From DB Coach Dotty

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Dear M,

Going through such a difficult time is very hard for anybody, so your feeling down and moping around the house is very understandable. But, really, how attractive is that? As hard as it may be, you need to start with working on yourself with some self care so you can get a grip and be armed for the tough work of divorce busting. Believe me, I know that isn't easy to do with her right there, acting cold. The good news, however, is that, regardless of what she has been saying, she IS still there. It can feel confusing, but I say focus on the positives. If you haven't already done so, review Michele's books and, on the board, read inspiring stories of success to keep hopeful.

Start with small steps for yourself. Work on having a PMA, even if you don't feel it inside right away. "Act as if..." is a good way to go. Don't initiate R talks with your W. It only allows her to repeat these things that make you feel so helpless. Whatever the reason your W is acting the way she is, it is important for you to give her space but continue to act pleasant and friendly, perhaps doing small nice things for her like bringing her coffee or such. Do more around the house and with the kids. Play with them, go for walks, read to them, etc. Many times I have heard women comment how their attitude about their husband changed when they saw him more involved with the children.

She may expect you to be angry with her and wonder why you are being so nice. Do this to please yourself, to be the kind of person you really want to be and who she will find interest in. Take care of yourself physically. Dress nicely and be well groomed. Do some exercise. You will feel better (those endorphins will help relieve stress and improve your mood) and she may notice as you get in better shape. Your energy level should improve too, which helps offset that common 'down' feeling.

Experiment - try a few things and pay attention to what seems to help. Be a "solution detective" by noticing even the smallest changes that seem positive. For instance, your wife is still making your lunches and cooking. She is still coming to bed, although waiting until late. These may seem very small, but given the situation, they are significant.

Identify your goals so that you can begin to map out a plan toward reaching them. These should be do-able actions, clear and specific, and observable so when you have done them it is obvious. Then notice what helps and what doesn't. Avoid what clearly elicits negative responses from your W, and make sure you stay on track and continue those things that help. She may not comment positively as you change. Don't be disappointed by this as it is a common response. If you get stuck and need more direction, make an appointment for a telephone coaching call, which can be helpful. In the long run, you are in the best position to notice what helps. But you have to get yourself together first.

Keep up your spirits and keep on doing DB work. Find support here on the board and perhaps through prayer, having fun with your kids, believing in the positive possibilities. Good luck. We're rooting for you.
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Dotty Divorce Busting Coach


JJ

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