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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!

1,281 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

  16. Hi there. 2 months ago my wife gave me the I love you but not in love with me. Totally shocked but I guess she has had these feelings for the last couple of years. Been married for 28 together for 30. Two grown kids who are very active in our life. Wife was sexually abused as a child and has trust issues, including with myself as I was unfaithful 15 years ago. Thought we had gotten through that but she just has resentment towards me still. We are 51 and going to be grandparents for the 1st time in 2 months. Excited but wife is not happy about getting older. Also due to surgery her hormones an estrogen are all out of whack and she refuses to take anything to help as she has tried but says it doesnt work. There is a guy involved somehow, not sure physically or emotionally but definitely someone she is speaking to. We tried living together to get through this and keep it under wraps from everyone but did not work well as I couldnt control my emotions being around her. She was not communicating with our friends or our kids until recently which I think is good as she is now talking about our relationship to others who know us. Has not said divorce or separation to anyone except me but that’s because I forced her to tell me that’s what she wanted. Both times during an argument. She has stated to her friend that we are done. I’m currently staying with my kids different nights and been doing that for past 3 weeks but eife does not know where im always at. Saw wife once at our daughter’s ultrasound and communicated once as she was wanting to get off of my cell phone bill and get her own phone. Both interactions actions she was cold and distant but did offer for me to stay at house for a week while she would be away. I turned that down. I feel confused as she says certain things to my kids such as wanting to know what I’m doing where I’m at but yet very cold to me. My assumption is she is just confused and not sure what she really wants. Never really had time to herself as her 1st marriage was at age 17 and got involved with me right after that and always had kids. Right now I’m trying my hardest not to communicate to see what happens, also looking at maybe getting an apartment after the 1st of the year. With so many years together and a great life with our children, I can’t believe she would throw it all away over feelings or for possibly another guy. Many see our marriage as perfect and are kids see it as one to strive for but I guess she has been faking it for awhile. Really don’t know what to do or if I’m on the right path as I don’t want to lose this woman. I don’t want to lose everything that we built up to now. So hard to get through each day not thinking of her or wanting to call as a feel for her and don’t think she is herself. She does not seem to be the person I know and to me feel she is in pain emotionally. Kids told me when they do see her she is very animated and over the top trying to be happy. I know she needs to work on some issues other than us but for now I’m the one that is taking the blunt of this, understandably due to my actions 15 years ago. I guess I’m really asking if I’m on the right path or if I should be doing something else? I truly love her and deep down know she loves me. Whether or not the marriage survives I at least want my best friend back and have her happy snd laughing again.

    1. Dear Paul, I think the LRT is the antidote here. It will give yo ua new direction. I would also suggest some insight therapy or coaching. Read over the blog and use the exercises within to further your cause. Keep us updated. Good luck !

  17. Dear Philipa,
    I read your Article with care and I shall read it again so that it sticks in my head. Yes, I have done everything that you describe (except the Last Resort technique) and you are right – it only polarized my Spouse even more.

    It is a rather long story that began with financial infidelity and lies. One that took many twists and turns as my Spouse (coached by her Mom and sisters) never admitted the seriousness of her wrong doing. There were many instances of a Narcissist at work while she never mentioned about cheating and lying but put the blame on me and that she could not live anymore with me because she has no future with me. This is as brief as I can get. 🙂

    Problem here is we have a four year old daughter who is with her and is being used as an emotional weapon. I am given the Silent Treatment and no answer from her when I can meet my daughter.

    This is now the second month since my Spouse walked out of the house with my daughter while I was abroad. She went to live with one of her sisters.

    While I can accept a separation, I am however, deeply concerned for my daughter. Of course if all three of us are back together, it would good even though it would mean a lot of hard work between my Spouse and I.

    I am in one of those ugly situations shared by many male foreigners who marry a Filipina. The Filipino family intrusions is despicable. Given a situation when the Filipina family finds it unacceptable (no money lent or given to them for example) their married daughter is told to leave her husband and return to her family. And she will obey the family. No kidding.

    Problem here is her family are totally broken. They have practically nothing, Jobless and living by means cheating, lying and scamming. Imagine my daughter being brought up in the company of such people.

    Two days ago, what started as a controlled chat on WhatsApp, it ended badly as my Spouse started to chat provokingly and rudely.
    I decided a NO CONTACT is best.

    On the second day, she started to stalk me on WhatsApp. I believe your Last Resort does work but there is much more ahead that I would have to come to grips with. It is this part of the process that I am not sure what I should be doing IF she moves from being curious to possibly a self realization that it is better for her to bend than break.

    Please advise me. And thank you for your inspirational insights.

    1. Dear Hans, thanks for your kind words.

      I am reading a lot of anger you have towards the mother of your child. For your own sake and your child you really to process this. Otherwise it’s not great for your health.

      You definitely need to follow the LRT but remember we need to adapt it to your individual circumstances. We need to think about the long haul and you having connection with your child. The best way to do that is with a working relationship with your spouse. I am more for kindness and compassion for you all. Take care!

  18. Hi there
    After 20 yrs together of which 11 married and having 3 kids, she told me she doesn’t love me anymore and wants separation 2 months ago.
    I have started feeling that 3 years ago and I chased.
    Now she seems almost physically afraid of continuing the relationship. I guess she feels that she gave up too much of herself in the 20 years and is afraid of doing it again and thinks that a new kind of a less close relationship would not be feasible for me.
    Well, few months ago that’s what I thought also, but to hear the words changed things in me. I actually feel better and more confident than I did in years. Nonetheless, I want to stay with her.
    I do see that I need to stop chasing and did that. Not immediately, but I did and will continue to do so. I am confident that I can lead a happy life without her, but convinced that she’s my soulmate. I did many things on the list intuitively and try to control my emotionality.
    She told me we don’t actually fit after these 20 years and I am convinced that is just a rationalisation.
    Am I just in denial or is there really a chance? I could move on, but I feel that reward of not doing so would be worth it.

    1. Dear Patrick, good on you. I am an optimist – where there is life there is hope. It can take a long time though. It’s great you are on track with the LRT.

      This is not uncommon for a women to want to find herself beyond being a wife and mother. In my office I often hear from wives saying I lost myself, my identity. I don’t know who I am.

      I recently saw a couple separated for a year.They had sold the family home, 12 months ago she was done. The wife said I was so angry I needed a year. I am now ready to regroup and recommit.

      I tell you their story to illustrate what’s possible.

      You need to hear her more. She is giving you big clues. And the ways she says you don’t fit can be pointers for change. A great opportunity. Keep up the good work!

  19. Hi Philipa,

    I was very interested to come across your blog and appreciate the advice. My husband of 9 years has a traumatic childhood and I am due to give birth in less than a week. I came across some incriminating evidence after snooping around on his phone/laptop and confronted him. There has been a lot of tension in the marriage the last few weeks as he is claiming that I forced him to have the baby. He has wanted to run away and just leave me and the baby. Well he kind of has. This week after our confrontation, he told me he wanted to separate for 6-12 months to “think”. He initially wanted to move out. Now (3 days later) he is saying that he wants me to come home after the birth of the baby but to still be “separated” and live separate lives but help with the baby. He has also said that he wants to trial separation for 1-2 months now. I’m very confused and conflicted and VERY unsure about being separated but living under the same roof. I have had offers to go and stay with friends for the first little while after bub is born. I guess I’m not sure what to do and how to implement your strategies in a live-in separation setting. I can just imagine the emotional turmoil I will feel being under the same roof as “housemates” and not husband and wife. Any suggestions??

    1. Dear confused and pregnant wife,
      oh darling the priority is you and your unborn child right now. I would really listen to your husband- he is not ready (yet). My rationale for saying this is you saying your husband has a trauma history. Therefore he is likely to be highly triggered and afraid of failing as a parent I would guess. Sounds to me like abandonment. Please honour both his need and your own. This is nesting time find a nest with those kind souls who can be available for you at this stage. I am not usually this directive but my gut says it won’t be good for either of you to be living in separation. Add a crying baby who’s hungry, not ideal. Your baby needs to be cocooned.
      Take care and safe delivery. xx

      You are right why would you put yourself into somewhere where you are not wanted? This will only increase any anxiety. For the two of you will need calm and loving support.

  20. Hi Philipa,

    About 3 months ago I started to notice changes in my wife’s behaviour (we have been married for 17 years and have 4 children). She started a new full time job, and our relationship seemed to quickly deteriorate for no apparent reason. She started with a lot of petty complaints and was upset very easily, often completely flying off the handle for no reason. She then lost interest in being intimate with me, sleeping way over the other side of the bed etc. She wasn’t bothered by not spending time with me, and became very secretive with her phone. On top of this she starting buying all new clothes and underwear. So obviously I strongly suspected that she was seeing someone. I asked her about it a few times but she denied it. Over the 3months I could sense she was disconnecting emotionally, so I tried to do everything I could to make her happy, did all the housework for her to support her in her new job, looked after the kids etc, bought her flowers, but nothing seemed to help the emotional distance. Eventually, I found messages on her ipad messenger app that showed she was at minimum having an emotional affair with a co-worker. I confronted her about this and she didn’t deny it but couldn’t bring herself to admit it either. She denies they have slept together but I don’t really believe this. I got my stuff and moved out after the confrontation (2weeks ago) to a friends place to get some space, and assess things. To be honest I have been very needy since we separated, I have said to her that I love her and want things to work out between us. I haven’t begged to get back together, but I have made a lot of the mistakes you list – asking about her lover, talking about the future, following her around the house when I’m there trying to talk to her. We do actually still get on quite well despite what is happening, things actually improved a little when I moved out. I see her almost everyday due to our parenting arrangements at the moment – I work morning shift, she works evening shift. I have been trying to get there early and spend 30mins with before she goes to work each day just to have some time with her. But at the moment she says things like she doesn’t see how we could get back together because we are the same people for 20 years and would have the same problems. She says she is not open to working on our marriage at the moment, and just wants to work on herself. She wants me to rent my own place and separate properly. Last night when I tried to hug her goodnight, she said that she felt really ackward even doing that – which of course really hurts, and is very confusing to me. What does this mean? Of course I love her and want things out between us. She does seem very emotionally confused, and anxious to me, which I thought would be a good sign, but she just keeps putting up this complete wall to me, even thought I can see she is confused and upset with what is happening between us and with kids. She tells me this other guy is a good friend and they talk, and he is going through some relationship stuff atm as well. So I guess they have bonded over that I suppose. Do you think the LRT could help here? How long should I give it see any changes?

    1. Dear Confused Husband, yes the LRT will definitely help here.

      Sorry you are at a crisis point.

      Read over the LRT and apply it 100%. Stop all relationship talk. I would arrive 5 minutes before change over not 30 minutes. No touch unless your wife initiates it. Puts pressure on her and that will push her into the other guys arms. Not what you want to do.

      You are going to have to become a communication ninja. You will have to hear her complaints – using the acknowledge, validate and empathize approach. Your best hope.

      I coach loads of clients in how to hear their spouse and respond in an emotionally supportive way. Often when we are anxious and hurt (as of course you will be) we respond from these parts. We then risk coming across as defensive. Watch as you see your partner either get angry or worse wilt and shut down.

      Being friendly open and listening in the way I suggest transforms this distancing pattern. Often leading to your partner to consider and start doubting their separation decision.

      As for the last part of your question. How long – as long as it takes. I am super pleased to hear confused husband you are doing a great co-parenting job. Well done, I am very proud of you.

      Keep up the good work and keep us posted.Best Wishes

      1. One quick further question. As I have the kids at her house in the afternoons I have been doing a lot of the housework there for her while she is at work to support her in her new job. Which she has appreciated. This is one of her complaints about our marriage that I never supported her. But with LFT should this continue? Just trying to get my bearings here.

        1. Last one I promise – wedding ring? keep it on or take it off? She has taken her’s off – which was very hard to see 🙁

          1. Dear Confused Husband,

            I really think you need to decide that for yourself. You don’t do it as a reaction or for effect. Go inside yourself and ask for the answer. Key thing don’t stress too much on the details.

      2. Hi Philipa,

        A bit of an update. I have been applying most of the LRT for the last month with not much change sadly. Her relationship with the OP is continuing. I haven’t pushed anything about our relationship etc. and have tried much harder to actively listen to her (although I cop constant criticism over poor listening).

        I admit I struggle with the reducing contact part of the LRT. My friends think I am mad for having anything further to do with her at all. But the heart does not easily let go. In my logical mind I know it would be safer to reduce contact, but I have such a strong overpowering emotional pull toward her, even though she is still rejecting of me atm. It’s a battle. And if you have less contact how can you rebuild bridges with her?

        Also, much of the time as I am being warm, friendly and kind to her she is in return being less than kind back. A lot of the time she is very standoff-ish, disinterested in talking to me, and gets upset at me over the smallest of things, all for no reason that I can see. She is often completely rejecting of my offer to help with something. She doesn’t acknowledge anything I am doing to help around the house or with the kids, even though it obviously helps her. She seems to be constantly trying to find fault with me. It’s weird, it’s like she’s uncomfortable with me being nice to her. What do you make of this behaviour?

        1. Dear Confused Husband,
          thanks for the update. It’s great to read your progress. A month in it’s early days. I suggest you review what’s working and what isn’t in terms of the LRT.
          Work on honing your active listening skills – read some of my earlier responses on the blog. I truly must get on and write the LRT Program!!

          It’s good you stop all chasing behaviour such as talking about the relationship. Forget about the OP.
          I read “In my logical mind I know it would be safer to reduce contact, but I have such a strong overpowering emotional pull toward her, even though she is still rejecting of me atm. It’s a battle. And if you have less contact how can you rebuild bridges with her?”

          You being around her is likely to remind her of the upsets she has experienced in the relationship if it’s too much and you may see this come out in anger and criticism. And giving her space which most spouses yearn for allows them to miss you and feel the gap of not having you around. It’s better to be wanted than pushed away. Reread the LRT instructions Last Resort Technique from Philipa

          Apply 100% and wait and then wait some more.

          As to your spouse, I want you to let go of your expectations – “She doesn’t acknowledge anything I am doing to help around the house or with the kids, even though it obviously helps her.” You have to do this without any credit. Anger is a good sign but have compassion. Actively listening ot her complaints will be your best bet. And maybe now she feels freer to share her pain.

          When you remain nice and friendly as in the LRT guide, it can have a person feel different things – uncomfortable could definitely be one emotion. Great stuff and keep up the good work Confused Husband.
          Cheers Philipa

  21. Hi, I need some advice. My husband walked out the door 2 months ago. He didn’t tell me anything and he keeps sayings that he is done. He has gone on dating websites but I have to admit I hacked into his emails and hasn’t talked or met up with people. He is happy to catch up after Xmas as friends and have a drink. I want to get to the position where we’re back together. He doesn’t want to talk about anyth8ng. He has told his friends and family that we are not together. How do I get back together. Do I say to him I want to work on it or do I just not speak to him

    1. Dear Lisa,
      the best way to get back together is to apply the steps of the Last Resort as described. Step says stop any sort of chasing. So telling him you want to work on it, would be chasing.

      You want to change it up a bit. Get a life Step 2. Right now you are focused in on him and the relationship. It’s not great for us emotionally, physcially or spiritually. Get out and get a life. Energetically he will feel the shift.

      Absolutely no hacking email – this is a violation of privacy and you may be breaching a law. And it’s definitely chasing behaviour. In the wild its the lion stalking the zebra. No one wants to be prey. So please stop this type of behaviour Lisa, you are a woman of worth and dignity.

      Step 3 is patience. You will have to apply this and wait. This means waiting for him to contact you.

      Thanks for reaching out and good luck xx

  22. Dear Philipa:

    My wife and I have been married for almost 11 years. We have an amazing 5 year old daughter. We have always gotten a long great but there has been times where we are really close and then other times when it feels like she has distanced herself. This has gone on for the entire relationship.

    When she was pregnant with our daughter, we were extremely close, the closest we had ever been. After our daughter was born, she had pretty severe post partum depression. We both have stressful jobs and combine that with the attention our daughter needs and our closeness, sex life, passion all have dwindled the last several years. A common problem in a lot of marriages with children I’m sure.

    About a year ago, she dropped the bomb on me that she wasn’t attracted to me anymore, didn’t feel any passion and didn’t think she was in love with me anymore. We went on a trip for our 10 year anniversary, and although we had fun, there wasn’t any intimacy involved. She said that she always just thought that this part of our relationship would evolve, and it hasn’t.

    Over the last year, we have continued to live together and do normal things together but there hasn’t been any passion. She hasn’t said “I love you” and we haven’t even kissed for a year. She says she wants to get through the holidays and that it will be best for us to separate because this is no life to live. I have tried the Last Resort technique during this time but something always comes up because we are still so close and hang out so much.

    There is also another guy from work that I know she is extremely close to. They travel together, go to happy hours with work friends, communicate a lot. He is definitely head over heels for her but she is 100% adamant that they have not had a physical affair. She admitted to getting too close to him but stands by her claim. I have no reason not to believe her although I do think it’s an emotional affair.

    Although she is very persistent about us separating, she has not made any effort to do so for almost the entire year. I’m at a standstill because this is a tough life to live but I also want to fight for our marriage. I need some advice!

    Thanks,

    1. Dear Doug,

      yes the LRT sounds like it’s your best option. So on that note. Drop all talk of the work guy or as I like to call them other person OP for short. You can do a modified LRT while living together. Be more mysterious and start to work on yourself. Get to the gym, get a new hobby and get involved with your daughter. I sense a lot of underlying hurt that has not been resolved.
      People can become emotionally lonely. Get to know your wife again, as a person. Don’t go overboard though. Be kind and curious. You are both not the same person, you have each grown. Find out who you are now, what your priorities are and apply steps 2 & 3.
      Hang in there ! All the best Philipa

      1. Thanks Philipa:

        We had some time off over the holidays and she actually suggested we spend an afternoon together. We had lunch, a couple of drinks and some great conversation. She told me she loved me and have me a kiss on new year’s (both the first instance in almost a year). I played it cool and didn’t talk about it or make it a big deal but let her know I enjoyed our time together.

        A couple of weeks later I had to take a week trip for work. I didn’t hear from her hardly at all while gone and I called to talk to our daughter several times. Upon coming home she is very distant again and is far from the person I saw a couple of weeks ago. Is this normal? Should I just continue with steps 2 and 3? I haven’t brought it up and don’t plan to. Thanks!

        1. Dear Doug,
          yes this is normal. The old two steps forward adage applies, but it’s progress so please take it am a start. The LRT is having an impact, well done you! It’s hard work.

          The important thing i she suggested the lunch and leaned in for a new years kiss – definite win. I love you didn’t dive back into relationship talk and didn’t make a big deal but did affirm you had a good time. We want to encourage repeats by putting no pressure on.

          It’s therefore normal for a little distance as she does some thinking. We really can’t read anything much into it. You not reacting with any anxiety and continuing Steps 1, 2 & 3 are vital.

          So keep up the good work Doug, thanks for your update and question. I love hearing your news and enjoy giving some thoughts.
          Best Wishes Philipa

  23. Hi Philipa, I found the info on 180 somewhere else and have been trying to put it into practices. Easier said that done. I love your blog, because it doesn’t just say “do this”. It explains why what you’re doing won’t work.

    My wife started an emotional affair with a coworker 3 months go. It has gotten at least somewhat physical, but I don’t know how far. In the beginning I did EVERYTHING wrong in relation to Step 1. Since finding it, when I have stuck to it, we have seemed to soften/warm. When I fall off the LRT wagon, it drives her right to him. I know consistency is the key!!

    I have a question, above you give a link to the Official Resource Therapy Institute. I don’t know what we’re supposed to be looking at there?

    Thank you,

    Billy

    1. Dear Billy, thanks for writing in.
      yes Michele Weiner-Davis’s 180 from the Divorce Remedy. Find it here on the helpful books we recommend Divorce Remedy

      Good on you for implementing the LRT. Yep consistency is key. And chasing can be sneaky. It’s good to notice what works and do more of it. Yay!

      Other LrtER’s will know I say forget about the other person.

      The better focus might be – how did my relationship become vulnerable to outside influences?

      What did I do that supported growth? What did I neglect to do?

      Like I said in a previous response. Think of the garden, did I let weeds grow, was I kind?

      Write down your partners complaints. See if you can connect with any. Do the opposite and grow.

      Gosh I will look into the Resource Therapy webpage, as I can’t seem to find the comment, so don’t know the context Thanks for letting me know. I imagine it might be to link you to a therapist who can assist LRTer’s in this tough time.

      Take care and good luck!

  24. Hi Phillipa
    My wife and i have been together since we were about 16, this year now marks being together 16 years and married 10 years. We’ve never been in a relationship with other people so maybe not your typical scenario, we aren’t religious just were young lovers.
    Generally speaking until around 6 or so months ago I felt as if we had a near perfect relationship, she is my lover and by far my best friend. But the last 3-4 months I noticed a change in the relationship and most obviously a complete stop to any intimacy which had been a natural and relatively regular thing until now.
    After jokingly approaching the issues a few times I finally confronted her to ask about what was going on. She told me initially that she felt identity issues after being ‘someone’ for so long, pressure at work, change of mind about having children, and always giving herself to others, and generally was very confused about everything. This surprised me as I didn’t realise and there was no other signs of this level of unhappiness until I pushed and asked. I expressed my love and support to help however I could. While being supportive I noticed things deteriorate at home further over the following days and like the last few months I felt like an unwanted house guest not a husband. I confronted my wife again where she finally admitted she “has love for me, but no longer loved me”. Further that since the love for her was lost that she didn’t see the point in trying. She couldn’t tell me if I had done anything wrong or if I hadn’t done what was right etc.
    I have soul searched to think what had happened. While thinking hard I realised looming over the whole thing is another guy, kind of … for 6-12 months she’s secretly messaged a male work colleague that she’s developed some sort of relationship with ( she’s had other healthy friendships with guys) also created a new lock password on her phone, logged out of her social networks in our PC and lots of general secrecy about him and general weird stuff like missing time when out. Worst of all when she stayed with her mum for a week recently on a brake (last week, but back home in staying another room this week) I caught her out in a phone conversation and she admitted she had a drink with him at his house on the night we spoke…. no admission of anything but a friend but very hard to believe on only on her word. I love her soo soo much, and she doesn’t feel the same way, and while I’m searching myself for faults this secret (and possibly but unlikely benign) relationship with this guy is looming over it all.
    We’re seeing a couples councillor tomorrow after seeing separate councilors and psychs.
    Is there any hope, how will I know if she had been honest about this guy for my closure because of there’s no way to repair us I will struggle with closure of I don’t know. So very lost and confused.

    1. Dear Justin Early 30’s,

      thanks for writing in and yes there is hope. My advice is don’t make it about the other guy.

      Forget that. Focus on what has been going on in your marriage that there was a level of disconnect and how your relationship got into the ditch.

      A relationship is like a garden, the first blooms are great, but unless we tend to the soil and prune things with care next years flowers may fail. I see many a marriage go numb from neglect and lack of nurturance. Work, kids and all manner of things come first. The relationship wilts. Sometimes we see it early, other times it show us in other ways.

      Justin, this sounds to me like a balancing act. I wouldn’t put too much pressure on closure at this point. There’s not enough solidity or strength yet in your partnership. Your wife will need to feel safe and loved again, as will you. Once this is re-established then you deal with closure issues.

      Get honest with what your need for closure is. Is it anxiety insecurity? Deal with this and not act it out. Talk about your vulnerability, rather than need to know. Hang in there!
      Good luck and blessings xx

  25. Dear Philipia,

    I fear I have come across this information too late. My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years. We got together when we were 19 and just recently bought a house together.

    Our entire relationship has been plagued with baggage from our pasts. Mine involves a very traumatic childhood with an abusive mother and his involved a lot of hard to handle situations while growing up that created alot of anger/emotional issues. We’ve struggled to communicate because of these issues. We always knew things needed to change but were both so lost and broken we didnt know how to address something so serious, especially while being in a serious relationship. We just loved each other the best ways we knew how and sought comfort from one another. It doesnt seem like it’s been enough though as our relationship turned toxic and into a cycle of arguing over the fact that we were arguing.

    I always thought when we were ready, more mature, wed be able to fix the problems that plagued us. We didnt have money for counselling which coupled with our immaturity didnt help things either. He has now decided he needs to leave, that there is no saving us. Because he realized everything he was missing and how we haven’t worked well together because of our baggage. Him doing this has been one of the best things that’s happened to us in my opinion, because its brought everything onto the table for the first time. We have had such amazing discussions and talked in ways we never could before. We’ve made great strides in understanding where we went wrong and what needed to be worked on.

    I see this as a turning point for us, if we seek councelling, take more time to grow independently so we are stronger to handle our problems, we could come out on the other side of this so amazingly strong. Because we will have been able to weather the worst of storms. I fell this is the first time either of us has been mature enough to start to tackle these issues. It’s just terrible it took something so huge (breaking up) to throw everything into gear.

    He doesnt share the same views. He doesnt want to do counselling. He sees no hope, no future and has said I just dont see how we can fix everything we’ve done and that he would have better luck just starting over new with someone else.

    This past month while living together and hearing/seeing him disconnect from me has sent me into that crisis mode. I fear I have pushed him away further with my behaviour and I dont know what else to do, do you think it is too late to try this method with him?

    I love him dearly and dont want to hurt him anymore than I have already, if letting him go is what’s best then I need to accept that and cherish the time we did have together, I just want to make sure I’ve done everything in my power to help us.

    I recently came into some benefits through work and have access to counselling sessions that he would be allowed to join but he refuses.

    It’s now getting to the point where we he wants to plan separating and going public with our split. Is it even acceptable of me to want to try and shift his focus right now? To try and show him the hope I see? He is convinced we are doomed. I’m at a loss and could use some advice! I will begin trying to practise your last resort method because I feel it literally is my last resort.

    Thanks,

    1. Dear Krista,
      it’s not too late and it’s great you have found us! Where there is life there is hope.

      Totally understandable this is scary stuff, to think the marriage is a death’s door. So be gentle with yourself. Make sure you get a marriage friendly therapist!

      You are certainly at the Last Resort and this method will at least give you a road map and guide for you way forward whatever the relationship’s destination.

      Reading your email it’s clear you have both been through so much. For the moment you have to let your expectations go as that often serves to further push your partner out.

      I love how you have recognised you have gone into crisis mode and how this type of behavior has a negative effect. This level of panic and anxiety can have our partners running out the door as it’s not an easy to be around.

      Go back to your strengths and yes use the Last Resort it’s your best hope. Stop all chasing – especially the mentally chasing, where we worry, plot and plan our actions on what we should do. Those type of thought pursuits are doomed to fail and leave us more anxious and frustrated.

      You do you. Get your life in order. Remember the girl that attracted your spouse. Get in touch with her. Use Step 2 to rebuild your self esteem. Step 3 is the patience game. Take it easy.

      Good luck and best wishes Philipa

  26. Dear Philipia,

    My wife and I have been together for over 15 years, married for 13 years and have 2 kids under 11. She dropped the bombshell about 6 days ago that she doesn’t feel the same way about me, amongst other reasons which I will go into below. She has been thinking about it for a few months and has made her decision but has not spoken to me about it and is not interested in getting help to try and save what we have (the only reason she will have marriage counseling is to help me come to terms with it). It’s quite a long story.

    In September she changed jobs, she has a male friend that she worked with for 7 years. She said to me she wasn’t sure how she felt about him(like she may have feelings for him) I did not take this very well at all, she was going away for a few days and cleared her head and realised they are just good friends and she was panicking about moving jobs and not seeing one of her best friends / have someone to help every day. She did also started to confide in him rather than me as she didn’t want to worry me with her worries (I had a few issues about 3 years ago and had counseling to deal with grief/Loss. My mum died in Nov 13 and then her Father in Jan 14 and since then I have been needy, clingy questioning her and jealous).We had a chat and worked out we needed to learn to communicate again. Which I feel has not happened and enough effort has been put in. I trust and believe her but it did affect me. Intimacy stopped as she wanted to wait until it felt natural again, this has also affected me.

    She has said that it has been slowly building up over the last few years, I believe I had an underlying issue with loss which wasn’t apparent. When she said what she said in September I became really unsettled and it became obvious to me that I need to sort myself out which I have taken responsibility for , I have had, and I am still having counselling and try and mediate (mindfulness) every day, which over time the last 4/5 months has help loads. I still have a way to go but I have made loads of progress.

    I think she wanted me to move out. I have moved into the spare room. We are just taking a day at a time. I am trying to give her space but it is so hard.

    I am not ready to just give up on 15 years just for the sake of a couple of years where we have lost our way but it is so difficult when she has said she doesn’t love me in that way anymore.

    1. Dear NotGivenUp,

      It’s so hard when the bombshell drops. So sorry your relationship is at crisis point but have faith the LRT is a wonderful support at this tough time.

      Well done for all your individual efforts in growth with the counselling and mediation – you have been doing Step 2 !

      So don’t give up, but give yourself over to the LRT read this blog, you are not alone and there is a ton of advice for others that may apply for you.

      Forget the other person OP. Rediscover your relationship with your kids, if you haven’t already.

      Build your communication skills with your therapist. There’s lots of suggestions throughout the blog on Imago dialogue which is my go to for singles and couples to improve their listening skills.

      So go for it and take action with the LRT 🙂

      Good luck and blessing NotGivenUP !

  27. Hi,
    I posted here some months back.
    Still struggling everyday to do LRT 😥
    I try but I can’t. I just don’t trust him at all.
    He left his job where she was and he assure me there is no contact and so did the affair partner.. but how do you trust when there were so many lies…so many…
    My gut feeling tells me he is lying.. but then again my paranoia is sky high…
    It just doesn’t seem to get any better…My friends all tell me we need to separate and we were going to a few weeks ago.. but the kids begged him to stay..
    I feel like he is just not doing the work that needs to be to help me heal from this terrible betrayal…
    He says I’m not giving him a chance as I keep questioning him and talking about it every day..which is true…
    I know that the affair is over and he is been accountable at lunchtime in his new job. (Affair happened at lunch) but every day at lunch I’m triggered…
    I’m so scared that they are in contact behind my back…
    I think I need to walk away..My head and heart just don’t align..
    I know I am worth more but I do love him and I don’t want to break my family..
    I am just so stuck..
    She is so crazy and manipulative I just don’t know what her next move is..
    So another week starts with the anxiety…😥

    1. Hi Satia, you sound like you are stuck in the trauma time of the affair.

      Honestly this is when you would be best to seek out an experienced therapist who uses neurofeedback, EMDR or Resource Therapy. This type of anxiety loop needs help getting unstuck. Also check out the helpful resources page marriage works helpful internet resources There look up Michael Sealey hypnosis or find one on YouTube to help release this pressure.
      All the best Philipa

  28. Hi Satia, just try to follow the program. I’ve been separated from my wife for 5 months. No forward movement. I started LRT as a complete sceptic. Apart from it making ME feel better & more in control, after about 3 weeks my wife is hanging around whenever she drops the kids off or picks them up, asking about what I’m up to, I’ve noticed noticed my favourite perfume, stayed for dinner tonite, wants a raincheck on coffee, giving an explanation of what she’s doing when she can’t make family activities. Surprising to me, but it seems LRT really does work. It’s tough but you need to have patience & resist the urge to crack & go back to behaviour that doesn’t work. Accept you can’t change your partner, they need to react to YOUR changes.

    1. Dear Satia – great real world experience from Al here.

      That’s a true benefit of the Last Resort Program. You will feel better and more in control of your life. It offers you both a direction and support from the group here. Thanks Al!

  29. HI,

    How would you suggest to handle upcoming Valentines day if I’m employing LRT? I think we’re making progress, don’t want to blow it.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Al,
      I can only give some general suggestions which will apply to most people. Think of what your spouses complaints might have been in the past with regard to these occasions. Now do the opposite, without going over the top. A gesture of kindness can always be appreciated.

      Most likely no hearts and flowers. Low key and sweet.

      Tell me what you were thinking, Al.
      Thanks for writing in.
      Best wishes Philpa

      1. Honestly, I don’t think she had any complaints about these occasions in he past. We’ve always done something romantic. I really intended to just let the date pass without marking it in any way this year. That would be the complete opposite for me.

        1. Dear Al, your plan sounds like the best option. I like it, doing the opposite gives your spouse time to reflect.

          Make sure you do something nice for yourself possibly be your own Valentine. Best Wishes.

  30. Hi Philipa,

    I thought I’d update my experience about LRT & boundaries. I tried for about 3 months to have a discussion with my spouse about boundaries during separation, which she resisted. I’ve started LRT & the discussion happened today quite naturally. I told her I’m no longer going to subsidise her lifestyle as I have done for years. Support the kids yes, but not her (she has a good job & I’m currently paying multiples of my CSA assessment).
    I am not her babysitter. She wanted the kids with her 10 out of 14 (I offered to have them anything up to full time), so she needs to make that work. I’m not going to keep our family home indefinitely waiting for her to come back, I will do what works for me. I’m being fair to myself & no longer avoiding her aggressive response when she doesn’t get he way. That’s LRT. I made it clear this wasn’t about our relationship status, just logistics & I refused to get drawn into an argument. Surprisingly, her response was far more reasonable than I’ve come to expect & she started bringing up our relationship in a way that whilst not explicitly positive keeps the door open on her end. I didn’t buy into that discussion (not ready for it yet), but it is obvious that my changes are causing her to re-think.

    1. Dear Al,
      Thanks for the update and it’s super inspirational. Wonderful with the LRT how long a conversation you wanted to have happened naturally with no pressure or hassle. Amazing results! Go Al.
      It sounds like this has opened doors alright.
      This is the new era perhaps Al, may expect more reasonable communication :)) Note what you were doing that assisted that too!
      Excellent to hear your changes are causing rethinking for your spouse and positive opportunities and communications. Yee ha!
      Well done, high five and keep us posted xx

      1. Hi Philipa, it was great to say what I needed to without it becoming the normal shit fight. I was factual, unemotional & not reactive. I feel so much more confident & in control of my destiny. I can only work on myself & change my behaviour to where I want to be. If she likes that great, if not I can’t control her. We’re all emotional beings & letting go is hard, but it changes the power balance in your favour. My spouse has not discussed divorce, in fact she’s been very careful not to go there. But, she has also not wanted to discuss separation timeframes, what we’re trying to achieve, finances (except when it suits her) or any other boundaries. The attitude has been ‘I might come back when I’m ready’. That’s fine, I can’t control that but what LRT has done is make it clear that the ‘safety net’ has been taken away & the door might be closed in her face.

  31. Dear Philipa,
    I could really use anyone’s advice. My wife and I have been married for almost 9 years. We have 3 children. 2 together and 1 from her previous marriage. Before I get into details of what led up to the event that has rocked my world. I want to admit my faults and issues that I have put off addressing for far too long. I have lied to my wife in the past. Every time involved alcohol. I lost both my parents within two years. One was a heart attack and the other died from a stroke in relation to surgical complications. I began to abuse alcohol significantly. I was very close with my parents and after my mother passed, my father was with our family 4-5 evenings of every week and attended vacations with us as well. When he passed, I lost it. I pushed her away, made her feel unwanted, unloved, and not enough. I became very insecure with myself and as she blossomed I felt threatened and terrified she would leave me somehow too and my insecurities manifested themselves in many ways. I am no angel. I have lied and hurt, but I have never lied about spending time with a person of the opposite sex.
    I have recently seen her personality change and it caused a knee jerk reaction in me and I didn’t like the way I felt. I tried to make a change and started being more active and started going to the gym. I have lost over 20 pounds now (Granted some is probably anxiety). Last week, I made sure we would have some time together. I planned a two lunch dates, took Friday off, (She gets to work from home on certain days of the week. Friday was one.) Took the kids to school for her (I am at work before anyone even wakes up normally.) and then brought her favorite coffee back so she could get started on work. I then gave her space since we have had talks about space and issues in the past, etc. When I got home, I showered and saw on her watch that she had mentioned to her friend that this evening she wasn’t going to be at her house long because she is planning on “stopping by his house” to watch a game for a bit. I took a picture of it and literally just had a panic attack all day. We then went to lunch, I picked up the kids, bought her flowers, took them home and we planned our evening. She was to take our oldest to his date and then go to her friends house. I was a wreck all evening long. When she got home, we ended up being intimate and our responses to each other were amazing. She actually stated “I love you” which I had been the only one saying for a couple months now…at least initiating. When we were laying down for bed…I confronted her and asked her why she lied to me and she stated she didn’t and that I must have misread the message and even showed me her text chain with her friend. I was very calm and just stated that I knew she was lying to me. As I laid down I showed her the picture I took. It was like she saw a dead person. She said the information was planted so I would feel what it was like to hurt like she had for all the mistakes that I had made that she couldn’t forgive me for. I bought the story. I just couldnt believe she would do it or I didn’t want to. The next morning I got up and went to get our youngest son’s clothes for the day. The first words she said to me was “I lied to you about going over to his house.” She actually had texted him first before telling me. I asked to see it which she obliged. I did not react well. I left the house and went to the cemetery. I overdrank that evening. I ignored her and my children. I was fine but hurt. The next day, we had nothing nice to say to each other. My mind was racing. I probably scared her. It felt worse than my when my parents died. I felt the exact same way.
    We have had multiple discussions since. She states she wants a divorce, but so many weird contractions in language and writing take place like planning trips together then all the sudden her “knowing without a doubt” we’ll end up getting divorced. She doesn’t even want us to separate which confuses me as well. I have sought out counseling as I have been empowered by everyone on here. I started this today and have been very sparing in communication. We have to communicate because we have children. I understand that. I actually have been very enlightened by this feeling and mentioned that if this is how she has felt than I am so terribly sorry for what I’ve done in the past. She has stated that she is sorry she lied but not that she went. I don’t want to get into details of the hurtful stones we were throwing to each other. It was not constructive. We were just trying to maim each other. I am so terrified of losing my wife. I am disappointed in myself, in her, in everything. I want this to work. I’ve never wanted anyone else and I’m not sure I ever will. Where should I go from here? I want to be patient, but I don’t want to set up boundaries right now as we are in a cool off phase. I mean, nobody has left, divorce was mentioned but nothing planned officially or anything. I don’t really know what she is thinking. I don’t know if she necessarily does either. I’m afraid her SSRI’s are causing some problems in relation to the dopamine/seratonin balance. She has literally said she is on a “F*** it” mode about everything. I do think she loves me because this comes and goes in waves. I am on a roller coaster of emotions and I want off, but then again I don’t. Am I crazy?

    1. Dear Shawn, wow so much going on for you!
      It’s like a tornado. So take it easy and take stock. You are not crazy, let me reassure you. When clients ask me in my rooms am I crazy I always say no, when you really are in psychosis you don’t have the insight to ask that question!
      Yep it’s full speed ahead on the roller coaster. So read the LRT guide and take the steps today. Turn your life around and as you will read and see on the blog things can really shift. it will take patience. Wishing you the very best at this horrible time and good luck. Know we are all behind you!

    2. Hi Shawn, been through similar. If I can give some advice? You can’t make your relationship work by yourself. You can make YOU work so your wife wants to be in a relationship with you. You’ve acknowledged you’ve done wrong in the past…great! There are no excuses in life for your behaviour, you get to decide what you do. You can’t make up for the past, but you can change your behaviour from now for YOU. Getting you wife to trust that change is real & has stuck is the hard part. Be consistent in your ‘new’ behaviour & patient. Believe nothing of what she says & half of what she does. You’re both emotionally charged & confused, hence the conflicting messages. Give her space, your panic isn’t helping. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you’ve both contributed to where you are but you can only deal with your side of the street & that’s what you should focus on. Boundaries are good, any uncertainty you can remove from the situation will make you less anxious. That doesn’t mean asking for reassurances. You can put boundaries in place by your own response to your wife’s behaviour, just be adult about it.

      Good luck

  32. Hi Philipa, sorry to monopolise the discussion but I’m finding this LRT is working exactly like it’s supposed to. My 5 year old’s interview for prep today, went with wife. Just an hour, so time to kill before pick up. I didn’t go for coffee with my wife to as I usually would. Went to gym. Met wife at cafe after pick up. Told her I need son picked up by 3 on Sat (not my day, I’m doing her a favour). Why?…. because I need to be in city by 4, why?…I have something on, what?….a concert, where?….Music Bowl, who?….opera, hot date?….didn’t answer, said goodbye & left cafe first. Wife very insistent on knowing details even though I made it pretty clear I was not volunteering them easily. She just would not take the hint…..funny! : ) I am a natural skeptic, but LRT definitely seems to be working. Backing off, doing the opposite & being ‘businesslike’ has caused a noticeable change in wife’s attitude & interest. I’m not ready for ‘relationship talk’ yet, but there seems to be change very day.

    1. Thanks Al,
      Not at all Al, your working the LRT and sharing is so valuable to us all here at Marriage Works
      We welcome all your feedback and experiences. Your thoughts and comments support others while providing inspiration. And let’s face it there can be dark times too where we need a glimmer of hope.

      Yep I hear you I am a skeptic too but if you follow the program you can turn things around. It does take nerves of steel initially to get past the stress of your situation.

      Sounds like your wife is more curious about you! Thats amazing and the results you can get. We love to hear your reflections on your progress Al. All the best.
      Cheers Philipa

  33. Hi Philipa, I really am monopolising this thread but such a lot is happening as a result of LRT. I really was a sceptic, so I’d like to share with others that it can work. I’ve made my comments above about what happened yesterday. Received a txt late last nite asking if I’d blocked wife on Facebook? I did that months ago, but to be fair I don’t post. She’s just noticed so must be checking up on me. I think LRT detaches both parties from the intense emotion of the situation & causes them to re-think. My wife obviously has a new found interest in what I’m up to & I’m considering whether I really want to be with her. You need to have strength to form that mindset & LRT allows you to have that strength.

    1. Dear Al, glad your seeing some real shifts in your wife.
      I agree the LRT allows a breather and the detachment settles intensity and offers space for clearer thinking. It does help both parties.
      What i would respectfully say is that old relationship was not working for you both and if you do decide you both want in, you guys get to do a make up and make over.
      Sounds like you are enjoying this different shift and it’s offered you a new perspective. Thanks for sharing Al!

  34. Hi Philipa,

    Two steps forward, one step back! It seems wife is convinced I’m dating (although I’ve told her I’m not). Keeps digging into what I’m doing. She had a tantrum last nite because I said no to picking up the kids today (not my day & didn’t work for me). I refused to engage in an argument & hung up on her after warning I would if she kept up with her aggression. She’s been behaving like we’re still together, but just living separately. That’s probably good & bad. I don’t see that I have the same responsibility towards ‘looking after her’ now we’re separated. I’ll be helpful, not a push over. I’m not chasing, my mood is upbeat, I’ve started some new interests, I end our contact on my terms & I’m being fair to ME. I think my cool composed demeanour is rattling her. She is anxious by nature but I still think I should just wait & watch for her to make the next move, whatever that is.

    1. Dear Al,
      Yes it’s not all smooth sailing that’s for sure. Yes the dynamic has changed as you are not living together.
      Be gentle with your interactions, while maintaining your integrity.

      I like your strategy, no chase just pause and ponder while watching and waiting. At least you are getting shifts.

      Keep up your good work Al xx

  35. Lots of good advice since I last posted.
    We have no really got any further. My wife has insisted there is no fixing us. I have have made lots of improvements with myself, meditation,getting out more, started running etc. I have been staying at a friends for the last week as she doesnt have anyone local to stay with. We still have t told the kids (one is 10 the other is 8) they think I have been getting up early for work. Not sure what to tell them. We have a property which has been left to us which we rent and I am thinking of moving in there just to give us some breathing space and i am not in limbo. Any advice on this and how to tell the kids?

    Al you sound like you are making positive steps would be good to maybe connect with you over email

    1. Keep picking yourself up off the canvas when you get knocked down. You are not even half way through the first round yet! I found that nothing was changing & I could have given up, but then the dam burst. It’s frustrating, but unless you want to move on & start a relationship with someone else the timeframe really doesn’t matter, does it? It is what it is & how long it takes (& it will take time) or whether anything changes will be different for everyone. The longer things drag out the less panicked you’ll become & understand that your relationship is not working, so you’ll either fix it (best outcome) or stop beating a dead horse because it really can’t be fixed (second best outcome). Read Divorce Busting by Michelle Weiner-Whatever. Like her, I believe most relationships can be repaired if you go about it the right way. Believe nothing of what your wife says & half of what she does. Sure, listen but you’re both emotionally charged & things get said that you truly believe in the moment, but might not feel the same way about in a little while. Enjoy the improvements in yourself for YOU. Looking outside your relationship for stimulation (non-romantic) is good for you, If your wife likes it that’s a plus. Stop deluding yourself that the kids don’t know what’s going on. At 8 & 10 they get it. They’re keeping it inside & that’s not good for them. If you’re going to tell them talk to them TOGETHER. Tell them the truth that you’re not getting along, you’re trying to work things out so you don’t argue all the time, that it’s not their fault, you both still love them & that won’t change no matter what happens between you & your wife. Give them lots of hugs & let them know they can ALWAYS talk to you. It sounds like you both need space? Don’t fear it. Staying pressed up against the problem won’t help. Separating from my wife wasn’t my choice but definitely necessary. It has allowed the situation to depressurise so we can both think more clearly (& not be arseholes to one another!). Most of the tension has disippated (for me) which allows me to think & behave more positively.

      Good luck

  36. I have started to read The Divorce Remedy.

    The problem I have is I had already started to stay at a friends house. Just unsure how the potential moving out (trial separation?) would work, this was her decision and I guess she should be the one who goes (especially as my job is more flexible and I am more available for the kids ) but there are some emotional reasons she can’t move into the property that has been left to us. It will give us the space we need and cheaper than renting somewhere else. Interested in your thoughts

  37. If you’re going to have a trial separation agree the rules up front. Timeframe, who lives where, finances, access to kids, whether you’ll date (don’t suggest it & neither of you are any good to anyone else at the moment), what you’re trying to achieve by separating. I’d agree that if your wife has called this & you’re better placed to care for the kids she moves out. It sounds like you know what makes sense & what you want to do but are prepared to do anything you’re spouse wants. Being too agreeable makes you a doormat, That’s unattractive & won’t help your cause. Be strong & fair to everyone involved (that’s all four of you). Are your wife’s ‘emotional reasons’ more important than fixing your marriage? She always has the option of renting.

    1. Thanks Al,
      great advice.
      It’s a delicate balance and go gently.
      What I often ask clients is to check in with themselves and ask ‘what are my needs here?’.

      When we make decisions or take actions hoping for a particular outcome this can be a form of chasing. We call this mental chasing. Thought pursuit is exhausting for you and worse it often backfires.

      Plus it could fall into manipulation tactics yuk!

      It’s so important you become aware of the dynamics and patterns of your partnership too.

      Ideally you want to change the unhelpful ones. IE if your partner says you were controlling, you start by negotiating and asking rather than make statements and assumptions. If your partner says you weren’t engaged, check back in, you get the picture. Good luck!

  38. Hi Philipa,

    Just updating my progress with LRT. I said in my last post my wife was aggressive when she didn’t get what she wanted so I hung up the phone on her. What I didn’t say is that she txt me again asking me to pick up the kids from a different place, which I said no to. I txt back explaining I thought she owed me an apology for the earlier outburst so I wasn’t going out of my way to help. She then proceeded to cut her nose off to spite her face by saying ‘don’t worry about it’ she’d have the kids overnite & the next day (I’d agreed to do this & not reneged at all. I just couldn’t pick them up). So I didn’t respond further. She came looking for help, but blew it completely & ended up far worse off. Where’s the sense in that? I examined my own behaviour critically & absolutely cannot fault the way I handled the situation (& I actually can be self-critical). I’m certain she thought I’d come back & say I’d do what she wanted. I’m usually very accomodating, but not this time (180). Very late the following evening I saw our family calendar was updated to her having the kids, so she must have given up waiting. Daughter’s first day at school yesterday, so I had coffee with wife after drop off. Very amicable. I calmly asked what Sunday night was about? After beating around the bush about me having a ‘tone’ & short sharp txts (LRT) it seems she was aggrieved about the way I greeted her when she picked up the kids on Saturday. I didn’t understand this but on reflection I acknowledged her as I would a friend (warm, friendly – LRT), not my spouse. Small changes happen but are not necessarily noticed. They do add up though. Anyway, after talking yesterday it looks like we’re going to get back into some couples counselling. I haven’t pushed discussion about the relationship at all, just left it there. I might add that getting your wife to trust change is real & ‘sticky’ is hard to do, particularly if you’re separated. I told her I know she doesn’t trust I won’t revert to old patterns of behaviour, so she should discuss where I’m at with my/our counsellor. I’ve given him authority to disclose from a confidentiality perspective & she can speak to him without me present. Let’s see where it goes, he might sink me! I think my wife has gone from leaning out of the relationship to sitting on the fence and being sceptical. I’ve gone from leaning into the relationship to sitting on the fence with an open mind. I’m in a good place. I’ve shifted my behaviour & thinking dramatically to where I want to be & I don’t want to revert. That makes such a difference, but the process takes some time too, more Han you’d probably like. Watch this space.

    1. Hi Phillipa,

      4 months ago, my husband of 4 years just suddenly asked for divorce. It came as a surprise because I have no clue what made him ask that.
      We’ve been together for 5 years, married for 4. At the beginning of the relationship, he was the most gentle and loving man I’ve ever meet.
      We got engage after 10 months of dating.
      1 year in our marriage, I got upset because he seems to prioritise his family more than us. His family is in Italy. He talks to them everyday night and day. He sends money back to his brothers and parents if they are having financial difficulties. I have no problems with this but on a particular situation one day, it was my birthday week. I asked him for a Bag as a present, he said he doesn’t have any money. I told him it’s fine as long as we spend time together.
      However 2 weeks after my birthday, I found out that he send $750 to his brother to buy a present for his nephews birthday which is a month away! I got really upset because he refuse to get me a present but send the money to his nephews birthday.
      I confronted him with this and it got ugly. We started blaming and saying hurtful things to each other. I got fed up and ask for Divorce suddenly. 2 hrs later he apologised and I did too. We promised that no matter what, we will never bring up divorce anymore and will try to understand each other better.
      Fast forward to 2019, I feel that my husband has changed. He doesn’t say he loves me often. Sometimes it seems forced. We went to Asia holiday June-July 2019 and had a great time. September that year, I was using his phone because he asked me to reply to an email from his workers. As I was typing, a notification pops up and it was from a girl. I opened it and my heart sunk. My husband was asking this random girl from Facebook out for a coffee! The girl replied that it’s a bad idea because she can see that he’s married. My husband said its ok. It’s just a talk. The girl refuse and wished him a good life.
      After reading this, I kept my composure. I didn’t react. However I started obsessing and checking his emails and social media. He gave me all the passwords for these. I found out that since beginning of the year, he’s been adding random girls on Facebook and sending flirty messages. October that year, I finally confronted him about this. He denied at first but as I told him that I know what’ he’s been doing, he finally came out. He said he desperately needs someone to talked too becauce he doesn’t feel connected to me anymore. He said he doesn’t love me anymore and is confuse. I was devastated. That night after he came back from work, he came to me, apologised and said that he’s confuse. He didn’t mean what he said. I told him we should work on our communication and be open. He agreed.
      2 weeks later, he came back from work acting strange and cold. After dinner, he blurted out and ask for divorce. He said he’s not attracted to me and doesn’t love me anymore. He said he still remembers all the hurtful things that I said to him 3 years ago and he can’t get pass that. He’s still hurt and he’s angry. I beg him to consider counselling but he refused. I told him that I’ll change. He gave it 3 months. January 2020 our anniversary is fast approaching. We were doing great. We went on a mini holiday for Christmas time. Didn’t fight at all for 3 months. I started taking care of him more, talking to him more and he started opening up more. It felt that we were connecting. But 2 days before our anniversary, he said he can’t do it anymore. He said he doesn’t love me. Still angry of what I said to him everytime we fight, he said he can’t see change. He said he’s scared that what if he agrees to work it out and years down the road, something like this will happen again and we’ll start Verballh abusing each other again. His view is pretty fix on divorce.
      I left home and went to my friends place to spend the night. When I came back home the following day, he said his decision is final.
      The next few days were turmoil. He was giving me the silent treatment. 4 days later, he said he can never forgive me for the words I told him everytime we fight. He’s so angry and holds resentment. He said we’re not compatible and can’t see any future anymore.
      I said marriage is about working out our differences. After 2 hrs of talk, he said that he’ll give our marriage a chance. But until now he’s still distant, doesn’t text or call, I cooked dinner and he didn’t want to eat it. Answers one work answer and can’t look me in the eye.
      I don’t know what to do. I came across this section and I don’t know if last resort technique will still work. My husband is very aloof and doesnt wanna talk. Please help

      1. Dear Cassie, reading your comment your marriage is definitely at the Last Resort. You won’t be able to talk this through, so give yourself a break and stop trying. This is what we call chasing in Last Resort Land.
        2 hours of talk sounds like torture for you both and nothing changed apart from a him telling you what you want to hear, I say this honey not to be unkind but I hope you can see his response was only to stop the talking. So you might need to stop this pattern and start something new. This is exactly where the Last Resort comes in. We are with you and sending good vibes your way xox
        Follow the LRT annd see how it goes. Good luck

    2. This is a delicate place ! I absolutely think your right Al, great description of your wife leaning out, to on the fence. So really work the LRT in a kind way. Yep the 180 is great and i liked how you were warm :)0
      Be wary of texting as it can lead to too much miscommunication. We are watching this space. Go Al!

  39. Hi Phillipa,

    Just wanted too say this article has been a huge help so far and it helps me keep hope alive for my own situation.

    So a bit of background on my situation. My wife only as recently as Monday announced she wanted to separate. She moved into the spare room on 11 Jan to get some space.

    We have been married for 11 years, together for 14 and we have two amazing kids together. A 9 year old son and a 5 year old daughter.

    Up to this point I believe we were happily married. The love between us was very real and she often called me her best friend and soulmate.

    I fell what went wrong is I broke her trust and she also feels I have taken something away from her. She feels she has lost an opportunity to do something she loves and is passionate about.

    In May 2018 I went into business with my biz partner to own half of a gym. It was only ever mine and my biz partners names on the contracts. My wife helped out with the books but I’ve time she helped with a couple more things and it few to something that would grow to eventually be something we could do full-time together.

    At the time my biz partner and I were slowly becoming at odds with each other. We were at different life stages and we’re had different values as well as a different vision for the biz.

    We had discussed on a few occasions buying each other out but we stuck it out to see where it would go. If things would improve. My wife and I agreed that we would give it 12 months. 4 months in the writing was on the wall for me, I needed to get out so decided to sell up. We exited the biz with the same investment as we had put in. This was decided in Sep and we officially got out in Dec.

    My wife felt unheard and feels I also broke her trust. My reasoning was I was beginning to get burnt out. I was also short tempered and constantly complaining at home. I hardly had time for her and the kids as I was either at work or helping to coach at the gym and manage all the back end stuff.

    It just made sense to me to get out. I was not the husband or father I had intended to be and I wanted to show up better for my family.

    Only last night we discussed what the separation would look like. She gave me the full details of what reconciliation would look like ‘if’ were tried but at the same time she said her mind was maid up.

    I did not respond instead keeping her cool saying I respect her decision and that I want her to feel heard. After last night’s talk I could see that it has calmed down the tension a lot so I’m hopeful if I follow the TLR I can reinvigorate our relationship as a new one.

    I also admit I pushed for marriage counseling which she eventually agreed to, but we only did one session and she was adamant she didn’t want to return. Baby steps but after reading this, in your professional opinion do you see some hope in our situation?

    Many thanks,

    Lee

    1. HI Lee, so glad you have found the article to be a huge help :))
      Yes it’s good to keep alive hope. The LRT also offers such practical steps and directions to take in these turbulent times.

      If your spouse believes there has been broken trust and is feeling as if something has been lost. Pay big attention. Remember our feelings and beliefs are true to us. While this might not be the best time to address this.

      It will pay you to validate and acknowledge her view without justification or rationalization. This is a heads up for all who read me here.

      We all want to be heard, seen and known for all our thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. Forget the rights or the wrongs of it. This can be profoundly healing in itself.

      Negotiation important decisions are key and we often don’t have the skills yet. It’s teachable though 🙂

      Absolutely Lee, I believe where there is life there is hope. Stop all chasing and pushing which I am sure you have and let the dust settle. Now you can begin the real work.

      Happy to be coaching anyone who needs it, advice from a women’s perspective cannot be underestimated.

      Best Wishes!

      1. Hi Phillipa,

        Just wanted to update here. As we discussed over the phone I discovered my wife was spending time with another man, a colleague from the gym.

        For anyone else reading I accidentally discovered this when I took our children for a swim and my son was bitten by a snake. No envenomation!! I couldn’t get hold of my wife, she normally has her phone on her all the time. I discovered through our family sharing (it’s an apple thing) that I could see her location in google maps.

        I looked and saw she was there. I played it cool, didn’t say anything that afternoon but the next morning I looked, saw she was there so I drove around there and confronted them both. Deer in the headlights scenario.

        She told me she was getting advice on divorce and separation. I asked why she needed to be there over the weekend to which she replied ‘I don’t have to tell you what I’m doing’

        Yesterday afternoon I apologised (very hard to do) and we also discussed a few other things. At the end of the conversation she went in to tell me that she had been spending time with the OP and that they had formed a strong friendship. She mentioned that they had discussed feelings for each other.

        I kept my composure then went to bed. This morning I had a couple of questions… who else knew and did she tell the truth. I honestly can’t tell at this point.

        I said ‘well if you’re done with our relationship I’ll need you to move the rest of your stuff out of your bedside table’. She asked me if I wanted her to move out. I said she was welcome to stay as it’s her house too.

        One thing that came up in conversation last night is, she wanted the both of us to spend the occasional night at a friends house. I didn’t say anything but reflecting on this, I feel I will stay at the house. I don’t want this so I feel right now I don’t need to go anywhere.

        Phillips is my intuition serving me here it do I need to adjust my thinking? Looking forward to your reply 🙏

        1. Hi Lee,
          definitely a lot going on there. So pleased your son is fine after the snake bite crikey.

          When there is an Other Person, OP, it can be tempting to focus on this as the issue. In my experience this is more often a symptom. People turn outside, as they are not being heard or connected with.

          Really apply Steps 1 and 2. No confronting. Well done on the apology by the way. Those questions you want to ask her are chasing questions and more likely your intellect fuelled by anxiety than intuition.

          That’s the old mental chasing as we try and rationalise, seek answers.

          They don’t usually come from our spouses as a they are likely to lie – it goes with the territory, possibly to protect themselves and even you from the hurt.

          My advice don’t go there.
          This will only push them out the door and into the arms of the OP. So softly, softly.

          Follow the LRT Religiously and love to hear your progress, Lee.
          Thanks Philipa

          1. Hi Phillipa,

            Just wanted to update on my progress here. So I’ve been using LRT and to be honest I feel I am getting mixed signals from my wife.

            I have dropped all chasing. If she calls, sometimes I won’t answer. Other times she will text and I will respond with a quick but polite reply.

            We have been exchanging ‘hi how are you’ etc and she seemed to take interest in what I was up to. She’s playing social volleyball and she told me ‘just so you know, the OP is on the team’ . She said it wasn’t her idea and that she wanted me to know.

            I responded calmly, maybe even a little aloof. I said that she didn’t need to tell me what she does, but thanks anyway. Last night I also put the sheets back on (our old) bed and I put the big square pillows away. She asked ‘what’s wing with them’. I said nothing was wrong with them, I just didn’t want them in the bed.

            Other mixed signals I’ve had from her are, she wants to repaint a tv cabinet and she’s bought a couch for the back rumpus room. I’m not sure what this is about soooo for the meantime I’m focusing on me.

            Throughout our marriage I have been a chronic nail biter and right now i have stopped for just over a week. Very small win but as I said, I’m focusing on me and being the best version of me I can.

            1. Doing really well Lee. You are rediscovering you again.

              I like how you handling the OP.Super well done.

              Congratulations on stopping the nail biting for a week!

              Sounds like you are being the best version of yourself. Thanks for letting us know.

  40. My husband of 14 years has decided that we are done. No discussion, no counselling nothing. He told me he needs to do this and if I love him to let him go. He said he needs to rediscover himself and work through some stuff and he doesn’t love me anymore, he cares but not love. He told someone he doesn’t want this but needs to do it. So I am moving out and did ask could we possibly get back together. He said it could be possible we gravitate back to each other but there is no promises. He is In the Army and we have a 7 and 11 year old. I am so far from my support and family. If we don’t get back together, he could post out of this town and then I am stuck here on my own. I have no idea what to do or where to turn. We are still in the same house and he hugs me. It’s just all so confusing

    1. Hi Nicole,
      that’s really tough. You are not alone here, know this. There is a whole supportive forum here for you and others in the same boat.

      I am a big fan of doing things slowly. Not being resistant but pausing to consider things for yourself and your 7 and 11 year old.

      Reading between the lines we need to get your mojo back. I hear you it’s hard being so far from support and family. Find some on the ground there where you can and of course there’s online. There is no reason to go it alone in the days of the internet.

      Day at a time, sounds like all you can do. Put off as much as possible the worry and fear of being stuck. As they say lets cross that bridge only when we have to.

      Use the Last Resort guide as a template for your actions here. Stop asking, and therefore chasing as in Step 1. Get yourself back on track Step 2 – fake it till you make it. Find ways to get you back Nicole. Nicole before children, before moving, before marriage. Rediscover her.

      I hear you – it’s totally confusing. So just centre yourself and work on you as that’s what you and who you are in control of.

      Take care and keep us updated xx

  41. Hi Philipa,

    I just wanted to comment on how good it is to ‘get a life’ & get your mojo back. At first it’s hard to fill the hole your spouse & family leaves & you despair, but once you accept it there’s opportunity to grow. I’m hiking, playing football again, going to the opera, exercising the park, making new friends. All things I’d let go without really noticing. I’m in discussions for a partnership in a prestigious firm, which came completely out of the blue. I looked in the mirror today & thought ‘you look good’. Things do turn around when you pick yourself up & get on with it, hard as that is at the start.

    Hang in there guys

    1. Thanks Al you are a leading light!
      That’s exactly the intention of Step 2 – getting your life and your mojo back. I agree it’s hard but acceptance is key and an opportunity to grow.

      And wow things are looking up on the career front by your email. You are attracting new supports and doors are opening!

      Your life sounds super exciting, all those cool activities, fun.

      And you are feeling more attractive on the inside and outside. Sure it’s hard to pick yourself off the floor, but totally worth it.

      Well done Al, thanks for sharing your encouragement!

      Best of luck for the partnership gig. I am sure you will shine. Please let us know what you decide.

  42. Thanks Philipa,

    The reality is you can’t make your spouse come back & they definitely aren’t coming back if you don’t get up off the floor! I’m in such a good place & my attitude is if my wife don’t want this guy she’s nuts! I’m great, she’s going to have to convince me now.

    Shit happens & people make bad decisions. It’s not all your fault.
    Be kind to yourself guys.

  43. Hi Philipa,

    Just monopolising the thread again. This has really worked for me so I want to pass on my experience to others in the same boat.

    Had coffee with my wife this morning. I was just in the area so no agenda. She is having major issues with our kids being rude & disrespectful towards her. I think the reality of separation is way different to the her idea. They’re great kids & I pretty much can’t fault their behaviour with me. There are only two things different between when she has them & I have them. The physical environment & the behaviour of the parent. She’s said to me “they need to change”. I responded with “they’re too young (5 & 7) to consciously make a decision to change their behaviour. You need to change your behaviour so the kids respond to you the way you want & you get the outcomes you want”. This is pretty much LRT. After 30 minutes of animated & aggressive venting about the kids I had to comment that if this is the way she’s relating the situation to me how is she behaving in the moment with them? She tried excusing her behaviour because she’s frustrated (narcissist that won’t accept responsibility for anything). I didn’t push back against this & acknowledged I would be frustrated in the situation too, but the why doesn’t really matter if she’s not getting the outcomes she wants. She had to acknowledge that she needs to do things differently to get the outcomes she wants. The definition of insanity is doing the same things & expecting different outcomes. I was calm & non-judgemental just focused on what works & what she’s doing doesn’t. I felt a little bit ‘Yoda’ ; ) Being happy & confident & not needy makes you such a cooler person. You cannot evaluate your relationship objectively when you are in ‘crisis mode’. I paid for coffee & left when I wanted to without any pangs. My wife obviously DID NOT not want me to go. I’m not pursuing her in any way but I am friendly & walking tall. She is not doing well in the ‘space’ that she wanted & now knows the grass is not greener on the other side. I look at where we are respectively & I’m sure it is the exact opposite of what my wife expected. LRT has been a big part of my ‘comeback’. She will come back knocking. I have an open mind but I may not have an open door when that happens.

  44. I will try to make this quick…I found out 3.5 weeks ago my wife of 4.5 years was having an affair. She said it was 6 months long, however, I found evidence (videos she made for him) dating back over a year. There were so many lies. We were going to couples counseling months before I found out because she kept saying, “I love you but am not in love with you” and “I’ve lost some of my feelings for you.” Then she would say she was sorry and she was just emotional and didn’t mean it. While in counseling there was a lot of blaming me for making her walk on eggshells for being out a lot (as late as 2am). There were so many signs but she was never honest about them, even in counseling. Finally, after many signs, I signed into her Facebook and saw the messaging back and forth. It crushed me. I immediately became angry and told her to leave. She did that day. But since that moment, I want her back. I have tried to get her back but she said 2 days after D-Day that she didn’t want to be back with me but also has said many times she doesn’t know if she wants a divorce. I have asked her to get her clothes, she hasn’t, I have tried to figure out financing, she hasn’t She also stopped talking to the other guy. She said she isn’t seeing him but they are talking. She said she has feelings for him. She continues to tell me she loves me as a dad and husband but doesn’t have the same feelings as she used to. And I know her, she builds walls and runs away from anything that is difficult, something she admits she does. She started individual therapy again but has gone only once since this has happened.

    We have a 3-year olf together so we talk every day about her (FaceTime) so the other parent can see her. That is hard becuase I am trying to move forward, give her some space, while I work on myself. She will text out of the blue asking me how I am and goes therapy still with me. These are signs I feel like she is thinking of coming back. I told her last week, I cannot accept the fact she will continue talking to him, essentially continuing the affair. That was recommended by my personal therapist. But what I do next I don’t know if she continues the affair. My wife/ex (I don’t even know what to call her) says she needs time to work on herself. She has a therapist too but has only gone once due to a variety of excuses. But she can’t work on herself if she continues to talk to the other guy. So what do I do? I am not ready for divorce yet, we are officially separated, so there isn’t much I can do. Stop couples counseling?

    I’ve done a lot of research and keep coming across the affair fog idea. It sounds just like my wife if it is even real. But how long do I wait? How long does it last? I am hurting, every day. What should I do? I have changed myself so much in 3.5 weeks. I’m going to the gym, eating better, and spending more time with my supports (friends and family). But she won’t let him go. I don’t know if she is even being honest about seeing him.

    What do I do to get her out of the fog? Any help would be appreciated. Ask any question you would like and I will answer. Thank you, everyone.

    1. Dear Kyle, simple. You can’t. I hadn’t heard of the affair fog term before.

      What you do is focus on you. The person you are in charge of.

      It sounds like you have down a great job in the last 3.5 weeks – the gym, eating well and friendly. She will eventually start to see you Kyle the man she initially fell for at the beginning of the relationship.

      I don’t agree with your therapist. You are separated. Different story if you guys are actively both working the marriage, then you would take a different tack. You are in Last Resort territory. Perhaps share this with your therapist.

      My advice is to ignore the other person (OP). Stop talking about it, definitely no ultimatums. It will be her decision to let him go when she is ready, there’s power in that. He’s not really the issue more like the sandfly in the ointment.

      What people usually get from the OP is kindness, patience and support. That’s attractive.

      I am not sure why you are in couple therapy, unless it is for working out how best to support your little one at this point. Is it helping?

      Sorry dear you are going to need huge doses of patience. I do think you are correct there are good signs and she is sharing stuff with you. Great you are working together as co-parents Yay!!

      Best Wishes xox

    2. Bud, 3.5 weeks is just a tick of the clock. It took you at least 4.5 years to arrive where you are. Be patient, it’s not going to turn around overnite. The gloss will likely wear off the affair, but you’re not in control of the timeframe. Take advantage of the opportunity you have now. Work on yourself for YOU & get back in control of your life instead of agonising over the things you can’t control. You’ll feel way better & be looking ‘shinier’ to your wife as the OP dulls. You’ll be setting yourself up for whatever happens in the future.

      1. And there you have it Kyle.

        As Al has said patience is key. Step 2 gives you a chance to get you back and grow.

        Thanks Al for your experience and there’s wisdom. Get shinier and see what the future holds. xx

  45. Hi Philipa,

    I’m not working on my marriage anymore. LRT has allowed me to recover my mojo & grow to the point where I can make that decision. I’m excited about the potential of my ‘new’ life. I really would like to stay married, but there is a limit to the amount of compromise you can make before it dilutes your happiness too much. Access to my kids is not a problem so I still have the people that love & deserve me in my life. For those of you that are struggling (& I’ve definitely been there), I was a f@#%ing mess 6 months ago. Time & realising your self-worth do wonders. I’m not suggesting you make the decision I have, but I hope you can regain your equilibrium & get the outcome that’s right for you. Hang in there guys…..patience

    1. Hi Al,

      Thanks for all your updates, I have been reading them and they give me hope. I had got to dealing with things pretty well similar to the LRT even before I just stumbled across this page. I have been working on myself for the past month and have a much better mind set than the previous 4-5 months. I have been through the roller coaster of emotions etc and have finally come to a more relaxed space. We still live under the same roof with our kids as we can’t afford physical separation without selling the house. She is still at “I don’t know what I want”, but she also tells me she doesn’t have any feelings for me and has constantly told me I needed to give her space.

      Well now that I am of clearer mind, I have been able to give her the space she has been asking for, but I have also been using the time to work on myself, going to the gym, social activity, hobbies, work has been good etc. I have also used the time to reflect on our relationship with an open mind (I always looked at the positives, while she has been focusing on the negatives), The longer she takes, the less I am interested. I am at the point that rather than waiting for her to decide if she wants to work on us, or separate fully, it is becoming possible that I will be the one making a call. Not through spite, not in haste, but a well thought out decision that keeps me true to who I am and what I want.

      Through the last 6 months she has changed, not in a way that I admire or respect, there has been no form of working on the relationship from her, this all makes it harder for me to see why I want to be holding onto to her (not that I have ever thought I wanted to separate) .
      There is hope for us, but it feels like it is fast running out.

      Good luck and enjoy your new life.

      1. HI Steve,

        Your situation sounds very familiar to me. I’m not advocating anyone give up on their marriage before they’ve turned over ever stone looking for a solution. I tried hard, but I’ve arrived at the point where it no longer makes sense. We’ve been separated for 7 months, but when I look back I realise I have not been valued for other than what I could provide her for years. Our separation was all about her needs & she was making no effort on the marriage. Like you, some of my wife’s behaviour simply made me ask ‘who is this person?’ & I found myself feeling contempt for her. I just ran out of any sort of feeling for the person who had treated me that way.

        Having said that, I think LRT definitely works & is a really effective approach. It gives you the strength decide to keep working on your marriage without that being a reflex reaction or the strength to cut away after calm reflection because you realise your own self-worth.

        Best of luck

    2. Well Al,
      so glad you have your mojo back and a newer version of you!

      All a credit to your hard work and letting us know your progress and support have been invaluable to many. Thanks for sharing your journey!

      Patience is key, it usually takes longer. But the effort and results are worth it!

      1. Thanks Philipa,

        I did not ask for a separation (although it was necessary) or really contemplate divorce, but I’ve grown over the journey & LRT has helped me make the right decision from a place of clarity. I could have likewise continued working on my marriage because LRT gave me the strength & structure to do that.

        Don’t give up guys, fight for it & try to change what you need to about you. Respect your own worth & don’t be too hard on yourself. Be patient, it won’t happen overnight & you’ll have setbacks along the way. You went into marriage willingly & I really do think the majority can be saved. Mine just isn’t one of those unfortunately.

        1. Super welcome Al,
          Truly grateful to your have your wise input on your LRT journey.

          I see your growth in every email and the kind support and gentle lived advice – gold!

          Sometimes no matter how hard we try, no matter what we do to grow and change the universe has other plans.

          Sorry you didn’t see a turn around but nice to know you are being the best you can be. Rising up to new levels – you’re amazing Al 🙂

          Truly thankful for your comments and insights, your work will help others. Bless you xox

  46. After 7 years my husband says he is fed up and wants a divorce. However we have to live together for the next few weeks.. curious how do I go about starting this? Do I just do it and hope ?

  47. We’ve been together for 15 years. We have 4 kids. 13,10,5,2 . It’s been up and down. Too many catalyst and interference in our relationship. Lived with his Dad for 10 years. I asked to move out for years. Never happened. They got a house together. Got a dog (I dislike dogs and told him so before). There are just so many things that has happened that had made me feel so unworthy and disrespected. That what I say is not important. Fast forward we are living on our now but for me I resented my husband and have done the 4 horsemen of apocalypse for years. I asked for divorce on dec 31. Spent New Years by myself. He came back the next day and said I initiated the divorce he will finish it. I cried because as soon as he said it I knew it was the. biggest mistake I ever made. Took two days for me to wake up and started doing things for myself. It’s nearly 3 months now and because I have come to love myself and know my self worth. I know now what my husband is worth now. I want to save my marriage. My husband and I are separated. He said that he doesn’t want the emotional roller coaster anymore. He has said that he doesn’t know what he’s looking for but it’s not here (not at home). 100% no chance for us. Before he said 99% then I pushed him to be honest. He still lives with me but sleeps in the separate room. I still make he’s lunch and put a letter saying good morning. Have a good day. I have forgiven my husband for everything that has happened and everyone around him. I don’t hold anymore resentment. I realize that I love him but I need help on what to do.

    1. Dear Joan,
      sounds like you have been through a lot. You guys have staying power for 15 years and your beautiful children.

      Look to the last resort technique to guide you into a new phase in your partnership.

      Ensure you stop all chasing and any criticism. Focus on getting you back with step 2.

      Good luck Joan!

      Best Wishes,
      Philipa

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