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The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) #2483574
08/31/14 12:40 PM
08/31/14 12:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
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job Offline OP

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emotional Level:

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

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

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

Do not look to him as someone to talk to.

If you've been babying him, stop.

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

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

Physical Level:

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

Do not appease your partner sexually any longer.

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

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

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

Do things with family and friends or by yourself.

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

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

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

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


Last edited by job; 08/31/14 12:41 PM.
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: job] #2483647
08/31/14 05:47 PM
08/31/14 05:47 PM
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I have also read this book and written about it.
I will add my reviews in three posts as some of them are copied directly from the book.

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

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

Emotional Pursuers (predominantly female)

SEXUAL STYLE: Distance

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

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

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

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

RELATIONSHIP SKILLS: Immaturely applied

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

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

RYTHYM OF INITIATING CHANGE: Overly impatient.
Cannot delay dealing with problems. Lacks restraint; impulsive.

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

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

PERSONAL PROBLEM-SOLVING STYLE: Emotional engagement.
Seeks emotionally charged, reactive situations.
Uncomfortable in calm situations.
Tends to provoke reactivity and crises. Generates worry about about everyone and everything.

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

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

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

TYPICAL BELIEF: Love conquers all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last edited by Cadet; 08/31/14 05:49 PM.

Me-65, D32,S31
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: job] #2483648
08/31/14 05:48 PM
08/31/14 05:48 PM
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Thank you, Job, for preserving the old threads.

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


Last edited by job; 01/30/18 09:23 AM. Reason: Removed broken link

M:54, H:55
T:33, M:27
12/13 BD: EA
01/14 BD: PA, H leaves
03/14 H & OW break up
05/14 H says he will file for D
08/14 H initiates D
09/14 H wants to R
12/14 Still bungling our way through R
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: Nitty] #2483649
08/31/14 05:51 PM
08/31/14 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: Phil Deluca Pages 183 - 185

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


Me-65, D32,S31
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: Cadet] #2483651
08/31/14 05:54 PM
08/31/14 05:54 PM
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This is a chapter outline and review.The Solo Partner, Repairing your Relationship on your own by Phil Deluca .

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

Chapter 2 Self Deception
False Hope - Unrealized Expectations.

Chapter 3 Emotional Reativity
Old Brain vs New Brain
Communications

Chapter 4 Being Defensive
Chapter 5 Togetherness
Balancing I and We

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

Chapter 7 Using your Anger constructively
Anger = Unrealized Expectations

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

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

Conclusion Separation and Reconcilliation
Do not drop your changes

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


Me-65, D32,S31
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: Nitty] #2483652
08/31/14 05:58 PM
08/31/14 05:58 PM
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I forgot to say: a great book on this topic is "The Passion Trap" by Dean Delis. I think I first heard about it in this forum somewhere.

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

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


M:54, H:55
T:33, M:27
12/13 BD: EA
01/14 BD: PA, H leaves
03/14 H & OW break up
05/14 H says he will file for D
08/14 H initiates D
09/14 H wants to R
12/14 Still bungling our way through R
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: Nitty] #2483669
08/31/14 07:14 PM
08/31/14 07:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 26,428
Southern Maryland
job Offline OP

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Nitty,

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

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

Last edited by job; 08/31/14 07:22 PM.
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: job] #2483797
09/01/14 04:42 AM
09/01/14 04:42 AM
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Job, I've been doing almost all if the things you listed to avoid pursuing. The only exception would be sending Hs mail to him. It doesn't seem to make him wanting to pursue me. On the opposite he is getting more and more distant. Am I an exception? Or, is he?


M:50
H:52
S28 (my S from previous marriage)
M:17 + 3
BD: 06/12
S: 06/12 - H works in another state
Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: BrightFuture] #2483818
09/01/14 07:46 AM
09/01/14 07:46 AM
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Bright - as I understand it, if your relationship was, or became pursuer/distancer it seems to me that they do not change their behavioru quickly to pursue.

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

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

Re: The Dance of Pursuit and Distance (new) [Re: BrightFuture] #2483825
09/01/14 11:08 AM
09/01/14 11:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 26,428
Southern Maryland
job Offline OP

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

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

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

Last edited by job; 09/01/14 11:17 AM.
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