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--Stop losing your cool every time he says something you don't like or want to hear. Listen to him and return it so he knows you heard it. Its called empathetic listening. Be more of an ear instead of a mouth. When you can do this change in your behavior, he may follow suit. ~Rondo
--Nothing we would normally do will make it better only worse. Only by going in the opposite direction, only by doing the unexpected only by loving ourselves can there be any hope of our spouses coming back. We CAN have hope in the midst of the pain. We have the hope that others that have gone before us have gotten through this. We have hope that sometimes by doing the 180 dance the spouses return. TIME is our friend and enemy. We want the problem solved now. To put it bluntly, NO WAY. Time will heal us in the end as long as we're working on it.
The toughest thing to do right now is to take an honest inventory of yourself. It is hard but rewarding. Where have I gone wrong? What can I do differently? Get it all out in the open and then share it with someone. Then burn it, throw it away. Anything to tell yourself that at the time you handled your life as best you knew how. Forgive yourself. It will take time (there it is again), but it will be worth it. Then forgive the wife. ~John
--Take a look at the 'forum' section of this website, at the article 'He's Just Teething'. Think of your wife that way - like a baby that's teething, or a teenager acting up. You have to ride it out. You have to stay optimistic. Don't let her persuade you that it's over until YOU say it's over!!! ~Jane
--Plan distractions that work for you. Find other things that help...I watched inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight, and started to boogie by myself in my living room. It felt great! Try prayer, music, dancing, crossword puzzles, extra time with the kids, reading, a hobby, exercise, and yoga, whatever works for you. Force yourself to occupy your mind some of the time with thoughts that don't have to do with your marriage. ~Mary
--When my wife says ugly things, I just smile because I know why she is doing it. Knowledge is power, power is strength. Let 'em slide off like water on a duck's back and then just "shake your tail" like a duck and go on about your business, the 180/Last Resort. Waddle if need be. ~Mark
--So my point is, BACK OFF! I know better than anyone how hard that is when you love someone with all your heart and soul, but you must try. Like Michele told me in one session I had with her, and like she says in DB, if you don't stop trying to convince your spouse you will push that person away. It still may not work out for you (i'm sure you don't want to hear this) but if you don't change your behavior, she'll feel too pressured. ~Bob
--I agree 100% with Michele, and that when you talk to H you need to be different than you have been ... change your pattern of behavior. You be the one who signals the end of your talk with H, not him. He needs to see/hear/feel you doing and saying things that are not what he expects. This opens the dynamics of the relationship up ... and makes it possible for wheels to start turning again ... in the right direction if the person who is effecting the change knows what they are doing. ~TomM
[This message has been edited by Tia (edited 04-16-2001).]
--Doing a 180 doesn't mean you tell him to move out. It means you react differently to things than you used to. Do you bring up the Ow all the time?? Then just act as if she doesn't exist. Bringing up an Ow just pushes your H towards her. Do you do things for your H around the house?? Stop doing them. Let him see what it will be like without you. More importantly focus on YOU!!! Make changes in you and for you. Unfortunately until your H ends the affair, reconciliation is impossible. ~Carey
--If you have only started to become very good friends, she is not ready to hear about your feelings. Keep doing what you have been doing. Solidify your friendship. Let her take the lead. These things have to go very ssslllooowwwlllyyy. If you star to tell her about your feelings that will be putting pressure on her and thus push her away. I speak from experience. ~Patience
--Maybe things are better if you and your W don't talk about personal things. I think that little by little you will both start getting comfortable with each other talking business, and maybe slowly the personal stuff will come out. She might need to know that there's no pressure to be personal. You first have to figure yourself out. Someone told me once, that while I was married, I did everything to please him and not have any trouble. Because of this I started chipping away at pieces of myself. I became someone else. I now have to refind myself, become me again. Then I will be completely comfortable and happy with myself. The thing is that I do see how that happened. I was always trying to please him. I did everything for him and left me alone. This guy was right, I wasn't me anymore. I held back a lot for H. ~joannyd
***Hi gang! Here is a post from BRIDGET. She exemplifies how the 180s create change. It a step away from the "more of the same" behavior that gets you "more of the same" results. The 180s take ingenuity, and some creativity. In the end, it allows you to become a stronger, more capable person. The thing is, when you do something different, it catches your partner's attention. So, why not come up with an 180? Of course, your 180 may be different from BRIDGET, and thats fine. The thing is: DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!
<<I'm here to list some of the 180s and "something differents" that I did over the course of a year to save my marriage.
I would LOVE to see other people's lists, too -- please join me in counting what works:
-- Can't stop 'em "looking?" Give 'em something to look at! My H started an adult website, which freaked me out,
but I learned to do a little surfing myself, and shopped for lingerie, lipgloss and heels. I became one of the "hot babes" in person.
-- I was always the Keeper of Celebration (holiday birthday? wedding? I wrapped the gifts!) so this year
I skipped out. I didn't attend Thanksgiving or Fourth of July with grandma; went away with a girlfriend for XMAS,
signed bday cards from myself alone. Know what? Though at first he liked his bachelor ways, after a while I found him calling me on the holidays, "where are you?"
-- My H was the one who picked out the music we listened to, so it was always jazz. I like jazz. But I decided I also like funk, reggae, R&B, Calypso, arena rock bands, Japanese meditation tapes -- so I bought new CDs every week. Folk, vocalists, oldies, world beat ... hey, wanna see my new collection?
-- Along the same lines (boys do the electronics) I decided I need my OWN technology around here so I began to upgrade some equipment and learn more about computers. I took a class in digital video. I rented a pro-quality camera and am making a documentary. My editing class starts
-- I made some new friends on my own, not even worrying if my H would approve or get along with them. I went out to read the Sunday NY Times with one friend. I went to the chess club with another. Hiking? Meditation retreat? Veggie cooking class? I'll go! My H at first didn't notice or care, but he got curious, then a little jealous. I seemed to be having so much fun! (Of course I cried in my bubble bath alone, late at night, but I was beginning to see some OPTIONS in case he never came home.)
-- Probably the biggest 180 in the world for me was shutting up about our R. Not once since my H moved home
have I brought up the subject of "us." Not once have I asked "what happened back there?" I bite my tongue HARD whenever I am tempted. No recriminations. No insinuations. No retroactive blame. What happened is behind us now, in particular that thang about him chasing buxom young chicks around town.
(In fact, just writing about that right now feels like a no-no.)
-- I am a little quieter now, where I used to fill all the gaps in conversation. Adds mystery. Let 'em wonder what
-- I am a little unpredictable. Will I go to his mom's for Thanksgiving? Will I come home after work? What new
music/video/electronic device will I bring home next? Will I be driving a new car next? Who is this exciting, surprising person in the short skirts and leather jacket with faux fur? What is this new restaurant? What the heck?
-- And finally, I tell him all the time that he's cool. He's cute. He's adorable. He's my man. He's studly. He's
fine. He's lookin' sharp. He's struttin'. He's hot. You get the picture. Even though he's a little unshaven
occasionally, he's my choice and I let him know it. Does he eat it up? We all do. Does he reciprocate? As a matter of fact, he's a pretty quick study...>>
One of the first places we might want to try to do a 180 on is within ourselves. Inside of our heads, and in our thinking patterns.
How many times have we all been guilty of automatically knowing the reasons why someone is doing something? Have many times have we gone with the first "theory" that pops into our heads about a person's intentions? Have many times have we been guilty of trying to be "mind-readers", and KNOWN that the actions of another person is soley based on the intention of causing us pain?
Next time this happens to you, "try something different". Take that automatic thought, and try to envision what the total opposite of that thought might be. "Reframe" your thinking, do a "180" on it.
More often than not, we will find that the truth of the matter doesn't dwell at either extreme case, but usually falls somewhere in between.