The Last Resort Technique

The Last Resort Technique from the book, The Divorce Remedy by Michelle Weiner-Davis, adapted by Philipa Thornton.

Last Resort and Hope for your partnership.
Last Resort and Hope for your partnership.

When your partner has dropped the proverbial bombshell, “I want a divorce,” you need to move past the devastation into action after the shell shock is over. The Last Resort Technique has been developed by Michelle Weiner- Davis to save your marriage, your sanity, or both.

If you are at the place where you have got nothing to lose, then give it a go. If your friend is sharing their sadness and hopelessness with you and needs help with their marriage, please pass this relationship advice on.

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Caring is sharing! Please pass on to folks who need this important information

 

The Last Resort Technique

OK, so you have tried everything, exhausted all your options, and feel hopeless and even helpless. Now it is time to use the Last Resort Technique to save your marriage. This relationship boot camp comes with a warning – this is a LAST RESORT.

This needs to start immediately if:

  • Your spouse has said in no uncertain terms that they want a divorce and it feels like they mean it. (This can’t be empty words, spoken in anger during a fight.)
  • You and your spouse are living apart.
  • You and your spouse are in the same house but are like ships passing in the night with very little interaction. You may be in separate rooms, hardly speaking with little or no sexual contact.
  • You have the divorce papers in front of you.

Broken Heart mend it with counselling

Your marriage is at a crisis point. While divorce rates are high, there are relationships that can still survive this vulnerable time and you don’t have to be another statistic. Those rates don’t tell the story of all the many people who beat the odds.

Hold onto the hope I give you here, please!

Hold onto the Hope and take real action!
Hold onto the Hope and take real action!

While no technique is guaranteed to work, there is always some benefit to taking positive action. It’s definitely worth a crack!

I have worked with many clients who were on the brink or in the trauma of an affair. Usually, only one partner is in favour of a divorce and the other spouse who made the call to me is the one who desperately wants to stay together.

If you happen to be the spouse who is keen on holding onto your marriage, it is highly probable that you are not in your usual state of mind and are acting in desperate ways. This very behaviour that you keep doing pushes your partner further away (you are aware of it, but can’t seem to help it!). You have chased, cajoled, reasoned, begged, pleaded, railed, guilt-tripped, and implored your partner to no avail.

No begging, pleading or cajoling.
No begging, pleading or cajoling.

All the phone calls, text messages, letters, emails, and heart and gut wrenching pleas have failed. You sense that your spouse is out the door and a part of you recognises the attempts are felt by him or her as pressure. They will dig their heels in insisting that the marriage is over, and this may prompt another wave of fear and you to chase even more.

It is the effects of this pursuing and chasing that are DEADLY to a marriage.

Blind Freddy can see this is not working. In fact, if you keep pushing your husband or wife, you will be driving them right out the door. As I said, there is a part of you that knows this. But this fearful, scared, vulnerable part of you is making the wrong decisions and making you appear completely desperate and unwelcoming.

Of course, you need to honor the fragile part of you that is in pain and wants to cling on. It is human nature – we all want to hold onto something that is important and dear to us. However, the flip side to our humanity and animal instinct is, the party being chased or even hunted down will feel the need to escape when you coerce or pressure in response to feeling trapped.

If you are truly serious about saving your marriage, you have to stop pursuing. Completely!

When you chase your partner, your partner will feel hunted and you become a point of danger on a primal level. What also happens is, the troubles in your failing marriage and eroding family get lost, as you become the vector for anger and hurt.

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Cheetah chasing down a gazelle for her dinner. Has this been you?

You see it – your spouse gets frustrated and angry, and the best way for them to deal with this annoyance is to get rid of it. This means their focus shifts to how they can get away from YOU! It is surprising but it is the reality, this will really connect with the part of you that can hear reason.

Indeed, your very persistence is robbing your spouse of valuable time to think about what else is really going on your life. People start to do an amazing reframe here and I often hear spouses wondering aloud with things like, “I am not sure I ever really loved him or her.” This is basically due to the suffocation the spouse feels. It becomes a survival issue and you are the danger they need to escape from.

When we are in survival mode, we will go into flight or fight mode. Usually, partners go into anger and aggressiveness (or worse, pity) towards their spouse as a distancing move and part of separating from the distressing situation. When this happens, the angry part blocks any other feelings, like sadness, grief, guilt, and remorse that might cause some reflection and actually help your cause.

With your mate staring angrily at you, what opportunity do they get to look in the mirror, reflect, and take some responsibility for your marital breakdown?

Option A – Keep doing what you are doing and get the same results.
Option B – Quit supplying you wife or husband with a reason to leave.

Oh if it were only that easy. I am asking you to stop doing the very thing that keeps the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness temporarily at bay. But you have to stop this harmful pattern today. I repeat – stop it now, right this very minute.

I am going to give you a specific guide how to stop the landslide of desolation in your marriage today.

Here is your action plan based on The Last Resort Technique:

1. STOP Chasing!

Immediately cease anything that your spouse might look at as pursuing behavior.

This means stopping anything that would be perceived by your spouse as your way of chasing him or her, such as:

  • Frequent phone calls, texts, or emails
  • Begging your spouse to reconsider
  • Describing all the good in your marriage
  • Writing letters
  • Following your mate around the house (or anywhere – this is stalking!)
  • Encouraging talk about the future
  • Asking for reassurances
  • Buying gifts or flowers
  • Planning holidays or trips away together
  • Trying to schedule dates together
  • Spying on your spouse, keeping tabs on their calls, movements, and work arrangements
  • Talking to friends and family about what to do

Stop saying “I love you.” This is essential.

It seems counter intuitive – “How will they know?” I get it, but even though this will be hard, know that every time you say “I love you,” your spouse is reminded that they don’t love you and will be looking the other way!

Scary huh? That is why it is imperative to silence the “I Love You’s”. You already feel how disheartening it is to hear their resigned response of “I know” or worse, still silence. Or the ouch that goes with “I love you, but I am not in love with you.” It hurts, doesn’t it? So, stop the chase.

2. Get a life.

What happens in a crisis like separation is, we become desperate, clingy, and depressed. You are in tears often, mope around sadly, lose interest in things you used to enjoy, and basically become lifeless as the fearful or rejected part of you shuts you down as a means to cope. Of course, it is normal to feel all those feelings and shut down or want to ease the hurt.

The loss of a loved one and witnessing the falling apart of your family are the most painful times you can ever experience. The separation anxiety and desperation are an ugly place to be in for both of you and for others to see. You will feel and look unattractive – not one of us will be at our best here.

Now, if your relationship has had the trauma of a full blown sexual affair or emotional infidelity, you are competing with not only the fantasy of an ideal life without problems but a person that is in the opposite space of distressed.

Hard to hear, but reality hurts and I say this to the part of you who knows how to pick yourself up after a fall and dust yourself off. Awareness helps and heals. 

Here you need to act as if you are moving forward in your life and getting on with it. Otherwise, you better quit now.

Of course, it may seem like I am suggesting an impossibility – get happy, be strong, get back into life, and develop your confidence. You are asking yourself, “How can I do this when I feel like crap, I can hardly function, it’s a miracle getting out of bed each day, and things are horrible at home?” Good question. Obviously, these are normal feelings and you are reacting as any normal person would in such devastating circumstances.

I want to ask you – Is that the core of you? The real you? Or the hurt, scared or angry part getting all the air time?

Because I believe that in the heart of you, your true essence, there is a trooper. That’s right! A part of you at the core can survive this – a part much stronger, mature, more confident, and wiser in dealing with tough situations.

Can I get you to take a moment to get in touch with that part of you right now?

Ask yourself (and you can even write this list down to remind yourself as you come home to yourself), “What was it about ME that my partner was attracted to in the first place?” Allow yourself to remember and really connect to those wonderful parts of yourself.

This is the person your partner fell in love with.

Each of those parts (for reference, please look up Official Resource Therapy Institute for a full description) on your list are valued by your partner but have been sidelined by the hurt and angry parts, whose job is to defend you from attack and the absolute hell you are going through now. Please allow those parts some more air time and a chat with the part of you that is angry, scared, and hurt to negotiate a better way forward.

You are in danger when acting in the victim role of getting typecast and truly become the martyr. Reclaim your life today by reconnecting with your whole self.

Starting Today:

  • Immediately start doing things that are out of character to the way you have been acting lately. Move beyond helplessness into action and power.
  • Allow your mood to be more upbeat in your spouse’s presence.
  • Appear pleased with yourself and your own life.
  • On phone conversations, sound content, even bubbly. Don’t sit around waiting for your spouse to call. Get out and do things. Start a new hobby – rock-climbing, needlepoint, ice-skating, and movie critic. Get busy.
  • Start to be unpredictable. Let calls go to voicemail. If you’ve always tried to engage your partner in conversation when they call, visit, or go home, be scarce and short on words.
  • Take up opportunities offered by your partner for family time, gracefully, with no expectation of any further.
  • If you were in the habit of being detective and grilling your spouse about their whereabouts, ask nothing. Simply wish your partner a good time.

In short, you need to make your partner think 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.

This doesn’t mean you are nasty, angry, or even cold. It is simply a case of pulling back and waiting to see if your spouse notices and, more importantly, realises what they will be missing.
Be warm and friendly.

Remember this point: Backing off increases your chances of your spouse becoming more interested in you, if you back off and start doing your own thing.

Another important reason for “getting a life” is, you have stopped having fun and doing things that give you pleasure. At times, we all need to be reminded to find out what makes us feel good in a healthy, respectful way. Find your joy!

Taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your relationships. Focus on becoming a better person.

Go back to old interests, church, synagogue, or the library. Join a new class at the community college. Play an instrument or get lessons. Contact some old friends, pick up the phone, and connect. Visit a family member. Rise at dawn, go for a walk, and watch the sunset. Read poetry, listen to music, play golf, go fishing, camping, running, or star gazing. Join a meet up group, go walking, cycling, get a massage, a haircut, find a personal trainer, and get therapy.

Do things that will help you get back in touch with yourself, not just because your spouse might like you more if you do (in fact people have a weird sixth sense when things are not genuine) but because it is important to honour, value, and love yourself in a caring healthy and nurturing manner.

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Love yourself well. Rediscover your passions.

 

You DESERVE it. I know you are worth it.

 

3. Wait and Watch

According to Michelle Weiner-Davis, one of three things will happen when you use her Last Resort Technique:

First, Nothing.

Unfortunately, there are times when the universe just says no and, no matter what you do, your spouse has shut the door on your marriage. It needs to be said that there is no magic bullet. Sometimes, life is just really unfair and we don’t get the things we most want.

Despite not having been able to save your marriage, there will be a secondary gain from applying the Last Resort in your life – you will have recovered yourself and your emotional well-being. At the very least, you will have gotten back your DIGNITY. Step 2 gives you a plan of action and the part that feels lost and out of control will benefit.

Your self-worth will be in a much better place, allowing you to feel more prepared to take on whatever comes your way. A good point to take on even though it is not easy to hear.

Michelle also notes two other responses you might see in your spouse:

The second possible response from your mate is, they become curious.

They might start showing more interest in you, your whereabouts, and what you are doing in your life. Your husband or wife may even suggest that you spend more time together to talk or do something enjoyable. They may also start asking you a lot of questions about these sudden changes.

Listen up: Here’s Michelle’s advice if any of these begin to happen:

  • Be loving in return, but not overly excited or enthusiastic.
  • Accept some invitations to spend time together, but not all.
  • Accept all Family time invites. Your spouse seeing you having fun with your kids together reminds them of the value of family.
  • Do not ask any questions about your future together.
  • Be vague when asked questions about the changes in you. Say that you are just thinking things through. Live the shift.
  • Continue to be upbeat.
  • Do not say, “I love you.”
  • Resist getting in the conversation about your relationship.
  • Get a head start and beat your spouse to the punch when it comes time to leave or separate from each other at the end of an activity. You set the tone for going your separate ways.
  • As a rule of thumb, be responsive to your partner’s interest but not too responsive. Going overboard will lead your partner to get cold feet. Be warned.

So, stay interested, but cool, until you are absolutely convinced that your partner’s renewed interest in saving your marriage has taken hold.

If you are excited about this technique and it is working for you, share it with a friend or write it down, add your comments to the blog, but don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Tell us here, we would love to hear from you.

Once you feel absolutely sure this is so, you can test the waters by becoming more obvious about your desire to stay together. Patience wins out.

Try discussing your future and see what happens.

If your partner is receptive, move forward slowly and begin to tackle the issues that drove you apart in the first place.

If on the flip side you are met with any resistance or reluctance, do a reverse and backpedal quick smart.

Go back to your interested but distant stance until things move forward in a more positive direction. This may take a whole lot longer than you would like – weeks or many months.

You must be patient. Wait until your spouse appears to be a little interested rather than pulling away – you will know when it’s real. While it is tough for the marriage (and you!) to be in this holding pattern, it’s ok. Trying to save your marriage is the most important thing that is happening in your life right now.

Be compassionate and hold onto yourself, even when the scared part of you wants you to act out or the excited part wants to whoop for joy.

The third possibility is probably the least likely, but these outcomes do on occasion happen: The overnight change of heart by your spouse. 

They might lose all thoughts of divorce and jump right back into the relationship as if nothing has happened. While rare, this DOES happen.

Michelle gives some great advice:

  • Don’t move too quickly. I liken it to the Latin adage, festina lente, which means “to make haste slowly”.
  • It is vital for you to pace yourself. If you act as if nothing happened between the two of you, then it is only a matter of time before your spouse will have second thoughts about his or her decision.
  • You didn’t get into the place of relationship breakdown overnight. Much as you would like to forget that it ever happened, you won’t get back on track overnight.
  • If you’re separated, don’t jump right back into being together.
  • Once you have your partner’s attention and you sense a real commitment to working things out, you will need to take further steps toward making your marriage a healthier and happier place.

I would suggest The Divorce Remedy by Michelle Weiner-Davis, where the Last Resort Technique has been adapted for this article. Truly great advice from couples expert Michelle of www.divorcebusting.com.

Therapy helps you to heal both the wounds of the separation and the causes of what has lead up to it.

Find a marriage-friendly health professional to help coach you into the next level of intimacy. Couples Therapy can really fast track healing and growth opportunities.

A word of caution about sex: Have it! We are only talking about sexual encounters that are  initiated by your spouse. Enjoy the moment. With a sexual connection, our bonding hormones are released – oxytocin. Use it.

*Warning! Please do not read anything more into your intimate moment than a happy event. Do not go overboard or start laying down expectations about your partner. Keep doing the Last Resort.

Good luck and it’s not over till it’s over!

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181 thoughts on “The Last Resort Technique”

  1. After reading this i have had a better understanding on what really needs to be done if their is any chance of saving my realtionship. My relationship is worth fighting for and i will take the last resort steps. Thankyou.

    1. Hi everyone!! I am very impressed this has helped me a lot, I have accessed my husband’s Facebook account. He doesn’t think that I know the password for his second Facebook account. The password retrieved far exceeded my expectations: it’s my name and my son’s birthday. I don’t know why he is still using my name as the password to login to another Facebook account he’s using to date another girl. 🙂

      1. Hi There,
        I certainly do not recommend hacking partner’s Facebook or any other Social Media accounts.

        A healthy relationship thrives on transparency, trust, honesty and cooperation.

        Talk to your partners about your concerns. The danger is once you confront them with your findings, you lose valauable ground. As your partner will now be in a posiiton to accuse you of dishonsety and not trusting them.

        Has anyone out there had this very experience? I would be interested to hear from you please comment.

        Thank you!!

  2. Can you be more specific with communication w my wife? How much do I communicate while using these techniques? Seems counterintuitive since communication is our root issue, but I will try anything.

    1. Hi John,
      It’s important you do respond to your wife’s natural phone contact or communication. It’s not about being cold but warm and friendly.
      While there is no hard and fast rule, the idea is not to pursue with numerous texts and phone calls. That sort of behavior is usually stress driven and makes the other person feel cornered. This pushes a person away. No one likes to feel trapped or plagued with constant contact.
      Best wishes Philipa

  3. I’ve been in an 11 year relationship.
    And she called it off due to multiple reasons (the biggest is she found another guy) lately she seems as if she is coming back towards me but is still unsure. I’m afraid that if I do these “last resort” things, that it will just give her more time to spend with him and we will grow further apart

    1. Hi Jared,
      I understand your confusion that is a long relationship that has ended. It is tricky when there is a third party involved. I am sure there is a friendship and care after being together so long. I can appreciate your concern in doing the “last resort” but in reality you have nothing to lose here and much to gain. Being afraid of her spending more time with him, gives your personal power away. Live your life, as a worthwhile life. This attracts people to you. good luck with it!
      Cheers Philipa

  4. Hi Philipa,

    I have been using the last resort technique for the past few weeks after two months of desperate and needy pursuing behavior that I now realize has pushed my wife even further away. We are living in the same house but in separate rooms and she doesn’t speak to me. We rarely see each other.

    My question is how long should I expect to wait before seeing results either one way or the other? It has been about three weeks. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing but I can’t help but wonder when I may find out if what I’m doing will work or not?

    Thank you,
    Brian

    1. Hi Brian, the last resort technique is about a lifestyle and emotional change for good.
      It’s designed to help you regardless of what your partner does or doesn’t do. It’s about an inner shift of self care. In fact you will find when it’s working is when you lose the worry associated with the outcome.
      Keep up the good work Brian and thanks for you question, I am sure others have had similar thoughts.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  5. My husband of 12 years left 5 weeks ago, initially saying he needed space. As the weeks have rolled by ge is giving me a more and more confident “no chance” when I ask him to come back. I too pleaded and begged continuously for 5 weeks. I really believe now that he is actually experience a mid life crisis. Would the last resort technique still work? And what about the time we have to be together with the kids do I not engage in conversation?

    1. Dear Sapna,
      Sorry to hear your husband left with without taking any responsibility for this huge decision.
      The Last Resort Technique is not about an outcome ( you can be hopeful) but is about getting your to focus on yourself and regaining your personal power.
      It is important you engage in conversation in a manner that is not focused on your relationship. When you spend time with your children together the focus must be on them and what is in their best interests. It would not be a time to discuss your relationship breakdown or voice your concerns about your husband’s actions.

      You may be right he may be having a midlife crisis, this is really out of your hands and I would advise you keep those sort of conclusions to yourself as that will only push him further away.

      Focus on you and getting yourself into a better mindset that shows you as a person who is taking care of themselves with healthy respect. Good luck with it and thanks for your question.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  6. Hi,

    My husband told me over the phone the this relationship is not working for him. I feel betrayed. I was deported back to my country. I have been with my husband for 8 years married for 3 years. We are older not first marriage but no kids involved.
    I have been doing all the things that you have listed. email, text, phone calls. guilting him. begging him every single thing that you listed not to do.
    I found out that my husband is also having an affair and have the woman 1/2 his age in the house.
    I felt like killing myself, the gut wrenching pain is unbearable. I cry all day all night. I can’t eat no can I sleep. I have lost a tremendous amount of weight.
    I am going to try this. I pray that it work. I’m scared.

    1. Hello there – naturally you’re feeling upset,betrayed, scared, disappointed, sad and perhaps even angry. Anyone would be feeling this way.
      Bad news is not easy to digest.
      I’m glad you’ve discovered a new way and I’ll bet you have firsthand experience of how chasing your partner with texts, emails and the like only seems to push them away further. It’s good you are aware and have stopped.
      Now you partner can have some space to reflect on your years spent together. You guys have history. That is powerful.
      I hope your pain eases. If you were at a place where you thought you were going to kill yourself you must call 000, your Doctor or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Your life is precious. I do understand you wanting to get past the pain.
      Certain doing the last resort 💯% will be your best option.
      Good luck.love and blessings.

  7. Hi, I have been seperated several months now and I have absolutely made everyone one of those mistakes… until yesterday, yesterday I chose to fall back because I am tired of being ignored, disappointed, and hurt. So far today, I am feeling OK about pulling back, although I may wake up in tears tomorrow. I do realize that I have done everything within my power and it hasn’t helped, so now I have to prepare to move on while still hoping for the best. I feel that this is all just a game to him… that while I am caring for the kids, he is having fun and by my persistence he knows that I am waiting and he can continue what he doing. When I have grown distant to this point, he pulls me back in by acting like he wants to talk..then the second I start trying to talk…he is back to ignoring me. So, this truly is a last resort for me because if he doesn’t want to contribute an effort for me at this point…there is simply no hope and I do realize that now.

  8. Whilst my husband hasn’t said he wants to leave (in earnest) or that he wants a divorce, my relationship is in tatters and I believe that applying some of these techniques will really help me, and us. I spend little to no time taking CARE of myself and as a result I am not strong enough, emotionally or mentally, to take the steps required to “fixing” our relationship.

    “Do some things that will out you back in touch with you, not just because your spouse might like you more if you do (in fact people have a weird sixth sense when things are not genuine) but because it is important to honour, value and love yourself in a caring healthy nurturing manner” – thank you for this. I need to spend less time worrying about what our next fight will be about, and more on how I can make MYSELF happy and content in my own self.

    1. Nicki, thank you for your wise words.
      Your comment has nailed the essence of the last resort technique.
      Taking care, genuine care of you is totally the most important step.
      It’s got to be done in exactly the spirit you mention. Not fake, regardless of outcome and free spirited.
      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Our thoughts and care is with you 💯 % at Marriage Works.
      Love and light Philipa xox

  9. I’m applying all the principles in this program with decent success but the divorce is approaching so fast. My wife says it’s too late and she doesn’t have to accept my changes. Her complaints were that I didn’t respect her, controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive… I left to show her respect and support in this but I didn’t want to. I only did it because everything I was doing was having the opposite effect of my intentions. I’m hoping that my absence will make her heart grow fonder of me. She said she hates seeing my face everyday and coming home from work feeling uncomfortable. I’m a Soldier that returned from Afghanistan on 23 November and was served divorce papers on 28 November. I love my wife and children like nothing else in this world and would do anything or give anything to save my marriage and keep my family together. What makes this more complicated is that my wife has precancer in her cervix and above which requires a hysterectomy now after a few small procedures to remove the abnormal cells. She won’t budge from the divorce and she is so set on it because she says she’s been wanting to for 3 years. I’ve come a long way emotionally and as a heartbroken person lately because of your program but it’s 28 December and we are to appear on court on 10 January. I’m asking the court for marriage counseling and she is requesting that it be denied. I’m currently applying the last resort and hoping that she comes to her senses. I don’t know this person she has become and it scares me.

    1. Dear Ron,
      firstly let me applaud you for taking action and using the principles of the Last Resort Technique.
      Certainly it was not easy timing to be served divorce papers, after arriving back from your deployment and close to Christmas.
      I can hear you really care for your wife and family and it sounds like you have made some real progress. Sorry to learn of your wife’s cancer scare and the impending operation. I hope all goes well for her. I can imagine with that sort of health concern she may not have much the emotional space.
      I can appreciate your heartbreak, divorce is sad.
      Unfortunately in life there are no guarantees and whatever we try it doesn’t come out the way we want.
      I am glad to hear you are finding yourself again through this process.
      Keep staying true to yourself without putting pressure on the relationship.
      Take it as easy as you can Ron and thanks for sharing your heartfelt thoughts, I am sure you are also helping others with your email.
      Best Wishes PHilipa

  10. My husband and I are high school sweethearts, have been dating for 9 years and married for 2. We are both in our early 20s. We went through a lot of mistakes while we were dating which resulted in trust issues. He has always been insecure about everything. A few months ago, we started being very rocky and distant with each other. Now when I look back, we didn’t know how to speak or listen to each other. Both very stubborn. In short, I started having a very normal friendship with a guy friend from back in high school. And my husband found out and immediately accused me of cheating on him. Just because it was the same guy that broke us up 8 years ago. After integrating me and manipulating me into things I never did and after my lie detector test results, he is certain we are done. He told me to leave the house in Nov, and I have been living with my family since, however, also have been paying my part of the bills still. So for almost 2 months now, he is still as angry as he was in the beginning, stating that he is breaking the lease and soon finding a lawyer to start the separation process.
    I have started to see a therapist and trying my best to work on myself but with the holidays it has been so hard. I am in huge depression and have constant anxiety and panic attacks. I bought the “Divorce Remedy” book and it just seems like no matter what I do, he still wants out.
    I have pulled back and doing the “no contact” method and I’m not sure what affect it is giving. I can’t seem to work on myself at all instead I am so weak and hurt I cry every single day.
    I really need help…

    1. Dear Hardygrl 92,

      Thanks for your heartfelt email, and my heart and prayers are with you in this dark time. Oh please can you wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a big hug.
      I’m sorry that things are pretty disappointing and aren’t working out the way you’d hoped. You’re very wise seeking a therapist and I hope it’s helping.
      Sadly the holidays can be when we feel loss and loneliness acutely.
      Can I tell you I can see growth and accountability in your email. You’ve mentioned how your awareness has grown. You have taken into account your partners hurt from the friendship. While I get it was just that for you, it has clearly touched a tender spot for him. While it may not be easy to see through the anger, that’s usually what’s behind it. You will need to be able to validate and acknowledge his point of view without defending or excusing yourself. Not easy. I’ll bet your communication skills are higher now too.
      I’m a little confused – you’ve said you’ve moved out and you’re still paying the bills ? (There’s no children right?) Certainly if your name is on the lease that is wise to continue. But that’s probably the only thing I’d pay unless it was related to the time I was living there. Of course you don’t want to put your partner in financial hardship but you also need to look after yourself. Just a thought.
      Find a Resource Therapist or EFT practitioner to help resolve the depression (this is normal grief too – so go easy on yourself) anxiety and panic attacks.
      Glad to hear you have stopped pursuing that’s a very important step. Remember to be friendly while holding onto yourself.
      Get your control of you back! Please let me say well done for working so hard and keep it up. This is a lifetime habit.
      If you recall from the last resort and reason the Divorce Remedy sometimes things don’t work out in spite of our best efforts. But you will have gained a sense of purpose in taking real loving care of yourself.
      Thanks again for your email. Wishing you love and lightness xx
      Philipa

  11. The last resort technique was working really good for me , until I got too excited and started doing at the end the things I wasn’t supposed to be doing, I gotta go back to the beginning, I’m not going to give up I love my wife and I’m going to save my marriage!!

    1. Hi Ed, really appreciate your comment.
      So while you were doing the last resort it was working, this will be inspiring for people to read, Ed.

      Good on you for seeing what has happened and going back to the start. I am glad it has helped. It is good to share your excitement with your friends or in your personal journal. This will help you when things are going slowly.

      So impressed with your enthusiasm.
      Keep it up. I am sure your comment will encourage others!
      Thanks again for sharing your experience. Go Ed!
      Best Wishes PHilipa

  12. My wife and I separated after only a few months of marriage. I was emotionally abusive and we didn’t even get a chance to have a sexual connection. She has filed for divorce and has completely cut off all means of communication between us. I haven’t seen her for nearly 4 months. I have often suspected she is having a sexual affair. I’m really not sure if the last resort can help my marriage at this point. It might only be useful in helping me move on. Do you think there is any hope for us?

    James

    1. Dear James,
      from what you suggest in your email, I think it might be more useful to use the last resort to help you move on.

      I can hear you acknowledge emotional abuse and the impact it has had on your marriage.That is hopeful to me as a person and therapist.
      I would most respectfully suggest this awareness of yours may benefit from professional counseling. I’m not sure but I get the sense there is a part of you that is anxious and reactive. Which is then coming out in abusive behavior and jealousy. These are good things to tackle in therapy, both for yourself and prospective partners.

      for relationships to flourish there needs to be safety, security and openness.

      Thanks for reaching out James and being very honest.
      Please let us know how you go.
      Best Wishes Philipa.

  13. Hi Philips
    Well I have been using your last resort for only a week now and ……..OHHHH MY I have noticed some changes already.

    My husband and I have been married for 17 years and been together for 24, 4 years ago a home wrecker, she devil, came into his life. To cut a long story short, he tried to convince me that he could love 2 women. Right hey? Well I dug my heals in and did everything you mentioned, I was desperate and so hurt.
    Finally we came to an agreement, he moved into a unit on our property and I stay in the main house. I beat myself up every day, pleaded, looked like death warmed up….. then I found “the last resort ” and felt…… well what have I got to loose?
    He has started asking questions about me, texted me over and over again, asked me to stay over ( and I do but don’t make a big thing of it the next day), I have stopped thinking of what he’s doing and turned it into……what am “I” going to do this week and it is driving him nuts.
    Thank you for your help.
    I will continue to use this technique and…….Kay sera sera
    Thank you
    Eva

    1. Dear Eva, Good on you!
      I am so proud of you taking care of yourself and really applying the Last Resort to your situation.
      It sounds like your self esteem has really risen and your husband is noticing this.
      What I find so courageous and amazing is that you listened to your true feelings and gut instinct on the loving two women thing. Personally I would not have been good with sharing my man either!

      Keep up the good work. As it’s wonderful the efforts you are taking to respectfully care for yourself. It’s interesting too the effect it has had on your relationship in only one week.

      Just love your take it or leave it attitude, you are in your power without losing yourself.
      Well done, I am not surprised to hear you are being noticed in a good way. You go girl!

      Thanks to for sharing your experience, I am sure others will be inspired and heartened by your comment.
      Warmest regards Philipa

  14. My wife asked for a divorce in definite terms last November. She did not go to a trip to Australia for Xmas with me. I have been in so much pain trying to tell her how much I love her and how I am willing to move the earth and the skies to fix our marriage. Her response is always “we are not in the same page”. She gets angry when I tell her I love her.
    I came back from a trip overseas last night with the intention to start this technique only to find a marital separation agreement draft from her. My hearth stopped. we had a little argument about money and what is a fair division of assets. She is pushing and asking for this.
    Question: how can I react?

    She ask me if I was on board with the divorce. I had to say yes and remain very cool and calm about it. Did not try to change her mind
    Then she started asking me if I wanted to say anything. I said no.
    I took a shower, had my hair cut, got a new cologne (not the one she liked) and got dressed really nice and got ready to go out. She started asking me “we are you going?”. I said that I wanted to sign up for something I always wanted to do….She started asking more details about it. I was still vague.

    Then she tdaid she told my step daughter we are divorcing….Which hurts really bad. Why did she do it? Is she looking for a reaction from me? I was cool and calm

    At this point, I do not know what to do.
    Continue with the “taking care of myself part”?

    By the way….All this happens the same day I decided to say I was in agreement with the divorce and got out dressed really cool.

    What is going on? I am truly scared. I do not want to get my hopes high!!!

    1. Hi Alf, thanks for you email and questions.

      Your email is helpful to others. Saying how you are willing to change and I love you sadly often has the effect as you mention, anger and your partner wanting to distance themselves from you. Her words “you are not on the same page” will ring true.

      The best way to respond to your wife is by being real, calm and open. You sound like you did a great job doing this and not arguing with her when she was talking about divorce.

      Being defensive, explaining, pleading, saying you will change and getting angry would most likely only reinforce her desire to speed the divorce up.

      It is definitely OK to say, I am sad it has got to this point and while it is not easy, I am hearing your needs. This has to be in your own words -your non-defensive truth in one or two sentences.

      Heaven and earth movement may not be needed. Have you really heard your partners complaints? I know this isn’t easy but sit down with a pen and paper write down what your partner has been telling you in your marriage are the issues. Take a good hard look at the list. This gives you the opportunity to change. For instance if your partner says ” you don’t listen to me.” or words to that effect. Go inside yourself, is there a grain of truth to this? Am I not able to hear and respond to concerns. This gives you your actions points for change.

      It sounds like being calm and friendly, while taking care of yourself is really being noticed by your spouse. You are right not to get your hopes up, as there are no guarantees in life.

      When one person changes their response it allows the other time for reflection rather than reaction. This is what I think you may be seeing as a result of you stopping the please stay dance, I’ll do anything moves.

      Keep up the good work.

      Being a therapist I would suggest you can fast track the process, by finding a marriage friendly therapist to help you work on caring yourself and healing.

      Best Wishes and let us know how you progress,
      Warmly Philipa

  15. What if your spouse is the one who says ” I love you” first? Do we say it in return?
    I am recently separated.
    My wife found my behaviour too insecure and controlling and felt my trust issues have pushed her to the point of no return. I stayed in our home for two months doing all the listed things that do not work. We have three wonderful children and i could not understand how she was so easily ready to split our 13 years of marriage.
    I immediately sought counseling to work on myself and went back to church hoping I could change while still under the same roof. Did not seem to matter, she was cold, bitter and angry.

    Some days seemed like I could see the glimmer in her eye but I would continue to beg and try to make her listen to reason and she would turn back with very uncertain answers like ” in not going to talk about this right now”. I pushed everyday to understand why I feel in limbo, as if part of me is still thinking I see my wife behind those angry eyes. She just wanted space and if I tried to figure out why the answers go from bad ( love you but not in love with you ) to I know were strong enough to make it through anything. I have gotten these mixed signals for 2.5 months.

    Now I am moved into an apartment nearby to show I respect her wishes and to stay close for our children.
    Now I see evidence of another man in the picture which makes it more difficult to work on my trust issues as I may have been on to something all along. Very hurt, I cried everyday with thought of breaking up our family. Now I cry when I see my wife because she won’t admit to the now founded evidence. She says that’s not what put us in this situation. I think she may be caught in limerance and really confused as to which life to lead. I see her now when exchanging who has the kiddos and she still says I love you. I have not yet started the last resort but looking for some guidance. Please advise whether in at the point of needing these tactics.

    1. Hi Will,
      it seems from your email the last resort would be a great option for you.

      It’s wonderful to see you have moved nearby your children and I am sure that your wife see that as a show of respect. When spouses won’t leave the home it is often a very tense situation, besides they don’t get to miss you!

      My advice is to get to a Resource Therapist, EMDR psychologist or EFT practitioner to help you deal with the part of you feeling vulnerable and insecure. This can be freeing for you. Behaviors that spouses report as insecure and controlling are likely a result of a state feeling out of control. Most folk just want to get right away from this sort of anxious behavior. It’s good to be free of that inner stress.

      I’m glad you have support, seeking therapy and have gone back to your church. Those are really acts of self care.

      You need to let go of hoping your wife will change. When you let go of those expectations, I am sure the pressure will be relieved in your relationship.

      If your partner says “I love you” its good to respond briefly. You might say. ” I love you too” if that feels right for you in that moment, only you will know. Or you might say “that’s nice” with a smile. You get the picture warm and friendly, moving forward with self care.

      Good Luck with it Will.
      Please keep up posted on your progress.

      1. I was able to apply the technique for roughly a week. Not sure of its results because more unexpected news sent asking questions again. My brother in law had called to tell me how very upset he was in this situation. He explained how this new love affair takes place during the times I have the kids at the new apartment. Now I understand this may be off subject a bit but just trying to get some insight. He seemed genuinely angry at his sisters behavior and i don’t think it would benefit him to make it up. With this I texted my wife just asking whether she was ready to talk about our relationship. She said not really and idk. I said I heard something disturbing and asked whether she had any love or respect left for me? She replied” who are talking to”? I did not respond. 12 hours later she texted asking if she can come over and talk. I agreed, I figured I could finally get some clarity and closure for better or worse.
        Keep in mind also I am no longer welcome in our old home as it make her uncomfortable.
        She walked into the new apartment, kicked off her shoes and took off her jacket. I offered some water or coffee. She looked around a little and said ” I need a hug”. I sat holding her for a solid 4 minutes in silence with her arms down her sides. She got up and went upstairs and got in her side of the old bed. I lay beside her, longer silence. I began to explain calmly how I understood the complications of emotional affairs and how the fog can lead this quickly. She just lied there listening. I asked how she could tell this man she loved him and what his message about sharing sex stories could have meantShe said fantasy… She agrees then that it was an emotional attachment that got too far but says never physical. She told me again “I love you but I am not in love with you” and said she would not go into detail of her actions. She got up went back down stairs and asked ” who is in your ear”? I thought well damn… She didn’t come to talk at all… She came to plug a leak. Anyway long story short she started to cry ( which was weird cause she has not shown emotion throughout these three months) and saidShe feels depressed. And told me again as she has before that she wants to seek herself counseling. She left angry that i withheld my informant. Saying hell I don’t know who I can trust. Please understand that her affair partner is totally not her flavor and her new look and actions are way out of character. With this my question is the fog real or just something in wanting to believe to save hope for my wife. It makes me think she is obviously confused. And unable to honestly talk to me. How do move forward? Its as if she wants to spit it out but can’t. She has never even said I want a divorce to me just separation. ( mutual friends said she actually waiting for enough money for divorce). I wish she could just be honest with me in person. Maybe I could move on more easily. Sorry long post. Hope you have some advice. Part of me feels taken advantage of but part me feels empathy for my wife who seems to have lost her marbles.

        1. Hi Will,
          my best suggestion for you would be to keep doing the Last Resort Technique.

          From your comments it is clear finding out hurtful information and then questioning your spouse pushes then away, leaving both of you wounded and uncomfortable.

          It is best not to be talking to family or friends about your relationship issues. This keeps things clear if you ever do get back together.

          Your wife got into your bed and you talked to her? Really? If your spouse wants to be intimate (have sex) and want hugs, give it freely. This helps bring out our bonding hormones oxytocin and feel closer. I say bring it on and enjoy. But don’t read anything more into a sexual encounter. That’s danger territory.

          Talking about affairs and the relationship, sadly have the effect of pushing a partner away and remind them of why they left you in the first place. You want to avoid this at all costs.

          You have to honestly and earnestly apply the Last Resort 100% of the time. One week sounds like it showed promise.

          All the Best !
          Cheers PHilipa

  16. I am in an awful situation and really need help. I met my husband when we were children (15) and have been together since (20+ years).

    I have had problems with growing up together in the relationship. I probably wasn’t ready to commit so early even though he was the one. Even though I loved my husband deeply, I kept having crushes on other men. I thought this meant that there was something wrong with out relationship and I tried to break up many times and I also cheated and was forgiven. My husband convinced me to stay together through this, believing I could change. Last year I was really depressed and blamed the relationship.

    I suggested separation to start dating each other (and only each other) again and find our way back to our happy beginnings and for me to grow as a person. I never lived on my own. My husband reluctantly agreed but after I moved out, he constantly contacted me and declared his love and I felt chased. I ended up cheating again to get a guy out of my head.

    Then I suddenly realised that the problem was me all along and that I wasn’t happy in myself and with the person I was (had a problematic childhood) and that I couldn’t blame the relationship. I saw everything my partner had done for me and how wonderful a person he was to put up with my childishness and I felt how much I loved him and wanted to be with him and give back. I had been childish thinking the relationship was faulty when it didn’t solve all my personal issues. I wanted to grow up and take responsibility.

    I moved back and we tried to start over. I vowed to never cheat again and I intend to keep that.

    Things could have gone on from here… but I realised a little while later that I was pregnant (I already had a child with my husband too). After the child was born, we realised that it’s not my husband who’s the father. He got automatically assumed to be the father because of the marriage and didn’t challenge this so he is listed as the father but we both know it’s not him. This makes everything so hard.

    My husband says he wants to save our relationship but he doesn’t know how. He doesn’t love me anymore and I have cried and pleaded and tried everything on your list of things that doesn’t work the past 6 months. He says I’m grey and boring and nowhere near the lively girl he fell for. I can’t really remember what I was like back then. I care for the baby full time (the real father isn’t in the picture and will never be) and my husband doesn’t help (because she”s not his) so lack of sleep makes me look even worse. I can’t get out of the house to join a course or something because the baby is with me always and not is a happy sleeping baby and wants attention all the time. I feel like a 100 years old and probably look it. I cry all the time.

    I am amazed my husband hasn’t left me yet but he says he will in 2 months if things aren’t better. Then he will move away and leave me with the children and never talk to me again. I desperately want to save this and I want to get back to who I really am for my own sake too. I feel I am going down a bad road really fast but I don’t know how to stop it. I am not afraid of being left on my own with the children, I am afraid of losing the man I love most of all. I cannot forgive myself for squandering the relationship I could have had. I keep blaming myself and crying and thinking I am worthless. If my husband ever initiates sex or intimacy, I turn him down because I’m so disgusted with myself that I don’t think I deserve it. What should I do?

    1. Dear Mara,
      thank you for your depth and insight into the issues your relationship is undergoing.

      Truly I can hear a woman that continues to grow and has learnt a lot about herself and her choices. In your email, I see at times a strong woman who loves her children, a lonely little girl who looked for love in the wrong places, a mature person who wants to take ownership and recover her sense of self.
      I also see you are drowning in your guilt and berating yourself to no good end. Indeed it is making you feel worthless and shamed. Please have mercy – stop now!
      Whether you forgive yourself or not take a different course. None of us are perfect, we have all done things we wish we hadn’t. The most helpful thing you can do is learn and grow.
      I want you to get up in the morning and do the basics for yourself, wash, dress well, comb your hair and eat something healthy. Put some goodness back into you.
      If your partner is turning towards you wanting sex or intimacy please have the courage to turn towards them in return. Love is a gift we give ourselves.
      I know at this point you are feeling disappointed and ashamed please stop and get help. It is clear from your email you have acted out your pain in many ways and there is always a reason for this. You sound like you didn’t have it easy in childhood. When we are healed of hurt we can be free to be true to ourselves and others.
      Mara please find in your heart the spirit to keep going in this opportunity for growth. Seek out support in your faith, your community ask for help. Both individual and marital therapy would be useful. I will email you personally to find out your area for a referral.
      Your children need you to recover, they like you and your husband are innocent. I want you to get back to the real you who sounds very caring and offer yourself that same caring. After all every child of the universe deserves love.
      Love, light and freedom to you and your family.
      All the best and my heart is with you all.
      Philipa xox

  17. My wife left recently. I’m 31, she’s turning 25 in a week. Inner her in Maine where I’m from and she’s from DR.
    We started from scratch and we’re at the point to be very comfortable. We met june2013 and married oct2013 so that we could experience the relationship without having her to leave back to her country.
    The next February we got pregnant. I already have a daughter from a previous relationship.
    I’ve grown distant unintentionally, may have been emotionally abusive.
    She took the baby and left me with all the bills. She won’t tell me the address so I know where my baby is. 2 years old now.
    She says no chance to get back together. Although the other day when we went to close the bank account I couldn’t sit still and felt like torture to be next to her because all I do is think about her and cry.
    She said just don’t worry right now enjoy the moment.
    Well, we went to pizza after and kissed. SHE put her toungue in my mouth. After I had told her it felt like there may be a chance for us to start over but she said she’s standing firm on her decision. I started crying and questioning and the whole nine. I screwed it ip.
    I stopped callling and texting her a couple days ago.
    I had the baby over last night and she came by to get her this morning. She looked all done up but not sure if it was to show me, “hey I look good without you” or “I want to look good for you”
    I’m going to apply the lrt and hope it works.
    As I said goodbye to both of them I quickly came inside and closed the door. I seen that she was staring at me.
    Is there any insight you could give to possibly her age? Is she confused? Should I believe every word she says?
    Her leaving has put me in a hard place. I work overnight which means I have to bring my 6 year old to a babysitter where she sleeps on a couch. How the heck does a woman in a marriage do such a thing without remorse? Feel like she should’ve stepped up a bit and stayed to help the family and at least TALK about going our own ways before just up and leaving out of the blue.
    Tell me what to do. I’m a wreck. I’ve cried at work and everyone knows what I’m going through. I believe she may come back but to what end will it happen if course I do not know.
    Please help

    1. Dear Ryan, thanks for your email.
      It is good to hear you are starting to look more at yourself and your actions in the relationship.
      This gives you real – the power of responsibility.
      I am not talking about blame or fault rather being able to look at our own behavior in a break up or relationship breakdown.
      Turning your focus onto you will help you understand the other’s perspective.

      This sentence in particular stood out to me in your letter – “I’ve grown distant unintentionally, may have been emotionally abusive”. This gives you an opportunity to learn and grow. Emotional abuse would be one of the leading causes of distress and divorce in marriages today.

      Thanks for your honesty. This awareness allows you to make the first step in changing the only person you can change and that person is YOU!

      While I can understand your hope your that your spouse will come back (and I do too!) you need to really hear and address their concerns about the relationship. This happens by taking affirmative action.
      Changing anything that could be seen as control getting help to learn about why you do what you do and how you can grow past the challenges.

      Your old relationship didn’t stand the test of time. What would a happy, healthy and loving relationship look like? Feel like and sound like. Do that.

      Good luck and seek the guidance of someone you trust, not involved to help guide you to the best course of action.
      Your children’s need must take priority and I hear you care for them.
      All the best and let us know how you go Ryan.
      Cheers Philipa

  18. Hi,

    I told my husband at Christmas that I wasn’t happy with our marriage. At first he was a bit surprised and then decided that we should separate. I wasn’t sure this was what I wanted as we have 4 children. He had to go away for a couple of months with work so his decision was to move out when he got back. I would’ve preferred to have given it one last chance.
    I read about your last resort technique and decided to apply that. We’ve been getting on much better since. I’ve been much happier. He says it’s because he’s disengaged himself from the marriage. While away he said he’d been giving everything thought and has decided to give our marriage a go. I was delighted with this. He said it was for the children not for me.
    When he returned he was distant towards me and avoided talking about the situation. He now says he doesn’t want anything to do with me physically but will stay for children for a couple of years until they’re older. Then he informed me he’d met someone while he was away. They kissed but nothing more. He’s due to go back in 6 weeks for another 2 months. I imagine they’ll take it further. I’m really not sure what to do now. I feel really hurt, angry and sad. He says there’s no chance for us. I don’t see how he can stay living here while seeing this other woman but if I ask him to leave I imagine that’ll be the end for us. I really want to try to give it one last chance but he really doesn’t want to. What would you advice now?

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Louise,
      thank you for your email.
      Boy I can certainly understand your hurt, anger and sadness, this is not an easy situation.

      I am really glad you have been applying the last resort technique – my advice is keep it up, now is the time to apply those principles even harder. Well done.

      While it may be tempting to give ultimatums, I would urge you to resist. It is clear your husband is also struggling. Indeed he is telling you this with his actions and his words. I am really proud of you for not taking it personally from what you say in the email. That makes you a strong and secure person, this is true empowerment. By not lashing out, remaining calm you and taking care of yourself you have the opportunity for your husband to recall the woman he married and had four beautiful children with.

      Of course it is natural for you to want to talk about the relationship, it’s problems and your future. Hold off. At this point in time you really don’t have the good will needed to discuss your issues for strengthening your marriage. Weirdly and sadly talking more about the problems will only make a person want to get away quicker.

      Instead focus on self-care as recommended in the Last Resort. Have you kept it up despite this setback? The Last Resort is an inner change and life time goal not just a technique. Please practice it in this spirit. I am glad to hear it has helped and you are happier in yourself, thanks for sharing that. This will give your marriage more of a chance I believe, however there are no guarantees.

      Wishing you all the good luck and courage in the world!
      Warmly Philipa

  19. My question is this, am I supposed to employ this technique and then just live my life and wait for her to approach and initiate conversations about us? How do I navigate utilizing this approach, but still working on the relationship?

    1. Dear Roderick,
      thanks for your comment and that is a good question.
      That is exactly it – you go about your life as usual, being your warm friendly open self (cool and distant is an unwise insecure position to take) and let her approach or initiate any relationship conversations. Keep them short to in the beginning – youv’e seen Gone with the Wind it’s a Classic right? But you probably are rushing out to rent it again, you get the picture.

      This space helps to break the pursuit type of pattern that can be really destructive to repairing your marriage. Your partner needs to see the changes and feel safe enough to start to talk about the ‘us’. In the mean time you would be best advised to use this opportunity to improve your active listening skills – read a book, get a therapist, take a communication course.
      I would recommend Michelle Weiner-Davies books, Centre for Non-violent Communication Website. and I am sure others may have some good ideas.
      Be real, open and warm, deal with insecurity without acting out in any way.
      Allt he Best Roderick!

  20. Gday
    My wife and I have been married for 37yrs
    We came to Australia 25 yrs ago
    We have a 17 yr old daughter
    She is now saying she is homesick and she needs to go back to the U.K. To find herself
    She has booked a one way ticket for herself
    Since booking the ticket my daughter informs me that my wife has told her she loves me but not in love with me
    She leaves in 4 weeks
    I love her and my daughter very much
    What can I do to to want her to come back home to australia

    1. Gidday Les,
      thanks for your email. Of course this is most likely an unsettling time for all. You have been married a long time, my congratulations. There is a lot of history in your marriage I am sure. That is a really good sign.

      I am not sure of the context but I would be wanting to talk directly to my partner. It is best not to get third party knowledge but go straight to the source. My concern is why does your daughter know this important information and not you?
      How in tune with your wife are you?

      I only ask this because it seems like your wife is wanting to find herself and going back to the Uk is probably something she has spoken about for a while. While it is common for us to hear people close to us talk and not really ‘hear’ them – I mean empathise with them. A good resource for communication skills online is Mensline online communication tooklt.

      Let me tell you a true story in my life right now. My best friend Karla maybe shifting 2 hours away.
      Of course I am sad and disappointed at this change. But I listen to her needs and plans as her friend. I don’t shut off, give her the cold shoulder or attempt to convince her to stay. I want only the best for her.

      To this end only the other day I said to her ” I am sad you are having to move so far away, although I understand this is what you must do, and of course I wish this wasn’t so. I want you to know I only want the best for you dear friend.”

      In all honesty I don’t know what you can do to want your wife to come back home to Australia, apart from sitting down with her and really, and I mean really listening to her. That may even mean saying something similar to the above.
      This sounds to me like it is a life passage for your wife and very important to her. It is not unusual for a person to want to visit their country of birth, to do some reviewing and reevaluating.
      Be sure to make your home as a welcoming thing to come back to and you are your best warm loving husband self.
      Hope this helps somewhat. All the best of luck.
      And please let us know how things progress.
      Warmly Philipa

  21. Norberto .my wife and I are been separated for 5 moths I never call her or txt her and I never told her that I love her the only problem was that I was always talking to her at home I was scare to stop talking to her but I did yesterday I went out cane back late and I dint talk to her tis morning she wake me up and bring me coffee and her face look different I didn’t know with only one day without talking to her I was going to see some change I will continue and see what happens. Only problems is that when she see me confident and happy she always bring the divorce conversation that’s why I stop talking to her .

    1. Dear Norberto,
      Yes it is important to leave out the problem talk and I love you’s but keep your chat breezy.

      Not talking at all to your partner is not what the last resort technique is referring to.

      It means being kind and open without constantly harping on where your partner is at or trying to convince them to stay.

      It is important to keep the channels open, be warm and friendly but not so available. You need to listen to her on the divorce conversation and not be defensive or reactive as this will only show her more reasons why she may want to get out of the relationship.

      Alternatively from your email, it does appear your wife may be relieved, thinking your late night means you have found another outlet and moved on. You really need to listen to your partners complaints and address them.
      Good Luck!
      Philipa

      1. Yes I agree .last nigth she came from work happy because she was negotiating for almost 2 moths I finally they sing the agreement so she was excited to tell me so I listened to her I think one of the reason we separated because she been stress from work And I dint it support her I been making changes I know she not going to se that rigth away but I have hope that everthing is going to change its going to take a while but I’m not giving up andI will keep working on my self.

        1. Dear Norberto,
          thanks for responding and for your insights.

          I think you are spot on there with your observations, many partners feel stressed and unsupported. Listening is a powerful remedy and helps a person feel heard and acknowledged. Well done! It is nice she shared her excitement with you and you were able to support her in that moment.

          You are correct – it will take time for her to believe the changes you are making real and not just an attempt to get her back. Excellent idea to keep developing yourself in a kind and loving way.

          Keep up the good work and please keep us updated on your progress, as I am sure many other spouses out there will have had similar experiences and learn from your email.
          Thank you!
          Cheers Philipa

  22. Dear Philipa can you explaim me why sometimes she change her mode.two days ago she treat me bad but I keep calm then after a while she apologize for Ben like that to me she look like sometimes wants to talk but sometime don’t Rigth know I’m confuse .

    1. Dear Norberto,
      Thanks for your email.
      If you keep your head, remain calm yet still engaged when another is an emotional state that can really help things.
      Sounds exactly what you did well done! And that led to your partner having the space to reflect on their own behaviour, rather than a fight, nice one the two of you.

      I can only guess as to what your partner is feeling and that is probably the same as you – confused. Just go with the flow. And keep up the good work.
      Cheer Philipa

  23. Hello Philipa

    I’m 38 and my wife 29 and we have 2 kids ages 4 and 6. We been married for about 6 years and anniversary is coming up next week. I have tried every self help book, you tubing, Life coach and talking to pastors. Of course I tried begging my wife, writing love letters, and guilt tripping her. We are currently separated in 2 different houses. I see her every other day to do the kids exchange. I have had several affairs for the past couple of years. I want to go get help for my sexual addiction. I have change and have been trying to show her. She seems like she has check out. I really do not know my wife anymore. She said she filing for a divorce and for me to move on with my life. I doubt that she is dating another man. But the last resort just scares me when I want her back and I feel like I’m not doing anything. I just apply this technique last night and I didn’t call are text and email. Hopefully I can keep this up. Should I do anything for our anniversary? Also I just want my family back under the same roof. Shes getting a lot of advice from her friends and I’m afraid they will not let her come back to me. What should I do about the friends?

    1. Dear Billy,
      Thanks for your email. I do get a sense of yoru desperation, your situation is not easy there.

      This is a real time for stepping up and into your integrity. I read your statement saying you want to get help for your sex addiction. Does that mean you have sought professional therapy for this and to discover what lead you to the affairs. This would be a great starting point.

      Otherwise you run the risk of leaving things to late.I am not sure about your anniversary, my best suggestion is do the opposite of what you usually do. For instance if you have a history of forgetting, then get a card and a nice voucher that shows your know your partners taste.Or if your have spent a lot in the past and really gone all out, just a small token. A bouquet of your wives favorite flowers.

      Forget about the friends, that is out of your control. Take your power back and get into the Last Resort 100%!
      Good luck with your self discovery.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  24. Hello, I bought your book, which is well money spent. My wife of 17 years and I separated for a month already. She wants a divorce and I used the last resort technique. She recently broke down crying in my arms this past weekend and that she feels alone and does not have a friend. That I’m the only one that really knows her. She told me that because of this breakdown she does not want to give me the impression that she wants to get back with me. She went on further to say that she just wants to be friends. I failed to envoke the process in your book where I’m not supposed to talk about working on the relationship. I think I messed up and made her get cold feet. I then back peddled and continued to give her space. She continues to check my social media and invited me for coffee next Sunday. I do not know what to do because I love her so much and I don’t want to be just friends.

    Ruben

    1. Hi Ruben,
      I would have loved to have written the book but credit must go to Michelle Weiner-Davies for her contribution to relationships. Thanks Michelle.
      Sounds like you have made a great start. A friendship is a fabulous foundation.

      Yes your anxiety must be kept in check and you have to really be a friend and not push for relationship reassurance. This almost always backfires as your appear to have found. Still keep the faith! It is only a hiccup.

      A strong marriage has it’s backbone rooted in a friendship. Good work Ruben.
      Hang in there buddy!
      Best Wishes Philipa

      1. Thank you for the quick response and advice. I have two more questions can I initiate contact via phone call and text ? She stopped wearing her wedding ring the first week of spearation, and I did as well. Was I supposed to keep wearing it , and should I wear it around her ? Again thank you for your advice.

        Ruben

        1. Hi Ruben,
          I think you already know the answer, but I will confirm.

          Here are my general suggestions.

          Stop any tit for tat type behaviour, this is not a mature response but a reactive one.

          IF you want to wear your wedding ring then do so. Totally up to you. Don’t make a big deal out of your partner not wearing theirs.

          If your partner complains that you are a phone or text pest or says they want their space, you had better listen to them and honour this. Stop initiating then.

          If your partner says you never call then start!

          No guilt trips, threats or pity parties. Not attractive and will serve to only remind your partner of why they are separating from you.

          Basically do the opposite of what hasn’t worked, listen to your partners complaints and work silently on your own to address them. It is a cse of actions speak louder than words here. You have to be the change, not say you will change or sorry when you screw up. Don’t screw up!

          Hope this helps, best wishes Philipa

  25. Hi, I need some advice, my husband 7 weeks ago wanted a break and said he didn’t see things working out for us. We have been married for 1.5yrs and been together for 11.5years. He left our house and went to stay with his family again, in the mean time of the 7 weeks he has been home a couple times and stayed the night but not wanting to talk about anything so I let it go. 3 weeks ago he said he wants to seperate/divorce and sell the house and this is clearly not what I want. He stopped wearing his wedding ring too. In the beginning I was begging him to make it work and wanting to do councilling together but he doesn’t want to do that either. I notice when I back off he comes back chasing a little but I’m too weak and give in then I end up getting hurt again. We were trying for a baby for almost a year now and nothing has happened so we went and spoke to a fertility specialist got all the testing done and had to get the results during the time that he has been away and they weren’t too good on his end but mine were fine. So maybe this is his way of dealing with this I don’t know?
    I don’t want to divorce I felt like our relationship was amazing but he obviously sees it differently.
    He has now said, he doesn’t like his job anymore, doesn’t like being around me, doesn’t want to live in our house anymore, basically wants to go far away from everything and everyone and start fresh.
    I’m so confused as he is pushing me for the divorce and wanting to sell the house all so fast (like 7 weeks I’m still trying to process my husband all of a sudden doesn’t want me anymore) yet tells me he loves me just not enough to keep us together. He has come back a couple days times and we have slept together but every time we did he said it was nothing the very next morning which completely breaks me. Every couple days he will contact me about something and in that time he will give me false hope and the moment I want reassurance he takes it away and says it’s over just accept it. I don’t believe there is someone else in the picture but I just don’t know how to go about it. Do I I just agree to everything he wants even though it’s not what I want? Surely someone can’t just decide one morning I want out and just leave like that? This is totally out of character from him so I just need to know what to do? He has also blocked and deleted me from social media like Instagram and Facebook but will still have me on snapchat 😓 My mind is just so confused right now
    I just want him back so bad!

    1. Hi Jessica,
      thanks for your email. Your relationship is at crisis point alright.
      When in crisis it is best to take things slowly.

      It certainly sounds like you are both confused 🤷‍♀️.

      You each have parts that want each other. I’m not sure what the catalyst has been. You may be correct that having a baby together has on some level caused all alarm systems to go off.

      I have seen this happen in other relationships with couples I have worked with. Just as the two of you get close and loving and ready to make a baby on person becomes fearful and wants to run away. This sounds like it could echo your husbands struggle.

      I worked with a man who’s relationship got to this very stage and he almost sabotaged his marriage with a workplace affair.
      We worked through his confusion and inner conflict. He and his wife’s relationship healed and they grew into a family.

      I can hear in your email your husbands confusing behaviour. This is exactly the time to apply the Last Resort Technique if ever there was one.
      You need to find your inner strength and rebuild your self esteem. This will make you attractive and feel better within yourself.

      At present I can hear there’s a part of you feeling needy and wanting reassurance. I totally get that. That insecurity only seeks to drive your partner away. Start taking care of yourself and your needs. When we value ourselves, others feel and respond accordingly.
      As Dr Phil says we teach others how to treat us.
      Enjoy your physical relationship but my advice is not to read anything into it or ask relationship questions – that is not the LRT.
      KNow that when you are being sexual together you release the bonding hormones oxytocin. This may strengthen your bond, but when you start asking heavy questions it spoils the gains.

      The Last Resort is certainly not about giving yourself away. It’s about earning who you are ! Yes earning. You deserve love and kindness. So Jessica go out today and treat yourself with healthy care.
      Enjoy the sex but let go expectations.
      Hold your head high.
      As a kid I grew up with a poster of wild horses running through the fields. It had a poem on it :
      If you love something set it free,
      If it comes back to you it is yours,
      If it doesn’t it never was.
      These words have always meant something to me.
      True love is freedom.
      Please apply the Last Resort ASAP !
      Yours in love and light.
      Philipa

  26. I’ve been with my husband for 17 years, married for 14yrs with two boys – 9 & 7. We were each other first serious relationship, and given that he’s only 1 yr older than me, he seems to be 10 yrs more mature than me. He is a wonderful, loving, caring, hard working husband and father. I always knew being married to him is the best thing that happenned to me in this life, but yet…. we have our differences, we are the opposite of each other, everything he likes are everything I don’t, and vice versa. However, he spent the last 17 yrs trying to close the gaps, it’s didn’t works because I spent that whole time making the gaps bigger (out of my childish personality). Through our ups & downs in life, I lost alot of respect for him (from his bad decision with investments), this lead to him loosing his love for me.

    Things were still great (from my point of view) up until 2 months ago, our little business that we run together is having problems, business has gone down and that stressed both of us out alot (I have bad anxiety). After a small argument my husband started to change completely, he was so cold and distance. For the first time he said he’s not sure if he still love me when I asked, I was emotionally checked out of our marriage at that stage (so I thought) as well, so I suggest for us to take a break but he refused, he said once he’s gone that he’ll never come back…. That was when I start to feel how serious things were, and found myself needing and loving him more than anything in this world (apart from our boys). I started to dig deep and realised what I’ve done, I apologise to him and determine to change to be the wife that he deserve. He just cried and told me he’s sorry, I left it too late since he has no feeling for me anymore (he has tried hopelessly to save our marriage for years without me knowing).

    After I did everything you mentioned I should’t do, he agreed to try to work on our relationship, but since I can sense it didn’t came from his heart it hurted me alot (I still haven’t fully except the fact that he’s not in love with me anymore), so I kept on pressuring him to give me answers to where is our future? What he wants? etc…. All I got from him was “I don’t know”. The more truth I got out of him, the more I realised how far he had driffed away….. The more I know how hard it is for us to reconnect, but also the more determination it gave me to fight for our marriage. I’ve gone about things the wrong way, wish I came across your post sooner, I would’ve done things differently. But it’s never too late, I’ll follow your strategies….. As long as he hasn’t fallen in love with someone else (he said there are no one else), and willing to open up his heart and still want to work on our marriage (his action shown me that he didn’t want to fix our relationship, he just want to prepare me to be independent and strong enough to be on my own)… I strongly believe we can work through this and get out to be stronger than we’ve ever been.

    My question is, can he fall back in love with me if he can see I’ve change and become the compatible wife he always wished for? Or is it too late like he said??? We still live together, he still taking very good care of me, still does everything he knows I like (that was why it made me confuse since I still can see there are alot of love there) , but we just agreed to stop being intimate yesterday until he’s ready. We still cuddle and he give me kisses on my cheek or fore head. I’ve been clinging and call him alot, always bring up the status of our relationship when we see each other which I’ll stop.

    1. Thanks Ryleen, my heart goes out to you.
      I’m hearing you have taken a look at yourself and how your fears, insecure questions about the relationship and clinging have affected your marriage. Well done for acknowledging this, that is a great first step to a) healing yourself and b) healing your relationship.

      Follow the strategies, get support and heal from the anxiety in whatever way you can. Whether that be through yoga, your faith or a health professional. Do what ever it takes to meet your own needs for care love and security. This will make you attractive and gain your self respect back.

      You certainly cannot address the relationship issues, without having yourself cared for.

      Love is an action and st is never to late but you have to use the Last Resort 100 out of 100 times. You are right stop bringing up the status of the relationship, it is a real passion killer. Stop clinging, calling and any type of pleading behavior. Like I said get sgtrong in yourself.

      If you are truly independent and strong enough to be with yourself, meeting your needs while respecting others no matter what, you become tantalising and mysterious. And sexy.

      All people change and grow. And have hope!
      Good luck !

  27. Hi Philipa. What’s your take on the no contact rule? My husband and I married 18 months ago but have been together 15 of the last 21 years (we had a7 year break in middle but still spent a lot of time together). Within a year of our marriage he was having an emotional affair with one of my closest friends. I’m not sure when it became physical but it did, and we all went through a pretty horrific time trying to figure that out. We were reconciling but I discovered a few weeks ago he’d started the affair again. He’s now living out of Sydney and I’ve asked him not to contact me for a while as I can’t bare to hear him tell me it’s over, even though he cares for me. I’ve had issues with anxiety for a long time and these ramped up in the five months we were back together. We also both drink too much and he’s been struggling with depression for a while. I know I didn’t do what I needed to to get past the affair, but it hurt so much that two people I love and trusted did this, and I could never get it out of my head. My reactions to discovering both affairs were also pretty appalling. He seems determined to end it but I was hoping to talk about a temporary separation. I’m terrified he’s still in contact with her even though he’s no longer in Sydney. I’m hoping this month of no contact will help us both. But is cutting off contact completely too much? I’m seeking help for the anxiety, taking medication and working on not drinking so much, but still really struggling.

    1. Dear Danielle,
      thanks for your email. Your relationship has certainly been under a great deal of strain. An affair is often ( but not always) a symptom of distress.

      I can hear you are very aware of both your personal issues – unresolved anxiety, depression and using alcohol to numb. This is a great first step in working through things. I am glad you are taking steps and seeking professional help for anxiety and cutting down on the drinking. I do hope your husband takes the intiative to address the depression. I guess having an affair could be seen as a distraction from a person’s pain. Temporary relief but a real sidetrack to get stuck in.

      Getting over an affair takes the two of you if you are to heal the hurt and remain married. Repeated infidelity is problematic, and detrimental to a continuing relationship. You may have to ask yourself, if this person has the werewithal to have a mature healthy relationship.
      I do not advocate cutting contact unless there are personal safety issues. What the Last Resort Technique advocates is to stop pursuit chasing behaviour. This means letting your spouse contact you, miss you and resonding with a warm and friendly manner. You also need to not read anything into the contact but continue in your personal growth and getting therapy to get past the anxiety.
      Good on you for working on yourself you are worth it!
      Best Wishes Philipa

  28. I am floored that my lover is back, everything felt dreamy and unbelievable thanks for helping me to bring my lover back, Kd

    1. Jessica congratulations on your reconciliation with your spouse. How long did it take to reconcile and what tactics did you use ?

  29. I have been with my husband for 5 years and married for 1.5 years, he works away doing fifo and I’m left at home with our little boy and all responsibilities… he come back a few weeks ago and said he doesn’t know if he is happy anymore and can’t do this but then says it’s not me it’s him Iv done nothing wrong.

    I’m fighting for our marriage I believe we can get through this rough stage we go away to Europe together at the beginning of August… this week we haven’t had an arguement at all and he did apologise for something he did do wrong while over at work ( I’m not sure if he is starting to realise his actions or not )
    This week I have pulled back somewhat and I found this site today…
    I’m going to give these techniques a go but will they work while I’m over seas?
    When he was home for his week last time we did have a fight but we still worked as a team with our son and we were still laughing together as well but when he goes back it started again on the Saturday but this week no arguements as of yet.

    He has one more week away at work before he gets home for us to leave for Europe and Europe will just be him and I as our son is staying with our parents

    1. Hello Lauren, you are at a pivotal time in your relationshp.

      It is so good you are giving your relationship a better opportunity by applying the techniques of self care, hearing your partners concern without problem solving, getting defensive or pulling back. This takes real courage. You need to really be strong and vulnerable 100% of the time. Be in your power. This growth time will
      Make Europe about having fun together and creating happy memories.
      Do not let the fearful part of you get into heavy discusssions on the relationship and where it is at or going. That will only serve toalienate your partner further. Trust me on this.
      Rather enjoy your holiday. This will give your husband a wonderful opportunity to remember all the reasons he fell in love with you!
      Be your best self!
      Wishing you a happy trip.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  30. hi, i have a question regarding this pull pack plan, I have been in quite a rut now for the last one year and 3 months. My husband has pulled away emotionally and i have been doing all the wrong things, you know like beg, cry, being angry and you name it, but he is still here, but we haven´t got any way forward, expect for a few weeks in march and april, but then I apparently moved too fast (without thinking about it) and he pulled back again – so now I have to try something else before I completely ruin everything, my question is, he is a fisherman, so he is away for about 6 weeks and then home for 4-6 weeks, and everytime he is away he seems to go backward regarding us, I think I just wanted to know how to apply this techniqe while he is away also? I will defenetly read this through a few times and try the advice out. Hobefully I finally can turn things around?

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for your email and question. I kind of liken the Last Resort to a pulling yourself up in a good way rather than pulling back.
      It’s great you have recognised beahviours that are not working – anger, begging, pleading and so forth. This makes a person want to run the opposite way as fast as they can. Now I am not saying you will be feeling fabulous but it is about being your best self adn letting go of emotional reactivity.
      The time your husband is away from you is time for you to get your self in ‘ship shape’ codition if you excuse the pun.

      I mean get healthy on the inside and out.

      Do affirmations – I am loving a classic of Sondra Ray’s – I Deserve Love.

      Repair your self esteem and really get in touch with your self worth.
      Talking with a therapist can help you fast track this process. Beware though, make sure it is an experienced and marriage friendly individual therapist. If they are unskilled and say you should leave hit the eject button quick smart. I am assuming no DV or addictions are present. Safety must come first.
      Spend time with folk who build you up. Stop thinking, talking or in anyway obsessing about the relationship while he is away. You have heard of the law of attraction, right? So think of his good qualities and why you are choosing to work on the marriage. Even if he isn’t at this stage. Take things very slowly though, as you have experienced from his pull back.
      Curb your enthusiasm if he makes postive moves, share with a trusted girlfriend. Just don’t overdo it.
      Get your life back and see what happens. Anything is possible.
      Hope this helps. Good luck and blessings to you!
      Love and Light Philipa

      1. Thank you for your answer, I will do this and concentrate on my self esteem and self worth (wich is not great, after everything I have been through), but I am working on that at the moment, I have only one question regarding the pull back method, usually i send him messages everyday while he is away, and he used to send to me also, but now I have to say I am not sure if I should keep texting (just about everyday things for the kids and me), or should I just leave it and just answer if he writes/calls (so dont be the first to write), he did talk about he wanted to be the one doing the chasing, and not me, I just have had a really hard time letting go and being ok with, if he leaves, I am way to anxious of just that and I have have the “worst case scenary” in my head? I will try this and see if I can find a good therapist. Thank you very much for your answer.
        Kind regards Barbara

        1. Dear Barbara,
          you have excellent questions and comments.

          Your responses and curiosities become teaching tools for others – for this we heartily thank you!

          Focussing on building yourself up is key and you certianly have been through a lot. Growth can be painful but truly rewarding. Similar to birth in that way, we labour and give birth to new life, amazing really.

          To answer your question. Pulling back is about creating the space for love and connection to grow. Constant contact can be suffocating to a relationship. We all need to to occasionally withdraw, rest and return refreshed. Your husbands words “..he did talk about he wanted to be the one doing the chasing, and not me,..” Give you clear direction on this.

          Our partners often tell us what they need and we must respect them from a hopeful and quietly optomistic place. The key is to take the action and respond, or as in your case not respond or write to him.

          So sit back relax and let him do the chasing, as he has stated he desires. Do warmly ( don’t over do it) respond to to his text after a few minutes, or when you are ready. Keep it light and warm. If he writes 3 lines of text, you write 2 back. If he writes love Bill, then you do, if he doesn’t you don’t either, but end friendly always – cheers Barbara. You get the picture.

          It is vital you let go of the fear of the loss. Thinking in this way only lead to stress and anxiety. Think positively.

          I am glad you are seeking a good therapist. You will benefit by getting your personal power recharged, so as to be your best self for you and all your relationships. Now that is not holding a person hostage or grasping on to another in terror. It is freedom.

          This concerns your personal dignity and courage to deal with whatever life hands you. It is an inner stillness, where you find calm in yourself and meet your needs. After all ultimately it comes down to us.

          I would recommend you work with a Resource Therapist ( http://www.resourcetherapyinternational.com )or other suitably qualified counselor. Interview them. Only the other day I was talking to my dear friend Kylie (also a psychologist) and she reminded me, it is very important for folk who seek individual therapy, to be certain their health professional has training and experience of working systemically.

          Look for a Family Systems trained therapist. Ask questions to ensure they are skilled in this, if you hear you should leave or advice of this nature they are not likely your best candidate. If they say something like it is great you want to work on your relationship and I can help you grow whether your partner attends therapy, but can see them later if they want to come, then make an appointment. Ask friends, family. I will write something further on this choosing a Last Resort Therapist.
          You deserve love.
          In love and light Philipa

          1. Hi Philipa

            Thank you very much for your answer, I am still hanging in there, and its actually helping a little bit not to think about and blaming my self entirely for the broken relationship 24/7 while he is away, even if its hard, I am trying to stop my self everytime I begin the downward thinking-spiral, by distracting myself, and it seems to work (often at least). The therapist is worst to find, I live in a small country with not that many therapist especially good ones, so I will proberbly have to look online, if that is possible.

            Now I am doing the “only write back 1 line less” then he does and ending it friendly, I have to get to the place, where it is ok, even if it ends, I understand that I have to come to a place where I don´t (need) this to work out (even if I of course hope so) – however hard this is! I had a hard time growing up with divorced parents and a stepfather who is not very nice and a lot of siblings, it was very hard and I was almost always put aside for everyone else for the last 35 years and still am, so I have extremely hard to belive anything will work out for the best in the end, since it never did, in real life. Not because my spouse has ever given me a reason to belive so, he is just a very quiet type, who doesn´t say when anything is wrong (only when he was drunk, but that I have avoided since he could get a bit annoying, and not very nice), but normally he never says anything, so I had no idea how he had felt, and he always said he loved me and I did belive him 🙁 until now, The hardest part is that he blames only me, he sometimes says we both own a part of getting here, but all comes to all, he gives me all the blame, and he doesn´t seem to be able to get past it, thats the hardest part of this, so he just one day shut down everything, took the ring of, said he had had enough, shut down all emotions and touches and kisses, everything and said he didn´t know what to do. But that is a year ago and he is still here? I have changed alot the past year, he even has noticed that (but only says this when he is a good mood)? But well, I am not sure why I wrote all this, maybe it helps to get it out?
            But i am trying this technique now and hoping that it will help. I don´t in a million years want to put our son through what I went through, and since my spouse is the love of my life, I really don´t want to just give up, as I see others do everyday.

          2. Hi Barbara,
            you hang in there. This is the long game. Glad you are seeing results.

            Yes let go of blame, that keeps a person stuck and will lead to that down ward spiral. And like you say it does take two to tango. When your relationship is stronger, is when you will have the leverage to discuss those things that were not working well and repair them. Not for now.

            I am sorry – I am from a small town orginally so I really know what you mean about trying to find someone. I am happy to recommend, or I can skype too. I have had folk come from all over the country to see me. Usually it is for an extended session.

            Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns, I am sure others will resonate with your email Barbara. Whatever the outcome, you will at least know you have given it your best shot. Now this may take some time. What I read Barbara is a woman, who loves her son and wants to live a happy life. I’d bet that you are already much more aware than your folks were.

            A friend reminded me, sing a happy song. Find somethign that brightens your day. Here is the song she suggested from Monty Python’s Life of Brian , “Alwyas look on the bright side of life…” https://youtu.be/KaDGc2LWzGo

            Also watch a happy movie. The other day I watched the kid’s movie Sing. It got me singing along and was very inspiring.

            Take care xx
            Love and Light
            Philipa

  31. I had a problem with my Husband 3 months ago he was having an affair with a friend of mine that happens to be my best friend, i was so sad that i never knew what to do next, during my search for a way out, i came across your site. i thought it will not work for me but to my surprise i got positive results and i was able to get my Husband back.

  32. My husband of 16 years ( married for almost 8 ) left me out of the blue.We had some financial issues that I know was my fault but my husband has completely blamed me for the break down of our marriage. My Spouse went to the lawyers and has been non stop asking me to sign the papers, I have not. My husband has also stopped talking to our friends and some family. At the beginning of him leaving me there was a lot of texting , him always telling me he wants me to tell him all the good things I am doing, that I am safe and how my day has gone. We would randomly talk throughout the day but now it’s silent. I haven’t seen him in 2 months and even though I felt we established a good connection he has rejected seeing me. He left me in May and it has been about 1 month since I have heard anything from his lawyers. I know I have faults, I am def not playing victim and am fully aware that my behavior in my marriage was a very childish one, is it to late to apply this technique, he has moved into his parents home, blocked me on social media and has cut communication.

    1. Hi Micca,
      the fact that you are building an awareness of your responsibility in the marriage is a great start for you. Fiancial issues and behaving as you say childishly are worth addressing. I don’t beleive it is too late to apply the technique. Indeed it’s imperative you start to take care of business and learn about yourself.
      Good luck and give it your best shot. You will need to apply the technique 200% from the minute you read this, so reread the techniques and go for it!
      Best Wishes Philipa

  33. Our marriage lacked understanding, it was like every normal marriage as long as I didn’t say anything that my husband disagreed with or win an argument. Am always trying to know the ins and outs of his life as his wife, and it turned into a huge blow-out. Our divorce wasn’t really about our lack of understanding according to my therapist, it was as a result of a spiritual separation. My therapist was so honest to me and never wanted to waste my time, she saw that I have been living in pain with my devastating marriage and my heart has ached for years. I have returned and addressed things in my marriage,

  34. I have been with my wife 15 years (married 8 years). Three weeks back she told me she wants to move forward with a divorce. I was completely devastated and instantly went into the begging, pleading and clingy mode. I have told myself I need to give her space and have failed to do so. She tells me that she just wants to move on and not work on our marriage. We are still living in the same house and occasionally sleeping in the same bed when I don’t bother her. We have two wonderful boys together 7 and 4 yr old. We tried consueling but did not work anything out. I recently seen your last ditch effort technique and was wondering if it is to late to try to apply this. I am very willing to try anything. I want things to work out so badly. I do understand I need to give her space and back off. I don’t plan on giving up or quitting anytime soon. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

    1. Dear Nate, as I have said to others it is never to late to do something different and see what opportunities occur.
      I would definitely suggest you get your own therapist to help you on the Last Resort.

      Remember this giving someone space is not giving up or quitting. I get that it can be anxiety provoking. You will need to get over any insecurity and clinginess around this. When you are feeling whole and complete as you are you attract this. Forcing another person or making them live under the same roof can be a negative, in that they will feel like a hostage. A truly free person, getting some time apart gets to miss their partner and recall the good times. If you are living together andit’s mainly tension how does that ever get to happen?
      Really pay attentionto the lessons of the Last REsort and apply them to your situation NATE.
      GOOD LUCK!

      1. I am in the current stages of moving out. I think it is in the best interest for both of us. It will give us time to reflect on everything that has been going on the past couple weeks. I was also told that this will give her time to realize if this is really what she wants or not. I’m not sure what the future holds only time will tell.

        1. Dear Nate, thanks for the update itis appreciated.
          The decision sounds like you are coming from a very wise adn mature place. And yes time apart can lead to reflection and create th necessary space to arrive at a decision. As they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.
          It is vital at thsi time you really do not pursue or allow any anxious to work destructively or in a controlling way. I am not saying you do this but it can be a trying time.
          Get yourself together as your best caring self and whatever happens, it will work out for the best.
          Good luck!

  35. I know the last resort technique states that when they begin to invite not to always accept. In my case my wife only invites me for dinner at her new apartment in regards to me eating dinner with the kids. She never says “us” . She always says she does not want to give the kids the wrong impression on us ever reconciling. We have been separated for about 4 months. She already has her own apartment and career. We slept together 2 months after the separation in motel. She got mad when I let my teenage daughters know that we did sleep together and they got mad at her for leading me on. Now she has become cold and shows no signs of reconciliation.

    What do I do please help !

    1. Dear Ruben, thanks for your comments and questions.

      The Last Resort suggests you take every opportunity and say yes to family dinner and family event invites. It will be helpful to your children to see the two together in a soft and kind way. Take your lead from your partner and match them at their level of connection. If they make the first move then go for it otherwise sit back and relax and be your best self.

      Relax on the small stuff, like your partners turn of phrase.

      If she is telling you she does not want to give the wrong impression to the kids, I am guessing you may have been asking questions on the relatioship, or behaving in a way that may possilby not be helpful. It is not recommended to seek reassurance from your ex or ask where your relationship is going.

      It is good your partner is gaining her independence, perhaps you can silently celebrate her growth, as a loving partner would.

      Ruben, you told your children about you and your partners sex life?!

      NO NO No!

      I repeat never, ever involve your children in your adult relationship issues. AS you are now aware, this will lead to your ex becoming angry, as she has. This sadly leads to them to thinking of only more reasons to forget reconciliation and remind them why they are not with you.

      Oh dear, this is hard to come back from Ruben. And you have had a double backlash by the sound. This action has damaged things, I hope you reread the Last Resort and become more inspired to grow at this time, whatever the outcome.
      Good luck!
      Warmly Philipa

      1. Today she got angry because I did not call to check up on the kids. She said that she is always the one who initiates contact. She then brought up a Facebook post that a female friend of my asked me if I had plans this weekend. I did not even respond to the post. The funny thing about this is my wife unfriended me months ago, so I don’t know how she saw that post. She then texted me that she is going to stop contacting me and use my daughters to send me texts. There is nothing going on with me and the other woman she is just a friend who happens to have a boyfriend who she is happy to be with.

        How should I respond to this?

        1. Dear Ruben,
          When there are children involved you will need to initiate contact via your ex partner.
          My preference is for the adults to arrange this as these are adult decisions. It is too much responsibility for children to be caught up in their parents relationship issues.

          My suggestion is to start to negotiate regular contact times for phone calls and visits to your children. This is for parents to organise. I don’t know the age of your children but regular contact is important. This is about your duty as a parent, so I do encourage you to address thsi quickly. Forget about the Facbook thing and other person.

          Your children need you to be there and for that you need a good healthy relationship with your co-parent. Adult to adult.
          I made this very mistake in my separation years ago and my daughter paid the price becoming very anxious and responsible. That is why I feel strongly on protecting children, and this is what we want to avoid. I hope you can hear me in the spirit of love.
          It may be you need support from a fmaily friendly therapist.
          Best wishes Philipa

          1. Before this incident I had already reached out to her and made arrangements to have them every other weekend. We share two daughters 18 yrs old , 16 yrs old, and two sons 12 yrs old 10 yrs old. I will take your advice but currently we live on opposite side of Houston Texas and are in the middle of a hurricane. It pains me that I’m not there with them , but she isn’t repsonding to my texts so I’m forced to communicate with my 18 yr old daughter.

          2. Oh dear Ruben,
            sorry to hear you are in the floods of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you and your family are safe and dry.

            I would encourage you to work on your relationship with your co-parent in this case. I would suggest sending a text of love and support to your family. And in the middle of a disaster keeping calm and safe.

            Best Wishes

  36. Hi
    Phew where do you start – been married for 20 years, 3 kids the eldest is about to leave home to study. About 6 months ago my wife started to say she was unhappy and was talking about us separating. We disussed etc and things improved for a short time, we then reached school holidays and had two weeks on holiday with the children – I could feel that she was really distant and cold with me when we were away but she was being very strong in terms of her behaviour around the children.

    When we returned home, after a few days she told me that she wanted us to separate – that we could be supportive of each other and she still cared etc. She was also still angry and siad a lot of other stuff. I’ve been fairly shell shocked since, though I started to read about this technique and started to adopt it.

    I’m not sure if it’s helping but she hasn’t said that she wants to separate for about 2 weeks – things have been a little better but we’re not talking about it much and there’s been no physical contact between us – I’m wary of intiating anything.

    What I’ve discovered though, is a lot about myself. I realise that for the whole time we’ve been married I was unable to just accept her love for me – in fact I feel that i’ve spent most of my time looking for reasons to doubt it and this has meant that I’ve been extrmeely obstructive/destructive in our lives and relationship.

    At times she says she’s shocked at how I can just change and that it’s not really me, she doesn’t know me etc I’ve been careful to not try and defend my actions, behaviour etc

    i don’t know if there’s any hope – I care about her a lot but I can see that she’s been very unhappy and that has largely been due to my behaviour. I’ve avoided trying to convince her that I’m committed to change etc and also taking some postivie steps by rejoining a society I was a member of and just getting on with things like home improvements.

    I’m not sure if it’s connected but by adopting this technique i’ve probably found out or become a lot more aware of myself. it’s frustrating to see that I’ve been so blind to what’s been in front of me also this time and that there was so much love. The back story to my own difficulties with emotions relates to my childhood adoption into an abusive family – I’ve done a lot of work on this but ironically probablly missed the fact that all I needed was there all the time – a loving partner and family.

    Finally, I’ve found your website and the generally discussion around this really helpful.

    1. Dear JJ, thanks for your kind comments about our websete and blog discussion.

      Its great folk contribute and talk about things close to their hearts and I want to help as best I can.

      Your story is not uncommon, a long term relationship where there has possibly been a lot of complaining to each other but no real addressing or action taken on those complaints. I say this so others may hear this and really start to listen to their mates issues before it comes to the ” I want to separate”. Many folk tend to hear their partner and then think when they stop complaining the issue is resolved. It is not. Unless you have both actively looked into taking a stand and working on things they are going to be there festering in the background building resentment. This is when the husband or wife is shell shocked. as you were, with the “I want to leave” or ” I am not in love with you anymore”.

      Inaction is a danger for all relationships.

      Well done, JJ for tkaing action and applying the learnings from our Marriage Works Blog.

      This paragraph in particular is amazing:
      “What I’ve discovered though, is a lot about myself. I realise that for the whole time we’ve been married I was unable to just accept her love for me – in fact I feel that i’ve spent most of my time looking for reasons to doubt it and this has meant that I’ve been extrmeely obstructive/destructive in our lives and relationship.”

      That is a key point you make and at the heart of the Last Resort Technique (LRT). Self reflection and growth are exactly what drives the LRT at it’s best and most likely to yield positiive results. I am so proud of you and your efforts – well done! That takes courage to go within and review you.

      JJ you are spot on by not defending or justifying your ‘sudden’ changes in behaviour ot your partner. Naturally our spouses will take time to see if these shifts are long term (read real and genuine) and not merely a reaction and get them to stay strategy – short term. Hang in there!

      Yes JJ getting on with things, getting your own life back on track with helpful interests and following through on home projects will certainly support this. Good work. I’ll bet you are feeling better in yourself from this – win/win.

      So sorry it sounds with your adoption into an abusive family, you haven’t had an easy childhood start and it’s not unusual for a persons relationships to be uneasy. I can tell from your email you have certainly achieved a great deal of growth and self awareness from working on yourself, I’d guess that is in therapy. I am hearing you appear able to apply this growth to your partner and lovely family, a wonderful milestone. This can be a really healing time for all. A hopeful future no matter the outcome.

      JJ, thanks ever so much for sharing this and I do hope others read your email for inspiration and guidance.
      Thanks again and please let us know your progress.
      Warm Regards,
      Philipa

      1. Philipa
        Thank you for your response and supportive comments.
        This is a draining process! the conflicting emotions – trauma, grief, fear, anxiety and even the prospect of a new exciting life – are all there and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on at times.

        We’ve been talking more aboout separating and i’ve now booked appointments to view houses to move into. We’re having difficult conversations about what to say to the children when the time comes – it comes from both of us not really fully appreciating the others’ point of view.

        It has helped me a lot to actually talk to a freind about what’s going on – there was a large out pouring of emotion – he actually said he was shocked but i never share anything personal about my home life. I wish maybe I’d have been more open with others in the past and maybe this is something I can build on going forward.

        My wife and I are still living together, we even still share our bed – probably more so than over the previous 10 years or so. I’ve certainly been guilty of getting into a bad habitat of withdrawing myself and using the kids/sleepless nights as an excuse to do this.

        I’m still really confused by wife – she’s clearly unhappy – and it upsets me to see that, and that us being together is a major factor in that. Last night she said that she still ‘loved me as a friend’ and ‘that she doesn’t want to be on her own, rattling around in the house’. I didn’t pursue any of these comments and later I offered her a hug on a ‘as friends basis’ which I genunienly meant and which was ok and I feel received in the spirit it was intended.

        I’m going to pursue a house purchase and the plan of separating – I think the LR technique is very difficult particularly when it feels like there is sometimes an air of misunderstanding – for example a partner maybe giving a signal to re-engage in a constructive way but it’s easy to misinterpret. I think my wife is in a very difficult place – she feels like she has made a definitive decision for the long term good but is also seeing how difficult it is going to be. I want to be supportive – but I think that’s really diffciult without appearing to be clingy.

        I do find things a little easier when we’re not with each other so much, I’m sure that’s the case for her too. I understand the LR technique but the major problem I’m having is that she’s my best friend and I want her back – I also appreciate that maybe the best hope is to actually separate to get that space to allow us both time to reflect properly.

        I find it helpful to lok through all the posts on here, so far my main realisations are:
        1. That I’ve had problems being truly and freely emotionally connected with my partner which has been a major barrier to building and strengthening our relationship. I feel this is largely due to fear based on my childhood expereinces. Instead of really listening and trying to understand what she was saying, I often responded defensively, or with avoidance, in a submissive way and/or in a way which I think would please her.
        2. I’ve never really used my friendships as a support network – I’ve little family to call on but I have a lot of freinds. I’ve often been there to listen and support others during their own relationship difficulties but have probably been too scared to risk being more open about myself.
        3. Probably the most difficult is trying to see through the myriad of emotions to what is the best course of action – foremost in that are the needs of the children, for the children to be happy the parents need to be happy and ultimately this might be the hardest sacrifice I have to make by removing myself from the family home. This is the single most heart breaking aspect but i understand that in time this may turn out to be best for all. i feel I’m just beginning this part of the journey i don’t know what the ultimate outcome will be – it’s frightening but hopefully with mutual respect and compassion the outcome can be positive even if it’s a very painful journey – there is at least a lot of love in my family and hopefully that will continue.

        Thanks agan
        JJ

        1. Dear JJ,
          thanks again for sharing your learnings and insights, your pain and your story will offer others support.

          Of course, this is a difficult period in your life, massive really. From your email it is clear you are holding yourself with dignity and I am sure your wife will see this. You are truly stepping into the breach here and being a partner more in this, form what i read.

          Kindness and compassion to all.

          As for the comversation with your children, I go for the keep it simple, honest and reassuring, without burdening them on your marital issues. Give an honest but not explicit explanation of how you have come to this. They need to know whatever the outcome is that you both love and will be there for them. It’s ok too to say we don’t know. This is best discussed with your partner and done together, demonstrating a caring front of adult connection.

          It so wonderful to hear you are wanting to put your childrens needs first.

          Yes a network of support is important and can actually refuel your marriage, glad you have a friend and wise this person is of the same gender.

          A friendship is a solid building block. I think you are right re taking the time apart for reflection, this may even allow your partner to miss you. It is good you are acknowledging her perspective with an open heart, very wise. This is an emotional time for her also. It is a good sign your partner wishes to re-engage but you are correct you can’t read or misinterpret things as a green light. Being a best friends is a beautiful thing and I do hope things work out.

          Certainly the myriad of emotions you are experiencing are very normal, so please be compassionate to yourself. I hear your fear and the fact you are expressing it, rather than acting it out with your spouse is a tribute to your growth.

          Mutual respect and compassion are a superb resonse to this incredibly stressful time. Your holding yourself as kind and caring even in the storm and allowing your wife the space leads me also to have hope for you and your situation JJ.

          Glad the blog posts and comments are useful.

          Have courage!
          Warmly Philipa

        2. Hello again

          I have another insight to share – I’ve been running through the full range of emotions lately and decided to book an appointment with a therapist, which I’m going to later today.

          In terms of emotions I feel I’m in the grieving stage – it’s now at this point can I only really full appreciate the pain my wife has been in. She has been expereincing these emotions for a long time and rather than acknowledge them and support her I focused far too much on myself (ie the feelings of being attacked).

          It’s been another devastating realisation about myself – I’m not sure what anyone can take from this – it’s taken the trauma to get in touch with these emotions, I think I was unable to do this previously but hopefully going forward I can be more supportive to her as a friend and also maybe it will be a better basis for future relationships.

          Currently – feeling exhausted but trying to keep moving forward.

          JJ

          1. Dear JJ,
            it’s great you haved booked a therapy session. I am sure it will help you with the emotional rollercoaster.

            From your email there is a significant shift in your awareness I can hear : ” it’s now at this point can I only really full appreciate the pain my wife has been in. She has been expereincing these emotions for a long time and rather than acknowledge them and support her I focused far too much on myself (ie the feelings of being attacked)”

            This is not unusual. It takes a great deal of maturity to hold onto your own hurt and pain to really understang your spouse’s. Being open and sensitive and listening to understand your partner is truly healing. Yet most of us lack the courage, naturity and ability to listen deeply. Often we feel personally slighted and attacked and typically become defensive, which leads to a fight. I am sure others may recognise this unhelpful loop.

            It is when you allow the space in your relationship for open conversations that allow our tender parts to feel attended to real connection and intimacy start to blossom.

            Sadly it can take a bombshell. Trauma offers at times a real opportunity for growth. I reckon there is a bit of grief at some stage in a folks realisations, a sort of regret, in the wishing things hadn’t gotten to this point and we had really heard our loved ones issues. Be gentle with yourself.

            Your awareness and action on this a where the rubber hits the road.

            Indeed your last paragraph shows the depth of your learnings. Living in a loving supportive and friendly way is a positive step to all of your relationships.

            Thanks JJ!

  37. Hi, we have been seperated now for 3 months, we have two children together 3 & 5.
    We were together for 10 years & sometimes fairly rocky, we split 18 months ago & got back together after 8 months , then split again 3 months ago.
    I was stressed with work, not controling my words & emotions at home & i wasnt easy to be around & pretty much had a melt down & she left.
    I have been working overtime on myself with counseling, reiki & self help books.
    I see everything in a completly different light now, i feel i have come a long way in 3 months.
    I look for any positive signs from her but they are few & far between.
    I love her & the kids to the moon & back.
    What do I do now ?

    1. Dear Paul,
      It is great you have taken the time to work on yourself. Now is the time to be there for your children and be the best Dad. Please read some of the content on the blog for more information.
      Good luck!
      Regards Philipa

  38. My husband and I have been together for nearly 7 years and have been married for 10 months. Our relationship in general was a very happy one and we were so in love but we have had our share of arguments and disagreements over time like any couple.

    We have been arguing the most that we ever have within the last year. I believe its due to the stresses of planning our wedding, moving into our new home where were have been doing full on renovations for the last 4 months and me also starting up a new at home business. Trying to adjust to all of these new big things in our lives in such a short time while trying to maintain who we are as individuals and have a good relationship with one another has made us grow apart.

    3 weeks ago, my husband told me that he loves me but isnt in love with me anymore and said that he doesnt want to be with me and doesnt see a future together. We discussed everything and at that point it sounded like he was already checked out of the relationship and ready to leave me. Somehow, we decided to try and fix things and things started to change immedietely after this was brought up. I went through moments where I was upset and emotional and he would just assure me that if I acted normally and not be upset and sad about things then everything would get back to the way they were before. So with those words, I was being the nice, bubbly person that I am and we were really attentive with each other and we were saying we loved each other (mostly after I would say it first- probably a mistake in hindsight) and we were still being sexually involved with each other and talking about future things. We didnt argue at all either! Things felt great and I thought that this was going to be the start of us fixing our relationship for good.

    This continued for 1 + 1/2 weeks until he went away on a bucks weekend for 4 days. We were still messaging each other when he would be in service and everything felt normal then too. When he returned from this weekend away it was like something had changed somehow and he was being a bit distant to a degree and it made me feel weird around him. We still had sex that night but he didnt want to cuddle after and we went to sleep.

    The next night when he got home from work he said that he cant do this anymore and he just doesnt want to be with me and doesnt feel like himself anymore. Its like ending things with me is his only way to get happy again and find himself. He said that he started to feel odd about us about 1 year ago but thought it was to do with the stress of the wedding etc and never brought anything up with me. He has never been a talker and said that he tried to fix this on his own and is now at the point where he has no drive to fix things. I feel like he hasnt given this a real chance and for us to fix it together. He has been staying at his brothers on the couch for now until we work out what to do with everything- housewise etc. I am still in shock and disbelief. It is very confusing!

    I will try to use these techniques and see what happens but Im not sure if it will make a difference since we are not around each other at the moment? They will be good for working throught things myself though.

    Any thoughts on this would be great!

    1. Dear Leah,
      thanks for your email.

      As I read through it I sense there is may be some level of avoidance and minimising. Perhaps this has not allowed for you or your partners needs to be talked about or understood.

      Sure the things you mention are very stressful and happy life events, but I get a sense of disconnection. Often folk need to really hear without defense or anger their partners feelings. The good and the unhappy. This is the nature of true intimacy, deep connection and can be scary. It means being vulnerable and takes real courage.

      When you and you partner start to be 100% real abour each others needs, fears, pain and hopes real healing and connection blossom. While you are separated you may think on whether this was happening in yoru relationship.

      In terms of the LRT think about what your partner has said to you over the years.Is there a common theme? If so adjust and change without talking about it, be the change.

      From your email you say your partner is not a talker, how good a listener are you? Please know I am not trying to criticise, rather raise awareness, you may be amazing, but I find most of us can improve! When we become active listeners it can encourage the other person to share more of themselves and their anguish. You sound to me like you are hearing him really clearly now, this can be a turning point.

      Good on you for using the techniques and I am sure as you begin your growth things will shift.
      Good luck and best wishes,
      warmly PHilipa

      1. Hello again,

        After reading your response I have realised things about our entire relationship and about how I was being in our relationship and have truly come to some realisations.

        I know that you said to be the change without talking about it but how do I go about this while we are living separately at the moment and have minimal to no contact verbally or physically.

        Any helpful thoughts would be appreciated!

        1. Dear Leah,
          it would be interesting if you were to share here on the blog your realisations, it may be helpful to others and continue your clarity.

          It’s great you have an increased awareness and others can use your wisdom and insights to grow.

          You certainly can be appyling the LRT while living separately and having minimal contact. The shifts in your attitudes and awareness are the first step in this action. I find when you really feel this shift others are naturally attracted to this. It has to be on a profound level where you really believe in yourself as an independent warm and lovable person through and through. It’s big task, you can do it.

          I am taking it you have no children? Otherwise you need ot maintain regular contact in support of your children.

          Being your best self is living in openness and freedom. Having a step back can give you both the opportunity to breath and miss the good things.

          When your partner reaches out to you, you need to come from this attitude shift and live it. This will make you more attractive.

          The quality of your interactions really count now. From your email you are probably connecting to being the best listener possible and hearing to understand. Keep your focus on you and really being present to the other person in your interactions. Let the real free you shine!

          And keep doing the LR tehcniques – no bringing up the past or asking where the relationship is adn the like, please reread them if you need a reminder. You may say something like, I appreciate your honesty and that you need to live your truth, if it is appropriate.

          True love is freedom.

          Hope this helps and let us know how you go.

          Best wishes Philipa

          1. Hi Philipa!

            Thanks for that!

            The realisations that I have come to I feel stem from the effect that my parents’ relationship has had on me subconsciously. I don’t remember a time when I saw them really happy with each other (they would argue ALL the time) and my father basically used my mother in every way for years to get ahead in life. My mother raised 4 children as a single parent even though he was still around. She felt alone even though she was in a relationship. I am not trying to blame their situation for mine but I truly realise now that the things that I was doing in my own relationship were because deep down I was afraid that I would end up like that and would compare my husband to my father( which he is nothing like at all!!! ) we had talked about this before and he said he hates how I would compare him to my father but things that I continued to do just happened subconsciously- I didnt mean to!!

            Here are my realisations- I feel like everything underneath the first point stems from that underlying issue:

            – I felt like my husband needed to always prove his love for me instead of me focusing more on how to love him (Im not saying I was terrible in our relationship and not loving etc because I love him very much-but I know now that the pressure that he would feel from this would be terrible and no matter what he did he would feel like it would never be enough- he said that he feels like hes just not good enough for me anymore when he brought everything up. I assured him that he is good enough for me etc but in his state of mind he wouldnt really take it in and believe that)

            – I needed to be more independent and not rely on him to make me happy instead of making myself happy first and focusing on me! I feel like I lost a bit of myself and who I truly am throughout the last few years gradually. (Again, I was focusing on what he was doing to make me happy and prove he loved me than loving myself)

            – I used to make assumptions and jump straight to the negative (I should have always given him the benefit of the doubt which was hard die to events that happened in the past and my fear of turning out like my parents)

            – More accepting of his passions and what makes him happy as a person ( I did accept his passions and wanted him to be independent and happy but because again I was focusing on how he should prove his love to me- I would subconsciously think that that overpowers that need and that its all about me and that he should be concentrating on me) it sounds terribly selfish :/ I dont think that I was controlling at all! He could always do what he wanted – go out/see friends etc I never had an issue with that and I trust him 100%- I feel more like it had an impact on our relationship because I would feel not loved as much and felt that he didnt have the right balance with spending time with me and with other people which made me feel a bit neglected and unwanted

            – made more effort with his family and friends ( I feel like he made more effort with my family than I did with his but I made more effort with his friends than he did with mine- I feel both should be equal)

            These are the main realisations that I have come to that I guess I heard him talk about in the past to a degree but I never really understood how damaging it was at the time. These underlying issues wernt brought up in a serious way I don’t think and were never truly resolved. These things would have happened no matter who I was with until I resolved them for me. The person I am describing above is not the real me! I was never like that before and now I feel liberated and ready to move forward and not let my parents’ relationship effect what I do- or atleast I can be more aware of what I do.

            From here- I don’t know if I should bring all of this up with my husband face to face so I can admit all of these things in a real way so he knows that I am aware of the part that I played in getting to where we are now. He has some things that he had been doing too that he may or may not have realised yet. He said that it wasn’t all me etc.

            I know you said to be the change without talking about it but some of the things I listed I feel cant be communicated by me “being the change ive become” when we have minimal contact.

            No we dont have any children by the way.

            Thoughts would be great!

            Thank you!

          2. Leah says:
            31 August 2017 at 9:11 am
            Hi Philipa!

            Thanks for that!

            The realisations that I have come to I feel stem from the effect that my parents’ relationship has had on me subconsciously. I don’t remember a time when I saw them really happy with each other (they would argue ALL the time) and my father basically used my mother in every way for years to get ahead in life. My mother raised 4 children as a single parent even though he was still around. She felt alone even though she was in a relationship. I am not trying to blame their situation for mine but I truly realise now that the things that I was doing in my own relationship were because deep down I was afraid that I would end up like that and would compare my husband to my father( which he is nothing like at all!!! ) we had talked about this before and he said he hates how I would compare him to my father but things that I continued to do just happened subconsciously- I didnt mean to!!

            Here are my realisations- I feel like everything underneath the first point stems from that underlying issue:

            – I felt like my husband needed to always prove his love for me instead of me focusing more on how to love him (Im not saying I was terrible in our relationship and not loving etc because I love him very much-but I know now that the pressure that he would feel from this would be terrible and no matter what he did he would feel like it would never be enough- he said that he feels like hes just not good enough for me anymore when he brought everything up. I assured him that he is good enough for me etc but in his state of mind he wouldnt really take it in and believe that)

            – I needed to be more independent and not rely on him to make me happy instead of making myself happy first and focusing on me! I feel like I lost a bit of myself and who I truly am throughout the last few years gradually. (Again, I was focusing on what he was doing to make me happy and prove he loved me than loving myself)

            – I used to make assumptions and jump straight to the negative (I should have always given him the benefit of the doubt which was hard die to events that happened in the past and my fear of turning out like my parents)

            – More accepting of his passions and what makes him happy as a person ( I did accept his passions and wanted him to be independent and happy but because again I was focusing on how he should prove his love to me- I would subconsciously think that that overpowers that need and that its all about me and that he should be concentrating on me) it sounds terribly selfish :/ I dont think that I was controlling at all! He could always do what he wanted – go out/see friends etc I never had an issue with that and I trust him 100%- I feel more like it had an impact on our relationship because I would feel not loved as much and felt that he didnt have the right balance with spending time with me and with other people which made me feel a bit neglected and unwanted

            – made more effort with his family and friends ( I feel like he made more effort with my family than I did with his but I made more effort with his friends than he did with mine- I feel both should be equal)

            These are the main realisations that I have come to that I guess I heard him talk about in the past to a degree but I never really understood how damaging it was at the time. These underlying issues wernt brought up in a serious way I don’t think and were never truly resolved. These things would have happened no matter who I was with until I resolved them for me. The person I am describing above is not the real me! I was never like that before and now I feel liberated and ready to move forward and not let my parents’ relationship effect what I do- or atleast I can be more aware of what I do.

            From here- I don’t know if I should bring all of this up with my husband face to face so I can admit all of these things in a real way so he knows that I am aware of the part that I played in getting to where we are now. He has some things that he had been doing too that he may or may not have realised yet. He said that it wasn’t all me etc.

            I know you said to be the change without talking about it but some of the things I listed I feel cant be communicated by me “being the change ive become” when we have minimal contact.

            No we dont have any children by the way.

            Thoughts would be great!

            Thank you!

          3. Dear Leah,
            thanks for your email. I can see others reading your words, nodding their heads and saying to themselves, yes, I did those same things. Resonating with your fear and need.

            It’s kind of odd isn’t what mistakes we are so afraid of repeating, we often do repeat just in another way!

            I read too there is a part that feels not good enough, unworthy and unlovable, which can lead to the external demands for love, anxiety and controlling. So many of the folk I see have huge fears of rejection and yet are rejecting of love and support. These Resource parts are usually from the past and become triggered in todays life. Until these parts of the personality are attended to they are likely to keep surfacing in an overreactive and anxious manner.

            It’s great you have an intellectual awareness of the emotional parts. I do hope that will suffice.

            I am going to recommend Gordon Emmerson’s Self Help book :

            Healthy Parts Happy Self – 3 Steps to Like Yourself by Gordon Emmerson

            “Do your emotions get in your way? Do they cause you to eat, buy, or react in a way you don’t want?
            Are there times when there is a battle on the inside?
            When our inner parts are at peace and when they all feel safe and supported we can be our true selves. There is no better gift to give ourselves and our friends.
            Addictions are a reaction to unhappy parts and when these parts get what they need and deserve we can live the lives we want.
            We can enjoy all aspects of life better when we have the best part out.”

            You can get here at a greatly discounted rate

            http://www.resourcetherapyinternational.com/store/p2/Healthy_Parts_Happy_Self_-_By_Gordon_Emmerson_PhD_%282012%29.html

            (I the interests of Full Disclosure: I know Gordon personallly and have his book, and I am not getting any financial incentive, I only want to support you)

            As for the timing of bringing you awarenesses up, it really depends on where things are at in your personal situation.

            If you are in the early stages then no, I wouldn’t. Just live the enlightened you, so you shine through.

            If you have been practicing the LRT dedicatedly for a while now (most likely a few months or so) reread the LRT where you ask the question about the relationship. Gauge your spouses response and go from there.

            I still wouldn’t say anything much about your insights, as this could lead your partner to feeling guilty and then wanting to get right the heck away from you. Or say it in one sentence, something like ” I recognise my fear in the past has blocked me from being the best partner and I am addressing this.” And if your partner aks more keep it brief. If they say uh huh, then let it go.

            You have more power ins demonstrating the new ‘improved’ version of you, than discussing it.
            Good luck with it!
            Cheers Philipa

  39. My husband’s father died. We had 25 year anniversary. He started a tacky affair using family belongings with the woman – eg sleeping bags. I confronted him and we went for counseling but he wouldn’t stop seeing her. I told him to leave. I changed the locks. He moved in with her. He went out of town and is coming back. He didn’t tell me it was over and contacted me. I said I didn’t want to see him if he was with her. He said he was done with the woman. He said he was getting put up by someone temporarily and that he plans to go away again but that next time he comes back he wants to talk about division of assets. I could use some guidance. I continue to suffer emotional pain. I feel that he is disconnected. I fear he has started another affair. I am doing all the self care things. Is it just going to take time for me to accept that this is the end of a perfectly good marriage that was derailed by something out of my control? It’s been 7 months now.

    1. Oh Dear one,
      I do feel for you.
      Yes I can hear you are getting very mixed messages from your partner. I am so sorry you are in emotional pain and would recommend you get profession support – therapy to help you. Perhaps you and your therapist could work the Last Resort Technique?
      It is a good sign your husband went to counselling. Let him see the you that he fell in love with, get your self back to your personal best on the inside and the outside. So glad you are doing the self care things. The fear has to be addressed in therapy otherwise it can cripple a person with anxiety. Know that internal fear is not real.

      Move forward with the discussion about separating with grace and stick to the LRT.
      Wishing you both hope and help.
      Warmly Philipa

  40. Hi There,

    My husband and I have been together for 12 years. Married for 7. One month ago, my husband informed that he wanted to separate “to take some space, while working on the marriage”. I initiated counselling immediately. We both attended and thoroughly discussed our issues. Opposite work schedules, finances, lack of intimacy, two toddlers. My husband explained to the therapist that he loves me but is not “in love with me”. The therapist nodded and explained that given the period in our lives, all of the factors we were dealing with, kids etc., there was every reason to have found ourselves in this spot. He also said that with some work, there was no reason why we couldn’t get to the other side of it with our marriage intact. My husband and I discussed the appointment upon leaving and we both stated that we were optimistic and happy with the outcome. One week later, he told me he would be pursuing divorce. I was completely shocked and am devastated still. We have 2 children – 3 1/2 and 18 months. We are currently trading the children off to each other via an intermediary because I cannot stomach seeing him. The grief and shock are so absolutely overwhelming. I have spent much time in counselling since. Made significant progress to identify and work on the things that I have done to contribute to our situation. I feel like the Last Resort Technique is absolutely the only thing I have left to try. How can I incorporate this when we have little to no contact? Seeing him is physically painful and sets me back because the grief is forefront. And the love I have for him is so overwhelmingly strong. I would do anything to save this marriage. I know what we are capable of accomplishing together and I know there is so much we can do to get back on track. How do I go about incorporating LRT if there are no opportunities to show him my progress?

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Jo,
      Ok I can definitely hear the confusion and shock you have experienced.

      From the therapy session it sounds like you and your hsuband had a good intellectual understanding of the issues. Only problem with that is the emotional issues remain unresolved, and this may have contributed to your partners decision, although I am only guessing.

      Your best progress would be to effectively deal with the grief, shock and overwhelm. Please find a Resource Therapist, EFT counsellor, Tapping or EMDR specialist, as there sounds like a part of you is feeling really stuck in the pain and shock.

      You need te be able to ‘stomach’ seeing him, otherwise it will provide further evidence that it is a good decision to leave and you probably don’t want that. Please process these strong reactions for you and your children’s sake, they need your best you.

      It would be good to find a mature and wise part to rise above the hurt. Be careful about what the definition of love is.
      Sometimes folk mistake love for need. Love is letting go of the outcome.

      The Last Resort is about healing yourself emotionally and growing. This may be your best opportunity as you say to do anything to save the marriage. Live the healing.

      The LR is about living your progress regardless of the contact. Please Read my comments to Leah also to inform.

      Good luck and I am glad you are taking positive action!
      Well done.
      Best Wishes Philipa

        1. Dear Jo,
          I certainly do suggest giving the LRT you darnedest.
          It gives you a point of focus and a positive direction.
          At the very least you will recover your spirit and passion no matter what.
          Wishing you all the best.
          Warmly Philipa

  41. Hi Philipa (again).
    I really feel like just running as far away as I can and as fast as I can, but it just doesn´t seem like something I could do, since we have a 13 year old son and he would be devastated, and the last thing I would like to put him through is the same as I was put through as a child. My parents divorced when I was little and it has affected everything in my life, maybe especially since my mother moved me to my grandmother to live, since her new husband was not very nice and she was scared of what could happen (so she basicly chose him over me, and sort of still does). But this has always made me feel like I belong nowhere, my father is on his third wife and is barely talking to me, the only contact we have is when I call him og visit him, it only goes one way, and he doesn´t even know his grandson (and he has never given me any reason for this, no fights no nothing – just icecold).

    I think going through all this has affected me more than i thought and has through all my relationship, and has been affecting my spouse in a bad way, I have been overworking, overeating and it has seemed like I don´t care, but I think that is only because I was scared to just loose everything and everyone again and now I sort of have fulfilled my own worst self-profet-story? if you know what I mean, maybe I have on purposed been pushing my spouse away, I don´t think I have, but maybe that is it, I just can´t figure it out and he will not talk to me for real – he has said alot of things since this all started, but the stories and reasons are different and sometimes I don´t understand them. And I am not good at guessing what I should do.

    I am having a extra hard time doing this last resort technique, especially having fun and taking care of my self, I just cant get my head or thought of the question “what can I do” to fix this, it is a never ending story in my head – sometimes I can let go of it for a day or two, but when we go to bed and there is nothing more than a goodnight, It all starts again – I feel unloved, alone, not worth anything and feel like I am really easy to just “through away – again”… And I have no idea how to let go of this feeling?

    This is properbly just like loosing weight, I know what to do, but just cant seem to do it?

    I am not sure where I am going with this, but I just had to get it out I guess?

    1. Thanks again, Barbara,
      for your insights. Divorce is often not easy for children. Continuity and sticking to a usual routine are recommended.

      So sorry you were negatively affected with your parents handling of there marriage breakdown, and then being sent to live iwth yoru grandmother, I imagine a part of you could feel abandoned and isolated. This can lead to over-reactions, like workaholism, comfort eating, depression, anxiety and overwhelm. I do hope you get some healing, otherwise the part that feels rejected will keep popping up with it’s feelings of being unlovable, lost and empty. This usually leads to other parts stepping in to avoid these feelings with behaviours such as gambling, drinking or overeating or working.

      Please find a specialist Resource Therapist. EMDR clinician, or therapist trained in EFT or hypnosis. On Utube you can access free hypnosis tapes to listen to at night. I particularly like Michael Sealey, he has a wonderful healing voice. I have used them and they have helped me feel calmer and more secure too. I only recommmend what I have expereinced and know has helped me gain freedom from low self esteem and the issues this has caused in the past.

      These forms of therapy will address the parts involved in your low self esteem and unhelpful behaviours.

      You take it as easy as you can!
      Thanks for sharing your feelings and experiences. Barbara, bless you!
      Love and light Philipa

  42. Hi

    Posting my update – it has been a tumultuous few weeks. I thought I ws making real progress with my wife, I’d been applying LRT and also going through therapy. Along the way I made a really important discovery which was brought on by comments form my wife. Essentially and with difficulty I realised my thought processes have been largely controlled by childhood expereinces – particularly the type of abuse I had been subjected to in my early childhood. Without going into detail this ha,s I now understand, had a profound effect on me and my relationship – in terms of my relationship I haven’t been able to trust and have had difficulties with a healthy intimate relationship.

    I’ve started to get clinical psychological help with this – which is difficult. my wife said she would support me and that things were ‘different’ becuase of this and she didn’t feel trapped anymore etc we’ve had some nice times without actually become affectionate with each other.

    Crash – I made a big/stupid mistake yesterday, I had felt under pressure to buy a house and told my wife that I was finding the prospect of this overwhelming at the same time as therapy etc etc and that I would rather rent somewhere. Her reaction at that time was to revert to thinking that I hadn’t listened to her properly and I wasn’t acting in the best interest of the kids. I can now see that i had to some degree maybe misread her which she now takes as me blaming her. I can see how upset she is and that all the progress over the past few weeks has now had a massive set back becuase i’ve allowed myself to appear desperate etc

    I’ve made an appointment to view a house this afternoon to rent – and it’s a nice house which will be nice for the kids too. I haven’t pulled out of a house purchase I’m involved with but I feel really pressured by it and the prospect of the responsbility that goes with it – basically I feel like I can’t cope with that as well as everything else but could probably manage the rental situation as it’s less onerous in the short term.

    I know I now need to get back on track with LRT, deal with/manage my therapy and cope with the day to day demands of life/work etc.

    When I understood what had happened to me and admited this to myself. My wife said she would support me – I can see that this is probably too diffciult for her given the way she feels about our relationship. She also said that she and the kids need me. The difficulty i had i think is that I feel very alone – the issues i have to deal with are very deep and personal and uncomfortable to talk about – but it’s also not fair of me to rely on her. Despite all the awakenings I’ve had over the past 2 months she doesn’t seem to think that I will ever change and that’s it’s just the shock that is bringing it out of me and I’ll revert to my previous self…so frustrating!

    On the final plus point – this morning she was adamant that I need to make this change if we have a chance. I hope it’s HOPE.

    In terms of insights –

    Some issues are deep and ‘counselling’ alone is not neccessarily the answer – particular if issues/behaviour are driven by trauma/childhood expereinces.

    Even with LRT – life is complex and confusing – really listening is extremely difficult.

    1. Dear Jay jay,
      from your email you are really learning and growing from your experiences. Wow, that is great and of course naturally presents some sticky stuff at times.

      My deepest heartfelt sorry to the younger you that was abused as a child. It would not be unusual for this to affect a persons present day experience. This part will be sensitive, which is a both a wonderful thing and can easily overwhelming, with a sense of hyperawareness of any percieved rejection.

      As I said to Barbara you need to work with a Clinical psychologist trained in parts therapy, like Resource Therapy, EMDR, EFt or hypnosis.

      I totally agree, help may take many forms – Yoga, walking, massage, cranial sacral therapy, meditiation and the like.

      Talking therapy in the form of counselling while useful in understanding the issues, in my clinical and personal experience will not lead to the relief and long term changes most of us are wanting for ourselves.

      It may be useful to find a support group in yoru local area that feels safe and comfortable, as I hear your isolation.

      Thanks for sharing,
      Best wishes, in love and light.
      Philipa

      1. Hi Philipa

        Thanks again – I feel like you should be charigng fees for this online resource! it’s been one of my pillars of support for the past couple of months.

        Things have changed slightly for me recently – I’ve started the EMDR (safe place resourcing), so I’ve not been feeling great on and off.

        Things did come to a bit of a head last week – I would say that I’ve been expereincing panic attacks, flash backs etc. I think I was on the verge of a complete breakdown/hopsital. I think at this point my wife started to realise that the trauma was significant – so she said we can put plans on hold until I’m feeling ok, 6 months or next sumer more likely. She said she could see that I was trying to face up to things and that she understood that I had no one beyond my family at home for support. She still also says that this does not mean that things are ok between us.

        There were also the first signs of her admittng that she’s been very angry and that I’m not totally to blame for the situation. She also apologised to me for saying that I didn’t care about her. I feel now that her own job in mental health particularly dealing with families has also been difficult for her and contributed to her feelings of hopelessness.

        I feel like she has had to make a sacrifice with in herself to try and help me and that’s very difficult (but hugely kind) for her but does give me some space and time to try and work through the EMDR and processing the trauma. It’s scary becuase i understand that this is and has been a huge emotional block for me.

        My wife has applied a lot of pressure to me in terms of the scenario that works best for the kids and I agree with the rational. my problem is my unresolved trauma and lack of support – that I feel would make it difficult for me to be able to cope with that ideal ‘best dad/best friend/but not living together’ scenario. I feel selfish and very conflicted for not having the strength to fulfil this at the moment.

        I think your advice has been consistent and spot on in terms of needing the right kind of professional help. I’m aiming to maintain the LRT as best as I can – I could see the benefits before the trauma started coming out. The plus points are that we still live together, we are communicating, doing things with the kids, we watched a TV programme together last night and we read a story to youngest in bed together at the weekend. I know these are small things and I know that I can’t read anything into my wifes’ actions other than friendship and support.

        In terms of the LRT I now know I need to concentrae on getting better myself (EMDR), not to mention our relationship and take it a day at a time in terms of being present in life in the best way I can be.

        i’m also starting to make changes in my life – not just starting new hobbies etc but actually thinking about ‘friendships’ and how I’ve probably been engaging in things (e.g. drinking – it’s not something I do very regularly but am aware I can become slightly habitual and am excessive when I socialise) that are unhelfpul to me given my emotional make up and problematic thought processes. Other relationships such as maintaing contact with both my adopted and biological mothers – I now realise have caused me a lot of difficulty and also very uncomfortable for me. I feel like there’s a LOT of work to do on me before I can really think that there’s hope for my marriage.

        I read most of the comments on here – Thank You to everyone who contributes – a lot of comments resonate. I think you have to let go of what you can’t control to be able to see what needs to be done with yourself (if like me you have deep seated problems) and then LRT may work if that’s what’s meant to be.

        Thank you again

        J

        1. Dear JJ,
          I am moved to emotion with your kind words.
          And I laughed when you suggested charging a fee, it does take me a few hours to do this but the reward I get from yours and others email is truly inspiring.

          Even more so when someone here has expressed such deep loss they want to end their life, I do appreciate the courage it took to share that and hope they are also gaining what I do believe is support from the brothers and sisters involved in this little online community.

          Your insights and reflections show us your growth as a person in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and journey here with us, it’s illuminating as ever. You being able to take on your wife’s perspective is further evidence of your development.

          You sound like you have had complicated relationships from the very startof life and I am glad you are getting a trauma focussed and appropriate healing therapy like EMDR. Others are EFT adn Resource Therapy, those younger parts need to feel secure and good enough.

          And you are a worthwhile project! Keep up the great work. You all are!!

          Best Wishes and thanks again, I know I can speak for all the writers and readers out there – for your kind thoughts to all of us hear and see.
          Regards Philipa

  43. Hi Philipa,

    Sadly I think it’s too late for me and my husband of 29 years. He left 2 weeks ago, sent me a text message “I moved on, please respect my wishes”. Then a few days later I got an email asking me to take the car to get checked. I took the car but it needs extra work so I texted my husband, he said he’d ring the car place about it. 3 days later I texted him as I hadn’t heard back. He said he forgot and would do it. Still haven’t heard back so I just marked it on the calendar and I’ll sort it out myself. I did send my husband an apology via text (please know I don’t like using all these text messages) and he responded saying he accepted my apology and noted he had been rude too but he still thinks we should seperate. My husband has moved into my daughter place which I feel only complicates things even more. I am home with my teenage son who I feel so very sorry for. My daughter came over to our place last weekend with dad and took my son our for 1 hour. I asked my daughter to please stay out of it because it looks like she’s picking sides – she got upset with me plus I did ask her suggest to her dad he either goes back home or moves somewhere else. She said she wouldn’t do that as it her dad and he can stay as long as he wants. I said to her what if I wanted to move in too – anyway it didn’t end well so I come to realise I can not talk to her about this horrible nightmare. My husband has a drinking problem which he doesn’t believe and hides the bottles. When his mean drinking his really horrible and says mean things to me but I’ve come to believe the horrible things he has said, he actually means. When his not drinking he hardly speaks at all too me and this can go for weeks until he decides he feels like sex – which of course I don’t feel like because there is no bonding outside the bedroom (actually he never listens to me in the bedroom either). I have a chronic pain issue that has really taken over my life over the last few years but he can never seem to remember this or where my pain is. On the night before he left he has told me I have done nothing for 20 years and that I never say thank you for dinner (which I don’t believe is true). he never asks me about my day so he wouldn’t have any clue. Also, my daughter had popped in and when she left to go out with her friends, he turned to me and started an argument about why she had left. I felt he had been drinking but he wouldn’t say yes or no. He has left me a few times over the years I have never left him. He has said he’s not in love with me. He always puts other people before me. Besides cooking the family dinner (which I get everything really except cook it), he doesn’t do anything else himself except work work and more work. He doesn’t understand or care about my chronic pain issues. I didn’t know my father and my mother was a drinker, who screams and carried on alot but I loved her when she was alive. My husband family is very different to my family. I will try and work on myself and I won’t make any contact with my husband. However, I don’t see how we could work on our marriage if we never see or heard from each other. I have 3 months to find a place to live but I don’t know how I am to going to support myself as I can’t work. My husband knows this but he has gotten us into some much financial debt (again hidden but I found out when I took over the banking – during my time of doing nothing). I can not trust him. I have no friends and limited family but they live in another state. I’m not giving up I just to to take it day by day I’m extremely devastated. I’m sorry if my writing is all over the place (thanks to medication). What I’ve learnt about myself so far – I come across as blunt. Also, I was so caught up in how hurt I was and how I felt that I didn’t notice or didn’t care to see that I he was hurting too. The other thing Ive noticed is that my husband holds onto issues for years and then bang brings it up – could be many many years later. For example he has said, he wished he lived near his parents but we haven’t done that for 20 years and we moved because of his job in the first place. I think my husband also lacks confidence, he’s always talking about doing jobs that require limited skills but he’s day job now is in management. He hides food and playing lotto games too from me. Reflecting back on what I’d written, I can see how easy it is for me to pick him apart but not so easy for my own reflection. I have alot of work to do on myself and by myself. My husband won’t be back – I’ve lost him forever.

    1. Dear Joanne,

      thanks for your email and reflections. I can hear you are listening, learning and evolving on many fronts.

      Certainly your children will love you both and it is very kind of your daughter to take your husband in. It is a credit to you both that she cares and offers support for all, she is a generous person indeed. Rise above the part of you feeling rejected and feeling like she is picking sides, resist discussing this with her, as it will cause more distress that it is worth for you both.

      Your marital problems are with your husband, and am I am sorry to hear you both have your own personal struggles.

      A person with a drinking problem really has to acknowledge this for themselves, so do yourself a favour and let that one be. Your energy would be best channelled back to you. I can’t imagine what it is like for you living with chronic pain, my heart goes out to you Joanne.

      Here is a potential support for free. I am guessing you are writing from the USA and medicare/ medicaid insurance is not easy for many folk from what I understand in the news (the real news that is!)

      I hope the link you can see. If not it is Michael Sealey sleep hypnosis for pain management. Please listen and if necessary consult with your physician.

      You are worth all the work!
      Put your efforts back into yourself, every time you find yourself thinking about your husband’s issues, I want you to check in with yourself and notice what you are feeling, thinking and take care of your needs. Start listening to your parts. You and everyone who’s ever been born on this earth deserves unconditonal love and care.

      Perhaps your cultural or spiritual roots may supply you more power and resources to draw upon. I feel it may be useful to really tap into your heritage and your ancestors wisdom. May this help bring you inner peace and harmony.
      Blessings to you Joanne for sharing your story and concerns with us.
      Yours in support love and light,
      Philipa

  44. Me and my husband have been separated for 4 months . He said he wanted a divorce 1 week before our 1 year wedding anniversary . And I had moved out one month before because he said he wanted space. And I respected it . I leave him alone , I don’t message him , unless he messages me . We hang out occasionally . I have tried to talk to him . To see if we can figure it out. I have always been open and honest about what I felt . With in the first year of our marriage I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome. And these wreaked havoc on my hormones and my body . I felt sick all the time , I started getting anxiety, having panic attacks and got severly depressed . But we were fighting a lot . I got diagnosed with the hypothyroidism in December of 2016. But I kept feeling really bad, and being sick . I knew there was something still wrong. And I got diagnosed in May with the pcos . My husband is amazing. And I love him . We have a good relationship , with the exception of us talking about it . I am lost as to what to do. I don’t want to give up . But on our wedding anniversary he asked me to celebrate it with him . He told me a week before he wanted a divorce . Our communication has gotten a little better. But he keeps saying things like . I don’t think I am coming back , or he says I am probably not coming back . But then he also messages me everyday. He messages me on his way to work saying to have a good day and God bless. And he messages me on his break . Asking how my day is going . And then when he gets home from work . And also to say goodnight . I honestly am so confused . I always speak to him calmly. I have apologized for the things I did wrong. I have showed him that I have changed . Me being sick and not being on the right medicines . We’re not things I could control . But I just thought I would ask a second opinion because I am so confused . And I need help. Because i am trying to be strong, on top of still being sick . And I feel like I am going to fall apart.

    1. I should also mention that this is also, his first relationship . I was his first everything . I have been so understanding. He is very religious also. But he doesn’t seem to know what he wants . He said he wanted peace and freedom . And we were fighting a lot. I kept asking him to spend time with me and asking him to talk about our problems when we were living together . And he purposely would do every thing possible not to. I told him it hurt my feelings when he did it . I don’t know . I just feel like nothing is working , and we are at a standstill. And it is driving me crazy . He is very Christian. And I have showed him what it says in the bible what we should do . But I don’t think he listens. He has also told me I should start dating other people . I haven’t of course . And we have never lied or cheated on each other . He says he still loves me , and he misses me . And he says he is happy bevause he has his peace and freedom. But he is not completely happy. It’s just all this back and forth . Should I give up or keep trying .

      1. Dear Amanda,
        as I have said in my earlier reply this is about you and your partner growing together. Most people want peace and freedom, my hope is you too can find it together.

        Suprisingly the problem often is talking about the problem.

        This leads to more fights. I get you are coming from a loving place, wanting to spend more time with your partner. No one likes to be told or controlled in a relationshp. It only reminds us of parental figures or teachers and does not inspire loving commecction. Indeed it can even bring out a rebellious part which does the opposite. Please hear this most respectfully, put the Bible down. Use the Bible if you like to inform your and only your actions – meditate and be loving and really persevere with this.

        Be loving person, that he does enjoy spending tme with – he did marry you after all. Go back to your early days and recall what you were doing differently.

        All the best, Amanda.
        Let us know your progress.
        Regards Philipa

    2. Dear Amanda,
      So sorry to hear of your phsycial issues and diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

      I myself have hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I have struggled with chronic fatigue and all that you mentioned. Working with my Dr and changing my diet really helped. I take a thyroid supplement and vitamins. I highly recommend the 10 day detox, the blodd sugar solution a book by Dr Mark Hyman. Google this and you will find a great deal of free and helpful information out there, kindly supplied by Dr Hyman and others who found it useful.

      Any autoimmune condition can be very tricky to deal with and often need multiple approaches. For me it has been diet, yoga, walking in the sun and cranial sacral therapy, with psychological therapy to help when needed. I know that is not the advice you were after, but I did want to help you in as many ways as I can over the email!

      While a being a psychologist, I am pro therapy for emotional issues, I am a great beleiver in whatever helps and trialling anything that resonates for you and improves your life.

      There are positive signs there, I am glad you celebrated your first wedding anniversary together. From your email, it sounds as if communication has improved and this would be helpful.

      The changes need ot be ongoing. It sounds like he is also confused Amanda.

      You may already be doing this I am sure, but here is my advice.

      Get on top of your illness, this is the part you can control and it sounds like you are on top of it now. Don’t ever mention your illness it unless he brings it up and then only say one sentence that shows the progress you are making. The reason I make that suggestion is illness and the struggles are past issues, and sometmes folk can hear this as an excuse for the problems in their relationship. You have more power and wherewithall than that.

      Build your inner strength, perhaps this is through the therapies I have mentioned, it may be your faith or an online thyroid support group. Glad you are talking to us here too, Amanda.

      Now when someone is saying like you mention in your email:
      “But he keeps saying things like. I don’t think I am coming back, or he says I am probably not coming back. But then he also messages me everyday.”

      My best suggestion is to develop an emotional connection, by A – acknowledging your partner’s message. ” I can hear you are unsure about our relationship”, Empathise -I am guessing you are confused and sad, a lot has happened for us. I am glad you can tell me this, it’s not easy to hear but I want a real relationship.”

      So the suggestion, I make to you is to acknowledge and empathise. Truly be real about your fears and vulnerabilities. This must be done calmly. I would personally be a bit scared of the outcome. So I say something like that to my partner ” I am scared hearing this but appreciate your honesty. I love you and want the best for you, my preference would be for us to grow together and continue on as a couple. But I would not want you to do something that would not be good for you. I love you.”

      Now this is not the last resort as such but more about connecting emotionally to your partner and sharing in a safe loving space your heartfelt thoughts and feelings. It must be in a loving way, without anger or defense. Open heartedly!
      Good luck Amanda.
      Warmly Philipa

  45. Hi Philippa, I have a weird question, how would you analyse the situation of him still being at home and everytime we have a “bad day” all he says, if anyone has to move out it will be him, but at the same time he fixes the house, changes windows, makes a new toilet etc… and I DON´T want to ask him again, if he really means staying or what he does… I just get the answer he doesn´t know what to do, we work well together, have alot of fun moments at home and everything, but still no intimacy and that is actually what is making me doubt this the most? I really don´t know how or what to read into that, especially since I dont understand how he can “not have that in mind”? that really bothers me, and he knows that I really need some intimacy – even the smallest gesture would help – But that is me needen confirmation that he really wants this to work – he asks why its not enough that he just is here? I am still lost in this one – I have got a therapist that I will try on wednesday – hopefully that will help me – I need to work through my issues, hopefully I will learn not to always think the worst of people and not push them away, just because I am scared?

  46. Hi Phillipa,
    I’ve read Divorce Busting and am stuck on a simple thing:
    Emotional Distance and gving too much space to my husband has led us to him thinking I don’t love him and he wants out.

    So how do you 180 that and do some of the LRT stuff while proving that you are changing from being emotionally distant and seeming to be an uncaring, unfeeling wife.

    1. Dear Sharon,

      Good on you for reading Michelle’s book. I am sure it’s been of benefit.

      It’s been a while since i read the book, so I will give you my take on what I think you may be referring to by emotional distance and giving space.

      I would define emotional distance as being able to separate myself from past emotional reactivity and insecurity. By this I mean taking a step back and hearing what our partner is saying, without fear, anger or defense on my part. Validate without agreeing.

      The emotional distance thing and givng space are meant to create moments for your partner to feel what it is like in that space without you. Yes there can be a danger in doing it too well or too much.

      This would not be the recommended approach to if your partner’s complaints are concerns around lack of warmth and responsivity to them. Recall you need to take into account what changes need to happen in order to progress.

      My thinking is do the 180 and be warm and friendly, like you treat one of your girlfriend’s who you bump into on occasion but don’t have a close relationship. Be kind and lightly open but don’t go overboard. This has to be really authentic on your part but not cold or dismissive. It is living and loving open heartedly. There is a fine line for each peson and you will have to trial what that is.

      For instance not answering a text immediately would be good, however leaving it for a whole day or not answering it at all would be a mistake.

      It does sound like your husband is feeling unsettled about the your personal changes. This is a good sign as he cares.

      Perhaps you have done this so well, Sharon! It might be the time to gently raise the relationship and where it is up to. Reread on the Last Resort here on blog. Let his response guide you. If it is shut down or cold, drop it like a hot potato. Warm and open start a small conversation, very important you use the festina lente approach – hasten slowly.

      Hope this gives you some aid,
      best of luck and keep up your self-work!
      Let us know yoru progress.
      Warmly Philipa

  47. Dear Philipa,

    Please help me! I’m in desperate situation!
    My wife said to me she doesn’t love me “like that” anymore (after 4 years engaged and 14 of marriage, two kids 13 and 9) and she wants out.
    I imediattely, in accordance with her, exit the house, so to give her space and moved with my parents, until she will leave to other house we have and that will become her future residence.
    The think is:
    By two years now I’ve being watching her behaviour changing alot. She was the type of person who will allways consider others and their feelings and now is prety much all about me, myself and I.
    She start to workout, loose weight (things I’ve allways give her incentivation to do even more), makeup more often dresses sexyest and so on.
    She sudenly likes to go in nights out with her single or with no kids girl friends and I’ve only get mad once when she arrived home at 5:00 am.
    I know that live with me wasn’t allways good, I’ve made some bad bussines choises, sometimes I can get angry and scream. But I’ve ask my kids (and not only myself as to be impartial) if they think that we were a happy family or not and the answer was: –
    obviously yes! (other people around us like my inlaws, parents, brothers and sisters in law, etc all have the same opinion).
    She gave the news on the 31/08/2017 and on the 05/09/2017 she ask me to go on a meeting with the lawyer!
    I’m overwelmed and so is every relative around us (no one is fully understandinng her behaviour).
    I’ve a gut feeling that although she’s been thinking about this for some time it must have been a trigger that take her to act with this speed and that trigger is someone else.
    Wich is normal, if she detchated herself from me she will be more open to other people.
    I’ve being giving her all space, never initiate contact unless about kid related issues (school and so on).
    The thing is, considering what you have read so far, should I give it a go or is she gone for good?
    I forgot to say that she’s inlove with me since she was 15 and have allways pursued me and me, being 4 years older and her brother friend didn’t look at her in that way until she was allready 19 and we’ve been together ever since.
    Not once was a talk about separation or divorce with exception of one time a few months ago when I incidentaly discovered messages between her and some guy telling each other that they should be together. That day I’ve put my feet down and tell hher that if she wants a divorce and go with the guy she should just say so and I’d be allright with that.
    It really seems that my wife brain was replaced with someone’s else.

    Please help understand what is happening and what, if any, can I do.

    Pardon my english.

    Thank you so much for your work.

    M.

    1. Dear M,
      I can hear your confusion and heartbreak.
      Your communication is excellent and I hear your message and where you are at.

      It can feel as if your partner has become another person or as you say has had a brain transplant. It sounds like she has grown and it would be good if you were to grow together.

      Things have not being going well for sometime, as you say 2 years ago you noticed changes in her behaviour. Your email ”
      I’ve a gut feeling that although she’s been thinking about this for some time it must have been a trigger that take her to act with this speed and that trigger is someone else.”

      Believe me you don’t want to give your power away so easily. Stop and really ask yourself this “What is my wife gettng in this other relationship? Be truthful. Is she getting attention, support and fun, whatever it may be. Ask yourself this next -” Do I give her what I know her needs are for fun, love, support etc?” Herein lies your answer as to what to do.

      Another key is to raise this in a loving, real, soft and relationship protecting way. This means no anger, accusations, threats or ultimatums. It would sound along the lines of ” Honey, it’s wonderful you are looking after yourself and taking care of yourself. Having the kids and al that we have been through, perhaps I haven’t put you as my first. What can I do to support you with your growth? You can possibly nip a threat to the relationship in the bud without ever having had to mention it. This needs to happen the moment you feel the changes, two years ago, that moment has passed.

      Certainly not all is lost. You have a long history and children.

      A happy family does not equate to a happy marriage. Your marriage and it’s issues needs to remain a no go zone with your children, it is a boundary issue. This is adult business. I hope you hear what I am saying, as a means to support your childrens security best. Keep them out of adult concerns, for you and your spouses sakes. Children can easily fall into the burden often of feeling responsible, so you want to avoid this at all costs. I hope you hear this in the spirit it is intended.

      Any time we act in anger, make excuses or scream we are out of control and coming from fear and hurt. You need to address and learn about your triggers and choices that have lead your relationship to this crisis. It puts you back in the drivers seat for real growth and change. Focus 99% more on you and what you can change.

      All the best and good luck!
      Thanks for your email.
      Philipa

  48. Thank you my dear,

    I needed to hear that.

    But when you say that not everything is lost do you mean I should go on and try or is she gone for good?
    Although she may be I’m going to adress my behaviour and focus on me, as you sugested.
    But please give to me the hard way: can I do anything or she’s allready a gonner?
    If I can do something can you please help me with some specifics thaings to say and do……I’m all over the place: I can’t work, sleep or eat, I’ve lost 8Kg in two weeks and I was allready slim (I’m obviously trying my best no to show this to anyone specially to her….but it’s pretty obvious) my greatest pain is not about loosing her, is to loose this conception of family I would like to give my childrem (and yes they are of limits) and to us all (parents, in laws, etc).
    I want to do something but I feel blocked and to make things worst I’m in a precarious money situation so I can not resort to professional help.
    I want to put my feet down in some demands she’s making but I’m affraid of pushing her away by doing so.

    Please help, please (I’m not ashame to say I’m crying right now), PLEASE.

    I’M CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE……..

    M.

    1. Dear M, thanks for your email.
      We can certainly hear your distress and pain. It would not be unusual for a peson to want to escape the pain and have thoughts of suicide, I appreciate you sharing your fears and difficult situation.

      Although I can hear you are in shock and this really hit you on many levels – your mind, body and spirit. I certainly do want you to take heart, but know myself and others are wanting you to live, for you and your children.

      If you feel you are likely to take action on those suicide thoughts or have plans to hurt yourself, please go to your Doctor, local emergency department or call them. As we are on email, I don’t know where in the world you are M. My guess is the US.

      Here are some suggestions:
      https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
      And for international phone numbers ww.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
      another option https://www.healthyplace.com/suicide/suicide-hotline-phone-numbers/

      These services are free and offer support in times of crisis, in a way I cannot over the web M. So I do encourage you to take action and use these resources.

      I am glad you are not ashamed of your tears and are talking to us all.
      Sending you love and light and a small glimmer of hope that you can hear in support from Australia.

      Please be safe,

      Philipa

      1. Dear Philipa,

        Thank you for your support. Last night I’ve done a lot of thinking and I’m calmer now.
        I realise my errors and how they have affected the relation and for now I really think there’s no way Sarah will love me any day soon.
        I’ve to rebuild trust. Trust that was lost over a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad person or an abusive one I just made some bad choises and didn’t step in when I should have.
        That being said, the main reason I identify for that lost of trust is my bad financial choises and skills at managing a budget.
        That associated with other things drifted her appart from me and I didn’t notice it.
        I still believe that she’s also in a phase in her life that leads her to focus more on the negative side of things rather than on the positive ones but I understand her reasons.

        What I would like to ask you now is if you can help me with ways in which I can start rebuilng her trust in me as a man and eventually one day as a partner (or not, as long as I become a better person)

        Do you have some tips??

        Greatly appreciated!!

        One more thing: I find the work you do to be of the utmost importance and when I get better I would really like to help other people that are going through what I’m going now. So if you find, one day, that I can be of any help please count me in.

        Love all arounnd to you all and may the stars bless you.

        M. (not from USA but from Portugal ence the bad English)

        1. Dear M,
          so glad to hear you are in a better space and safe, I do appreciate you letting us know this quickly, I was worried. With email I can’t be of use in an immediate crisis. Very glad you could express your pain and now we have suicide helplines from all around the world here, thanks!

          Your feelings are important and worth exploring. It can certainly hear you have done a lot of soul-searching.

          From this tough tme I can see from your words you are starting to really see a bigger picture. Real maturity in a relationship is allowing the other person, in this case, your wife her thoughts and feelings whatever they are. You are correct she probably needs to be in a hurt and angry space for a time and this may feel negative to be around. Being accepting of another’s feelings and perspective is a very worthwhile thing. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, and you don’t have to fix or suggest things. This can be very relieveing to all.

          It is good to look at past errors and learn from them. We can educate ourselves and grow. It sounds like you are looking to improve your financial know-how and build more security around that. I totally recommend having a budget and sticking to it. There are many online resources. One blog I follow is called the “simple dollar”. It’s a US site but his advice is pretty universal.

          Taking these steps to learn and grow, I believe will help both you and your partner. The first step is to believe in yourself and act with dignity and intergrity. You can aks yourself what the best most wisest person would do and follow that idea.

          As an analogy – Its’ not really how I fall over that matters, but how I pick myself up after a fall and find a better path to avoid slips in the future.

          Thanks for letting us know you are in Portugal. We are all understanding your messages. And thank you for your kind thoughts and words – I really like being blessed by the stars and I would bet it’s sounds even better said in Portuguese!

          You helpiing yourself by supporting yourself is really going to help you to help others. There is nothing like life experience.

          All the best,
          Philipa

  49. Hello again,

    I just wanted to give you an update on whats been happening so far. When my husband had left I started doing the LRT and began to feel a lot happier and more myself than I have been in a long time! Whenever I happened to see my husband or he came to get clothes from the house etc I put all of the LRT into action and he began to get curious! He asked to come over to just “talk” and would ask me a million questions about how I was, what ive been doing and being really nice. He wanted to know everything! I said to myself that this LRT thing is really working for me!

    It had been 3 weeks since he originally left and he came over one night after work and needed to talk and told me that one of his close family members has a life threatening illness which he only found out about 5 days ago! He was devastated! (This was around the time that he started getting curious about me and acted as though things had changed) . He wanted to come back into the house and sleep on the couch one night which he did and then has stayed ever since. He has been back in the house for about a week now and he was acting as though nothing happened- as though he never left and said all of those heart breaking things to me. He didnt bring up anything about us and I just felt in a strange limbo!

    I ended up bringing up some things and we talked about EVERYTHING! I was afraid that he only came back because of this family members illness and he wanted support etc He said that that wasnt the reason that he came back but it did put things into perspective for him and made him think about what he was doing opposed to him realising latern. It was like he did a 180 and has flipped everything around just like that! We discussed our individual issues and our issues together that need to be worked on in order for this to work and agreed that we would see how we go. I told him that I feel like we need to go back to beings friends first to rebuild our relationship because after whats happened I cant emotionally just flip it all back like he did. He is having a hard time understanding this and I feel he needs to be more patient and realise it is going to take a while to rebuild the trust back. He has said that he feels I am not as affectionate anymore etc but its only because I am trying to protect myself and I am scared to throw myself 100% back into it because I just think what if he decides if things get hard later which they probably will with kids or just life then will he just freak out again and leave. This is what I am struggling with at the moment. Any thoughts would be great!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Dear Leah, thanks ever so much for your update!

      You have got the spirit of the LRT perfectly – this sums it up “When my husband had left I started doing the LRT and began to feel a lot happier and more myself than I have been in a long time!…He asked to come over to just “talk” and would ask me a million questions about how I was, what ive been doing and being really nice. He wanted to know everything! I said to myself that this LRT thing is really working for me!”

      You might even care to share here, how well you made it work for you, what you found most helpful to hearten others, that would be wonderful and isnpiriing indeed. Well done!

      From your email there seems to be an open discussion where you a both listening and hearing each others issues in useful way.

      Naturally a part of you has pulled back, however you cannot lead the need to protect yourself be a barrier to the relationship growth and strengthening. I am not saying you need to trust him over night, but you do need to take a risk and jump back into the relationship from a place of knowing your own power and strength. You can certainly trust yourself to handle things no matter if your husband even lsightly gets cold feet. Keep doing the lookin gafter yourself part of the LRT full time.

      Now is the opportunity in time and is do suggest a good marital therapist will fast track this to future proof your relationship, when you have children and all that life offers.

      Please give as much as you can, I doubt any gives 100% all of the time anyway!

      Talking openly and being vulnerable will help. If you share your fears in a clear and honest way, it is amazing what an intimacy builder this is. You can be real, open and safe.

      That is a key ingredient to success whatever the outcome.

      Thanks again for sharing Leah!

  50. Hi Philipa

    I am having a hard time and wanting to know if this work in the instance of my husband suffering severe depression and anxiety.

    2 months ago i found out my husband had an affair for 8 months and am extremely devastated and hurt.

    He has been suffering on and off for a while and quite bad the for the last 12 months. I have done everything to try and help and finally started to get help.

    I feel like i cant do any of this anymore and just dont if it can be saved. He doesnt want to be in our house and is very anxious and frustrated when is. Its seems to be only me that he doesnt want to be around. He wont talk to me so i dont know whats going on or why he had an affair.

    I myself am getting frustrated even more than i get emotional, hurt amd angry and then we fight (or me so more). I dont know what else to do and wondering if this is worth trying, especially since i am and left feeling like a single mother to 3 children (1 young as 16months) and a house maid/his mother.

    He doesnt want to talk to doctors and he feels this is making things worse and is feeling forced to do so.

    Please help and any advice would be greatful

    1. Dear Hopeful,
      Yes I do think this will be helpful. Especially in helping you take care of you.
      The LRT is at it’s heart about getting you back your dignity.

      By taking care of you, others will see you respecting yourself.

      I can hear your despair. I am glad you have gotten help, I think this is an emergency for you – a self care emergency.

      When we are living with someone who is anxious, depresssed or more often than not both, it’s not easy. This is wy you must do the LRT.

      So channel your energy back into rescuing you with loads of love and compassion.

      My advice would be to stop telling your partner that you think they are anxious, depressed and need to go to a DR or anything that sounds like this. This will give your husband the opportunity to start to look at himself rather than defend himself. This is vital.

      From your email you are not at a place to discuss and repair from the affair yet. Instead do the LRT 100%.
      Reread it and make it your daily guide and go for it hopeful!
      Wishing you all the best and let us know your progress.
      In love and light Philipa

  51. Hi Philipa, this is me again, I have one question, that maybe you can advice on, how do I deal with the “going to bed”. Should I just pretend like there is nothing there, lay on my side and just say goodnight? I think this is one of the worst moments, and this is when all the feelings of rejection come crashing down on me and i normally can manage, but every few weeks I “fall into the trap” and start talk and everything goes downhill from there – I have no idea how to act at this time, that says “I am ok with taking everyting slowly, but I want more” – I really don´t know how to handle that situation in a good way? any advice would be mostly aprecciated. (advice on how to handle this whitout leaving of course)

    1. Hi Barbara, of course this is a tricky one.
      I can hear your dilemma. Being next to your partner in bed appears to be the perfect time to chat. However this is not the best time for a relationship discussion whether yu are doing the Last Resort or over the moon happy.

      I honour your feelings and hurt it can be hard when those feelings of rejection come in. You have to find a way personally to deal with it. Recall in the LRT we do not start to talk about the relationship until you feel you are seeing real commitment from your spouse. If this is the case go gently and be guided by their response – do it when you are both vertical.

      If you are not getting this from yur partner you really must apply the LRT 100%, and be patient. That is appear to be Ok and really work on getting yourself as good as you can be. I know this is not easy and we are here for you.

      Thanks for your question Barbara, I am sure others will have had the same questions and learning opportunities.

  52. Hi my wife and I has separated the second time. The first separation was last year, she left me to live with another man in a close by town where she worked. Her relationship with the first OM last year lasted 2 months. After that I moved straight back in but we never really resolved our issues, there was not much respect for me nor trust. We decide to separate again, now she is seeing a new man from work. I know she is having sex with him. I found sex toys and that he spend the night at hers one day and I confronted her, but it didn’t end up well. She called the police. I have been keeping my distance as it hurts too much. Is there still hope for me as she said to me that we are not getting back together. Has she moved on and should I give up because she seeing a new man? I’m confused, I’ve been trying to fight for my marriage, but have been doing it wrong way. She lost complete respect for me, I have been feeling pathetic. Our relationship was never the same after we had our child, she is an attached parent and we haven’t had intimacy after we had my daughter. I felt jealous when I found out she is having sex with her new OM. She’s buying new lingerie too.. it’s killing me. I have decided to moving on, then I came across the 180 list and this website. Is there still a chance for me? I don’t want to go back to our bad marriage but is there a possibility to start a renewed relationship. I understand we have to tackle our issues, I’m willing to do anything but she has to change as well. We haven’t had intimacy for years, is there any chance of me saving this marriage? Or should I let go and move on, get divorced?

    1. Dear Anonymous B,
      the fact is you are asking the question – “is there hope?” Means to me there is a willingness for change from you.

      You now have a new way to start over using the LRT.

      You will have to leave all jealousy and insecurity behind, it’s not only a passion killer and but deadly to a relationship. Find a therapist to change these parts of yourself for a healthy change. Look for a specialist in these matters. This would need to happen as part of any healing process. When you have dealt with this you then have an place to ask for the changes you would like to renew the relationship.

      As you have a child together it is so important you maintain a connection with your child and co-parent, so stop the distance thing and say yes to all family invites, make time to see your children. I know it will be a challenge but I can hear you are up for change.

      You recognise what doesn’t work by now from your email.

      Immediately you MUST STOPfocussing on her, her partners, shift your focus back to rediscovering your best self – the loving secure man and father you are.

      Good luck with the LRT, we are all behind you!
      Philipa

  53. Hi. I live in Australia and had an internet affair with a lady from South Dakota 2012-2015 when it was discovered. The lady holidayed in Aust with her young daughter.( we never had sex ) I never stopped her coming and this has been a huge sticking point for my wife Jane (25 years together ). I moved out 10 months after discovery and 8 months after ceasing all contact. 18 months on my own now but here’s the strange part , in march I travelled to Bali for a 10 day holiday with Jane and other friends , we slept in the same bed and had a great time. Of course I thought this will be great for me being asked to move back home. it never happened. We have probably slept in the same bed over a dozen times since I moved out , sex only twice , the day after xmas and once in Bali. then in June this year Jane says she wants a divorce. I was gutted . Depression really set in but I’ve only recently started taking herbal St. johns wort which I find helpful. I’ve done all the wrong things. pleading saying I am sorry , writing letters and I always go around when asked, we still see friends together. Doing a 180 is so difficult, im trying it now but feel like the longer we apart the harder it will be to ever be invited home. Jane is moving on with her life and I feel the punishment is more than the crime. I know emotional affairs are worse for a woman, the betrayal of trust, My life is so boring now in my little rental I’ve lost interest in old hobbies. Is there any hope for our marriage ?? no more divorce talk from Jane, thank god for that. Am I right in the longer time goes by , the harder it will be to get back together. ?? I’ve seen a psychologist but ceased after 6 sessions, Jane and I saw a marriage counsellor 2 years ago, she went once and said “‘ im only here to tell you the marriage is over ” I went another 5 times, the lady was great, but Jane just wont go again. Sorry this is a bit all over the place. Im writing things down as I remember them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Dear Michael,
      thanks for your email. You are correct an online emotional affair can be devastating to a relationship for all concerned due to the betrayal of trust and seeking something you need to find within your marriage partnership.

      Michael what awareness do you have about the relationship breach? Is your wife able to hear you learning about yourself and taking responsibility for stepping outside of the relationship? True accountability and responsibility in this area will give you real power.

      I am glad the St John’s Wort is helping, naturally, you are disappointed after you got your hopes and expectations up. This can lead to depression. Another option to for others interested in natural health remedies is SAM-E.

      Healing can happen at any stage, sometimes you really have to hang in there for the long run. Remember every time we drop the ball and backslide into old habits that didn’t work we are making things tougher and adding more time to practie the LRT.

      It’s important you don’t read too much into your spouses friendly behaviour, such as sleeping in the same bed, I can hear you got your hopes up and they were dashed. Just take it as a time for you to be close and be your best self, helping remind her what she was intially attracted too. Be that man!

      It’s great you continued on in therapy, well done, I’d say keep it up. Don’t ask your Michael as that will come across as not the LRT.

      Sending hope your way and let us know.
      Best wishes Philipa

  54. Philipa,

    I am currently trying to implement your LRT. My husband and I have been together 6 years. Married for just 2. Our 2nd anniversary just passed. Everything had been great, one week he had bought me flowers and made me breakfast in bed and then the next week told me he wanted a divorce. The day he told me, he went and had a 3 day affair with a woman. Came home and still said he wanted the divorce. This has been almost 2 months ago. We are using the same attorney and things have been civil. But our divorce will be final in December. I just want to save it if I can. He says “he cares for me” “he will always be here for me” and things like “if you need anything you can text me anytime”. So I just don’t know how to feel about all of this. I have gotten a place and he is staying with his parents. I move into my place on the middle of November. I just need guidance.

    Thank you so much.

    1. You are most welcome,
      Wow that was a sudden change. I do hope at least the LRT gives you some form of affirmative action. Reread the steps and really focus on you and getting yourself back. This way whatever the outcome you will be in a better place.
      Good luck and thanks for your comment!
      Love and light Philipa

    2. Dear Jennifer,
      wow that must have been a very tough time. Sadly some people do not share themselves in a relationship, instead they show us.

      I have seen this happen when a couple is getting intimate, a person will act out to sabotage the commitment.

      You have been most mature and being civil is always a good thing. However you are feeling – up down and going around are all very normal. Be gentle with yourself and your spouse too.

      This is a time when you really MUST put yourself first. By this I mean take care, REAL care and treat yourself with love and nurturing. This is a key component of the LRT and my gut instinct says this may be your best bet.

      We are all thinking of you in this trying time Jennifer.
      Best Wishes PHilipa

  55. My partner of 6 years has told me that she loves me but isn’t in love with me and isn’t attracted to me as a partner. She has been unhappy for a while but still wants to be my best friend. I can’t do that because I still love her. She moved into the spare room. I moved out of the house – all my stuff is still there. She does not want to seek counselling. Her statement “just because we are no longer a couple doesn’t mean I no longer want to be friends”. She says that the last 6 years with me was like living with her best friend and she wants more than that. If I go back home do I try and do the things that she has wanted me to do? Greet her at the door, hold her hand in the car, go out with her and her friends? Or do you think I am wasting my time? She wasn’t even interested in counselling to resolve things she only cares about being friends.

    1. Dear Nicky, I hae heard those very statements many times in my office.

      I want you to write yourself a list of things that lead your partner to falling in love with you. You need to reconnect back to those parts of yourself that may have been lost over time. Build yourself back up and do the LRT and see what happens.

      Yes you do need to address the issues but stop discussing them or the relationship this is not the LRT.

      Good luck and let us know.
      Warmly Philipa

    2. Dear Nicky,
      You have to get your sexy back. Friendship is nice but friskiness requires a bit of frisson ( not in mean way but more tantalising manner.) It is the playfulness and can reignite the sexual part of your relaitonship. It was there so you need to find your unique ways to find and love your sexual self. Think back to the early days and remind yourself of how you acted then and be that person!

      Get a make over, do the LRT, forget counselling and get to the gym and other ways to get back into your body.

      Hmm those things might have been better (like holding hands etc) when things were better. Now you can’t do a back flip, as that will be seen as too little to late. Sorry Nicky, and this is a warnign sign for folks who have not heard their partners complaints.

      When the relationship gets back on track you can work out what you both need.

      Get your power back and we wish you the best of luck.
      Regards PHilipa

  56. Hi again Philipa, thank you for answering my post so promptly. I would just like to add a few more things that I omitted before.
    firstly I cant say doing the LRT is making me feel any better, in fact the pulling away has made me feel worse. I understand its a last resort tactic, so I will let things take their course. Jane and I have always been on excellent terms right thru this whole separation. I said when I moved out that ”im not going to give up on this marriage.” and I wont. But the passage of time is my enemy. We both agreed that should either of us get really sick the other would be there for them. Jane is nearly 60 and I’m 57. Our 2 sons 22 and 19 still live at home, so Jane is never lonely like I am, she always has them to cook for and look after.
    I believe I’ve addressed the relationship breach of trust many times with apologies etc. but I have stopped now , unless we are in deep conversations. Emotional affairs can be more hurtful than just a one night quick sex affair, I don’t know how many times I’ve read this. I have asked for forgiveness and a 2nd chance, everyone deserves a second chance, but this has never been forth coming. I have always said ” no one can hold a grudge like my Jane ”
    After the divorce conversation and me finally going to therapy Jane was more pleased and happy than I expected. She said I should have done this a year ago.
    The things I miss most , and its not the sex at all. Its hugs , cuddles and kisses. its having someone to hold. Oh how I miss this. When its time for me to say goodbye , I hug her and just don’t want to let her go.
    My psychologist was a big believer in the books of Russ Harris, especially “act with love” I read this twice then suggested Jane read it too, but she said she had too much to read already. Also other excellent books I got from my library were : How can I trust you again. by Andrew Marshall ( the 7 steps couple go through ) and Infidelity :by Julia Hartley Moore . I read them all and got a lot out of them, but the wronged hurt party is the one who really should be reading them too.
    I never suffered from depression or anxiety before, I was supposed to be tough (36 years as a firefighter) but this has knocked me for six and it all started after the mention of divorce, I always believed we would get back together again.
    Just writing this email and having someone else with knowledge read and evaluate it is also very therapeutic. I feel better after writing it , then eagerly await a reply.
    Alright that’s pretty much it for me. Its great to get things off my chest.

    thank you again Philipa.
    Michael H

    1. Dear Michael,
      thanks for sharing your experiences in your email. You have obviously learnt a great deal about yourself and I take my hat off to you going to therapy, well done!

      My respectful suggestion to anyone out there is not to suggest your partner, do or read anything unless they were to actively
      ask for the title of the book or the help you are getting. My rationale for this as it may come across as pushy, and I am sure that is notwhat the intention was, however it can come across in this manner. This would set the recovery process back many steps.

      I am sure others will hear reading though will take note of your suggestions and go to their local library, thank you Michael.

      I have dealt with many first responders, like yourself and I and I am sure I speak for all, when I say thank you for your service. Often you folk have seen and had to handle many awful things. It is not uncommon for first responders to have Post traumatic Stress Disorder, and anxiety.

      Funnily enough anxiety, PTSD and depression can express itself as frustration and controlling behaviour, unintentionally.

      Acceptance and Commitment therapy are great for symptom relief but will not address underlying causes. I use trauma-informed therapy’s such as Resource Therapy, EMDR and EFT. These therapies lead to real freedom.

      When we retire or take a break sometimes this allows for things to surface, a great time for healing.

      As part of the LRT we do need to address what our partners have said as the issue. An affair, even an emotional infidelity can be a sign there was something missing in the relationship. Usually needs not being met.

      Focus on building your freindship and healing.
      Best wishes and hope all goes well.
      Philipa

  57. Just wondering whether LRT is useful in my situation – have seen other sites, which criticise such techniques because they say that re-connection is the most important thing rather than exacerbating the distance that is already there (especially if physically separated).

    My husband (together for over 6 years married for over 3) told me he thought we should separate in May this year – after we had struggled for a while with disconnection and him developing feelings for colleagues. I naturally panicked, said and did all the wrong things, and moved out. I thought we were having distance to work on the relationship, but turns out he began just carrying on with life as if he was single. He told me he still wanted me in his life but that he felt like we were just friends and didn’t have “feelings” for me any more than that. He started “seeing someone” (no idea of the extent of that term) in about August, who he connected with because she is recently divorced (with a child). He has made no mention of divorcing me and still says that he can’t say we will never get back together and anything we have split up can be re-joined. We have no kids but share a dog. I am still in regular contact with his family (both our families are overseas). I can’t stop thinking of him with this other person, it feels like an affair, even though in his mind our marriage is over and he is single, I still consider us married (my Faith is a big part of that). I hate that we are both creating separate lives now rather than trying to work on creating “our” live and building the “us” back.

    I’m just wondering whether these other advice sites are correct that I should be trying to re-connect (not in a chasing way but still instigating contacting with him) or whether you actually think that LRT would be my best bet. Grateful for any advice from anyone!

    1. Dear Carrie,

      In my humble opinion the LRT is always a potential option.

      Sorry you are really struggling with what’s happened, which is of course completely understandable.

      However it is totally up to you and your take on the circumstances and what will help the most.

      As your partner has another involved I would most respectfully suggest the LRT would be something to empower yourself with immediately.

      I am glad you have your faith, I am sure it will be useful to you. The LRT will require you to let go of your need for him and asks you meet your own needs at this point in time. It is vital you take care of yourself. This alone will give you more of a fighting chance regardless of the outcome.

      Trying to reconnect with a partner who’s involved with another would in my opinion be both an act of desperation and a huge mistake. It will only activate a part of your partner that feels pity for you, not love. This can even drive a person furthe away as you become an object of guilt.

      You have to love yourself back to health here. Stop focussing on what he’s doing and go forth taking your life back in your own hands. Get fit, have some fun and believe in you. This may mean learning about what your needs and patterns are, so look forward to this.

      I hope that helps in some way and please let us know Carrie.
      Best of luck,
      Philipa

      1. Philipa, thank you sooooo much for your response. You are absolutely spot on with your advice. The last thing I want is for him to pity me (which I suspect he was starting to do when I was so upset and hurt everytime he would see me after we separated). If we do ever get back together, I want it to be from a place of him wanting to rather than him just feeling guilty for leaving.

        Since my last post I had already made the decision that I was going to implement the LRT. I completely pulled back and have not been initiating contact with him at all (other than to organise something in relation to our dog). I have heard from him a couple of times, to ask me to hang out – one of those times he ended up cancelling – but I did not revert to any of the old behaviour (upset, crying, making him feel bad about seeing someone else). Baby steps but I feel like every day is an improvement!

        1. Dear Carrie,
          you are truly welcome and I am glad you can apply things that help you.

          IT is so true you can’t come from a loving space if it is with strings of guilt, pity or pressure. Good on your for recognising what you can change – your responses! This gives you a much fairer chance.

          Glad you have decided to implement the LRT. If I can make a wee tiny tweak of a suggestion. Practise pulling back a bit more possibly in letting him arrange your dog outings, so he can take up the sword of responsibility as a pet owner.

          Myself and everyone reading your posst is cheering you for not acting up in the old upset ways! You go girl, hold your head high with your mature, I am in control of me spirit. This truly inspires and encourages.

          Well done and keep up yur good work. This has to be a life time change, for your own good sake.

          Thanks for sharing your success and efforts.

          Best Wishes Philipa

          1. Thanks Philipa – I truly appreciate it. I also think your tweak about the dog is a good idea. I actually have the dog pretty much full time, so I will just pull back completely and leave it to him to contact me if he wants to see the dog. Thanks again for your extremely helpful words!

  58. Hi. My wife and I have been together for 35 years and have always been best friends. Talking and laughing and helping each other never stopped and it never got boring in all that time. Our adolescent kids made jokes about us being ‘besotted’ with each other but that was just using words they don’t understand. What it felt like inside was that it was hard to tell where friendship ends and love begins and it doesn’t really matter all that much. Then all of a sudden under very stressful circumstances and all of us exhausted with things going on in our life there’s a huge row and she’s taken the children and gone to her parents and for weeks none of them will reply to my texts and emails. It’s like all that time never happened and they don’t know me and don’t want to know. I feel so completely betrayed it feels like I have stepped into a parallel universe or dream or something. At first I tried emails and texts and some of them were pretty stupid and unhelpful but I have belatedly had no choice but to apply LRT. The last things I wrote made it clear that I had said some incredibly stupid stuff and if she is hurt and angry nobody can blame her and I was determined to try to save our marriage not get into a divorce war with her because it would be like fighting the best part of myself. I said I was going to give her space and take some too but left the door wide open. She won’t speak to me or meet me and the silence goes on and on and on. It’s like my best friend(s) have become my most implacable enemies and there’s nothing I can do to stop it destroying everything.

    1. Dear Jack,
      that sounds like a very trying situation for you.
      I hear your confusion in your email certianly.

      I am not sure what has happened in the relationship. In my experience if we are stressed and then things are said in the heat of the moment which really hurt, it can really challenge the relationship.

      Well the LRT at least gives you some more informed choices, so good on you.

      Very good you have reflected on the things that did not help, that is a useful process.

      From your email, I get a sense that the part of your feeling hurt and betrayed is close to the surface. Those may not be the best parts to move you and your healing. Indeed they can often block moving forward. Of course I am only guessing here.

      Respect is the key thing and review. Go hard on the LRT and good luck with it jack.

      Bst Wishes Philipa

  59. Even though I first read this article several weeks ago, I am still doing most, if not all of the things I need to stop. Please allow me to to give the back story; I will try to be as concise as possible.

    I have been with my boyfriend for 4 1/2 years. He first broke up with me this past January and I moved out (per his request). We had been living together 2 1/2 years. He started contacting me the day after I moved and asked to see me within a week. I took every opportunity and then some, often pushing for more. Eventually I was staying there full time but he wasn’t ready for me to move back in. This went on for months. Then 3 weeks ago he broke up with me again, saying his heart just wasn’t in it anymore and he needed to stop pretending that everything was back to normal. I’m not blind, I knew things were still not great, but I thought that’s what we were working on. We even already had a therapy appointment scheduled for later in that same week with a new therapist.

    So the back, back story. Before we even moved in together, his ex sued for custody to take their kids to another state (they had joint custody, nearly 50/50). There was a trial that summer and she lost. She had already given up her place because she was so sure she’d win, so she had to borrow a house. At the end of that school year, she sued again. This is when the trouble really started. She did a lot of really awful things and we were both fighting her tooth and nail. But at some point, he lost the energy to keep fighting and he agreed to let the kids go. During this time, I often threatened to leave, saying right person but wrong circumstances. Once I did leave. When he asked me to support him even if I didn’t agree with his decision, I said no. These were big issues for him and he put up a wall with me. That’s when the chasing started.

    I was constantly trying to “fix” our relationship. I talked about it all the time. Literally. I lashed out, I treated him very badly. I said I’d change but I didn’t really know how or what I needed to do. I’ve realized since, after finally finding the right therapist, that I have a form of abandonment ptsd. My father left when I was 6 and never came back. I have all the classic symptoms…either not letting anyone get too close or clamping on too soon. It took me a long time to let him get that close to me. I’ve never let anyone in like I let him and at one time we had a truly wonderful relationship. We tried therapy here and there once the problems started but it was never a good fit. And so we’d just go along, hoping things would improve. They didn’t. And he finally just shut down and said he couldn’t do it anymore. That was the first break up.

    This second one is different. He says he’s just not sure I’m the right person for him any longer. Even though he called me his soulmate at one time. I am the same person, just one that did some terrible things to him. I’m not making excuses by saying they were out of my control but rather trying to understand how and why I would hurt someone I love so much.

    We kept that therapy appointment with the new therapist. It was a marathon 3 hours. We went again last night. He said he felt like for a long time, he was the one fighting for our relationship, trying to make me stay. But now he’s just exhausted and he doesn’t have the energy anymore. I said I wished I’d addressed these things sooner and he said me, too. He still loves me but doesn’t think we can be together. He is still very angry about the things I did. Last night he said he still doesn’t understand why I did them. The therapist even explained that when I got even a whiff of being abandoned, whether it was real or imagined, I went into panic mode and reacted in self-preservation. That logic was lost to me in those moments. He hasn’t agreed to back to therapy but he hasn’t ruled it out either. I guess my question is could this method help us when he says it’s too late?

    1. Dear Lisa,
      thanks for your out in your text.

      You have what I call “child of separation sydnrome, It certainly is a form of complex PTSD centred around abandonment.

      I am glad you have found a therapist that has been able to help you. You are certainly not responsible for what happened when you were 6, but that little girl needs direct therapy to help her get the unconditonal love, she did not recieve due to the family separation and then you need to find a personality resource capable of handling here and now rejection with assertiveness and calm. Otherwise every twist and turn that looks like abandonment will see that younger personality part feeling extremely fragile and reactive leading to both panic, frustration and other acting out behaviours which will only serve to push your partner out the door.

      I do appreciate it feels unfair as you have just uncovered some big and profound learning (I am really applauding you by the way, as I am sure others who read your story will be.) and now your partner is saying ” I am not sure.” This is part and parcel of the healing process. The fact that he is attended therapy is a big plus. Now you have to live the change you want, so yes grow yourself and heal. Which is in my estimation the most powerful point of the Thornton version of the LRT!

      Yours in heartfelt healing xx
      Philipa

      1. Hi Philipa,

        Thank you so much for your response, I greatly appreciate it. One thing I’m a little confused by is what you said about it being part and parcel of the healing process. Did you mean him saying now that he’s not sure or something else? He has, by the way, agreed to attend another therapy session…half-heartedly but still willing. I’m still struggling with actually practicing LRT…but I’m trying. I know I need to because right now ALL he remembers is how bad things got. And when I talk to him, I’m sure he still sees it as a sign that I’m not changed. The biggest thing I struggle with in regards to LRT is finding and growing me. I have no idea who I am anymore…what I like, what makes me happy or how to find that again. Anyway, thanks fur listening.

        1. Dear Lisa,
          gosh I can’t reacll what i was referring to there about the healing process, my best guess was I wanted to support you and normalise any feelings you have.

          Please take this gently but the LRT would not have you asking your partner to attend therapy. While that would be useful later, at present it will likely only make you and your relationship a pain point. Partners can feel both guilty and want to run away from the source of hurt – you. Possibly fast tracking a divorce rather than saving your marriage.

          Certainly you can turn things around by finding you and growing you into the healthiest and heartiest you. This will attract your mate back mroe than pushing them. This i respectfully suggest is done with a marriage firendly therapist, who works withing your goals and encourages your growth. although it may mean joining a choir, or taking an art class. Do something that gets your to reconnect with your joy. The loving part of you!
          Best wishes and know we are all cheering for you in your search for yourself, a worthy task indeed.
          Philipa

        2. Dear Lisa,
          Sorry for your confusion. Yes you can expect some tooing and froing from your partner. That’s what I think i meant! Apologies for any lack of clarity.

          The LRT would not recommend inviting yoour spouse into therapy. The reason being it is only going be like lancing a boil each session painful and bringing up how bad thigns got. This is not what you want to have happen. When the reltionship has gotten to the point ( read teh LRT) when your spouse is talking about the relationship it may be useful to get into therapy, indeed I”d highly recommmend it.

          While I can appreciate your struggle with the LRT in terms of finding and growing you, this is in my opinion your buggest priority and best option for progessing the relationship. When you truly grow into the wonderful human being you truly are it will attract others. So please go hard at this part, put it as your NO 1 thing to do on your list!
          Best Wishes Philipa

  60. Thanks, Philipa.

    The feelings of hurt and betrayal that you picked up on subsided shortly after and I’m left with an overriding sense of regret and loss. My wife and I spoke shortly after and it turns out the issue is an ongoing difficulty between me and my teenage son. He feels that in moments of anger it has come out that I have never loved him and nothing I can say or do can convince him. My wife feels it has destroyed her love for me or at least the possibility of remaining married.

    After we started speaking for a few days we flirted with the possibility of eventually being able to pick up the pieces. Lots of long conversations and tears on both sides. But he remains hostile and her mind is made up again and her voice is cold and hard as nails. Feel I have no choice but to try to move on and apply the LRT hard, as you say.

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Jack

    1. Dear Jack,
      I appreciate your update. It is fascinating once we start talking with our loved ones in an open way what is revealed.

      Children can bring people together and tear them apart. Naturally your wife feels the need to attend to your son’s need. This is understandable.

      I am going to give you my advice both as a therapist and a parent here. I would urge you to do everything in your power to heal your relationship with your son. He is feeling deeply rejected by you. Whether you believe this is real or imagined it is imperative you respond to his hurt. As the same sex parent he is looking to you for unconditional love and acceptance.

      We as parents need to help our children heal their hurt, anger and hostility with love and limits. You can hear I feel very strongly on this, too many of our young folk are taking their lives from depression and despair.

      This I would urge, is your job as a parent regardless of what happens with your relationship. Please find a family therapist who is willing and able to coach you in the repair your father son relationship. This I believe is your most important life mission right now.

      I say this with the utmost reverence and respect to you as a father and to all that read this, I know I had a very difficult teenager, now a happily married young woman so hang in there!
      Love and light Philipa

      1. Hi Philipa – you have printed my real name – my mistake -. Please could you change it because – obviously – it’s very personal.

        Thanks – Jack

        1. Dear Jack, please forgive me for this oversight in my editing process! I have changed this now.

          I feel terrible, this happened and will ensure I take steps to ensure your confidentiality. This was my error with my lack of technological insight and replying late at night. No excuse, but I will be more careul and want to let you and others know I will only use the first name you have given and edit this, which will achieve your privacy.
          Again heartfelt apologies for any and all distress. I and every one here on this blog truly appreciates the care and sharing and wish this to continue.
          Thanks ever so much for advising me.
          Best Wishes PHilipa

  61. Hi Philipa,
    I have been with my husband for 8 years and we have been married for a little over one year. About 2 weeks ago he told me he wants to separate becuase he is feeling so unhappy about our marriage. I have been distant and depressed for about 6 months due to work and failure to get pregnant, and he feels like I have not been “seeing him” and not been a partner to him. He feels that a lack of affection from my part has been a reacurring problem for us when I have has stress in my life. I agree and I am motivated to change this and make myself happy and affectinate again. He feels like he has lost his love for me during this time and that our marriage is past saving. I have been trying so hard to stay positive and change my actions and I have really pulled my life around since his announcment. I have also been affectionate and attentive, but still trying not to push him or convince him to change his mind. He still wants to move out to get some space, and I am worried because I have not had enough time to show him how our marriage can change for the better. I have however not reacted negative to his desision to move out and I have not tried to change his mind. Should I still try your LRT-method, even though I have had such little time to show him my changes?

    All the best
    Kristine

    1. My dear Kristine,
      sounds like you have a made a good start by being open rather that freaking out, well done.
      Often partners of ours may have been suffering in silence for a long time when we are struggling with heavy issues like depression. I’ll bet it hasnt been a bed of roses for you either, lovey.

      My suggestion would be you get on top of the possible hurt and disappointment, maybe a loss, if you suffered a miscarriage, so sorry for you, if this is the case. In my experience it can be very challenging and sad for both partners.

      In a situation where the focus comes to having children, at times a relationship can get lost.

      In the instance of a loss both parties in my experience have not been able to turn toward each other to heal their grief, a recipe for heartache for sure.

      So Kristine I hearlity urge you apply the LRT especially the healing your self aspect. Time really is on your side as this will allow your partner to see sustained change, not flash in the pan I changed to get you to stay stuff. I do hope this encourages you. I know others will be interested in hearing your progress so please drop us a line with an update and know we are sending you love and healing from this little online community.
      Blessings Philipa

  62. i have been married for nearly 20 years and together with my husband for nearly 26 years. he suffers depression and after a fight recently i told him to get out . he did and has moved into a unit. he tells me we need to take things slow and he needs to see if he misses us. He will hold my hand , give me peck on the lips but then not message or talk to me for the whole following day. I feel lost and alone. I feel like I’m in limbo . he wont tell me how long he will be gone. He doesn’t really initiate contact I have started the last resort technique.
    Do i wait for him to contact me?

    1. Dear Sara,
      Sorry to hear thngs are not easy for you and your husband there. Totally glad you have found support and some help with the LRT.

      And to answer your question yes, hang back and wait. Recall the LRT is about stopping the chase and getting your good self back. So go do that in the mean time. Reread the steps.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  63. Hi Philipa

    I felt moved to give an update on my situation – it’s been very difficult – I think LRT is not always possible or the right answer and that maybe the approach is a combination of things depending on individual circumstances. I hear clearly your advice to seek help.

    I’ve been doing this and it’s been very dark on a couple of occasions – but a little better now. One of the issues my wife had was that we were putting plans on hold for 6 months+, however communication had broken down (my idea of LRT!) which sent her into a dramatic situation of reversing her decision. Since that point nearly 2 weeks ago, things have improved slightly – we’ve agreed to commnicate at a regular time on Sunday monrings (avoiding late night discussions), I also suggested that we avoided blaming each other during these discussions. So far one talk down it’s been relatively positive – we mainly discussed practical things but we have been a little more open in our conversations again.

    In the meantime i’m still getting help and feel like I’m making some progress after being in a very difficult place, to the point of feeling suicidal. The idea of my kids has kept me off that path and I managed this by writing a letter to them (but not giving it to them!). So, I’m still moving and trying to understand – the stuff about me that I can’t change/control, the things I’ve resisted that I would be happier accepting and the parts of me that I can change. Also, trying to reduce my fear, anxiety about the things I can’t control – I’m aware that my own state puts me into the hyper-vigilant mode at times. It’s not easy, I try to help myself everyday by checking in with myself – I’m making changes to freindships and relationships, focusing on the ones that help me and removing myself from more superficial [unhelpful ie drining buddies!] relationships/situations and those involved in childhood abuse. I’m making plans to exit my business in the future, work from home more and accept myself more. So my journey now is not about saving my relationshp but just to keep little by little working on the bits that have been unhelpful to me (whilst also accepting their presence at times).

    I visited an elderly neighbour recently, who I’d avoided for a while – it was a small gift of my time that he seemed to appreciate and I got more reward from that than from signing my latest contract at work.

    I would like to share two things:

    The Serenity Prayer – I’ve written this into the front of my new daily journal –

    God, give me grace to accept with serenity
    the things that cannot be changed,
    Courage to change the things
    which should be changed,
    and the Wisdom to distinguish
    the one from the other.

    I’m not religious but I feel the sentiment of the prayer is helpful, the other resources is a book – I’m not sure if you’ve come accross it;

    F*ck Feelings
    One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems
    By Michael Bennett, MD and Sarah Bennett

    I really recommend it as a realistic, accepting and practical guide.

    Best wishes to all having these struggles.

    1. Dear Jay Jay,
      Thanks everr so much for generously sharing your journey here with us. I am sure others will read and take on board your advice and pointers to helpful information.

      So glad you sought help rather than hurting yourself. While it is understandable in those dark time to feel like escaping the pain, and suicide feels like this will be the case, I am glad your thought of your children’s needs. Please read my earlier responses to help lines if this triggers anynone reading my words.

      Getting professional help I believe is likely to fast track both healing and personal growth. As I read your email I can see you truly have developed as a person, I loved hearing about you visiting your neighbour and giving the gift of time, so valuable.

      This it totally this spirit of my version of the LRT. It is to be adapted to your personal situation and changes as things progress.

      Best Wishes and thanks again for sharing your hope, help and heart here.
      Philipa

  64. Hi Philipa

    I suggested relationship counselling to heal the relationship with my teenage son to my wife. She was not enthusiastic about it. Mainly she said that my son wouldn’t talk to anybody but also implied that if he did decide to go the invitation wouldn’t include me.

    Apart from that call I am holding out with the LRT because I don’t feel I have any choice but it does worry me that living apart and not having contact is just going to get them all used to me not being there as if I never existed.

    Thanks

    Jack

    1. Dear Jack,
      so good to hear you are thinking about your relationship with your son. While I can appreciate you asking your wife re counselling, my first thought would be more doing this on your own or making more reaching out moves to your son. Kids these days spend a lot of time on the technology. I’d start with a text of a few lines, where you come from your heart. Perhpas something along the lines of empathy adn acknowledging how things have not been the best and that you love and care for him, no matter how upset he is with you or what’s been happening. Go slow to go fast. Keep us posted!
      Cheers pHilipa

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