From DB Coach Laurie!

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Mallin,
You use the word "limbo", but it seems there is progress being made. You are making positive changes for yourself AND your R and she is taking noticeable, small steps toward your R. However, this waiting is driving you nuts, right?

Let me tell you what I hear from spouses that have decided to leave, but then see their partner make amazing positive changes. First, the WAW or WAH tend to believe the changes are just a ploy to keep them from leaving – they don’t believe these are real changes. Then after some time, they still don’t trust the changes but begin to get curious, maybe even hopeful that their spouse’s changes are real – but they are still very “on guard” with their feelings. At this point, they are usually not willing to admit they notice the changes or appreciate them. They need more time to believe in the changes. They may even distance or create conflict somehow to “test” the new improved changes in their spouse – to see if they're authentic. Or, this could be a time when the WAW or WAH respond in some positive behavior, but as already noted, are not yet ready to verbally acknowledge these changes.

Then, at some point, possibly many months, they begin to trust and enjoy the changes. They may verbalize their appreciation or simply be more hopeful and responsive in their actions.

Michele offers a great overview of how changes get put into place and progress is slowly made in the DR chapter called, “Pulling it All Together”. I believe those would be very helpful to reread. (Notice that “Carol’s” example covered of over at least one year.)

Mallin, I’d encourage you to be patient. And, I know there are many on this site that have gone through this and will verify how important it is to plan on changes happening very slowly and to hold onto your patience. I wish you well, Laurie


JJ

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