Many of the "old" threads have been locked and/or purged over the years and newbies have not had the opportunity to post to them. So, with that in mind, I found a thread where D. Money had copied my original first posting on pursuit/distance and I thought it would be helpful to start a new thread for those who wish to post about their "dance" w/their spouses/partners.
Many moons ago, I wrote about the Pursuer and Distancer behavior and how to cease the "game". Many old timers will remember our discussions about this subject. After reading many of the postings and how your mlcing spouses are pleasant to you one time and then slam dunk you the next, I thought it was time to bring this topic back into existence.
There is a wonderful book out there entitled, The Solo Partner" by Phil DeLuca. In this book there is a chapter on Pursuers and Distancers and how they have a dance/game going on w/their spouses. I'm going to share a bit of this w/you now and you'll be able to identify the reactive behaviors both you and your mlcer play.
In many instances, your mlcing spouse is the Distancer because he/she has distanced themselves from you. In order to attempt to get them to come back, you'll make all sorts of sacrifices, promises, deals, etc., i.e., w/promises of change, anything they want you'll do, etc. You then become the Pursuer. Pursuers are more motivated to initiate change in order to get the spouse back. A Distancer will rarely initiate change and never changes in response to direct efforts by others. He/she will only change when he/she fears losing his pursuer, and this can happen only when the pursuer stops her/his pursuit. This is when the Distancer becomes the Pursuer. He/she will pursue with apologies for the rude and crude behavior, little gifts, nice emails, cards, phone calls, etc. Whatever you do, do not let your guard down when they are being nice. This is where they attract you back into the game like a moth to a candle. They know that you want them back and will do anything to get you back; and they also know just what strings to pull to get you to pursue them all over again. Stop! Do not pursue or the game will continue on indefinitely!
Take a minute and think about this another way. When you detach and distance yourself from your spouse, notice how they start coming around, being nice, etc.? Well, he/she feels that you are not pursuing them. They want the chase, they want you to pursue them so that they can come back and slam dunk you all over again. It's a dance of madness. They may not even be aware of what they are doing, but once you snap up the niceness all over again, they will most definitely come back w/anger to distance themselves from you again for their safety and security. Does this sound familiar to you?
Here are some specific ways you can avoid pursuing your spouse at this time:
Don't initiate conversations or give advice (even if they asked for the advice, refrain from giving it).
Abstain from trying to change or improve your partner in any way.
Do not seek his emotional support or help with any of your problems, concerns, or worries.
Do not look to him as someone to talk to.
If you've been babying him, stop.
Identify whatever you are doing for him, and stop doing it. An example of this is: stop doing his laundry, picking up after him, cooking especially for him, or waiting on or for him.
Stop "keeping the peace". If you've been intervening between him and others, be it children, family or friends, stop doing so. He needs to learn how to interact w/others all on his own.
Do not initiate expressions of affection, such as hugging, kissing and saying "I love you," or "I'll miss you," or asking questions such as "Do you love me?"
Do not appease your partner sexually any longer.
Do not plan your schedule around his, and do not do things for him.
This is not the time for a romantic vacation or second honeymoon.
If he spends his spare time at home, arrange to be out while he's there.
Do things with family and friends or by yourself.
In short, do as little as possible for him or with him, with the goal of doing absolutely nothing.
The most important pointer to be made--DO NOT give The Solo Partner to your spouse.
In other words, leave your spouse out there and do not take the bait when he puts it under your nose. The sooner your spouse (Distancer) realizes that you aren't going to react and pursue him/her all over again, the sooner the dynamics of your situation will change. Take back control over your life and don't allow the mlcer to control and/or manipulate your life any longer.
I recommend to each of you to get this book and read it. I read this book in 2001/2002 and I highly recommend it. It's not only good for what you are dealing w/at this time, but you can apply the techniques in the work place as well.