The Last Resort Technique

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

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.

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.

 

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!

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.

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!

We welcome your comments and experiences. Please share here, you are not alone.

61 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.

  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 !

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