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.

268 Responses to “The 180”

  1. Scabs July 23, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Wow. I’d never seen this and it’s so awesome.

    • Scabs July 23, 2012 at 2:49 am #

      This is detachment in a nutshell. I love it…and I’m linking it.

    • beautifulmess7 July 23, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      Glad you find it helpful

      • Dave July 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

        I tried one element of this (seeming happy and disinterested in what she was doing, no longer texting and saying I love you) then she immediately responded with mega texts and saying I love you many times before I would eventually reply. The psychology is genius.

    • JewelD September 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

      Hi – sorry to post this way – I can’t find the regular way to post!

      == > The 180 payoffs – even the small ones… (This long, but worth it…)

      I’m familiar with the 180 – but need help trying to decipher what to do today & over the next few days – I’m throwing my guy out, tough-love style. This is really going to hurt and I know we’re both going to have to resist back pedaling…

      I’m not married – my fiance’ of 4 years (I know, I know) – told me *a month ago* that he “never” wanted to get married. I thought I was waiting for his old green card divorce to clear – nope – that’s almost done now, finally – so now his true – cowardly – colors come out…

      So today he was supposed to leave (after one month’s notice from me.) We’re both 55 but both look and live younger (in-shape, healthy, active, creative, not broke, fun.)

      He’s ADHD ( +poss ODD) and been a real roller coaster. Got him to quit smoking and drinking 2 years ago, but now the drinking is creeping back – he broke his agreement. Figured out what was going on with him 9 months ago, and we went to counseling – that failed since the counselor had no experience with ADHD and my “fiance’ ” would just melt down, lie, do 180’s, etc in sessions. Just shameless. I was disgusted.

      I told him he was ADHD – he refused to consider it, but he’s classic all the way: IMPULSIVE (including impulsive, sudden anger, meanness, a jerk/disrespectful (no excuse for that!) etc.)… forgets important items daily, needs constant stimulation and novelty, late to everything, complete time-debter (+ tries to delegate chores to me unfairly), sleep deprived, clutterer, doesn’t finish things, and more.

      So of course he can’t make his mind about me, either. We doesn’t want to leave me, but he “doesn’t” want to marry me, either.

      The upside was that we had real, tangible personal chemistry (not just sexual), tag-teamed ideas, had fun, goofed around – until the downsides, especially neglect from all his personal activities crowding me off each week’s calendar.

      He does like some of the ADHD drugs, and he’s better/ mostly pleasant/happy on them – but he only uses them to be even more sleep deprived. (Not his prescription.) Busy busy busy!! Two part-time day jobs! Then in 8 music bands! (remember, he’s 55, and had decades of extremely unhealthy habits. He’s semi-pro musician, but still – that many bands? And every one a different style? Yes! Blues, bluegrass, Lousiana, Irish, Country, rock – whatEVER)…
      Then his moodiness gets enhanced, and it’s Mr. Hyde – and since he’s impulsive, Mr. Hyde appears in a Flash!

      He’s made a half-hearted attempt to see a psychologist, but only to get a certain ADHD drug for free, to just keep doing what he does. Pharmaceutical enabling.

      So he’s had a month to face this, and he didn’t. I’d told him to leave before, but this is the first time I’m enforcing it. Today’s his out date, and he’s planned nothing. Now he rationalizes that he “has no time” today to do it. I’m a bit in a bind since he owes me a car (yes – a CAR!) He totaled my car 3 years ago, and made ME wait for the insurance to clear – and when it didn’t – he didn’t step up! I finally fixed it so he has to, NOW, via his AMEX card. I want to make sure he does that NOW – so I don’t want to give him any excuse to bail on that.

      Pulled out the 180 rules today, and started applying them. Enforcing deadlines for him to move out of my place by the weekend. That is, I missed today’s deadline, since he just avoided moving his stuff out by working all day/ playing in a band all night. So I pleasantly accommodated getting his stuff out of my place, as well as leaving even more of his stuff in storage (all tomorrow, and he pays) while pulling my stuff out on schedule.

      Here’s glimpse of the 180’s payoff:

      FINALLY, after his hiding feeling ANYTHING about it, in an unguarded moment, he said “this sucks.” I just calmly reminded him that he can’t have it both ways. I said he can’t drag me along on a month-to-month basis, introduce me as his “girl,” neglect me, and hide behind “I never wanted to get married.” meanwhile, telling me I’m “magnificent” “I love you” etc. And our famous *vibe*.

      So I’m trying to think of the 180 rules as flash cards… Patience (a big one), calm, soft voice, enforce my tough love / boundaries – all of it.

      What if he wants to date? I’m trying to decipher any real interest he may have from possible manipulations… like a music festival I have tickets to that he wants to go to. I just think he’s going to neglect me, or at least – that taking him with me will “ding” my mystery – too available.

      By the way everyone – the 180 is a LOT like “The Rules” you may have heard of, re: dating.

      • neverenough07 November 18, 2015 at 3:55 am #

        But for # 8. Don’t buy or give gifts…. if she/he wants to give us gifts, we have to decline?

  2. kamiekirk August 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    I understand the point of detachment…what I don’t understand is staying with a person you need to detach from. Can you elaborate a tad more? 🙂

    (I completely agree with the steps, but never would have stayed with the partner who cheated – how did these steps help you heal your marriage?) I’m just honestly curious.


    • beautifulmess7 August 18, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      I’m always open to questions. Why I chose to stay is a complicated one. I did a post about it a little while ago (, but it is always good to revisit the topic again at a different point in reconciliation.

      In a nutshell, I found out about my husband’s sex addiction about 6 months after our wedding. I was (and am) committed to my marriage and the promises I made in front of everyone I know. He was (and is) committed to getting help. If he hadn’t been, my decision would have been made for me and I would have left, as much as I wanted to work on my marriage. It also helped me (as shalow as this may sound) that he only acted out online and on the phone with the OW, not in person. I’m not sure I would have been able to get past a physical betrayal. His most pressing problem was with pornography.

      Since I have learned more about addiction, it has been both a scary and reassuring process. He has support – a 12-step meeting, an individual counselor who specializes in his addiction, and medical testing to treat underlying emotional issues. I also have found support in S-Anon, messaging boards, and this blog. Through those tools we are making our marriage stronger. The sex addiction still looms over our heads, but I have come to realize it can be managed.

      Now, about the 180. For a lot of people this is especially helpful when they first find out about cheating. Some people’s first urge is to beg their partner to stay or try to convince them of all the ways they are better than the affair partner. That was never an issue for me, but this helps them see that those actions are detrimental. Most of all, this creates a separation and clarity during the very, very emotional time after you discover a betrayal. The 180 doesn’t always lead to reconciliation, although it can.

      In my marriage, the 180 was helpful in two ways. First, it reminded me to focus on myself. My happiness, my joy, and not letting this thing eat up my emotional health. Secondly, it reinforced the fact that codependence is not the answer. I realized that I have a codependent pattern with Mr. Mess. My need to control and “fix” and make sure his recovery is going the way it should detracts from me. It also doesn’t accomplish anything. The 180 reinforces healthy detachment for me, and if Mr. Mess has lied again (his most common form of acting out now) or we are going through something difficult I can go back to these steps to remember to take care of myself.

      I hope that explains at least somewhat. It has helped our marriage recovery because it has helped me. It has given him space to realize the issues that he has, and time to think about how to correct them. Engaging in a fight just distracts from the real issue, so the fact that I (usually) refuse to has been very good for us.

      • wendy swanson September 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

        All i can say is WOW! Im going to copy the 180 down and read it every morning and whenever the need arrises. For me this wasen’t so much about detactment as a critical need to self protect. When things get messy, as they so often do, the 180 offers a much needed guidline to follow. Without it we tend to lose control over our own emotions and nothing good can come from that. once again, i just found this blog last night, very late last night, its has been a huge source of streingh and so helpful.

        • beautifulmess7 September 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

          I’m so glad it has been helpful to you. What you said about the ciritcal need to self protect is so incredibly true. It does help me to focus my energy, control my emotions, and keep myself healthy when things are out of control.

  3. writerperthpom October 16, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    I think anyone that stays with their unfaithful partner is amazing, and must be showing a depth of love for that other person to and extent I’ve never been fortunate to experience. In fact this must be close to unconditional love for your partner, as whatever they do, you still, underneath the pain and gut-wrenching awfulness of it all, still love them.

    My wife left me for another guy, but she’d only just met him, but their relationship overlapped ours. And, yes, sex was the issue with us, but the huge lack of it.

    The great thing is that I’ve followed the 180 plan to a large extent, even without knowing it existed! Mind you that is on my own, but after 5 months, I’m creating my own new life, and spent last weekend with only people that I met since my split. That’s freakin’ awesome! (need to give yourself credit, don’t you!)

  4. Jane October 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    This is good stuff. I can particularly relate to #1, I still resist the urge to reason with him when he’s being unreasonable, and to beg an plead for him to see my point of view, always when he is not in a place to be able to do so.

    I also am tempted to call his dad every time things get rough, but his dad is a raging codependent. Sometimes though I think “He needs to hear what a jerk he is being from someone else!”

    And #22-24 oh yes. Learning how to do that has helped me so much with confidence and independence. Less desperation.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • beautifulmess7 October 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

      Yeah, #23 & #24 have been tough for me. I am working to be more aware of those.

  5. bluesky8130 April 3, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I have been working on the 180 but there are times that I do stumble – especially on #20 – but I pick my self up and start again.

    • beautifulmess7 April 4, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Keep trying. It isn’t a quest for perfection, just a guide to help you detach and not feel so caught up in all of the mess that these situations bring with them.

  6. Flaca April 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    i am just now immersing myself fully into the 180… late as usual. 😉 i tried it a few months ago and then i fell apart emotionally. i it tried a few weeks ago, was more detached, and i feel like i got better – my H was a bit less selfish – but i am still too emotional. perhaps today, with the recent revelations, i can commit fully. if my H has proven to me that he has no interest in protecting me, my feelings, then i guess i have no one else to blame but myself. thanks for sharing this! perhaps i will see a change?

    • beautifulmess7 April 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      If nothing else, you will see a change in yourself. By putting yourself first, making time for you, and disengaging from his drama, you will feel less turmoil.

  7. Confused April 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    My husband and I recently separated after I found out about his emotional affair. After reading this 180 plan I realize I have been doing things all wrong. I want to try this, mostly for my own sanity and well being, but reconciliation is still something I would like in the future. My question is if he just moved out and I was constantly calling him before, should I stop all contact? Or should I still make phone calls, but infrequently? Or am I supposed to wait for him to call?

    • beautifulmess7 April 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      Wait for him to call. Give him space if that’s what he wants, and get busy living your own life. The 180 works with reconciliation, but only if that’s what he wants, too.

      • Confused April 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

        Thanks. I was just telling my friends that I needed to figure out a way to detach and self protect because I felt like I was going nuts. I stumbled on this site, read this and feel so much better. My big problem is going to be biting my tongue and not reacting in some of the ways listed above. Here goes…

    • Don November 10, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      I am so sorry I am to going through the same thing as you did. My wife got in to an emotional affair only it turned out to be a scammer and she lost a lot of money! She said she was sorry I decided to give her another try but now again she is in chat rooms and talking to a unhappily married man with 2 kids! She has already made a mess of our lives and is now going to do an even worse mess that is to come and might even break up this mans marriage. I have joined a gym and a church and plan on buying myself a new corvette to get away in! Take care

      • IO Betrayed August 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

        Give her space and quickly so. A year back my wife decided to end our marriage and I discovered it was due to a guy she had met online and had promised to come and take her to US from Africa together with my three kids. The promise was too good that our nine years and three kids together meant nothing. The US guy, a “marine” turned out a scam. She begged me back for three months. I succumbed because she sounded very apologetic, sorry and remorseful.

        In April this year, four months after reconciliation and coming back together, the “marine” shows up again. This time claiming to my wife someone had used his profile to scam her. That he was the genuine guy and was in love with her. She got carried away again, started creating drama to end our relationship which I thought was at its best.

        Two weeks after beginning the drama, she had left. I was shocked. I was not expecting this. Now they flirt openly with the guy, married, 4 boys. He promised to come to Africa to marry her by July but never showed up. I hear he pushed it to September. Cutting the longs story short, I tried imploring her to stay but the moment she walked out of the door, I agreed with her decision. I stopped pursuing.

        I stopped calling, picking her calls. She wen with the kids but I see the kids through her cousin. Once she was calling and I texted her that if it was about kids, she should do a mail on precisely what was needed. Letting her own up her decision has helped me a great deal. Avoiding conversations with her helped me detach and I feel I am a new me. I am not in a relationship now but I have a great piece of mind.

        I don’t know what is happening to her her now or how she feels about me but I know I am emotionally free of her control and life is sincerely much better than when we were together yet I had lost trust for her. 180 degrees works but most importantly praying with strengthen you the most.

  8. Anonymous August 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    It seems to me that these rules are more about how to detach from your H/W. Will these rules help save the marriage if I want to save our marriage, but my spouse does not?

    • beautifulmess7 August 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      That is actually what they are designed for. You can’t make someone want to reconcile who doesn’t, but this gives them an opportunity to see your strength and remember what they were attracted to. Being needy and pushy isn’t attractive at all.

  9. WSneedshelp September 1, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    This sounds like a great technique. I am the WS and I feel like the roles have been reversed. Been together 10 years, loving strong relationship. Its been 2 months since Dday, I confessed to the affair, cut off all ties and have been doing everything possible to repair this. My wife has become very detached and making clear to me we are broken up and has not gone out of her way to hide that she is already dating other men. I have not stayed at home since Dday save for a few nights during a couple weeks crazy sex, which I have come to understand is normal. I am always available for her and the kids, being the father I knew I always could be. My priorities are in order and i have been in IC for about 6 months now and making personal growth from all of this. I know i really messed up but i feel its time for a reality check and this seems like the a very healthy was for me to send the message that I’m not going to be here forever. Dont get me wrong, if we were working towards reconciliation I would take crap all day long. Part of the healing. But I have an overwhelming feeling I’m being used and pitied, not a good place to be for growth and self forgiveness. I appreciate any feedback, the last thing I want to do is push her further away!!!!

    • beautifulmess7 September 1, 2013 at 7:57 am #

      I think you’re right on track! It sounds like you’re doing the work and your focus is in the right place. I hope things turn out well for you.

      • WSneedshelp September 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

        I truly appreciate the response, I am torn about what direction to go. We had a very strong and unique relationship which has made this that much harder for her. It also makes it hard for others to understand our individual paths through this so good advice is sometimes hard to come by. I’m open to comments or points of view from anyone who reads this – positive or negative.

        • Holly September 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

          So it’s been sometime now, I’m wondering how things have ended up. Have you been able to mend?

  10. overthinkingish September 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I’m trying not to do 13 or 17…After I was told that he wanted a “therapeutic separation” (to “find himself”), I feel like I’m going insane. Not knowing what I did wrong, trying to understand if things are repairable. There’s so much resentment that it’s toxic and ruining my life; how do you stop yourself from making things worse?

    • beautifulmess7 September 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      Those are two big ones. If you can get those two down, it will make a big difference for YOU. It’s hard not to internalize when something like that happens. You want to “find yourself?” Where did you go? Why can’t you “find yourself” with me in your life? What did I do wrong? How can I “fix” this? All of those thoughts and more are probably going through your head.

      Start by taking a deep breath. Take him at his word that whatever he’s going through is about him, not you. While he’s “finding himself,” start doing the same. Is there something you used to love that you’ve gotten away from? Do you ever take time to pamper yourself? Stop worrying about the marriage, because who knows what might happen. Instead, focus on being the strongest, most interesting, happiest person you can be. Apart from him. If things work out and you do repair things, you will still reap the benefits. The extra bonus is that he will see you being happy and interesting and productive outside of him, and likely be drawn to that positive energy. Negativity and resentment will just push him farther away.

  11. pregnantandalone October 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    I am 33 weeks pregnant and found out my husband has been cheating the entire pregnancy. He only stopped as I found out – first time he swore he would stop and we went to councelling and I thought we were on track, then I found out it was still happening and that they had said I love you. It has not been physical (yet) but there have been sexually explicit texts which I find just as bad to be honest.
    Since I found out he has now said he has been unhappy for a long time. I hate that he is using it as an excuse and feel really hard done by as he never told me how unhappy he was. He is now trying to make the decision if he wants to try and make us work. Its so hard to sit back and just wait to be chosen (thats what it feels like to me anyway) when in reality I am the one who has been hurt beyond what I ever thought I could be. I have a 3yr old and am due in 7 weeks – and am now on my own. I never ever thought he could do this to me.

    I am willing to work on our marriage but I am not sure that he is.

    Do you think the 180 will work on us? Its so hard to be happy and upbeat all the time as I feel so abandoned, vulnerable and alone 😦


    • beautifulmess7 October 9, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      I’m so sorry to hear that. I can’t tell you that the 180 will “work” to get him back. What it will do is give you a sense of self and prepare you no matter what he does.

    • Don November 10, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      I am so sorry believe me you are not alone I to am going through hell with my wife and I am so tired out and ready to move on with out her! Take care I will be thinking of you!

  12. rich November 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    This is helping me so much!, I have been together with my wife for 9 yrs. We were married at 16-17 yrs old and very in love for the first 5-6 yrs. We had a son 3 yrs ago and itwas the ggreatest thing I could have ever asked for and could never pay her back enough for what she went through to bring him in this world. 2 yrs ago she started getting more fit and getting more attention and ended up cheating on me! I was broken, I still wanted to stay with her because of the love and commitment that I made under god and in front of my family and hers. Now she is hangsng out with younger ppl from her work who have no responsibilities and live with there parents, she wants to be free to go out when she wants all night if she wants and told me she doesn’t know if she wants to stay withme anymore!! At first it broke me. I broke all of these rules on here and it made it worse, but following these steps and a lot of prayer and my son I feel great and positive that no matter what happens I will overcome. I just want to thank you for having this up here and I have found it for a reason, I have no other words to say to explain my appreciation for this page.

    • beautifulmess7 November 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      I’m glad that you found it, and it helped you. It helped me, too. When I started to discover myself, learned to find my own happiness, and not depend so much on what he did or did not do, I finally felt like I’d be okay no matter what. I think that’s a big part of the point of the 180 – realizing that you can make healthy, positive decisions for yourself even if your partner doesn’t.

  13. Kenneth Gregory November 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Would like to thank you for blog at times things are really hard I have cheated on my wife in the past but she has been a habitual cheater some that I can prove others I can’t I made a promise before we married we were together 10years before we married that I would not do it again and I haven’t this is the first affair that she has told me about! Now the trust is gone but she refuses to belive that I want revenge I don’t I love my wife just that she refuses to belive hence I feel betrayed still we are in a emotionless sexless relationship now I’m about to lose my mind I am a Over the Road trucker so it makes it worse for me we have 4 girls together she still wants to make plans like we are stayin together but don’t feel the love I used to from her but she keeps saying it’s all in my mind I know it’s not! Still want to hang on. Sincerely committed but feel doomed!

    • beautifulmess7 November 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      If you are in an “emotionless, sexless relationship” without trust, it doesn’t seem like much of a relationship at all…

    • Faaalcon August 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      I envy you. All you need to do right now, it seems, is be good to her and love her, and you can have a relationship with sex and emotions. Right now my wife loves me and is sexually attracted to me but still insists on ending our marriage. There’s nothing I can say to make her value commitment and the incredible connection we had. I have nothing to work with.

  14. ScarsWillHeal November 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Thank you for this! My wife told me many years ago that she had some affairs. She did this unprompted, out of guilt and healing. I held onto the pain for a long time and repeatedly brought it up. Finally I accused her of having an affair with a friend, which she denied. A month and a half later her friend was over to do some plumbing work that evening. I was away for work and not expected home. I got a few drinks in me and drove home.
    I accused them again of having an affair and she told me to leave. The next night she left and has asked for a divorce. We went to one counseling session and she will not go back and refuses to talk about the marriage.
    Then I dropped the bomb that I had a single affair out of spite, anger and vengeance.
    She’s asked me to just leave her alone and only contact her about the children.
    I feel so lost and hopeless, but her family has been very supportive of me and for us saving the marriage.
    Started the 180 yesterday and I’m going to counseling myself.

    Sorry for the wall of text.

    • beautifulmess7 November 29, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      Sometimes it can feel great just to share your story. That’s why I started this blog, and if I can give others a safe place to do the same, then I’ve accomplished something.

  15. Josey December 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Ok so what do you think I should do about a husband that wants to have “polygamy” because he’s interested in younger single women. I’m (38) he’s (36) and the current interest he wants is (30). He wants to cheat but not leave and tells me that he still wants me and to have sex with me and that it would be “good” for my self esteem for me to see he still wants to have sex after being with another woman. (that I’m still wanted and loved) I don’t want to get a disease or be used. And no we aren’t fundamentalist mormons or muslims. I’m Catholic and he’s a former Christian. He constantly tells me that he could be just as happy with someone else but I can’t do any better than him. He was a very devout Christian and good faithful husband and father now he just picks fights talking about this other woman he wants and his dreams of “polygamy”. He hasn’t as far as I know cheated physically yet but admits to having sexual fantasies about other women. I am starting this 180 plan but one of my boundaries is no sex with a cheater because I don’t want a disease or to be used. He’s told me that if I don’t go along if she’s wiling that he’ll leave me. He says the most cruel evil things to me (details about what he wants to do with the other woman) too while he claims to love me at the same time. I don’t know what to do…

    • beautifulmess7 December 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      He is abusive. Period. What he’s doing is verbally and psychologically abusive behavior. Don’t accept it. Kick him out. It will either call his bluff and give him a wakeup call, or (hopefully) be the start of getting that abuser out of your life.

      • Josey December 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

        You don’t think he’s just having a midlife crisis? That this will pass? I’m going to call his bluff when the time arises. He will not leave he says in one breath that I will have to move on and leave then unless I allow him to cheat (“polygamy”) he’ll leave me. He can’t make up his mind and he’s totally irrational. I won’t give in and feel any lower than he’s made me feel already. Our 5 children (one of whom I just gave birth to) deserve to have a home where parents love eachother and them.

        • beautifulmess7 December 24, 2013 at 8:25 am #

          He’s a little young for a midlife crisis, which I’m not even sure exist. No matter what, his behavior is abuse. He us an abuser.

          • TruthHurts January 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

            I find it odd that you believe in sex addiction but not a midlife crises, both are equally valid in my opinion and have bunk medical data to back them up.

            • Jason January 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

              I cannot tell if you are trolling or if you have been hurt by said statements, either way you could of made your point in a less hurtful manner…

              • Josey January 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

                who are you talking to Jason?

                • Jason January 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

                  That was in response to TruthHurts post

                • Faaalcon August 26, 2014 at 5:11 am #

                  She’s right, you know. I don’t know how these past few months have been, but your (now hopefully ex) husband is abusing you, controlling you and messing with your head. This is the way I used to treat my wife when I first met her (before a lot of treatment and change and love) — except I was never enough of a monster to threaten to leave her over it, just to take advantage of her devotion to me and convince her to do these things.

              • beautifulmess7 January 3, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

                Maybe both. I have found that not engaging is usually the best response to people like that.

      • Allove October 13, 2015 at 9:22 am #

        Hi I almost have the same situation, my husband is currently infatuauted with another younger woman, a former employee of our small bussiness, i discovered the ow was engaged in cybersexting with him almost everyday and it runs almost a year now, and some of employees also saw the ow on the phone naked because he left his phone open while having the conversation with the ow. he doesn’t want to leave the house nor leave me. he wants me to accept the fact that he wants me to stay as his wife while having the ow overseas and with chatting and not admitting cybersexting with her, i detached with him and technically not minding him although i want to be caring but i tried not to, but he’s trying to push himself from time to time. can i call it sexual addiction or what.And how to make the good gesture of no#17. is it ok to share meals with him? How to excute such actions, i really can’t figure the best to do it. thanks.

        • beautifulmess7 October 13, 2015 at 9:26 am #

          The best thing to do would be to leave him

  16. lostandconfused January 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    I havent been married for 2 years but have been with my wife for 7 years and i hate to admit this but ive been forcing on her a fantasy of mine for a period of two years. But it wasnt an everyday or monthly reminder. I had always wanted to see her with another man and after my first deployment, i thouht that i would try to make it a reality. She said no, so i stopped. I brought it up again about 6 months later and she refused again. But now, 8 months ago i got what i had wanted but played dirty and had a friend of mine work with me to bed her. We both forced it on her when she was terrified of the consequences and i was too blind or too dumb to see. Now she has told me that they have developed strong emotions for each other and that she said she genuinely love him and he to her and now she doesnt know what she wants. I am petrified now that i may lose my one true love, who i gave to another man for my own, selfish wants. She has agreed to try and fix the marriage and has kicked my friend out of our home to prove it. But i just dont know that this particular program will work in this situation. She is distant from me right now but we still talk occasionally just to pass time but i can tell there is still hurt inside of her. She also said that she doesnt care for flowers or random love songs because she says it wont change anything. I know i messed up, i know that i am reaping what ive sowed. I regret every decision that led us up to this point….I am just lost and need advice on this….I only have two months left on deployment and like i said, she says she wants to fix this but i just dont know.

    • LostandConfused January 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Another thing, she tells me she feels guilty for allowing herself to develop those feelings and not stopping when she started feeling them. I tried to tell her that it wasn’t her fault that it was mine for putting her in that situation.

    • just as lost and confused June 4, 2014 at 3:07 am #

      Holy shit im in the exact situation your in i had the same sick fantasy/fetish for years i finally got my wife to agree to let me and another guy double team her and she ended up liking it alot it went on for 3-4 Saturday nights in a row then. The shock value wore off and it wasn’t so hot to me any more it started to bother me so i told her no more. She said ok, i told the other guy no more. He said ok. Two months later i found out they have been seeing each other behind my back. She said she loves him and she can’t help the way she feels. Im. Trying to fix our marriage but its not. Looking good for me. It’s the biggest regret of my life. Please tell me is your marriage fixed? What has happened since.

  17. Raphael Tran March 14, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    i found your wonderful blog not too long. i found out about my wife’s infidelity with me just last friday. it’s been topsy turvy. thank god for technology….i can find wonderful resources like this. what have i done? i’ve coped all the questions….and i’ve answered them truthfully. like you…i am hoping for reconciliation. despite what happened. #1 is the most important thing for me right now….all the begging in the world wouldn’t change her mind. she is talking to me. but now i am armed with what i have to do with these encounters. i feel that it’s like…..trying to win their heart back. which is some weird messed up world where the person you trust you have to win them back after they so flippantly gave their heart away. anyways, i totally forgive my wife……the hurt is there, no doubt. but there’s no quick fix. and certainly divorce or reconciliation…both paths are hard as heck. i shall browse more of your blog for inspiration. i am hoping for a happy outcome with respect to my marriage. but if it is not meant to be, i thank you and appreciate your blog for giving me wisdom in this time of sadness.

    • beautifulmess7 March 14, 2014 at 6:51 am #

      I’m glad that you can accept that you’re in a tough place now, but you will be okay no matter how it turns out. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself.

      • Raphael Tran March 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        absolutely…..honestly there’s much to be thankful. a great well paying job. many friends. i enjoy managing/coaching/playing on my adult rec baseball team. i have two senior dogs who just have been the best when i need a warm fuzzy hug. in time…i hope this will just be an unpleasant memory. i start my day now reading this list. and end it the same way. and i’m learning to really love myself and smile. 🙂

  18. Ken March 14, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Thank you have found this blog very encouraging still trying trying make sense of my life turned upside down but have doing a lot of reading an finding answers to some of my questions but have forgiven her but still have that feeling of is it really over the repocussions are great now we have to build the trust back but still trying to figure out why it happened this is my wife not a girlfriend? Together forever what happened to that scense of loyalty? Betrayal hurts cause you come home everyday seeing the change excepting their answers but the whole time they were lying! You ask is it over they tell you it is! Is it? what made them cross the line in the first place!

    • beautifulmess7 March 14, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      There could be any number of reasons or no reason at all. I suggest reading His Needs, Her Needs. If your wife isn’t a serial cheater or narcissist like my ex, there were likely a number of things at play. Be careful about saying you forgive her immediately. Maybe you can, but that would make you an exceptional person. You are allowed to have feelings and not forgive right away. In fact, it’s not healthy to shove everything down inside.

      • Raphael Tran March 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

        don’t mean to hijack Ken’s comment reply. but this was me. i forgave her….nearly immediately. now you’re absolutely right: there can be absolutely no reason. however i know that my wife and i drifted apart because of anger. i can be terrible in shouting and calling her names. i realize now that……… must change that. maybe too late for my wife and i….but not too late for myself. #20 right now….i have kept in check. of course…just as she cannot change over night…….neither do i. but i am finding positive outlets in converting this anger into something productive. like at the gym lifting, taking a drive to take some photos, or the baseball field hitting balls. my greatest fear is for myself to dwell on stuff too long, so i’ve been keeping busy and finding joy in the things i like to do still. the only thing that’s in a bit of flux is my eating/sleeping right now. yes food tastes great 🙂 but sometimes i have to make myself eat……and sleeping, it’s sometimes a struggle to fall asleep. but i shall endeavor to be a healthy individual.

        • beautifulmess7 March 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

          I actually thought that I was talking to the same person because these two comments came in so close to one another and were very similar. I’m glad that you’ve been able to take ownership of your issues and that you want to change them for yourself. That’s key.

  19. Ken March 16, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Ok this weekend we were together it just felt different we spent time alone but just didn’t feel the same she is asking me what’s wrong I just don’t feel like she is into me anymore I sent her a pic mail her phone was on vibrate she tried to say something like call me now I didn’t hear the phone I was laying next to her she showed me I had called her an that she didn’t get any (stange) calls like I said to her I can turn my iphone off an just get calls from specific people lol I know the phone game looked at her computer say that she had been on Craigslist looking at men for woman she denied it lol ok I know I’m in the fire just don’t want to get burned! Asked her again is she happy she says yes but now I’m still unsure do I really put up with her continues lies or let her go? I want that definite answer that she is seeing other gurus to feed that urge she has have asked her countless times what do you want me to do different ways to make her complete she never tells me tells me I’m doing it right! Don’t feel like it’s complete in the bedroom she needs more but won’t tell me what she needs not gonna be her backup plan? Tired an lonely of all this mess also meant to add in my last that we have 4 girls two are mine 2 are older bit still at home but we really don’t communicate like father an daughter like there is pressure when I’m here for my time off. Really need to know the questions to ask to get off this crazy ride to sanity.

  20. Sam May 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Thank you for these rules to live by. My wife and I have been separated not that long. I was trying everything and it was ineffective. She is “not in love” with me anymore. Then I got the bombshell that she was seeing someone. It took me a bit to work through the emotions, but I started developing a plan in my head, but it wasn’t well organized. I found this set of rules and it really resonated with what I have to do right now. While she figures out what she is doing, I need to be picking up and moving forward with my life not sitting around hoping she comes back. Maybe we can work it out and maybe we can’t, but this sitting around at her every call not being independent was certain not to work out. I was sure to be stuck in a very long painful pattern I I had continued on my path. It’s not easy, but these rules are a necessary path to take when it gets to the point I have reached. I did a lot of research on the subject and of course a lot of people want to charge you a whole lot of money to basically say what you have said in 33 short points.

    • beautifulmess7 May 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      I’m glad that you are moving forward no matter what she does. Either way you will end up better off

      • amber May 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

        Thank you so much for these steps. My husband and I have been together 5 years. 2-1/2 dating and 2-1/2 married. We are both in our twenties. This past November he broke the news to me that he wasnt happy and that he had not been since we got married and that he had been faking affection. He said he loved/cared about me but that he was not “in love” with me. He said there was no connection anymore and we had become like roommates. The next month we separated and I was devastated. He had been my whole world for what felt like so long, that it just left me feeling alone. While we were separated he became very, very close with another woman. He has never admitted to actually doing anything beyond having being close friends. However, they would talk on the phone all day/ all night and there was def an emotional connection. This was devasting to me especially after I felt blindsighted by his unhappiness. Trying to let go of the closeness he build with someone else has been such a struggle. While sex became infrequent in our marriage, he never once conveyed his detachment to me or his willingness to get divorced. Fast forward to april and he was willing to move back in together to give this another try-things seemed to really be going well. While there have been a few high points, things seem to be spiraling down fast. He has built these walls of resentment towards me since we were married that seem impossible to remove and that is only further making him not feel connected. He ultimately just wants to be happy and seems to be over trying. I am so afraid of losing him again, but after exhausting myself trying to force affection/intimacy and a connection on his end, its just not something he needs at this time amd just makes me look pathetic and leaves him feeling smothered and pushing him away. Things got really bad really fast the last time this happened in november, where he wouldnt come home or he would go out to bars to escape and be ve ty cold to me. So ive been researching ways to prevent divorce and everything from halpening again and I came accross these steps. Although I am struggling with #s 1, 18, and 28, I am going to do my best to stick to this list and I hope that this helps bring him back to me before he leaves for good this time.

        • beautifulmess7 May 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

          Those are tough ones, but they help to center you and take the weight of your your emotions off of his shoulders. Keep at it!

          • Amber May 14, 2014 at 10:11 am #

            So he told me last night that he feels hopeless and like he is at the point now of divorce and he doesnt not think he an lower his wall of resentment towards me w/o divorcing. Do i keep doing the 180?

            • beautifulmess7 May 14, 2014 at 10:12 am #

              I can’t tell you what to do. You may want to try therapy, together if he’ll go and individual if he won’t.

  21. Will May 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    It looks like I will be served with divorce papers when I get home in 3 days kind of an educated guess… How do you recommend reacting to this? I obviously want to fall to pieces and cry, but I know that isn’t right and I don’t want to just blow it off like it means nothing to me…. I don’t want this divorce, and I am feel like I am dying a little every day. I thought about saying you know this is not what I would prefer, but I understand your decision, and it hurts, but I wish you the best.

    • beautifulmess7 May 14, 2014 at 7:37 am #

      That sounds like a good response to a bad situation.

  22. cheatingspousealert May 30, 2014 at 3:51 am #

    Awesome post about beauty

  23. Alan June 19, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Thanks so much for this. I’ve been back and forth with emotions for 7 months now but I can now ‘eventually’ see this is the way forward!
    If she wants to be with my after he had an affair then fine but she needs to work for it. Until now I’ve been the fall back, well no longer, I’m living my life for me now!

  24. Sheena June 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    loved it. My husband has been way to close with his co worker and I am sure he has been messing around. When I asked him to keep his distance with her, he said to me that If I need to pick between her and me, he will pick her. The next day he served me with divorce papers.
    We have been married 19 years and six mi=onth and have 2 kids together and he has been controlling me since day one.
    I am still in denial of what happened? we are still under the same roof but dont talk to each other.

    • bb July 3, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      I’m so sorry this is happening to so many people. I to am struggling to keep it together while my husband has decided it’s over.we have children and ate still under the same roof so to say it’s difficult is an understatement. I don’t want things to fall apart, but I do know things need to change on both ends. I think he’s having an affair it appears that way. Not sure what to do am suppose to just don’t continue the 180 it’s hard. He denies it and just says he can’t continue in the marriage but he’s Bern staying out and basically carrying things like he is already single. I’m dying inside and being in the same house is torture. The least is up in sixty days and I plan to separate at that time. I just feel so powerless and lonely I don’t know what to do. I’ve Bern with him my entire adult life I’m almost forty now. I’m really scared.

    • Dave July 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      Sheena, you unfortunately as I have married a classis Narcissist. He is a master manipulator, I’m sorry but your life will actually improve when you leave him and find someone who thinks more of you than they do of themselves. My wife is so self-consumed she will tell me that she knows she is doing wrong but cannot help herself, life at home is a nightmare and it shouldn’t be. My ending is near. Good luck

  25. Rh1 July 17, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Do oh have any views on how you should conduct yourself on social media? Should you “check-in” everywhere, post pictures of yourself having a gear time, or should you post absolutely nothing and let them keep guessing?

    • beautifulmess7 July 17, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      That’s up to you. I think either approach is fine. The point is to do what you want, what makes you happy, without worrying about them.

  26. Michael July 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    I have been doing the majority of these things however I believe my wife does want to be with me, she just wants to sleep with other guys as well, not 100% sure but I do know she has done it before. However she seems to not care either way, In one aspect I want to give up and move on yet I have a 3 month oldwith her and I do not want her to come from a broken home. I don’t know what to do

    • beautifulmess7 July 25, 2014 at 6:37 am #

      You can’t control those things. Your wife has just as much of a say in whether your daughter comes from a “broken home.” You can decide what you can and will accept in your life and create boundaries that enforce that. Remember, it’s much more “broken” to be from a house where your mother constantly disrespects and cheats on your father than from a divorced home. Your daughter will learn from what she observes. What so you want to model for her? A doormat Dad who gets cheated on over and over? I wouldn’t want that Dad.

  27. Art August 16, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    My wife initiated for a divorce last week when I told her that I am very unhappy in this marriage which she replied that she too is also unhappy. We have been experiencing this problem since a year ago and we have sort of tried to make things better but still no progress. Which I see is due to the fact that we are doing it wrongly. I can see and feel from her actions that she does not love me as much anymore and more like treating me as a friend. Our sex life was non existent after this problem start to arise. She told me was that the feeling was not the same anymore due to all the minor shortfalls of mine that added up overtime. I have been a very responsible husband, settling the finances of the house and chores but neglected on being a lover.. I do not think that she is seeing anyone even though I may be wrong. I do not check on her phone or spy on her etc as I feel trust is very important. We are still on talking terms and living in the same flat as we do not have anywhere to move to. We are sleeping in separate rooms currently. What was mutually agreed was for us to just remain peaceful and wait till next May where we can file for divorce straight as it would be the year we can only do it due to the law in my country here. I have tried once to talk to her into trying again for our marriage which was of cause rejected by her. Our marriage has reached a point of no return and currently I am just trying to move on with my life and do the things I needed to do even if it is so tough… However, I still have that slight hope in me that we can reconcile.. I have been applying the 180 degree .. Even though are still staying in the same flat, I will go home only after she have gone to bed to reduce our contact with each other. I also did not contact her on my own initiative only occasionally she will text me for some regular stuffs which I will reply nonchalantly and end the conversation. I understand this is the only thing I can do now for her and for me. However, we will be traveling to Korea next week as we have already bought the tickets few months ago. Few days after the trip will be her bday. I am planning to just enjoy our trip in Korea without trying to do anything special which I feel will push her even further away. And for her bday, perhaps I would just write her a simple bday card to wish her. Nothing extravagant or deemed romantic as we are past the point already which I feel if there is any chance of R, it would be the day she realize how good I actually was to her and my efforts on this marriage. Thank u for spending the time to read my plight and I would appreciate any form of advice/suggestions.

    • beautifulmess7 August 16, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      It sounds like you already know where things are and where they are headed. Just do what you can to get stronger and find your own happiness. Then do better next time.

  28. Maria August 30, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    That’s the hard part, keeping my mouth closed. When u found clues & ur stomach agrees to those clues: u just want to ask why ,, wtf r u thinking??

    • beautifulmess7 August 31, 2014 at 6:46 am #

      At that point I was thinking that he needed to leave. I don’t want a cheater, so I cut him loose. The 180 just helped me be strong enough.

  29. Brianne September 6, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Wow! This really saved me. I have been walking around like a sad pathetic needy girl for two weeks after I found out. I knew my behavior was all wrong and now this gives me something new to focus on and really gives me strength! Thank you so much I read this every morning!!!

  30. Anonymous September 7, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    This is crap! If you are still in the marriage and the affair is still going on- where is your pride? How can you live with someone who has so little regard for you as a person? The only thing that matters is – the affair ends NOW or the marriage is over – end of discussion!

    • beautifulmess7 September 7, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      You’re right. This list is mostly for people who are stuck and afraid to move on. It helps get them to the point where they feel confident and independent from the cheater.

  31. Amanda September 9, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    Easier said than done, but yes good advice

    • DazedAndConfused September 16, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      I discovered my wife’s affair about 3 weeks ago and based on your 180 plan I’ve been doing EVERYTHING wrong. I’ve begged, talked, sent articles, songs, etc. I normally would not be like this but for the first time in my life my eyes have been truly opened to the things that I did in our relationship that may have driven her to the decisions she made. I’m not condoning an affair, she should have filed for divorce first, but I can’t help but feel partially responsible and as such I’ve been trying to prove how I can change. She has made no move to stop her new relationship but also says she’s not ready for divorce and just needs some time and space to figure things out. I have pushed very hard and even this past weekend set an ultimatum that she must call off this relationship or we need to move forward with divorce NOW. I just don’t see how I can give time and space knowing she’s with another man. That isn’t what I really want and I know she knows it. We have children and what I thought was a wonderful life that I can’t seem to let go of. Long story short, is it too late to implement the 180 plan now? Have I done too much damage with my behavior in the past 3 weeks? I’ve thought about moving out but the financial strain would be significant. Can I really stay in the same house knowing that on “my days” with the kids that she if off with a new lover?

      • beautifulmess7 September 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

        The point of the 180 is to prepare yourself no matter what happens. You can’t control what she does. You can decide to divorce now if she doesn’t stop, but do that because you’re done, not because you’re trying to manipulate her. No matter what she does, you have to have your boundaries, self respect, and a life separate from her.

  32. Ana September 22, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    Almost 3 months now when my husband told me that he don’t love anymore because of mY controlling attitude and he told me that only time will heal and only time will tell if the love will come back again.I love him and willing to fix this but for now he don’t want to fix anything or work it out because the his love for me is not there anymore.and I think I pushed him far away for crying and begging and pressuring him for the past you think there’s still hope for us or to my husband ?

  33. FlyingSolo September 26, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Hi. I want to use the 180 as a plan to move on from our recent separation. Wife moved out as she is not happy anymore, and neither am I. The separation was amicable, in fact we worked better together on organizing splitting up than we have on a lot of things recently. There’s no one else involved, it’s just a case that after 24 years we need to step back, take a good look at our own selves, then see if there’s anything for each other. I see a lot of positives in the 180 plan that will help me in surviving both today and down the road if there is no hope for us.

    However, i am concerned with the No Contact and remaining/appearing distant. One of her pet hates was that i kept distant, i didn’t ‘open up’ and ‘communicate’ enough. (anyone else had that accusation? 😉 )

    It could be interpreted that i’m being just that, and no amount of explaining that i’m “giving her the space she needs while also giving me room and time to grow” will fall on deaf ears. I see a lot of “Oh, you’ve already checked out”, “you just don’t give a siht about me/us/our marriage” (delete as applicable…) in my future if i don’t get this right before it first comes up.

    She’s been gone since Saturday, emailed me once on Monday and i politely asked her to not contact except in an emergency, as we’d discussed. I got the “oh, i’m sorry, i’ll stop bothering you” in return.

    Want to do this, but do it right. So any advice would be appreciated.

  34. J. Patterson October 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    Awesome read, broke up with my fiance and girlfriend of seven years three days ago… Read this last night and woke up with a whole new perspective… I’m going to keep reading it until I have it memorized!!! Wish I would have found this a month ago!!!

    • beautifulmess7 October 20, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      Glad it is helpful

  35. Colleen Ruiz November 3, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    Great read.

  36. Determined2Overcome January 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    I just learned of the 180 from someone else on another website and I’m so glad they recommended it.
    My fiance and I have been together for 4 years and he has an addiction to the internet..whether it’s porn or emailing other women from dating websites. I caught him and he was remorseful and we started counseling and he started counseling on his own too. He was putting in all his efforts at the beginning and now he’s back on his phone a lot and being sneaky about it. I can’t say for sure but I believe he’s back to doing the same things. I’m tired of being naive.
    He admitted he has a problem and doesn’t know why he continues and said it’s not me. But yet why has he gone right back to it.
    we have 3 young kids, I’m a stay at home mom and I’ve been going to school full time.
    I would love for this to work but I’m not sure if he will ever stop or if I can regain the trust back and with him acting the way he has been it’s even harder to regain trust.
    he says he doesn’t want to split up tho and in fact he said today he feels that I don’t want to be with him. I’m guess because I’ve become distant and not as loving as I once was. Right now he’s in our room and I know he’s on the phone and its taking everything in me to not go in there.
    I have no one to really talk to and I can’t afford a place on my own yet not while I’m still in school so I feel trapped. I feel like he knows he has a hold on me. I’ve been so depressed lately but the passed couple days as soon as he gets home from work I act all happy and fine. I cry everyday but not in front of him anymore.
    And my anxiety couldn’t be worse and I have a terrible time dealing with that. Breathing exercises don’t help me either.

    I’m at a loss of what to do..I’ve always been so good to him. Never once did him wrong. Not sure why he can’t just stop. It’s only been Internet affairs but that doesn’t make it better.
    it’s the worse pain I’ve ever felt.

  37. dreamshattered January 23, 2015 at 12:59 am #

    My friend sent this link to me today and I’ve probably read it 100 times already. My situation is a bit different but the 180 steps are completely applicable. My marriage of 11 years now came crashing down about 2 1/2 years ago. Trying to figure out what to do has been so hard. I think by applying these steps it will help me a lot. This is like the opposite of what I think I should do so im going to try it bc what I think I should do has simply not been working.

    • Mandy smith January 23, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

      I am the one who had an affair, and H is adamant about D. I don’t want my marriage to end. We still text each other everyday and say ‘I love You’. I need my husband to know I am here for him but he has asked for space. I am now thousands of miles away from him for work until July! I am worried the 180 will show him that I do not care which is so far from the truth.

  38. Gray January 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    All great points & overall good advice. Most importantly when we find ourselves in these situations, more than likely we have changed as people, most likely changed towards being / feeling cowardly, beat up, pushed away, woe-is-me, etc. These tips counter that & present a strategy for us to get back to a sense of who we really are rather than what this situation made us. It is up to us to follow that path and get back to, like the article says, a person they would want to be with – the person they fell in love with in the first place – confident, charismatic, full of energy, a true person, and someone they want to be around.

  39. Shannon February 3, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    I did pretty much the opposite of what you said to do/ not do- my husband told me 14 months ago that he had been unfaithful-but that he wanted our mare and family. We have tried- well I have tried really- for the past 14 months to fix things- he’s mived in and out of our home – never completely until last month. He has now filed for divorce and seems to have completely detached himself from me and any responsibility for me. He’s still committed to our 3 kids- but has literally cut me out of the picture – I’ve been pretty much an emotional wreck this hole time, because when he would leave (because he kept going back to the OW) I would just start to recover a bit and get stronger and then he would want to come home- either because he missed me and our family- or because he knew that was what Gid wanted him to do- so I would let him come home- but then in a matter of weeks he would be cheating again and break my heart all over again. Obviously my boundaries haven’t been what they should have been. At any rate- I still want my marriage if I he can or will show me commitment and do the work- but- I guess my question or fear is that now he doesn’t seem to have any plan or desire to come back this time- he knows he’s wrong to file but this is the path he’s choosing. I need to do the things in the 180 plan because- I need it for me- but is it practical to believe beyond a miracle from God that it will make any difdifference in my “marriage”?

  40. Carey February 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

    Man I just failed terrible today with most of them, I just found out that my spouse has someone else in her life. She says I wasn’t emotionally there for her, we’ve been married for two years never tried counseling no nothing. I talked to my dad today he told me to start all over. She says these hurtful things too me and says she wants to move on. Two days ago, I wasn’t talking to her and she called me and texted me today saying it’s important but it wasn’t. That’s when I started telling her how hurt I was and she just kept saying negative things and kept saying she doesn’t want to do counseling no nothing. I’m just hurt all around.

  41. prettyinparis February 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    Great advice! I’m reading it several times a day and starting to move forward in this process of healing and new beginnings.

  42. MaryP16 February 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm #


    I started the 180 a few days ago.

    My situation is I found out about the affair, WH hasn’t admitted everything I’ve found out and doesn’t want to talk about it. He said he has stopped contact with her but I know for a fact that is not true as I have seen the messages. It’s been 2 months since DDay and he’s still seeing her and denying it even though I’ve told him I’ve read the messages. He is just acting “normal” at home, and if I ever try and talk about it he just dismisses the conversation- he genuinely thinks he’s still getting away with it.

    So I’ve decided to try 180. My question is as he is still acting “normal” he is still being physically affectionate, kissing me hello/goodbye, random hugs when he walks past ( we’ve always been affectionate) – how should I respond to this knowing he’s still seeing her and denying it? I’ve tried the calm I know your seeing her approach, but he still denies. Do I respond to the physical affection? If I don’t then I need to give him a reason- which defeats the points of the 180 of not discussing the marriage until he wants, and will result in a row. I’m confused!

    • beautifulmess7 February 20, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      You don’t have to give him a reason. You don’t owe him anything while he’s still seeing her.

  43. jim February 22, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    How about, just dissapearing from the situation without wasting anymore time being uncomfortable, embarrassed, pissed, plotting revenge,,, its just a nuisance and,,, and well,,, just screw it

    • beautifulmess7 February 22, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

      I agree

  44. mark March 21, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    Well its day two of the 180 and im finding it to be so helpful I’ve spent the last seven weeks in a dark desperate place seeking answers after my wife betrayed me on social media with a guy on the school run. I’m not going to go into the in and outs of it but it hit me like a train. I had become this needy desperate man begging for her to make us work and get back to normal. After reading the 180 the penny has finally dropped with me. Be happy with you because that is all that matters I know carrying this out will be so hard at times….wiIl update in a few days…excited where this new outlook will take me.

    • beautifulmess7 March 21, 2015 at 7:33 am #

      “Be happy with you because that’s all that matters.” Exactly. 🙂 Good for you.

  45. Unconditional Love March 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    I have just came upon your Blog. I have read also all posts, I feel for each one you as I find myself in the same position. My hopes are as most resolve problems and move forward. Reconciliation are my hopes. I could fill a good page or two from the beginning of my marriage.
    I have been married for four years this July 1st. A wonderful spouse I have but, many things outside us or our control of some has taken a large toll on us, devoted we are to each other. This is not about infidelity or I feel its not, there is I feel outside influence’s, which are I believe her children or possible someone else.
    To what happen…In the past I did have a drinking problem, which allot of problems I brought upon myself. I have not had a drink in 1 year 3 months and 2 days. I do desire, want, need to drink. OK.. now…I went to the mail box and walking back trash was laying in the yard, which part of two beer cans, well I picked them up put them in recycle, OK wasn’t hiding anything, didn’t do anything but my wife finds them and thinks what? I’m drinking again, not so. Now ensued the question, by which answer was no, by which I was called a lier and a rage of angry of holler at her came out. Next morning when I got up she was gone. Why I broke a promise to her as to never holler at her. Now during this argument I was told to get a job, I didn’t put gas in her car. Now she said that calmly but sternly. Now I take that to heart because it was calmly said. Why did she say it, because I provide or pay all our bills and I have a new business and she feeling some the finical burden. She walked out, well I love my wife and my marriage, so everything in 180 I broke or did what you shouldn’t do. Our past well I unloaded our past on her, why? angry, emotions, hurt, feeling betrayed. When she left she won’t talk to me, still won’t or would see me and still won’t. And that was before I dropped the past on her. Her and I have said very harsh words to each other and its all to hurt the other. Now do I take those harsh words to heart in a rage of emotional hurt, Hmmm some but lightly, very lightly why? They were really unmeant and were some true yes but, it was from being hurt and them wanting to hurt back. So now that your separated and she won’t talk or see what do you do? Difficult very difficult, I don’t want a divorce, I didn’t want this but it is. So what hope do I have? what do I do? It seems only strength, patients, faith, love, being faithful and pray. And work on yourself and realize your mistakes and hope, she see the same. There’s still allot to all this, which from the past it was brought into the present. Past is just that PAST. For me my marriage is worth all my efforts and time…I love and have faith…

    • Cecile March 31, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      3 months ago a friend told me that there were rumours that my husband cheated, I challenged him but denied it was untrue. As a result of it we decided to take a break (was still living in the house but in spare room). A month later another friend told me about the rumours and was able to gave me name of the OW. He took him 10 minutes for him to admit to a 2 years affair! I decided to give him a 2nd chance but found out last week that he was back with her, when I said to him to cut all ties with her! I kicked him out. My question is I do love him and want him back but his birthday is next week, according to your rules I shouldn’t by him a present. What should I do? I’ll buy him a present on behalf of our daughters but if I don’t buy him anything he’ll think that I don’t care about him. I’m lost, so what would you recommend?

      • Unconditional Love March 31, 2015 at 10:11 am #

        My first question is “how old are your daughters” ? do they or are they old enough to know its there fathers BD? If there small I would just get a card, if there older a card and/or just a phone call wishing a happy birthday. I do feel for you, know how your feeling. I’m sure he is spending time with your children or I hope he is, it does give you a chance to see him and talk. But he has to prove that he wants his family and you. Cheating well most of the time it wasn’t because he didn’t love you or his family, most of the time a women on the prowl, flirts or vise vesa hate to say this buts its just sex…and there is a difference between sex and making love, yes you can have just sex, which your and partners, nobody else can equal that. Me well, if you love have faith it can over come all. Its like I’ve told my wife just stop, but sometimes stupidity. Now as a man myself, want mess with him, which he’ll notice, teasing goes a long ways, tempting. I may not be right on this, but a short skirt with no panties or a very revealing so as to see but that’s all, if its something you don’t do normally, well he’s going to start thinking Hmmm, but its just a tease no touch and don’t give in…..absolutely don’t give in…..he has to realize the grass isn’t any greener on the other side of the fence and what had is way better. He will, can’t say when but he will.

      • beautifulmess7 March 31, 2015 at 11:26 am #

        Don’t buy him anything from you.

  46. Cecile March 31, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    My daughters are 7 and 5 and they both know it’s their dad’s birthday. At the moment he refuses to talk or if I start a conversation he gets angry. When I chucked him out last Friday, I didnt call it separation as I just wanted him out! Unfortunately he doesn’t spend time with his daughters as we are building a patio to put the house on the market as it had only brought us unhappiness. I have been helping him moving bricks, wheelborrow of sand and concrete! I tried to seduce him but he said he didn’t want me to think that because we could sleep together it’d mean everything is sorted out! I don’t really know what to do and I’m in big real mess!

    • Unconditional Love March 31, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Well then follow everything on 180!!!! he has to realize what he’s doing not your do things to occupy your mind and time and stay true to what you believe, follow your heart and have faith….you have plenty of support here and family…I feel for you, its hard, but just think of you and daughters right now, everything will be ok. Faith and faithfulness, love heals..

      • Cecile March 31, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

        Thank you for your kind words Unconditional Love, sometimes I wish that if I hate him it’d be simpler but I guess when I got married in church I took those vows seriously! Wish he thought the same before he started his affair. He said that I should have seen the signs ( he only told me he wanted to go on holidays, not really the same as I’m being attracting to someone else!). To give you a bit of background: 5 years ago my H lost his mum in a tragic way (she walked behind get car but the break wasn’t on properly & it dragged her down the road and it was in front of her house). At the time I had a 19 months toddler, a 6 weeks newborn and learnt that my dad had leukaemia. My H never recover from her death, he told me that he was struggling and I told him that I understood but I felt hopeless and he needed to consult someone. Then he said he’ll be fine. Two years ago, he completely changed but now I can see why as he had becausr by then he started his affair. I booked him an appointment to the doctor, help him to fill in the form, took it to the doc and all he could say why he had an affair was that I didn’t supported him! I should have taken the day of and took him to doc! I agree that I became distant with him as he was working every weekend and got the impression that he didn’t want to be with us. I asked him to stop his weekend work but he said he had made commitments! I even booked us to start a couple therapy last year but now looking back it couldn’t have worked because he was with this other woman. I know I have my fair share as I honestly didn’t look after myself, but as I told him I didn’t chose to cheat. I’m even more confused that when I found out 2 months ago he decided to stay but I was doing all the efforts. Then last week when I found out he went back to her and kicked him out, within 20 minutes she rang him to ask him to move in but he didn’t. Now he leaves with a single make friend and told me likes this single life (the girls have been recently hard to deal with and I can’t blame them) but he still wears his wedding ring whereas I don’t! Why didn’t he go with her as he told me he has feelings for her? Why is he still wearing his ring? Why isn’t he trying his hardest to win me back? I never begged him to stay and he knows I went to see a solicitor as I wanted to know where I stand legally! Now he’s focusing on finishing the house but avoids to communicate with me and is cold. Anyway I was always the one starting the conversation. I’m wondering if doing the 180 might pushed him away for good. What can I do as I’m between two minds: one day I want him, the next I convinced myself that it’s over! Help please

        • Unconditional Love April 1, 2015 at 12:08 am #

          Well first thing is, its not your fault! He’ is trying to lay blame on you for his mistakes, which one of the commits he’s made to you, “you didn’t support him” THATS BULL, so again he’s messing with pick yourself up dust yourself off, don’t be afraid, Again he’s trying lay blame on you, you didn’t cheat, I don’t care what you say, which you say, you let yourself go, well I’m sure he hasn’t given birth to two children, cleaned house, did laundry, feed him and so on, I don’t think you’ve let yourself go at all, he’s maybe leading you to believe that maybe. Wears his ring? hmm, well that might be something that’s dear to him, then again allot of women go for that because there’s no attachments and its all play. Your vows well your just committed to your vows and understand what they mean and trying to fulfill them, don’t blame you at all for that. When some people marry they say those those most precious words, but how many TRULY mean them and understand what they mean, DAM FEW that take them to heart and for gospel. You know what Id tell about finishing the house, SCREW THE HOUSE, sell it like it is. If you want him follow 180, I’m telling you to the way he is treating you, you don’t deserve it. But I know you love him, have you ever heard the saying ” let it go and if it comes back to you it was meant to be”. Now I’m saying work on you and your girls for you, worry about you right now, don’t worry about him, he’s fine, your not so work on you. Next thing yes you do have to worry about finance’s, is he giving you or paying any support for the children remember they are still his responsibility and if he’s not well, you have to start laying plans for you and your children, I’m not telling you to quit on your marriage at all but I am telling you to look ahead and be prepared, He wouldn’t expect that from you I’m sure, do the unexpected. Do opposite what you normally would do, Be happy all the time in front of him, if he’s not making a effort to see or spend time with his children or asking to, I’d probably tell him to just stay away completely its not doing your children any good for his stupidity. But don’t take any actions until you have thought through things, this is where you have to pull yourself together and think. Show him it does not matter if he’s there or not you are moving forward. If thinks you can’t do with out him I’d sure show that is no problem for me I can do no sweat. I don’t know if you work or not. if you don’t go back to work for you, do for you, The less you pay attention to him and go on do for yourself it’ll start wearing on his mind, Now just start today, get him off your mind, go have coffee with your friends, do things you enjoy, its getting summer take the kids to the park go to beach, even you go to the gym, fine some quite time for you. Like for me, like just sitting maybe a glass of wine listening to the sounds of the night, reading a good book. Run yourself a hot soaking bath and relax for you, DO FOR YOU, Is i over no its not, let GODS WILL WORK, have faith and trust in him. I’m in your corner so I’ll talk to you and support you so, may not be as quick as you might like sometimes but you’ve got support.

  47. Cecile April 1, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    Your peep talk Unconditional Love has made my day. You are right I’ve done nothing wrong and I need to be strong for my girls and myself. I do work full time and I know that financially I can look after us. I have started to apply the 180 and see how it goes. I think deep down I just needed someone to make me realise that I’m stronger than I think I am, and your kinds words certainly did the trick. Will keep you posted on how it goes, thanks so much for your support.

    • Unconditional Love April 1, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      Good, great to here, stay focused, it takes time so don’t lose faith.

      • Cecile April 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

        I know that I would be riding a roller coaster of emotions but I’m surprised how low I was today comparing to yesterday. I am wondering what I have done in my previous life to be tested so hard at the moment. I want to cry but I have always been brought up that crying is only for the weak ones! So that doesn’t help. It has been two days (I know it is early days) that I been trying the 180 and from where I stand It doesn’t seem to make much difference to my H. I still see him everyday at the moment because of the patio, cook for us all at lunch and teatime and all I get is a weak thank you and i’m off for a shower at my mate! Last Sunday I wrote him an open letter telling how hurt I was and how I felt I was the only trying to save that marriage and I know he has read it but hasn’t made any comments about it. I know that I’m right to have kicked him out of the house 2 weeks ago, but the little voice in my head tells me that I have made a mistake as he clearly avoiding any conversation with me, meaning that my marriage could be over. I know that once he has made his mind up (right or wrong) he won’t change it. I found a message on his mobile when we first decided to separate (in January when I was told about the first set of rumours) to one of his siblings saying that our marriage was over as he did something wrong but didn’t know how to come out oh this mess! One of my friend (she was in the same situation as me last year except that her H actually left her for his OW) thinks I should ask him what he wants and because he doesn’t seem to be making any effort she thinks I should prepare for the worse! Now I am doubting my ability to survive this betrayal as if I haven’t been able to keep/ look after my H, will i be able to do that in the future? Why hasn’t he moved in with this other woman, if he is so unhappy with me? Mind you she has two kids of her own and my friend reckons that because of her kids he hasn’t moved in with her (as my H already left his first daughter form a previous relationship and he’s doing it to his two daughters now) and he made it clear when we went to see a couple therapy that he didn’t want any kids! I’m wondering if he will ever be happy and his mission on heart is to hurt everyone who loves/loved him!

        • Unconditional Love April 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

          Hmmm, well first thing is ts ok to cry and theres nothing wrong with, does not mean your weak at all, so if want to cry, take a good cry. Why doesn’t he move in with her? “its called have your cake and eat it to” If he is out of the house why is he still there? if he’s out means out all the way? He has to know your serious, He has it made and your just letting him have his way and do what ever he wants. First decide what you want to achieve. If you want things to change your going to have to make changes. Its his mess so he should live in his mess outside of your home. He’s not unhappy he has two women. What the other women wants is for him to leave you and support her and her two kids, now its coming to light what that women wants and he’s flipping stupid. Follow 180 to the T…Don’t cook him nothing, you and your girls go out and eat, I’ll give you a break, go to your parents and eat or family, You can do it, believe me I’m dealing with a wive that walked out on me on a lame excuse. Yes its hard extremely hard, get this I let her come back home so shed have a place to stay and I left. She won’t speak, talk or see me. Now if I can do it you can, were not to happy either one of us the way things are going so might as well give it a good effort and try, have faith, pray…yes you do have to prepare for the worst or at least mentally, tell him say hey I said your out of the house did mean you can still come and go as you please. Now thats me talking. But if you still want him around you, well your going to have to follow 180 to the T. I’ll to you a story. A buddy of mine was complaining about his wive always stopping and buying takeout food and he was tired of it, he wanted home cooked meals. Well another co-worker told him “I know how you can stop that” Hows that? “when she brings it home tonight you pick that sandwich up and throw it right in the floor, that’ll stop that. So that night he did just that. Couple days went by, so we ask him about it. Well did you do what you were told? yep, sure did, did it work, “Well I came home the other night and she had gotten take out food, so I asked her were mind was? She said: you said you didn’t want anymore take out food, so pots and pans, stove is right over there knock yourself out. “So no it didn’t work” . Now be smart, strong, you can do it….And you might want to try that trick get some take out and sit right down and eat, BUT NOT HIM…

          • Cecile April 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

            The reason he is at the house everyday is that we need to finish it to sell it. The building inspector won’t give us the certificate of completion if we don’t do the work! I cook for him as I feel guilty because he is doing all the manual job as it is his trade and as I can’t help him much so at least it is in a way what I can do to say thank you (as if I was on my own I couldn’t do the work nor afford it). it would be very nice to see my family but unfortunately I live in another country. He is back at work next week, so hopefully I won’t see much of him or under my terms. The girls are happy to see him but don’t cry when he goes back to where he is staying so I guess it’s a good indicator that if it comes to the worse, there’ll be at least not such a big impact on them. Thanks for that little story It made me laugh 🙂

            • Unconditional Love April 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

              I understand about finishing the house but, there’s no need to feel guilty, because he sure doesn’t feel any guilt for what he’s doing, let the other women feed him. I hate what he’s doing to you and your children. I’ve got all kinds of story’s. Be strong…

        • beautifulmess7 April 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

          Please know that it is NOT about you not doing something right to “keep” him around. He cheated because he is selfish, uncaring, and unable to address anything head on. Even if he was unhappy in your relationship, cheating is not the solution and you are not to blame for his choice not to work it out like a responsible adult.

          • Cecile April 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

            Does the pain of betrayal and the turmoil of not knowing what the future hold eventually fade away! H came round to see girls and sat down on the chair. No interaction with them. I had to suggest to got to park to get them out of the house. He said that staying at his friend is alright, that he has found a house for me and the girls, that instead of doing the patio he should have gone on holidays to decide what he wants! Why is it do hard for him to tell me that he has no more feelings and that he prefers to run away than face his problems. On the other hands he has completely stopped seen her (this was my first condition for even considering to take him back) and he hasn’t work this weekend (which condition number 2)! Am I reading too much into things? He even tells me everything he does at night when he is out with his mates and that what something he never did in 10 years we’ve been together! Don’t get it!

  48. Mark April 4, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi Cecile I do really feel for u, the pain and turmoil will pass but it does eat away at you not knowing what the future holds especially when your the only one that seems to be the one that wants to save the marriage. You are doing everything you can and getting nothing back it must be hard because at the end of the day all you have done is love this man and done nothing wrong. I know it’s going to be hard but the 180 might be the only way for him to sit up and listen. I’m going through a similar situation I discovered my wife had an emotional affair two months ago and although we are working through and we have improved our relationship in terms of the way we treat each other I’m the one making all the effort and showing affection etc and it really feels that she not into me as she should be and that I’m just the provider for the kids and house. Ive so tried to do the 180 and have taken some points on board but I’m finding it so hard to keep my mouth shut when I disagree or when not one ounce of affection has come my way. Think you’ve really hit the nail on the head its the not knowing what that future holds that rips you apart. Good luck x

    • Anonymous April 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      I’m really sorry for has happened to you Mark. I can only relate to your pain. Sometimes I wish that people will grow up and behave like adults instead of taking the easy option and breaking our heart. I think you are perfectly right about what eats me alive is not knowing what the future holds. I saw a solicitor who told me to wait 2 years before filling for divorce. Gosh, I’m gonna have to learn how to be patient :-)! It has been 3 days since I have started doing the 180 but I have to admit that I’m struggling a bit with it! At times I feel guilty about doing it nevertheless I know it’s for my own good. One thing I’m proud of is that I have started to let go about the OW, I’d be so obsessed with her and wanted to hurt her like she did but I guess it’d only show her how weak I am and give her importance that she doesn’t deserve. In a way I feel sorry for her as she must be feeling hurt like me but on the other hand she only has to blame herself for being in that situation whereas I never asked for any of this and have to remain strong for my girls!

      • mark April 8, 2015 at 11:14 am #

        Hi Cecile, How’s it all going? As hard as it is have you been sticking to the 180 and getting any results? You should not feel guilty in the slightest you need to do this for you to gain the respect you deserve back. Like you say we didn’t ask for any of this yet we are the ones with all the hurt and emotions that we somehow have to channel and get back on track. I’ve come off the 180 slightly!!! I couldn’t keep my mouth shut again, I’m just feed up of making all the effort and changes yet she’s the one who has caused this. If the shoe was on the other foot I’d been doing everything I could to make it right and yet when I express my feelings all it get is anger and dismissive attitude. Am I asking to much for reassurance from time to time or do you think I should just back off like the 180 suggests? time will be the answer for us but I just hate living in limbo! anyhow hope your doing okay?

        • Unconditional Love April 8, 2015 at 11:46 am #

          Hi, Mark…I’ve read your post and know exactly how you feel. The best i can tell you is keep following 180, now I know its super super hard to keep your mouth shut, as it is for me also. Limit calls, texts or what you say or don’t say anything at all. If you do say something be pleasant, no harsh words. For you it would help a tremendous amount to go to the gym and work out or some type of physical exercise to aid in your healing and thought process, also it gets your stress out, you can think more clearly. Believe me my wife has the same attitude as yours and she’s super stubborn to boot. Don’t give up, don’t quit you have a goal and its is to stay married and resolve issues, past is past. Have faith be devoted, love heals. Just work on you right now and be smart. Do things you enjoy doing, fishing, hunting, hobbies, swimming something. As you I hope Cecile is doing well.

          • Cecile April 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

            Hi, I have managed to keep myself busy everyday and I have to admit that sticking to the 180 has been really hard. On one hand my H is still the same selfish man as you rightly pointed out Unconditional Love that he is having is cake and eating it, but on the other hand it has been doing wonder for me. Also I have been doing a lot of reading and came to the conclusion that it WASN’T my fault if he had an affair and that ONLY ME can make me happy. He is still reluctant to speak to me about why he went back to her a second time once he got found out and I’ll eventually get my answers but we have a saying in French that you can’t make a donkey drink if he doesn’t want to (sorry for the poor translation but not too sure what the English equivalent was 🙂 I’ll learn to be patient and I will get my answers one day. One thing that the 180 taught me is that now my mind is starting to shift from being always negative to start to see only the positive in each day (still needs to fully get there but I know I’ll) and to be honest I feel I have started to feel more myself and less of a zombie ( I just hope I’m not entering the anger phase after the grief as it won’t be good for my H :-)! To you Mark I fully understand about you not wanting to keep your mouth shut because I’m like you and I’m too bluntly honest. Well according to my friends diplomacy isn’t my first name and at least with me they know where to stand :-)! What I would say is try not to answer back as I have noticed that my H does it on purpose to wind me up and i I feel it gives him pleasure to have an upper hand on me as he thinks me reacting makes him more comfortable in his mind that he was right to have an affair and also my pride doesn’t like that at all :-)!. The only ones who feel hurt are us as we have reacted to their provocation. Please have faith that you can do it. What I do is I count to seven before I answer his provocation and by then I realize that it’s not worth it. For you making all the efforts, i’d say give yourself time as maybe she doesn’t know how to deal with what she has done as you are both working on your marriage and I see it is a good step that she wants to. I guess she must be feeling guilty but doesn’t know how to deal with it herself. Have you discuss with her about giving yourself 3 to 6 months trying to do both your best and review the state of your marriage after that time limit. I agree with Unconditional Love work on you and do things you enjoy doing. The first step is the hardest but if I have managed to do it i’m 100% sure you’ll be fine and I’ll always be there to support you. I just thought that I’ll make you laugh to finish off. Today was his birthday, I bought presents from the girls but nothing from me. We were supposed to go to a restaurant (booked ages ago) but i cancelled it and said the girls wanted to cook something for him, so he got baked beans on toast!!!! I had to keep my face still as I really wanted to laugh as he wasn’t amused at all by it but that was what the girls wanted. I know I shouldn’t gloat about it but his reaction was so funny! Thank for you support and this blog has been so far a life saver.

            • Unconditional Love April 8, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

              LOL, well I love baked beans on toast, that was sweet of them and funny, I needed a laugh. As far as the saying English translation is ( You can’t led a horse to water and make him drink) but I kinda like your version better. I glad to hear from you and your progress, you seem to be in better spirits. You said something right on the nose, my wife provoked me and that’s what she wanted to do, because she knew how to push my buttons and it gave her the upper hand and reinforced her actions, which her mind she was right. To: Mark pard, so don’t let them have the upper hand, they’ve already made us feel like we’ve done something wrong and we haven’t. Cecile so glad to here your progress, I’m here for your support, so if need to get something off your mind just start writing. Yes your right this Blog is a life saver. So Mark same goes to you.

              • Cecile April 9, 2015 at 10:02 am #

                Hi, just wandering how you were feeling? (Unconditional Love and Mark), today is a down day but can’t pin point really why. I guess one step forward, two backwards, but ready both your recent comments and knowing that I can truly be myself on this blog and share my thoughts (good or bad without being judged is a blessing g).

                • beautifulmess7 April 9, 2015 at 11:02 am #

                  This is definitely a judgment free zone

                • Unconditional Love April 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

                  Hi, well today I’ve been feeling fairly low and down, I can’t understand things. I’ve been texting her on and off, just general conversation, about grand-kids, work, she’ll talk at times then nothing, Sometimes I feel like there is possibility for reconciliation, then like today that there’s no hope. I have bleed my heart to her she knows totally that I truly LOVE her and only her, I am totally devoted, I could walk (yes) but something inside me keeps saying (NO) stand your ground and have faith, common sense tells me, its going to be rough and and rough road so just go. But I can’t make myself do it, I’ve tried to imagine myself with someone else and looked at other women just to see and I could be swayed by the attraction of another women well (NOPE AIN’T THERE) won’t happen. Its just not in me, she’s everything to me, I only desire her. So here I am hoping, praying, thinking what do I do. I want to be home so bad I can’t stand it sometimes, being away from her just hurts, I enjoy being with her around her, this is what she wanted was to separated, but if I didn’t leave home she had nowhere to go or didn’t want to stay where she was which was with her children, of she kept saying to me I’ve got to have a place to stay or find me a place, so I let her come home so she’d have a place and I left. I hate all this, I just want things resolved, seems like she just doesn’t care, she has no problems. I don’t know just don’t know.

                • Cecile April 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

                  Hi Unconditional love, I know it’s hard but hang in there. Like you I have ups and downs but I have always faith that one way or the other things will work out for me, so it will be the same for you. You sound like me not very good at being patient (i hope I haven’t offended you and if it’s the case I’m sorry), but maybe she only needs time to decide what she wants from your relationship. What I would suggest is that at the moment you concentrate on YOU. What do you like doing? What do you enjoy doing the most?. I know it hurts not be with her but to be honest I don’t think that looking at other women will help as you are still in love with your wife. No matter what you’ll do you’ll always end up comparing someone to your wife. Give her time and also give yourself time as I don’t think this could be a quick-fix. They say time is a healer. Have you tried the 180 (no phone calls or messaging)? Couldn’t there be a chance that you could move back in but in a separate room? I don’t know how the law is for you, but where I live because our house is co-owned by both of us, he has every right to move back in. Have a chat with her and see if you could move back in and maybe say that financially you can’t afford your own place and to pay for her to stay in the house and see what her response is. Please remember that we are all here to support and help you.

                • Unconditional Love April 13, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

                  Good evening Cecile, for whatever reason I could not reply to your last comments, but were theirs a will there’s a way.I thank you for your common sense and true heart felt thoughts. I agree with everything you have said, I will totally use 180 to its fullest. I will not go back home until she wants me.

  49. Cecile April 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    I was wondering if someone could give me an insight into a man’s brain. It’s been 4 weeks since I kicked my H out and he’s not showing any signs to want to reconcile, but on the other hand I feel he’s messing with my head. He clearly said that he doesn’t want a divorce, that he still has feeling for me (but keeps telling me how great his life is with his housemate!). Now he says that his affair wasn’t right, nor wrong. He still blames me for his betrayal, but is working with his shrink to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. He showed some of my text pre-180 to his shrink and she says that all I CARE about is what people might think about us (those messages were very personal and I was pouring my heart out to him!) and that he should live on his own. He tells me that when the house is sold we can buy a house, but straight after says that we might not be together. Then we could both by our own house and when we are ready, we could move in together in one of the 2 and rent the other one, but again he said straight after that we might not be together! I tea ally don’t get it. The pain is slowly going away but confusion is my new set of feelings. Can any one enlight me in how a man’s brain works? He still kisses me when he comes round to see the girls & still wears his wedding ring. When I asked him about the ring he didn’t reply and returned it to me saying that if I really love him I should wear mine, to which I reply that I still love him but at the moment there is no trust, so I’ll wear it again when I’m feeling confident enough and see commitments from him to save our marriage. I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong! I’m trying the 180 and I feel better in myself! I guess I need to take each day how it goes and see what the future holds.

    • Unconditional Love April 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi, I wanted to answer your question, sooner as I’ve been dealing with my wife, by which today it seems like it is the end. I can not get her to say one good thing, only to say that I killed her love or our love, that was very fulfilling thing to hear. So when I leave again to day, will be my finial time hear and truly, no more talking or contact, I have given all furnishing in the home, I take nothing from her, I can see no hope in sight, I’m totally beside myself. I’m 56, I truly wish to never marry again and go through such an emotional destruction. I’m sorry it would take a pure act of god to turn her. It seems I am the worst there is. I pray god almighty guide me.

  50. Stuck April 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    I need help with number 1, please. My husband divorced me 6 years ago. We have two children and had been together for 27 years. I was 15, he 18 when we started dating. 22 of the years were married. I never saw it coming. I was told about his affair 8 yrs ago. A year later he moved in with her, 7 months after that that the divorce was final and he married her right away. The divorce was absolutely brutal. Complete devastation in so many ways for me and my children. It took me reading every article on the internet to come to an understanding that the only way for me to stop crying nonstop was to go, no contact. It took a great deal of effort, I failed here and there but feel I finally mastered it late 2009 early 2010. The extent on contact was by email and that was seldom. The only time we would text or talk on the phone was sporadic health concerns for the children, which I believe was limited to two times. Then out of the blue, earlier this month, he started trying to verbally communicate with me. Long story short, I could sense he was struggling with something that he wanted to say so I agreed to a phone call. That phone call ended up confusing me more than ever. I received an apology. Lots of regret, wishes that he could take it all back, and that he still loves me etc. He didn’t ask for anything. He isn’t happy with his new marriage but also isn’t seeking a divorce currently. We exchange texts for about a week, about 3 phone calls, and then he stopped communicating. Now I don’t know how to feel… again. I received a great deal of the answers I had been wondering about all these years, but with those answers came new questions. It felt like a situation where questions and answer sessions could be endless. I have the urge to keep the communication going but then I realize me doing that probably is fruitless. The constant need to understand. The need to pursue a reason… is tough. There is still love between us. Little to no trust but love. Such a shame. I stay in a stuck position and he risked it all to not even be happy and can’t even tell me why he did it. Any thoughts from others would be helpful to read. Thanks.

  51. Anonymous April 27, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    I instinctually have done many of these things. One ? I have is about #19. I have stopped starting conversations about our marriage but what do I do when he does? I try to just listen but inevitably end up discussing…

    • beautifulmess7 April 27, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      #19 just means that you shouldn’t initiate the conversation, not that you shouldn’t talk about it if he brings it up.

  52. Jay May 6, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    My wife dropped the bombshell Decemeber that she loves me ” but she’s not in love with me” ” sparks gone” ” no connection” I reacted bad and tryed everything to fix this overnight not knowing that really I became Desparate and needy. I bought gifts, cooked meals, romantic gestures , declared my love on a daily basis. This didn’t help it made me and the situation 10 x worse.. Now she says that she doesn’t love me anymore… I’m absoultey devastated but I lost my power and dignity by grovelling and receiving horrible comments back. I’ve started this and been on about 2 months , I have my dignity and pride back and see the occasional sign of love back of my wife but that’s it. I’m hoping this will work so I have the Opportunity to work on where we went wrong in marriage.. When do I stop and just walk tho?

  53. Crissey May 17, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    I have a hard time with #10. How should I respond when he tells me he loves me?

  54. unconditional Love June 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    Well it has been since march when I started this, I had made all the mistakes in the list NOT to do and did. Since May I have not or made any contact only to text her to say I mailed birthday gifts for grandchildren thats all. Believe me this is extremely hard to do as far as the 180 list. On the 1st day of July will be our 4th wedding anniversary, by which makes my mind and emotions, anxieties a far alittle more than I like, can’t help it, I love my wife. I feel that she’ll never even attempt or try to have communications with me. At the moment i don’t live in the same town as her or my children but here within the next couple months I’m moving back there and that’s so I can be closer to my children and grandchildren. I have my plans and goals set for myself, I am devoted to her and my marriage. BUT I do feel the showing of moving forward without them is important. I can only hope and pray have faith that’s my marriage will turn around for the better. At the moment today i’m just sorta feeling down, I guess its because of the coming month thats closing in, I truly felt and feel she is my soul mate. if only one little miracle would happen in some way, I hope and pray it comes my way.

    • Cecile June 21, 2015 at 5:50 am #

      Hi, unconditional love, hang in there as it is still early days!. She hasn’t filled for divorce, has she? So there is still hope. For us, women it takes a while to deal with our feelings, whereas I have noticed with men it’s quicker. That is a good thing that you are moving closer to your family, therefore she’ll have more change to see the new you. In my case, things haven’t changed but I realise that if my H doesn’t want to come back, it’s fine as he is making that choice and there is nothing I can do about it. He wasn’t happy with the mother of his 1st child, now he isn’t happy with me. I can clearly see a pattern here, that even if I have an input in the break up of my marriage, I’m not responsible for his bad choice. One day he might wake up but I guess by then I’ll be gone. It breaks my heart how he behaves with his kids as he is putting his work and his mates before them, but I guess I knew it was coming as he was the same with his eldest daughter! For me it’ll be over when one of us file for divorce or are in a SERIOUS new relationship. Like you have ups and downs but I’m getting stronger by the day! Keep faith. It sounds like it’ll be a long road for both if us, and patience is what will help us. Next month I’ll be celebrating my big O, but H is going abroad, so need to arrange for a sitter. I never asked him to babysit by the only time I’d like him, he refused. Now I know where I stand with him and I need to live for myself, not him. Funny that I do believe in Karma! Call me optimistic. Will be there for you.

      • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

        Glad to hear from and hear your encouragement. Difficult very difficult, I feel I had very little changing to do of myself, not saying I am perfect for I am not. Betrayal in her and her allowing her children, friends to interfere in our marriage for their gain. I’m not a materialistic person, I like things but people are more important than money or material items, they think differently. That’s my big hurt, I’m sure there more I don’t know of, that’s why I moved away, really to protect myself from myself (emotions). But they can have all everything there is if that’s what they cherish take it I give it all. But the most important thing they never earned it, I did before we were married long before, but I give it leave it to them, its all theirs. But the real prize is me, I’m gone, yes I am returning for them to see for all to see and rebuild everything new. I love my wife deeply, I will not try in anyway to contact her, she has to come to me. Yes I have to live for me, I can not understand why people stray or allow themselves to be influenced by other people and even their children I stress YOUNG ADULTS who only do things that are for themselves for their benefit and her friends. As you can see I’m a little bitter. Yes I believe in Karma. So you are going to be celebrating your 50th is that right? I feel your pain and hurt as you speak of how is is and has been to you. Patience my I have them, lord their being challenged. I’m here for you, I’ll pray that things get better for you. Its all in the cards.

        • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

          Cecile, will say one other thing, no she hasn’t filed for divorce and that’s because she can’t afford to or wanting me to do it. If she does it she would try the online $50.00 one lol, really she did that once in her past divorce. But if she wants it she can try, but I’ll do it the right way, if it comes to that, I hope not though.

          • Anonymous June 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

            I’m afraid that is today’s society: Me, Me! I wasn’t brought up selfish and materialistic and trying hard to do the same with my girls. Unfortunately everyone around us materialistic. I know that money can’t bring happiness, it helps but my parents never had much money but I have find memories of our holidays!
            For the advice she getting from friends and family I’m afraid there is nothing that can be done as they never have been in your situation, so for me they are making assumptions that this is what they would do, but yet again they are not in your shoes! I have chosen to distance myself from my so called friends who pushing me from divorce! I took me a while though to realise how unhealthy it was. Give your wife time. Your actions are more important than words. As for divorce, I don’t want to make it general but if a woman wants something, she’ll do everything she can to get it. So if she hasn’t, she might still have feelings but because of her entourage, she is confused!
            As for me I’ll 40 next month and never thought that I’ll be a single mum when I hit it! Keep us posted and I’ll try to be more regular. I have been investing myself a lot into work to deal with pain. Keep faith 🙂

            • deleted June 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

              So, it was me Cecile who just replied to you unconditional love 🙂

              • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

                How I wish I was 40 again, I’m 56. Hmmm yes you’re right, if she really wants a divorce she will find a way. Confused yes think you’re right they’re also, she has too many mouths in her ears. I have my goals and have not really swayed from them, still pretty much the same, In growing or making life better for yourself and family, you do have to be patient and opportunities have to present themselves as to where you can take advantage of them, also making opportunities for yourself, as for myself being in business for myself, hard economy out there, moneys is tight so it can be stressful. Like you I’ve been putting more into my work and looking at new paths, i don’t know it might be time for a career change. I just don’t know as of yet, well I take that back. If opportunity present itself a good job offer, I’ll probably take it, I’m tired of being on the road. I’m private contractor for Health & Safety, OSHA guy. Anyway. You helped me today a bunch. I’ll try and be more regular myself on here. I’ll say this, your man will come to his senses. They think it’s easier to walk away than it is to stay but in reality it’s the way around, it’s hard for them to face the music for what they done and are doing. They just don’t realize how much they are loved, by you

  55. Jay June 20, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    Hi unconditional love,
    Try and hang in there and think positive. I’ve been in a bad situation for 8 months and made lots of mistakes since my wife declared she loves me bit she’s not in love with me… But today I’ve seen some positivity we r starting a fresh .. So I presume it can go either way,.. But like in the 180 .. It’s not over until it’s over

    • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      Hi Jay, pard I hope all goes well for you, believe me I am trying my best….I dealing with a group not just her, but her children and friends which she considers the most trusting, loyal, unlying, non-using people there is. Well I believe in fate and fate says you got what you wanted and that going to turn out, I wish I hadn’t listen to them. yes its not over till it’s over, by a long shot it’s not.

  56. Jay June 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    You can only control yourself and not others.. Hang in

  57. Jay June 21, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    Yeah my wife’s best friend had an affair and is now divorced and another one of her friends is going through a divorce.. Coincidence who knows.. It’s not easy and sometimes I push her to tell me how she feels but I need to stop that now but it’s so hard.. She’s still here that’s the main thing, but I learned to cope without out her through the 180 but now she wants to try again .. I hope it works because if not I have let my defenses down.. Anyway whatever happens friend you will b ok no matter what

    • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

      Just go slow and easy, don’t push her, let her speak to you when she’s ready, it’ll come slowly. Your defenses, hmm just be cautious, be slow think before you speak and control your emotions. I’m here if you need to vent or need a thought. I’m glad for you and I pray things do work out for you and her. Yes I’ll be ok, but I’d be better if I her, but that’s a question that only time will tell.

    • Cecile June 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      Hi Jay it’s Cecile. I can understand where you are coming from. My M was on the rock already when one of my friend’s husband left her and their kids for his OW. To be honest I got tempted to split up with H as I could see that she was happy when she filed for divorce. Little did I know at the time that my own H was cheating on me! So I can understand your W reactions. On the other hand, she is wanting to give your M another g. Take it slowly and make sure that she becomes your priority like her you. I don’t know how long you’ve been married and if you have kids, but I’d do anything to have my kids with their 2 parents as it’s so commun and easy nowadays to throw a M like a piece of dirty tissue! I’m afraid this what the society is about: if you not happy change what you are not happy until it happens again and again and then you realise that what you had in the first place was good!

  58. Cecile June 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    Thank you for your kind words, but I don’t think my H will come back. Why would he? He doesn’t have to deal with kids, dog or household chores everyday. He already walked out on his first child, and didn’t do it with our girls as it’d have looked very bad on him. He checked out emotionally on his family 2 years ago, so for him it’s over. I know him and once he made a decision he won’t change. He cut all contact with his dad, and it has been going on for a year now! Two years ago we had a heated discussion about a holiday (he didn’t tell me that he fancied someone at work!) and said that one day I’ll regret my decision for taking my kids to see their grand parents! He is now saying that I’m regretting it! I don’t regret taking my kids to see their grand parents as on his side, his mum is dead and his dad never sees our kids. I also don’t regret kicking him out as he went back to his OW when he knew that one of my condition was no contact with her! The only thing I regret is still loving him and wanting to save my M despite his two years affair as I don’t believe on divorce and kids should be brought up by both parents unless there is physical or mental abuse.

    • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

      Well Cecile, your strength, love and devotion gives me perseverance and strength. I like believe the same no divorcing only as you say physical or mental abuse. What I have found they will use any justification to justify their actions to make it right to what they’re doing. Pretty much like a drug addict will do and they will leave anybody or anything for their addictions what ever that may be, whether it be women, sex, drugs, alcohol they will find words or a cause to justify it. As I can read in your words you are very honorable, trustworthy, caring and loving. He truly does not know what he has lost or losing, you are fine women, mother and wife. I think thou you shouldn’t regret loving him for the reason your love is true, honest…don’t regret that, you should have no regrets at all, you did what was right and just. It is he who is wrong. It wasn’t you who choose to have affair and keep doing it, plus the other women was using him for her needs and she used sex to gain it, but what did she gain in the end? It’ll be like my wife, is there life better? She’ll have heart aches things to deal with. I have no regret loving my wife, she hurt me and is, but I know I am good to her and was good to her, do things happen yes, we all hate that. You know the difference between right and wrong, he knows the same but its all his wrongs that he’s trying to justify that their right. Truth will prevail it always does, might take awhile but it will, all wrongs will be set right….God will see to it, keep faith, stay your path you’re on the right one, he hasn’t reached bottom yet, he will, believe me he will.

  59. Jay June 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    Thank you.. Same to you aswell .. Best to vent with friends than with partner because emotions can take over and cause more damage

    • unconditional Love June 21, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

      Yes, vent to me its alot safer

  60. Jay June 21, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    Hi cecile.. Thanks for the response.. Basically my wife had sure signs of “walkaway wife syndrome” and she give me the “I love you but I’m not in love with you talk” it broke me but I learned to accept it and knew if b happy with or without her in time.. We have been married 13 years and have 2 lovely little boys 2 and 6.. I did everything wrong in my marriage I was cold, showed no affection, moody and never complimented or said I loved her.. I didn’t really know what to do until now… She wants to try again and we have had counselling which opened us both up.. But she admits she still doesn’t have them feelings anymore “the spark” and is scared they won’t come back.. I’ve changed my ways but it’s hard for her to take my new approach of showing affection etc.. Bit hopefully with time and consistency it will begin to feel normal for her, but I really need to stop pushing for answers on how she feels.. Too much pressure for her… But at least I’m seeing progress

    • Cecile June 22, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

      That is a good news that she wants to try. I guess she isn’t too sure yet is because she still has in mind the old you. Give it time and once she realise that the changes are for the long run, the sparkle will come back. Keep the faith 🙂

  61. Charlie June 21, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    I’ve heard about this. I hope it works!! Seems extremely helpful!!

    • unconditional Love June 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      Hello Charlie, it’ll help you, if you need to vent, vent. As you can see we all have written something of our marriage problems and as you can see also you will get feedback and support to help you with your thoughts, encouragement to succeed.

  62. Jay June 22, 2015 at 3:59 am #

    Hi Charlie it may or may not help your relationship but it helps to put u in a better place

  63. Cecile June 22, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi Charlie, I read two of the books this lady wrote and they are really good. Although I couldn’t tell you if it works for your relationship but it will help you to look after yourself.

  64. Jay June 27, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    My wife agreed to reconcile but I’ve ruined it the past few days… I went on ridiculous demanding she tell me how she feels and “she still doesn’t know” I blamed her for breaking up the family and for messing me about… It temporarily number the pain but now she thinks the relationship may not be productive anymore because of my attitude, she was ready to move to her mothers again, I’ve apologised for my behaviour and making her feel guilty but it really is back to square one again because of my persistsnce. I told her my position after the heat of the arguments and explained I want to be with her but I’m not prepared to b with someone who doesn’t have them feelings anymore, I explained this was not a threat and I think she understood. So going forward now my plan is not to mention “us ” how she feels or what the future holds anymore! If she argues or provokes me for a reaction to see if I react to my old negative, defensive , moody self I will try my utmost not to go there and remain upbeat. I have decided hopefully I don’t mess things up further.. I am going to give it till January and see how she feels of it the old ‘ i love you but I’m not In love with you’ I will walk away from my marriage as hard as it will be I know I can find happiness with or without her. This all started in December 2014 and I believe that will be enough time January 2016. I think I’m unclear with myself tbh of I even want to be with her because she can be so selfish and I’ve even been thinking of leaving myself these past few weeks but that maybe because I’m still in limbo .. But setting myself this target has made me feel a whole lot positive, I will try and work on myself aswell so I’m prepared

  65. Unconditional Love June 27, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    Pard…slow down, I know you want things right between you BUT..if she comes back home or is home just let that be how it is for now, just be glad she’s home, make it enjoyable that she wants to be there…her feeling will come let her say or do it herself, not you don’t force the issue of trying to get feeling out of her, she’s there that’s good….just be yourself, don’t be afraid to move or do things. Work with her not against her or work against yourself. Patients slow and easy wins the race…its like a 24 hour race, push the car early in the race it won’t last 24 hours, set a nice easy pace the car goes the distance you didn’t break it, so imagine you’re in a race, don’t push it you’ll break it, slow and easy pace you win the race…you’re in the curves pard you can’t go wide open, not until you get in a straight line then you can go wide open…..patients understand…you’ll be ok..

    • Jay June 28, 2015 at 7:05 am #

      This morning my wife lay beside me and said she wants to end the relationship… She said she’s 75% sure it’s what she needs to do… I reacted well I didn’t plead or beg.. I said I don’t want this but I understand and agree with what you want…maybe she might change her mind, maybe not … Even if she does I don’t know what I would do.. I’m not going to try and convince her or try and change how she feels anymore… I’m done with that… I can only control myself

      • Unconditional Love June 28, 2015 at 9:57 am #

        Good Morning Jay, well I believe you did the right thing, you kept control of yourself, good. I feel or believe in everything that we have to show feelings but, no feelings if can make sense of that, I guess what I’m trying say is that if you show “I don’t care what you do” they start second guessing themselves, they start seeing “Hey I might lose them” so when they see your doing for yourself and not them, they start becoming somewhat jealousy. If you go enjoy yourself, do for yourself move forward, they’ll start wondering, thinking. In the beginning when you first met or got together who chased who? Make her chase you…..

  66. Cecile June 28, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    Today was my H’s nephew’s little boy Christening, so went to the church service as H was late to take his daughters there. On the way to the venue, he agressively asked me why I sat next to his dad. BTW he doesn’t speak to him anymore. I said that I sat next to his sister, then his dad joined us! I said I’ll go and he added I could stay a bit more. Later on I went to ask him why he had been so aggressive to me and he said that a lot of people will see him like that today. I replied he couldn’t do it as it’s a Christening. After I told him that I still love him and cares for him, I foolishly asked him if he was with other woman, to which he replied why did it matter as anyway we are no longer together! He said his priority are his kids. He turned up one hour later to see them and in the end I had to take them to the church because he didn’t have the right car!
    I also told him that I DONT want that woman near my girls! I left the venue in the verge of tears! Now I know it’s really over. I feel foolish to have tought that I could have saved my marriage!

    • Unconditional Love June 28, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      Good Morning Cecile, sorry to hear things did not go so well but, I believe you still can win him back. Like I’ve told Jay went him chase you, show no feelings show no care, do for you. Go out with your friends, cookout have a cookout, go out on a girls night out, don’t tell him that you love him, be nice but firm. He thinks and knows he can have you anytime he wants, well change that around. Turn tears into strength, let him see he’s losing you not by his choice your choice. Its ok to have contact with his family you have children, you have a right to if he isn’t making an effort for children to to see grandparents etc. he’s leaving that up to you then. Just do whats right, can’t argue against that. Don’t let him know anything what your doing, let him wonder, don’t be so available you have things to do, let him chase you, be the RABBIT.

  67. Jay June 28, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    I stopped chasing last time around and it seemed to work.. My worry here is she said she wants to split not in the heat of an argument.. What happens if she doesn’t chase?

    • Unconditional Love June 28, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Why sure she doesn’t want leave during a heated argument, she could lose you. Why you’ll basically say F-it…and then she knows if she leaves peacefully, its all ok. Now I’m condoning have a big argument and let her walk out but that’s what’s in her mind. Think about what better leaving on good terms or bad, plus she’d like for you to be her friend, NOT. Let her walk…her choice, like I said run your race…..she’ll chase…when she see you running in another pack or knows it, show her no care, if she wants it let her GO for it…no help from you in anyway shape or form and your no friend….you have to let her come after you…don’t chase her….above all avoid arguing with her, don’t give a flying flip…

  68. Fred June 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    This works. I found this while I was
    processing the loss of a thirty plus year marriage. I encourage anyone experiencing the loss of a spouse to embrace this.

  69. frenchghost June 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Hi there, my soon to be ex-wife and i have now reached the point of no speaking. We have a 3yr old son who currently is away on summer vacation at his grand-parent’s. We each had our issues with the marriage, hers had to do with the fact that i am an intellectual, techie and emotional (always forthcoming about how i feel). Also with the fact that i was unfaithful to her back in 2012 but she never got over it or never loved me back. My issues were her lack of involvement in our home & personal affairs, her lack of affection & desire towards me, her inability to plan & strive for more in life, all factors that contributed to my infidelity. Nonetheless i loved her and showed it since the affair was revealed. We were estranged back in early 2014 and she had an affair but i stayed the course and eventually got her back (i believe because she realized my value and the fact that i did truly love her) but she could never give me the wife i needed, back. I eventually understood that i was not her type of man, that i was too good as many told me although i am not without flaws (personal/emotional). I eventually called it quits and filled for a divorce and she moved out with our son. While currently in the process she has found a new partner (seems to only be sexual as she’s chatting and hanging out with other guys) and had requested for us to remain FRIENDS but it went up in smoke last week as we had an argument once she found out that i began dating someone (nothing official but in the works). I’ve ceased all communication until our child returns in town when i’ll resume talking to her but only about him. I’ve had a hard time dealing with the lack of communication even the “light” kind but i’m staying the course (only 8 days left to go). As i said i noticed that she’s looking to date/entertain others & i’m not sure how she feels about all this other than the dislike she has for me now but i believe the 180 approach to be the key to my detachment and eventual success at the new life being offered to me. Any advice is welcomed!!! Thank you for this!!

    • Unconditional Love June 29, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

      Well first I hate to here the problems your having. Second you and your wife will always have contact and communication because you have a child that you both have to raise together or not. now food for thought, reckon why she got mad when she find out you you’re dating? sounds to me like she still has feelings and possible trying to figure herself out. 180 is good and can help both ways to stay or not to stay, my take I don’t believe in divorce and you her still might have a chance together but it will sounds like take counseling. I hope everything can work out for you.

      • frenchghost June 29, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

        Thank you so much for responding. I truly have no desire to fix things as i no longer believe our lifepaths to be the same. I doubt she will ever want what i want out of life and i doubt she will ever be faithful and loving to me even if i could manage to forgive and forget. Our last argument was bad enough that i doubt we could recover from it and honestly as long as we can be cordial for our child’s sake i would be okay with the situation. I’ve found someone who matches me a lot better and although a bit early to tell i believe her to be a better life companion to me than my ex-wife ever was even during our good days….small things speak volumes (time will tell). I do plan on applying the 180 just to maintain my sanity and detangle fully from this mess of a split. Thank you again for sharing!!!

  70. Cecile June 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi Frenchgosht, I agree with unconditional love that your wife still has feeling for you. You seem pretty clear in what you want/ don’t want. No matter what, your wife will still be part of your life because of your son. I wish you all the best in what the future hold for you 🙂

    • frenchghost June 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

      Hi there Cecile, i’m not sure why but i truly have a hard time believing this! My therapist believes the same but now that I’ve taken my distances and not spoken to her for over 3 days i believe it will all go away (or at least she will realize that i’m truly done). I often times find myself thinking about her but will not allow myself to go back to/with her because i cannot lose any more time trying to build a life and family with a woman who does not even know her worth (clearly her choice in men is a sign of this). I began to put the 180 in practice and i hope it will get me through the rest of the year…..Thank you for your input, it’s much appreciated!!!

  71. Cecile June 30, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    I was wondering if you have been separating long. In my case it has only been 3 months, and my therapist added that it’s not that long. She asked me if I’d expect someone who has lost a loved one to be over their pain and grief after 3 months. Maybe it’s a bit soon for you to decide you don’t want her in your life. Just wondering.

  72. Jay July 1, 2015 at 2:55 am #

    Thanks unconditional love.. How the situation stands now she broke the news to me on the Sunday.. I woke up on Monday and decided today was the day I decided I would start ploughing forward but then I recieve a text message saying she was having major major regrets of her decision and wanted to talk.. But she still saying she doesn’t know what she wants now.. Is already decided to move to a friends but now I can’t move on again because of what she said.. Totally messing with my head .. For 8 months I’ve had this.. Anyway I’m still going ahead with the move and start the 180 AGAIN

    • Gill Baba August 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

      I will strongly advice you not to move, out of sight is out of mind. Just stick to the 180 no matter what

  73. 1234 August 19, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

    My husband and I dated off and on through high-school, got married at the age of 20. We have been married for almost 6 years now (been together for over 10 years) About two months ago out of no where he told me he was done with the marriage. He said he has always had this feeling of us not being meant for each other. He said he was tired of pushing it away and finally decided he no longer wanted to fight his feelings. This is a complete shock to me. I never knew anything was wrong. He told me that he has been happy with me and that i have done nothing to cause any of this. He told me he does not regret the time he has spent with me. He said that there is no one else and he does not plan on looking for anyone else. He told me he wants to see what its like to live for just him since all he knows has been us. He mentioned that he wanted a divorce about 3 weeks ago. I told him that i was not emotionally ready to start that process yet and i needed time to accept what is going on. I have no intentions on getting a divorce. I feel like he might be going through a quarter-life crisis or something. I don’t believe after all these years he can just wake up and be done with everything.. when nothing bad has happened. I left our apartment the day after he broke the news to me. I have gone back to our place twice since all of this has happened. Once a few days after to try and get an understanding on what is going on and again just recently to see what would happen if i was there. My husband wants nothing to do with me. He is treating me like i have done something wrong to him, like I’m the “bad guy”. I am so confused and hurt i really don’t know what to do. This has been a bad dream. I found this site and want to try out the 180 it’s something i have been thinking about doing for a few days now since everything else i have been doing is just pushing him further away. Will it work with us not being in the same house? I am willing to try anything that will help save our marriage. Any advice will help. Thanks

  74. Gill Baba August 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    I have set my 180 in motion for about 2 weeks now, and I am seeing changes. I don’t want to be too naive with these “changes”. Can someone tell me what are the genuine signs that my partner is changing.

  75. Simon Cortez September 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    Great article! I have a question about sex; should I refrain from initiating sex? Should I reject her if she asks? I’m confused about that. I love having intimacy with my wife as it makes me feel good to have her but I’m struggling to get her to see things from my perspective. No infidelity. No physical or verbal abuse; she just seems distant than before and is acting a bit more liberal. Anyhow, the begging, preaching and reasoning did nothing to help my cause. However, I have noticed her coming around more since I’ve taken a step back. So, intimacy or no intimacy? Lastly, how long should I stand my ground on this 180?

    • beautifulmess7 September 24, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      This is not a tool for manipulating a partner who is simply exercising her right to be an individual. If you are really just trying to punish her for being “a bit more liberal,” then you need to step right away from this blog and never come back.

  76. TheOnn September 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    What about if your spouse (wife) tries to initiate sex? Secondly, should I continue to wear my wedding ring?

  77. Robin October 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    i love the 180

  78. Evil Stepmom November 3, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    My husband moved out almost 7 months ago and it broke my heart, but since then i have been doing a lot of soul searching and realized that I had changed and not for the better. I had lost myself trying to help my husband’s kids live in a “real” family and not with their prescription drug addict mother. She had stepped over the line one too many times and i recommended that they live with us and my husband was very thankful that i had offered since we were newlyweds. My sons are in their early 20’s so i was at the point in my life that i was done raising kids, but I couldn’t see his kids continue to live like they had been with a mother that was so unhealthy.

    His kids did real well at first and really adjusted fairly quickly, but then my stepdaughter went off to college and the son decided he didn’t like the house rules any more and started acting out and pitting my husband and i against each other. At first my husband would not getting in the middle and try to talk to both of us to try to help make peace. Then my stepson decided to up the game and got mad at me when i caught him in a lie and told his dad if i didn’t stop he was going to move back in with his mom which upset my husband because he had so much guilt about the ex. Well my world fell apart! Soon the son was running the house and my husband was doing anything my stepson wanted him to do until it got so bad that we just fought all the time as the son kept telling his dad that they needed to move out. My husband moved out one day while i was at work and that broke my heart to get a call from a neighbor telling me that she thought my husband was moving out.

    I begged and pleated with my husband to come home the first few months and when he was around me he would tell me that he just needed some time to clear his head, but he would be home because he loved me and didn’t want anyone else. Then when he would go back to his house his kids would get mad if they felt he was getting to close to me or spending to much time with me. His kids would turn the heat up on him and tell him how horrible i was and that they never wanted to be in the same house as me again. My step-kids have decided that i am the most evil person that has ever walked the earth and will stop at nothing to keep us apart – see they get whatever they want when i am not around because my husband has so much guilt about their mother, and he feels sorry for them and they use it to their advantage. Soon my husband started telling me that i was too tough on his kids and he just needed to be with them and take care of them. This mad me upset because I opened my heart and home up to these kids and now they were getting in the middle of my marriage – i am not dumb i do know that my husband allowed it to happen.

    I fought hard the first several months and then decided i just couldn’t do it any longer because if he truly wanted to be with his kids he should be with them, so in the past month i have turned the tables and have started living my life again. I am happy and enjoying living by myself and no longer having to come home to the chaos. I miss my husband very much and i do believe that we are meant to be together, but i will not live in a home where a teenager is in control, so i have been practicing the 180 seriously for the past 3 weeks and things are already starting to turn. I have not seen, spoken to, texted or had any contact what so every with my husband in three weeks. My husband sent flowers to me at work today. The card simply said ” I love you” signed Love (husband). His birthday is in two weeks and he will not be getting a gift from me. He will get a text simply wishing him happy birthday. My husband has to realize that he is being controlled by his kids and if he can’t – well that makes me very sad, but i will not have my life controlled by spoiled kids any longer. I don’t allow my kids to control me, so i sure won’t let anyone else’s control me. Today is a good day, but I know all to well that tomorrow might not be, so I will cherish today!!!

    I believe we are all going through this to learn something and I don’t think any of us are here by accident!!

    It is nice to know I am not alone in this journey.

  79. Jen November 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    How does one have so much control or strength to do this? I can barely keep tears from falling…
    I’ve done the complete opposite…been needy and demanding of every little move he makes… How do I reverse it now?

    • beautifulmess7 November 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

      The strength comes from realizing you have to take care of yourself. Find your happiness outside of him.

    • Evil Stepmom November 4, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      Take it one day at a time and don’t try to do it all. Be as strong as you can and don’t beat yourself up when you stumble. I still have my bad days, but they are further apart now. I believe if i truly want it to work I need to be the strong independent woman I was when we first met. Patients is not one of my virtues, so this is really difficult for me but i am learning so much about myself in the process. I BELIEVE somehow it will all be OK!

  80. neverenough07 November 18, 2015 at 3:56 am #

    But for # 8. Don’t buy or give gifts…. if she/he wants to give us gifts, we have to decline?

    • beautifulmess7 November 18, 2015 at 7:26 am #

      Buy or give means you buying and giving gifts. Decide for yourself whether to decline gifts from the cheating partner. Personally, I wouldn’t accept because who wants to feel like love and loyalty and fidelity are easily traded for material things?

  81. Sur December 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    My husband of 15 yrs walked out on me and our kids almost 3 months ago. We have loved each other since we were 14 years old. He is the love of my life and I want him back! Inam dying without him! I know I have to stop all the crap from “The Love Dare”, I should have never read every darn book by Dr Gary Chapman who says keep loving even when they are unloveable. Love always wins. My husband left after a rough year of his traveling for work, snd after I got an anonymous letter stating he was cheating. He completely denied, i chose to believe him we went to 3 marriage counseling appts. We were getting better having occasionsl fights mostly all started by me. I was so devastated and hurt. Today I can still barely breathe, barely function. If not for my kids I’d be dead. Now I’m supposed to act happy go lucky like Im fine? I don’t get how this can help ir how someone like me who is so in love with their husband can do this and have it wirk! Yes, I know, nothing else has either.

    • beautifulmess7 December 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

      It’s about finding your self respect and reliance. Not being so needy and desperate. That’s not attractive. Neither is stressing and smothering someone. All he will want to do is get away. Plus, you need to realize that you’re a while person without him. And if you’re not, you really need to be. Especially for your kids.

  82. Lisa scalapino January 8, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

    I don’t understand the last one #33. How does showing your pain burst their bubble they think you will always come back to them?

    • beautifulmess7 January 9, 2016 at 7:36 am #

      The entire thing does that. #33 specifically focuses in your pain and not moral outrage, etc. because it’s difficult to be defensive and act justified when it’s not about blame and anger but rather the real pain of what they did to another person. If they don’t care about the pain they inflicted in you and you do the rest of the 180, it should make it clear that you won’t put up with that behavior.

      • Lisa scalapino January 9, 2016 at 8:22 am #

        Thank you…this is so important for me to understand because I have found most of what Michelle weiner Davis said so effective. But my former husband says things like ‘it’s your choice to ‘be there’ still … I’ve told u I’m dating other people.” And in this way he absolves himself of guilt and excuses times of deep emotional betrayal — because despite being apart we’ve had times of deep connection where he’s cried over the loss of being apart .. And then gone on to have a fling with another woman … And if I say that hurt he goes back to how it was my choice to kind of ‘be there’. He basically says ‘ you could have walked away’. Then if I do really pull away , he accuses me of not being a good communicator and not being “friends and a good co-parent” for our kids? Feel very confused and a bit manipulated ?? And not sure how showing pain helps this — it feels like he just gets the satisfaction of seeing that he still matters to me?

        • beautifulmess7 January 9, 2016 at 8:35 am #

          It depends on what point you’re at. Where you are, it is probably best to move on and show a brave face even when you’re feeling down. He is manipulating you. And he’s using your emotions as a way to have control over you still and make you feel like the “bad guy.” If you address his actions, you can tell him that they are hurtful and leave it there. Don’t accept his bullshit. If he says it is your fault that you’re “there” in an emotional state, you may want to agree that letting him in your life in any capacity other than dealing with the logistics of child care is a mistake so you will continue to distance yourself. Turn that around on him because it’s where the blame lies. Then follow through and refuse to discuss his affairs, the women he is seeing, or anything at all that doesn’t pertain to your children. He can’t have it both ways anymore.

  83. Jim January 27, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    Have to say, this list is about playing games. Instead of focusing on what caused the affair in the first place. Cheating is usually for sexual gratification… Affairs tend to have the additional emotional element and a spouse gets appreciating, approval and value through. In other words, some spouses are just plain cheaters and some are having affairs in order to fill some big holes in their marriage.

    Why the 180 list has a lot of good advice… If you are someone whose spouse had an affair because there was a lack of emotional intimacy, sexual intimacy, etc… You (BOth of you) were likely part of the problem. Using this 180 list is only going to promote that distance between your spouse or make it worse. IF you are truly interested in repairing your marriage then then you should probably rely on the advice of a face to face marriage counselor and not some list you find on the internet.

    In other words, this list is probably better for those that are having marital issues prior to one having an affair. This after an affair could cause more damage. For a cheater? Well in that case it might work a bit.

    • beautifulmess7 January 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

      This list is specifically for when the spouse is continuing to cheat and has not agreed counseling or otherwise working on the relationship. It is more of a way to shock the system, create an emotional safe space, start working on independence in the (likely) case that things don’t work out, and potentially help the cheater to understand what he or she is doing to the relationship by ending the status quo.

  84. Anthony February 4, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    My significant other of 8 years has had an emotional affair with someone, and has said that for years she has been unsure if she loves me which i have never known about until a few weeks ago when i discovered the affair. We are in therapy etc but she does not know if she want’s to continue our relationship as we have lost our connection, i have been sleeping at the wheel and have awoken etc and want to give it a go, but i was or am in limbo waiting for her to make up her mind. Until i found this i was a wreck, a mess of depression because i simply did not know what to do. The 180 gave me exactly what i wanted in a situation i cannot control(her feelings) – it gave ME something to do, it gave me control in the uncontrollable and that is a massive help.

    My life had no meaning for two weeks and then suddenly, a purpose, a goal. And something else, A LOT in the 180 are things our therapist have said and explained to me. For instance that showing her affection or giving her gifts only makes her feel more guilty about what she has done and what she is doing to me, infact any act of kindness have the compelte opposite effect, it makes her want to go away from me and not towards me. There are many more things in the 180 that our therapist has adressed almost word for word.

    So thank you for this, it has been a massive help. The only thing i do not know how to handle or adress, is her sometimes still contacting her other guy, the one she cheated with. I don’t think it is very romantic anymore, but she still has feelings for him and does not want to cut contact with him yet and this is the only part that i do not know how to adress or work with, since this bothers me beyond belief and repair and i feel if we are to have any chance she needs to eventually cut him out but she must be willing to do so herself, i cannot force her. If there is any advice anyone can give i would love to hear it.

    • beautifulmess7 February 5, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      You’re right on all counts. She MUST cut him out completely for there to be any hope for your marriage. But it also must be her decision, not something she feels forced into because that will just lead to things going underground. There is no healing things anyway if she can’t see why staying in contact with him is a massive problem. But she has to get there herself, and that’s something you can’t control. It’s maddening, I know!

      Like you said, that 180 gives you something to focus on that you can control. It will also help you get yourself together in the event that she chooses not to make things work. I know that isn’t what you want, but you also seem mature enough to realize that we don’t always get what we want. In fact, we probably don’t get it more often than not when dealing with someone who has demonstrated a lack of caring for our feelings.

  85. Jack February 7, 2016 at 11:15 pm #

    Does this 180 only get put to use with an affair partner what if is just a spouse that has you shut out and filed for divorce and does not communicate with you.

    • beautifulmess7 February 8, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      You certainly can use some of these principles for a breakdown in your marriage that isn’t caused by an affair. For instance, it’s always a good idea to give the other person space, not beg them, start separating your emotions from their actions, etc.

      • Anonymous February 8, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

        So ignoring each other is good?

        • beautifulmess7 February 9, 2016 at 6:49 am #

          It’s not ignoring, it’s allowing each of you to have your own identities. That is very healthy

      • Jack February 8, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

        And space is what I’m giving she feels like she doesn’t have to tell me what she does says I was always making the decisions and now she is going to such as going to her girlfriends house and staying overnight without telling me granted those were the things that got me in this mess when I used to stay out late at night at my shop and get drunk….payback I guess

        • Jack February 8, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

          Married 23 years and wanna stay that way I hope

          • beautifulmess7 February 9, 2016 at 6:50 am #

            The 180 is also about learning what you can control and what you can’t. You cannot control whether your wife wants to stay married. All you can control is yourself and your behavior.

        • beautifulmess7 February 9, 2016 at 6:48 am #

          It sounds more like she’s asserting her independence. If you try to stifle that it will come across as controlling and push her farther away

          • Jack February 9, 2016 at 7:40 am #

            Thanks for your reply so when she goes out she will only tell my daughter she is going out with her girlfriend and won’t tell me .so I get that she doesn’t want to tell me anything so I just keep my mouth shut and I do not say anything.i understand it’s a healthy marriage to be able to have friends and go out time to time I do not disagree .but I see however givin what I am facing I have to deal with it and bite my tongue in hopes that this could all work is just an uncomfortable feeling waking up each day in two parts of the house and we have no contact other than to pass each other up like strangers.i love her and want to see everyone happy …

            • Jack February 9, 2016 at 7:42 am #

              and it sucks just waiting for these papers to show up any day now….pray for us!🙏

            • beautifulmess7 February 9, 2016 at 8:33 am #

              The only way to allow her to decide what she wants is to give her space and make yourself a better person.

              • Jack February 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

                That is what I’m doing I just hope not to push her to far away I fessed up to all my faults which were drinking spending endless hours at my shop and passing out there drunk I never had another women involved .and now once a week as much as she hates my drinking she goes out with her friends and drinks also and then tells my daughter she stayed at her married friends house and is just so distant I want so bad to talk to her again but I just keep staying back and really only go up to her for like a minute to leave her money for a bill then I go back downstairs not to mention how hard it is to be closing down a business and heading for a new job without having her stand behind me be she doesn’t want to hear anything about my business she hates it and blames it for everything she offered me to go for help last year and I declined it and laughed I wish I hadn’t done that if I knew how serious she was and knew what we stood to lose I would have done it she is just acting like we are not married now and sent the d papers in I just don’t want to leave any stones unturned it’s like she says to me I deserve all of this… And tells me to move on so for the last 4days I have not discussed anything as hard as that is I don’t want her to think I don’t care

                • beautifulmess7 February 9, 2016 at 9:08 am #

                  The problem is that she was in the same desperate to fix things state that you are in now and you shut it down. Not only that, but laughed at her. She may very well be past the point of being able to make herself care. That’s what happens when you only change because you’re afraid instead of because you love and respect her. You need to be a better person all by yourself. Go to counseling alone. Work on the issues that made you shut down and shut her out. Go to AA. Do all of that because you want to be better, not because you want to manipulate her or change her decision. Maybe she’ll see a genuine change and it will matter. Maybe all of it will be far too late and your marriage will be over. Either way, you’ll end up a happier, better person who is more capable.

  86. Brubeck February 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this list. This feels like the right thing to do. I’ve been breaking most of these rules and it’s gotten me nowhere.

    My wife and I have been together for 19 years, married for 13. Things got bumpy when we started having kids 7 years ago. No time for each other and just exhausted from raising 3 children. Last two years, my wife was getting increasingly angry and I could tell she was overwhelmed with the kids and unfulfilled with being a stay-at-home-mom. I tell her to get out of the house and find something to do that doesn’t involve me & the children. I don’t nag, because I want her to find the urge herself. She never does anything.

    Last month, her closest aunt dies. She sees this with her own eyes in the hospital. It sends her into a midlife crisis at 38. Says she was confronted with her own mortality, she does not want to “wait for life to happen anymore” and die a stay-at-home mom. She wants to learn to drive and go back to work, but instead she just gets into a facebook group chat with friends from grade school. She spends ALL DAY in this chatroom – mostly with two grade school friends – another stay-at-home mom and a divorced father. She starts having an emotional affair with the guy (from 4th grade!). I’m snooping on her chats because I want to protect my marriage, I notice they’re doing some sexting. They hook up for one night but I find out later over her facebook chat that it was platonic, she just had dinner with him & his kids. Soon enough she changes her password. If the relationship isn’t physical by now, it will be tomorrow night, she says she’s going out with “Margaret” again.

    She starts arguments with me about how unhappy she was for years in our marriage because of my moodiness. I’m definitely stubborn and I don’t hide it when I’m crabby, but I don’t point fingers, scream, name-call or swear at anyone. She says she wasted years trying to achieve happiness by making me happy and defining herself too much as a wife, even though I made few demands of her. She was unhappy for years about her weight gain even though no matter how much baby weight she couldn’t lose I was still very affectionate and very sexual with her. She says she wants to create a social life that doesn’t involve me (like I said, she didn’t get out much). She’s loaded up on tons of new make-up. She starts combing her hair again. I see a few pairs of fancy underwear that I’ve never seen before.

    She says she thinks about separating not because it’s what she wants but because she wants to find out what her identity is and sometimes she thinks “the pain of loneliness” is the only thing that’s going to motivate her. She repeatedly berates me for having to have “dragged” me through every stage of the relationship. It’s true that our first apartment, getting engaged, planning the wedding and buying a house were all her idea – but I went through with it and I’ve stuck to all of it without a grudge. Over the next couple of weeks she gets to making exaggerated claims about every part of my involvement in our relationship. Straight up lies. She starts lying to her friends on Facebook about stuff I never did (reading #30 was a Godsend). She tells them she wants out but doesn’t know how to do it.

    I acknowledge to her she’s in a dark place and needs time & space to sort herself out. I am still freaked out by the detachment, the endless positive/negative mixed signals. The irritated stares and empty statements. I keep foolishly seeking confirmation that everything’s going to be fine even though she’s has no clue what to do with herself. She says she wants to “get out there and see what’s out there” and maybe I should do the same thing, and if we meet other people we want to sleep with, then so be it. I tell her I’m not interested and she repeats her “You do you and I do me” mantra.

    She mentions separation again this week, but I think she either feels guilty about preparing to cheat on me or what the next step is to take in her own life. I pay all the bills, she hasn’t worked in 7 years. I don’t know how she plans to pull this off. Nonetheless, I get scared. I start crying, begging, pleading with her not to break up our family. We’ll work this out one day, I won’t stand in the way of your independence, go out with your friends, etc. She continues to go on about how most days I was the worst husband and always mad at her and framing our marriage in a light that seems totally ALIEN to me.

    I am freaking out. FREAKING OUT. I have insomnia and no appetite. I can’t enjoy any of the things I used to. Playing with my kids is the only refuge I have. It’s only been one month that I’ve been in this situation. I’m pretty sure my wife is going to cheat on me, and there’s nothing I can do about it, because I can see what a wreck she’s in. I just hope the 180 will help to turn her around, because I AM a good husband and a good father and the divorced father of two she’s about to buck isn’t going to take on 3 more kids. This is the scariest thing I’ve ever dealt with. I am terrified of losing my family.

  87. Confused March 1, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    Would this apply to my situation where I told my husband to leave because he had already left the relationship emotionally and didn’t know if he wanted to be married? He never cheated but has been lying about going out with work people. We have two young kids and have been together 20 years, highschool sweethearts. He left and doesn’t want to come home now, says he’s happier having independence but still doesn’t know what he wants. We’ve been separated for 5 weeks now. Says he hasn’t been happy for the past few years but never communicated this to me. Says he wants me to see other people but he doesn’t want to. I’m starting to lose hope.

    • Brubeck March 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

      Don’t give up! It’s tough and it’s going to feel tough and it’s going to feel like forever.

      It’s only been a little over a month for me and it’s definitely the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. My wife has turned my whole world upside down. Every day something happens to make it doubt it all.

      Follow the 180 rules, I’ve tried them and I am seeing some success. Google “walk away spouse” and read all you can. Google “Sandi2’s 37 Rules” which is an extended variation on the 180.

      Read self-help books or inspirational stuff to keep you going (I love Elliott Hulse). Work on yourself.

      Don’t give up no matter how dark it seems. Your spouse is lost and afraid and don’t know the way out of their own wilderness. A lot of times they will flare up at you just to see if you respond so they know you’re there.

      Forgive me for being corny, but I’ve been repeating this to myself a lot lately…
      “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”

      • Anonymous March 3, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

        Thank you for responding. I just found out by doing detective work that my husband has in fact been cheating emotionally and most likely physically. He’s been lying the whole time. I’m going to confront him and tell him I’m filing for legal separation/divorce. It has been so hard. At least now I know the truth. Hang in there.

  88. Shopgirl June 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    How do I apply the rules during family time? My husband is currently still living at home. I’m trying to work things out with the least amount of damage to our child.

  89. Gutted June 26, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m a LBS and wife is WAS.

    I’ve been for the past 5 weeks giving her such a hard time, being paranoid and angry and scrutinising everything she did. It got to the stage where she would make lies up as she was scared to how I’d react.

    Finally she has said that she wants a divorce and there is no going back from this. She had given me several chances already.

    I’ve started doing the 180 now and I’m finding it very difficult.

    She had been pushing the sale of the house several times on the first day of the 180. As though she was doing it to antagonise me.

    I’m changing how I am with her and not analysing or scrutinising everything she says and does.

    I need to do this for me to cope with the break up.
    I hope I can get through this, I still hope of reconciliation, but she’s said there’s no going back

    • Brubeck June 27, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

      Hey Gutted –

      Your spouse is an emotional tailspin right now. She may leave, she may not.

      What is guaranteed right now is that whether or not she leaves – she will do and say anything to take you down along the road she is on. She is hurt & angry.

      You are being tested. She will antagonize you when she can. DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU HEAR and DO NOT BELIEVE HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE.

      You cannot control her. You can only control yourself. Take time for yourself to do some activities that relax you. Thinking about your problem day & night will only make you worse (been there, done that).

      It may take time to shake off the hysteria you’re feeling. That’s OK. Keep at it. Doing 180s are hard. It’s been 6 months for me and I still slip up sometimes.

      Do NOT participate in any activities that make separating easier for her. Let her do the hard stuff. When she asks why you won’t help, calmly tell her “I don’t want this, you do. You’ll have to do this.” If the house is in your name only, she’s powerless anyway.

      Your future is not in her hands, that’s what she wants you to think. You’ll be fine.

  90. Eddie July 3, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    I wish I had found this article over a year ago when I caught my wife with a “friend” of ours. I subconsciously did half of this list the right way and the other half not so much. She moved out a year ago, neither of us filing any type of separation/divorce papers, and we still keep in touch, mainly because she left our children also, but I also reach out time to time because I know who she was and what values she had and want that family togetherness again. Anyway it was nice to read.

  91. Discouraged August 9, 2016 at 4:23 am #

    Hello Everyone, oh about 3 weeks ago we were at a birthday party. We were having a few drinks after all the kids were gone. One of our daughters coaches for her softball team was there and every time he’d say something nice about our daughter, my wife would quickly follow up with “well I can do this…. or that”. Anyway I just got the vibe that she’s actually flirting with this guy. It goes on for a bit. Next thing she’s texting him a lot. Tells me he just really needs a friend right now, and she hopes I don’t mind, that she’d never do anything to jeopardize what we have. Me and the girls now have spotted her deleting texts from him. I know of twice she’s driven to meet him. I had looked through her texts (I know, I know), but everything had been deleted from him. Last Tuesday I sat her down and told her I thought something was wrong between us.(I never mentioned him) I said I felt felt we were distant, no i love yous from her less I said it first, hand holding from her was down….. just everything I could think of without accusing her. She cried and said she couldn’t look at me. I comforted her to sleep. (wasn’t that the wrong response from her?) I started the 180 a few days ago. Friday night I’m at work and she said she’s at Walmart at 10:30. 3 hours later the daughter texts me “where’s mom?” Daughter drives up there finds the two of them sitting in his truck at Walmart drinking. Today is Monday, The weekend was great. Except Friday night kept weighing on my mind. I got up and checked her phone while she was sleeping. Again nothing compelling there. And then she wakes up and catches me going through her phone. Big blow up! Now I’m back to square one. UHGGG!! Of course this is all the very shortend version of things. But other than circumstantial evidence and my gutt screaming at me that something is wrong. I am only 90% sure something is up. I am really tore up right now and feeling discouraged. Help please.

    • beautifulmess7 August 9, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Whether they are having a physical affair or not, they are definitely having an emotional affair. It is negatively affecting your marriage and family. Tell her that and be firm about your need for her to end any contact with him. If she refuses, start the 180 and get a divorce lawyer

      • Discouraged August 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

        She’s not really having ANY conversation with me right now. Acting really pissed because of me going through her phone. Insisted that night they are just friends. All I’m getting is just “bye” and she did say “love you” when she just left for the store. And a smart ass answer when I mentioned the store. Of course, I’ve not been trying to start any conversation either. So, should i just corner her and let it all out?

        • beautifulmess7 August 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

          Read “Not just friends” by Shirley Glass and have her read it, too

        • Anonymous August 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

          Don’t corner her and “let it all out”. Call her out on it and tell her you know exactly what’s going on and it needs to stop immediately. At this point, she’s in what I call the “twilight zone”. She’s infatuated with this idiot because she “thinks” the grass is greener on the other side. If you act needy, clingy, desperate, and crazy, it’ll only give her a sense of empowered feelings. Be strong, secure and confident! I experienced the same thing with my soon to be ex wife. At this point, they just don’t care. They don’t see that they’re killing you softly because it’s all about themselves at this point. Like I said, hang on tight because it’s gonna get rough. But whatever you do, DO NOT ACT DESPERATE by pleading. BE STRONG AND CONFIDENT. If you need to break down and fall apart, do it on your own and privately. STAY BUSY!!!!

  92. Simon August 9, 2016 at 7:00 am #

    Brother, the writing is on the wall!!!! Stop acting like the victim and man up on your marriage. Stand your ground and call her out on it and DON’T try to be “diplomatic” about it either. Tell her what she’s doing is unethical and shameful. Give her an ultimatum. Seriously, you’re not in a good place here and it’s gonna get ugly before it gets better. Do the the 180! Don’t be a jerk but don’t be a doormat either. Get busy, exercise! Revamp your look. Look happy and don’t look for validation from her. don’t mope around like a puppy. Be an alpha! Hang on very tight because it’s gonna be rough ride. The mistake I made was I lost my dignity and became desperate for her. Spent lots of nights falling apart. One day, I just had enough and decided to take charge! I exercised, went back to school and stayed super busy. You will drown in your sorrow if you just sit around waiting on her. She has no shame and obviously doesn’t care about you right now. My wife ended up having an emotional affair with an old high school friend and decided it was worth loosing 15 years of marriage. We have four children under thirteen. I was very difficult for me but I got through it by staying busy. In the end, you’re doing this for you because you will be better for it. I can tell you with all sincerity, I’m in a better place than she is. She dragged me through the mud so bad and left me for dead as she dated this other guy. Oh yeah, that relationship lasted all but 3 minutes. Now, at 43, I look freaking amazing! Lost 40lbs, look 10 years younger and my confidence is through the rough. Unfortunately, my ex is too proud and ignorant to admit her mistake. Nonetheless, I realized that I was just too much good for her to handle. Good luck!

  93. 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?

  94. 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?

  95. 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

    • 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

    • 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!

  96. 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

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

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

    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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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!


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