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.

274 Responses to “The 180”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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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