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.

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328 Responses to “The 180”

  1. James October 25, 2017 at 9:21 am #

    I’m so glad I found this page, I’ve had a week from hell and this has really helped me get out of the pity spiral. I’ve been with my W for a total of 15 years, 5 of them married, with 2 young children. I work Mon-Fri 9-5, earn a decent wage and pay all the bills bar her phone and debt repayments. She works at a local pub 3 nights a week, I stay at home with the kids during these shifts, recently she hasn’t been back at the normal time, deciding to stay for a drink, and also going out on our free nights, by herself to that pub.
    I was away for work and came home, jetlagged, to my W who proceeded to tell me she “loves me but isn’t in love with me” and “doesn’t see those feelings coming back”, I broke down, spent all day crying, and we agreed to see how the week goes before talking more this week. The week goes by ok, I’m still am mess, crying every now and then, talking about the relationship constantly and not giving her space, but we were civil. We go out Saturday night with friends, have a great night then we have an argument and she leaves me to go to her parents.
    The next morning we argue again and she again says she thinks it’s over, but wants me to stay in the house for the kids. I agree as I think maybe we can improve things. However,
    I then discover that she’s been having an emotional affair with another guy. He’s bought her drinks at the pub she works at, shown some affection and is interested in her. This has been going on for a month and a half. I confronted her and she admitted it, but showed no remorse, and instead stated “Talking to him is the thing i look most forward to”. I was devastated but I kept my composure. We discussed options and negotiated to that she would cut all ties with the other guy and hand in her notice at work.
    The next day she changes her mind about the job, says that I’m taking away her freedom and she doesn’t want to be totally dependent on me, understandable, but this is the place the affair started and is where this guy drinks every night.
    So I write her a letter explaining how hurt I am by the affair, that I hope she reconsiders, that I want to see the kids and that I am happy for the time we’ve spent together but I’ve left the family home.
    I’ve made a load of plans for the next week including time with the kids and I’m exercising more, eating better, being more social, changing my outlook and being more positive. But, today I feel like maybe I shouldn’t have left, and should have done the 180 from the family home, even if that means she is still working at the affair pub. I felt that I couldn’t be the doormat yesterday but now I don’t know if this is the right thing for the kids.

    Anyway, I will continue with the 180, these are very helpful and I feel in control of my life again, just a shame I’ve realised this too late.

  2. Brian October 25, 2017 at 12:04 am #

    I have been married to an alcoholic for ten years. Over that time I have put up with her poor choices and behaviors. For the last five years our marriage has been sexless (her choice). I have been trying to be the good patient husband and have suffered. I recently did something stupid and she has not really spoken to me for the last three weeks. I gave her number to another guy to see if she would respond and she did. She started sexting with him. When I told her I knew what she was doing, she lied to me and said that she would stop. I finally confessed everything to her to stop her and she got very pissed at me. I have apologized repeatedly. I am seeing a therapist to improve myself, but she is not willing to go to couples therapy. She says that she does not know if she can forgive me, but never once has she apologized for things she has put me through. About a week ago she quit wearing her wedding ring and told me that in her mind we are separated, even though we still live in the same house. We also have three small children. I do the majority of the house work and child raising and I pay the bills. I just found out yesterday (not even three weeks since the incident) that she has two online dating accounts. She is acting erratic and needs help. I know you stated in one of your rules not to contact her family, but I may need them to help get her into rehab. What should I do? Should I contact her family? Her drinking is bad and I am afraid she will harm herself or someone else. I should have done something earlier, but I guess I was too weak. It took something like this to finally wake me up.

    • Src91790 October 25, 2017 at 12:50 am #

      Let me get this straight: She’s neen cold and distant with you for years, you test her (which you shouldn’t have!) commitment to you, she takes the bait and then BLAMES you for her actions??! And you are asking her for FORGIVENESS?!!! Do you have ANY dignity? Do you LOVE yourself enough to know you DESERVE better? I don’t mean to be cold here put you better MAN UP and LAWYER UP! Kick her ass to the curb and cut your lossess now. DON’T ask het family for help. It is not your job to save her. She CLEARLY knows she can step all over you because you’re acting like a total beta! If you love her, set her free. Let her try and make a life alone. STOP chasing and pleading. Be a man of dignity and respect. I was in your shoes 3 years ago. My ex was cold as ice. She did the same harm to me as your wife is doing to you. Then one day, I had enough. Went COMPLETE 180 on her and I’ve NEVER looked back. My life now is filled with peace and good people who add value to my life. I’m still a GREAT dad and I’m moving forward with my life. Now, what will YOU do?

      • Alexis December 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

        Best answer evah

  3. Sharon September 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Wondering what a 180 involves if the root of the problem is that I was already giving him too much space. He has a very active social life that is independent of me. He has season tickets to hockey games, goes to car auctions and shows, plays poker with the guys, etc. I made a conscious decision to support all those things thinking no man wants a nag or whiner for a wife. I also went emotionally distant due to a severe health crisis. Came out the other side and started being present and involved in his life in any way I could. And THAT is when he dropped the bomb. When I was already 180ing and trying to fix it all on my own. I hadn’t read a single thing, just knew I needed to change from the “sick” me.

    So I have accomplished the “no talking about Relationship”, “no begging, whining, etc”, My question is, by not being around him and giving him a picture of me with a life separate from him, doesn’t that reinforce what he already believes? I agree with everything about not being a clingy, whiny doormat. But I want him to see that I DO love and care for him, and that me supporting his bachelor like lifestyle was a mistake and I see that.

    Thanks for any help!

  4. S September 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    My spouse and I separated 7 weeks ago and has been adamant that we get a divorce. We are currently not living together. I am in therapy and working on myself and trying to move on. I began using this technique just yesterday and last night she was flirty with me and told me that I am the love of her life and she broke down crying saying that she is sad that I will be for the next person what she always wanted from me. She told me that she wants to hug me, but refuses any physical contact. Today, she is back to saying that she doesn’t see us back together and that she can’t get over feeling that I didn’t love her. there was no cheating in the relationship, she just felt taken for granted. We have been together ten years and have one child. I am just so confused.

    • Amy September 8, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      I know, it sucks. I’m so sorry. These things have helped me:

      — listening to what they say to know where I need to be a better spouse, at the same time understanding they are a little crazy and just because they say something does NOT mean it’s true.
      — working on myself. I can honestly say I love and respect myself for the first time in my life. I’m sorry it took this to make that happen.
      — checking out some great books on kindle about this situation. I’ve learned a lot.
      — things by Michele Weiner-Davis, Alison Armstrong at understandmen.com (has info on how men and women are different and what we need), Mort Fertel’s Marriage Fitness program. Try not to talk about any problems right now. OMG that’s so hard, and I’ve screwed it up.

      It’s hard because he is being so nice to me right now and all I want to do is punch him in the face haha. So remember, it’s a roller coaster and that’s okay. Take care of yourself. You can’t do this if you don’t.

      • S September 8, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

        When she brings up things should I say we shouldn’t talk about it? I did say that it (us not being together) was ok bc I didn’t think we were in a healthy place right now. I just feel like I never know the right things to say and everything is wrong.

        • Amy September 8, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

          That’s tricky. If she brings something up, I would try to talk about it like you are talking about another couple….calmly. “I’m sorry you feel that way.” “I disagree with you, but I understand you are upset and I’m sorry you feel like that.”

          I look at this process like a transformation. I can transform myself into the person I want to be. Possibly, we can transform our relationship. But you can only control yourself and your decisions. Be careful not to contort yourself in order to please or keep someone. There is a difference between healthy transformation and contorting yourself because you’re afraid to lose them. There are some great YouTube videos out there — look up Joe Beam and the three phases of limerence, or Alan Robarge (a therapist who specializes in attachment).

          • S September 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

            Thank you! I will go look those up.

            • S September 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

              Would you continue practicing the 180, or am I making things worse? This is the first time in the 7 weeks that she has broke down to me, so I thought it worked (granted it was one day).

            • Amy September 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

              Yes! I can’t imagine going through this process before the internet. There are GREAT resources out there. Take heart — a year ago I was on the floor in a fetal position thinking my life was over after 20 years and 3 kids. Now, I am a strong confident woman. It’s still hard, I still get scared, but I feel empowered and that makes the difference.

      • Anonymous September 9, 2017 at 9:58 am #

        Don’t rule out the possibility that there could be someone else in the picture.

        • Amy September 9, 2017 at 11:45 am #

          I would agree. There was in my case. And it was a friend. Be careful.

          • Mommasan September 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

            I believe, also, that there is almost always someone else in the picture, be it an emotional thing or a physical one (and they are equally bad in my opinion).

  5. Meg September 3, 2017 at 12:23 am #

    Great!

  6. Becky August 27, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    My husband admitted that for the past 8 years he has been reading my journal and read all of them back to about 25 years ago. I always looked to him to make me happy and have depression so every entry was negative and where I vented my frustrations. His lack of interest in sex has been going on for years. There is no intimacy. It’s been falling apart. He had an emotional affair years ago. We separated for 8 months. He now says he is so mad about what I wrote and it’s been eating at him that he doesn’t know if he can develop those feelings again. I’m at the end of my tolerance. Do u think I should do this 180 approach? I’m kind of doing it now. But it’s not having any effect.

    • Amy August 27, 2017 at 11:12 am #

      Yes I would. I would also check a couple of other resources. I love Michele Davis-Weiner’s works, I also love Alison Armstrong at understandmen.com. Her classes helped me to find myself. I also like the Marraige Fitness program by Mort Fertel.

      Becky, I learned through this process that only I can find my happiness. No one else. You can explain to him that your journal is where you dump your feelings so it’s not always the most accurate reflection of how you feel. But it’s his consequence for violating your privacy. Becky, by working on yourself you can find your magic again. Your joy. That’s why this program works. It’s not actually about him. It’s about you. And your happiness and self-confidence is what is so attractive to others. Good luck. I am a year out, things are still hard, but so much better. I finally understand my future belongs to me and I decide if it will be happy or not no matter what it looks like.

    • Kevin Baird August 27, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Becky, It is so easy to get tied up with the 180 and the results you need might not materialize for some time, you have to persevere, only then can you really tell if it going to work for you, it is working of me after my wife’s PA and separation, it isn’t always easy tho, but i feel it working after about 10 weeks, the results are sometimes to me not worth it, but i will keep it up until as i see positives arising from it..best of luck,,,Kevin

  7. Pcoltrain August 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm #

    My fiancé and I were trying to blend a family. The other night we got into a terrible argument after I scolded one of her children. I feel great remorse for doing that and Since that night she has demanded me to move out and I am now living with various family members. We have texted off and on but it always comes down to the same thing; that she wants me to move out. I know I need to give her her space but it’s hard when you are hurting like this. I’m trying to implement this turn around but so desperately want us to work out. There has been no infidelity on either party in the relationship. Just the difficulties of trying to blend a family. I am at a loss.

  8. Anonymous August 4, 2017 at 11:01 am #

    2014 I had a physical affair in with my ex lover. My husband always believed something happened that night but we never talked about it. I distanced myself from my ex-lover vowing never to do it again.
    Fast forward to Oct 2016, I suspected my husband was having an emotional affair and he told me he’d end the relationship. He still did not know the truth about my ex.
    June 2017 I found pictures of him and the other woman and he promised again he’d end the relationship. It was around this time that he asked me what really happened in 2014 and I told him the truth. Yes I had sex with my ex. We promised to tell each other the truth moving forward but he continued to see the other woman and my husband lied repeatedly about ending the relationship. He lied about ending the relationship 3 more times after this but he stated it was just an innocent friendship that crossed the line (a kiss) and he was sorry.
    It is now August 2017 (it’s been about 7 days that I haven’t found any contact between him and other woman) and I have been a pitiful mess, pursuing and chasing him. He has shown remorse for his actions but he is not the pitiful mess pursuing or chasing me.
    Am I wrong for wanting my husband to chase me??
    I fear the 180 will backfire on me since I had a physical affair….
    He lied to me so many times the trust is gone and hope is fading from my perspective but he said he trusts me and want to work on the marriage. He said that he wanted to work on the marriage the last 3 times he lied to me about ending the relationship with the other woman. What do I do?

    • Anonymous August 5, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

      He’s still hurt behind the three years you lied to him about your ex. He’s wrong for lying also but it’s not fair to him that you want him to turn a switch and feel like you. Just take the time to better yourself and forget what happens with anyone else. All you can control at this point is you and your actions. Be the best person you can because sometimes in marriage we lose our identity and we’re not true to our try self. Get that back then let the chips fall where they may

    • Nate December 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

      Sounds to me that you brought this on yourself! Karma!

  9. franciscarl75 August 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    1. Is on one of my hurdles. My wife continues to be inseparable to with her phone. The part that bothers me is that she gave me her passcode and then months later she changed it and I had no idea?!?! Granted it’s her phone but when you give me you passcode that means you have nothing to hide but when she change the passcode secretly that makes question why. What really made me question her actions is when I found in her FB messenger that a guy “friend” sent her 4 posts about certain hotels and the last one is in our city, the things is, he lives in another state. There was no “hey sorry wrong person” or anything. My gut feels that something happened and I’m saying this because I’ve seen past texts of them flirting with each other. So I have my reasons to feel this way. Now it’s time for me to man up and do this 180 and become the person I used to love again

    • Kevin Baird August 11, 2017 at 9:29 am #

      Do the 180 totally, this will pull her up quicker than anything else. get your perspective back, get yourself back to the person you know you are, forget abut her phone, don’t ever worry about something you can’t control, she will notice soon enough that you are changing, let her seat it for a while, when you get to where she will notice she will be begging for forgiveness form you, then you will have the power to decide your future, with her or not.

  10. Barbara Weldens July 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

    I broke up with my boyfriend last 2 months due to many misunderstandings i was fighting so hard to get him back. none of his friends would give me any information about him. The only thing I could do was to go find help from anywhere, so i looked for a way to get him back then a friend recommended me to contact dr_mack@yahoo. com that he will help me and as my friend said, Dr_mack helped me to bring back my boyfriend just in 3 days, I now have him back and this is the biggest joy of my life

  11. Cara Kornegay July 27, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Very very scared to even entertain the thought of some of these things. Aren’t we supposed to be actively working on the marriage? I feel like I am going to push him away. I feel like he needs to see a positive person who is embracing her pain and the process of going through it to get to the other side healthy. If I don’t show him the pain and anguish, won’t he think that he doesn’t matter and that what he did doesn’t matter? I am so very scared. Thank you for any response. I need it right now.

    • Jason July 27, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

      Hi!
      Sorry that you have joined “the club” of those of us who are going/have went through this
      I guess before I really have any thing to offer or any words to say I am wondering if your spouse did this 1 time, did they tell you or did you find out and are they still currently engaging in the affair and relationship with the other person

  12. deb July 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    This list was a turning point for me back in May,my partner of 20 years fell into a heartbreaking bout of depression which u took very personally as it completely rocked ne to the core.It all started back in October on a holiday ,I struggled every day with his terrible moods and coldness,I was sent this list by another sufferer of depression fallout in May and haven’t looked back since.Yes I sometimes stumble but it has made me stronger person and able to cope and look after myself.Hugs to all of you who are struggling your not alone.

  13. Lisa scalapino June 13, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

    My heart breaks for you . But you are so fortunate to not have children yet– once you have children together the divorce is exponentially more difficult. For your own sake think hard about whether you can trust her — even if she did return.

  14. Lisa June 13, 2017 at 12:41 am #

    I agree .. and I found it felt so so risky at first but it brought my straying husband back about 10 months later- he said had seen me running triathlons, going to the theatre just generally having a great life without him and he said to my friend “what have I done? What have I done?” Be ready to really hold your ground – keep your distance– the affair loses its glow if no one minds

    • Amy June 13, 2017 at 1:02 am #

      Wow Lisa. Thank you so much. Great story. Needed to read that.

    • Anonymous June 21, 2017 at 10:58 pm #

      I like that… the affair loses its glow if no one minds.

  15. Anonymous June 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    Have I waited too long to implement the 180? My wife left last week after about 3 months of being lied to and her carrying on with another man…She says she wants a separation and even though I thought I was emotionally ready to just let her walk, I begged and pleaded my case for the relationship to not be thrown away…I haven’t reached out since she left, and honestly it’s getting easier not to. But have I waited too long to initiate the 180 and have it be seen by my wife who is already out of the house, or because the nature of the “separation” and it being only temporary, is there a chance it could still have the desired effect?

    • findingstrength2017 June 12, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

      I don’t think so. It never hurts to try. And if anything, it will help YOU feel better, nurture your soul and help you to find happiness in your life. I know it is so hard!!!

      • Anonymous June 13, 2017 at 11:06 am #

        Thank you…It is hard. It’s also hard, because I feel like I’m debating whether or not the actions I take are truly for the betterment of my own soul and frame of mind or just to get her back 😦 My wife and I are a younger couple (I’m 32 she’s 29) we’ve been together for 9 years, married for 6…We don’t currently have children, but were planning to begin that chapter of our relationship as I write this…Now, she’s gone and claims that she doesn’t want to “settle” for a life she doesn’t think she wants anymore…Does all of this sound familiar to anyone? I feel like my world has been turned upside down and it completely came out of nowhere to me…

        • Aaron Day June 20, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

          Hey buddy. Yes it sounds incredibly familiar. You could be me. That’s how familiar it sounds. I wasn’t going to respond until I noticed the date.

          I’m going through this exact scenario.

          Read this list every day. I do.
          The one thing this list does without saying it.
          It puts you back in control of you.
          You will regain self confidence and esteem.
          Maybe it won’t get your wife back. In fact, it probably won’t. At least I’m pretty sure it won’t get mine back. But following this advice had given me…ME back.

          Not a pathetic self pitying fool anymore. FOOL.
          Your wife is most likely having an affair, if you haven’t figured that out.

          That’s why this list is important.
          Start taking care of yourself and your finances. Read the list again. Know it, live it.

          I know your pain friend. My wife moved out 2 days ago.

          So no it isn’t to late.
          I know MONTHS ago I was reading articles like this…and people would say.. work on you.
          I would want to SCREAM. BUT I JUST WAANT HER!

          Trust me friend. It will be ok.
          You will get better.
          You might not believe it right now. But you’ll come to a point you where you’re ok with her coming back.
          Meaaning just ok with it.
          Then the next day you’ll kinda realize. You don’t want her back.

          Look how you feel right now. How could anyone that loves you make you feel that way?
          She has pain too.

          Rule #1 on this list is #1 for a reason.
          Take care buddy

          • Anonymous June 23, 2017 at 11:25 am #

            Thank you for your reply, Aaron… I wish I had come upon this list months ago. At first I feel I did the complete opposite of most of these things. I was desperately clinging on to any shred of hope there was to keep her in this marriage…Now, I am FINALLY doing things for myself. I am finally moving forward and working on me. Actually working on me, not just trying to convince myself that that’s what I’m doing…I can imagine now getting to that point where if she were to come back, not really sure if I’d want it anymore because I am in fact working on myself, whereas she has continued to checkout of life and is on this fantasy vacation…Thank you so much for your response. It has been incredibly helpful to know that I am not the only one who is going through something like this… I have had to stop asking myself “why”, because I know that there will be no logical explanation. That is a tough lesson to learn in itself. I hope you continue down the road you’re headed as well, keep your head up! Thanks again.

            • Anonymous June 23, 2017 at 11:31 am #

              Also, my wife had taken some things and left our home on June 7th…Since then we have been “separated”… for about 3 months prior to this it was constant back and forth. Is this separation a good thing? It feels like this is what we both needed, and a part of me can honestly see this as a positive on both sides if we were to take this time to work on ourselves and get our heads right. That’s what I’m doing…I’m not convinced she’ll do the same. I’d love to say that we will reconcile and come out of this stronger than we ever were, but I know that that means she wants that as well… It’s tough.

              • Aaron Day July 4, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

                It is tough. Very very tough.

                I won’t say separation is a good or bad thing…its just the way it is.

                I personally didn’t want her moving out…or separating. I felt after she did that…i would start living my own life…and her…her own life.
                I think two people being apart doesn’t bring them closer as individuals…
                But that’s just me. Some people say it’s good for a relationship. Gives you both time to “reset”

                Could be true…i don’t but it. I see it as a soft breakup
                Buuuuut. My aunt separated from my uncle for TWO YEARS…and they’ve been together 20ish years since that. So it happens.

                The thing about love, I’ve come to learn. There is no right or wrong…left right…up or down. It’s probably about the only damn thing Google can’t answer. Countless novels, songs. Poems… have been written about it. The fact is…its an absolute UNKNOWN.

                The only thing I do know about it. It starts with trust and mutual respect. I think for both of us, that’s over. So..ya know…

        • Greg October 1, 2017 at 6:32 am #

          Hey

          Very similar situation. Together 9 yrs with my wife. Married 4. 2kids and recently adopted her neice and nephew. Find out 3 weeks ago she had been having an emotional affair with a super rich guy for about a month or so. He’s 10yrs older and showed interest in her while I wasn’t for a period of time. My hobbies, work, etc. Were reasons behind this and I have taken responsibility for my actions viewing to invoke the passion that was once there. Originally I was sad, sappy, begging husband just lost on how my life got to where it is. Tried passion and taking her out but that didn’t end up all that great. The last week I have been implementing these rules without even knowing, also without great force. It has helped but I need to step it up and clearly follow them. She told me she is uninspired, confused about her as a person and needs time to find herself. She has been more or less jobless for a few years because I was able to support us financially. I think this is a big chunk of why she is”bored” “trapped” and lost to herself. Considering living in separate homes and we have recently agreed that we will put the show on for the kids and maintain under the same roof until we find means to separate properly. We have taken out rings of as respect to each other as I told her she didn’t deserve to wear a ring she wasn’t working to maintain. She told me last night that she has enjoyed me much more since we stopped being together together, 1 week, as in being physical and discussing our relationship and future. Seems she is under the impression that time to find herself and how she can be a better her will bring back energy and perspective to our relationship. But she wants to do it separately. It’s all very confusing but I am and need to work on these 180 because I am a great man and father and have to worry about my future without her directly in it and the future of my family. I will say, she has stopped going out, and said it is about her and not about anyone else, not me, not us, not another man. I think the man, being in a similar situation himself, has inspired her to find herself.

  16. Heidi Minor May 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Doing these…..and thankful I am. Though it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Doing what I should is the most important thing for me right now, my spouse cares nothing for me at this point, so making a life for me is the most important decision I can make for the kids and I.

  17. Amy May 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    Wow, I am so glad to have found this page. It is so meaningful to find other people dealing with this. I am so grateful for your advice, strength, and time. I have felt so crazy and alone.

    I am an attractive, smart, accomplished 43 year old woman. But I found out last August shortly after my 20th wedding anniversary that my husband had been in a long term affair. Two years. With a friend of mine. We have three children together. I am trying so hard to keep this list on my phone and use it. I make mistakes and think I can reason with him at times. I forget that what he has done has changed who he is and he doesn’t think rationally. I am determined to get out of this pain and find my own strength. It is so hard. You would look at me from the outside and think I am perfect with someone who has it totally together. That would be a mistake. Women tell me they are jealous of me because I am thin. I weigh 105 pounds. I can’t tell them that I am thin because I can’t eat or sleep. That due to grief I can barely swallow food. I would exchange pounds for joy and love any day.

    I am determined to do this 180 and become who I want to be. I don’t want to be needy or codependent or clingy. But some days I still cry because all I want most in this world is to be loved and cherished. I don’t know if I will ever have that in this life.

    • beautifulmess7 May 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

      You deserve love and devotion and to have a partner that you trust. I’m sorry that you’re going through a hard time. It won’t last forever. Take care of yourself

    • Lisa May 13, 2017 at 1:48 am #

      Hi Amy
      I too was married for 20 years. my husband decided to leave me to go to Costa Rica and search for a better woman – someone who satisfied him more.
      I too couldn’t eat. Woke up every day willing to sell my soul to get him back and stop the pain
      We’re still not back together but now he’s tentatively trying to reach out to me.
      Following Michelle Weiner’s 180 was the best thing I ever did. It gave our relationship a chance. It also – some days- got me believing that I really was ok. It was like I believed my own invented story – that I was strong, beautiful, leading a new exciting life without him. It’s very powerful- if you aren’t there emotionally longing for the relationship- suddenly they feel like the floor fell out. Also the other affairs lose their illicit luster and have to do the work of a real relationship- – and this puts pressure on them. Hang in there- show your husband only your strong, happy confident face. You’ll be surprised – he will grieve the possibile loss of you- and may come knocking- in time. Take the best care of yourself you can – I called in every health specialist I could- massage, naturopath, acupuncture, hairdresser- — it’s like there’s a huge emotional emergency every morning of every day. So you have to pull out the stops and have help from all sides- but you will always be glad you did the 180– it’s the best chance you’ve got for yourself and your relationship- it gave me a chance.

      • Amy June 4, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

        I think you’re right. I have to believe my own story that I am strong and beautiful.

      • Mommasan August 11, 2017 at 8:34 am #

        Lisa:
        I like best in your post where you say “it’s like there’s a huge emotional emergency every morning of every day”. I also feel like that every day. The minute he leaves the house in the morning, I am a wreck. I get to work and sit and think about him all day – no joke. It’s so hard to turn off the thoughts. I feel like if I do the 180, things will still happen behind my back and that’s my greatest fear.

        • Lisa Scalapino September 3, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

          Yes, I remember feeling utter terror at what might happen behind my back. And then trying to find out what might be happening. and it just about killed me every time I knew or thought I knew he was going “out” on a date.. the suffering is just indescribable. .. it haunts you and undermines you on every front.. i just will say that doing the 180 did help over time- it was like a rule book- the more I did of it — the more it seemed -ever so slowly– like i build ground under my feet.

  18. Sara May 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    My story is too long to post here and I don’t think it’s necessary at this point to go they the sordid story. Short version: Married 20 years, 3 teenage kids, husband was fired from a job for something he truly did not do which threw into a downward spiral that he never healed from, just hide it really well, the new job proved to be stress beyond belief that compounded his earlier stress, 2 family moves in 6 months, I slipped into depression and tried to focus on my kids abd I essence checked out of the marriage, he focused on work and checked out of the marriage – he did form a friendship with a female coworker that too, him further away from me although I don’t believe it was a full on affair….definaltely inappropriate. I came out of my depression or darkness and plugged back I ….he never did. He is just done., he says the switch turned off and he has no belief it can come back. I think there was a time when that wasn’t true but it is how he feels now.

    This list???? I’ve done them all over the past 18 months. I know I probably killed any chance we had but honestly he never seemed to out any effort into fixing things so I light not have ever had a chance.

    I’m doing much of this list now mainly because he has moved into our basement and is trying to separate as much as he can while still living here. He is the one that puts us In the position to have family dinners when they happen, and he has not told our girls that his decision is definite….they think we are still trying to fix things. They still expect game nights and dinners, outings etc to be as a family because they don’t know the truth so the pretending from my side is brutal!

    I’m trying to detach and let go but still feel we can fix this but I can’t by myself, I get that. How does one let go and move on while still believing in the marriage? When does the pain stop and am I right that to much of doing what this list tells you Not to do, ruins any chances forever? How does one know when that point of Ruined forever. Has happened? Why do I want his marriage when he clearly doesn’t and when will I stop wanting to be his wife? The thought of either of moving on to a new someone is so sad to me, I still visualize our aging years and want it to be him holding my hand…how pathetic right?

    Don’t know which way to move.

    • Brubeck May 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

      “Don’t know which way to move.”

      Neither does he, that’s why he’s doing this. His mind is in stasis from being overloaded with bad voices and bad ideas. He’s oblivious to you right now.

      As you’ve noticed, a large portion of what’s going on with him is depression. The job loss is easily a trigger for a midlife crisis. Time has slowed down for him, he could be stuck like this for years. Waiting for him to snap out of it is pointless. You have to get on with your own needs. He’s frozen. You need to grow.

      Detaching takes time. It took me a over a year to do this, and I still have days where I slip back and wonder what my wife is thinking and worry. Detaching kind of feels like choosing to give up. When anyone gives up on something, it’s not a choice – the person is just worn out. That may have to happen to you. You’ll just have to get tired of your husband’s crap before tuning him out.

      It’s possible your husband may file for divorce tomorrow (if he hasn’t already). It’s also possible for him to spend the next few years sulking in your basement and trying to keep his mind occupied with new hobbies and habits that won’t make any sense to you at all.

      Believe it, I am not exaggerating. Look around for midlife crisis message boards via Divorce Busting, The Hero’s Spouse or the Midlife Club. You can read stories from spouses in your position. If your husband’s story / behavior is similar to other stories that you’ve read, understand that your husband is more or less suffering from an emotional disease. He sees you as an alien because he is one himself right now.

      Important question: What was his childhood like?

  19. Joe Strummer April 13, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

    This is a fantastic list/advice and how lovely it doesn’t seem to be trying to sell anything. To everybody in this situation, the best part is that getting over someone and coming out on top, or reconciling, are both accomplished by this same list. So no downside.

  20. Jake April 3, 2017 at 1:03 am #

    Ive already started slowly. Great idea.

  21. Stealth March 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    Well, where do I start lol.

    Got with my now wife when I was 16, she was 24 at the time. Both been told we were good looking.

    Had a child in 2005 and the only thing was left was to get married. We did in 2014. Everything up to this point was great. Always had a healthy sex life with no issues. Dresses up and everything and really does everything I ask. Would not want anyone else and have never wanted anyone either.

    We then bought our house in 2015 and it’s all paid for. Then everything was going great. Never in the past believed my wife has cheated but this past years gave me signs something may have happend.

    She told me her fantasy after extreme pressure from me was to sleep with a police officer. This hurt me because I could not do this and could not provide it either.

    She has a twitter account with a large following of you guessed police officers. I then discover 3 different email accounts linked to her main email account.

    I checked her iCloud and found she had googled a hotel website, new phone chip and a couple of days later she googled new underwear but did not buy.

    I waited and began to track her iPhone when she was out and believed she had visited a police station near a shop she was going too. Done my head in.

    Then on Christmas Eve, I know she went to her friends house and after coming back I touched her before bed and swore it smelt like a condom. Killed me, nearly had a heart attack. Then I checked her tights, did not smell like anything. However, found a few stains on the bottom of her skirt that I thought were sperm stains. Got a black light but nothing came up.

    I confronted my wife on Christmas Day. She got very upset, swore on our child’s life and asked me to check her friends cctv footage to prove she did not go nowhere. I refused because she swore on our child’s life and her moms and dads. Believed I should have taken her word for it.

    I kept pushing after this and believed she had a different twitter and Facebook account. She got even more angrier and denied it continually. Then I pushed again and she left me for 2 weeks and told me to sort myself out if she wanted me to come back.

    I can understand if she wants someone else but I cannot deal with it going on behind my back. I would hate her with a passion but love her to bits.

    I have mentally abused my wife to the point that she left. Could she be telling the truth.

    She said she had just clicked on the phone chip, the new underwear was for me and was talking to someone else about the hotel on Facebook. I don’t know, confused beyond belief. Thinking I am going mad.

    She is really good looking but ten years older, almost than me. I know I could get a good looking bird again. I don’t want to and it would kill me to walk away but cannot deal with the belief she may have cheated on me.

    Just want her to be honest if anything did happen. Need help

    • stealth March 12, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      To add, the mental abuse was beyond belief. Do you think that everyone has a breaking point where if they had cheated they would admit it or continue to deny it.

      I am totally ashamed of the way i have treated my wife over the last couple of months and could not have blamed her if she wanted a divorce. Just cant get the thought out of my head that she may have or is still having an affair.

    • justanopinionweb June 4, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

      You made the mistake of confronting her without solid proof. You need solid and undeniable proof of an affair before you tip her off you are watching her. What you’ve done is given her the opportunity to take her affair deeper underground and make up a good story in her mind as an excuse for her behavior. It will be harder for you to find proof now as she knows you are watching. Get access to her phone to see what she is doing on there, or find a way to GPS her location. You can also get a voice activated recorder, velcro it under her drivers seat where she wont find it to find out who she is calling and what she is talking about. Be prepared you could potentially uncover something very hurtful. Do not let her suspect you are watching her. DO NOT approach her with any evidence unless it is concrete proof of her cheating.

  22. AJ March 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    My husband has all the signs of a midlife crisis.
    I have broken all the rules in the past couple of months, cried, begged, pleaded, demanded etc all to find it has pushed him further into the tunnel.
    I am in therapy and hoping to find the strength to get through this however it turns out. He initially told me he would seek counselling with a view to returning home but he seems to be sinking further into the mire.

  23. Scott January 29, 2017 at 3:54 am #

    Hello Simon it’s not a nice situation and like yours it’s very similar to my previous mess. When this mess starts EVERYTHING boils down to money EVERYTHING. I slept on our sofa for 6 months because I was holding on for hope, eventually it came to a crash I was expected to move out but how could I, I was paying a large chunk of the bills and my wife was refusing to sell. I was up against it I was psyched away by all out friends and her family with very little support. When I decided enough was enough I stayed with friends while my wife went out partying. I eventually got a little 2 bed house to rent which like you broke me dry but for me to do this I had to only pay what I was entitled to which was a hard thing to do but I needed to love on with my life#1,450 is an awful lot of money what you are paying you must be either on a good wage or you are paying more than you should but that’s your choice if that’s the case. My wife made me out to be a bad person a real bad person arguments escalated where police where called I reviewed threats from family members it was crazy how dos this all start from my wife telling me she loves me but she not in love with me???! Let’s get something starchy here tho I was the cause of the marriage breakup we got together at such a young age approx 19-20 and the first few years was great we then had our first child who is 8 now and my wife gave up work for a year. We then decided to have a full joint bank account .. Big mistake !! I’m very tight with my money and watch every penny my wife is the opposite not a big spender but normal I suppose. This is where the problems started I controlled everything I would check the joint bank account everyday and question everything she spent constantly nagging. I was on a good wage and provided for my wife and kids nice holidays etc. I even decided there was no pint in buying birthday presents, Xmas presents , Valentine’s presents etc because we shared he same money she agreed and yeah we will just have nice meals together and things which I thought she was happy with ( obviously wasn’t) I rarely told her I loved her or looked nice I was naive I thought my love was shown by having an active sex life but during my mess I researched the I love you but I’m not in love you quote and having sex meant nothing women need a whole lot more. My individual Councillor said I expressed my love in other ways paying, sorting the bills, ensuring cars are serviced and looked after, creating savings accounts , keeping us out of debt. Lol can you see it was all about money with me haha. I’m not sure maybe she thought the grass wasnt greener I know she dated a few douche bags but she was clearly over me it was frequent for her to say she wished I was dead and I also said the same. I think with my situation we seen the classic the “pursed” becomes the “pursuer” the tables had turned she was pursuing me. When she first said she had made a mistake I couldn’t believe what I as hearing and basically told her she had her chance and I was with somebody now and I also told her not to make a fool of herself like I did and move on!! I could see everything she was doing and it made my skin crawl when she tried to get me back everything I did to her but she looked pathetic exact same as me but not as bad. In my head I was 100 per cent sure it was over I’d never go back I was done I had moved on I kind of enjoyed my new life. Eventually we became friends for the sake of the children which involved us doing things for the sake of the children we then began to open up to each other communicating- we never communicated in our marriage I was a deep person and kept all my emotions, stress and angers to myself I rarery communicated which effected my wife. It seemed we had more in common than we knew we had we both realised we both like the same things, have the same views and interests. We became very good friends! We secretly got back together and she wanted me to move straight back home I refused and stayed in my rented shithole for some time till I was finally sure. The changes we both have made we don’t bottle up our concerns and little niggles we talk about them a thrash them out before the little things turn too big things and then the big things turn to resentment once resentment sets in its hard to recover. We no longer have a full joint bank account we have our own money’s now, I’m trying to communicate more and she is trying to not get angry over trivial things. We are far from perfect but for the the first time in years we are happy the marriage was dead long before she had the courage to end it. We make sure we spend time together without the kids it’s very important to do this we never done this in our marriage. She’s not perfect and the little things she does which annoy me which used to kill me I accept who am I to judge no one is perfect. Like I say to my friends who split with there partners and keep saying it on here.what you must understand is you can’t influence your partners decision only they can want back in. Life your life do what you need to do not just doing it to impres your partner hoping she or he will see change! You need to get a life , take care of your kids and things will change the pain is temporary and everything works out in the end whether your are with or without your partner you will come out stronger and wiser in the end!

    • Simon February 28, 2017 at 11:53 pm #

      Scott, sharing your story and experience has been motivating for me. You give strength to keep moving forward and wisdom to see see things for what they are. I’ve been very busy with work and school but I find that I still have my moments. I’m wondering and hoping if you’d continue sharing and perhaps continue advisin me. I know we all have lives so I’m not looking to complicate yours. Just looking to expand my network of friends. My email src91790@yahoo.com

  24. Scott January 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Src I don’t mind sharing advice this website was a saviour for me so even though I’m sorted I still keep coming back here to share my experience. I forgot to add I got the I love you but I’m not in love with you… I just couldn’t understand what it meant .. We were having sex doing things together , I just couldn’t work out what that meant. I still don’t really agree with that statement to be fair to be in love, love gets confused with lust in my opinion it’s hard to keep lusting after someone when you have been with someone for so many years. My wife said some awful things to me and I mean real awful things stuff which broke me as a man and believe me I said real hurtful things back, I had individual counselling to try and understand what was happening to me. inslpet on the settee for months been a moping wreck I should of left straight away but I was broke and it took me months to find sites like this. I was like you vowed never to get back with my wife ever again I was certain in my head it was over and so was she I moved on from this site and got on with my life , ready to give my house up for my kids sale and not hers. Early stages I think she was confused and I made the whole situation worse by been desperate and needy, begging for a second chance , it makes my skin crawl to think how I acted if I didn’t act like that n got on with my life it might not of took best part of 2 years to sort things out . I was with someone for about 7 months and if split with her and told my wife it was over just out of courtesy as she we both agreed we would not introduce anyone to our kids without the other meeting the new partner, it just happens really we didn’t used to speak to each other unless it was kids business then we eventually became friends. It’s not perfect but it’s good nothing is perfect. Old problems do still arise mainly from me been a miserable awkward git but im a work in progress. She has a temper and she is a work in progress. I must add it had nothing to do with the kids getting back with her it’s because I wanted too. We discuss or ex relationships and have a laugh, I suspected she was having an emotional affair too but she denies this but hey ho. Seriously the best thing for anyone to do is move on or at least pretend … I used to read the divorce busting rules every single day. I did the same as you got fit, progressed at work not for my wife but for me. End of the day you can’t control your wife you can’t control how she feels, you think you can influence her but in reality it’s not going to work. As soon as you take care of yourself you realise it will all blow over its a big wide world out there to be broke by one person is pathetic but I’ve been there and it’s easier said than done when your whole life is breaking before your eyes .Hope I’ve covered your points if not let me know or if you’d like to know anything else about my experience

    • Simon January 28, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      Scott, totally appreciate your replies. I’ve heard reconciliation stories from people and it always makes me happy for them. Although, I know reconciliation is also a very hard thing to do. At this point, I have so much anger over my ex. We had originally agreed on a 50/50 custody split with our children but she now refuses to give me that. Now I’m paying her $1,450 a month on child support. She’s now become greedy and in love with my money. This in turn is causing financial hardship. I can barely afford my small apartment along with the basic living essentials. She also continues to paint me as a bad person. But you’re correct to say that we have no control over them or their actions. So, I just keep smiling and fake it till I make it. So tell me, you guys were seperated for 2 years? You said that she eventually regretted her decision to leave you; what happened that caused her to realize she made a mistake and pursue you? What was that conversation like? Im guessing, she realized the grass wasnt greener on the other side? Also, what changes have you and her done to move the relationship moving forward? For example, my ex has a short temper, is very vain, and curses a lot. I can’t see myself dealing with that because it was those very things that caused friction in our marriage. I dont think she’s acknowledged that and I would worry about us failing again. For myself, I was always insecure and jealous but only because she never made me feel loved. However, I’ve learned to not ever be dependent on that. I love me first now and that feels amazing. By the way, im 43 and she’s 36. Our kids are 5, 8, 13, and 14. We’ve been separated since September of 2015. She also filed for divorce and we’re still in that process.

  25. Scott January 28, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    Hello
    A bit of background about me. I’m 33 and was with my wife for for 13 years we have 2 kids. Anyway cut a long story short I was there for her for quite years and she finally had enough I was broken. I did everything wrong like you I kept asking do you think we will get back together ? How do you feel? Telling her how much I love her ! Cooking meals doing absolutely everything from a strong willed bloke I turned into a a desperate needy mess. You need to understand what ever you say to your partner will not change the situation it will make not the slightest bit of difference at all you lose all your dignity and pride you feel like crap it’s a horrible place to be you fell your life is ruined! Let me tell you it’s far from ruined you need to carry on with your life don’t argue, don’t be so available , don’t ask about the relationship , get a life like others have said do stuff for you which will make you better , keep quiet of asked about what you are into the. Say but keep your life to yourself. As soon as I started moving on I felt great, you will feel you are getting control back. Let me add it’s not easy it’s horrific. But whatever you say will make the south on worse and push them further away. You may not want to move on but pretend you have to show you can move on and you can be happy with your partner or without them that’s they key. If they don’t come back you have saved yourself a lot of heartache and making a fool of yourself. If they do come back and you want them back that’s great. In the end I moved on we were split for 18 months. I followed the divorce busting techniques and my then ex wife started coming back asking what I was up to etc I finally met someone ( this wasn’t out of spite to my ex) it was because I had moved on the tables then turned my wife was broke and after educating myself through this site my wife became exactly what I was like desperate and needy it was embarrassing and I was embarrassed about how I was aswell o told her to stop and I had moved on. 2 years down the line we are now back together and more happier than ever not perfect I must add but happy. Believe me take control of your own life let your partner do what they need to do and you move on and TRY and have a life. Seriously this pain doesn’t last forever everyone told me that but I don’t listen but now I know they were speaking the truth.

    • Tia January 28, 2017 at 5:42 am #

      Tia on January 28, 2017 at 5:37 am
      Thanks u . I have improved myself and I love my self I do all of those things I. Have been living in a separate home for past 6 months doing me I just moved back in yesterday in a completely different room to help him out w his son because I love him like he is mine . I do t sit around waiting I him I do me and “our son who calls me mom”. I don’t express my feelings or even bring up getting back to get her I dont act like anything bothers me I am happy to luck but on the inside I want to work things out I don’t express that. My question is with us living together getting along as room mates do you thing it’s possible that things may work them selves out in due time .I think is what I am hoping to happen. . I do my thing hang a friend to to gym etc. I love him very much but I don’t express it to him at all . I don’t talk about us or past to him I am happy to all about me .. I am happy in life . I am buying my own home . still paying on it he just asked me to move in a him to help with our and stuff . I’m not giving up my home . .. I do my stuff ..

    • src January 28, 2017 at 5:55 am #

      Scott, you’re story is very encouraging. That is why I encourage Tia to keep on moving. At this point, she sounds just like me, 2 years ago when my ex wife dropped the “ILYBIMILWY” bomb. I became a needy pathetic individual. You are also very right that the pain in the process is so immense. I spent many nights crying and wondering why I was being dealt this heavy blow. I was married to this woman for 15 years. Busted my tail to get us ahead. We have four young children together. Nonetheless, she wanted out so bad. Told me some pretty cold things that pierced right through my heart. Eventually, I discovered that she was having an emotional affair. Anyhow, one day, after so much pain, I decided to live my life. I got busy; exercised a lot to work off the stress and depression. Lost 50lbs in the process. Got me a new look and am back in school to finish my bachelors degree. It’s now been 18 months since she checked out officially. I don’t see any sign of her bending but I am also so much stronger myself. I’ve met people that have allowed me to realize how much better I deserve. As for my ex, I can’t ever see myself getting back with her because she’s just done so much damage in her journey. Scott, not gonna lie, I sometimes imagine my ex coming back to me, begging me to take her back. However, that shipped has sailed and I am no longer the weak and pathetic man I was. So sad how some people don’t truly calculate their decisions. I was no angel during our marriage; I did and said things that I shouldn’t have but, nothing to validate what she did to our family. Tia, move on. He’s using you and the longer you stick around waiting and begging, the harder you will fall emotionally.
      Scott, if you don’t mind sharing a bit more, I’d like to know how it was that you and your wife (?) started talking. Did something happen, besides her seeing you move on, that changed her thinking? Why did you decide to take her back? What has been the hardest thing to deal with in terms of you guys getting back. I ask because I still wonder what drives my ex to be this selfish. I don’t lose sleep over it anymore but I can’t seem to understand what makes some people put themselves before their family.

      • Scott January 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

        Sorry I didn’t add… I’m not sure why I took her back.. I realised I still loved her. I too was like your provided for my family we had a good life but both drifted off track.

  26. Tia January 28, 2017 at 1:57 am #

    Huge question me and my husband have been separated for 7 months right first let me mind u we were only together for 3 months before we got mArried. We live 6 months mArried and split up . he has a son whom I love as my own . I recently moved in w him but in a separate bedroom . I am still holding on . to him I love this man so much. I still have my house but he needed help and I love his son I’ve asked him if he thinks we will get back together ever be says no. I need advice what to do I do all things above . does Nyone thing in due time living together no problems w us if we may get back together eventually..

    • Src January 28, 2017 at 2:41 am #

      Don’t fool yourself. Stop being available for him and enabling his behavior. Have dignity and truly love yourself before loving anyone else. I know it’s hard sweetie but you MUST see things for what they are. If you truly love him and want him back, go out and start living YOUR life and find ways to fill it with happiness. Exercise, join a jogging or hiking club. Go back to school. Get a new haircut. Anything that will improve you. In the process, completely ignore him and DON’T be weak. Respect yourself! You sound very desperate. Don’t be that. Seriously, work on yourself and get busy living life. Never put yourself on hold for ANYONE!!!

      • Tia January 28, 2017 at 5:37 am #

        Thanks u . I have improved myself and I love my self I do all of those things I. Have been living in a separate home for past 6 months doing me I just moved back in yesterday in a completely different room to help him out w his son because I love him like he is mine . I do t sit around waiting I him I do me and “our son who calls me mom”. I don’t express my feelings or even bring up getting back to get her I dont act like anything bothers me I am happy to luck but on the inside I want to work things out I don’t express that. My question is with us living together getting along as room mates do you thing it’s possible that things may work them selves out in due time .I think is what I am hoping to happen. . I do my thing hang a friend to to gym etc. I love him very much but I don’t express it to him at all .

        • beautifulmess7 January 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

          Why would you hope to work it out with someone like that? He sounds pretty awful. Leave. Seriously. Move out for good and don’t look back. You are being used. Period.

  27. Pamela Haggerty December 30, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    What if they ask you out on a date…or “family date night” do you say no or is it just that you dont ask them??

    • Brubeck December 30, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Never ask for anything from them aside from “business” stuff – kids or household needs. That’s it.

      If they want a “family date night”, meaning the whole family – do it. Focus on the kids, though. Engage them when only when engaged by them.

      If they ask you out on a date, just the two of you, agree after thinking about it for a while. During the date, be happy and distracted. Expect anything. Do not anticipate commitment from any promises made to you. Do not agree to anything. Just say “I don’t know, I have to think about it.” Believe NONE of what you hear and only HALF of what you see.

  28. Jason November 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

    Thanks for the replies to my post this morning
    I would love to get more replies on the situation and any else that may have some input or advice

    • Anonymous November 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

      Jason, as a follow up to my earlier reply, I wanted to mention to you that even after the wrath my wife put me through, I truly am in a much better place. She’s now at her parents, crowded in a two bedroom home with my four kids! that relationship she had with her guy? that lasted all but three minutes. Brubek gave you some AMAZING amazing advice. Be grateful and FOLLOW what he’s telling you. I didn’t have this type of support when I went through this. I was like you; begging on my knees while crying my heart out. I can’t believe how pathetic i was. Anyhow, the only feeling i have left for her is the resentment for what she did to our family. But they will never admit to how STUPID they were for destroying a lifetime of memories away. My ex is just like that. She has her head up her rear that she probably won’t admit, publicly, how bad she messed up. For me personally, I could NEVER go back to her. It would be taking a step back. I could never forgive her and most importantly, I could never trust her back. She was like a tornado, destroying everything in her path and not giving a rats ass who got caught in the destruction. It’s sad really. We had so many good memories with our four children and had just purchased a beautiful home. Life was so good then…..

      • Anonymous November 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

        Yes. You both have given me incredible insight and thank you for sharing your story with me
        Your words of encouragement and support mean more than you might possibly know

  29. Jason November 1, 2016 at 4:08 am #

    So we have been married almost 25 and together for 27. Everyone calls us the perfect couple
    My wife started a “facebook” affair in July of this year and 3 weeks ago, went to Vegas to meet him and had sex. I had no idea what was going on. We even had sex together the night before she left. We don’t have real money issues and rarely fought about anything in all our years together
    She says that she is now confused and doesn’t know who to pick. She “loves us both” but I don’t know how she could fall in love with someone she had never met in person until recently
    She is very honest with me in that she told me about the Vegas hook up the day she got home
    I did forgive her and we had even made love a couple times since the incident
    She even broke it off with him for a couple days but now…..
    She has told me that she talks to him every day and is making plans to go see him again because there is something that draws her to him. She even wears a necklace that he got her so I get to see that every day
    She says she needs space to figure out who she wants and has recently stopped any sort of intamacy with me because she feels she’s cheating on him with me (including even holding hands which is something we always did)
    I am absolutely crushed. I want to save this marriage. She is my best friend but I don’t know what to do. I even planned a weekend getaway this past weekend and it was a disaster
    I’m afraid that if I disconnect from her that it will just drive her to him and make her decision easier
    Our kids are grown but I know that this will destroy them as well
    I have recently started doing things by myself that I used to do during our marriage (working out/getting tattoos I have been putting off) but I have been trying to still connect with her every day
    I read the steps and they scare me. I don’t want to lose her and the steps seem that they would make me come across as not caring, not hurt, or “signing off” on her relationship with him
    Help

    • Anonymous November 1, 2016 at 7:20 am #

      Man, in all seriousness, have some dignity for yourself! I know you’re in very tough place right now but, you gotta out yourself together here! Your wife, she’s clearly taking advantage of your weakness really bad. Don’t be a doormat and allow her to step all over you. Stop kneeling down to her and begging. You’re pathetic for doing so! If she wants out, set her free and don’t offer her ANY opening to come back. Get busy and stay busy doing things for yourself. Exercise, learn a new trade at school, get involved with your church! Do anything and just stay busy. Don’t show her that she’s got you by the throat here. Listen, I was married for 15 years, have four young children from my Ex. She too started an emotional affair with an old high school friend. She continued with the affair even after caught her. Like you, I begged and pleaded. I cried and kneeled to her. Did she have a change of heart? Heck no! She had no moral compass and continued the affair. They are so deep in a fog NOTHING you do will set them free. Brother, brace yourself because it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. For me, I spent many nights crying and trying to figure out what it was I did wrong. She accused me of being abusive and controlling. All lies because she just needed to validate her filthy behavior. Your wife is dong the same thing here. Kick her out of the home or you get out. Immediately go into action on the 180!!!! She’s already completely detached from you. If you continue to be needy and clingy, she most definitely will never come back to you. I exercised and went back to school. I’m 40lbs lighter, in amazing shape and I look 10 years younger because I focused on myself here. Sure, I still miss the woman and I’ll have my moments here and there but, nothing like a year ago when I probably cried every day. Oh yeah, I’ve also met an AMAZING woman who has allowed me to see what I’ve been missing and deserving all my life! God is great my friend. So hang in there and hold on tight. Completely cut her off to keep your sanity. I’m praying for you.

      • Anonymous November 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

        Thank you so much!
        I have started today with the 180 steps
        I

      • Anonymous March 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

        Outstanding post!!!!

    • Brubeck November 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

      She is not in love with him. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about most of the time. She is flooded with emotions and you cannot rely on her to think clearly about any of this.

      “Signing off” on the relationship is kind of the foot-in-her-ass she might need to wake up from la la land. Make no mistake, your wife is in la la land. She will do and say many things to make it look like she’s all together – but she is NOT.

      She’s relishing the drama of you being in this. She wants something to perk up her life. This affair – and your reaction to it – is part of it. Do you really think a necklace and “hook-up sex” can compare with 25 years of history together? It cannot, but you think it does because you believe what she says. You cannot believe anything she’s saying right now. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.

      Remove yourself from her crazy b.s. She is having her cake and eat it too. Your pursuit, your attempts to maintain a connection with her, are reminders to her that you’re patiently waiting in the wings while she takes her time screwing around with this other guy. It will fizzle out – it always does. She may come back to you – or she may just find Other Guy #2 to keep the drama going. She is in search of emotional messiness and/or emotional chaos to distract her from her dissatisfaction with herself.

      For people in midlife transition, the other person is basically a drug, it doesn’t even matter what they look like. She is basically looking for a high to stave off the depression she feels about how her life turned out. It’s got nothing to do with you. She is scared that time is running out. Look for other clues – reckless spending, picking fights with you, crazy exercise, new clothes & make up, extreme secrecy, new friends, nights out, going against the grain of what she used to do.

      If she screws all this up, know that it is her mistake, NOT yours. Some people have to burn the bridge down entirely before they step back and say “Oh my God, what have I done?”

      If disconnecting from her drives her to him, then it means she’s changed into a person that doesn’t value what you have to offer. It means she’s become someone who just values the superficial thrill of someone new. She may spend the rest of her life that way, changing boyfriends every six months.

      DO NOT LET HER SEE YOU SWEAT. Turn off the sadness and/or anger in her presence. Just stay happy and distracted – focus on your OWN life. Be vague with her, don’t tell her whatever your feeling.

      She spent 27 years with you for several good reasons. If she no longer values EVERYTHING you’ve brought to the marriage, another woman will. That woman will love you and appreciate you as a life partner in ways your current wife cannot. Think of it this way – your wife is creating the world’s greatest 2nd husband, and she’s too lost to see that.

      • Anonymous November 1, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

        Thank you for your kind words

      • Jason November 3, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

        So, I have been going about my business the last couple days (working out, going to work, playing with the dogs) and just being me. Basically doing what I would normally do aside from “checking on her or contacting her throughout the day to see how she’s doing, needs anything etc
        Totally gIving her her space and not creating any kind of hostility or asking her to talk about things. I took Facebook messager off of my phone because it was too tempting to constantly be looking at it to see if she’s talking to him. I know she is (as she has told me previously)
        Yesterday she texts me to let me know that she “might be going back to see him in early December”
        I was pretty much waiting for that info to come from her
        I didn’t get mad. I didn’t run to her to beg or plead
        However. I did reply to her OK and let her know that we should just officially file for divorce next spring as we have some financial obligations that will be ending in April
        Also let her know that we should go get seperate bank accounts and that we needed to talk about who is going to pay what until a divorce was final
        Told her that if it was a choice between me and him that she should pick him cuz I shouldn’t have to be a choice or an option
        No response from her regarding my reply
        This morning she woke up, got dressed, grabbed the grocery list and left. Not something she would typically do
        Could have even went to get her plane tix to Vegas. Who knows

        Any thoughts on what I did/doing?

        • Brubeck November 3, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

          All of that was exactly what you needed to do, including ending the snooping. Don’t play by her rules. Get on with your own life.

          Your divorce talk through her balance off. You can expect a reply. She will hit back, and she will try to hit you back hard. Expect anything. A lavish purchase for herself, a house re-decoration, disappearing for a night – it could be anything. If she isn’t already talking on the phone with him in front of you, she will start walking around the house talking to him. She wants a reaction. Any response to her craziness is validation that you still care.

          Your indifference towards her – and your happiness with yourself – are your greatest tools (remember that she also wants you to be as miserable as her). Don’t be angry, she’ll use your anger to justify what she’s doing. Think of Clint Eastwood….calm, detached. It takes work. Just practice at it.

          If she hits back to try and through you off, throw her off again – with individualism. Throw a party and invite all YOUR friends. Invite people you haven’t seen in years. Don’t tell her in advance if you don’t want to. Start a new hobby or activity you’ve been meaning to try, or get back into something you used to do a lot that you enjoyed. Cook something new. Do things you genuinely enjoy. Do not get into things to try and make it look like you’re trying to have a good time, she will be able to tell. Pick activities that really speak to you.

          I also find that J.A.D.E. works. Do not Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain. Smile and agree with whatever she says – however crazy – then say,”OK, gotta run.” If you do this, study up on “J.A.D.E.” as well as “never complain, never explain”. You will project even more individuality & confidence – because it sounds like you’re already doing this.

          “if it was a choice between me and him that she should pick him cuz I shouldn’t have to be a choice or an option”

          Wow. That was excellent. Many people in your shoes before wish they thought of saying that. Good one.

          Believe this – you are the prize. With or without her. The other guy is left-overs, and the other guy usually is the user or loser types. Only left-overs screw around with married people.

          • prayerwarrior62 February 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

            hi Brubeck – I really appreciate your comments here. I’m the wife of a man in MLC, he wants to leave after 27 years and two children. The youngest is 9 and has special needs. He said he wanted to move out in January, I asked him to stay for the children. I had previously asked him to leave for three nights and the children had a very tough time. Now it’s almost March and I’m ready for him to leave, being separated under the same roof has been okay for the kids but terrible for me.
            We only interact over the children but we eat meals together every day and share carpool. I hate knowing that he’s watching football and enjoying himself while I’m upstairs reading this website. We’re in counseling both together and separately. He’s very cordial: how was your day? and I say “great” leave the room.
            The 180 advice says don’t initiate any conversations about future/relationship, but I want him to move out so I can get some distance from him. Last night I said I wanted to bring the subject up at our next counseling session. He agreed but did not seem to have any plans, said “I’m trying to work a lot of things out”
            I want him to work them out someplace else. There are money issues, but he started this and he needs to pay for it.
            Here’s my question: how much can I push to get him to leave?
            He says there’s no affair but also gave the “love you/not in love and I’ve been unhappy with you for years” . This started in October, I’m getting stronger every day and while my preference is for us to work this out, I’m preparing to live without him. My sons are very attached to him and I worry about them.

            • prayerwarrior62 February 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

              I addressed this to Brubeck, but I’m open to responses from anybody!

              • Brubeck February 27, 2017 at 11:58 am #

                Hi Prayerwarrior,

                The more you push him towards moving out, the more he will cling to you and your sons. The main ingredient to a midlife crisis is depression. He is going through a depression the likes of which most people don’t experience. He is in the middle of a massive psychological upheaval. This is very hard for you because you are in a situation where it may benefit your family greatly to be kind to someone who is incapable of kindness themselves.

                Depression makes it hard to get through the day. He is struggling to keep himself present, and doing so with distractions is all he can do. He is incapable of empathy right now. He is overwhelmed with negative feelings to the point of confusion.

                Having someone in MLC living in your home is really tough, it doesn’t happen often, most MLCers move out to have their “freedom”. My wife still lives at home, and I am more relaxed and happy when she is not there. I understand it is a tough situation. No one envies you.

                You are still in a better position than your husband because you are dealing with the pain of this right now. You are dealing with this dead on.

                What’s rare and amazing about your situation is that many people in MLC don’t go to individual counseling and even less go to couples counseling. He is making an effort. How is that going? Ask yourself, what is he saying during the couples counseling? What does it tell you about him?

                Also remember, your husband cannot handle responsibility right now. EVERYTHING = pressure to him. He already feels worthless, pushing him out will only magnify the length of time he is stuck in this situation.

                If he is maintaining a good relationship with your sons, that is excellent. Many MLCers detach from their children (especially men). Keep a sharp eye on your finances.

                Your husband will continue to behave in ways that don’t make sense. You might see signs of OCD or ADD or ADHD, insomnia, apapthy, lethargy, memory lapses. Your husband has a skull filled with spaghetti where his brain used to be.

                What are you doing for yourself? That is what you must focus on. You didn’t break him, you can’t fix him. I wonder if you want him to leave to eliminate your need to fix your husband. We all want to do this. It’s been over a year for me, and I still hold conversations in my head with my wife where I’m trying to show her what she’s doing wrong.

                What you need to do is create boundaries. I don’t want to tell you what those boundaries should be. You need him to stay out of your way, if he is not doing that, you need to find ways to do that. Create distance for yourself.

                Study up on depression as well as bipolar disorder. There are times when MLC looks like bipolar disorder.

                I have read so many MLC stories. You are in a tough situation, but I’ve heard so much worse. This may have knocked the wind out of you. You might be feeling beaten yourself. You are going to learn that you are SO MUCH stronger than you think. You will get through this.

  30. kingof14ers September 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    What is the end game here especially in the case of a 180 in a frigid (sexless) relationship? I get the premise behind it but at what point does the “180er” become once again receptive to affection if the wayward party sees the error in their ways?

  31. Anonymous September 15, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    I am 10 months in to learning of my husband of 28 years 1.5 year long affair. I am still an emotional mess and this is taking a toll on my health. I love him and want to reconcile. He also wants to reconcile, however he is very short on empathy and resents me wanting to know where he is etc. He cheated once before many years ago and I forgave him and eventually trusted him again fully. However last time it was not an emotional, physical and lengthy affair. I am torn between reconciliation because I am not sure I will ever be able to trust him again. Also I have not implemented these steps…is it too late now?

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