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.


368 Responses to “The 180”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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”?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Great read.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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!

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

    Awesome post about beauty

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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. 🙂

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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!)

  43. 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.

  44. 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?


  1. Husband talking to ex. - Page 4 - October 15, 2014

    […] Well put. ^^^^^ Here is a link about the 180. The 180 | Being a Beautiful Mess […]

  2. To all of you who have been successfully married... Please help me! - Page 2 - February 25, 2014

    […] Re: To all of you who have been successfully married… Please help me! I am very sorry that you are living in such a hellacious situation. This is the impression I get from reading your post that you are afraid to move out because you cannot afford to live alone and support your children. How old are your children? From what I have seen it is often better to stay so you will be able to care for the children, but you could get a job now and not let your husband have the money from your job. You could open a separate account and save money like crazy while using his money to pay the bills like you currently are. You do not have to continue to answer to him, but you can learn how to respond to him in a way that doesn’t feed into his issues. It would be good to learn some coping skills and how to set boundaries so you are not defending yourself against his lies. Remember they are lies and he knows it, so there is no use in arguing about it. Try not to get sucked into arguments with him. Do you know what the 180 is? Have you tried it? Here's a link to the list: The 180 | Being a Beautiful Mess […]

  3. Seperated from my wife, need advice - January 9, 2014

    […] things for her. In fact, don't talk to her if you can help it other than about the kids. Study the 180 and put it into practice. Work on your issues and become happy with yourself. If she doesn't want […]

  4. Wife Says No Longer In Love With Me - Page 3 - January 9, 2014

    […] own place and start paying her own way – you are not her doormat/personal ATM anymore. Read about the 180. That would be the only thing that will make her change her mind… and I'm betting she will […]

  5. Long Story - He asked for a divorce - reasons don't make sense. - December 25, 2013

    […] into this situation to begin with and correct them. Work on YOU and put him behind you. Read about The 180 and put it into effect. You will see references to it throughout these forums. If you follow that […]

  6. Farting on the Massage Table « Being a Beautiful Mess - July 3, 2012

    […] The 180 […]

Tell me what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: