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The 180

April 15 2011 at 8:48 AM
Ami  (Login Amistandingstill)
Healing Moderator

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
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.

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(Login eternalnectar)

Re: The 180

April 15 2011, 1:16 PM 

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.

(Login dancin-gal)
Healing Moderator

Re: The 180

June 8 2012, 11:57 AM 


"Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time."

(Login dancin-gal)
Healing Moderator

Re: The 180

October 17 2012, 10:12 PM 

Bump up for Michelle..

"Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time."

(Login dancin-gal)
Healing Moderator

Re: The 180

November 25 2012, 9:32 AM 

Bump up

"Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time."

(Login Amistandingstill)
Healing Moderator

Re: The 180

April 23 2013, 8:57 AM 


(Login Amistandingstill)
Healing Moderator

Re: The 180

May 17 2013, 10:58 AM 



(Login mamifelger30)


October 22 2013, 11:18 PM 

What and how should I act if there is children involved and he asks me about them? H ow would these apply

(Login trlandrew)

Re: The 180

October 22 2013, 11:38 PM 

That is a really good question.

I think the point of the 180 is to allow your spouse to see that you are not dependent on them or their attention. That being said, I imagine if they ask about the kids because they do not have visitation etc, then you would tell them they are fine or doing well. Keep it short but let them know the kids are good.
I would not say things like they miss their daddy or otherwise.
If they can see the kids, then unless they have some specific concern you both need to discuss as their parents, then they should already know how the kids are, in which case maybe they are asking because they are trying to drag you into a conversation.

If they ask at a time when the kids are available to talk and they are allowed to talk to the kid. Then I would ask them if they want to talk to the kid or say how about I put them on the phone and you can ask them. That way they can talk to their child.

All of these ways you are still maintaining your distance but not being cold or withholding the kids from them.


(Login mamifelger30)

so broken

October 25 2013, 6:38 AM 

Thanks for advice. My husband makes me feel so worthless. He messed up so bad he makes me feel as if I never meant much n not worth changing his ways. I want to get away from him as far possible. Our son is year old n he always calls to talk to him. He always asks for him. Do you think that's just a way for him to try to talk to me?

(Login trlandrew)

Re: The 180

October 25 2013, 11:10 AM 

I really cannot answer that, since I do not know your husband. Not making any assumptions. I am sure your husband does love his son and it is good that he is showing an interest in him. Remember parents may fall out of love with each other, but they always love their kids. I would not keep him from his son or deny him information about him, as I said before. Just keep your personal feelings out of the discussion of your son, stop the conversation if it turns from questions about your son to ones about your feelings about the break-up or the distance between you.
If he wants to see his son, then let him meet you at a park where he can play with his son and you sit aside and read a book or something.

Or if you trust him, let him take his son for a few hours, give yourself a break. You dont have to cut off contact or deny him his child or parental responsibilities, just keep it from becoming a personal conversation about your relationship and if he starts making it that, then politely withdraw from the conversation or steer it back to your son.

(Login AdoptedJedi)


July 17 2014, 11:33 AM 

I wish I had found this 6 weeks ago when my wife and I separated. It has been a very painful time for me. I am completely alone. I have done the opposite of just about everything on this list. My goal was to just leave her alone and let her think on things. We both have contributed to the destruction of our marriage, but I am hoping we can fix things. With time, counseling we can fix this. There are so many things I can't and don't understand and she has refused to tell me or talk to me. Maybe in time, that will change. I know that the best thing for me right now is to completely act like she doesn't exist. I have two jobs and hopefully a new one on the way. I've lost weight. My anger is under control. I am on medication, therapy, Anger Management classes. Regardless of what happens, I am a better person. I just don't give up on people as easily as some do in this day and age. When I put that ring on her finger and said I do. Those vows were sacred to me. I ordered a book today as per a suggestion from another forum. It seems like a good read. Wish me luck everyone.

I also welcome all advice and support.

(Login SloanVB)

Re: The 180

October 17 2014, 10:59 AM 

Bumping this for Amanda. Good luck! Hugs, Sloan

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