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I see more and more LBSs struggling with this as we see more new sitches. And some of the LBWs seem to struggle with this more than LBHs, but LBHs struggle with it too. That struggle is that some feel that DBing is not showing love to their WAS. And many fear that will mean that the LBS will run for the door faster, push for D faster, etc.

I learned from AnotherStander in my sitch, and reading his advice to others, that you cannot nice your WAS back. Every one of us LBSs that come to this forum think we can. Even if we say in words that we understand that we can't, our actions belie us. And when we get called out by the vets on this forum for this "nicing them back" behavior we usually default to: "But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love."

Nice sentiment. But it is a false narrative. Why do I say that? Because we aren't doing those nice things to try to win them back out of our love for them, we are doing them out of fear. Many of those behaviors have been absent from our MRs long before BD happened. Did we not love our spouse prior to BD? So "But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love" isn't really true is it? The thing is maybe, just maybe, if you had done those "nice" behaviors all along then you wouldn't be in your situation. I say maybe because that may or may not be true. There are plenty of D'd LBSs that were good spouses before their lying, cheating, walkaway up and left them. There are no guarantees in life.

But for sake of argument, let's say that you could have prevented your sitch with those loving behaviors. The fact is, that now it is too late. After BD the last thing you should be doing is trying to smother your WAS with kindness, loving actions, and being nice to win them back. I often say that the last thing a LBS should do after being told that their WAS wants less of them, is to try to give their WAS more of the LBS! And I think a lot of this has to do with how we, as a society, think about love.

I've admitted before in this forum that my W and I are big fans of a certain bald TV therapist from Texas. If that doesn't give it away then let me just say that his first name rhymes with pill. One of the things that I've learned from watching his show is that many people will do the most unloving things in the name of love. They will ignore their husband's sexual abuse towards female members of the family in the name of love. They will enable drug and alcohol addicted children in the name of love. I've seen extremely obese guests that struggle with their weight because their spouse or someone close to them is happy to fetch 8000 calories of food a day for them in the name of love.

Ignoring deviant criminal behavior, and behaviors that will eventually kill someone, is not loving. At all. But many of those guilty of those things try to explain them away as "unconditional love". Maybe we've seen parents like this. With completely bratty, spoiled rotten, terribly behaved kids that they refuse to discipline because they "love" them.

I argue that these people are doing these things out of fear. Fear of what? Fear of having that person out of their life. "If I don't support him through the criminal behavior he may end up in prison!" "If I don't enable their drinking, drugging, severe overeating, then they may not like me anymore!" "If I discipline my kids they may not like me!" And a lot of LBSs fall into the same trap. They act out of fear, catering to their WAS, and then claim they are doing it in the name of love.

There is a sticky that every LBS spouse should read: You will not die It is so vitally important for LBSs to understand that what they are going through will not kill them. You will survive and even flourish again. Even if you end up D'd! Many others have gone through it before, and as long as they put the work in, have moved on healthy and happy with their lives. You can drop the fear and move yourself forward. While not ideal, there are things worse than D in this life! In fact, because life is short, do you really want to waste time holding onto someone for dear life that wants to walkaway?

But back to "but I love them". I love the definition of love found in I Corinthians 13. I won't quote it. But I can say that the definition found there is more consistent with letting them go, than trying to get them to stay. That might surprise some people. But true love is letting someone that wants to go, go. And not trying to hold them against their will. Loving them enough to want them to be happy, if that means they are happy without you, or that they are happy with someone else. Some of the best insight I got in my own sitch is the perspective that my W was just trying to be happy. Love is not selfish. And if you think about it, trying to convince, coerce, trick, or manipulate someone to stay with you, that doesn't want to stay with you, is not loving, it is selfish.

So, if you stayed with this post this long, let me try to sum it up. Holding on to a WAS for dear life is not love, it is fear. Fear will cause you to act in selfish ways, not loving ways. True love says you want your spouse to be happy no matter what that means.

Final thoughts:

Do you love being married to your WAS more than you actually love your WAS? I think most that hold on for dear life would have to answer yes to this if they were being honest.

Remember, it is okay to love yourself! And that means you won't tolerate being treated poorly by a WAS.

I Corinthians 13:4,5 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Thank you!!!!!

I do read all of the advice on everyone's sitch and stew on it and let it sink in.

I do have 2 major emotions. Anxiety and Fear.

You are correct. I LOVED being married. I loved at the end of the day there was someone at home for me. I spent the first 40yr of my life being single and independent. I know that lifestyle and it was great. I loved being a team member more. I have vacationed a ton a single woman - its great, but you know what's better??? Vacationing with your spouse. I was loving and supportive but in the last months to year of the M we both dropped the ball.

Ultimately my H did not feel liked by me, loved by me or respected by me.

As much as I loved being M. I have asked myself what is it I love about my spouse? When I see him. When we do have the very briefest of interactions as he no longer lives with me. I can love him from a distance. Really love him. In our personal interactions I don't make any forward moves... I don't want to scare him off. But, there are so many things we've had together over the years and how he made me feel and how we worked together... the things we shared... when I see him my heart is full of affection. I see him as a good guy doing a bad thing.

I love him from a distance.

When we first got together and the early years in our M his relationship with his mother was toxic. Over the last few years it has gotten better and I'm happy for that. NOW, his relationship with his mother is so much better - he is at their place nearly daily. I have joy that he has mended that fence for both him and his mother.

Thank you Steve for writing this. I will continue my journey asking the hard questions of myself.

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Very well said Steve!

Steven Covey says in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that love isn't a noun, it's a verb. It's not something that just "is", it's something you do. It's actions you perform. And those actions are not always easy. Sometimes love means doing something you don't want to do, something uncomfortable, even painful. If your spouse comes to you and says they are done, they want out and nothing will change their mind, what is the ultimate expression of love at a time like this? Is it demanding they stay and work on things? No, that's what YOU want. True love is allowing them to have what they want, it is saying "this isn't what I want, but I understand it's what you want and I will support your decision." I had that talk with my XW when she said she wanted to separate, and it was all I could do not to break down and cry on the spot. I hated saying it because it wasn't what I wanted. But it was the loving thing to do.

Sometimes, like the title of Dobson's marriage book says- love must be tough!


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
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I appreciate your post very much. I am thinking about it today. I have two questions I am confused on and hoping you can provide clarity:

1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this?

2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


me: 46 h: 49
m: 24 T: 27
DD1:20 DD2:17 DS:12
BD1: PA for 2 yrs 08/2016
BD2: OW is one of my closest friends 12/2016
BD3: H wants a D 11/2019
Now: He is in the same house, but has filed for divorce.
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Originally Posted by Oceangl
I appreciate your post very much. I am thinking about it today. I have two questions I am confused on and hoping you can provide clarity:

[quote=Oceangl] 1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this? !
You should never let anyone treat you unkindly. You have to have boundaries. As far as a EA/PA that's up to you if you are willing to tolerate it or not.

Originally Posted by Oceangl
I 2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different? !

It's too late for that because that ship has sailed. You meet a persons need when you are in a caring loving relationship. Not when a spouse is in an affair and has one foot out the door. That is a display of low value. Relationship and attraction are about value. People who jump through hoops for you are not valuable and are therefore not attractive. You value people who are confident and self-sufficient, and that you feel you need to work to get. When you get attention from those people you feel good about yourself.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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Thank you Steve85.

I'm crying as I type this right now because I have been pursuing and hanging on to H out of fear. I'm so scared of letting go. I'm not sure why because I'm an intelligent woman and I am fully capable of taking care of myself. Over the past 24 years I lost that and became dependent upon my H. I made him my world.

Your post has inspired me to find a way to let go and detach. Stop pursuing. Stop being selfish.

Thank you for sharing.


Me: 47 H: 45
T: 24 M:23
D23
BD #1 12/19: ILYBNILWY
BD #2 2/20: I discovered H was having an affair with OW. (OW is 21 and lives in another country)
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Originally Posted by MoGirl
I'm crying as I type this right now because I have been pursuing and hanging on to H out of fear.

Your brain doesn't like this instability, and it doesn't like the unavailability of a remedy at all! Its panic-inducing.

Because of this lack of control and the fear that comes with it, you desperately, desperately want to regain your feeling of control and stability.

Your brain convinces you that the quickest way to do that is to get your wayward spouse back. If you can do that, then all the old rules still apply and there was just a temporary blip on the radar.

As a result, your brain will *compel* you to want to pursue, and everything else is a justification to allow you to do what you want.

Step back and look at some of these situations -- a person's wife cheats on them for years with several OM's. If that comes to light, a rational person would say "this woman has issues" and head the other way right? But in reality, we see time and again that the LBS convinces themselves that this cheater is the best person in the world, and they want to have them back more than anything.

WHY? Because the loss of control is devastating. The loss of control is something our brains can't process or tolerate.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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Originally Posted by Oceangl
2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


My take is as follows as someone who's love language is physical and whom was pulling away from the M as my needs weren't met or worse were rejected. Note, no other woman was pulling me and Ive never cheated on anyone so my perspective could be different:

If theres no OW, 180 on the physical affection would be a big factor in rebuilding a connection. This would have to build up slowly and I'd need to know that its a permanent change, not a temporary one. Physical affection meaning not just sex, rather it would include things like a kiss goodbye, goodnight, random hugs, cuddling during a movie, or playful things like helping each other stretch, wrestling, etc. What would be equally important is not rejecting non sexual physical affection. For example if the PA love language person holds your hand, dont quickly move it away.

Putting myself in the mindset of someone that has another woman filling that need, I'd probably be completely repulsed and angered if W suddenly started trying to meet this need as soon as I found another source. Over time, the H in this case may no longer be angered or repulsed, he may get the idea that getting the attention from two women is better than one. This wouldn't mean he's coming back, and while its unbelievably selfish and uncaring, he may think I deserve this or let me enjoy it while I can, i never had this kind of experience.

I think LHs reply fits in the later scenario.

So now I wonder how this looks in other love languages.


H37, W37
D4, S2
ILYBNILWY 9/19
BD 9/19
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Originally Posted by Oceangl
1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this?


A lot of what we talk about here is creating boundaries to protect yourself. One boundary might be that you will not allow yourself to be yelled at or spoken to in a disrespectful manner. You can still do that while living under the same roof. If he says something rude then you respond "I will not allow you to treat me with disrespect, if you continue then this conversation is over." And if he continues, you say no more, you simply leave the room or even the house. DB'ing is not at all about letting the WAS just steamroll you. It is about pulling back and giving him time and space while you focus your attention elsewhere (you, kids, hobbies, volunteering, etc.)

Originally Posted by Oceangl
2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


You're not alone, many WAS's find this subject confusing. But here's the thing, these "complaints" mean something completely different after BD. Before BD if he said he wanted more PA then he meant it. He was telling you something was lacking and he wanted it fixed. After BD he does NOT want it fixed, he's merely explaining or using it as a reason or excuse to end the M. After BD these complaints are a moving target. Shower him with PA and he'll gripe that you are too clingy and need to back off. Do that and he'll gripe that you're cold and distant. The best thing to do after BD when he brings up these complaints is simply to listen and validate. "It sounds like the lack of PA was very frustrating for you, I'm sorry you felt that way." But don't give him more PA, at least not for now. That's got to wait until his position starts to soften.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
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Originally Posted by Oceangl
I appreciate your post very much. I am thinking about it today. I have two questions I am confused on and hoping you can provide clarity:

1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this?

2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


As LH said, never accept mistreatment. so many LBSs think that they can nice the WAS back by being their doormat. No one respects a doormat, and that certainly will not win back your WAS.

LH and AS both said it best. After BD trying to fix their reason for their leaving is just going to irritate them. And they will see it as you simply changing temporarily to win them back, and once they are recommitted you will go back to the way things were. So in short, anything you do or don't do is going to irritate him and push him further away. Even if he responds positively to your changes it is will because he wants to keep you on the hook as plan B. Not sure about you, but I am not interested in being anyone's consolation prize.

We often say around here, "when he wants to reconcile, you will know. When he doesn't, you'll be confused." So don't start showing him physical affection until you know he wants to reconcile.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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