I have started using the term wayward when posting about a wife invoved in an A. Mainly b/c I feel that there is a major difference in the heart of a woman who does not have sights on another man and leaves the M for other reasons .....compared to the heart of one who has eyes for another man or who wants to conduct herself as though she were some wild, single girl looking for fun. It came to my attention some time back that there was some confusion, and I personally think it has to do with these two different women.
The newcomer H initially thinks his W must surely be having a MLC b/c he cannot believe what he hears and sees in her. Surely something has fell on her that is the "cause" of all this terrible behavior and attitude. From all the posts I have read since 2007, I am convinced there have been extremely few who really "get" the ugliness that is born in that cold, empty, place inside the woman who suddenly crosses the line into a state of waywardness. She is lost to her new found feelings, which are all based on what is wrong. Wrong feelings, wrong facts, wrong truths, wrong dreams, wrong people, wrong standards.......everything is just wrong.
I may have a bit of a different take from the majority on the board, when dealing with a WAW who is not in an A, compared to how to deal with a WAW who has some other man (real or imaginary) in her head. A wife in any kind of A becomes wayward, IMO. Therefore, the H's response to those actions should be a much tougher love comparable to a W who is not in an A. When the H is dealing with a wayward wife, successful DBing is at least a three-fold process. However, at the moment, I would like to refer to what I believe are the first two parts of DBing a WW.
First, the H has to see his own part of the downfall in the MR and work very hard to improve himself as a man. Notice, I said "man" and not H. The reason I said that is b/c the M is past the point of him showing her what an improved husband he can be. She is not interested in him as her H. If he now starts trying to implement all the things he sees he should have done in the past, it will hurt his effectiveness in getting this stitch turned around. For the WW, it is much too late, and she no longer cares about you doing those things. Based on what most newcomer LBH'S say, they think spending more time with the kids, showering the W with more attention, doing the housework, cooking, and running her errands (basically catering to her) will do the trick. A H should never do everything and leave her with no responsibilities, and certainly not at this point in the broken M with a wayward.
That leads me to the second part. As the rejected party, the H cannot enable her in this terrible, disrespectful behavior. Every time he does, it will set him back. Before he can show her what a wonderful & improved H he wants to be, he has to prove what kind of man he is. All of this still comes under the heading of DBing. His first objective should be to gain back her respect and attraction. She can't love him if she doesn't respect him, and won't desire him if she's not attracted.
She have already displayed her willfulness in continuing this A at any cost, so he has his work cut out for him. He can do it, and it has been done by others. I can not recall a case where the H saved the M and really "got his W back" by supplicating, appeasing, and any doormat methods he mistakenly thought was DBing. That is not the way to get the respect from a WW. She is tough, and the H has to be tougher.
Many men get more focused on the OM instead of the WW. They think if OM was out of the picture things could be fixed. Problem is that it's the WW.......not OM. She is what's standing in the way right now. It's true that the MR cannot go forward as long as she has this OM in her head, but just b/c an A ends doesn't always mean the M problems are over. Many women still make the decision to end the M, after the A........b/c the real problem started long before the A.
Here are just a few things (in no particular order) I hope will help gain better insight about a WW:
*She is not the girl you married. She no longer feels the same and won't act the same. *No matter what her values and spiritual beliefs have been in the past, and regardless of the high standard of morals she held, they have temporarily vanished. For how, nobody knows. *She does not want to be fixed. Nobody can fix her, especially you. *She is in complete rebellion, and will defy you when you make demands, threats or give ultimatums. *Her heart has turned cold and selfish. All she thinks about is what makes her feel good at the moment. *You cannot change her mind, influence, convince, or sway her by talk. *Her brain has lost all capacity to use logic. Therefore, you cannot reason with her. *She is addicted to the high she gets from the A. She will do most anything to get her "fix" again. *She cannot be trusted as long as she is wayward, and until she goes through the complete withdrawal stage from OM/A. *She will cake eat whenever it suits her......if you allow it. *She wants the best part of the M and the A. She gets the H for security and OM for her emotional needs. *She will bait her H, and test him. *She will give him just enough crumbs to keep him hanging on and attached. *She keeps the M/H as her plan B, in case A/OM doesn't work out. *She will be interested in H if he detaches, acts as if he is busy, happy, moving on without her, and won't give her the details when she starts asking. *Pursuit from her H only pushes her further away. *She is living in a fantasy world. She wants the dream to continue. *She will blame her H for every thing wrong in her life. His apology does not erase her resentment. She will totally rewrite their marital history. She holds on to her anger toward him b/c it fuels her negative view of the M and justifies her present actions. * Her common sense is gone and she only operates from her emotions. *She is willing to risk everything and throw everything away for her addiction when the A is at its thickest. *She sees her H as the enemy. *She has to suffer some type of loss (due to her decisions) in order to shake her from her fantasy fog. * She is on a roller coaster and will not act the same every single day. Her emotions will be up, down, and all over the place....but never on an even keel.
There is more, but I hope this will better prepare, if possible, the newcomer. Most everyone here has experienced the pain of being the LBS. I can only give you my VP from the other side. If you had known me before my A, you would have thought I was the last person (other than your mother, maybe) to do what I did. I would like to think I had a sweet and loving heart. However, everything was in place for me to be vulnerable to what happened. And once I became wayward, my heart turned very cold and selfish. It was filled by all kinds of negative feelings toward my M and my H. Those feelings had been slowly building over the years, but when I crossed the line, the fury of those feelings hit hard. Then one day I went over into a place I knew I had no business, but I felt a new thrill. I thought I was numb, until then. It was the beginning of an addiction. The month before, I would have bet my very life I would never have been involved with another man.
Can you elaborate on what the type of loss is that you reference?
Getting fired? Losing the family?
What else can she lose that will jar her
The loss of the marriage. The loss of her fantasy-world which is largely facilitated by the LBH. These losses are easily blamed on the LBH by the WW, but may be enough to begin the process of her snapping out of the delusion she is living.
M:12y - BD:12/11 - D:6/13 - 4Ds
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -MLK Jr.
I believe the ultimate loss that finally breaks through and cracks her hardened heart, may be something the H had not even considered or ever know about (if he was trying to create some of the loss). It may be an accumulation of losses. In short, it has to be enough to humble her. That word may sound offensive to some, but it is as true as I know how to say it. I'm sure all of this I am posting is contrary to what a lot of the softer approached DBers like.
IMO, the H can be instrumental in overseeing the losses connected to him, however, he needs to be careful, especially if he has controll issues. His objective is not to control or punish her. With his own intense hurt, I think it could be easy to mislabel his true motives when executing particular losses. In the past, there was a LBH on the board that I felt crossed the line and was giving advice in how to manipulate every area of the WW's life. It sounded more like bully tactics to me, and what I saw as making the road back home anything but smooth.
I stand on tough love toward a WW in an A. However, I believe it is much more effective to use the "let her go" method, and let her believe she is the one being dumped instead of her giving you the boot. I say this from the VP of a woman......and former WW. If men would do this as soon as he gets the bomb, it would speed things up dramatically. Every WW who has come to this board has said when her H dropped her.....that cracked her A fog.
The first loss the wayward should experience is her H. When everything is laid out and she starts with the usual BS of not seeing a future with him, etc., he should start immediately in pulling away. He needs to do it to the degree she feels his absence in her everyday life. And it is important that the H does not make any grand announcements about his intentions. He doesn't talk. He acts. He doesn't tell her what he's doing, he just does it.
* Immediately separate the sleeping arrangements, by putting her things out of the master bedroom. No discussions, he just takes her things out of the marital bedroom. Let her figure out where she will sleep. The H's message is he won't sleep with a cheater. The H is not to take the lesser desired room or bed. No moving down to a basement, out in the garage, on the couch, etc. He is not the unfaithful spouse. He should not act as if he is the guilty party, sneaking around to sleep on the couch and keeping it a secret from the kids. It is her problem, let her deal with it.
*Immediately stop all contacting throughout the day. If there are any decisions that need to be made about kids, school, babysitting, pickups, etc,. Tell her to get it straighten out the night before and no texting him about details later. (He is not to explain that he is going NC, etc.) He completely withdraws his part of the texting, emails, and calls unless it is urgent. He is not to use the kids as an excuse to contact her. She needs to feel this loss. He is not being available at her fingertips.
*Immediately stop all the little things he use to do for her as a loving act of service. Taking her coffee, servicing her car, cooking her breakfast, carrying in the groceries for her, washing her clothes, cleaning her messes, etc. If she asks, he should just look at her and say, "Really?" (Now, if she really cannot lift the bags of groceries, he can help, but the point is for him to withdraw volunteering those little things she took for granted).
*Immediately stop engaging in R talks, b/c when he gets sucked into one of these talks......it shows her how badly he wants to hang on to her. The message she should be getting is that he is not interested. Do not even try to initiate small talk. If she initiates small talk at the dinner table or in front of the kids, then he should respond in civil but few words. His talk should be more focused on the kids and perhaps their scheduling for the following day. He is not to reveal details of his GAL plans during any of these conversations, other than saying he will be out. If she asks any questions, he should simply give her that incredulous look that says, "Seriously?"
*Immediately withdraw his physical presence from her as much as possible. He should spend time with his kids, of course, but not alone time with her. He should not engage in usual family events, celebrations, etc. It is better the kids be disappointed for a shorter period of time than a lifetime of hurt.
*Immediately withdraw all physical affection. No hugs, kisses, pats, cuddling, snuggling, or spooning. Remember, she is having an affair. The H is not in competition with OM. He will not score points by giving her affection. Withdrawing affection will be noticed by the WW. What I have noticed from the majority of LBH'S is how it's him that has the problem withdrawing the physical touch. He cries about how hard it is and he misses her closeness. He has to stay really focused, especially when she starts to tempt you sexually. This is entrapment!
*Do not recognize her birthday, Valentines, anniversary, mother's day, or any other holiday by giving her gifts. Are you kidding me? She is cheating! She has said she isn't in love with him and doesn't see a future together, and he wants to set her on a feather pillow and treat her like a princess b/c the calendar and our commercial society has brainwashed us to buy something on those dates?
The H needs to think of what he would have done in a dating relationship where the woman was cheating with another man. Would he chase, plead, serve, constantly text, email, write love letter, send songs, have flowers delivered, and give gifts to anyone who treated him like cr@p? Would he hang out at her place every evening, hoping she might notice how great he is? Would he try to kiss and snuggle with her when she's made it obvious she is interested in another man? Marriage is not dating, but the man-woman dynamics do not change. Why do men turn from being the self confident male he was before M, into a soft- passive-clinging-fearing-doormat? This is so unattractive to all women.......single or married.
*The H should stop paying for anything that enables her to continue her A. Paying for her cell phone, buying gas for her to go "out", paying for her beautification (hair, nails, plastic surgery, spas, etc.). No financing any of her trips, whatsoever. If W has her own income, he should put the savings account in his name (minus whatever amount she may have contributed) and start his own private checking account. The message to her is that the financial security that wa once available for her access has been limited, and could be stopped altogether.
As a result of these actions by the H, the WW experiences loss of the H's availability, his presence, his intimacy, his physical affection, his meaningful conversations/interactions, his attention & closeness, his acts of service, his words of love & affirmation, quality family time, and his financial assistance/support. If he will do all of this together, and if he would do it immediately, she will experience the loss. It doesn't guarantee to end her A. In fact, b/c she feels loss of control, she will play a lot of games to get it back. She wants the security that was provided to her, but she doesn't want to give up the A to have it. That's her selfishness leading.
Men get confused and say, "But isn't this more of the same behavior from me?". IDK, but I know that the difference here is what she wanted back then.....and how she feels now. Your motives and attitudes were different back then, from what they are now. Nothing about this will be more of the same. The dynamics have changed.
The H needs to be extremely strong and confident. He cannot backslide and have sex when she comes on to him (game playing) b/c it will put him back at the start position again. Who wants to go through it again?
How long he remains in this stage of DBing is up to the H. However, he should not end these detached actions and just go back to being as he was before she dropped the bomb. He may not quickly see true evidence of positive results from the loss he has caused her. WW's are very crafty. They will play on every emotion the H holds (guilt being number one). In his desperation to see some "sign", he often falls for her little game of manipulation. Even though she has said she no longer feels anything for him, he will use all her feminine wiles to keep him in her control. Things usually get much worse before they get better, and he will need to stand taller and stronger. It may take a physical separation before she completely faces the full impact of her reality. The H should not fear a separation, nor try to talk her out of it. He should not help her with any of the process in getting set up in a new place for her.
It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!