So many on here are at a loss at what to do with a WS who is fence sitting, cake-eating, ignoring boundaries, still seeing and/or contacting the other person, etc...
Many BS's are urged to go No Contact with their WS after ALL ELSE has failed.
This 180 list may help. --------------------------
For those that are interested in Michelle Weiner Davis's divorce busting 180 degree list, here it is:
1. Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore. 2. No frequent phone calls. 3. Do not point out good points in marriage. 4. Do not follow him/her around the house. 5. Do not encourage talk about the future. 6. Do not ask for help from family members. 7. Do not ask for reassurances. 8. Do not buy gifts. 9. Do not schedule dates together. 10. Do not spy on spouse. 11. Do not say "I Love You". 12. Act as if you are moving on with your life. 13. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive. 14. Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go to church, go out with friends, etc. 15. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words. 16. If you are in the habit of asking your spouse her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING. 17. You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse. 18. Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what she will be missing 19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show him/her someone he/she would want to be around. 20. All questions about marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while). 21. Never lose your cool. 22. Don't be overly enthusiastic. 23. Do not argue about how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger). 24. Be patient 25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you. 26. Learn to back off, shut up and possibly walk away. 27. Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil). 28. Be strong and confident. 29. Know that if you can do 180, your smallest CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write. 30. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are desperate and needy. 31. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse. 32. Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because they are hurting and scared. 33. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel. 34. Do not backslide from your hardearned changes.
2 things to think about if you do this:
1) You have to do the 180 list NOT to be manipulative but because it's the right thing to do for you. You have to heal from this experience. You have to back off for your own sanity now. You have to have a plan and know that you will be a better person with or without them after all is said and done -- that you will live and learn and move on no matter what. So you have to be geniune when you follow these ideas, rather than faking it and being insincere because your only goal is to get them back. That's not what you want to do. Having a certain person as our spouse is not a need, it's a want. When I wrote down a list of all the definite needs in my life, I realized that almost everything beyond food, clothing and shelter is a want. 10 seconds after I looked at the list, I stopped making decisions based on emotion. That's when I realized that my wanting to have her was causing me to beg and plead for her to come back. That was driving her away more so I stopped doing it immediately. In doing my own version of the 180 list I could tell nearly an immediate change in her behavior.
2) Realize that when your spouse sees your new attitude they are very likely to be a little jealous or at least have some curiosity about what's going on in your life to cause this change. However, they very well may react the same way towards you for some time (especially if they read books or go to message boards also). REALIZE that this tactic can also work simultaneously on you if the spouse begins to likewise. Be aware of it and plan to have your own feelings of jealousy and curiosity in advance. However, like with #1 above, if you're doing the 180 list to better yourself and everyone involved, then it will matter less what they are doing.
thank you for posting this!!! It is EXACTLY what I need to do right now....not for any other reason than for myself. I have thought about it and I have realized, i have to picture myself sometime in the future, healed, whole, healthy, happy, better than I have ever been before and bring that picture into reality NOW without any expectation, hope or wish for anything AT ALL from H...
I encountered a pattern in the last few days. I withdraw, I don't even say goodnight or check in on him or ask him how he is.
When I do this, it's not long before he asks what's wrong. He acts like he wants to 'be there' for me and I fall into the trap because as soon as I do tell him how things are for me (in response to his questions) he gets upset with me and tries to persuade me that this is all for the best (his best, as far as I can tell). So I think he is really only asking so that he feels better about himself, but it's not going to help at all because he can't face the deeper problems.
I am not going to hold on to someone who genuinely wants to be free, or who just doesn't love me as a potential partner anymore. That might very well be the case for us. BUT, for my sanity, right now, I have to know the difference between a healthy truth and the delusional parts, and it's kind of impossible because he is pursuing another option in OW, before we are divorced, and began it while I still thought we were in a completely committed marriage.
It's the idea that we are not 'done' that concerns me. If we had come to the conclusion to part having put everything we could into addressing our issues, and without any other person in the picture (offering romance etc) I would feel it was a healthy truth.
It's difficult. I'm trying to reach my own, complete acceptance of the situation. H says he has his - but I won't really know that until he has completely 'lost' me.