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The Last Resort Technique

Last updated on September 26th, 2019 at 09:17 am

The Last Resort Technique from the book, The Divorce Remedy by Michele 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 Dovirce Busting amazon Michele 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, tango dancing, needlepoint, ice-skating, and movies. 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 for support.

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 Michele 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.

Michele 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 Michele’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.

Michele 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 Michele Weiner-Davis, where the Last Resort Technique has been adapted for this article. Truly great advice from couples expert Michele 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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We are here for you buddy..

We welcome your comments and experiences. Please share here, you are not alone. I personally answer every comment received and there is over 1000 folks experiences on applying the Last Resort here on the Blog

Thank you!

1,191 thoughts on “The Last Resort Technique”

  1. Hi Philipa,

    I read your advice and I’m not sure how to put it into practice for my situation. You see my husband and I have been going through some very tough few years. At the beginning we couldn’t keep our hands off each other (although I wasn’t as affectionate as he was) but then it gradually stopped – not for him but me. You see I pushed him away cause being intimate was slightly painful and also I lacked libido. If I was intimate he could tell if I was faking and we would fight but if I made an excuse not to be intimate we would fight so I was in a loose loose situation. My husband (boyfriend at the time) felt rejected but I loved him so much and I didn’t know what was wrong with me or why my libido went (but I was embarrassed to do anything about it cause I wasn’t sure it could be treated). We constantly fought but we would always make up. He started drinking and would come home smelling of alcohol which didn’t make things easier for me in the libido department and it got longer and longer between times of intimacy. We would have great times and then bad but we loved each other. He proposed, we got married and then we tried to fall pregnant. It took us over a year to fall pregnant and we went to a fertility clinic. In the meantime my husband would get so upset seeing other couples with kids and having sex became a chore. The clinic finally diagnosed me with endometriosis and I needed surgery. After the surgery I fell pregnant within 4 weeks. However we encountered another problem – I had severe hyperemsis and was in and out of hospital with sickness. Luckily the baby was ok but in month 2 my husband dropped a bomb – he couldn’t be in a relationship with intimacy issues. I was gutted – emotionally and physically! I couldn’t keep food down with the pregnancy, was in and out of hospital and my husband was angry at me cause I couldn’t have sex with him! We saw a counselor but he said it was a waste – of time and money. I promised things would change and tried to be more attentive but I was still sick. Towards the end of the pregnancy I started to feel better but my husband didn’t see me that way being pregnant and would reject my advances now. My daughter was born and it took a while for me to feel comfortable with my body and I finally started getting my libido back (it turns out the lack of libido and slight pain was due to my endometriosis) and made moves on my husband only to be rejected. He said he wanted me to feel how he felt from the years of rejection and now pushes me away. He never lets me forget how I made him feel – even though I try to be spontaneous and affectionate – he says it’s not enough and very lame attempts. He asked me to leave cause he said I wasn’t making any effort (and this is with sleep deprivation due to our new baby and the stress of trying to renew my sexual ness). We got back together but he says it was only because I begged him and due to our baby girl. He said that we are now only house mates. I tried to tell him I discovered the reason for my lack of libido was a result of my endo but he says I’m making excuses for not being intimate with him and I never loved him – that I lured him and trapped him cause I didn’t want to be alone. He says I made him into an alcoholic and porn adict cause he had no other way to get what a wife should give him – affection. I try but he pushes me away and then I stay away and he says I don’t try – I’m in a loose loose situation. I take it cause I pushed him away in the beginning and feel I deserve it but now I’m not sure what to do and how to win him back. I do love him and he was such a loving boyfriend/husband and feel it was my fault for not seeking help in the beginning but sometimes he’s so mean and he says when I cry I’m trying to manipulate him and he’s not falling for it anymore. I really don’t know what to do!!

    1. Dear Lee lee, oh I feel for you both. Boy you and your marriage have had such a tough time and right from the start it seems you guys were not able to get past patterns of unhelpful communication. It’s become an entrenched cycle of pain I hear.

      The ways you two have of trying to connect with each other have lead to further pain. Both of you appear to be hurting and full of rejection and now resentment has set in. These can work to create a toxic environment which needs professional help. Can you find a getting the love you want workshop near you?
      It’s a weekend and you guys need intensive support. Love is an action and know alongside his anger and frustration will be deep seated hurt i’d bet.
      You are going to have to work really hard – you can make a start and find a systemically trained therapist would be my suggestion if you guys can’t find an Imago coach. Sending you both love and hugs in this very hard time thanks for sharing with us xx

    2. Omg leelee.

      This is exactly my story. To the T. I struggled with endo also and couldn’t have sex as it was too painful. My husband was so patient with me. But eventually it turned into resentment. I too had hypeemsis and that made our relationship worse. Ever since giving birth iv been trying and he also rejects me. Tells me he’s only here for our daughter.

      1. Oh Nancy,
        sorry to hear. I imagine it’s a relief to hear you are not alone. Wow exactly your story, the same as LeeLee.

        Endometriosis can be really tough to cope with. Both for you and your partner. It can put a pressure on you both.

        Resentment sets a rot in.

        Hyperemesis is another common ailment and horrible I am sure. You have really been through the wringer. I do feel for you.

        This healing of you and your partnership can happen. So pleased you have found us at teh Last Resort. Perhaps there are things you can identify that will support you here. A way forward.
        Take care and thanks for taking the time to share with us xx

  2. My husband left for the second time in 6 months a month ago. We talked yesterday and despite that we love each other he said he gave up trying to fix our marriage. I am devastated because I have been taking care of myself and getting better to show him that I am improving. I touched the subject of the divorce but he did not give me a clear answer. He does not call me or text me at all, he used to send me texts in the morning and night but those stopped few days ago. I am trying to be patience and not text or call him. I need your advice and guidance to save my marriage. Thank you!!

    1. Dear Luisa, you don’t ever want to touch on divorce unless you are ready to hear the answer!!
      I think it’s too early yet, you really have to live Step 2 not to show him but more yourself – you are a great person.
      You MUST apply Step 1 religiously. Not try not to call or text. Otherwise you will hasten your separation. Read through the blog for more info. Good luck and keep us posted.

  3. So my husband and I have been married 9 years and together for 15. I am currently 7 months pregnant with our second child and have had a very rough pregnancy. My husband started an emotional affair 6 months ago with a good friend of ours who is also married. Before all of this I thought our marriage had it’s issues bit genuinely thought we were happy based on how he treated me! He told 5 months again that he loved me but was no longer in love with me but didn’t mention the affair at that time. He admitted the affair to me about one month ago. Over the last few months, things have only gotten drastically worse between us and he claims it has nothing to do with his affair partner and that it is all issues he has had with me for years. I started individual therapy right after our initial fight and have made some great strides in the things he claims to have issues with me… He ignores all these changes. He has re-written the history of our marriage and claims he was never happy and never loved me, which I know is not true! He refuses to give up his affair partner because he says it will end him and that he will just shut down if he loses that connection. He knows my displease with it all but doesn’t seem to actually care. His family and friends are not supportive of his decisions to leave me (which he never actually left) and divorce. I recently asked him to leave because I needed space to breathe. He’s only been out of the house for a week but I do miss him but am not ready for him to come back. He sees our son everyday but spends minimal time with him as his attention is focused elsewhere which he vehemently denies, but is so obvious! His affair partner is also struggling in her marriage as her husband knows of the affair as well. I have had several convos with her husband and have been attacked by my husband for doing it behind his back even though I said he could read the texts. He has been very mean over the past few months which is so out of character for him and says he’s done with me and can never get his love back for me because he doesn’t like me as a person. I have admitted my part in everything and have sincerely apologized for it which he took as validation to his feelings that I am an awful wife, which is not at all what I said to him. He thinks his affair partner has no bearing on any of his feeling which is obviously bulls#+& but he refuses to believe that. So I asked him to leave and have initiated the LRT. I only talk to him when necessary and see him as little as possible. But I am always nice and friendly. Like I said it’s only been a week and have not seen any changes, but I am hopeful! Anything else I could be doing?

    1. Dear Putting my foot down,
      thanks for writing in and sorry to hear your distress. I do hope your pregnancy is going ok.

      Well done for starting the LRT. What I think is imperative for you to do is not to mention the affair partner again to your husband and cease all contact and discussions with any one else around this. You will be aware now this is not the tack to take as your husband is in no way ready to hear that.

      This line from your comment “He thinks his affair partner has no bearing on any of his feeling which is obviously bulls#+& but he refuses to believe that.” tells you the truth here he refuses to believe it and you are not going to convince him and bringing it up will only serve to either a) make him feel guilty or b) gives him a contrast as to how caring his affair partner is and you are literally pushing them into each others arms. Remember he is likey getting validation and a an ear from this partner. From you he is getting the brutal truth and as you have said he refuses to believe you. So stop this immediately.

      It is going to take a lot longer than a week.

      There’s been hurt and damage. You really need to work on your communication skills and stop defending. Please read through my earlier posts of useful conversations and how to acknowledge your partner’s perspective – which does not mean you have to agree by the way, but shows you are capable of seeing him for him as another person with different thoughts and feelings. Very normal.

      All the best and good luck with it!!

      1. I have stopped talking about his affair partner since he moved out and have not communicated with her husband either. I’ve decided to really take this time to focus on me and my children!
        You said I need to work on my communication skills which I am currently doing in individual therapy but what did you mean about defending? Defending him or myself? I have read through your earlier posts and will try to use those techniques going forward. I do love my husband and do not think he is a bad person, just truly believe he’s gotten himself in a very bad situation that he can’t see his way out of yet, but I am hopeful that his fog will clear and he will choose to come home for the right reasons!

        1. Dear Putting your foot down, I love you have stopped talking about the other person O.P. O.P talk only reminds your partner of that person – not what you want at all!
          Good on you for focussing on you and your children – that is at the heart of the LRT. Getting you back to you. This is when your spouse get’s to see that beautiful person they fell in love iwht.
          Great you are working on the communication skills and doing individual therapy. I can’t recall how I was thinking of the defending. But what I mean is to acknowledge the other persons viewpoint. Which doesn’t mean you are in agreement. It says I hear you. Often our mates complain of this the most in communication issues.
          Hold on to hope and give it loads and loads of time.
          Appreciate your update!
          Best wishes xx

          1. So my husband has been out of the house for about 6 weeks now and his affair has only intensified! I genuinely do not know what to do with him at this point… I am 3 weeks away from having our 2nd child and truly struggling emotionally. I have not talked about the OW since he left and have always been pleasant to him but keep it short and sweet. My husband has broken down in tears several times over the last few weeks about our kids but does not wish to discuss it with me. I assume this is his guilt over spending very little time with our son but that’s a guess! I am truly at a loss and dont know if I believe that he is ever going to end this! And it is really killing me and taking an emotional toll on our son who just does not know how to handle such adult emotions as he is only 4! I love my husband dearly but I genuinely do not like the person he is right now… How do cheaters not care that they are destroying people and act as though everything is fine? I will never understand how someone you have shared a life with can be so cold and uncaring.

            1. Dear Putting your foot down,
              I can hear things are really tough for you right now. Your partner is unfortunately in a very different emotional place to you. This is especially so if he is caught up in an affair. A person’s love chemicals can dull their senses alright. Those hormones do fade eventually you may be pleased to know.

              I hope you are getting support. Please use the LRT as a reference and appreciate you writing in.
              all the best xx

  4. Hello my story starts like this, I met my wife 21 years ago she had 2 girls from her previous marriage and that scared me but I eventually was ok. We have spent all this time together with her girls that I helped raise and we have a son of our own, she comes from a divorced and crazy up bringing and I do not, much different backgrounds. She then divorced her husband after dating him since 15 years old and by late 20,s they were done, I came along 5 months afterwards and we have been together since. She has two Bi polar sisters, a father that was very depressed and she has coping issues also on and off through our relationship. Her father died on 2017 and hit her hard, she then started in that year her hot sweats and her mental state began to change. Always on edge, nasty, criticism all the time, blamed everything on me Not being more workable and smothering, we had a hard time connecting and communicating I was scared of losing her so I was klingy and overly on top of her, in mid November 2018 she moved out said she was done, I love you but not in love with you stuff and she is still out I made all the mistakes crying, talking nothing works we have spent Christmas, New Years, Easter together including other fun times but still says she is moving on, I only recently started to back off, all her behavior follows the mid life crisis path to a T . So as I read things spaced and patience is maybe my best ally at this point, she is in the show off stage new apartment new car new look all of it , I get small wins here and there but I’m to aggressive and read to much into it. I miss her my son is showering very hurtful signs and my daughter and son live with me, she is out there on her own and acts as though all is good, going out spending money the hole nine yards lately ive been more distant and tonight was our sons birthday I was laughing and having fun I paid a little attention to her but not much and we do laugh together at times I seen her looking at me at periods in the night and smiling but I need to stay focused and keep my distance, I have been so overwhelmed with grief and don’t know how else to move forward. Any thoughts?

    1. Dear Norm, great that you have found the LRT.

      I think you need to get past your insecurity which sounds like it has lead you to be on occasion clingy and controlling – maybe aggressive as you said in your letter. You don’t need to keep your distance so much as hold onto your reactivity and find new ways to show up that don’t mirror the past of your relationship. I get you are hurting. Find a way to process and heal your hurt and anger. This I am guessing may be holding you back from your recovery and is a roadblock for fully embracing the LRT.
      Thanks for writing in and I do hope things improve for you !

  5. My Husband and I have ben separated for 6months. He wanted the separation, I didn’t. We have been together for 20 years and married for 17 years. We have 4 children together. He recently told me that he has been was involved with another women since November of 2017. He says that he fell hard for her and doesn’t love me anymore. But that relationship is now in limbo. He has started seeing someone else but isn’t sure about that either. We are good friends. During our separation we have to continued to see each other, maintain our connection and have an intimate relationship.. He keeps telling me that when he spends time with me its because he wants to. He still holds on to what we have. But that there are no guarantees that it will continue. He really doesn’t know what he wants. I really want to reconcile. I love him so much. I believe that we could have an amazing future together. I look at this time as an opportunity for our relationship to evolve into something better and stronger. He doesn’t understand the opportunity right in front of him. How do I get him to see it? Is reconciliation even a possibility? Do I keep fighting or start to prepare myself for life without him?

    1. Dear Jessie,
      thanks for your email and I totally honour your hurt, confusion and upset. You and your husband sound like you are in very different places emotionally.

      I want you to keep fighting but in a new dignified way. You are to use the LRT. It is your secret weapon as it will give you strength, courage and dignity! This is super important as you want to be the contrast to those other involvements he has had in the past. You don’t tell anyone especially him, you show him how you are turning a new leaf.

      So really 100% apply the LRT. Stop talking about your relationship (I know you see a future, however he is not in the same headspace and if we try to convince them, well it will just seem like – “oh she doesn’t get me either.”

      Reconciliation is always possible. Truly.

      Go well my dear friend in this hard time xx

  6. My wife and I have been together for 11 years, married for 7. We have 2 children together, ages 8 and 3. About 5 months ago I had a funny feeling and checked her phone. I found texts between her and another man detailing their intimate encounter. He moved in on her while they were talking and she let it happen. At the time when i confronted her she said it was a 1 time thing, but the fact that they had mentioned a “next time” in the texts and her having sent him nude pictures several days after the event says otherwise. I confronted her about her cheating, for one week she was depressed and then cold. During this time she confided in a “friend”. This friend worked with me and seemingly gave me advice to “help” because he was the one she was talking to. I went through all the stages Mrs. Wiener-Davis described and as it would happen she pulled further and further away. She had asked for a divorce in a fashion a couple times, but i resisted. She is a stay at home mom, she wanted to visit family in a different state and I paid for her visit. When she got back, i was home early on lunch when she was out and found a second cell phone. Texts between her and the “friend” spoke of how they loved each other, she wanted to get her tubes untied to have a kid with him, and how he was in the other state with her and they spent the entire time in a hotel room, they even went on explorations together (that i had suggested for her to do so she got to explore during her time “alone” thinking). I confronted her about it. Turns out, from talking to this guys wife, they had also had sex before that trip in the new car i had just bought her prior to finding out about the first affair. When he found out i knew he dropped her like a bad habit and she realized how naive she was being and admitted it was just lust. However, she didnt feel guilty, she said she had asked for a divorce and i said no and although she now feels bad for hurting me, she doesnt feel guilty about doing it.
    Our current state of affairs is complicated. She wants to enlist in the military (US), and she wants me to tag along so she can accomplish this task and not lose her kids (otherwise she wont do it). She wants me to tag along for at least a year after training so she can get established and we can 50/50 coparent. I, not wanting to become the cause of her missing out on her goals and becoming more of a threat to her happiness, agreed to do it. The other option (assuming she doesnt get in due to some health issues) is moving to a state i dont want to live in and living separately for 6 months and then getting a divorce if no sparks pop up. Ill follow my kids anywhere if she leaves me and she knows it. Ive been trying my best to enact the LRT. I havent asked about who shes talking to because she always on her phone and ive been trying to be unpredictable. For instance, yesterday i went out to the mall to shop for my upcoming trip to see a friend and got home after dark, hubg out for 20 mins and went to my room (she moved into guest room). She was wierded out because i never do that. Im doing my best to stay positive and happy. Her perspective is wierd though, she keeps telling me to go meet a girl, or go have a fling. That she and I arent “together together” anymore or “not really married, just kind of roommates and coparents”, terms i dont accept. Should I entertain these suggestions? Could it be some psychological trigger point for her? Me “moving on” makes me more desireable? Ill tell you this, i dont want to. Aside from a primal desire to have intimacy and affection, i dont want any other woman. My wife is my person and i know that if i did entertain these suggestions it would be a short night of fun and chances are i would feel like a cheater because i am still devoted and in-love with my wife who doesnt feel the same.
    One other item, she always makes sure to include something, if she gets to talking about our future, about not being together. For example, yesterday we adopted 2 puppies, her idea. Since me being controlling and telling her “no” about military (back before cheating” was the trigger to everything that happened, i went along with it. I love dogs too so…
    So she was telling me about how her friends reacted. She of course had to add that “and when we separate, the dogs can visit you too”. Like my whole day was good, we didnt mention that stuff at all, and that brought me low. Like the idea of separation has to be mentioned in any talk or scenario that has a future connection between she and I.
    I also have tried to do new things, but its hard. I am military right now, soon to be out. My days are 12 hrs long and i dont have time for new hobbies or anything. I literally have no control over my schedule, how do i enact that self discovery portion of LRT.
    Any advice on this whole situation is appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Dear A man about to lose his happiness,
      man you are in a tough spot really sorry to hear the state of things. Glad you found the LRT

      I am hearing there’s been a bit of history of unhappiness in your partnership. Often affairs can be a an alarm call.

      IN your situation you are certainly at THE LAST RESORT Stage.

      So with your military background I want you to apply it in ship shape fashion. That means to the letter. Stop all future talk or planning out loud. Read the technique so you know it like the back of your hand. Read all teh comments and apply what fits to your circumstances.
      In particular I want you to find the comment where I give you an exercise and complete that task.
      This way you can study at home, no need to go out for new hobbies – make the LRT your new mission.
      The internet is full of information too.
      My best advice is when the separation talk is mentioned is to acknowledge you have heard your wife. Make no mistake this does not mean you are agreeing to anything but shows you are hearing her.
      The number 1 complaint I get in my therapy rooms is not being heard. So you use the M.O.V.E protocol.
      M – Mirror the words back I hear you say… use the same ones.
      Stay Open
      V – validate that sounds tough… etc something that shows you acknowledge the person’s sharing perspective ( again doesn’t mean you have to agree)
      E is for empathy. I imagine you might be feeling…sad/lost/lonely/ etc whatever your best guess is.
      Keep listening and repeat this powerful cycle.
      Good luck and my heart goes out to you all!

      I hear

  7. Hi Philipa

    I was so glad to come across this article as I think I’m definitely I’m in the LRT stage. My husband left about 9 months ago after 20 years of marriage. We have 2 teenage children. We had problems over the past few years and I keep trying to work things out with him, but I found out I was competing with other women who he was having emotional affairs with and possibly more (I still don’t know for sure if he was actually intimate with any of these women). Since he left I’ve been consumed in anger and therefore haven’t spoken to him since, except through text/email and some quite angry/hurtful communications on my part. In the past month or so I’ve had a wake up call and I have been focusing on me and my life and doing all the things that are recommended…I’m dancing, going to yoga, eating well etc and returning I guess to the person that my husband was first attracted to. I have recently tried to communicate with him other than just for sorting out kid stuff, but he is completely ignoring me and not responding to anything. Now that I am in a better place I want to try and reconnect with him, but how can this happen if he just completely ignores me, never sees me or there is a no likelihood we will even run into each other? Is it a hopeless situation, should I just give up? I still love him and he means a lot to me. Any advice?
    Thank you

    1. Dear KJ,
      And I am glad you have come across the Last Resort Article KJ, I would agree you definitely are in the Last Resort Stage. That’s a great awareness to have.
      So glad you are backing yourself again and doing things that give you joy like dancing yoga, eating well and caring for yourself. If we care for ourselves it opens the door for other. Respect KJ!
      And yes this is the person your husband met and fell for.
      Back then there was a blank canvas. Today you have history. Both positive and negative.
      From your comment in the most recent times and for a few years it has been hurtful.
      The reason I draw your attention is so that you will know Step 3 -Waiting and patience are going to be your biggest ally.
      I would go back to sorting kids stuff out and not communicating with him. I will give you what I think might be going through his head if you do attempt more communication. I’d guess he will be hurt and angry. There are wounds that do need to be healed but the first step is a friendship as coparents. I believe he might even be thinking oh so know she is missing me and realising something she wants to come back. And in his mind he will likely be thinking of all the reasons why not to.
      Tempting as it is, you cannot talk to him about this. I see this over and over again with the LRt people want to let their partners know they are better, sorry and love them etc please notice me. This is a fatal mistake and could close the door entirely in your relationship. I am not sayin gyou have done this just speaking generally.

      This is because your spouse is in a totally different place and mind set to you. Currently you are the person who has said hurtful things, made accusations and told him of all his faults and flaws in the past. I may be being dramatic but this is often what we do when we feel stuck. So you need to think about where he is at.

      As I said earlier he will be wounded and emotional wounds take time and change to heal.

      You live the change consistently and wordlessly. By that I mean you show him. It’s a case of show and not tell.

      I am going to put up an exercise you can do at home by yourself to get into this, I will put it up on the YouTube Channel Marriage Works soon.

      So my advice is live, breath and love the LRT it is certainly your best option moving forward. And it keeps you progressing and growing. As for giving up – I say more letting go of the outcome is what needs to happen. Tough thing to do. Sometimes loving someone means respecting their wishes despite our own.

      Take care and update us with your progress xx

      1. Hi Philipa

        Thank you for your reply and advice. As hard as it was to read, I completely see where you’re coming from and understand that is probably what he’s thinking. I will stop communicating, although I did suggest we catch up for a coffee and that I would follow up with him when I got back from a few days away next week. Should I not even follow that up with him?
        How do I “show” him if we never see each other? We only communicate via text/email about the kids?
        My daughter currently has a very rocky relationship with him and I’m sure he blames me for that, but I haven’t influenced her at all, she’s just struggled with it and feels abandoned by him. So family type get together dare not really an option at the moment.
        Also we both have lawyers and I’m sure he’s going to push me soon for a financial settlement. How do I do LRT with that scenario? Should I just see if I can delay that with him?
        I’m a hopeful person, I feel now that even if this doesn’t work I have another path to follow-just me.
        Thank you & I’ll keep you updated.
        KJ

        1. Hi KJ,
          appreciate your update. Yep no suggesting follow up or actual follow up. This is how you “show” him without seeing him I get this sounds weird. It’s really an energy. I want you to keep channeling all your available energy into you and the children.
          My thinking is you want to help your daughter process the relationship change. Acknowledging anger, hurt etc are all really normal feelings. I would actively be encouraging small steps to connection around that repair. Making sure she knows that the relationship breakdown is between you and your husband. Children can and do take separation in many different ways. We need to coach them through this.
          I think it’s vital she hear the rupture had nothing to do with her or her siblings. You need ot come up with a small sent saying. Mum and Dad have strugggled to get things right and at this time you are separated due to this. Basically it’s the adults who have the unresolved issues together. Something simple and yet truthful. If there has been infidelity that is only the adults involved business. Not saying there has been. We must protect our children from too much information. Key to ensure she hears from you that both Mum and Dad love her no matter what is happening. This has to be on a bit of a loop tape from you. Lots of reassurance.

          I’m sure you’re already doing all that and more KJ.

          Oh well as a lawyer you know how these things go more than most. You can reamin hopeful and not delay. Any delay or fudging would not be the LRT and you must be 100% on board with it.

          Of course this is general advice, as I don’t know your circumstances. As parents you must put your childrens needs first is my heartfelt belief.
          Key to the LRT is doing the opposite of what the usual dynamic within your marriage is. So if you often dig your heels in ( this is me actually at times!) then you walk forward instead.

          At it’s hear the LRT is built on acceptance first for yourself and then your circumstances whatever pans out. I read you already have the first part – knowing you have another path to follow.
          Well done.
          Truly all the best and love to hear your updates. Know your comment helps others too KJ xx

  8. Hi my name is Marie and I’m married with 2 toddlers and one on the way. I’ve been having martial issues prior to my husband coming out in April about an affair he has been having since Oct 2018. He told me he loves me but he is in love with her and wants to pursue what they have. He is in the Navy and she is a co worker who I’ve met. I told him I was gonna stay in California to have our baby and to get time and space away from the decision he has made. All my family and support is in California we are stationed in Virginia. He wants me to come back to Virginia after the baby is born so he can get to know him and coparent but has no desire to work on the marriage and said he eventually wants a divorce. I just read this article tonight so I will be applying this technique I have been reading devotionals on healing and forgiveness which has helped me. I noticed lately we have been talking to much and I tend to get upset about him leaving the family so I get in my feelings and remind him that it’s his choice. He says he should of never married me but loves our kids and wants to be in their lives. Is it wrong of me not go back to Virginia when I have more support here? I still love him and hope one day he will coming back but me moving on won’t happen if I go back just for the kids. I know it’s smart to do what’s best for me and the kids not what’s best for him because he made the decision to leave based on what he thought was best for him. Last night I asked him to not contact me for couple weeks so I can move forward and not dwell on what he is doing. I hope I’m on the right track I plan to pour into myself so I can be a good mom for my children and have a healthy pregnancy.

    1. Dear Marie,
      thanks for your email. Yes the relationship is on the rocks here – so sorry, not easy with little ones and another on the way. Congratulations – I want to honour the new baby.

      I really can’t advise you on whether to stay in California or Virginnia. I’ll share my thoughts though.

      You have your children and I want to give them a voice metaphorically and say their needs must come first.
      It takes a village to raise our precious ones.

      If it were me I would not be making any big changes or moving decisions right now. I think you need to take care of the family and your unborn. Moving is extremely stressful.

      I may have the wrong end of the stick but I wonder if you would be moving to him in the hopes of getting the relationship back? This in my thinking would be unwise. Here’s how I would see that unfolding. You move ( stressful). AS you get unpacked you become aware how isolated you are, hearing chidlren crying and no one to turn to. It starts off nice and over time the same relationship pattern continues. He’s more involved with his work mate who lends him a sympathetic ear. You become sad, depressed and resentful. Feeling like a victim.

      Now that’s all in my mind, I just made it up. And it’s not the Last Resort Technique.

      AS you said in your letter you know what the smart thing to do is. Be smart, at this point you need to hold onto your dignity. Trust your instincts. But don’t make it an ultimatum or use blame. Make it your decision and own it.

      I trust you will do the right thing by yourself and that will be the correct thing for you family.

      Read through the blog and glean what fits for you. Wishing you all the luck in the world.
      Please keep us updated xx

  9. So my wife and I separated a month ago, after 4 years. Here’s what happened. Everything was great and working well for two years. Then my best friend of 25 years suddenly died. I’m 39 yrs. old by the way. And a stay/work from home dad. I kinda went numb, and became lost. I never dealt with a death like this. I started to feel like something was wrong with me but I didn’t know what. I’ve talked with my wife, and my parents. No one could really help me. I felt like I was going nuts. I drank more than I should’ve, I was trying to numb myself. But that just made things worse. I started lashing out, and being harsh with everyone around me. I started to feel like anyone I loved will leave me. My wife traveled for work and I would go into panic mode! I’d start fights so she wouldn’t go. I tried to control everyone around me, so I didn’t lose them. I really thought this was acceptable. But through all this I hurt my wife and children. I truly just wanted to feel normal. I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I was a strong man, a good man! But I realize after I had been verbally and emotionally abusive to my wife. She swears I’m a narcissist and an abuser, but my counselor says I’m not. Yes I went for help, after a bad blowout. I actually went to one therapist before the one I have now. He made everything seem like “oh, you’re just grieving, everything will be fine!” We’ll it wasn’t, and got worse. I was devastated. I learned all about grieving and the steps you go through. It helped a little, but there was more to this. So after meeting my now therapist, I dug deep, and found that losing my friend brought on some serious insecurities, and we started to attacked them. I never once blamed anyone for my problems, well after I realized it was me who needed to fix my problems that I had in my head. But I take full responsibility for everything I did to hurt my my beautiful wife! I tried everything I could while we were together to make things right. But I guess the damage was done. So one day we started a conversation about the kids not helping me with their chores, and it blew up like a bomb! She said you need to leave. I begged, cried, and pleaded. But she wasn’t having none of that. I basically left with what I had. Went to my parent house, and just tried to relax. So now, I lost my best friend, my wife, my home and my heart. This has been the worst month I have ever felt. I can’t kick this pain, and I don’t know how long I can keep up this facade. It’s killing me to hear her saying such harsh stuff to me. I’m not an abuser, I’m not a narcissist! I was a man who had no coping skills, and no awareness of what truly was going on! All I know is either way, a loss of my friend or insecurities that stemmed from it. I still hurt her, and I’m so sorry, and I can’t change what happened. I have been working on being a better man, but she don’t believe me. And I always thought marriage was for the good and the bad. I feel left behind like trash, and broken. She has her own problems, and says she’s 75 % recovered from being abused. But treats me like I can’t be fixed. So many articles I read in line put the abuser as this monster! Well I’m not truly an abuser, I had separation anxiety, and insecurities. This all went on for a year, and it wasn’t every day. It had its moments. Cause we still had great times in between. My heart hurts, and it’s not getting better! We have 2yr old together and every time I see my wife to pick up the baby, I fall deeper. What can I do?

    1. Dear Frank, thanks for writing in.
      Sounds like your friends death tipped you into a depression and left you raw. Sorry for your loss.

      What you do is follow the last resort word for word 100%
      I hear you have owned your anger and abusive behaviour, that is a great first step, well done. I also applaud you for getting help for yourself. It’s when we excuse bad behavior and justify or rationalize the foundations of a relationship crack. We can only take charge of ourselves and your behaviour.

      I usually recommend couple therapy really early on in the piece and in conjunction with your individual healing work.

      Let me tell you what I think may be happening with your wife. She may be ( I am only guessing here) in a form of post traumatic stress. When we are exposed over time to abuse and unpredictability in a relationship. People start to shut down, or get reactive in an attempt to protect themselves. When even a small slip such as a raised occurs we get triggered again.

      That’s our reptile brain going into survival mode.

      I say this because your focus needs to be on accepting where she is at, hard as that is.

      I want you to forget all the labels like narcissist, separation anxiety etc, unfortunately people tune out. Get therapy which allows you to emotionally process your trauma – find a Resource Therapist, EFt, Tapping or EMDR clinician. Talking therapy in my 20 years of experience only goes so far. Therapy that rewires your brain gets lasting results. Insight is a great start. Alone it doesn’t often lead to real change.

      Think more hurt and vulnerable- both you and your wife.

      Stop trying to convince your spouse of anything. This sort of thing usually backfires and gets your mate thinking once again they are not heard. Reinforcing their desire to leave sadly.

      My belief is you really need to hear your wife’s pain. Which doesn’t mean you have to agree. Acknowledgement and validating responses are super healing. We do this with safety and vulnerability.

      Read the Last Resort blog for examples of mirroring and Imago practices for improved communication. They work. When we share empathy and support love can repair with time.

      Good luck Frank, please let us know your progress!

  10. I’m not going to say much here other than my long term financee of 2 1/2 years called it off 2 days ago. We just went to a couples counselor last Wednesday. I thought it was productive but at the end of the session she started talking about how I had lied to her when we first got together about how many previous marriages I had. I’m 62 now. She asked me about that on our first date. I felt like I was being interrogated then and said “a couple”. I lied because I was embarrassed about failed marriages. I had been out of a relationship for over a year when we met. We fell for each other. After the counseling I admitted to her that I was selfish in our relationship. I admitted a lot of other faults. Before we went to counseling she found a journal I had been writing BEFORE we ever met and went through it. I had left it in a box of my things at her house. I had read an article that said it is cathartic to write about your life to release painful things. I know she has journals throughout our relationship. Often when we would have a disagreement about something she would bring up something I said or did months ago.

    I picked up a copy of the Love and Respect book. Read it the day after our couples counseling and said there was a lot of eye opening stuff in there for me and I wanted to work on that book together. Her response? “I don’t want to settle the rest of my life with you.” I was devastated. We had just come back from a cruise for a week that I bought her for her birthday in which we had a wonderful time. I didn’t bring that up but she proceeded to tell me that we have a great time together when we go out but we can’t have a life together because there is too much stress. In the past 2 days I’ve taken a hard look at myself. I was selfish about wanting us to move back in together.

    A lot of the time I wasn’t “present” when we were just hanging out at her house. I learned that from reading a lot of articles about how women complain about that to each other about their men. At this point when I try to talk to her she vacillates between attack mode and just having friendly conversation about her family, her friends, her new puppy, etc. But, at the end of our conversation today she said there is “no hope” for us and that I should work on myself for a year before getting into another relationship.

    Her conversation about us is past tense and when she talks about the future it is “I” statements. None of her comments about us since counseling has had any remembrance of the good in our relationship.

    I’m glad I found this blog because I am just going to stop contacting her. The last thing I told her on the phone today was that I understood how I had been selfish. She had told me in a text that she just needed “confirmation that it was ok to walk away.” I really didn’t know how to interpret that. But, my final words to her today was that if it was the last thing I did for her was to be unselfish and let her go I would do that. I don’t know what to expect.

    I have to rebuild my life. I might not ever hear from her again. I’m facing that possibility. If I do, I will just follow what is in this blog as best I can. If I don’t then i just need to rely on support from friends and family. My family all live 1100 miles away. I only have a few friends here because I focused my life around her. Just gotta suck it up, keep going and not contact her.

    1. Hi Louie, thanks for writing in.

      There’s been a lot happening and glad you found the blog. It has got self esteem raising ideas.

      Yes good idea to do Step one and really back off if this has been a past pattern, you want avoid the chase.

      It’s great you are reading and ready to learn and grow. Rebuild your life from the inside out perhaps. Find support in other areas.

      I would suggest one final text to her in honour of your relationship. Saying as you love her, you respect her choices and she needs to take care of herself as she sees fit. You hear how that is open and unconditionally loving.

      Follow the Last Resort Program from the blog and let us know your progress.

      Best Wishes

  11. My husband and I have been separated for 3 months – he initiated.
    He has just been diagnosed with aspergers and he still believes separation is best. So our circumstances are hard because he struggles to connect and feel emotion.
    So I want to know do you think this method is worth trying?
    Also, what do you do when you share a child together – do you make the break up as amicable as possible in an effort to get back together – because I would prefer to not be on any good terms with him and finalize finances.
    So does this mean I cannot initiate finalizing finances or is that ok to do during the last resort technique

    1. HI Nicole,
      So sorry you are angry and hurt, as anyone would be.

      YES this method is definitely worth doing.

      My suggestion though is do it 100%. There is some thinking when we use the word try it’s not as clear. Don’t try it, just do it, as Nike famously branded themselves.

      Forget his diagnosis, while it may explain some behavior it may not allow you to look at the patterns in your marriage which will have been predictors of divorce.

      Read this blog through. I am in the process of getting together an Ebook. What i would suggest is your write down two lists on two pages. On the page draw two columns for List A. In column write the top 10 complaints in your marriage. On the second page draw up two columns for List B. Here you will write the ten complaints your husband has. Do this quickly. Go back to your List A review your list. In the second column ask yourself is there any grain of truth to this. Write your first answer. Say Yes and then write I would do this when I was feeling/ thinking…. Answer this. Then answer this sentence. What I really needed was…. Repeat for List B.

      We you have a child together it is my utter belief we as adults need to make this uneasy situation and change as smoothly as possible. Our children need us to be at our best here. Really hard i get it. So long answer but yes amicable is best regardless of the outcome. Your child is looking to you both as a role model, in how to negotiate this emotionally charged time. Do it with grace! I know you can Nicole. I am sure you are a loving parent. You have to be on good enough terms – like the colleague you have to work with who you wouldn’t see outside of work. You go through the social niceties and keep it friendly and businesslike.

      Yes you are correct no initialising finalising finances, this is not part of the Last REsort Tehcnique, that is the Fast Track to Divorce option.

      I hear you are angry Nicole, I am available for Zoom appointments or go and see a marriage friendly therapist in your local area. Interview a therapist carefully. If they don’t give you hope and can’t see beyond his diagnosis find another one. If your psychologist says there is a pattern and dance between you that would be worth understanding and processing, plus what’s in your child’s best interests then sign up!

      You get the gist. A therapist taking our side only helps us feel better short term. Eventually it keeps us stuck in the same old emotions and behaviors. Then we go to repeat patterns. I believe when we process the underlying emotions and pain it truly frees our path forward.
      Wishing you the very best!
      Philipa

  12. My wife advised me 3 months ago she is done. Married 19 years 3 children 11 through 16. I thought our life together was travelling as most marriages do, ups and downs though nothing dramatic. I love her dearly. I acknowledge I have become boring as my work is so mentally challenging and the men at her work are not. I should have made a greater effort to fill the love bucket, shame on me. She also started to suffer the first phases of menopause which was really tough on her and I followed bloke advice which was “just say yes dear”. Big mistake in hindsight.
    Once she told me she was over us my initial reaction was denial then devastation and fear. I tried to be fun again and not overwhelming simple things each week or two that were not romantic but fun.
    Nothing changed, she went along and had fun though completely avoided any sign of love. I finally asked what could I do to keep us together. She said attend counselling. I said yes despite every bone in my body saying she is going to use this to reinforce the message she is done. Yep that is what happened. I attended to obtain tips and help to save our marriage she attended to end our marriage. Guess who is winning, I cant make her love me she can end the marriage.
    The last session we had I stated I was becoming a better man, I still hold hope we can turn this around, and I love her and our family. She said I am over it. The therapist said well what do you want to do. She said leave. She was then asked when and she said asap. These sessions have now become a script to end my marriage.
    She has been sleeping on the couch for weeks and I also think an emotional affair is in the mix. I think it is time for LRT.
    My question is how do I know approach our therapy sessions as they will simply be a session where she gets to add another nail in our coffin.

    1. Dear Fearful D,

      Your comment will ring true for a lot of guys, so thanks for writing in. Reading between the lines there has been a disconnect for some time.

      The first thing you need to face is your fear/s. When we are scared it’s impossible to be fully present to ourselves or to anyone fully. I get this is not an easy situation, it’s about holding onto yourself and acting with grace.

      You definitely need to change your mindset on the therapy sessions. As it seems as if you are forecasting bad news and that’s not what you want. From your letter “These sessions have now become a script to end my marriage.”

      When we think in this way, we are most likely going to come from either a defensive or offensive position. This is definitely not the way you want it to play out. I am not being polly-anna here Fearful.

      It’s a good sign she wants therapy, at least it offers openings to talk about what’s necessary.

      Your best approach in therapy is to be open, really hear your wife’s distress and desires – all of them! That means not responding reactively, without anger. It’s ok to be hurt, not ok to lash out.

      When we are truly accepting of another it opens up way more safety and possibility.

      You have to let all the walls and your guard down.

      It takes one person to have courage and grasp the sword of responsibility and care. Let that person be you for your relationship. This is really hard, I get it.

      So approach your therapy with an open heart and mind, let go of the outcome for now. My advice would stop stating anything related to you and your changes. This only cements a partner into separation. Instead shift your kind gaze and gentle heart to your spouse.

      Good luck with it and love to hear your update.

  13. Hello Philipa,

    Reading through all of the comments and stories breaks my heart. Mine doesn’t seem to be as severe but it’s still not working.

    My husband is a great father, a caring man and his friend list is long. He was permanently disabled in his early 30’s due to a car accident in 2001 with back injuries. I then became the breadwinner in the family. I started to notice that his spirit was fading after not working for the past 12 years and an opportunity arose for him to get a part time position through a company my job partners with. I pitched my husbands name, introduced him and helped guide him back into the workforce. He was instantly recharged and felt like he was contributing to our life again.

    Our marriage wasn’t perfect by any means but we have always been happy and proud of our family. Our kids have both grown up and moved out of the house and we are both still in our forties.

    About two years ago I noticed a sharp decline in our sex life. What used to be three times a week became once every two or three weeks. We started arguing more and he started saying how mean and uncaring I was. Saying he never wanted to be married to a cruel woman. I tried to be nicer, more patient but the arguing continued. Finally, I got up in the middle of the night and went through his phone. I didn’t find a bunch of horrible stuff but I did notice a particular woman (coworker) he mentions in texts to his brother, commenting on her social media, long sincere texts to each other thanking the other for being there for one another and is included in a group text where they both laugh and joke around. She, of course is beautiful and she’s also 10 years younger than me. I asked him about her. He adamantly denied anything. He said she’s like a sister to me, etc. I took it all hard. It completely blindsided me that my husband would have an emotional affair with a coworker at a job that I encouraged and helped him get! He continued to deny there was ever anything between the two or with anyone else. He said I made it all up in my head. As the weeks passed the arguing got so much worse and I started to notice things about him that I never noticed before. He looks for attractive women everywhere we go! His eyes scan every aisle of the grocery store. His eyes dart all over while we are having dinner at a restaurant. He is completely and utterly obsessed with women of a certain age group. It made me sick. After I saw it, I couldn’t I unsee it and it literally made me sick. I tried to be sexier. I tried to be kinder and softer. I wore makeup everyday and fixed myself up and still nothing. I lost 30 pounds practically overnight. I begged for his attention. I needed him to hold me and touch me. I asked him to not get so close with his coworkers and to not look at all of the women around us. It only made matters worse. My self confidence plummeted and I felt so inferior to these younger women. He still swears he never did anything and I made a big deal out of nothing.

    That was two years ago and we are still in turmoil. We’ve gone back and forth between extreme and passionate love to strangers passing in the hallways. I’ve since moved into one of the spare bedrooms. He seems unscathed. He tried to do a truce dinner the other night and I went along with it. I laughed and talked and while I was talking I noticed his eyes darting back and forth. He wasn’t listening to me at all. He was looking back and forth at me and the sexy thirty something behind our table. I instantly stopped talking. At this point, I’m not even mad anymore. I’m really more disgusted. I’m an attractive woman and I’m in pretty good shape and I looked downright beautiful the other night and he doesn’t see me. Other people see me. I’m not interested in anyone but him. I love him… but I’m not an option. I’m not second to anyone except God. It took me a long time to get there and be stronger but it’s finally happening. Some days are better than others.

    We came home and I mentioned what happened and he immediately was angry, denied it and stonewalled me so I left and hung out with a girlfriend for the night. Since then, we’ve talked but I won’t look at him in his eyes. I honestly can’t and won’t give him that intimacy anymore. I go my way to bed and he goes his. I’ve kept it polite but distant. I’m happy around him but I don’t make an extra effort to talk to him.

    My question is this. Of course I want to save my marriage. I love my husband and have since I was 19. Am I doing it wrong? He is showing zero signs of reconciliation or attempts to get me back. He’s just fine watching tv the entire time we’re home. Should I just stay the course? He did try and ask me to his bedroom the other night but after zero affection and the recent incident I had to politely decline. We are involved in church activities and church so I am with him at least three nights a week. Should I pull back from those activities to make myself scarce? I don’t even know if I can save this marriage. I’m still doing all of the other wifely duties at home as well. Cooking, cleaning, managing the money, etc. I feel like he has no reason to try and fix anything.

    Thank you in advance for your insight.

    1. Dear Summit,
      from your email things seem pretty desperate, bad in fact. You are at the Last Resort.

      I can hear your conflict. You want your marriage. You want him to change. The Last Resort is about us changing.

      There seems to me if I read your email a part of you that is pretty hurt, angry and possibly feeling stuck.

      To answer your question with regard to saving your marriage.

      Honestly, yes you are doing it wrong. I can see it’s with the best of intentions.

      You are appear to be constantly on the lookout for his wrong doings and you let him know about it in no uncertain terms. I would bet he feels hopeless and helpless. No matter what he does you seem to find fault. I think he loves you, can you let him?

      When we are stuck in negative criticism loops it feels hopeless. Stop this today.

      Your husband asked you out to a truce dinner – an olive branch. Reconciliation – he is doing something.You are focusing on the bad. He is still there right?

      There appears to be a lot of anxiety, with your vigilance on where his eyes are going. You truly have to get past this. It’s hurting you.

      My guess is before the emotional affair you were fine, but insecurity has raised it’s ugly head. This can leave us hyper alert – our brains are holding unprocessed emotions- fear, hurt and so on.

      My advice is to focus on getting past your hurt, resentment and insecurity.

      Until you let go of the pain, it will keep flaring up in unhelpful ways.

      Summit it sounds to me, please excuse me for being blunt like you are holding a huge grudge against your husband. The only person it’s holding back is you.

      If you let this go you would give both him and yourself a much better chance of repairing things.

      Find a Clinical Resource Therapist, an EMDR specialist like me in your local area.

      I do offer Skype sessions world wide.

      Do not pull back from your church activities. Take up the offer of connection – have sex if that feels ok for you. Do it with an open heart.

      Heal your heart honey!

      Hope this gives you some inspiration. Good luck as always! xx

  14. Hi Philipa thank you for sharing this. I’ve been in a relationship with my husband for 9 years and married for just over one. He went traveling with his colleagues (female colleagues too) and came back from that saying that he wants a divorce because he doesn’t want to commit and we are not compatible. He thinks i’m not intellectually curious enough and not outgoing enough for him. He said by traveling with other females he’s been able to see there are other options and people who he can connect with better. He says i’m sweet and caring but not intellectually compatible with him. He wants to be free and explore more to life (we started dating quite young and he feels he’s missed out on his 20s).
    I told him he can go explore and figure himself out but don’t need to take the extreme approach of divorce but he said that won’t work.
    He’s trying to be ‘gentle but firm’ with the divorce. His mind is adamant and set on divorce but him trying to be nice to me and making it ‘easier’ for me is not helping. It’s giving me mixed messages. He said he’s confused too but also very certain that he wants divorce. I asked him if he wants to be married – he said no and I then asked if he wants a divorce – he said maybe.
    He has a very close female colleague that he connects with very well. He hangs out with her a lot. I know there’s no point fighting that battle but I feel the more time he spends with her – the less he will see what there is in this marriage.
    He thinks i’m just not the one for him. Should I separate, move out and just give him the space to figure it out? It’s incredibly hard for me to make this move as I know this will mean the marriage will be over completely.

    1. Dear Anita,

      I truly believe you can’t force another person to change or convince them of anything when their minds are set.
      The more you try the faster they will want to get away from us. Feeling trapped and controlled.

      You have to take a good hard look in the mirror.

      Why on earth would you possibly want to be with someone who doesn’t find you the most awe inspiring woman on the planet?

      You and he deserve love. Now if he is the kind of guy that moves on to the next adventure, tell me is that a man who will be there for you in times of hardship, when you have children? Really?

      You need to require more out of life!

      Wishing you all the best xx

  15. Just can’t do it…feel so weak
    As much as I believe this is productive for either the reason to make your spouse see or for you as a person to break free and gain independence and some self worth.

    But I just can’t seem to implement it, i try but i keep failing. It’s like I just can’t break free I constantly try to talk to him and it gets me nowhere only to be yelled at or he leaves.
    I follow him around the house and I hate myself for doing it and know it’s not changing anything but killing me but the pain is so awful of what he has done the cheating the lying the gaslighting the lengths he went to.
    I am hoping I can make him ‘see’ how much he’s hurt me hurt our family but he just doesn’t seem to ‘get it.
    I don’t trust him how can I?
    I know I need to try this even for myself to begin to disengage as it’s not working but how do I find ththe sterength?
    I sound so weak and so pathetic but thats how i feel.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Dear Satia,
      I would suggest you need to find a part of you that can do the Last Resort. You will need to channel a strong part of yourself and connect with your bravery and courage. Your self critical part is undermining you, you playing victim serves no one honey.
      Back yourself! I would love you to learn to love yourself, as i think this may be a part of your journey. Here are some recommended things Helpful links
      Take care xx
      Read the blog and tap into all the resources on the net.

      1. Thanks Philipa,
        Yes so true…its finding this strength..my counselor tells me it’s like a glue to him and the traumatized part of me…keeps going..like a compulsion…
        The trust is so broken and I don’t think I’ll ever get through this with him as he is not remorseful in the way I need, I’m blamed for so much of his mistakes.. he says I’m controlling and he feels suffocated which is why I need to do the last resort so much…
        I feel so broken..its more than just the affair it’s the lies that went to and I begged him to stop and he lied and continued..now he has left his job where she was but I live in this constant fear that behind my back he is still in contact with her..and can I control it if he is..no..
        I’m so tired on antidepressants and trying to hard to function for my kids…
        It’s all so so hard…

        1. Hi Satia, I hear this is really hard.
          Your traumatised part needs healing and would be totally freaked out by all this further hurt.
          And now you have a part that’s gone rogue with paranoia, while all our parts are trying to help. This usually has us more stressed if we are hypervigilant and it’s not great for those under our gaze.
          I am glad you have the support of a counsellor. EMDR and those hypnosis on Utube – free can be a start to reprocessing your hurt parts. Take care and your awareness and natural intelligence will shine through. xx

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