Although I haven't seen where Michele specifically addressed "going dark" as one of her techniques, it IS a very popular and effective tool to produce results (both good AND bad), and I felt that it needed to be addressed in a thread for easier reference to all. I'm hoping that many much wiser then me will add their wisdom here.
For me, going dark was both a blessing and a curse.
In my pre-DB'ing days, during our separation, going dark was kind of a natural thing for me. It helped to take me out of the chaos, and was pretty effective for causing both my wife and I to miss each other. Every 4 to 6 weeks, we'd get together, and I'd spend a couple of nights at the house with her. However, after a couple of days, I had enough. The same old crap was going on, nothing had changed, and I'd end up leaving again.
During my last period of darkness that lasted a couple of months was when she found the om. I left her alone for just a bit too long it seems.
My last period of darkness was the most effective for me and our relationship. I had been on the board for a couple of months, and knew a lot of the basics. Then, the bomb dropped. Although I thought I handled the initial reaction fairly well, I had to take myself out of the picture to regroup, and to prevent from doing any further damage. I was a mess, but the kind and loving people here on this board helped to pick me up, and to start getting myself back together.
During the next 6 weeks, I participated in, and dedicated myself to, the KLA discussion group Michele had going at the time. By doing this, I was better able to focus on what changes had to be made to be more effective the next time I went "light", and learned some of the skills it was going to take to get there.
Although things by NO means went smoothly, that period of dark time was used effectively, and I had much better results. I saw what things I could change, and how I really didn't need the cooperation of my wife to do it.
Going dark can be a great way to make your partner miss you, and to draw their attention back to you. In and by itself, though, it can't KEEP them there with you.
If you are constantly persuing and bothering them, it's a great way to take the pressure off of them, and it's a "doing something different".
If you were guilty of being withdrawn and emotionally neglectful during the R, it can be a "more of the same" behavior, and could do more harm then good.
I'll stop for now, and let others add their thoughts, comments, and questions.
Mick, are you out there?!
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