughts of throwing our relationship in just because of that. That is something I struggle with every day. Yes, I did have a "foglifting". I have no idea what triggered it and it only lasted for a very brief time. But during that time, I told my husband about it. I truly, truly, truly believe that you being nice to her is the best way to go. The guilt will be unbelievable. Unfortunately, my H is trying to make me 'pay' for my mistakes and it is really pushing me farther away. Even if she gives up the OM, don't punish her for it. You can be angry, mad, sad but tell her about those feelings, don't punish her. There is nothing you can do to make a "foglift" happen but you can definetly be there when it does. That's my advice for you from this point of view. Just be her best friend. She is going to need one more than you know.
From StevieRay13


The easiest way to look at what your reactions should be to your W is by asking a simple question. If my best friend was talking to me this way, how would I talk back to him/her? If you response comes out to be a negative one then by all means clam up. But, if on the other hand, you would response positively, friendly, then go ahead and express those comments.

To help with your emotions you need to detach and GAL so that your whole world isn't wrapped up in her and everything she does or doesn't do. It will help you get a handle on your emotions. You need to do this because if you don't you will pass up those times (going over to her house) when you could have a positive interaction.

Now, you may get to the point where you will feel like trying or doing something and are not sure if you should proceed. Best advice I can give you is to go ahead and try things, but be sure to look for the results. If you get a cold or negative result you know that you can't do those types of things again. On the other hand, if you try something and get a happy, friendly, or positive response, keep doing those things!

There is no black & white here just a lot of trial and error as everyones sitch is different to some extent. The only time things will get worse for you is when you keep doing things again, and again that don't work. Don't be afraid to test the waters, but be sure to look for the results!
From Gibeon


I've had so much good advice from the BB here, I thought it might help me to compile some of the points that really resonated for me and my sitch. I thought this might make it easier for me to refer to this way. Again, I want to thank everyone who is helping me. I'm sure I would've thrown in the towel by now if it weren't for all of you cheering me on!

Raven: "By validating you difuse these emotions by not reacting the way he expects you to. Also, your changes will show him what you said you mean."

Chris: "NOW understand, you cannot change him! You cannot confront and force him to stop this. There may be many reasons and it may just be an AE. Start DB'ing. Try the 180's. Think about how you would normally act and do the opposite."

Chris: "Change your attitude around him, be positive (PMA) and do some strange things. Tell him that you have something to do, and old friend to meet and just go for a drive. "

JRB: "But the suspicious and snooping behavior might be having the effect of pushing him away, especially if it also comes across in conversation.
If he comes back, it is going to be because he decides he wants to. The snooping doesn't help you make that happen. Perhaps you might set aside your suspicions and concentrate on DBing so that he will choose to come home."

Kimiko: "You can either fight FOR your marriage, or you can fight ABOUT your marriage. Once you decide what you want, stick to it. "
"I'm just looking at every possible angle for your husband's behavior, instead of assuming the negative. Trust me, if you look hard enough, you can find bad in everything. Work harder to look for the good. "
"I'm just looking at every possible angle for your husband's behavior, instead of assuming the negative. Trust me, if you look hard enough, you can find bad in everything. Work harder to look for the good."
"Spend all that energy on developing ways to make being home with you and the children the least stressful and demanding as possible. "
"It's true, people gravitate toward happiness versus pain. Why not be that happiness your husband can be attracted to? Don't be needy to him, let him come to you. When he starts to feel like you expect him to hug you, and touch you, then he'll feel less like he wants to, and more like he has to, to avoid you being angry."

Dawn: " pull the focus from him to YOU"

Sage: "SHOW him that your changes are lasting."

Sage: "I would focus on GAL and strengthening your sense of yourself...h will certainly notice and if he expresses concerns that you are "moving on" you could say "I had just forgotten how much I enjoyed (yoga, cooking, dancing, whatever). I love getting that part of my life back". You know?"

Sage: "what are you doing to make your M a wonderful haven for him? What did you guys used to enjoy doing together? Bring some of that back into the M...have a wonderful smelling dish cooking on the stove or a funny video to watch"

Ay: "I would strongly recommend to go out tonight and NOT to initiate any R related discussion. Just try to have a good time."

Jacks: "i think the schedule is really positive,it sounds like he's making a real effort to see you and the kids and spend a lot of family time."

Jacks: "look sexy, flirt,have a few drinks, be fun, etc. "

Blue: "No R talks !!!! Period !!!! He will come to you .. stay upbeat. Don't let all this get your spirits down .. be happy for you and kids .. H will be drawn to it. Get back into the gym! If his life is so boring .. he will miss you and the kids. Make home a place he wants to come to. How are your flirting skills? Work on them! I bet he will take notice! A wink .. a pat on his behind .. a quick squeeze .. little things! Get his attention!"


PLWife: "I agree lay off on the touching and trying to hard. He'll come around when he's ready, but let him do all of that. Think of it the other way, through his eyes. Put yourself in his place, and try seeing what he is seeing. No one wants a weak person to be around. They want strong, fun people. Hes not ready to be physically close when you want it. Just let him do the work of trying to get close. It sounds like he is fighting with himself. He thinks he wants to be with you, but he's just too sure as well. Another thing to do is stop calling. Let him do the calling and the talking. When hes ready he will. But don't push.
Time heals."
From kml


He 's going to come home from work soon and I don't know what to do.

The answer is: ACT AS IF!!!! Have a glass of wine while you make a lovely meal, put on some fun music that you really enjoy - get yourself into a really good mood before he gets home. Dress nice, put on some perfume. Act as if you're going to have a lovely evening together. DON'T REACT - ACT. If he comes home in a lousy mood, say something like "oh, poor baby, what a lousy day - here would you like some wine? Can I get you an appetizer?" Ignore his bad behaviors, reward his good ones. I remember doing this one night when my H came home in a really foul mood - took all evening. but eventually his mood lightened, and at bedtime, HE reassured ME that his bad mood wasn't about me - without me asking!

So don't let HIS bad mood put you in a BAD mood - let your GOOD mood put him in a GOOD mood.

It works!

From Shrek



So even though I know I could work it out with my husband, I'm not in love with him. A peaceful, polite business relationship is not what I want in a marriage.

"In love" comes and goes in a relationship (it is usually the euphoric, and short-lived period at the beginning of a relationship--the time before we discover the other person is not perfect and does not see things the same way as we do). That is not to say that we should not want to have some of that "in love" feeling from time to time in our M. Michele has written about this and I think it boils down to both spouses making a DECISION to DO loving ACTIONS, and watch the "in love" feelings develop from that, instead of only doing loving actions when we feel "in love." That's what DBing is all about, DOING loving actions and seeing the change that it can make in the way our S feels about themselves and us.

That is what acting "as if" means. Ask yourself this: how would you act toward your H IF you were "in love" with him? Do those things and see what happens in your R. This is not a quick fix and results may not be fast, but you and H may be surprised to find "in love" feelings returning. You do not have to settle for a peaceful, polite business-like M, but you and your H will have to do something to go beyond that and not just be carried along by whatever feelings you and H have or don't have at any particular time.

From Michele!!


Dear alienswife,
First of all, welcome. You have made it to the right place. The wise folks here will be able to help you stick to your goal of detaching.

Detaching is probably the hardest thing you will ever do in your entire life, but you can do it. You've already gotten great advice.

First of all, you really need to decide in your heart of hearts that detaching is important. It's not kind of important, it's really essential. You have to internalize that. Your marriage depends on it.

Secondly, you have to keep yourself busy, just like your friends here have said. Focus on you and making yourself a better person. Figure out what you need to change so that your life feels more enjoyable, even without him at the moment.

Each time you feel the urge to be clingy, ask yourself, "If I do this, what is going to happen next?" Really envision the outcome. Then don't do it. Do something else instead. Keep track of what you are doing to resist the temptation to be needy or cling. Once you start this list, you will be surprised at how much self control you really have. You will feel proud of yourself and detaching will then become easier.

Let us know how things are going.

The Divorce Buster
From Allii


I can see in your story that you really are a changed woman! It's wonderful that you were able to stay cool during all that happened. I'm completely new to all of this, so I'm treading carefully through this post. But here's my 2 cents.

I think that the fact that he came home and is still there tells you that he's thinking. And he has noticed the change in you. At the same time, I can understand his fear that you may go back to being the same angry person you were before. But this is where it takes time for both of you to adjust to the changes. At some level, most of us don't believe that people can change so quickly and that such a dramatic change can appear to be manipulative. I know that you are a NEW person...a different person, but it will take some time for him to start realizing that this isn't a trick to try to keep him.

I understand completely the feelings of alienation. My husband and I have been through that. And my approach to DBing has included knowing that I haven't always been good about letting him know that I love him. I hadn't been appreciative, etc. Was he feeding you a load of crap when he said it would be different if he had felt your love? I don't know. You do. You know your husband.

I'm beginning to see that we are at a new start in our relationship. I am a new person. And I feel like you are at that point too. You have a chance to start over again with him. His memories of you are of the old angry woman. Now you can form new memories. HE'S WATCHING YOU AND SEEING CHANGES IN YOU.

My overall impression is that he does want things to work out, but that he doesn't want it to be like it was before. You know that it won't be like it was before because you're different. I've read several times that he's said 6 months from now he doesn't want you to be angry again. Maybe it will take 6 months for him to see that this is real.

A few things that have been helpful for me:

1. Make a plan. This took me some time to realize how important this step is. What do you want? Where do you want your relationship to be? How will you know that your relationship is where you want it to be?

2. Then figure out what actions will help you reach those goals. Think back to things he's said to you. That was difficult for me because I had clouded a lot of what he had told me and just chalked it up to him not understanding me or whatever. What are you doing when you are getting along? For example, I realized that my husband I get along well and talk, etc. when we go out for a walk together in the evening. So I ask him to go for more walks.

With your recent experience with him, you've found at least one behavior that works: look at how he responded when he saw that you didn't get angry and behave like the old you would have.

Keep up with yourself. Do whatever you have to do to keep yourself calm right now.

About the 180 being more warm to him, it has been working for me. I never pursued my husband. The pattern has been I get angry and he comes crawling to me. One of my 180s has been that I am more warm to him. But be careful with that; I've had to back off because I sense that I am becoming pushy. It's also easy to come on too strong...and he needs time to adjust. It's worth a try though. And if doesn't yield positive results, try something different.

One more thing, I have avoided all relationship talks. When we spend time together, it's to enjoy each other's company. Talking about the relationship is too much of a reminder that there was/is a strain. I've been recreating the friendship between us and changing my focus. In the process of developing the friendship, he gets the chance to see the changes and realize what he would be losing if he loses you.

All that said, Aly, give it time. Hang in there. I'm praying for you (and have been daily).

From Aly2001


This is what Michele said on the DR Book Club thread about using LRT. I thought it was a helpful guideline.
Yazzie and Wintergirl-

You both have questions about 180's and the Last Resort Technique- Can they go too far?

Look, the important part of doing a 180 is introducing the unexpected into your interactions. This doesn't mean that you should completely withdraw. Nor does the LRT mean that either. Doing the LRT means stopping the begging, pleading, pursuing, getting a grip on your own life and being more upbeat. But if your spouse starts to take an interest, that's a good sign and you should be available. Not clingy, mind you, but interested.

I think it might be tempting to back off completely and stop having contact because it might feel safer not to interact at all.But neither technique suggest your doing that. Re-read page 130. I wrote that if your spouse starts to show interest, readers should "Be loving in return, but do not become overly excited or enthusiastic."

But the bottom line is this, the proof is in the pudding. If your spouse is responding lovingly, you're on the right track. If not, you have to finetune what you're doing. Hope this helps. Do re-read the section on the last resort technique. Okay?
From Mycroft


When you wake up in the morning and have doubts, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about the loving things you or he has done or are you focused on the negative? What we focus on expands. As you have probably learned from this bb, people that are negative ONLY see the negative. Similiarly, people that are focused on the positive only see the positive. Reality is in the middle. You will ALWAYS have negatives and positives in any relationship.

What you have to do is take a real long and hard look at your relationship, both the negatives and the positives. You need to decide whether or not you want to be in that relationship. Also, as you know, a successful marriage is not one where you have things in common. It is one whether the two of you accept each other for how they are, regardless of how dissimiliar your interests are, and working together to make the marriage successful.

Maybe you should write down all the positive and negative things you see in your relationship. Additionally you might want to right down why you want it to succeed and what you want from a relationship. Then try to make a decision on whether or not you can make it work.

I don't believe you can save something you aren't sure you want to save. It takes too much effort and committment. If your heart isn't in it, it is likely to fail.

Once you have made the list of negatives and positives, you can then decide upon the things you would like to change in the relationship. You must realize that you may be the one that has to change since you can't force your H to change. However, you can ask him to. But if he can't then you have to decide if you can accept that or not.

It may not seem like it right now, but you aren't in a bad place. If you can objectively look at your marriage and see both the negative and the positive, you will be able to make a decision on how to proceed. This is a good thing.

Also on a more positive note, appreciate the positives in your marriage. This is where your thougths should be focused concerning your relationship. While you may want to change the negatives, don't think about them all the time. You can work on them without them dominating your thoughts.

I hope this helps.
From kml



However lately I have noticed the changes I have made are really taking on a momentum and a life of there own. I am excited about the future for the first time in my life

This is SO key! Don't worry - your wife will naturally have her doubts, just as you may have your doubts about her as your R comes back together. Time will show the truth to her, and to you.

My H told me he started to fall back in love with me even as he was still in the throes of romantic feelings for the OW. You are absolutely on the right track - and I hope someday you can say what I can now say - that as painful as this has been, it was also the best thing that ever happened to our R.

From JEC


I have cut and paste some of my replies to other posts, but I think this applies to you also. I hope this will be of some help to you.

Don't move out, it may feel like a better choice right now, but it would be harder to get back together. The main thing you need to do is give her space, don't talk to her about her feelings, that will just make things more confusing to you because you can't control her. Calmness and patience is a virtue here. You need to give her space by not nagging her and not overwhelm her. Get in touch with your own feelings, communicate all (positive and negative) your feelings with her. By being in touch with your own feelings, you can better control your emotions. You need to be calm and cool under fire, no matter what she does, you don't get angry. Detach from her problems, you can't control her anyway, so why think or act like you can?

I understand that it may feel easier to give her space by moving out and that may happen anyway. I can't speak for anyone else, but my W told me all these things also, she wanted to move out then she wanted me to move out. For me, I did not want to move out and didn't. There is a lot other ways of giving her space and not move out. I just think living together, it's easier for her to see your change (that's the key, you need to change for the better). You are confused about what she is telling you, don't believe anything she says (I don't mean that in a bad way), she is confused with the whole thing, she does not know what she wants, she has many mood swings, that's why she is giving you conflicting signals. Be her friend, look for opportunity to help her when she needs it. Most women like a gentle and caring man. Be that man in her life, she may do and say many things to hurt you, but you can't let that bother you. Just keep plugging away at your changes. I speak from experiences, I did all these and it's working for me in a big way.

Here was some of what I did to give her space. I listen to her but I make no suggestions for her. I do activities by myself or with my children. I don't argue with her. I don't check on her. I basically detached from all (most) of her problems. I read "Codependent no more" and realized that I was codependent on my wife, so I made a conscience decision not to do that anymore. Also, one of the biggest problems with my marriage was communication. I was never aware of my own feeling until we start fighting, then I let all the negative feeling come out all at once. I stopped doing that by talking with my W all the time. I basically spill my guts to her, I know it's hard for a man to do and it was hard for me also. But, she really appreciated that I share my every thought with her, to her I am respecting her. When I communicate with her, I told her both my positive feelings and negative feelings, be honest with her. This made me feel better about myself and about my whole circumstances, in turn, it also made her feel better. I was/am really doing a 180 like "Divorce Busting" said to do, without really knowing it at first. I really did less of what didn't work before, and did a whole lot more of what worked before. You need to find that in your relationship with your W. Really treat her like when you were first dating her, she will go for that, it did for my W.

It's very easy to be passive and let days go by without any improvements. Actually, that's not all bad. Time is a great healer. You need to work on yourself, for me it was reading every book I can get my hands on, working with a counselor, pray a lot, go to church. If you believe, then it will happen. Because if you really believe you love your W, then you will act like you do. And, she will come around.

From DB Coach Laurie, re validating


Validating is what we do when we behave and respond in ways that tell the other person their feelings and thoughts are very important to us. (FYI - We can validate someone without necessarily agreeing with them.)

How can we communicate validation? Let me run down some practical approaches:

1. Good eye contact

2. Body turned toward the speaker

3. Relaxed and focused, not fidgety & impatient

4. Let them speak without interruption.

5. Avoid jumping in to correct, defend and/or explain yourself. Just listen!

6. Physcially acknowledge what they are saying (nod, lean forward) and/or verbally acknowledge (checking in with an "OK", "Uh-huh", or "yes" at appropriate times.)

7. Acknowledge their feelings ("Mary, you're really irritated that I forgot the garbage? I understand that could irritate you." "You told me you're hurt and I hear it in your voice." "You're frustrated about your job? It sounds like it frustrates you!")

8. Respond with empathy and remorse. ("I am so sorry our situation has caused so much pain for you." "I can see that I have done some things to cause much of your anger right now. I am sorry." "I am beginning to understand how important [source of her anger/pain] was to you. It was insensitive of me not to see this earlier.")

9. Asking questions in response to what was said. ("I just heard you say I made you angry. I'd like to understand, so could tell me more how I did that?" "I see you're upset and I'd really like to know what happened for you to feel this way?")

I hope this is a helpful start. In Michele's "Keeping Love Alive" series, she reviews more completely how to communicate well with each other. It would be very helpful and I'd recommend it!
From DB Coach Laurie, in response to "It's Christmas, now what?". Great advice for other special occasions, too!


Deciding what to for Christmas is going to be somewhat unique depending on your situation. So, there's no "hard and fast" rule here.

If you have read DB or DR, then most likely you have set some do-able, specific, positive goals for your R. You probably are also watching for specific responses from your spouse that tell you what you're doing is begining to work.

So, ask the question if sending a card, present, etc., is going to help your R move toward your goals. For example, would your Christmas card add to the possibility that your spouse will respond in a hopeful way - one that moves closer to your goals? Measure your actions by how it will most likely impact your goals, OK?

If, after considering this, you do choose to send something, then give some thought to how your card/gift will be perceived by her. For example, would a friend-type card/gift be received better than anything with a romantic undertone? If so, then avoid romantic cards, sayings, salutations, etc..

Your question is one many ask at this time of year - and can be very difficult to discern which way to go. So, I hope I was somewhat helpful. I wish you well,

From gbon, re sharing the book with your partner


The main premise of the DB book is that one person in a relationship can make changes that will affect the other persons behavior/attitude as well.

Rarely do two people in a relationship change at the same time or pace. Most often, the techniques in the book need to be kept "confidential" from your spouse in order to achieve maximum benefit in the least amount of time. The worse condition your relationship is in, the better off you'll be for keeping DB to yourself, for now.

Good relationships can be better by sharing the DB principles with your partner. These techniques can be used for ANY relationship, personal, business, etc...

BTW, your actions will speak louder than any words or book ever could.

From kml


Michele talks about a dog training technique - "reward the good behaviors, ignore the bad ones". Sounds like your H came up with a "good" behavior and instead of rewarding it, you took the opportunity to vent a little of your (understandable) frustration.

Some things to remember about your H - crazy and unfair as it may seem - from his point of view, he felt unloved and unappreciated in the marriage. He doesn't want to go back to the "old" R, that was an unhappy place for him. If he has seen a lot of positive changes in you, he may want to go forward into a NEW R with you.You need to validate the things he was feeling (no matter how crazy it seems to you, they were still his feelings and his experience). If you were just starting to date a new guy, would you say "Yes, I'll go out with you, but we have to work on a few things first"?

Take a look at the summary at the start of my thread in the Piecing forum - I detailed what worked for me. It's called "Valentine's Day Massacre - the Happy Ending".

From Zebra, re spending time together


The spending time together is a really good thing. Take it for what it is, don't try to make it more, just let it happen. I got my wife to attend one session with my SBT therapist, and inspite her insistance that she wants a divorce and nothing less, she agreed that things might be different if we could become friends again. C suggested we needed to spend time together -- any time. Since then we've been doing things together, like golf, shopping, yard work, taking daughter to school bus, a better effort at having dinner as a family. We're looking at dates, but she has a very busy social schedule which she will not compromise (I suspect OM has something to do with this). We just booked a 3 day stretch at a golf school (something we've talked about for years, but not done).

C also seemed to say that in may ways, simple thing were as good or better than extravaganzas. Just shared time. Not to say that extravaganzas aren't good, but that they are extraordinary events where boring mundane things are the things life is made of... and it is day to day life where we interact with our SO most of the time. Make that routine and comfortable, and there is progress. From what I read, you say when you spend time together your anxiety is high, and that the time isn't quality time. Could those two comments be related???
More from Zebra


Actually, putting the relationship books away is a really strong form of "acting as if", in my opinion. If you feel the need to constantly be brushing up on what you should do, or are always looking for answers you haven't found yet, you're acting as if there is a problem that needs to be solved. If you aren't doing that, you might be acting as if the problem is not there. It's as good, or maybe even better, for you as it is for SO's perception of you. The same thing could be said about your allowing your anxiety to overpower your any good that comes from spending time together.

I'm certainly not saying that we should avoid the reading or this BB, but maybe we should schedule the times that we indulge in them so not to let them run our lives. I am not good at this, by the way. I am a freelancer in an industry that is in a "flat business cycle" right now (read, pretty much unemployed), so I have lots of free time so I gravitate toward this board a lot. However, whenever I'm here a little voice in the back of my mind keeps reminding me of things in Michele's book about "if by some miracle, your marriage was suddenly healed overnight, what would you do with all the time you now spent working, reading and obsessing about your marriage?"

Hmmmmm.... Has anyone else ever noticed that when we share our thoughts and offer advice here, that sometimes you say things you never really thought of, and that maybe the advice is better directed inward?

No, wait, I get it now, That is the point.


"if by some miracle, your marriage was suddenly healed overnight, what would you do with all the time you now spent working, reading and obsessing about your marriage?"

I've thought of this a lot myself. I hardly ever used to think of my M, even when it wasn't going that well. Ah, okay, now I'm getting that comment about advice directed inward! Maybe I SHOULD HAVE paid more attention to my M. But my actual point is that I've been obsessed with it since we separated. It's so annoying!

These are great posts; thanks for finding them JJ.

From DB Coach Laurie


In regards to your question about how not to mess it up, please remember Michele’s wisdom: “Keep doing what is working and stop immediately what is not”. So, if you have been watching carefully, you could probably make a list about things you could do to really mess this relationship up right now, right? Make a concerted effort to NOT DO THOSE!

Then, for those behaviors or words that you have seen good responses, keep them up. Think through the past when you have gotten positive responses from your W. What were you doing (or not doing) that might have helped your W to become more responsive to you?

The great news is you are making changes that are helping the R! Keep them up!
Posted By: Zebra Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! - 09/18/06 06:33 PM

I've not been around for a long time. I just thought I'd check in, and I searched on "zebra". I found this post that you quoted. Nice to see the reference from an old friend.

Update. I am still married (to the same woman). I BUSTED the divorce. We recently celebrated 16 years. We are still working hard to make this marriage work, and always will, but we are no longer struggling at it. I've found my old Best Friend, and her "new friend" (the OM) is out of the pix. We are making a life. I owe the success of my efforts to make this marriage work to this board, because it was here that I learned how to let go of my fear, my pride, my demands... Marriage is not a controlling relationship, but a partnership. It required lots of work and lots of nourishment. When you get married, you don't own you spouse, you cannot control your spouse, but you must strive to continue to attract your spouse.

Glad to see you guys still think what I did say mattered.

I will still check in from time to time....

From marchhare72


FOCUS ON YOURSELF! Do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. This is really, really hard - especially if you're like me and are often your own worst enemy. They say that happiness is a decision and in many ways it is. You decide to let go of trying to fix things and people and just concentrate on trying to fix YOURSELF.

FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS! What do you want to do? What have you always wanted to do? Is it take a class, go on a trip, switch careers, take up a new sport? I figure this part of this whole sitch is the Universe's way of getting us off the path of complancency and back on the road of life. It's our chance to break out of the rut we were in (even if we were happy to be there!) and get to where we want to be. For myself, it's being more self-reliant. Big job instead of little part-time ones, own apartment, taking care of what needs to be done on my own. For me, it's also probably to teach me to have faith - in the process if not in the outcome. There is a reason for all of this to be happening. If I look at it positively, then the outcome is more likely to be positive. If I look at it negatively, well - you get the point. Take a minute to think about what lessons the Universe may be trying to teach you...

The point is - live your life to the fullest every day. Laugh some if you can, try to eat and relax, make yourself the number one priority. It's hard to say if supportive friendship, complete darkness, or something in between is the best way to reach her. After all, this is happening to teach her lessons too. The sad fact is that she may not choose to try to learn them.

We're always here for you. It's a very supportive place.
From DB Coach JoannS, Re: Detaching & Therapy??


You ask a very interesting question. "How do I act like I am detaching during couple's therapy?" To me "detaching doesn't seem appropriate for couple's therapy and couple's therapy doesn't seem to fit with someone who is trying to detach.

It is important that you know what your goal is for therapy. What is your husband's goal for therapy (don't ask him)? What is your therapist's goal for therapy?

When I see couples who have the same goals, for example, to work on the marriage, I will usually see them together to work on joint goals. When a couple has opposite goals or very different goals, I see them individually. Then depending on what they want to do and are motivated to do or not do, I may continue to see them individually or just see the one who is more motivated and invested in doing whatever it takes.

It is important to know that real change can occur with just one person in the session. As Michele has said, we are very aware how other people affect us, but we are not very aware of how we affect other people. If we change how we respond and/or act, our partner or spouse will respond to our change.

I think it is important when someone wants to get their marriage on track that they ask the therapist right out if the therapist is pro-marriage and will support their efforts. Also, it is important that the therapist has a fair amount of experience getting marriages on track and working with just one person to do that.

I have not read your first thread so I apologize for that. I will tell you what I think from what you have said. You are the expert on you and your marriage, so you will have to determine if what I say fits for you.

First of all, before you say or do anything. You need to ask yourself, will what I am going to say or do pull my husband closer or peek his interest, push him away or be neutral. If his response will be neutral, don't spend too much time on that, spend the time on making yourself happy. If something will push him away, even if it makes sense to you, do not say or do it or things will continue to get worse. If something you say or do pulls him closer or peeks his interest, keep doing it. Stop and think about these concepts before you say or do anything. However, remember change is three steps forward, two back.

It sounds like you feel you need to be more upbeat. The best way to be attractive to your spouse is to be happy. I know what I am asking you to do may seem impossible, but it sounds like you are doing it already. How were you able to be upbeat and end the phone call first? Identify what and how you did it and keep doing it. You are doing other good things as well--writing in your journal and reading DB.

If you have determined to do the LRT in Chapter 6, of DR, remember the biggest part of LRT is to "Get a Life". That means no matter how hard it is, we develop a full life filled with family, friends, hobbies, activities, and interests that really do make us happy. We don't "pretend" we have a life, "we have one".

Also, it is very important to read, "Wait and Watch" step 3 of LRT. Sometimes we are so busy with our approach we fail to notice and respond appropriately to our spouse or partner.

Sometimes the LRT needs some slight adjustments for one's particular situation. That is where a DB coach or counselor can come in handy. Also, if you feel you need help in dealing with your own emotions or in becoming more upbeat, a counselor or DB coach can be helpful.

Best of luck in your journey. It will probably take more patience and hard work than you ever imagined. Take really good care of yourself even if it is hard!

From va-andy


Ok, first off take a deep breath and slow on down. Just wanted to say sorry you are here and hurting, but you've found your way to a great place to get support and to help to begin to work towards a better place.

Please take a bit to read through some of the newcomer threads and those that have tips for newcomers, etc. I saw that you read DB, that is great. Please don't take this the wrong way, but you are much too soon in the process to jump to the LRT.

How about some more information on why you think your W left, and some of the things she's telling you she's been unhappy with. You should really start out with some specific short-term goals. Post them here and ask for feedback...folks are glad to chime in and let you know what they think. Goal setting is critical at this stage so please don't jump ahead. Sometimes as a newcomer you might not get a lot of traffic at first. IF you are reading through some of the more experienced DBer's treads (those who've been at this for awhile) feel free to post a comment and ask for their feedback on yours. It is okay to invite some new friends over if you get my drift.

And finally, DBing is not a quick fix. If you are really serious about making DB work for you, you gotta really work at it and give it some time. The most important thing about DBing is that it is for you, to really take a look at yourself and to make changes that you feel need to be made becuase you want to make them for you. If you do it to win your W back it won't work. If you look deep in side and can identify flaws that need changing and then make them a permanent part of you, who knows, your W might like what she is seeing and want to take a closer look. But in the end, if you Db for you, you will get to a better place.

Please slow down and start at the begining with a beginners mind. Dbing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Good luck!

From DB Coach Laurie


Dear VCAL,

Your last few messages seem to indicate that your shorter responses seem to get your H to want to connect with you. I’m glad you’re keeping track of these small, positive responses! So, generally it seems distancing is somewhat working for you now. Then, you said that the last few days he has been distancing, but I’m wondering what’s happened between this time? On 4/24, you wrote:

“He was very talkative and I was kinda of disappointed because I wanted to be somewhat distant for a couple of days.”

This makes me wonder if you then followed up the last few days not being distant? If that’s true, then you are discovering that, at least at this time in your relationship, distancing gives you better results! That should help you make your decision about tonight.

VCAL, may I suggest to something in mind as you go? Just because your husband was very talkative, didn’t mean you lost your option to be distant. You are in control as far as choosing how to respond. Chose your actions more by his “behavioral responses” than by what he says. As stated above, experiment with balancing some responsiveness with some aloofness (in other words, have some of your life without him). Then, give it some time. If after a few days, you mixed results, allow a bit more time (10-14 days) to really judge it.

I wish you well tonight!

From Johnny R



A word of caution about how you are feeling about this.

It's good to be positive, and it's important not to feel threatened by your wife's search for independence and fulfillment.

But, I want to ask you not to be happy about her apparent unhappiness. I say this for two reasons, really.

First, it's not a positive emotion for you. I know that you are not welcoming her unhappiness in a vindictive sense. But give a thought to how your own feelings about this might project onto her. If she gets any sense of how you are reacting, it's likely to drive her even further away.

Second, don't fall into the trap of thinking that her apparent unhappiness is a manifestation of her willingness to come back. I know it would be nice if this were true, but prepare yourself for the likelihood that this isn't the case.

I don't want to seem negative about this (and BTW I would welcome any other perspective on this, because this is exactly the situation that I'm in myself).

My wife moved out in April. She told me a week or so ago that every morning since then, she has woken up and cried tears of complete unhappiness. She has said that she wishes beyond anything else that she could put the clock back and do things again, but properly.

Why, then, won't she come back?

Your wife (and mine) have both taken a step of enormous emotional and symbolic importance. They are both unhappy as a result. To make them step back and reverse their decisions is what you and I (and all of us on this forum) are all about.

I don't know the answer. I wish I did.

I think it's around issues like being prepared to acknowledge their unhappiness, but avoiding any attempt to persuade them that coming home is the easy fix.

I think it's definitely about being prepared to relinquish absolutely any misguided wish to take control of their unhappiness. I think it's about being there, and being supportive, but staying well outside their unspoken boundaries.

Make no mistake; the barricades have been thrown up. A frontal assault will result in them being reinforced. All we can do is to wait, and earn the right for the door to be opened to us. This might happen quickly, it might not. It might not happen at all.

This is what I find so heart-breaking. The person I love more than anyone else in the word is suffering, and I have contributed so much in the past to bringing her to this awful situation. And yet, she is so suspicious of my motives, that any attempt on my part to remedy the situation is seen as a threat.

Just remember that your wife's overt unhappiness represents many covert feelings under the surface that probably have nothing directly to do with you. I'm talking about her need for self-worth, a solid sense of her own unique identity, and the need for her to reconcile these things with a relationship which she is afraid to leave, but frightened to stay in.

Keep doing what you are doing. Be supportive and loving. Remember, it's not just about doing things well, but about being sure to do the right things.

Love ... Johnny
From nater


tony -

OK, I'm going to assume that DB hasn't arrived yet, so I'm going to try a mini "crash-course" for you to get you through...

Your W is as confused (maybe more) as you are right now. She knows that something is wrong, but can't put her finger on it. She knows there's a better life, but doesn't know what it will take to get it.

Right now, YOU are a convenient target. She can point to things that she doesn't like and, by blaming you, can say that by getting rid of you, life will be better. That's why the ring is gone, that's why she's trying to blame you ("because I asked her to leave, this marriage is now totally over."), that's why you're hearing a lot of anger in her voice, that's why she says the love isn't there.

You don't have to avoid her to the point of being rude, but giving her space is an excellent first step to salvaging your marriage. Definitely avoid conversation about your relationship right now. That is a topic that will push your buttons. That is a topic that will push her buttons.

If one of your buddies from work was pissed off at you, how would you handle it? Most guys would back off for a while, let him cool down. But we don't offer the same room to our W's. We ask for reassurance that there are still some feelings from the same person who just told us to back the h*ll off.

Love is not something that just happens - it CAN and DOES grow because of deliberate choices that we, as humans, make. We choose to spend time with someone. We choose to do enjoyable things with someone. We choose to open up about private things. We choose to trust. We choose to make ourselves vulnerable. We choose all the things that make love possible. So, to answer your question, YES YES YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! Love can grow again!

Until the book shows up and you have had a chance to read through it all the way at least once, the best thing you can do is nothing. Don't ask questions about how she feels about your relationship. Don't try to get reassurance. Don't push for intimacy (even a hug or kiss!). Just back off & "Act as if" she is a roommate not married to you. It will be hard, but don't show her that either. When you are around her, put on a happy face and live your life as if she isn't your W who you love & adore...

Hang in there,

From hope42ndchances


Keep up the PMA even if your heart is hurting when he is around. Sorry you ended up here but this is a great forum to get support from. We all have been there and we understand what you are going through. There are days when its absolutely the pits, expect them but also keep in mind that tomorrow is another day. Use this forum when you have to vent. Things will actually get better as time goes. That has been my experience. Remember back when you were still dating or newly weds, what did you do for him that made him feel special or loved? If you can remember, and you have a chance to act on it when he is around, just do that. If you have been accused as a nagger, figure out a way to communicate without making him feel that you are nagging. Here's a hug for you ((((( ))))).

From OneCanChange


Hi Tera,

The more I read of your situation with your H, the more I think I wrote it myself! My W's affair was all about connection and communication with the OM that she said we didn't have. To top it off, the OM was (is) also married and going through his own rough martial times, so like your situation, my wife and the OM were "taking on the world" together--indeed powerful stuff. I was happy that after a few weeks after my W dropped the affair bomb on me that I was able to start learning what NEEDS of hers the OM was fulfilling that I was not. That was my starting place for my own 180--I needed to start fulfilling my wife's needs for intimacy (emotional), connection and communication. I slowlee tried to do those things for her as she would permit such interaction. That in addition to the other stuff that I was doing (see other threads). I too did not want our old marriage back, and similar to your situation, my W would tell me that she loved me, loved our marriage in general, but she just had this "something" that was being fulfilled elsewhere the she just didn't know if I could fulfill for her. Well guess what--I CAN! And so can you! So, if you can, try to pinpoint more and more what needs your H is missing from you, and devise a specific goal-oriented plan to start meeting them. It will need to be in very small ways at first, but you have a great opportunity since your H is interacting with you still. You have the opportunity to show him change. Don't tell him you are changing (talk is cheap); show him in all the little ways. And define your needs too, and when the time comes, you need to communicate what you need to him. I worry quite a bit that, similar to your situation, my W (even though home now--see today's new thread) will slide back to her relationship with the OM. That would kill me, but I've decided to stop worrying and the best way to keep that from happening is to fill the needs the OM filled for my W everyday myself. If I'm the kind of H she wants, then she has no incentive to leave me.

As to your specific issues--I think you need to try to be as strong as possible in front of your H and not cry, but hey--you are human. So if it happens, then it happens, and accept it and move forward with your plan. The DB techniques are not carved in stone. It can use some tweeking based on individual circumstances. For example, my W was always telling me that she loved me and missed me even though she was having an affair and left me. The DB techniques say that I should not tell her that I love her back. Well, that didn't feel right to me, and I wanted to reciprocate that feeling of love back to my wife. It worked for me. So, do what feels right.

Take care--Adam.
From gbon


In some, if not most, troubled relationships, it's not that the other person can't or doesn't want to fulfill your needs, they just don't know how to identify and properly nurture those needs.

For example, you might like to be held, that is what fulfills your biggest need, being held. So if you show your W you love her by holding her, you are showing her "in your way" that you love her. Her idea, or way, of being shown your love might be talking (HER biggest need). So what have you done? You've shown her your love in a way that you would want love to be shown to you. You have disregarded her biggest need in the process, which is talking.

There are also different modes of communicating. Some people like to hear and be told things, some people like to be shown (visibly or through actions), while others prefer that they "feel" things.

So, between identifying the needs and communicating your love based on those needs, could it be possible that you and your wife need to learn more about each other?

If your W has doubts, chances are you aren't doing the best job of meeting her needs either. This is just a case of poor listening and poor communication. Don't tell me it's her fault, because it takes two, ALWAYS.

From DB Coach Laurie


Hi Blues Man,

I don’t know if I’m sensing this right, but there seems to be an “I need this R fixed and I need it fixed NOW” approach that’s not too helpful. It makes sense as far as avoiding pain, but not much sense if you want to keep this marriage. It seems you’re trying to skip the pain (as well as being reactive to your wife’s behavior) with your thoughts about dating (because your wife “has been and will probably do even more”). Blues, if your quick fix doesn’t work and you decide to move onto someone else, it seems you’re avoiding working through this. Escaping into another R could simply offer a repeat of the same painful issues you have now.

I encourage you to slow down, focus less on “reacting” to your wife, and thoughtfully consider the DB or DR (Step Number 5) concepts!! You have my support, Laurie C
From treesa2


Okay Blues Man... Treesa's here now so watch out! I have FredGs 2x4 with me too.

Man you are not singing the blues... you are whining them! The others here have been good about pulling your story out of you but you are STILL singing the same tune poor me poor me I love hershe doesn't wnat me never will. Old news TBM... try a new tune.

Bottom line I think - the two of you just didn't WORK at the marriage. You were not babies when you were married... you were about the average age... mid to late 20s. And she's now of the mind as are many out there that if it doesn't work you throw it away and get another one. Consumable marriage. Don't fix the oven, buy a new one. Same deal. Make her see the benefits of fixing the oven Blues.

So... here's my two cents worth... (I even found some real American pennies here!)
First of all - you have got to STOP OBSESSING!!!!
You are sooooo focussed on her you are NOT living. Are you trying to get her to see your changes? It won't work. Fohgetaboutit! Make the changes because you want to make them for you not for her. Whether your R survives this or not, as someone else has already pointed out the changes you make for you will help you in the next go around or in the new and improved R. Otherwise you WILL screw it up again! Guaranteed!

Second - you are NEVER going to get the "old R" back. and Frankly seeing where you are now... do You WANT the old one?? You need a new R.

Thirdly - what kind of C are you seeing? Is it a pro marriage C or a "I'll help you facilitate your D" type C. Ask now before it's too late. And it's NOT too late.

Be mysterious - I always say - in a wacky kind of way... not in the cliched predictable - I'll get me a new LF kind of way... If you always wear blue shirts...go out and get an orange one.
May I suggest you change gyms to NOT be at the same one as her. Do stuff that she doesn't THINK is the Bluesman... Be creative.

Get a hobby.... take the dog on new routes. When she calls and wants to see the dog tell her you'll be "busy" and ask her to suggest another time. Don't jump to her tune!

Re-arrange the furniture, get some flowers on the table for YOU NOT her! Get some new CDS, paint the kitchen do weird stuff around the house you've never done before and never never let her see you sweat.

Keep dark, no calls, NOTHING!!! And maybe she'll get curious and maybe seh won't You need in this dark period to have your own life.

The thing, I believe, that keeps WAS from coming back is pride. They have pride and do not want to ask to come back. Imagine what that costs to say... I really blew it, I hurt you I realized I made a mistake and can we start again. Most people can't do it and they will find a very subtle way to do this rather than the in-your-face approach. Right now your attitude won't allow her to take that approach. You have to step back. Watch and let her come to you and let her know you are open to trying something new!

And most important ... stop singing the blues and find some kiddie happy music man to get some PMA. Because right now... I don't see you have any. ( that was my major kick in your butt!)

Patience is the key. Time is your friend if you learn how to build that relationship too. This is critical.

Keep posting.

who also had her butt kicked when she started this process.
From Michele


Hi. I read your comment that in the past your husband was away for four months and when you set limits, he came begging. People tend to behave in patterns. Ten weeks is too soon for you to do something bold. You need to wait longer. After you give him some time to sort through his feelings, you can be more demanding as you were in the past. But don't do it now if you think you might want to get back together. And if you didn't, why would you be here?

About feeling repulsed. It's a good way to protect yourself from feeling hurt and rejected by his actions. If you focus on feeling repulsed, then you don't have to focus on the pain of his being gone. And the truth is, his behavior has been less than flattering. so you would have good reason to feel judgmental. But for now, make sure you have fought for your marriage so that if he does return, you can insist that he makes positive changes before you invest in him again. Take one step at a time. Now's not a good time to throw in the towel. Hang in there.

Read, post and stay connected.
From jtois


One thing my counselor said to me long ago that I wished I had listened to was to think of your spouse at this time in your marriage as a little, frail bird in your hand.

You want the bird to sit in your hand, you want it to trust you...so let it sit there quietly and when it feels safe, then maybe you can gently stroke it, not pet it, with your finger...

When it trusts you some more, then maybe you can pet it...And when it really feels comfortable, it will let you feed it...

Get the idea? patience...be calm, be still and let the bird sit in your hand or else you might crush it or force it to fly away.

From Zebra, re LRT backfired?



I've been trying the LRT for about 2 wks. now.....

That's not long enough to get much results, let alone to be "going out of (your) mind".


My H is very sensative to things & now I hope the LRT doesn't backfire for me now that I've stop acting like I care about him & stopped all the persueing....

If he's very sensitive, be very careful you don't appear to be manipulating him, attempting to control him...


Even been going out with friends a couple of times.

To this I have to be very careful not to sound sarcastic, but is this "few times" a pattern of behavior that shows H that you are likely to move on? Or is it running away while looking over your shoulder to see if he's following, and if he isn't you stop running, and wait to see if he will come. But he doesn't so, you go back to ask why not. And of course, that's not pursuit.... is it?


Has the LRT backfired for anyone? I so need some advise ASAP! Going out of my mind.

The LRT -- LAST RESORT technique -- is just that... the LAST RESORT. You use it when you've accepted that he's not coming back but you are unwilling to file for divorce. Actually, among some councellors, filing for divorce yourself is a form of LRT. I mention that to show you how serious and powerful and dangerous a technique it is. You use it when you have accepted that he's not coming back. You are letting him go. You are moving on with your life and finding a new one, because you accept your old one is over, and the old patterns of your old relationship don't work. A NEW life, not out with friends "a couple of times". If he decides to join you in your new life, you and he will do so with a renewed level of respect, both with a renewed level of self worth, and a renewed commitment to each other to be together and share your renewed selves. No emotional blackmail, no dependency.

Can it backfire???? YOU BET. If you enter into it without the full sincerity of moving on, while leaving the door open for him to join you, but instead attempt to manipulate him into seeing your having fun but getting upset because he's not joining you, and then going back and asking and wondering and whining.... YES it will backfire.

LRT is your final letting go, your final act of self respect while still in the relationship, making your own life and moving on, but not closing the door to him. If he joins you, fantastic. If not, you know you will be fine without him, you will make a life, and you will be fantastic.

Yes, it can backfire if you are not strong enough to pull it off. It is the LAST RESORT, and it is the essense of self power, self knowledge, and self respect. It is the epitome of DB (in my opinion).

I, myself, have never been strong enough to pull it off. I believe if I was, and if I could, I'd have my W back. Hmmm... Something for me to think about.

From pbutterfly


Believe me, I know the pain you are feeling. You will find many here do, which is what makes it the best place to be when you are in this situation!

Do you have The Divorce Remedy (or Divorce Busting)? If not, please go buy it today and start reading. It has worked for me, and I see it working all over this board in so many ways.

First and foremost, remember that you can only change and control yourself. Take a long, hard look at who you are and compare it to who you want to be. Compliment yourself on those things which match or are close! And start working on changing those things which are not.

Treat your wife as your best friend, who is going through a difficult time of questioning what she wants out of life and whether she is on the right path. Don't apply pressure. Give her compassion. Listen to what she says she wants and needs from you and do what you can to give her those things, even if it's space and time.

If she needs to explore whether there is a chance for her in the EA, there is really nothing you can do to change that. It's a decision she has to make for herself - and if it's not going to work out (and most don't), that's something she's going to have to learn for herself. Trying to rush that process will only backfire.

You need to take care of yourself. Discover what your needs are, what your bounderies are, what you want and how to get that. When you read the book, really pay attention to goal-setting and writing down what steps to take to get there. Keep track of what gives you positive results and what doesn't. And don't forget the rest of your life - have fun when you can, spend time with friends, take care of yourself.

Above all, remember that this is going to take time. You will need lots of patience. But you have a chance here to really grow, and that's priceless.

Keep us updated!
From WillMorgan


I've found that the hardest part of "showing" her the changes is my perception of how the changes should affect our relationship. I find myself wanting to say, "Look at me. Look at what I've become. I can be the man you wanted all along. Why can't you see that." She can see it. Believe me, she notices. It makes her mad. It makes her mad because these changes didn't happen until way long after she wanted them to happen. She feels like I didn't think she was worth it until I had to do without her. Trying to get her to notice only makes her madder. But, believe me, she notices.

Once it kicks in that the changes are for real (and this is the hard part - it takes TIME), she may begin to trust that the relationship will go in the direction she wanted to begin with. Always keep in mind that these changes must be for you, not for her. If she thinks that they are temporary, an attempt to appease her until things are smooth again, we're just back where we started, waiting for this to happen all over again. We want our spouses back, but we also must want these changes for ourselves. That, or we must choose between our spouses and what we used to be. We can't have both.

I have made changes because I came to the realization that the way I treated my wife was not conducive to a healthy relationship. These changes are permanent, whether she returns or not. I have become a better person and do not wish to be the man I was before. Yes, I hope that these changes will help to save my marriage, but they are permanent in any event.
From Matt_L


Hi Shirley,

No contact can be better than contact depending on your timing.

DO NOT contact your SO when you need affirmation. This will show and will push him away. Also, it is more likely than not you will not get it, which will ruin your PMA.

DO NOT contact your SO when you are looking for signs of progress. This will come across to him as you being needy and will push him away. Again, it is also more likely than not you will not get what you are looking for.

DO NOT contact your SO when you are in a bad, sad, or crummy mood. This will usually result in a bad encounter, which will push him away.

DO contact your SO when you have something that needs to be addressed. However, don't make up things just as an excuse to contact him. When you do contact him, make sure you are mentally prepared with good PMA.

DO contact your SO when you are in a good mood. This will often shine through in the contact and will leave him with a good impression.

DO be the first to end contact with your SO.

DO read your SO's mood when you contact him. If after a few comments, the contact is not going well, end it. If Your SO volunteers information, listen and validate to show him good rapport.

EVERY contact with your SO should be an opportunity to win him back. Do not fall prey to your present emotional needs, which can result in contact that pushes him away. Keep your ultimate goal in mind. Use contact to draw him closer!

Hope that helped.
From sgctxok


I will give you the advice Michele gave to me......every person is a package deal. He is a whole package....his emotional baggage, his situation, his character, his physical status, everything. And so are you. So decide if you really want this whole package.


TAke care of yourself and your self esteem. Only do that...do nothing otherwise. Watch his actions (not his words). Be loving, kind, gentle...don't pursue him.

Give it a few weeks. If you hear nothing...test the waters.

ADd a lot of fun to your life....and joy.....it makes you happy and very attractive. Take very good care of yourself.

I'm counting on you
From DB Coach Laurie


Dear Stay Calm,
I encourage you not to think in terms of "fatal mistakes". That perspective only adds fear to your thinking, which can cause some pretty reactive responses. Instead, try to learn something about your relationship with that last interaction and use it to move in a positive, forward direction.

What do I mean by that? Ask yourself, "What could I take from this episode that will help me next time"? It appears that at this time in your R, sharing previously undisclosed secrets only verifies to your wife that she can't trust you.
So, now you know not to do that again. Be gentle with yourself...you will not do everything perfectly, but keep watching what does and doesn't work and keep making adjustments!!

Also, as others have, I encourage you to pull back on the questions, as hard as that is. Your questions may feel very intense to your W which will cause her to pull away. I know you have a need for some response from her...but it does not appear this is the right time to pursue it.

Calm, it's hard to stress enough at this point how important it is to allow space in the R. I have seen many relationships where one spouse wants to do everything to "fix it" (except "backing off"), and it almost always distances and moves the relationship closer to D. However, you sound like someone who is able to make the necessary and painful changes needed. I wish you well and hope you had a productive counseling session!

I highly encourage you to read DR - especially Chapter Two: "Start with a Beginner's Mind".
Take care, Laurie
From LovedOne


Before you say anything, ask yourself if it is going to move things with H forward. Will it most likely produce a positive outcome or a negative one? This has worked for me many times. If you know that the outcome will be negative, then you must keep quiet. That is extremely difficult when you really want to get things out in the open and hear H say what you want to hear. But, the chances of hearing what you want to hear are probably pretty slim. So, silence.

Act as if everything is wonderful with you. Okay, I'm sure that you probably don't feel wonderful, but H doesn't have to know that. I assure your that pretending is very difficult, but that it can have a very positive effect. There have been mornings (my H is still at home) when I wanted to be a real b*&ch, but I greeted him with a smile and a cheery attitude and he responded the same way.

If you say nothing about the OW or about the whole sitch, it will obviously be a change and your H will probably be taken off guard.

You can do it. It takes a whole lot of strength sometimes, but I don't know of a woman alive who hasn't got the strength to do whatever it takes when life gets tough.

Remember, if in doubt about what to say, say nothing at all. Wonderful advice I read on this board.

Find yourself something to keep busy, look good, feel good about yourself. Don't ruin your weekend with thoughts and convo about someone who I'm sure isn't worth the time and energy (OW).

You can do this.

Loved One
From merrick


Let me add my two cents.

Snooping doesn't help with a WAS. It only matters 1) if your spouse thinks they can cheat and still have you --and continue loving you; thus snooping enables you to get proof to lay down the law; or 2) if you have decided to end the relationship and need proof to bolster your legal position.

If not, and you would forgive your spouse for adultery, snooping will certainly hurt you more than WAS. Think about it, if you knew your spouse was in PA from ceiling fans with OP and you would still have them back, why do you need to know. Moreover, snooping will push them further away to OP and give them another reason to hate you. And more important, you become obsessed with snooping, our minds play tricks on us, and we torture ourselves.

I had a reminder of this tonight. While putting W's laundry away, I noticed her black lengerie robe (which she rarely wore) was no longer in her drawer. Two months ago this would have killed me all night and I would have confronted her; tonight, after detaching, I was intrigued, but unsure what was going on. Alas, an hour later I was pulling together the trash, and W had thrown out several pieces of clothing, including the robe--which took up space in her drawer. Two months ago, I would have put my foot in mouth and pushed as closer to divorce; tonight, I'll live to DB another day.

At worst, I just assume W is having an A, but hope it's not true. If it is going on, there's nothing I can do about it, so I may as well help myself. Hope that helps.

From gbon


As a rule of thumb, don't discuss your relationship, your ideas about how things should be, etc... unless your W initiates these conversations, then just let her lead. Right now its probably more important that you just sit back and listen to what she has to say rather than actively voice your thoughts and feelings. Sure, its unfair and lop-sided to use this approach, but believe me, it is what works.

Don't worry so much, its bad for ya! Let nature take its course.

From Done


I almost started this post with "LMAO," because I did the same thing w/my condom stash when my W and I were beginning to separate. Except, it isn't really funny, is it? Also, do you feel that the fact you looked in the first place suggests that you may have doubts about there not being an OM? This is a hard question, I know, but one you probably need to think about.

The thing is, it doesn't matter whether or not there's an OM... if there isn't, fine. If there is, he's just a symptom of the problems you are having. He would not be the problem!

You want to know how to get past these two slips (actually, it was one slip and that generated the other)? Forgiveness. You need to forgive yourself, pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and move forward as though nothing had happened.

By forgiveness, admit your weakness (the snooping), which brought on the pleading. Forgive yourself for it as you should forgive your W... by this, I mean make a pledge not to snoop and then move forward. Once something is forgiven, it cannot be used as a weapon or an excuse. It is a lesson learned.

Snooping is perhaps the most destructive thing you can do at this point. And by approaching your W of what you've learned, you've shown her that you do not trust her (obvious that you wouldn't, but not to her alien mind). That 1 to 10 rating was a "How am I doing?" plea; don't do that because it hurts your PMA and pushes your W for a response that right now, you really don't want to hear.

Repeat after me, "Is what I'm about to do going to bring us closer together?" If the answer's no, stop! Do not proceed.

Right now, you have an opportunity to be your W's friend--if she feels like talking about your R and M. If she does, listen, listen, listen. She won't want you to fix things (if she did, she wouldn't be talking about separation). Do not react to what she's telling you, except when you are unsure what it is she's trying to say. Then you can say something like "I understand that you are saying... blah blah... Is this correct?" This is known as mirroring, and it's an excellent way to assure your W that you do (no matter how painful) understand what she's telling you. This "listening without fixing" is what being a true friend is all about. I hope this makes some sense for you.

From DB Coach Vernetta


Boy, the "whys" can eat you up, can't they? Problem is, the more you pursue them, the more elusive they are. Rather, try making it as safe as possible for your W to talk to you and they will tend to start coming out. The toughest thing will be not to want to correct her perception or thinking, but let speak in safety, without a sense that she will have to counter your arguments and explanations. Meanwhile, keep showing her HOW things can be different through your changed behaviors.

Well, there's lots of work to do, so take care of you and keep your tank full for the journey.

From MomOfTwo


Hi Chris;

My H left me and our 2 boys, ages 4 and 6, in January too. I too wish I had known about Michele's books earlier - way earlier, like years ago!

Here's the good news: it's not too late. If you are having trouble with patience, just remember this: if you want this to work, you MUST be patient! No exceptions! It is the most difficult thing to do, but it WILL NOT WORK if you are not patient. Every time you feel like getting back involved in the circle of conflict, remember your 2 year old. That's what helped me get started in the patience area! I knew it was up to ME to do the best thing for our boys. I'm still working on me, and so far, I have seen small positives in my H. So I have much more hope than I did 3 months ago!

If you remember that you are in control of you - only YOU can control YOU - it gives you internal power that you've lost over time. You can change yourself. You can be a better person. You can see your faults. You can become a better person, and your spouse will see it with time.

If you read the other posts on these boards, you will see you are not alone by any means! We are all here because our marriages are not working right now. The common theme to start repairing your marriage is to repair yourself - and it works! It is really difficult to look deep inside yourself, acknowledge your role in the breakdown of the relationship, and DO something about it - and it all starts with you.

KEEP POSITIVE! These times are the most difficult times of your life. But stay on track. Do whatever you can to stay on track. You will be a better parent because of it! Don't let angry words hit your soul - let them go.

I hope you will read posts from others - they are really inspiring. And you will see that you too will have the ability and strength to do everything you can to save your marriage! Stay the course!

See you around the boards,
From sparkie


Hi Ray. After reading your sitch, I see we have a lot in common in respect to our WAW's. The one comment from your W that struck a nerve with me was this one...

She says she wants her freedom and wants to find herself again.

My W's sentiments exactly! I think your decision to detach and give yourself space is an excellent idea.

You need to respect your W's needs right now. No matter how much it hurts, and as others have already mentioned, you MUST GIVE HER SPACE TOO!!! If you don't, you'll be pushing her farther and farther away. In her eyes, you are smothering her and she needs to breathe in order to live.

In my sitch, I feel my W lost her identity by feeling controlled by my presence. Almost everythng she did in our M was for me rather than for herself. During our entire M, as well as our current separation, my w has always be outwardly pleasant with me, but I think on the inside, she was ready to burst. With my giving her space, she was able to regain control of herself and I could almost immediately feel her hidden resentments towards me start to diminish.

Going "grey" sounds like a good idea. Be there for your W during critical times, but make yourself unavailable for the petty stuff. Become a mystery to her. Let her start to think what's going on in your head for a change.


What can I do get more time with her? How can I show her I have changed if she never has contact with me?

Be patient with showing your changes. Take some time for yourself to regroup and strengthen yourself while you put your DBing plan together. This will also give your W some time to gather her thoughts as well. There is no need to expedite things right now. Rememeber, haste makes waste. Let time be your ally and let things settle down a little before you begin exposing your changes. This is going to be a long ride, so fasten your seat belt and hang on.

Good Luck !
From Steamer


Sorry you are here but hopefully you will find people who can help you save your marriage and support you during the process.

I am no expert but I will tell you my thoughts. I've found it really helps to read others' threads to get an idea of what works but obviously everyone's situation is unique.


My W and I occasionally have contact on the phone and usually I am the caller. Is this counter-productive to DBing?

Not if she seems receptive to the calls. Just try and guage her reactions. If she doesn't seem to want to talk end the call quickly and back off for awhile.


She often talks about me getting involved with other women, and this hurts me so much. How should I respond to these comments?

I would respond simply that you are not ready to think about that at this time. You would prefer to work on yourself and hopefully your marriage instead.


She says that we are friends, which is great, but how do I know when to bring it to the next level?

Wish I had an answer for that one as I am working on that myself. My advice is don't rush it. You may need to be friends for awhile and let her notice the changes in you.


My wife hasn't taken off her wedding ring; she says she is afraid that people will ask questions. Which is something I don't understand, any ideas?

Wedding Ring dilemma. Be glad she is wearing it and don't question why. My W took hers off right after she left and it really hurts to this day. I have stopped wearing mine because I've lost so much weight it no longer fits. I wrestle daily whether I should get it resized and start wearing it again. At the same time, I don't want to pressure W. It's sort of the same as no longer telling her you love her. Obviously you do but telling her makes her feel the need to respond and thats not good.

Hope I have helped and good luck!
From ChristineE


If you really want to turn things around, you can do it!!! Don't ask W to read Db or DR. You alone can change the dynamics of the R and how she responds to you. I noticed the greatest change in my sitch during the first few weeks of DBing.

Actions speak louder than words, so it's ok that she's not talking much. In fact, don't get into ANY R discussions at all. Make a list of things that you want to change and start changing them. Become a better person. Where do you start? Make a list of things that she has complained about and change what you have control over.

Check your ego at the door. It's not about you. She's going through something. Don't argue or try to defend yourself...just validate.

Don't pursue. Don't try to convince her how much you love her and want her to stay. She already knows and it will just push her right out the door.

Have an "as if" attitude. Act as if everything is going to turn out fine.

These are a few things for starters. Hope it helps.

From trying_A_attitude


Words are meaningless at this point. I think you need to "SHOW" how you feel. It has to be permanent change. Don't expect her to be "realizing she has made mistake by not staying and working on things?". From the little info you've provided she is a WAW and is angry and resentful. Find others threads to post to and learn how to deal with WAW's. The ammo to fight is here, but it needs to be found and used. You got a long road ahead of you, just remember, as long as you stick to it and be true to yourself, you'll end up a better person for it.

"she did not want me to be here" make sure you make the best of the little time she is willing to share time with you. Instead of "I love you", "thank you for finding the time to share with me, I really appreciate it" works better for me. Keep track of the things that work and don't work. Do what works.
From calystra


Everyone's sitch is different so I can understand how hard it is at first to apply the techniques to your particular sitch.

The first thing I would do is write down what goals you want to accomplish with your R, your W and yourself.

Once you have those, then I would do four things:
(1) Review past and recent conversation with your W and try to remember what hints she was giving you as to what she liked and didn't like.
(2) Review your thread, there are some hints and clues here in as well as to things that you could work on and change.
(3) Review other people's threads continuously and try to find sitch's that match yours and see what steps those people are taking.
(4) Evaluate yourself and find things about yourself that you would like to improve or change.

When you have a better understading of your W, yourself and your sitch, you will begin to see certain things that stand out to you that you can begin to work on. It's very hard to show change when you don't have much contact with your S but you want to formulate a plan to work on your goals that is tangible - that your W will see - and that meet up with DB techniques.

You should come out of this exercise with a list of overall goals you want to achieve and the steps you're going to take to achieve them.

Then comes the important part. How do you know if the steps you're taking are working? Now you're going to have to come up with a list of ways that you will know your ideas are working.

I hope this helps... make sure to post your ideas and thoughts and we'll help you work through them.

From Michele


This is undoubtedly the hardest time in your life. Everyone here knows that. You will experience lots of ups and downs. But the one thing you've already noticed is that when you think through how you want to respond IN ADVANCE, you behave more calmly, sanely and lovingly. This is exactly what you need to do and it's no wonder you felt better about yourself when you were able to pull it off! Good going!
From KentS

I feel like life is empty and meaningless without my wife.

This is a problem Kodiak. Trust me on this one. You have a long road to travel before you can hope for your W to change her course. You need to bring joy back into your life all by yourself.

Dependency on our spouse for happiness is like a huge weight around their ankles, pulling them down. Happiness comes from within and is shared through offering. It can never be taken.

Set her free in your heart and focus on being the best person you can for all your relationships. No matter if that is at work or with friends or family. When the sadness creeps in, tell yourself your W is doing what she needs to for her own happiness.

Make a great weekend. Your assignment is to make some joy.

From DB Coach Laurie


Boy, how could you NOT be on an emotional roller coaster? What you are dealing with can be so very tough! But as you mentioned, your reactions have not always "played well" with your wife.

First, understand that YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OVER YOUR BEHAVIORS. Second, YOU MUST DO ALL YOU CAN TO STOP IMMEDIATELY what you are doing that is pushing your W away from you.

I can tell you realize your behavior could push your W to the OG. It may be helpful for you to envision actually pushing your W toward the OG every time you begin to destructively behave. Maybe that thought will be so unpleasant to you, it might help you gain better control of your behavior.

So kdr, the most crucial step for you at this moment, is to stop ALL behavior that pushes your W away from you. Take a deep breath and think first before you react. I believe you can do it!! If you have come to this BB, that tells me you want to change...so believe in your ability to do so!
From elwood


I'm not the one to really give advice, but listen from a man who threw it all away because he wanted things back too quick. She is on her own time table. Do not ever bring up divorce or getting back together. You must rebuild a trusting friendship, and it will take time. Do not push or pressure, because that will drive her away. Be good and nice and understanding. From time to time ask her out, movie, dancing, dinner, but do not push. What time you spend together enjoy it, make the most of it and take it for what it is. Get out of the dumps, be happy, be strong, show her that you don't need her to cling to, but that you do like her company. Treat her like she really matters, but don't do it so it looks like your kissing her ass. Do small things without being told. She will probably not let you know that she knows you did them, but she will in time come to understand that you do care for her deeply and she will, hopefully look at you the way she use to.
From sgctxok


Michele gave really good advice to Lynn that I thought you might be able to use.....her sit isn't the same, but for the intensity of the feelings with upcoming situations, I thought her advice would apply:

Okay. Here is some straight-shooting advice. NO MATTER WHAT YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND'S POSSIBLY MISSING YOUR ANNIVERSARY, YOU NEED TO STAY COOL AND NOT RESPOND. You see, the bottomline for DBing is this. Your feelings are important. You should be aware of them, acknowledge them in yourself and then YOU MUST BE IN CHARGE OF HOW YOU REACT REGARDLESS OF YOUR FEELINGS. In other words, when the going gets tough, you need to ask yourself the questions I write about in Divorce Remedy, "What am I hoping to accomplish,?" "Is what I'm about to do going to bring me closer to the goal, or push me farther away,?" If your answer is farther away, DON'T DO IT, NO MATTER WHAT YOU FEEL. Do something else. Your husband is showing signs of softening. Don't ruin it by pushing him away. Work on yourself. This is a skill you will need even if your marriage gets back on track. You can't always say what you feel. If you do, it's a formula for disaster.

Make plans for yourself to keep yourself busy if that helps you to take your mind off things. You will be so proud of yourself when you overcome the temptation to react or to get back at him over the holidays. No offense, but what a bad idea!!!! Remember, you want him back in your life. That's your goal. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Now, you go girl! Do what works!!!

The Divorce Buster
From scotty


Sorry to hear about your situation, but you've come to the right place.


"My search is for advice on my current state of mind. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that my wife plans to divorce me and I'm feeling that with all of the outside influences that there is nothing I can do to redirect her thought process"

I'm going to be pretty honest here.....I don't think you truly believe there is nothing that you can do to save your marriage. You would not have posted here and read the books if you thought that, with that being said, Nothing is hopeless.

Here's a few questions for you to think about:

1) Are you thinking W is going to file D just because other people say so? If so, you may be assuming. W has not told you this directly, and you thought it may be done on your trip, and it wasn't. Don't assume anything with your S right now.

2) You mentioned about setting goals in the past. What were they and did you accomplish them. Were they too easy if you achieved them quickly or too hard if you did not accomplish them.

3) Think back to why your W fell in love w/you. What were you doing during the good times of the R? What has changed since then?

4) Have you been too needy in your M? That was my big problem with my W, and is a huge turnoff to her.

In any case, these are just things to think about. i'm sure you'll get much better advice then this here, but this may get you started....good luck
From Trying24now


First, I KNOW it sounds simplistic BUT the first thing you need to do each and every time you SEE or SPEAK to your H is to sound UPBEAT!!!!!

I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous considering the pain you're in, but I swear, THAT change in me made the FIRST change in my H.

When I stopped sounding like the world had come to an end, when there wasn't the constant whine in my voice, the depressed needy look on my face when he saw me, HE didn't feel so pressured to AVOID me.

We think that by wearing our heart on our sleeve, professing our undying love and willingness to forgive will somehow break through their current "cold heart" and melt them back into the loving man we married....BUT instead...it does the exact opposite.

Our desperation strengthens their resolve to be rid of us. In their MLC, they are focused solely on themselves, their own pain, the things they "think" will gratify them (OWs, new friends and adventures, FREEDOM) so when we cling...they run even harder and faster to get away from us.

They DON'T want to hear 'sound reasoning,' they don't want to take a trip down memory lane about your good years together as you recap the history of your marriage....because in MLC they convince themselves that it is ALL OF THAT that has made them so unhappy. So being 'reminded' of any of it does exactly the opposite of what you're hoping it will do.

Imagine you were at work one day, and one of your male coworkers, with whom you've known and gotten along well with for years, came up to you and said, "ILY please love me back, I can't go on without you"...
Would you rush into his arms and run off into the sunset with him? NO of course not. You'd think, "What the the hell is wrong with this guy? I don't have any interest in him, I don't feel anything for him. I don't want him telling me he loves me! And you'd walk away quickly wondering what kind of pathetic guy would profess their love for someone YOU cared nothing about?"
Well WE are that "casual Co-worker" to our Hs right now.

Our Hs have to convince themselves that everything about our lives together was a sham...otherwise, how could they live with what they're doing? Good men don't walk away from loving wives, good homes, happy families. So in order to be able to tell themselves that they're still 'good men' WE and our Ms have to become BAD so that they can justify the twisted decisions they're making in MLC. Sound arguments and facts being thrown at them by us, not only falls on deaf ears but becomes the hurtful bricks they hurl at us hoping to make us back off so they won't have to feel so guilty.

You have a long road ahead of you BUT you have the books and the support of friends on this board that will help you walk through it. AND you will survive this!!!
From thesane1


Firstly I dont want to build your hopes up, so please just take this as MHO.

And I totally agree with the others on try and not do the crying in front of H.

But I just want to tell you about the time My sitch turned around.

I had been Trying to apply all the techniques in Micheles books, I had acted as if and done 180's and LRT. I hadn't really seen anything positive from H, I was beginning to think this just was not working for me.

Anyway something happened that I wont go into detail here with, which upset me, I called H to talk to him about it. I felt it was a bit of a backslide, cos I initiated R talk. BUT for the first time since the bomb, H was listening, and talking. Prior to this like your H he wouldn't talk to me what so ever. Now the talk wasn't all positive, he was saying stuff like " im, sorry sue, I dont think it can work and " Its too late the damage is done. But although he was saying these things, I felt a distinct difference in his behavouir towards me.

At first when I put phone down, I thought about the conversation and I was negative, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought hang on maybe it was a baby step, he was talking to me !!

So, it was that which made me do more of what works. I thought about what I had been doing and carried on. This time I was more positive. I backed off, I was happy when I saw him and I never brought up R.

He started to spend more time talking to me and its gone from there to where we are today... dating

So, Maybe its nothing... But then maybe its something!!

So just keep doing what you have been doing.

From tielbeagle


Imsad, you won't want to hear this but you have to "show" her what she's asking for, talking about it won't do. It takes time for them to see you've changed and to see that the changes are gonna stick. I was M 19 years at time of bomb, that was 18 months ago. Luckily I found DR the next day and started applying the techniques. My H didn't expect me to be upbeat and positive and happy around him, after all, my negativity and bitchy-ness is what got me into trouble in the first place. He told me he felt guilty because I was being nice to him. He also accused me of doing it out of desperation so don't be taken too aback if you get that too. I just told him that I didn't like the way I had become either, and it was the truth. I just needed to hit rock bottom after I got the "wake up call" of him telling me he didn't love me anymore and wanted a D.

And acting as if you are happy and upbeat and positive is very hard when you feel like you're dying inside but you must!!! Your W needs to see and experience the man she fell in love with again. And THIS you need to show her. Don't talk about it. Just do it.

My H and I are still together, he no longer wants his blasted D. My H 'thought' that he was done, had himself convinced but I knew he wasn't as done as he wanted to be. We are still recovering, it's been 18 months, and a long road full of ups and downs. He still isn't wearing his ring or telling me ILY like he used to do all the time for many years. Those are my next 2 goals. In the meantime I still show him that I'm not the same person anymore. He is being cautious. After all, I did treat him wrong for 19 years. That's a long time.

Good luck to you. Listen to the folks here, they know what they're talking about! Read DR and read it again. Don't give it to your W to read. She won't be interested and will view it as pursuing, and that doesn't work. Show her you are still the man she fell in love with, that 'he' is still "in there". Lisa
From sage


One of the things that I've found from my own sitch is that early on, my responses to H's thoughts/expressions were so negative and controlling that he no longer tells me what he thinks (leading to the "loss of self").

So much of it was driven by my own insecurity -- for example, if H. felt insecure or upset about something and mentioned it -- I'd get so caught up in my own crap that I'd respond badly, essentially encouraging him to hid his feelings from me. For example:

H. wow, my boss really yelled at me today ("I need support here")

Me: He yelled at you? Are you going to get fired ("Oh God, I've always been worried about our finances. We're going to be broke)

H: Well, I didn't do what he was mad about and I...("Why did she assume that I did something wrong?")

Me: Yah, but, does he know that? ("Arrgh. Did he defend himself? We're going to the poorhouse")

H. Um, never mind.

You get my drift. Unfortunately, so do I but a bit late! What I'm finding now is that if I just listen (and it's not always easy! Just screwed it up royally yesterday!) and manage my own stuff, H. is lots more forthcoming. I think that not being able to express fear, wants, etc. is a big part of "losing" yourself.

From KAW



I've been sticking to my goals and done very good at following through with them but I'm not seeing any real changes in her. I know she sees the changes I've made but I really don't think it matters to her. Guess it's time to go back and try something else.

PATIENCE! ... my dear fellow.

Basically, it has taken a period of months, if not years, of a steady downhill trend for the M to reach the state it is in now, allowing for your W to draw the conclusion that the trend can not be broken. Oh, like a stock market graph, you're change seem like some peaks, but she feels they are not going to stop the eventual crash.

What you are trying to accomplish is to change the momentum of the direction your M has taken ... to get it back on track of making it better ... so there is going to be a lot of inertia to overcome. While she has noticed your changes, she isn't convinced that the will stay ... that they are permanent. So you are not going to see a difference in her yet.

When will you see a change? When she is convinced that these changes for the better are here to stay. The downward trend has been bucked and she sees it is possible for things to remain better.

Just as important as it is to make changes for the better, is to keep doing them. When you find what works, do more of it and the only tool you have to demonstrate that these changes are for real and are here to stay is time ... a lot of time. She is going to have to feel that the good days outnumber the bad ones and it will remain that way. So you are going to have to learn to have lotsa patience ... patience ... patience ...

Think of your changes like steering an oceanliner, it takes a long time at the wheel before turning that boat around.

Somewhere in there could be the theme of your next thread?...

Of course, this doesn't mean you don't have to try something else. Finding the 180's that work is mostly trial and error, trying something new and finding it works is like bring new excitement back in the R. In striving to make things better you should always keep an eye open to new 180's to do. Its a life-long process, but never forsake the changes that you have made that do work bring you closer...

'til later,
From calystra


It sounds like you're just coasting along right now and not actively DB'ing...

When is the last time you scrubbed through your goal list? (Have you even made a goal list?) It sounds like right now you're wandering about a little lost without direction or any idea of where to go next - This is exactly why we need goals! If you don't know where you're going, how are you supposed to know how to get there?

I know how hard it is to come up with your goals or revise your old goal list if it's not working for you but it's something you have to do... so just sit down and start thinking. Commit yourself to getting back on the DB bus.

One thing you might want to try is acting "as if". It's funny because during DB, I never really understood this concept and how to apply it to my sitch but now I think I'm getting the hang of it. Start doing things and reacting to things in a way that your W doesn't expect.

For example (on my thread), H and I had an argument and I came home with flowers - which I've never done. He expected an argument when I got home but instead he got something different. Another example - last week we argued while he was on his way home from work and when he got home, I had a nice dinner waiting for him. Again, he was expecting a moody wife but didn't get one.

Are there any ways you can apply this sort of thing to your interactions with your W? Show her you're a different person and trying to change.
From carolkh


Dear Blues, my H left me suddenly after 19 yrs marriage (young EA involved)...at the time he "hated me intensely and wanted a divorce." One month later, he was "confused and didn't know WHAT he wanted."

We had a very strange separation...got along better than when we were together. After about 6 months we even started having nookie every so often. BUT, he was very adamant about he didn't want me getting "IDEAS" that we were getting back together just because we were having sex.

I found DB and this website as soon as my H left, and implemented the DB strategies. Also, one of my main goals at first was to become "friends" again...which we did. BUT, we were still "in limbo" and things were just progressing SO slowly (Michele reminded me in individual counselling that we were on my H's timetable).

Fast forward 16 months (and lots of patience by me, the queen of "want it now"). I am tired of the limbo, and implement some rather radical DB type strategies....main one being, making my H feel like he doesn't really "have" me.

My H suddenly wakes up; begs ME to get back with him (crying, pleading, telling me we have SUCH a history, etc). I made him wait 2 months of him pursuing me like crazy just to cement his love for me so we would not have this problem AGAIN. Then I told him he could give his 30 day notice at his apt, and move back in.

He has been home now for 5 months and things are WONDERFUL. I have the marriage I always wanted (we had a pretty bad marriage for around the last 15 yrs). Believe me I am doing all I can to keep it that way too; and my H is really making an effort. When he wanted back with me, he said he would do ANYTHING to get me back, and he did.

But he had to want it really badly...you just cannot force them into it...when he was telling me stuff that I had told him a yr before (trying to convince me to let him back), I would say, "I told you that last yr" and he would say, "but I was not ready to hear it then." He also said it was like he had been in a fog for 2 yrs.

Thought you might like some encouragement in knowing that there ARE success stories...but many times it takes quite awhile. I never thought I could have such infinite patience, but I did, and it was worth it!

From jamie

Talked to wife some more and I think she has some unresolved issues from our past that she just can't get over. I did ask her if she wanted a D or wanted to work things out and she said she is willing to try, I just at this point don't know how hard she is willing to try. At this point I'm trying to get her to at least read DB's book and hope that maybe she will have a different attitude and be willing to look at unresolved issuses in a different perspective as she is a intraverted type of person and holds her feelings in.

With what you have described I say without any qualification: TRY with your W. I would not ask her again whether she really wants to try and just view the next few months as an opportunity to do as much as you can to show her that, with respect to your pieces of the puzzle, you are one caring, understanding man who wants his family back together. Let her see all of the things that you've done for yourself during your separation. Let her witness the changes at home. Continue to give her as much space as necessary and work on your marriage for your sake, but also and, not less significantly, for your children's sake.

She is obviously still on the defensive and uncertain as to how optimistic she will allow herself to be, but try to remember what it was that clicked between the two of you when things were good in your relationship. You have a great opportunity here to potentially pull your marriage back together. Read DB again and any other books that have helped you remain commited to saving your marriage during these difficult times. I can honestly tell you that, as strange as this may sound, some of the most difficult times to exercise some restraint on what you say and how you react to your W will be when, as now, you begin to receive some encouraging signs. You suddenly want more and more and more yesterday and you find that, upon reflection, sometimes their total disinterest was easier to endure!

Think of something you can use in your mind to have you slow your thoughts down and not be too demanding re. your W while she explores the possibilities with you. Whenever you're tempted to initiate any relationship conversation make a pact with yourself that you'll wait 48 hours and see how you feel then. I guarantee that most often the trigger two days earlier just doesn't seem like such a big deal and a premature conversation with a spouse who is not ready for it can be avoided.

So, again, I say go for the opportunity to potentially save your marriage and your family. Best wishes to you--Jamie
From ILM

you're making the same mistake most of us made at some point (I personally was an expert in doing it):
you're expecting a certain reaction at a certain time.

Now, consider this:

a)what if his time frame is different? What if the seeds you planted need more time to germinate than you planned? What if the process is slower, and in two months, when your deadline comes and you do what you want, you disrupt an otherwise successive process, happening slowly in his soul?

b)you're looking for something that has a particular shape, something you already defined. What if it comes in a different shape -- will you be able to recognize it and not reject?
If you're so focused on the deadline and on getting the response you expect, don't you think it's an attempt to control the situation and his actions, including the process of his inner growth? Why do you think he should surrender to this control? Would you like to be controlled in some important for you process, when you need to understand something very important and not to make a mistake? Would you like to be hurried or pressured?
From Michele, Re: I did it. I sent a "Dobson" letter to Husband

Dear Brenda,

I am glad that you wrote the letter and it helped you to feel better. I do however, want to clear up a misunderstanding that you and many other DB'ers sometimes have. DBing means doing what works. In my book and my seminars I teach people how to be more systematic- to approach their spouses in ways that work rather than shoot from the hip. I also teach couples to switch gears if what they're doing isn't working, even if they think it should work. So when you say that Dbing didn't work in your situation so you wrote a letter, what you're really saying is that you watched the results you were getting and decided to try something new. That's DBing, even if the letter isn't something I propose in my book.

It's important to keep trying new things when your are hitting dead ends. You did that, and that's good. I'm not surprised though that the letter prompted little response from your h. Usually, not always, spouses who are questioning their commitment KNOW that you are committed to working things out. They really don't need to be told. However, once in a while, setting limits is a real 180. When it is, it can have a very positive effect. It's possible that your h is a slow learner and he will come around yet, but it's hard to tell.

One thing for sure, if you back down now, he will never believe a word you say. So don't do it.

Be patient. I'm glad the letter helped YOU feel better about yourself. That is extremely important. Good for you.
From sithlord8


STOP CHASING!! I speak from my own personal experience on this one... my sitch is relatively new, but the harder I pushed the harder she stayed away. When I quit calling and get my resolve in line she calls and we've had a few 'good' talks due to this. Nothing major, but quit pushing. Stop trying to 'force' your wife into doing what you want. You need to take a long hard look at yourself and see what is in you that's good and bad and work on you regardless of what your wife is doing. Go out with your friends. Start having fun on your own, and act 'as if' you don't care what she is doing... don't question her about what she's doing, don't follow her, just do your own thing. I know that it's hard, I'm having a hard time with it, but I know that when I've actually been doing this that she's beginning to wonder, why I'm not acting like my old self and it really lightens things up...just my $0.02... mike
From Janey2


You see, whenever you ask her what she has been doing, she maybe feels you are trying to "control" her. This is what my H felt. My H did keep saying he wanted "space". In the end I got the message and stopped asking him what he had done or what he was going to do--this kind of thing.

Instead of asking her what she has been doing, what about telling her what you have been doing? This means you may have to start doing something new so that you have something to talk to her about.

She is really telling you what is wrong. You have to listen. You are smothering her and she wants you to leave her "alone". Eventually, if you can keep cool and not ask her, she will probably volunteer information. You cannot keep on as you are, you are driving her away.

The other thing: you have to learn not to argue. Bite your tongue. It is possible. Lots of ideas to try. Then if something works, do it again.

If you think about it, you will see that what you are doing isn't working. Michele says to try something different. When you find something that works, do it again!!

It doesn't matter if you think it is "right" or not!!
From sithlord8


The best thing that you can do to get those things out of your mind is go do something! Mow the grass, run, ride your bicycle, clean the house (potential 180 there??), something to keep you busy. Not sitting around and having a little pity party for yourself is the best thing that you can be doing. Do you have any hobbies? immerse yourself in them. If not, get one. You need to be doing things for you and not worrying about where or what your wife is doing. Sorry to be harsh, but I was there a few weeks ago, and I am 500% better now that I'm doing things for me. Sure, there are the occasional down days, but they are getting fewer and fewer with the passing of time. I guess that I'm finally beginning to detach and take each day one step at a time. Take care of you, because what is worrying about what your wife is doing or where she is at going to do for you besides make you upset and worry about it more?? Work on the PMA and it will WAY help you!! Mike
From Mycroft


I am going to ask you to do something hard here, but just give it a try. Step back from your situation a bit and think about yourself. When you get angry are you always clear headed about what you want, mean, or say? Have you ever said things in anger that were not true?

We have a saying around here, "Believe nothing they say and only half of what you see". It's very true. They will speak in absolute negatives about everything.

Good DBing is sometimes doing NOTHING. You need to back off, give her space, then work on yourself. I know you keep hearing this, but it is what you need to do. While you "back off" from her, take time to clear your own head. Do things you enjoy doing. Find peace with the whole situation. It's very difficult to do this in this kind of horrible situation, but it is what you NEED to do.

WillWin says DBing is about getting yourself back. He is right. Getting yourself back will allow you to deal with this situation at your very best, not your worst. There are no guarantees in what will happen, but since you will always have you, then you may as well start there.

DBing is a process. It requires patience, understanding and discipline (to name a few). If you are a "wreck", you won't have any of those qualities. Please take time to work thing out for yourself. It's the first and most important step in the process.
From DB Coach Laurie


“This time I want to detach from his behavior, but I want him to know I am still wanting to work things out and be loving and supportive of him.”

You didn’t clarify, but I am assuming that you want to detach from some of your husband’s depressed behavior? If your goal is to detach, the following steps might be helpful to keep in mind:

1. Trying to understand your husband’s behavior as objectively as possible might help you interpret it less personally. That might help you be less reactive, if that is something you are challenged with.

2. Focus on the aspects of your relationship that you really do enjoy. Make an inventory of all of the big and little things that are good and enjoyable. Affirm mentally to yourself and to your husband, when possible, those moments.

3. Keep in mind that your husband’s behavior is his problem – not yours. It is hard, but also very freeing to let go of your husband’s issues.

4. Keep up your PMA, your healthful activity and your supportive friends! These create avenues for you to vent, get support and just enjoy your life!

Michele mentions these aspects of detaching in her DR book in regards to a spouse with addictive behaviors, but I think it can offer help in your situation, too. I support your efforts as you pursue the important changes it sounds like you are making!

Laurie C
Divorce Busting Telephone Consultant
From johnnyrein


If I don't change she'll most certainly leave. If I do change she says it's not going to matter or she'll become angry at the changes saying there for the wrong reasons and not sincere. I know the changes have to be for myself and they truly are

The main principle behind DBing is to work on yourself and cause a different reaction - not the same old. Your W may say these things now and she may believe them but when you change your behavior and outlook then she will be forced to react differently-- thats the key.

I heard the same thing and am starting to see some baby steps--- she was totally emersed in the negative about our R when I started DBing---- Through the techniques I'm changing the way we react. You can change the way she reacts by what you do and say. Remember that she is now only seeing you through tainted glasses - she has a negative spin even on the good stuff right now. You need to be patient and employ the techniques and be vigilant. You can get her to drop the wall around her she has built and see you differently- like the person she married.
It really is tough and patience is not even the right term- thats an understatement. Time and work are what can repair what took time and neglect to destroy. Be strong and keep posting and reading.

Does your C believe in DBing and Michele's work? Could help if the C was on the same page and you both were working together.
You don't and shouldn't be reading her mind- you can't change that--- you should only be working on your mind and you in general- that you control totally.

This stuff really works and i'm thankful i've found it -- at worst you come out a much better person and with work your W back.

Just my opinion here- keep it up and good luck.

From DB Coach Dotty


Dear M,

Going through such a difficult time is very hard for anybody, so your feeling down and moping around the house is very understandable. But, really, how attractive is that? As hard as it may be, you need to start with working on yourself with some self care so you can get a grip and be armed for the tough work of divorce busting. Believe me, I know that isn't easy to do with her right there, acting cold. The good news, however, is that, regardless of what she has been saying, she IS still there. It can feel confusing, but I say focus on the positives. If you haven't already done so, review Michele's books and, on the board, read inspiring stories of success to keep hopeful.

Start with small steps for yourself. Work on having a PMA, even if you don't feel it inside right away. "Act as if..." is a good way to go. Don't initiate R talks with your W. It only allows her to repeat these things that make you feel so helpless. Whatever the reason your W is acting the way she is, it is important for you to give her space but continue to act pleasant and friendly, perhaps doing small nice things for her like bringing her coffee or such. Do more around the house and with the kids. Play with them, go for walks, read to them, etc. Many times I have heard women comment how their attitude about their husband changed when they saw him more involved with the children.

She may expect you to be angry with her and wonder why you are being so nice. Do this to please yourself, to be the kind of person you really want to be and who she will find interest in. Take care of yourself physically. Dress nicely and be well groomed. Do some exercise. You will feel better (those endorphins will help relieve stress and improve your mood) and she may notice as you get in better shape. Your energy level should improve too, which helps offset that common 'down' feeling.

Experiment - try a few things and pay attention to what seems to help. Be a "solution detective" by noticing even the smallest changes that seem positive. For instance, your wife is still making your lunches and cooking. She is still coming to bed, although waiting until late. These may seem very small, but given the situation, they are significant.

Identify your goals so that you can begin to map out a plan toward reaching them. These should be do-able actions, clear and specific, and observable so when you have done them it is obvious. Then notice what helps and what doesn't. Avoid what clearly elicits negative responses from your W, and make sure you stay on track and continue those things that help. She may not comment positively as you change. Don't be disappointed by this as it is a common response. If you get stuck and need more direction, make an appointment for a telephone coaching call, which can be helpful. In the long run, you are in the best position to notice what helps. But you have to get yourself together first.

Keep up your spirits and keep on doing DB work. Find support here on the board and perhaps through prayer, having fun with your kids, believing in the positive possibilities. Good luck. We're rooting for you.
Dotty Divorce Busting Coach
From ChristineE



Patience. Patience, Patience. You're off to a great start...better than many of us at your stage. Here are a few thoughts:

First, you can never know what's inside your W head. You can't know her motivations and her thoughts...so don't even go there...it will drive you nuts. Focus on what YOU can do to make the sitch better and what YOU can do to make yourself better. You said that she sees you as having low self-esteem. What can you do to boost that? Food for thought. Do you have hobbies or something that you do expecially well? Can you do more of that? Can you take a class that you've always wanted to take and learn something new or do a new activity?

Secondly, I have learned from some of the successful DBers in piecing that we are resposible for filling our own tank. The love in our life and our R starts with us. We can't wait for the S to fill up our tank for us (or anything else for that matter). Treat your W and StepD with unconditional love and see how this dynamic can change things.

If you haven't already done so, go over to piecing and read some of the success stories. These folks worked HARD and, yes, this is the hardest thing you will ever do! Heck I played at Carnegie Hall 3 times and that was a piece of cake compared to this! I would suggest BillM, Sage or underdog for starters. I know that there are other good ones that I'm not thinking of at the moment (sorry no offense to other successful DBers). Some of these included OP too.

I have learned from them to ALWAYS keep a positive and self-assured demeanor around S. Focus on the positive things in your R and expand on them. Change yourself for the better. Become the person you've always wanted to be and a person that your W will find very difficult to leave. Confidence, a positive attitude and unconditional love are all MAGNETS. Become a MAGNET. You can't force your W into anything, but you can try to draw her back your way.

Also, detaching and patience. Don't take things personally and don't listen to anything she says. She will blurt out all kinds of things and, if you listen, you will become confused because that's exactly what she is.

Create poistive experiences by being positive yourself. We all know how hard this is, but you can do it. Others have and so can you!

You're off to a great start!

From Soup


Don't send your H Michele's books. Consider them your little secret. You're right, he won't read them anyway.

I guess I would feel better about using the DB techniques if we were closer & he could actually see the changes.

This suggests that your purpose for using DB is so that he can see your changes. Which is indirectly correct. But also wrong. Let me explain.

The premise behind DBing is that we work on ourselves since none of us can control other people. The only person we can control is ourself. So Michele tells us to work on ourselves. She also suggests that 'perhaps' our spouses will see those changes and rethink their decision to leave the R. BUT, she also tells us to make changes (to ourselves) if it makes us comfortable and happier. The emphasis is on making ourselves happy.

So how does your H see those changes you are making for yourself? There is no easy answer to this. But it can happen....

--- he can hear about your changes from mutual friends. "Gee, Anne sure is looking great these days. She sure has become her old self again."
--- he can detect changes in your emails. By your tone. He looks for validation of his feelings in your emails.
--- how you sound on the telephone... especially when he initiates the calls and knows that you haven't anticipated his calls.... he's looking for the everyday Anne. Importantly, he's listening whether or not you are listening to him. He needs to know that he can talk openly and unconditionally. He's looking for you to validate his feelings.

So important to make the most of every little opportunity Anne. ;\)

From Meems


You may already be doing this...I suggest you record your behavior/techniques and how W responded - whether that action pushed her away or brought her closer to you. This was recommended to me by a DB coach during a phone consultation. This will help you keep track of what works and what doesn't (this actually may be in Michele's books too).
One thing Jerry mentioned that I want to reemphasize is his suggestion of the "Five Love Languages" as a way to direct you towards understanding your wife's needs (love language). To love your wife in her "language" will help her feel loved/cared for by you. This is a smarter way to love than for you to put effort in areas that don't matter as much to her.

Your W has stated she's had some needs unmet by you and it's important for you to discover what really says love to her. Yes, at this moment, you might not have the chance to show her. Or, you might not be able to show this love on a husband level, only on a friend level. But be patient and over time more opportunities will arise.

It's much easier for us to encourage you to be patient, much more difficult to put into place, right? But it is patience and staying steady with your goals that will move you forward. I hope the best for you as you hold tight to your goals and wish for you much wisdom as you adjust your behavior to heal your M!
Laurie Divorce Busting Relationship Coach
From farfromhome


A couple of basic things to remember. Firstly, don't believe anything they say, for example your H saying he is actively looking for someone else - they will say things because of there own confusion and it doesnt mean it is true, believe me with your history you are not easy to replace (LOL).

Secondly be prepared for some hurtful things, your H is confused, angry, upset, etc - H will say things that refelct these stages and I am sorry but all of this will be your fault in his mind and in his words.

Thirdly, for the most part this is not about you anymore, it is all about them. Your H has to work through whatever he has to work through and it will be on his timetable. I am sorry, it hurts, its not fair but that is the timetable you are on. There is very little that you can do for him that will 'change' his mind.

So what do you do. For me it was start working on myself, doing little things that made me happy. Remember there is nothing worong with feeling grief, pain or anger through all of this, it is very normal - but try to do this in private away from your husband.

Things that I found that helped me included:

Having pre-arranged escapes for when arguements were coming up or cheeseless tunnels were approaching (basically I would break away from the conversation). When we were talking my wife would actively try to drag me into arguements to make me seem like the bad guy to her and thus justify her decision in her mind, allaying her guilt. In the end I just refused to go where I knew fights were going to follow.

Do something to make yourself feel good - I went out and bought a whole bunch of new cloths and would also make myself get out of my place to mix with people (often didnt feel like it but I would force myself and found I enjoyed it when I got there).

I got right into going to the gym again. When I felt down I would go to the gym for a good workout and the physical excercise really helped me. The Gym might not be for you but it could be whatever you want it to be.

Do something physically to demeonstrate change (eg hairstyle, cloths, etc) This really does register even though they wont say anything about it.

Get a life and dont be completely accessible. If your H is going out then you make sure you are going out and don't tell him where (even if it is only over to a friends place for a movie or something). Believe me they don't like the thought that you may have a life and are getting ready to move on.

Don't do the pleading, begging, etc part - it just reinforces to them why they left.

Make your changes but don't keep telling him about them. They will see them, they won't acknowledge them, but believe me they see them.

Don't talk to them about the R, it is poisoness groud, even if they bring it up at the beginning it will end in a fight. Also as you have found out dont ask a question that you know your not going to like the answer for. Believe me if you ask the question, at this point you will get a reply you dont want (particularly if part of an unwanted R discussion).

Be as patient as you can. Accept that you will backslide and make mistakes - everyone on this board has. Dont beat yourself up over them just learn from them and try to avoid that situation again in the future.

There are no guarentees in any of this. There were far better dbers on this board then me and they didnt get the outcome they were after. But I have seen a lot of sitchs like mine that were 'impossible' and have come through. In the end I knew I was going to be happy even if my M didnt fix up because I was looking after myself and making myself happy.

You have some good positives and are in a good position to db. Remember:

1. No R talk
2. Get a life
3. Have a bit mystry (doesnt mean dating or anything)
4. Look for some physical activity to help work through the frustrations
5. Dont let them drag you into THEIR drama - have your escape routes ready for when those situations arise
6. Work on your 180s
7. Note what works and what doesnt - keep doing those that work and avoid those that dont
8. Mostly this is about THEM and not about YOU

Remember in the end you have chose to try to save your marriage, this is very noble but has some hard work attached. Keep going, work on you and I wish you the outcome that you desire.

From ChristineE



You said that it is hard to work on things without W cooperation. This is not true. You can change the dynamic of your R by changing yourself only. That's the only thing you have control over. This has worked for me. I saw an immediate improvement in my H behavior when I started to implement DB. Please read DR, if you haven't already.

I would start my acting "as if". How would you behave if you knew everything was going to turn out fine? Create a positive environment around you.

Absolutely no R talks.

From hacker


Show her that you are a better man than the OM by your actions. Be understanding and compassionate. Also avoid pushing her by asking her if she still loves you. She obviously does not like that question because it puts her on the spot.

Don't focus on her actions and words and don't react to the OM. Focus on yourself. Make yourself better and put together some goals for yourself and your sitch. Monitor the baby steps and make adjustments as needed.

This is the time where YOU have to find that inner stength. Things may get a lot harder before they get easier. The key, however, is how you change yourself, not those around you. How do you do that?

Improve yourself in terms of how you communicate and relate to others.
Improve your appearance by working out and buying new clothes.
Improve your fathering skills by being a better dad to your daughter. (This is a big one because your W will see how your R with D is. If it improves dramatically, your W will start see that you're truly changing)

Make a list of goals. Watch out for baby steps. Don't react to OM; BE BETTER THAN HIM IN HER EYES.

Also, remember to layoff the questions that put her on the spot. That's a big no-no.

This will take time, Craig. It took a while to get to this point. It will take a while to get back. Be patient. If you are a man of faith, be humble and ask God to give you strength. It does make a big difference.
From Wearywonderer


Take it from me. There are always things that come up to challenege our ability to get our significant others back. The thing is you can drive her to him if you react to much to his presence. You can not control him. You can not control her. You CAN CONTROL YOU!

Craig, look at why you are reacting this way. Are you reacting this way out of love? Are you reacting this way out of caring? Or are you doing it our of fear? Think about why you are doing this. If it is a good reason, no jealousy and fear are not good reasons, then stick with it.

Calm down. I say this to myself and eveyone else. If you get flustered or taxed you are much more likely to overreact and stop DBing. Remain calm... a calm person is more able to be a better friend.

THE HARDEST THING. Stop needing your wife back. Wanting is okay but wants are not things that drive people into depression and jealousy. If you have a hobby this might be time to pick it back up and go full bore on it for a bit.

Craig... believe in youself, your cause, and the love you have in your W.

We are here for you buddy,

Don't Give Up. Don't ever give up.

Please help me! My H served me divorce papers 2 months ago, after a separation. Ever since, I have been going through the threads on DB BB and have also read DB.

Applying the DB techniques has really helped me and after 2 months of DB, my H has begun to call me and ask how I am doing. He came home the other night and we talked for almost 6 hours. I was positive, cheerful and confident.

But now, it seems that my H is trying to reconsider his decision. He is looking for answers and wants to know how I feel about what happened to get us to where we are....in short he wants me to take most of the responsibility for messing up our relationship and also apologize to his family and friends for hurting them....I don't think I should be apologizing to anyone but to him.

However, since I feel I am getting a second chance should I just take full responsibility and apologize even though I don't agree. He would like to pin the blame on me and expect me to make future changes to make the marriage work.

Please advise....I don't want to mess up a second time but I am not sure if I am the only one who should be accepting responsibility for what happened.

You have really taken the DB goal-setting and behavior and made it work for you - great! I encourage you to continue staying focused on your goals. And what are your goals? Will apologizing get you closer to them? I don't know your circumstances, so I am not sure why it is important for your H to have you apologize to family and friends. However, I would wonder that if by your apologies, it helps him to "save face" so that he feels more free coming back to you...is that possible? Would that be a possible outcome?

And, if you choose not to apologize, how will that impact your M goals? Is this a situation where it is more important to be right or to be loved?

Keep in mind that just because you are giving 150% right now, that doesn't mean as your R gets back on track that your needs can't be addressed later. And they should be - when your H is back committed to the M.

So, hold onto those things that are working for you! Then, take a clear look at the best possible consequences that could come from your future actions. I support your efforts!!!
Laurie Divorce Busting Relationship Coach
He left in July and I found this board and “went to work”. It was the typical “roller coaster” ride but we got to where everything was going great. He was reaching out to connect, emailing, calling 3 and 4 times a day and trying to figure out how often we could meet to see each other. We were going places and having a great time together.

Then a week ago we got in a conversation about the R. He got upset and hasn’t gotten over it yet. He is now angry and resentful just like at the beginning of the separation. He will email with “little” things but not like he was. If he calls and I say do you want to "do something" he gets upset and says he feels trapped (hadn’t “those” conversations for a long time). However, even when he says he feels trapped and he also ends it with saying things like – “So let's just leave it alone for now - sorry.” So, I don’t feel he’s totally shutting the door.

My question is what should I do? I’m thinking just go back to step one and start all over again since it feels just like it did 4 or 5 months ago.


Going back to what worked before may feel discouraging, but there is wisdom in learning from it. It sounds like it was very effective, so it would be foolish to discount it.

Take a good look at last week's conversation about the R. When did it start to go bad? Again, you have more knowledge and experience now than you did before, use it to your advantage.

You are pursuing a worthy goal - use what you know and stay positive.

Keep us posted,

Divorce Busting Relationship Coach
From farfromhome


Gday Steve

I have followed your post some but wanted to jump on to give you some thoughts. From my side I went through this seperation hell for over a year, I did not see my wife for fourteen months, was involved in three court cases (I was absent from them) and I would have talked to her four times in the four months leading up to these cases - I was living 15000kms away from her away.

Through the time of our seperation I was on the recieving end of some great verbal 'abuse' by my wife. She said she hated me, I was going to hell, I was untrustworthy, a liar, a minupulator, etc etc. Through the time she accused me of two affairs of which she said she had proof and a whole range of other things as well (none of which was true).

Mate my greatest shock in all this was a week before the final court case (which was going to last a minimum of three days in the court) my wife contacted me out completely unexpectantly and wanted to get back together. The end result is we are back together and moving along well.

Through this time I made every DB mistake that is possible to make. In the end the one thing I did well was detach from her and make her see what life by herself was going to be. What I am saying in the following is a combination of (1) myself being able to detach from the hell and emotional turmoil of seperation that you are going through and (2) from a number of conversations that I have with my wife since we have reconcilled. My story is spread across newcomers, seperated and surving but I have no idea how many pages back they now lurk.

Firstly from what you are written you have a very good chance of fixing things up in your sitch BUT you have to start detaching from this. There are some things that you have to learn that you cant control and stop fighting them. As hard as it is questions about OM, cell phone bills, etc are just going to alienate your wife and push her further away from you. One of the hardest things your going to have to do is suck these questions into you and not say anything to your wife. When things are getting too you - go to the gym, go for a walk or run or just vent here. Do NOT bring up your suspicions to your wife it is just going to highlight the reasons to herself why she 'left' you, and believe me at this stage she is looking for things to justify her actions to herself.

So a couple of things that I have found out from my wife that I am almost certain pertain to you sitch as well.

Your wife loves you and thinks about you continuously. They do not turn this off overnight, she is just very confused at the moment about her feelings.

Your wife misses you and the closeness that you had. She is trying to replace it at the moment with nights out with friends, etc. But watch mate, these friends will come and go and she will look at you as the constant in her life.

Your wife is angry at the moment and she will direct that anger to you. As the seperation progresses she will start to loose this anger and will likely push your buttons to get you into a fight so that she can then validate her feelings of anger towards you to herself. Remember it is always easy to put the blame on someone else other then the scarey step of accepting that some fault does lie with themselves.

Your wife does NOT hate you. She is confused about the feelings and the turmoil that she is experiancing at the moment. That confusion will come out in some truely aweful things that will be said but while she may 'think' she feels this, she doesnt. Accept the confusuion, dont fight it as you will only push her away and validate her feelings to herself.

Your wife remembers just about everything you say in this time. You dont have to keep reinforcong it in the hope that she 'hears it'. I am continually amazed at the things my wife is able to recollcet that were said in comments a year ago in the mdist of our darkest period. They do hear however at the moment they just are not ready to validate or accept what your saying.

Mate these are just a few of the points that I have picked up from my conversations with my wife (there are many more). In the end I did nothing spectactular, there are many far better 'dbers' on this board then I ever was or ever will be. The one thing I did was detach - in my mind my marriage was over and I got on with life. She then had to relaise what 'independance' truely was and to her credit and my good fortune she took the step of holding out the branch of reconcilliation and it was probably one of the bravest things she has done in her life.

You have many things going for you in your current sitch but you have to be patient and detach as best as you can. Now this does not mean turn away from your wife, ignore her, be mean, etc. It means look after you, look after your children and make sure you are happy and as much as you can project that happiness (my wife said that it was when she saw I had got my confidence back in myself and I stopped the begging, whining, 'acting' stuff that she got her attraction back to me). This will show more to her then any statements of 'look how much I have changed'.

In yourself you have to see that this whole db stuff is more then another 'tactic' on how to get your wife back. I think in honesty many on the board would say that this is how they are using it and get frustrated when they dont see immediate results. I know it took me quite a few months until I stopped using it as this 'tactic' and say it as a means of working on me and making me happy. In the end I would have been happy with me even if I had not reconciled.

This aint easy, in fact if your like me it is the hardest thing you will have to do in you life - it is something that I never want to go through again. You will make mistakes just remember it is not the end of the world when you do,

I wish you all the best and I hope for your success.

From MF


This DBing stuff is way more like a marathon than a sprint. My experience is:

Learn to really listen to her so she can feel your presence and know you hear her without judgment of the desire to fix or correct--a way of hearing that simply says how you feel is important and I want to bring that into my experience. Some of peanuts posts on compassionate listening are wonderful. In my experience, it all grew out of learning to hear w. I avoided OR talks, though, and we learned to do this talking around things that weren't emotionally charged, like the kids, her co-workers, etc. Alot of the Deida polarity stuff--which I personally 100% believe in--will grow slowly out of compassionate present listening, but it takes time.

Give her lots of space and detach from all the drama. Things unwind slowly. Especially give om no space in your mind. I know--very, very hard to do, but can be done. Prayer and meditation and outside interests seem to be the key. Almost all om's screw up if we let them and we let them by retreating. Once they think they are "ahead" they seem invariably fu%k up. Pressure is your worst enemy. Even when you think you are not in any way pressuring her, get quieter and look closer.

Be her friend first, unconditionally. This is way harder than it sounds. I used the best friend test. If I was going to say or do something regarding w, I asked myself if I would say or do it with my best friend. If the answer was no, I didn't do it. Even now I continue you this. Sometimes I really want to look at w's cell phone log to see who she's talking to, how often and when, etc. But I would never do this to my best friend, so I don't do it to her. I was able very slowly to build a really strong friendship with my w. She hated me and the thought of having sex with me made her want to puke--those are her words--but I knew how to be a really good friend, talk to her like a girlfriend and not a guy--or worse, a husband--and how to validate her emotions and speak to her without trying to solve or fix anything. In time, she grew to totally enjoy my company (and I hers) cause I wasn't pressuring her for anything. We were just hanging out. Om hated this and at one point told her she couldn't come see me any more. When I heard this, I knew om was dead (although it took many, many months for him to be really dead) I knew..quietly. There's no ranting, raving divorce lawyer power threats that can possibly work as well as quiet unconditional friendship. But it too takes time and requires some skills. I think with Deida you are off to a good start. The Way of The Superior Man and The Way of The Superior Lover are filled with practices that build these skills.

Focus on what works-I totally agree with Cliff and SG: try things and see what works, but don't try all kind of stuff at once. I'm uncertain about all the don't be so available and going dark, etc. stuff. I think it is more like be available in different ways. Deida has a chapter about how the feminine will return to your weak points over and over and over again and keep testing you there. That has absolutely been my experience. I don't think w consciously intends to test, she just does it with the same amount of forethought as breathing..its her nature. So, knowing she's going to go there you can prepare yourself to not respond or respond completely differently when she arrives. Now that's a 180 that will leave her dizzy.

Success is built on small victories-Silently celebrate your success without letting expectations that the next time will be even better sabotage you. Of course you still have a chance and time really is completely on your side. Note the small, almost imperceptable seeds of change and remember what works and what doesn't. You're doing good--patience, patience and then more patience. My wife and I are discussing the general timing and logistics of her moving back into our house. You can get to that conversation too, through patience and doing exactly what you did in your phone call--great success is built out of these small victories.

I don't know Einstein--don't look for fast resolutions -PATIENCE, my thing slowly recovered by very small almost imperceptible steps so don't look for big Hollywood style happenings--its more the accumulation of small acts of self-less kindnesses and responding to things in very unpredictable ways (which of course make you interesting) and then the ability to feel into and through her. Be patient, be kind and love her from a place of strength and wholeness rather than a place of need and desperation.
From gd1


first of all, I think your h is more confused than devious. I think he is afraid of losing his family...but is weak about losing something else.

But does it really matter what STAGE he is in? Those stages were simply guidelines...sort of like the list of things ALL MLCers seem to say (ya know, from the booklet on what to say as you leave your spouse.) They came from one person's idea of what happened in her sitch and certainly that can help us see some similarities and perhaps some ways to handle them. But your husband hasn't read THAT book.

He is lost and unable to get his act together. And some things you do might help him and some might hurt, but you can only try and watch and see what you think is happening and helping or hurting.

There are some who will say that it is up to him...sit back and eat popcorn. But when it is your life and your family on the line, I say to reread Michele's books. She says take action to save your family. Certainly change you BUT change you to bring about a change in the marriage dynamic.

I don't recall a place where Michele says...let them go do their thing and wait patiently by the curb.

But then, that is just my opinion...

Lots of hugs, gd
From Rapunzel


Thank you everyone for the well wishes and advice. I have to say, I am taking it slow but I feel much more optimistic now. He even went back to counseling yesterday. I hope he stays with the program! I'm not sure how to react to some of the things he does but I'm trying to be nice about it. He just wants me to do the same things the ow did and I don't want to be compared to that woman.

you said you do not want to be compared with the OW, and your H is asking you to do certain things. Well, I understand, but you might want to think about, what he is saying. This experience is a growth experience for the both of you, and maybe it is time to expand your Horizon, not what she did, even better.

He did what he did because something was missing in his book. Why not build on this knowledge. Sex stuff maybe - any book about relationship will tell you to make the bedroom exciting and try new things. Cooking? time for new recipes.

You might be angry about him doing things with the OW and be stubborn about it, but maybe if you overcome that stubborness, you might find out that the new experiences your H brings out of his MLC might be pretty exciting.

Let's face it, when you met your H, you were probably happy, that he had experience in certain areas. Let's calm down and relax. Your H has to live with the thought, that he almost lost his family due to his MLC, depression. Let's try to accomodate him a little bit - give a little, take a little.

This is painful, but you are strong and have come so far. I am truly happy about what is going on in your marriage right now, and I hope that you guys make it.

From kml, re "How long when you know it is over? When do you give up?"


As to the question of "giving up" - there's a difference between giving up and letting go. Loving detachment - understanding and accepting that you can't control his behaviors or choices, stepping outside of your own pain enough to have some empathy for the confusion and pain he is in, working on improving yourself (we ALL can use some improvement) - these are things we all can and must learn to do - they are different from "giving up". I don't think you should "give up" on your H - he is ill and may need you some day. But you certainly need to "let go" - your constant attempts to reach him are only driving him away. (BTW - don't assume that he doesn't notice your changes, or that he doesn't hear what you are saying, just because you don't get a response - my H remembers one thing I said to him that I would have sworn he didn't even hear, much less absorb - and told me months later how important it was to him.)

What if tomorrow, you appeared looking your absolute best, with some new changes, smiled and were cheerful, DIDN'T try to engage him in any conversation, and simply said "Thank you" nicely and left? Even better if you could cut off the interaction first and imply you were in a hurry to be somewhere?

Then, maybe aftera few non-threatening contacts like this, H would be receptive to a simple note, in which you validated that you understand that he can't cope with the girls right now, and probably is a little worried about scaring the girls. Tell him that you understand he is going through a really rough time, and that you are taking good care of his girls for him, so that someday when he feels well enough he can see them again.

But don't give him this note until after a few episodes of "painless" contact. If you keep pursuing he'll cut off that contact too. If you stop pursuing, he might eventually start to wonder what you are up to.
From DB Coach Laurie


During this difficult time, you may get many opinions (from your attorney, family, friends, us, etc...) which can really get confusing. So, please remind yourself what your R goals are first of all. What do you want to see happen between you and your W that is realistic and a bit hopeful during these next few weeks? (Possible example: I would like my W to be less angry with me.)

Then, once you remind yourself of that, ask yourself what kind of behaviors you can show that would HELP move your R forward with your W? (Example: I want my W to be less angry toward me and it seems that my being around her, calling her, asking her to dinner, etc., gets her hostility up, therefore, I need to have a lot less contact, possibly no contact at all and will not pursue asking her to dinner, movies, etc., with her at all for the next two weeks.)

Is your goal D or is it improving your R? Those most likely are two different goals and will determine two different sets of behaviors from you, I believe. So, please decide which goal you are striving for first and that will determine what you should do, OK?
Laurie Divorce Busting Relationship Coach
Posted By: Tia Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! - 11/04/10 04:35 AM
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