The 180

Several years ago, Michelle Wiener Davis, the author of Divorce Busting, introduced a concept to the world of infidelity that is designed to help you and your partner move forward in the healing of your relationship.  She suggested that any new betrayed partner implement these behaviors immediately.  They aren’t designed to make you look good or your partner bad.  They are, however, a means of protection for the betrayed.  They also empower the betrayed to face their new world with dignity and bravery.  A betrayed spouse who uses these steps will appear stronger to the wayward partner, and that is exactly what you want to portray.

This list is titled “The 180” and it won’t take you long to figure out why.  What you are actually doing is a complete 180 degree rotation in your actions and attitude.  You no longer are a weeping sack of sorrow.  Suddenly, you appear strong, happy, independent, and quite capable of making it on your own.

I remember when I first heard about the concept of the 180.  I actually thought it was a really stupid idea.  I was so codependent and wrapped up in him that it felt like the completely wrong thing to do.  I thought I would be pushing him away, putting on a façade when I was asking for more honesty and openness, and making myself seem cold-hearted.  Now I understand that the 180 is not about that.  It’s about protecting yourself.  It’s about finding yourself.  It’s about enjoying who you are without the other person.  It’s about not getting sucked into unnecessary drama.  These are all healthy steps no matter if you ultimately stay together or go your own ways.

So here, it is without further ado:

The 180

1. Don’t pursue reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.

2. No frequent phone calls.

3. Don’t point out “good points” in marriage.

4. Don’t follow her/him around the house.

5. Don’t encourage or initiate discussion about the future.

6. Don’t ask for help from the family members of your wayward partner.

7. Don’t ask for reassurances.

8. Don’t buy or give gifts.

9. Don’t schedule dates together.

10. Don’t keep saying, “I Love You!” Because if you really think about it, he/she is, at this particular moment, not very loveable.

11. Do more than act as if you are moving on with your life; begin moving on with your life!

12. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and independent.

13. Don’t sit around waiting on your spouse – get busy, do things, go out with friends, enjoy old hobbies, find new ones! But stay busy!

14. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words. Don’t push any issue, no matter how much you want to!

15. If you’re in the habit of asking your spouse his/her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING. Seem totally uninterested.

16. Your partner needs to believe that you have awakened to the fact that “they (the wayward partner)” are serious concerning their assertions as to the future (or lack there of) of your marriage. Thus, you are you are moving on with your life…without them!

17. Don’t be nasty, angry or even cold – Just pull yourself back.  Don’t always be so available…for anything!  Your spouse will notice.  More important, he/she will notice that you’re missing.

18. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment.  Make yourself be someone they would want to be around, not a moody, needy, pathetic individual but a self-assured individual secure in the knowledge that they have value.

19. All questions about the marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may not be for quite a while). Initiate no such conversation!

20. Do not allow yourself to lose your temper.  No yelling, screaming or name calling EVER.  No show of temper!  Be cool, act cool; be in control of the only thing you can control.  YOURSELF!

21. Don’t be overly enthusiastic.

22. Do not argue when they tell you how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger).  In fact, refuse to argue at all!

23. Be patient and learn to not only listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you.  Hear what it is that they are saying!  Listen and then listen some more!

24. Learn to back off, keep your mouth shut and walk away when you want to speak out, no matter what the provocation.  No one ever got themselves into trouble by just not saying anything.

25. Take care of you.  Exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil.

26. Be strong, confident and learn to speak softly.

27. Know that if you can do this 180, your smallest CONSISTENT action will be noticed far more than any words you can say or write.

28. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are feeling totally desperate and needy.

29. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse.  It’s not always about you!  More to the point, at present they just don’t care.

30. Do not believe any of what you hear them say and less than 50% of what you see.  Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives and do so in the most strident tones imaginable.  Try to remember that they are also hurting and afraid.  Try to remember that they know what they are doing is wrong and so they will say anything they can to justify their behavior.

31. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.  It “ain’t over till it’s over!”

32. Do not backslide from your hard-earned changes. Remain consistent!  It is the consistency of action and attitude that delivers the message.

33. When expressing your dissatisfaction with the actions of the wayward party, never be judgmental, critical or express moral outrage. Always explain that your dissatisfaction is due to the pain that the acts being committed are causing you as a person.  This is the kind of behavior that will cause you to be a much more attractive and mysterious individual.  Further it SHOWS that you are NOT afraid to move on with your life.  Still more important, it will burst their positive little bubble; the one in which they believe that they can always come back to you in case things don’t work out with the affair partner.

397 Responses to “The 180”

  1. Trish September 12, 2021 at 9:12 pm #

    Is this going to work if he’s still messaging her?

  2. Trish September 11, 2021 at 9:03 pm #

    I pray this works if not it’s over

    • Aaron September 12, 2021 at 9:31 pm #

      It’s probably already over sweetheart.

  3. Dawn Hawker August 27, 2021 at 4:54 am #

    I am doing this at the moment however I have had a couple of wobbly moments. For the first time in my life I am positive, I gave him all of me and didn’t get a lot in return. Married for 23 years and someone told me on Easter Sunday that he was having an affair with someone 20 years younger than him, she is the receptionist at his work and yes I do know her. We were apart for a couple of months and then tried again, however he was not remorseful or truly sorry for what he did, he didn’t put effort into making the marriage work, he knows my weaknesses and uses them constantly to break me, he did once. Not anymore, I am learning to self love, I can now see a future for me (first time I have seen this) even if it’s sat in my own every night at least I will be free of him.

  4. Helene August 10, 2021 at 6:53 am #

    This will be the hardest task I have ever had to do in my life. 33 things not to do are what I thought put me in control. How wrong I was. I will take this challenge and hope that he sees the change and decides I am the woman he wants to grow old and spend with forever. I need to be happy. I choose to be happy that’s why I will do this challenge.

  5. Anonymous July 30, 2021 at 10:48 am #

    Funny, I just found out about the sordid affair a few days ago and the Ex said , “I don’t understand what happened! It’s like you’ve done a 180!” I haven’t told him I know yet and I wasn’t aware of the 180 method. It’s funny he used that term. He’s still hoping to play innocent. I’m just building myself up to put him on notice today.

  6. Anonymous November 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi All,

    My wife for 23 years now with 3 kids (20, 18 and 9) found a job a year back and went to East Coast for a year now. Just visited 7 times on weekends.
    Her behavior changed and had excuses of work during these covid times where everyone is working from home.
    She lives with 3 young men almost half her age.
    I confronted her multiple times and she denied and claimed that they are like brothers.
    End of Sep installed spy warebon her cell and day one she lands one of the guy whom I suspect make it clear on the conversations the affair she is having.
    Last month filed for divorce and in Texas one has to wait 60 days.
    Now she landed at home with the excuse that its holidays and she is working from home.
    I asked her to leave and she claims she has all rights to stay in the home.
    She said sorry once and acts as nothing happened and won’t repeat. From what I heard the emotional attachment is too deep and I don’t trust her anymore.
    She didn’t hire any attorney but signed no contest waiver.
    How do I keep her away, acts normal with kids. Both my elder kids know and we had some heated arguments.
    After reading this article following the 33 steps.
    I want this to end and my attorney says I can’t keep her out.
    Any recommendations?

    • Aaron Day November 24, 2020 at 9:31 pm #

      Hey man.
      I’ve been through this. Different circumstances..
      Its why I linger around this blog.

      The most important reason i linger here is.
      The 180 is the absolute best advice.
      When I suspected, but never confirmed, my wife was cheating. I ended up here.
      Always trust your gut.

      Enough about me.

      Your wife has been unfaithful.
      Get a lawyer…its over.
      Don’t waste 2 more years of my life like I did…TRYING to trust her again.
      She doesn’t give a fuuuuuck.

      You will never….ever. trust her again. Romantically of course.

      Besides getting a lawyer.
      My best recommendation is to be very polite and accommodating…in everything you do…ESPECIALLY TEXTS, VOICEMAILS…anything traceable.

      I’m sorry my friend…but.
      At least you KNOW!.
      YOU SAW IT.

      Shes gotta go man….
      Keep your head up, you’ll be surprised what happens.

      p.s. never take her back

      • Red Pill Lense November 29, 2020 at 2:30 am #

        I’m sorry for your situation. At this point, do NOT be weak and lose respect for yourself. Follow the steps accordingly. Do not initiate anything. I know your are probably in emotional turmoil but you have to stay composed. I’ve been there, not cool.

        DO NOT TAKE HER BACK! EVER!!!!! Fuck her. You deserve better.

        Most importantly, remember, these steps are to protect you. Good luck and God bless.

        • Helene August 10, 2021 at 7:00 am #

          I am committed to learning about my narcissistic husband. I wish I could say I was eager to take on this challenge. But it is what’s necessary to save my sanity and not turn me into a crazy, jealous, husband chaser. I need to stand on my own 2 feet and be here for my kids. Wish me luck. His behavior has turned me off completely and yet I still want him to give me a hug and kiss. So pathetic. I will do better.

          • Anonymous August 27, 2021 at 5:07 am #

            Totally understand where you are coming from. Let him go and feel sorry for the next person he ends up with, but you will at peace and not putting up with his lies etc

      • Simon September 7, 2021 at 9:08 am #

        Aaron, you have provided this gentleman the best advice; it is over, pointless and time to move on!
        Like yourself, I too sometimes linger around to head warning to those still using the “hope” strategy. I was married 15 years, four children and a good home. Her betrayal destroyed us all. Seven years from the split, I am better off now, emotionally, financially, spiritually, than when I was married to her. I understand how extremely difficult it is to keep it together, but not applying the 180 only hurts your efforts. In hindsight, it’s not worth it to torment yourself, trying to convey to your partner that they are making a very poor decision. Let them be, you cannot and should not be begging anyone to be in your life; if they loved you, they wouldn’t be inflicting such pain onto your heart.
        I wish no one would go through the headache of losing you love, your home and your children. It has been the worst pain I have ever experienced. Thin is, these cheaters don’t care about you at the moment. They are too deep involved with their affair. Don’t try to rationalize with them, it is pointless. I’m sorry, but moving forward and applying the 180 is the best defense. You’ll thank yourself later for it. God speed 🙏

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