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Originally Posted by ScaredA
Ok, right now I feel like crap. After reading you guys responses I have done nothing but worry that there is an affair going. My wife went out Friday night, really dresses up to the nines.
I imagine. You are just starting to process what while you were stonewalling her, she may have been getting support, romance, sexual release, etc. from others OR (less likely) she's pretending to hurt you.

Originally Posted by ScaredA
I'm not sure about making a fuss about this at the minute. From what I know about my wife if I make a big argument about anything at the moment she will retreat back into her shell and go back to staying in her bedroom all day.
Steve wasn't suggesting that you have a big argument. I think a big argument would turn off nearly anyone. He was suggesting you take back the master bedroom. Arguments require two people. You control whether you have an argument.

Originally Posted by ScaredA
1) Loosing myself in a moment of anger
Maybe this is why you fear an argument--it sounds like you lose control when you're angry? That sounds scary. I assume this is a 180. How's your progress coming along with this one--reading books, taking classes, etc?

Originally Posted by ScaredA
Should I ask about it, or tell her how i feel? I think if I confront her she will go back to not speaking again and sitting in her room with the door closed. At least there is some communication currently.
a) As for asking, she gave you inconsistent stories about her AP, so I'm not sure why you'd believe her, and what would you hope to gain? b) As for venting, venting at her won't help build a relationship between you two. This does tie in with improving anger management. Can you turn to boxing, Fortnite, journaling, etc. to express what you're feeling? I don't see how (a) or (b) would help you.



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Originally Posted by ScaredA
We have always had a fiery relationship with lots of shouting, criticism, defensiveness from both sides. Back in July 2019 we had a really bad bust up and we didn't speak for months. I started practicing the LRT and things improved to the point that by Christmas 2019 we went on holiday with the boys. During the holiday we shared the same bed and my wife let me touch here while we slept. Things moved along rapidly and by Valentines Day 2020 we where sleeping in the same bed at home and making love regularly. My wife was constantly telling me she loved me and times where good. Looking back now, I realise that I let things move to fast and made too many changes to quickly. I also stopped practising the LRT as I assumed everything was back to normal. How wrong I was!
So COVID arrived around April 2020 and we where in lockdown at home, constantly under each others feet. An argument occurred around August 2020 (I cannot even remember what it was about). The resulted in me moving out of the bedroom and starting to stonewall my wife. She started to stonewall back and basically things went on like this where we didn't talk much until September 2021.

ScaredA, I want to call out that this dynamic of stonewalling / not speaking to your wife for months or years at a time is very unusual. You're the only situation where I recall a full year of not talking to their spouse while living together--that alone would sink many relationships. Since you're using terms like "stonewalling, criticism, defensiveness", etc. it sounds like you're familiar with Gottman's Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. As you work through these, it should improve your relationships a lot.



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Originally Posted by scaredA
I'm not sure about making a fuss about this at the minute. From what I know about my wife if I make a big argument about anything at the moment she will retreat back into her shell and go back to staying in her bedroom all day.

SA, we all struggled with this. Trying not to make wave. Don't want to upset her. Etc.

Here is the thing: You cannot nice her back. That simple truth could save your marriage. Wives go wayward due to a lack of respect for their husbands. Read all of sandi's writings here that you can find. She explains it perfectly.

So it is up to you. You can have your W like you, and walk all over you. Or you can have her respect you, and eventually be attracted to you (maybe, there are no guarantees). But together or D'd, trust me, respecting you is more important than liking you.


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Originally Posted by SteveLW
SA, we all struggled with this. Trying not to make wave. Don't want to upset her. Etc.

Here is the thing: You cannot nice her back. That simple truth could save your marriage. Wives go wayward due to a lack of respect for their husbands. Read all of sandi's writings here that you can find. She explains it perfectly.

So it is up to you. You can have your W like you, and walk all over you. Or you can have her respect you, and eventually be attracted to you (maybe, there are no guarantees). But together or D'd, trust me, respecting you is more important than liking you.

Steve, I'm not trying to be awkward or disregard your advice. I just really do not know how to do it your way - i.e. take back the marital bedroom.

In the past my wife has complained about several issues:
1) Not doing enough with the kids
2) Being critical/contemptuous
3) Not trusting me

I thought if I can improve these three aspects, some respect with be gained.

For 1) I'm now taking my eldest son to his soccer practice, I'm collecting my youngest son from his tutor and doing his homework with him everyday, I'm taking both kids to the pool on a Thursday night

For 2) I trying to practice active listening with the wife, not interrupting and not giving advice unless asked. When she has a go at me (which hasn't happened for two months), I have been validating her feelings and saying "However I do not agree with them". I'm trying to consult her on major decisions, which I would have just dealt with on my own previously without even talking to her (i.e. our rental property back in Europe).

For 3) I'm trying to follow through and actually do stuff that I say I will do (we had an incident with our eldest son at school a few weeks ago, I tried to show that I was reliable and on her side over the issue). When she has been asking for help, if I can do it, I have just been doing it (previously I would have moaned "Why cant you do it", "I'm busy". If I genuinely cannot do it, I have been saying so and than asking "Is there any other way I can help or some way we can do it together". i.e. She stopped taking my youngest son to his tutor over the summer. I used a soft start-up when asking about it "Is there any way WE could make an arrangement to get him to tutor", She agreed and she now takes him every week.

I'm not sure, is this gaining respect or being a doormat?

I feel like we have made major steps in softening, from near total silence for 12 months and permanently staying in her bedroom with the door shut, to nearly 2 months of talking to each other. Currently there is NO relationship talk and my DB coach recommended I do not discuss the affair my wife says she is having (though is has not been mentioned by my wife for two months).

My thought plan is that once she is ready to discuss the relationship, which I am hoping for by Christmas if this continue on the same trajectory, then we can discuss how things need to improve and I can be a bit more forceful in stating my needs.

I really appreciate your advice, but just seeking some clarity


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Originally Posted by CWarrior
I imagine. You are just starting to process what while you were stonewalling her, she may have been getting support, romance, sexual release, etc. from others OR (less likely) she's pretending to hurt you.

In my opinion, which I am aware may just be denial, I think she is trying to hurt me as she is very hurt. I think there may be a EA and there may also have been one of sex on a night out (I'm not sure about that). For a full blown affair I really don't know when she would be doing that. She works at the school where my youngest son attends, so she takes and brings him home, so she never stay "late at work". She goes out a lot at the weekends, but that has always been the case, I have never stopped her going out partying, but she is always home by 1 am at the very latest. Some weekends she doesnt go out at all.

This is all assuming, I don't really know is the answer.


Originally Posted by CWarrior
Steve wasn't suggesting that you have a big argument. I think a big argument would turn off nearly anyone. He was suggesting you take back the master bedroom. Arguments require two people. You control whether you have an argument.

When me being in a different has been the status quo for so long, I really don't know how to even attempt this without her getting pissed off. She will go to another room, no problem, but then she will sit in that room with the door closed for the next few months. She has a very strong character and it has taken a long time to get to the point where we are at least talking to each other. I really don't want to set things back to how they were around August (total silence, in bedroom with door closed)

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Maybe this is why you fear an argument--it sounds like you lose control when you're angry? That sounds scary. I assume this is a 180. How's your progress coming along with this one--reading books, taking classes, etc?

I don't get violent, but when I get flooded I say a lot of very offensive stuff. "I'm sick of you", "You should move out of MY house", etc. My wife can also do the same. I regret this later, but never apologise straight away.

I am working on this, reading books, watching videos, making a log of how I am going to respond in certain situations so I am prepared for them before they happen.

My real worry I that I will get complacent if things start to improve, and forget what I should be doing and cause everything to go back to square one!

Originally Posted by CWarrior
a) As for asking, she gave you inconsistent stories about her AP, so I'm not sure why you'd believe her, and what would you hope to gain? b) As for venting, venting at her won't help build a relationship between you two. This does tie in with improving anger management. Can you turn to boxing, Fortnite, journaling, etc. to express what you're feeling? I don't see how (a) or (b) would help you.

You are totally right about A and B. I did neither when I got home. I made a plan of how I would behave and stuck to it. One of the bullet points was that "I will not start relationship talk or discuss the affair"

Instead of spending the evening arguing about her affair and how bad I feel, we tidied up the kitchen together, split the making of the kids school lunches and then sat down in the living room and talked till 10 pm. The night finished much better than it would have done if I brought up the affair. I think there will be time to talk about that in the future, but for now I just need to keep my feelings to myself.


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Originally Posted by scaredA
Originally Posted by SteveLW
SA, we all struggled with this. Trying not to make wave. Don't want to upset her. Etc.

Here is the thing: You cannot nice her back. That simple truth could save your marriage. Wives go wayward due to a lack of respect for their husbands. Read all of sandi's writings here that you can find. She explains it perfectly.

So it is up to you. You can have your W like you, and walk all over you. Or you can have her respect you, and eventually be attracted to you (maybe, there are no guarantees). But together or D'd, trust me, respecting you is more important than liking you.

Steve, I'm not trying to be awkward or disregard your advice. I just really do not know how to do it your way - i.e. take back the marital bedroom.

In the past my wife has complained about several issues:
1) Not doing enough with the kids
2) Being critical/contemptuous
3) Not trusting me

I thought if I can improve these three aspects, some respect with be gained.

Those are all things you SHOULD improve on! I do not see 1-3 above being things that also cannot be done while at the same time learning to command respect.

Originally Posted by scaredA
For 1) I'm now taking my eldest son to his soccer practice, I'm collecting my youngest son from his tutor and doing his homework with him everyday, I'm taking both kids to the pool on a Thursday night

Great! Being the best dad that you can be is awesome and something you should do no matter what your WAW decides.

Originally Posted by scaredA
For 2) I trying to practice active listening with the wife, not interrupting and not giving advice unless asked. When she has a go at me (which hasn't happened for two months), I have been validating her feelings and saying "However I do not agree with them". I'm trying to consult her on major decisions, which I would have just dealt with on my own previously without even talking to her (i.e. our rental property back in Europe).

So a couple of improvements here. I love the active listening. You do that by validating her feelings. Do not point out that you do not agree with them. Validating is not about agreeing or disagreeing, it is about understanding.

When she has a go at you, validate. If she continues to yell or belittle you calmly but firmly say: "I refuse to be spoken to in this manner. And then walkaway. THAT is commanding respect.

Originally Posted by scaredA
For 3) I'm trying to follow through and actually do stuff that I say I will do (we had an incident with our eldest son at school a few weeks ago, I tried to show that I was reliable and on her side over the issue). When she has been asking for help, if I can do it, I have just been doing it (previously I would have moaned "Why cant you do it", "I'm busy". If I genuinely cannot do it, I have been saying so and than asking "Is there any other way I can help or some way we can do it together". i.e. She stopped taking my youngest son to his tutor over the summer. I used a soft start-up when asking about it "Is there any way WE could make an arrangement to get him to tutor", She agreed and she now takes him every week.

This is all pretty good, but in the respect category, make sure she is doing her part too. Sometimes the help is not doing it for her but asking her how you can help her so she can do her part. "I can't take son to tutoring!" "I hear that you are overloaded, but son needs to get to tutoring. What can I do to help so that you can get him there?"

Originally Posted by scaredA
I'm not sure, is this gaining respect or being a doormat?

This is all fine. However, see upgrades that can be made on #2.

Originally Posted by scaredA
I feel like we have made major steps in softening, from near total silence for 12 months and permanently staying in her bedroom with the door shut, to nearly 2 months of talking to each other. Currently there is NO relationship talk and my DB coach recommended I do not discuss the affair my wife says she is having (though is has not been mentioned by my wife for two months).

I agree with your DB coach, R talks do not help. Do not fall to the temptation to start them. 2 months, and 12 months are DROPS in the bucket. This could take years to resolve completely. Do not get hung up on time, just keep doing what you need to do from day to day.

Originally Posted by scaredA
My thought plan is that once she is ready to discuss the relationship, which I am hoping for by Christmas if this continue on the same trajectory, then we can discuss how things need to improve and I can be a bit more forceful in stating my needs.

Remember, patience. Do not hope for an R talk by Christmas. Just let things play out. Drop expectations. Keep your head down and keep working.

Originally Posted by scaredA
I really appreciate your advice, but just seeking some clarity

I am just a dumb slob, no need to prioritize my advice. Your sitch is yours. You have to do what you think is right or the wise thing. Maybe too much time has passed on the master bedroom issue. Usually I would advise to take it back. Just move back in, and tonight get in bed. When she says something just say "I have decided I like sleeping here." If she decides to sleep elsewhere fine, do not make an issue of it. However, if that is not a step you are willing to take, then do not. It is entirely up to you.

WHat I can tell you is that giving up the bedroom, rushing out to buy her a bag because she threatens to leave otherwise are not ways you command respect.


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Originally Posted by CWarrior
ScaredA, I want to call out that this dynamic of stonewalling / not speaking to your wife for months or years at a time is very unusual. You're the only situation where I recall a full year of not talking to their spouse while living together--that alone would sink many relationships. Since you're using terms like "stonewalling, criticism, defensiveness", etc. it sounds like you're familiar with Gottman's Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. As you work through these, it should improve your relationships a lot.

Agreed, you are right to call me out on it - it is childish and ridiculous. Not wanting to cast blame, but the usual merry go round is:

1) Wife criticises me
2) I stonewall and don't apologise
3) My becomes critical about my silence
4) I retreat further into myself
5) Cycle continues

I'm reading a lot of Gottman at the minute. My main strategy boils down to a few things:

1) Be angry, but not rude/critical
2) Don't be defensive if the argument is over nothing important
3) Always apologise immediately if I make a mistake - which I will make regularly in this process
4) Never go to bed with bad feelings with any of my family
5) Don't initiate conversation/send WhatsApp
6) Give my wife lots of physical and emotional space


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Originally Posted by scaredA
My thought plan is that once she is ready to discuss the relationship, which I am hoping for by Christmas if this continue on the same trajectory, then we can discuss how things need to improve and I can be a bit more forceful in stating my needs.
I would tread carefully here my friend. Sounds like you weren't the greatest husband and right now she could give two $hits about your needs. It's going to take a really long time for her to believe any of these changes. Keep doing your share with the kids without over doing it. This is a marathon not a sprint. If she is in an active affair none of this will matter anyway. Don't worry to much about the bedroom right now IMO it's the most overrated advice given on this board. What are you doing for you? Are you getting out of the house? Hobbies? Friends?

Originally Posted by scaredA
I have been validating her feelings and saying "However I do not agree with them"
Think you need to read up on validation. you saying that is just pi$$ing her off. Example below:

W: I want a divorce
S: I understand you feel that way

That's it no other response needed. It takes awhile to get the hang off it especially if you were typically argumentative and dismissive.

Remember you are playing the long game.


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Originally Posted by LH19
I would tread carefully here my friend. Sounds like you weren't the greatest husband and right now she could give two $hits about your needs. It's going to take a really long time for her to believe any of these changes. Keep doing your share with the kids without over doing it. This is a marathon not a sprint. If she is in an active affair none of this will matter anyway. Don't worry to much about the bedroom right now IMO it's the most overrated advice given on this board. What are you doing for you? Are you getting out of the house? Hobbies? Friends?

I agree, I am having no relationship talk or affair talk at the minute.

As for me, I'm reading a lot, going out at the weekends (even if I'm on my own, I've been getting dressed up and going to the cinema). I been exercising- jogging and out on my bicycle, spending time with the kids. I've found a club that enjoys the same hobby as me and I have gotten in touch with them. I am also spending a lot of time on the divorce busting process, I'm an engineer so I am pretty methodical. I have been writing a solution journal, writing down list of goals in the DB process, all of which I have hit so far. I have been copying out tracts of Gottman and MWD books so it sinks into my stupid head!

Originally Posted by LH19
Think you need to read up on validation. you saying that is just pi$$ing her off. Example below:

W: I want a divorce
S: I understand you feel that way

That's it no other response needed. It takes awhile to get the hang off it especially if you were typically argumentative and dismissive.

Remember you are playing the long game.

I take your point, must try harder!


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Originally Posted by SteveLW
Those are all things you SHOULD improve on! I do not see 1-3 above being things that also cannot be done while at the same time learning to command respect.

Originally Posted by scaredA
For 1) I'm now taking my eldest son to his soccer practice, I'm collecting my youngest son from his tutor and doing his homework with him everyday, I'm taking both kids to the pool on a Thursday night

Great! Being the best dad that you can be is awesome and something you should do no matter what your WAW decides.

I'm trying hard, especially for the kids sake. I always spent lots of time with the kids - movies, eating out, playing boardgames. However, my wife specifically said I do not do enough in the categories above. So I am doing what I used to do and also trying to improve in the areas she brought up.


Originally Posted by SteveLW
So a couple of improvements here. I love the active listening. You do that by validating her feelings. Do not point out that you do not agree with them. Validating is not about agreeing or disagreeing, it is about understanding.

When she has a go at you, validate. If she continues to yell or belittle you calmly but firmly say: "I refuse to be spoken to in this manner. And then walkaway. THAT is commanding respect.

Point noted, I will stop the saying I do not agree. The other night she shouted a little bit about something I didn't do correctly in front on my son. I didn't respond, I just stood up, left the room and went upstairs (this for me is very hard to do as I am usually argumentative and become defensive and critical in this situation). Later that evening she come upstairs and asked something completely trivial, which was her way of saying sorry and showing the lines of communication are still open. In summary, I'm trying to do what you suggest above


Originally Posted by SteveLW
This is all pretty good, but in the respect category, make sure she is doing her part too. Sometimes the help is not doing it for her but asking her how you can help her so she can do her part. "I can't take son to tutoring!" "I hear that you are overloaded, but son needs to get to tutoring. What can I do to help so that you can get him there?"

I've noticed that she has started doing some cleaning around the house and doing some laundry. She had stopped doing anything at all. She is also spending some more time doing kids homework.

My wife has a very strong character (on the outside). If something pisses her off she can hold onto it for a long time (she is Russian). She will very rarely admit she is wrong, so these small signs of improvement are what I see as her way of saying sorry or I am noticing the changes you are trying to make. Having said that she is in a bad mood tonight, she tried to start an argument earlier about putting food in to large a size of plastic container. I was about to say "But I couldn't find any smaller ones", instead I just said "Ok, will do next time", then I have gone upstairs out of her way. My DB coach says "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?", this was a good example of that. What's the point of being right about a plastic container??????

Originally Posted by SteveLW
I agree with your DB coach, R talks do not help. Do not fall to the temptation to start them. 2 months, and 12 months are DROPS in the bucket. This could take years to resolve completely. Do not get hung up on time, just keep doing what you need to do from day to day.

Don't get me wrong, I want to do what it takes to restore my relationship with my wife, but I do not want my old relationship, in fact I cannot have my old relationship back, I need a new better relationship, or we will just be divorced in 2,3,5 years rather than right now


Originally Posted by SteveLW
Remember, patience. Do not hope for an R talk by Christmas. Just let things play out. Drop expectations. Keep your head down and keep working.

Yes I need to tattoo patience do not initiate conversation on my forehead. Christmas is a long time away, my near term goals are over a month. The main ones at the minute are:

1) Maintain peace in the house until November
2) Do not say anything critical until November



Originally Posted by scaredA
I am just a dumb slob, no need to prioritize my advice. Your sitch is yours. You have to do what you think is right or the wise thing. Maybe too much time has passed on the master bedroom issue. Usually I would advise to take it back. Just move back in, and tonight get in bed. When she says something just say "I have decided I like sleeping here." If she decides to sleep elsewhere fine, do not make an issue of it. However, if that is not a step you are willing to take, then do not. It is entirely up to you.

WHat I can tell you is that giving up the bedroom, rushing out to buy her a bag because she threatens to leave otherwise are not ways you command respect.

I agree, the only thing I would say was that this helped communication to restart. It gained no respect at all, but without any communication I do not think things were ever going to improve


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