Hi Deb - I'm having almost similar problems, what a surprise
Quote: part of the difficulty in dealing with the tears I think comes from knowing that he cares so much about some other woman that it is tearing him up to lose her. Boy, that sticks in really sore places. So, I guess I need to pray to be able to let go of that and then maybe I will know better how to help.
Yup, I know exactly where you are coming from. Upon reflection, I don't think we need to put ourselves through this. I think I'm going to keep myself otherwise busy. But you are right, this can still be so very hard.
A Liberal Allowance of Time
Re: More morphing chronicles from almost red hot momma#339452 09/22/0405:53 PM09/22/0405:53 PM
Hi Dawn, thanks for stopping by. I'm doing ok, just been so busy at work and home I havent had time to post at all for several days, I guess that's good, means I have a life at least!
Things are going pretty well with H, I told him monday and tuesday that I still have trouble with feeling anxious....Monday he was kind of irritated and said sometimes I wear him down (ok, gotta stop that)....Tuesday he hugged me and said "you don't need to be". I don't get as much "mushiness" from him right at the moment, and I suppose that adds to my anxiety that he'll go back to OW.... but over all he is certainly much more loving and caring.
H initiated ML both Tuesday night and Wednesday night, so I guess that says something.
last night I took S to religious ed class, before we left, H commented "when you get back we can have a little time together" which basically tranlates into "watch a little tv", but that's ok. When I went to pick S up at class, OW's poor D came walking out to the waiting area where I was sitting, and the poor child stopped dead in her tracks, her mouth dropped open and she turned white, which makes me wonder what the heck her mother has told her about me. I have never seen or met the kid, I knew who she was last night because she looks just like her mother and from her response (of course she went to her mother also).
I'm trying really hard to resist asking H about if they still email/phone....but it sure bugs the heck out of me.
I'm trying to stay focused on morphing into a hot momma and maintaining the life I've gotten....got a new hairdo Tuesday, H actually asked me what the deal was with it....it's flipped up/out on the ends, I like it because it's different and easy. Just about got the money saved up for my new bike; got plans underway for kidnapping H, and here's the mind-blowing part: Saturday is my 50th birthday. I can't believe it. My brother is throwing whats supposed to be a surprise party for me, H told me because he suspected I was plotting his kidnapping for then ( I was!), all H knows is that "people you used to know are invited" and he is convinced it includes old boyfriends (?) and is kind of "wierd" about it.
I still can't believe I'm dealing with this soap opera stuff at "this age"! oh, well. at least I'm not pregnant!
I could sure use some tips on how to proceed from here, though. I pretty much believe OW is history, I don't think H wants to start up with her again, although I'm not sure all contact has ceased. I'm trying to keep the focus on making home a great and appealing place to be, and making our life together warm and happy and hopefully passionate. Maybe I'm doing ok, H commented last week that it was weird, but roles had completely reversed, things had completed switched around, that he had begun to prefer being at home to being at OW's and to prefer being with me to being with her. I just hope it lasts!
been around awhile!
Re: More morphing chronicles from almost red hot momma#339454 09/23/0402:04 PM09/23/0402:04 PM
Quote: When I went to pick S up at class, OW's poor D came walking out to the waiting area where I was sitting, and the poor child stopped dead in her tracks, her mouth dropped open and she turned white, which makes me wonder what the heck her mother has told her about me.
Typical OW stuff. Too bad the poor kid is stuck in the middle. All you can do is stay out of it...
Quote: all H knows is that "people you used to know are invited" and he is convinced it includes old boyfriends (?) and is kind of "wierd" about it.
He's feeling insecure. Yeah, I know, it comes off as hippocritical. But H reacted the same way with me a few months back. We ran into this guy we both knew from a few years back. It's no secret I had a huge crush on him--and we found out later he had one on me at the same time. Well, he never asked me out, and my H did. He got really weird around H for a long time...we both thought it was jealousy...he had the most shocked look on his face when he saw the engagement ring. Anyway, when we ran into him again, H got kind of anxious, asked if I regretted never dating the guy. Commented I might have ended up married to him, if I thought that might have been better. I just reassured him that I was very happy with the way things had turned out.
Quote: I could sure use some tips on how to proceed from here, though. I pretty much believe OW is history, I don't think H wants to start up with her again, although I'm not sure all contact has ceased.
I seriously doubt that all contact has stopped, as well. It just usually doesn't happen that way. Especially if they work in the same place. But, I also think that it's got to be her doing all the pushing. Just got to let her act like the crazy we all know she can be. In the end, it will make him want to get away.
And congrats on the new hairdo.
Re: More morphing chronicles from almost red hot momma#339455 09/23/0403:28 PM09/23/0403:28 PM
Glad you are ok! I started to worry when I did not see your usual posts. Happy to know that nothing is wrong.
I see that you are still struggling with thoughts of OW. I sympathize, I really do, but it's not going to help you. Your H says that he is more comfortable being home now. Please try to remember why that is. Be confident Deb. I think he finds that appealing.
I had to laugh about your H being jealous. HA I would not fret over this...he deserves it!
Have a wonderful birthday and remember YOU ARE A RED HOT MOMMA!!!
Re: More morphing chronicles from almost red hot momma#339456 09/23/0407:19 PM09/23/0407:19 PM
I am so happy for you! You're not off the rollercoaster yet, but there is less chance of you being flung out of the ride now! I've been through the stage you are now at..expect a few more bumps..that darn anger/grief for what he's done..but try to AVOID saying anything about OW in a teasing way. When you teased him about who he might have been talking to at lunch..I did that too and H said it made him really angry. At this point he is trying to purge. Remember in the beginning when I told you to be his best friend, and when things with OW ended that YOU would be his sounding board? His blabbing about the OW is proof that you did just that. Just keep listening and validating.
You are doing a GREAT job! Even though I don't post, I've been keeping an eye on you and I am so glad you found your way through the cheese!
Bomb Nov 01 PA w/OW (lied for 10 yrs) Dumped OW/back home Nov 02 I became WAS:Feb 05 Reconciled:Oct 06 Current:Going strong, Still using DB techniques to KEEP it that way 10 years later!
Re: More morphing chronicles from almost red hot momma#339457 09/23/0410:24 PM09/23/0410:24 PM
HI! It's so good to hear from you!!!! How are you and your guys doing? I have to say, If it wasnt for your support last winter, I don't know if I'd have made it. You really were my lifeline at times. I hope all is great in your corner of the world, that you came through the hurricanes ok....I thought of you!
I've just been trying to keep on keeping on, being his friend was sure the right track to take. It's been amazing the way he opened up the last 2 weeks. Hopefully, we are over the biggest hurdles now...still some distance to travel, but I believe that will always be "life".
been around awhile!
Re: More morphing chronicles from almost red hot momma#339458 09/23/0410:25 PM09/23/0410:25 PM
I hunted through my old threads and found this. It's been so helpful to me I wanted to move it up here for easier reference. I couldn't find the direct link, although I know I've seen it posted. many thanks still to Christine E who sent this to me back on February 24! I copied and pasted the post so that I don't have to do the link. I wish I knew who the original author is. This is great stuff:
THE "AS IF" ATTITUDE It all boils down to this ... you must have a Special "As If" Attitude to significantly increase the likelihood your marriage will be saved -- even if your spouse really doesn't want to work on it. You can make a difference.This attitude is full of positive energy and it releases very powerful and deep psychological mechanisms in your spouse. The strength of those mechanisms is largely determined by how well you live your Special "As If" Attitude.
There are four key things to remember about this Special "As If" Attitude:
A. a model, a concept visualization tool to help you understand what has and is and can be happening with your spouse.
B. knowledge, your knowledge of the DB principles may be the single most important knowledge you need in order to win back your spouse and save your marriage.
C. patterns of behavior, recognizing what got you here and what will take you home.
D. the design of your Special "As If" Attitude, what you, personally need to do.
A. Special "As If" Attitude Model This model is a simple attempt to help you understand what's going on right now .. and to make it easier to understand why the attitude with which you deal with your spouse right now is critical to the improvement of your relationship and marriage. Imagine a 1 inch ball (Ball "A") suspended inside a 3 inch ball ("B") that is suspended inside a 5 inch ball ("C"). Ball "A" consists of the core values of a person ... the very best they have inside them ... how they really feel about the most important things in life ... love, God, marriage, children, family, etc. 'A' values are very deeply seated in the subconscious, and while they manifest consciously (to one degree or another), the important thing to remember is that they are very deep in the subconscious, are more permanent in nature, and change very, very slowly. The primary function of "B" is to protect "A"; its serves much like a modulator between "C" and "A". "C" represents our what-we-are-doing-right-now behavior; it is more topical and flighty, more conscious than subconscious, and is largely temporary in nature.
Now imagine everyone has a Giver side and a Taker side. * One side is caring and considerate and one that seems impossible to get along with. The Giver follows the rule: do whatever you can to make the other person happy and avoid anything that makes the other person unhappy. It's the part of you that wants to make others happy. It grows out of a basic instinct that we all share, a deep reservoir of love and concern for those around us. The Taker follows the rule: do whatever you can to make yourself happy and avoid anything that makes yourself unhappy. It's the part of you that wants you to be happy, and it grows out of your basic instinct for self-preservation. In everyday life, our Givers and Takers usually solve problems together. They recognize our need to give and take simultaneously. For example, when we buy groceries, we give money and take groceries. We don't give more money than the grocer asks for and we don't take groceries without paying for them.
In marriage, sometimes our Giver is more in charge ... we are loving and considerate, and tend to make personal sacrifices to see to it that our spouses are happy and fulfilled, because our Takers are not there to defend our personal interests. We love unconditionally when guided by our Giver, because our Givers do not care how we feel. But when the Taker is in charge, we are rude, demanding and inconsiderate. All we seem to think about is ourselves, and what our spouses can do to make us happy. We expect our spouses to make sacrifices for us, because our Takers don't care how our spouses feel. This is normal behavior in marriage.
Marriage is one of the very few conditions that bring out the pure Giver and Taker in each of us. And that usually makes us seem much crazier than we really are. It is the Taker that ruins marriages. But the Giver plays a very important role in creating the problem. It's the effort of the Giver to give our spouses anything they want that sets up the Taker for it's destructive acts. After you have been giving, giving, giving to your spouse, and receiving little in return, your Taker rises up to straighten out the situation. It sees the unfairness of it all, and steps in to balance the books. But instead of coming to a more balanced arrangement, where you get something for what you give, the Taker just moves the Giver out of the picture altogether. It says, "I've been giving enough, now it's your turn to give." We've all been through it, but it doesn't work. All our Takers do is rouse our spouses' Taker and the first thing we know, we're having a fight.* (http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3550_give.html Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. Dr. Harley's website, http://www.marriagebuilders.com and his materials offer valuable help.)
Dr. Harley's Love Bank visualization tool is something like a piggy bank for your relationship with your spouse. Your Giver makes love deposits into the Love Bank, while your Taker makes withdrawals.
B. Knowledge The more knowledge you have about the processes you are dealing with, the higher the likelihood of you saving your spousal relationship and marriage. You know now not to beg or plead; as much as you want to, it only works against you. DB principles are examples of knowledge in action ... things you can do to improve your marital relationship in far less time than would otherwise be required.
It is very important for you to realize you are doing something your spouse is not doing .... you are proactively working on restoring your marriage. You are using very powerful resources to do so. Your spouse is not. You will understand more of what's really doing on in your relationship, than your spouse. Your spouse does not know that. You have a tremendous advantage in your relationship with your spouse. Yeah, I know, it doesn't feel like that to you right now, but it is true. Accept it and go on.
C. Patterns of Behavior Patterns of behavior, yours and your spouses, play a very important role in helping you re-establish your marriage.
This Special "As If" Attitude model is built around the following dynamic. Deep inside your spouse, the odds are very high the love and values your marriage was/is based on are still alive and well ... bruised some, to be sure, but far from being gone or dead. You did a number of things that contributed to some layers or films of discontent settling around her/his core, and they prevent her/his love from fully flowing all the time. The confusing words/actions you are experiencing with your spouse right now reflect different moments when the core and discontent elements are coming out. That's why you need to just ignore the discontent stuff; if all goes well, it will continue to disintegrate as the core elements work their way into their natural, more prominent place in his/her life and yours.
Your patterns. You've already demonstrated two different patterns of behavior that have hurt you very much. The first were those you used when you essentially to meet your spouses needs .. they are the primary reason you are having marital problems right now. Those patterns of behavior essentially caused fine layers of 'residue' or film to build up on the outside of your spouses' "A" ... so much so that the feelings inside "A" have a very difficult time coming out. If it isn't too late, and as you will see it probably isn't, enough of those feelings are still alive and wanting to function like and even better than before.
The second set of behaviors were those you showed when you finally realized your relationship and marriage were in very very serious trouble .. it was the words you said and the things you did when the Bomb went off. In both cases, you acted and reacted in the way(s) you thought best ... and they weren't.
Right now, you need to 'crack' your existing mindset so you can face and deal with reality. And, the reality about DBing is that 99% of the outcome likelihood is determined by how well the person follows the DB protocol, to use a medical term. It's flexible and widesweeping enough such that once someone catches on to it, their life changes almost instantly, and an unbelievable peace comes over them. They reach a 'center of gravity' point, a sweet spot, kind of a M A G I C A L space in the center of all of the Special "As If" Attitude stuff. They understand the principles involved, and apply them in a strict but not too-strict sense. They give most of your energy toward their spouse and marriage, but they do it by working on themselves, making themselves a happier and more desirable person, someone who is always doing the 'right' and good things. They no longer feel they don't have any influence on what's happening right now in their most personal relationship. They KNOW they have a whole lot to say about its outcome ... so much say, they become peaceful about themselves and the future ... with or without spouse, and, yes, they still want their spouse and their marriage. And, the truth is that because of what they do, if the marriage makes it ... it will be much better than before.
If you want a tool that can accelerate the 'cracking' process, this one works. Write up what you would recommend to a new poster here, whose circumstances are identical to yours. Describe it using your highest understanding of good DBing. This requires a complete rethink of current situation, exclusively from a DB perspective. It's a headknocker. It does the trick. It works M A G I C
The m a g i c happens real fast when someone can do that. The key really is thinking through and making sure your words and actions are solid DB-wise before you say or do them. To successfully do this depends on the depth of your commitment ... how long it takes you to discard the baggage beliefs you have about where things really are and what you really can do about them.
Baggage beliefs were useful to us at an earlier time, but now prevent us from accepting the beliefs we need now in order to do a better job at whatever it is that God wants us to really do while we are here. They include beliefs about ourselves ... are we what we want and know we need to be ... and then of others ... always mindful we have a Big Time Helper in God, if we keep ourselves and our relationships consistent with being a truly good person ... all the time ....
You spouse's patterns. Two sets of patterns of behavior your spouse has displayed are important here.
1. Early Warning Signals. These are the behaviors you didn't pay enough attention to. They were the road signs a dangerous road lay ahead. From the many hundreds, here are a few typical signals. Spouse indicated s/he wanted to talk about your relationship ... to help improve it. Spouse talked about people you know who were having marital difficulties. Started showing more dissatisfaction and anger than 'normal'. You upset him/her far more easily than usual. Complaints the two of you didn't really talk like you used to. Less touching. Then, maybe none. The automatic 'I love you' wasn't heard as often. And, isn't heard now, except "as a friend".
2. The Bomb and its Aftermath. "Hello!" "Anybody Home?". Brave New World. Armageddon. Some typical signals. Separation, talked or done. Lawyer. Needs time and space for themselves; its important to them. Doesn't want to lie to you, but feels you don't want to hear "the truth". Coldness. Love you, but its not the same. Friend. Doesn't care about your feelings. Selfish. Hate you. Self-centered. Confused. Different friends. Another woman. Another man. Children. Finances. Emotions. Divorce. Indifference. What?
During this period, your spouse may not want to admit to themselves or may not even realize, but the confusion itself means they still are not unsure about leaving you, about letting you go ... some part is still holding on and hoping for a happy ending ...
Detaching spouses go through a series of phases or steps either toward or away from their mates. The series taken by detaching spouses who end up back with and committed to their mates consists of three phases, (i) withdrawn, (ii) transition, and (iii) intimacy. see http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3600_state.html
In order for the Withdrawn spouse to get to Intimacy, s/he must pass through a Transition zone. Lets assume your spouse is in the Withdrawal phase. Right now your spouses' Taker side is trying to convince her/him that you are not worth the effort, and she/him should engage in emotional divorce. Your spouse no longer feel emotionally bonded or in love, and emotional defenses are raised. S/he doesn't want to meet your needs. They are or have given up on you meeting their needs. They want independence. They withdraw -- you essentially withdrew when you earlier failed to recognize and deal with your spouses' early warning signals. There is less care in the relationship. You aren't trusted. You don't have their respect.
You have to use your Special "As If" Attitude to influence your spouses' behavior to the next desirable step ... Transition ... where very carefully both parties start to consciously or subconsciously work to improve the marriage, though the detached spouse may not be aware of it. This is the activity that crosses you from being in the Confusion state to Centering and on into Completion. During this period you and your spouse will likely be communicating in a relative open manner. S/he will be expressing what s/he wants, and you won't like some of that. You will take heart in the fact that most of the most common 'threats' posed by detaching spouses do not come true, and when they do, it just means a little more work is to be done. You don't give up. Some of the needed changes may take a while to show, to express themselves in a clear way. If, after a suitable passage of time, you haven't seen results in one area, change what you are doing ... you are putting together a group of behaviors that are good for you and for your spouse and marriage. How long is a suitable time? Good question. Have observed that if you follow one set of behaviors for 4 to 6 weeks, your spouse will tend to believe 'that's' the way you are. Whenever you reach a point where you are certain your spouse 'knows how you are', then change how you are ... always in a way that is positive for you and the family, but that your spouse may not realize. This is a dynamic thing you are dealing with. That's why it is imperative you have the right tools to work with. If you still don't have the book, get it.
In the Transition zone, conversation ranges from being disrespectful, resentful and even hateful to kind and polite and together-orinted. * Mutual self-centeredness replaces selfishness. Your Taker still tries to see to it that you are treated fairly. The problem, of course, is that your Taker does not know how to treat your spouse with that same fairness. Fairness is viewed by the Taker as getting its way at all costs. Couples are still emotionally bonded and that makes the pain of thoughtlessness even worse. Love units are withdrawn at a very fast rate, and then start to be deposited at a slow but increasing rate. They may still hope that the hurting will stop, but they don't trust each other to stop the madness, and then it does ... a little ... and a little more. * (modified from Harley)
During this period you start meeting your spouses emotional needs again ... a little bit at a time ... then a little more. You don't want your spouse to be fully aware this is what is happening; at first it works on deep subconscious levels. You must calm down his/her Taker. That's where the Special "As If" Attitude comes in. In the Transition Zone, the Taker in you and in your spouse urges you and him/her to return pain whenever its received. You stop the cycle. You don't return pain for pain. You do it in a loving, but not submission way ... you do it with respect for your mate and yourself ... you don't return pain for pain. This is a very important change of behavior that has a major impact on the dynamics of the relationship.
In the Intimacy stage, you and your spouse will have rebonded and will be consciously working on your relationship, with our prayers going with you.
D. Design In designing your Special "As If" Attitude, it must be sensitive to and framed around the emotional needs of your spouse. Affection. Sexual Fulfillment. Conversation. Recreational Companionship. Honesty and Openness. An Attractive Spouse. Financial Support. Domestic Support. Family Commitment. Admiration. see http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3300_needs.html
It must include a positive outlook on life; no one likes negativity ... it repels.
It must be compassionate. This is a compassion 'game'. Compassion in that you have to care and act in ways that hurt you to the core, but that are necessary if you are going to allow your real love for your mate to overcome the needs you have right now. Do not blame your spouse for the problems in the marriage. You must ignore some words and actions of your spouse, though they may deeply hurt. You must put your spouse in First Place in a way you've never done before.
The design must balance needs ... needs you have as a person ... needs your spouse has as a person ... and needs of your marriage. You must first think of yourself. You must be of strong and clear mind to most effectively deal with the issues in your marriage. In order for you to do this, you must rest more than you have been, you must eat regular, balanced meals, and you must keep yourself in good physical condition. Most importantly, you must think about your well-being and your future. You will still have a future even if all of your efforts fail. But, odds greatly favor that if you will faithfully adopt and live the Special "As If" Attitude, you will win the full love of your spouse back and your marriage will end up stronger than ever.
Your spouse has two sets of needs that are important right now. The needs s/he feels right now, and her/his core value, "A", needs. You need to meet the needs your spouse has right now ... the ones that reinforce his/her core values ... and ignore the rest. You do this by acting as if you were their friend. Back off from being a spouse ... and let part of you become more of a friend to your spouse. Tell them you just want to be their friend right now. Then back it up. But be a very very special friend ... one who never gets on their butt because they disagree with them. Its O.K. to disagree with something your spouse says or does, "I understand how you feel", "I can relate to that ...", "I can understand why that made you feel that way ... ", etc. You are not saying you agree with their opinion or belief about something, rather that you are agreeing that you understand how they feel. Big difference.
Your Special "As If" Attitude is sensitive to the emotional and physical realities of your particular situation. Here's an example. There are two major phases in developing your Special "As If" Attitude. The first phase is where you put forth a certain type of behavior that is made up of the 'what-you-got-to-do's'. Positive outlook. Being a friend. Those sorts of things. You adopt all of that as soon as you possibly can. And, by "adopt", its meant those attitudes become you ... they become so strong in you that regardless of what your spouse says or does .... regardless .... you keep those attitudes. They serve you in ways that are almost mysterious ... they must be stronger than your weakest point ... they must be stronger than how you normally react to something, including emotionally. They must be stronger than any pain your spouse can inflict on you. You must commit and stick to them. Period.
After you have the core attitudes solidly in place ... and you will know when this occurs ... then, its time for you to shift the management or control of the relationship from your spouse to you.
Right now your spouse thinks they know you -- your patterns of behavior -- so well and they are 'certain' you can't do anything to change the way they feel about you.
* "One of the basic ideas in my book is that if what you're doing isn't working, do something different. A "do your own thing" philosophy is a good one if you have been pleading, begging or trying to control what your spouse is thinking or feeling. If, on the other hand, your spouse has felt unimportant or neglected in the past, your quietly sitting back and not fighting for him/her might be misinterpreted as your not caring enough to do something about his/her actions. You see, what you need to do depends entirely on what you have or haven't been doing in the past. The key is in abandoning strategies that haven't been working and finding something new that does work." * (Michele in a post to someone on this board.)
* Whatever pigeonhole your spouse has placed you into, this is the behavior you must change. You must surprise your spouse by handling the situation differently the next time. Any change might do as long as it is different enough for your spouse to notice, even just a little. Be creative, use your imagination. The single guideline is: The next time you get into the situation where you feel tempted to do the same old thing, do something different. *
You don't make changes in a lot of your behavior, rather you make calculated changes in one or two areas. Then you see what happens. The changes that produce positive reactions in your spouse, you keep. And, remember, 'new and different' is the order of the day. * Lets say you are usually home when your spouse comes in, be gone. Always act happy if you haven't been doing so. Use actions and words that cause your spouse to think you are moving on with your life even if s/he's in a bad mood. Do things without your spouse. Stay clear of your spouse when they are in a bad mood. Try just about anything you haven't tried before and watch the results. * (Michele to someone on this board) If you normally take his/her calls when they come in, don't ... wait two hours if you normally call back immediately; if you normally get back to morning calls in the afternoon, wait until the next morning. If s/he knows you always do one certain thing at one certain time of the week or month, do something else, or nothing. If you always talked and planned on doing something you haven't done, do it ... a class you wanted to take ... a trip you wanted to make, something at home you wanted to fix, etc. This will fulfill a dream of yours and add credibility to the changes you have made. * If you are a laid back person, then fighting for your marriage is what the doctor ordered; if, on the other hand, your spouse perceives you as controlling or strong willed, backing off is exactly what you need to do.* (Michele, in response to a post on this board)
And, very important, the Special "As If" Attitude doesn't get angry. While there well may be a time when it is good for you to act angry with your spouse, its probably best to put off such actions until you really understand what you are doing ... otherwise it can hurt your cause.
Your Special "As If" Attitude doesn't blame your spouse for the condition your marriage is in right now. While both of you may have contributed to its decay, for right now you must recognize you did not properly take care of your spouses' emotional needs. Right now, your spouses' perception of what is wrong with you and your marriage is more important than your perception of what is wrong. The thing about it, though, is that your spouse is more confused than s/he realizes. And, that's why the Special "As If" Attitude pays very close attention to what the spouse says .. and it doesn't believe much of it. You keep the 'good' and acknowledge the rest ... In dealing with your spouse, you reinforce the good ... those words and actions that serve to reinforce core "A" values, without appearing to do so, and you acknowledge -- not accept -- the rest.
Your Special "As If" Attitude does not force anything on your spouse. It starts with you, yourself, and you have to trust s/he will see the changes. This does not happen over night.
Your Special "As If" Attitude is used with everyone, including your spouse, your family, and your friends. Make it a point that friends and family hear your side of the story first and best and most reasonably, if possible. This will tend to reduce the amount of 'support' your spouse gets from those sources. The less support s/he gets, the better it is for you and him/her and the relationship. Few people remain in the same place if they are not supported in that place. If your spouse feels that friends and family 'understand' what s/he is doing, s/he will keep doing it for a much longer time than if they don't.
Your Special "As If" Attitude takes care of you and how you look. If you will step up about a notch in what you wear, this will have a positive impact on your spouse. They don't expect this to happen. When it does, they like what they see ... and the subconscious message you send is one of 'change'. Your self-esteem will improve and you will look better around more people.
Your Special "As If" Attitude includes a positive outlook. Stop worrying about things you can't fix, like the past, and work on the things you can change, the present, the here and now, YOU. It will take time and hard work on your part to show him/her what a great person you are, to remind him/her why s/he loves you, and convince him/her your changes are here to stay. Moping around and feeling sorry about your situation will not convince anyone of anything. If s/he recognizes you have made changes and says the changes have come to late -- you need to recognize what is most important .... s/he is noticing the changes ... ignore the rest ... and just keep working on YOU!
The Special "As If" Attitude model assumes typically * there is a power imbalance in the marriage relationship, where one partner is submissive the other dominant. In a good marriage, there is equality, meaning that partners are able to easily switch back and forth where each is dominant some of the time and the other submissive some of the time. Things are truly shared. When there is an imbalance, the submissive one feels unable to gain equality within the marriage, and goes outside to redress the balance of power. When the submissive partner decides for independence, the dominant one panics and goes for dependence to hold on, resulting in deadlock. The submissive one becomes the deceiver, the dominant the denier. In deception, the spouse becomes a different person doing new things, often finding a new person. The denier holds on by not recognizing the spouse's changes, signals of despair & rebellion, hoping they will go away. It takes two to go the route of divorce, every deceiver needs a denying spouse. Getting out of the marriage is an act of desperation, and often felt as an act of survival. You don't need to divorce to break out of the destructive pattern, just change it. You break with the old -- which is where the problem is -- to do something totally different. *
Your Special "As If" Attitude allows for you to be wrong ... for you to make an error in judgment ... without losing your balance ... without taking backward steps ... or even falling backwards. Do not expect your spouse to SNAP be back. It doesn't happen that way. It happens because what you do leads to some very tiny baby steps, that become toddler steps, that keep changing into longer, more sure-footed strides. And, along the way you will screw up and make a mistake ... some may almost break your heart ... but don't show it to your spouse. Sometimes you may feel depressed; this is normal, but don't let your spouse see or hear you this way. If you will 'get' the real message permeating Michele's materials, it is that everyone makes mistakes, many lead to serious marital situations, and, being human, we can learn how to do better ... how to improve ourselves and all of our relationships, including the one that is the present center of attention ... and actually DO IT!
Some of you may think the adoption and living of this Special "As If" Attitude is too difficult to do. Perhaps because of the pain you feel. The Special "As If" Attitude is all about reducing pain ... and restoring relationships and loves and marriages and families. Use every ounce of will and help from God you can muster, and commit to and DO IT! It works.
Reach deeper within yourself than the pain and hurt you are feeling ... then DO IT!
If you are a woman, imagine the type of woman that is very attractive to a man, a woman with the kind of attitude that is attractive to a man, the kind of woman a great wife would be. If you are a man, imagine the type of man that is very attractive to a woman, a man with the kind of attitude that is attractive to a woman, the kind of man a great husband would be. That image has components that that are different from some of your components right now. Energize that new attitude with powerful positive emotions. You can do it. Practice it and you will get to a point, pretty quickly, where there will be a solid meeting or merger or congruence between your reframed attitude and the emotions that empower it. When you feel it slipping some, then reestablish it the same way you got it there in the first place.
When the 'new' you feels comfortable, go through all of the good and 'bad' stuff that can happen with your spouse. Specific things. Decide with your Special "As If" Attitude how you will deal with those things if they happen. Of course, you will use your highest understanding of the DB principles when you address stuff that might happen. The net effect will be that you definitely will worry less, and worry contributes to ambiguity and poor decisions. You will worry less because you will have a much more accurate understanding of what is really going on in your relationship -- odds greatly favor it isn't near as bleak as it may appear -- and you will know you are dealing with it in a way that works. And, you will be happier because you will know down deep that you are doing the stuff that is best for you, and for your spouse and the marriage. Oh, a minor point -- this will also have a tremendous impact on your spouse. It will tend to drive him or her a little (more) nuts for a bit, when s/he finds that various reactions s/he has learned to expect from you don't happen, and instead something fresh and clean and pure does. This works on a number of levels, at the same time.
Remember, the outlook is not as bleak as you think -- once you understand the book, read the forums suggested to you along with a few hundred of the posts here, you will know that is the truth. The more you learn, the more you will understand how and why to always keep the right attitude. The more you learn, the less stress and anxiety you will feel, while you really work on improving your marriage.
One more thing ... if you haven't forgiven your spouse for the pain they have caused you, DO IT!
Of course there is NO guarantee, that your spouse will come back. But, it is very effective in putting you in control of your feelings. It most certainly will change the dynamics of your relationship, guaranteed.
weird, I just realized an earlier post is not here. I don't know what happens to them. I wanted to be sure and record an incident here from this evening. It was so great! H stopped in my office on his way out....came right over and took me in his arms, hugged me and kissed me. Of course I hugged back, told him ILY and that I'd been thinking of him. Told him that I liked it when he came in and hugged me like that, he said "I'm glad you like it"....I told him it was so nice I could hardly believe it, and he said "I guess you'll just have to get used to it" . It was so warm and sincere, and NICE, it just made my heart warm, and feel like all this agonizing effort is going to pay off in the long run, and will have been worth it.