Originally Posted by DaveK
when you say "make things worse" I don't know how and what to do.

Here's what I mean when I say "make things worse": you are genetically wired to protect your wife and kids. When she's in distress, your first instinct is going to be to try to make things better. When you feel that you're making an effort to relieve her distress, it brings you a feeling of relief.

When you don't respond to her distress, its going to make you feel uncomfortable. You're going to get a cortisol dump and its going to be very tempting to act to make that bad feeling stop.

You'll tell yourself stories that you're being a bad person, or that you're "pushing her away" to justify trying to relieve your discomfort. "Making things worse" means that you grin and bear it.

You basically need to withdraw support -- emotional support and financial support to the degree possible. If she makes a mess, *she* needs to clean it up. You do not step in and enable her in any way.

If she gets mad at you, you shrug it off, you don't engage.

If she cries in front of you, you let her cry and you make NO effort to comfort her.

You go out and "get a life" and you don't feel *any* responsibility to explain or justify what you're doing, you just do it.

Very important: You are *not* mean, punishing, or passive aggressive. You don't make nasty comments. You don't go out of your way to inconvenience her, you simply act as if you are completely uninterested and unaffected by her.

If she wants to make love to OM in your front yard, you walk past, smile and wave. It just doesn't impact you emotionally.

When she senses that she's losing control over you, she *will* fight back. She will try to manipulate you to stay invested in her. The more you resist, the harder she will try. She'll scream and yell, she'll accuse, she'll break down and cry, she'll blame. The minute you engage, you lose. This will be uncomfortable, it will feel *worse* than giving in to her and engaging. That's what making things worse means.

Often people mistake this fighting on the part of the WAW as interest -- that they want you back and that's why they're engaging you. Don't be fooled -- you being emotionally invested in her is an insurance policy and nothing else. If things go horribly wrong with her affair partners and outside interests, she can always come back to her comfortable marriage.

Its a huge comfort to know that she has you to fall back on if things go badly for her. You've already proven that you'll save her, like when you sent her money and got her a return trip from India. You need to pull that safety net away entirely.

She needs to *fully believe* that you will not be there for her if she chooses to return, and that if she wants to come back she's going to have to work for it.

You can't tell her that, she'll never believe it. You have to show her that beyond a doubt with your actions.

Ever run into a crazy person on the sidewalk who points at you and yells at you? You do what you can to minimize the interaction but after that you move on. It doesn't ruin your day, it certainly doesn't hurt your self-esteem or make you feel worse about who you are.

You need to regard her with exactly the same level of detachment and disinterest. Whatever she does, your toes are still tapping.

At the same time, you have to build a life for yourself that anyone would want to be a part of, full of fun activities, outside interests, and engaging friends. If you can do both of those things -- completely emotionally uncouple from her (fake it until you make it) *and* build an amazing life for yourself, she'll clamor to come back and if she doesn't you won't care. That's your only winning path out of where you are, but getting there is going to be uncomfortable, and more painful than you feel today, because it will go against your white knight nature.


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015