The Last Resort Technique

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. STOP Chasing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Get a life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the person your partner fell in love with.

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

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

Starting Today:

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

In short, you need to make your partner think you have had an AWAKENING and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love yourself well. Rediscover your passions.


You DESERVE it. I know you are worth it.


3. Wait and Watch

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

First, Nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try discussing your future and see what happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle gives some great advice:

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

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

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

Thank you!

570 thoughts on “The Last Resort Technique”

        1. Dear James,
          I thought I had responded to you earlier! Apologies.

          Please don’t cancel, but go keep it light and enjoy. No ‘us’ talk for the future but keep it in the moment. Leave on a good note early, let her initiate anything further.

          Have a fabulous time,

    1. I have a question my husband and I have been married almost 5 years in May. Back in January 2018 my husband exploded when he found out I tried logging into facebook the account locked up and he found it it came from my computer at home. Since that day on 01/09/18 my list fee has felt like a living hell on earth. My spouse does suffer ADHD and does take medication for it, he is prone to yellow nag and screaming even with medication. My husband has told me on numerous occasions he wants a simple divorce but I can’t come to grips on it so I made the move to begin the divorce proceedings and he was served his lawsuit of marriage a week ago. Well this past Thursday he called my attorney and to,d her we has discussed on a settlement agreement ( no we didn’t ) when he came him that Erving he said he want d to give us 6 mon has to see if we can change he realizes he has a anger problems and I have some issues also (not motivated, not doing what I say I will do as examples) during the past 2 1/2 months it has been verbally and emotionally draining for both. We are still in the same doom but no intimacy and he doesn’t wear his wedding ring
      . Do we still have a chance?

      1. Dear Michelle,
        things sound very confused from your email. There is a lot going on. I am getting a sense of anger and resentment on both sides, that leads to outbreaks and passive aggressive behaviour. Both of you want to get on top of this before it does more damage to your relationship and self esteem.

        I would say your best hope is the LRT for a chance. You will have to live and breath it 24/7.

        Especially Steps 1 & 2. Focus back on changing you and watch your world change. xx
        Wishing you the best of luck, work hard and see.
        With love PHilipa

    2. My husband and I have been married almost 35 years. He left in 2015 for 14 months because he was unhappy in his life. We went through therapy, not productive. Therapist thought he was depressed,so that ended his therapy. We dated and were very much still in love. He moved back in in Sept of 2016. Things were good until our youngest daughters wedding, which he spent all if his savings on. He started to withdraw as he did in 2015. Became angry, cold and distant. Wanted to give up sex. Said he still loved me. Then he told me 2 months later,I don’t love you. Never did. Rewrote our marital history. Then last week announced he wants a divorce. But it’s ok if I stay in live in the house as ling as I want. It belongs to his mother who lives with us. He doesn’t have any physical contact with me. I believe there could be another woman as there are clues. He denies it. So I left it at that. He said his life would be different if he didn’t marry me. Midlife crisis? I get mixed signals always. He sleeps in another room but spends time working. Always been a workaholic. 57 years old. There is no fighting just a different man in my husband’s body. I didn’t cry or get hysterical in front if him when he told me we are getting a divorce and I can’t stop it. Hasn’t filed yet. What the heck is going on. He has some of the cliche symptoms of midlife crisis. Obsessed with work, his weight,etc. Maybe a younger woman? I see how sad he is some days. Hard to not take personal. Trying to do my own thing,live my life. But I want my marriage. He likes to pick fights,so I don’t take the bait. Living in limbo. But he still takes care of me. Confused. Any strategies or is this it???

      1. Dear Sherri,
        thanks for your email. I can see a lot is happening in your life which is confusing.

        While I could try and guess what is going on for your husband, midlife crisis, depression or infidelity? I won’t. Yes I can see some issues he has there from there reading your email. Work addiction, focus on the external all point to a person feeling low on the inside.

        My suggestion is you focus on you. My rationale being you have probably made many attempts to either get him to change, see the error of his ways and he hasn’t budged. Please let it go then and come back to you.

        If you want your marriage you will have to fight for it and initially this looks like letting og of it. I know it is counter intuitive but the more you struggle with trying to get certainty or chase or do nothing the faster your partner moves away from you.The LAST Resort gives you a starting template to follow. Once things improve you then get to address and strengthen the marriage.

        It is clear your husband still cares, and I get you are feeling rejected, but one cannot allow that to guide your thoughts and actions. We need to rise above this tough time and lead the way.

        As for strategies prepare yourself to be an LRT expert. Live and breath it. Learn assertive communication. When he tries to pick a fight, empathize with him. Forget about whether he is seeing someone else. You become the you he was initially attracted to. Go out and find this part of you. The one he fell in love with, using Step two.

        Have your own midlife crisis where you look after you. Take care and wishing you all the best in your journey. At least with the LRT on board you have concrete action steps. Time to move out of limbo and make your own good actions for your life.
        Good luck!
        Love and light,

        1. Philips
          Thank you. I will implement the techniques. Because he is so hot and cold, I realize he is hurting. It’s time I think about me. I can be civil but distant from him. I am going to live and breathe the LRT. Thank you for your input. It took a long time to get here, it will take time to repair me, and my marriage. I have the Divorce Remedy book. I am going to make it my religion. Thank you.

          1. Go Sherri!
            Thank you for your commitment to yourself and your growth!

            You are so spot on. Hot and cold are signs of emotional stress. Yes, yes focus on you and your needs in a respectful manner.

            I think you are already a long way along by starting today and giving you and your marriage the best chance at success and growth!

            So glad you have the book by Michelle the Divorce Remedy. If you are interested grab your copy here :Divorce Remedy Book.

            Keep up the good work and keep us posted on your progress and learnings.
            Best Wishes,

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Thank you!!

        1. I am going through this right now. My husband left me and after a few days gone by i emailed and emailed him with no reply. He finally opened up to my sister who called him and he told her he just needs a break. He has been too stressed out (I play a big part in that). So when I read this, I am going to try it. I hope it works! It really makes sense!

          1. Dear Serena,
            so sorry you are having to face this difficult time in your marriage.

            It’s good you recognise your part as this gives you the scope to address and change.

            We are so glad you found us here. Good luck and yes it is very practical!
            Best Wishes,

        2. Yes. I did almost the same thing. My wife has been having an affair and I dig into her email only to find she emailed her mother back and forth about leaving me for him.

          We started to repair our marriage. When I thought I was being open and honest, and told her how I knew what was going on and understood that she was falling in love with someone else.

          This BACKFIRED! We are now facing divorce because I don’t trust her and I “snooped” and violated her and her mother privacy.

          My advice: let it go. If you know, and you did look at something like that, keep it to your self. Tell no one.

          This is one of the reasons that we are now facing divorce.

          But in response to the method-that’s what started are marriage back up. If you have nothing to lose, why not?

          1. Thanks for your comments, foolish lover.

            This will be encouraging for people. Sounds like the LRT helped you get back on track? This is how it works, well done you!

            Sad the anxious part of you acted on the insecurity and violated both her and her mother’s privacy. Not an easy place ot come back from.

            My advice is to keep your integrity, don’t snoop. it does more harm than good. Take the high road and be gracious every time.If there has been an affair there can be an unwinding so let that take place without interfering in the ending process.

            Really appreciate hearing your learnings from this, sad though it is.

            Still keep up the LRT!

            Best Wishes,

        3. I have approached my wife and told her that I have seen pictures of her in a hotel room kissing another man, tracked her to a hotel while she was supposed to be at work and told her that I have seen her conversations with this other man on her KIK account and confronted her about the “soul mate” braclet that she bought him for Valentine’s Day, while she got me nothing. She gets angry and defensive when I tell her I know these things and accuses me of invading her privacy. However she says that she is staying with me for our kids and “maybe” will want to work on our marriage.

          1. Dear Paul,
            I don’t believe one betrayal deserves another. Save your money people forget private investigators and photo’s do you really want those images in your psyche? Our imagination can be bad enough.

            Forget confrontation. Learn from this. What needs would a person get in a new relationship? Would they be kind, loving and giving perhaps? Are you? Or are you suspicious, and checking up on her and invading her privacy. Paul I am being blunt with you I know you can handle it but you see and know now this confrontation doesn’t work. You have to woo her back with the loving you she originally fell in love with. He is a good guy that one and I doubt he is paranoid or insecure, so don’t you be anymore. If necessary get therapy for yourself on this insecurity.

            At this point in time you don’t have enough traction to deal with the affair head on, if the relationship gets back on track you most likely will in time.

            I am sure you will understand.

            Make the LRT you daily reading.
            Best of Luck,

        4. I have made this same mistake several times and it has been disastrous! I hacked everything and just looked like a stalking idiot. Also it drove nothing but more constant fear and paranoia. All the advice here is so counter-intuitive, however I am going to give it a try..and it will be really hard. But the article started with a basic assumption..the end is near and you have nothing to lose. My story not special but it so happens that I failed in the marriage first..then she did..I stayed but made life miserable..and once she wanted out..then I changed. However stupid change turned into mistakes, then into thoughtful change and study. then therapy and more study and action. I now have real, sincere sustainable base for lasting change…and I still make all the same mistakes outlined in this article. So…it is time to try discipline and a last ditch effort to pull myself out of the tail spin I have been in for over a year….hear goes..and it is going to suck…:)

          1. Dear Eric,
            why bother?

            You say it will suck, but how has life been the other way. I respectfully suggest you are not happy within you. Until you are at an inner peace you will be attracting unhelpfulness.

            The LRT is not about outcome, it is about being the best person you can be. Keep up your good work, stop making excuses and giving up on yourself. Go hard!
            Take care and all the best.

          2. My wife and I are not separated but we have talked about it. What if she says I love you first? Do i day it back?

          3. Dear Whit,
            This may be too early for you to do the LRT. I would seek professional help and get therapy to address the issues. Much easier to work together before the crisis point.

            Whit perhaps you could put yourself in your wife’s shoes with the I love you. She says it and gets no response from you, how would you feel if you were her? I’d guess hurt, saddened and a step closer to leaving.

            I can’t tell you what to say. I do recommend rewarding positive behaviour, of which my partner saying they love me is one. I would say thanks and I love you and appreciate you too because…Watch what happens when we invite kindness and gratitude back in!
            Cheers Philipa

        5. Yes, it happens to me, and I’ve gotten my wife back, but what happens is when there bucket of Doo Doo tips they bring it up and say u don’t trust me, and any time you question them about maybe what took so long , they revert to u looking at there soical media, and right away feel your not trusting them , looking without asking is dangerous for you two, and if you have them feelings, start reading how to get your marriage back right away!

          1. Dear Sean,
            Glad you have your wife back. Now sorry to say the real work begins.

            Now you have to deal with the issues of anxiety and trust in your marriage. Marital therapy will fast track the healing. Of course these been a real shake up. So you have to re-establish a strong foundation of safety and support.
            Good luck and glad to read you got your wife back. Others can be encouraged.
            Cheers Sean!

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

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

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

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

  4. Hi Philipa,

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

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

    Thank you,

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

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

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

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

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

  6. Hi,

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

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

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

    1. I totally can relate. My husband of just 1.5 years ( but we have been together off and on for 8) told me he just married me so th at his child could live with us full time as he just needed a nanny, cook and roommate to help him. I was devastated and married him to honor our relationship, each other and God. We both claim to be good God fearing Christians but he doesn’t practice what he preaches. This is both of our 3rd marriages. I am committed to making it work but eh first sign of trouble he is ready to give both me and his son up without a fight. I am heartbroken. I am going to try this last resort approach.

      1. Dear Jodi,
        I am certain Brooke, would appreciate your connection with her story.

        Wow, I can understand your concern.

        I would kindly suggest you start to love, honor and cherish yourself.

        Lead the way, build your self-esteem. Step 2 will be vital and I hazard a guess if you take off the pressure and stop the chase (step 1), you most likely will not get those angry remarks coming your way. I intuitively get from his side there may be a sense of guilt and shame. You deserve to be treated with God-given respect, so please take care of yourself and your needs. Third time is a charm, but keep your standards high!
        With love and light,

    2. I am in exactly the same position. We have been separated 6 months after a few years of problems in our marriage which led to misery and resentment but no action plan on what to do about it. My “ friend” gave my husband the emotional support he needed which led to physical pretty much after we separated after 23 years together. That fling is on hold. However during these 6 months I have been nothing but begging, pleading, love emails, research into why we should try the marriage etc and nothing, no emotion or anything. I asked for a separation agreement 3 times as a ploy to maybe spark a reconciliation but he said he needed more time to think on things, giving me hope of course and pulling me in further. 9 days ago I stopped this push pull method he was using based on this sites advice and then yesturday he starts harassing me for a legal separation. He appears very frustrated that I’m not responding to numerous texts unless it’s about our kids.

      Can you give me any advice on how to proceed?

      1. Dear Kyla,
        Obviously you will make your own decisions on how to proceed, the LRT gives you a guide.

        Your email shows us when we are desperate( as we all can be when vulnerable!)how we may not be acting in our best interests. Begging, pleading and using any time of ‘ploy’ often back fires as you now realise as he has given you what you have asked for.

        I am giving this as general advice to all readers of the LRT Kyla -So don’t ask for what you don’t want. Stop any form of manipulation, or set up. It has to be genuine people are really good at knowing when others are for real or playing them, and when you get the ball back it doesn’t feel nice, does it?

        So dive in deep to the LRT! Great you are responding as a parent as that relationship must continue.

        Wishing you the best!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Dear Hardygrl 92,

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Keep up the good work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          All the Best !
          Cheers PHilipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  18. Hi,

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

    Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  23. Hello Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

          Here are my general suggestions.

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

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

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

          If your partner says you never call then start!

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

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

          Hope this helps, best wishes Philipa

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

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

      It certainly sounds like you are both confused 🤷‍♀️.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      I mean get healthy on the inside and out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          1. Hi Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Take care xx
            Love and Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What do I do please help !

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

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

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

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

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

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

      NO NO No!

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

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

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

        How should I respond to this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Best Wishes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Inaction is a danger for all relationships.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Thanks agan

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

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

          Kindness and compassion to all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Glad the blog posts and comments are useful.

          Have courage!
          Warmly Philipa

        2. Hello again

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

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

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

          Currently – feeling exhausted but trying to keep moving forward.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Thanks JJ!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Any thoughts on this would be great!

    1. Dear Leah,
      thanks for your email.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Hello again,

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

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

        Any helpful thoughts would be appreciated!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          True love is freedom.

          Hope this helps and let us know how you go.

          Best wishes Philipa

          1. Hi Philipa!

            Thanks for that!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            No we dont have any children by the way.

            Thoughts would be great!

            Thank you!

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

            Thanks for that!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            No we dont have any children by the way.

            Thoughts would be great!

            Thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            You can get here at a greatly discounted rate


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  40. Hi There,

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

    Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  42. Hi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In terms of insights –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Hi Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Thank you again


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

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

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

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

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

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

  43. Hi Philipa,

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

    1. Dear Joanne,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Suprisingly the problem often is talking about the problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Dear Sharon,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  47. Dear Philipa,

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

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

    Pardon my english.

    Thank you so much for your work.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  48. Thank you my dear,

    I needed to hear that.

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

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



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

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

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

      Here are some suggestions:
      And for international phone numbers
      another option

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

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

      Please be safe,


      1. Dear Philipa,

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

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

        Do you have some tips??

        Greatly appreciated!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          All the best,

  49. Hello again,

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

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

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

    Thanks 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      That is a key ingredient to success whatever the outcome.

      Thanks again for sharing Leah!

  50. Hi Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Please help and any advice would be greatful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  54. Philipa,

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

    Thank you so much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Thank you so much Philipa for your response. I am sorry I am just now replying. Still getting oh so close to the divorce date and it breaks my heart. However I have been using the LRT and being kind when he does call or text but not reaching out to him and being involved with my friends and taking up hobbies to keep my mind busy and to really focus on me. I also have been building a deep relationship with Christ which I think is also helping to be able to focus my thoughts toward him rather than everything happening around me. He did ask he how I was a few days ago and said he was glad things are going good. So I don’t really know his emotions or feelings right now. The communication has been slim definitely.


        1. Dear Jennifer,
          thanks for the update.
          You are giving you the best chance and using the LRT well.

          Sorry this is not an easy time. Glad you have your friends, your hobbies and a deeper relationship with your spiritual self and Christ.

          I know it can be hard living in hte land of not knowing but in reality every one of us can only be certain of ourselves, our thoughts and feelings. Nurse your heart with the deepest care.
          Best Wishes PHilipa

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

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

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

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

      Good luck and let us know.
      Warmly Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

    thank you again Philipa.
    Michael H

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Dear Carrie,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Thanks for sharing your success and efforts.

          Best Wishes Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Bst Wishes Philipa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Yours in heartfelt healing xx

      1. Hi Philipa,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  60. Thanks, Philipa.

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

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

    Thanks again for your reply.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Thanks – Jack

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

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

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

    All the best

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Thank you so much for your reply, Philipa.

        I find it really hard to apply the LRT. My husband keeps sending me texts, and I worry that he will think that I am angry and move further away if I do not text him back.

        He came to spend some time with me this weekend (he has been living somewhere else for about a week now) and we had a really wonderful time. We had a long talk about our realtionship and he kissed and held me in a way that he has not done for a long time. I felt like I was in love all over again like it was when we first started dating. This made me feel very hopeful and I am thinking that we could benefit from having more of these good times toghether, rather than me pulling back. What do you think?

        1. Dear Kristine,
          Sure I can understand your concern. In this age of instancy we are so used to sending off a text and getting a response in seconds. Boy how did we ever survive when mail when by coach, or sea and took months to arrive! But we did and can now.

          I would tenderly suggest you deal with your wory and fear, as this is not the place to be best responding from at any time. Respond when it feels right to you and that may be a bit of a ratio for example 5:1. This does not apply if it around making child care arrangements then responsiveness and timeliness is called for. That’s my only proviso.

          Kristine I think you are seeing the benefits of the LRT and your actions of taking care of yourself. Slowly, slowly progress. And your partner has to be the one initiating. I am so pleased it was a nice time and it sounds like a good building block. But remain cautiously optomisitic. Hold yourself in check. Let things unfold, with no pressure.

          So relax adn take your hands of the relationship wheel and enjoy growing you into the happiest and healthiest you.
          Best Wishes Philipa.

          1. Hi Philipa,

            Thank you so much for your reply.

            My husband and I have been seeing echother once every week on his initiative, and it has been really wonderful. He also sends me texts every day wondering how my day has been and so on. When I stopped replying to his texts, he suddenly wanted to joint me on a couples councelling session. It however turned out in the session that he is still not sure if he wants to work on our marriage or get a divorce. We are in a limbo, and I am wondering what to do.

            Yesterday he asked me if we could see echother tomorrow. As I have other plans I declined, and he seemed to be dissapointed. This is so confusing. Why does he want to keep in contact and hang out with me this frequently, when he is not sure if he even wants to see if we can work this out? Should I say that I do not want to see him until he has made his descision (even though I really want to see him), or should I accept all his invitations?

            All the best,


          2. Hi Kristine,
            Thanks for your email. This gives us a flavour of how well the LRT works.

            It will also need your patience as it may take many weeks or even months in limbo.

            I would respectfully suggest as general advice for all we don’t invite our partner in for couple counselling until they are clearly saying they want to continue the relationship and work through the issues. Timing is key here. Therapy will often bring up more pain and ambiguity, from reading yur email this may have been the case. From your letter it appears to be a knee jerk reaction your partner wanting to come in, not an I want to address and resolve our issues. Sadly this has had an unsettling effect on you. We live and learn what’s best for us.

            Good for you ! I am glad you declined and kept yoru original plans. You are the priority here. You want to be hard to get but easy to be with. It’s a bit like icecream for dessert. If I had icecream breakfast, lunch and dinner I would be sick of it. So we want you to be scarce and slightly unavailable, not impossible though!

            I am betting he wants to hang out with you because he cares and is confused too. This he will have to figure out for himself, you can’t help him directly. Only by being your best self and taking care of you will really open this opportunity up. The LRT gives you an action plan at least.

            Definitely NO ultimatums, unless you want an ending sooner. Accept some but not all of his invititations and continue growing you. So make your own plans and life. This will serve you regardless of the outcome.

            Best Wishes PHilipa

          3. Dear Philipa,

            You were unfortunately very right when it comes to initiating councelling. My husband came to see mee yesterday to discuss our marriage in light of our councelling session on monday. Even though our therapist had told us to give the descision some time, he felt that the councelling session had made it clear to him that he wants to end our marriage. He said that it was especially one thing that I had said that made up his mind. When discussing the problems with our sex life, I said that I often felt inadequate and that I have felt like I have been running behind a moving train that never stops and that I could never really catch up with. I only said this because I wanted to explain how it has been for me when I have felt like I have been failing to meet his needs. I did not want to hurt him. He however felt like this was a proof that I can never be what he needs me to be. When he told me this, I was no longer able to hold back and I did all the things I was not supposed to do, begging and pleading and so on. This made him even more upset and he pulled further away from me. He really seems to have made up his mind, and I am devastated.

            How long should I keep my hopes up and keep trying using the LRT? I feel broken and hopless and I just want to mourn my loss..

            Alle the best

          4. Dear Kristine,
            I am sorry to be right about this.
            Ok so there has been a backward step. It really is up to you how long you use the LRT for.

            The second step needs to be the ongoing one, This is where you build yourself up and carry on.

            I am sorry to hear you are feeling broken and hopeless, you really need to listen to you and hearing you it sounds like you need to mourn the loss. Sometimes depite all our best efforts things don’t work out the way we had hoped.

            You take it as easy as you can Kristine, know that we are all thinking of you in this tough time.
            Best wishes always xx

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

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

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

  63. Hi Philipa

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

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

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

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

    I would like to share two things:

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

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

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

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

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

    Best wishes to all having these struggles.

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

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

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

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

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

  64. Hi Philipa

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

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



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

  65. Hi Philipa

    As it happened my son contacted me out the blue a few days ago. For the rest of the day and the next we were exchanging emails almost constantly. I was very apologetic and tried to cover all the issues between us taking all the blame and responsibility. He replied not to worry about it and we chatted about other stuff. Everything seemed very positive. Then all of a sudden he went quiet and when I next emailed he said he didn’t want a relationship with me.

    Best wishes


    1. Dear Jack,
      I do find those strange coincidences of contact interesting.

      While I cannot know the in and outs of your sons thinking I would like to give some possible pointers.

      This is general advice for all parents.

      We are in this for both our life time and our children’s, so I want to remind you when there is a hiccup hold onto these earlier words rather than focus on the upset.

      Emails are good for reaching out. My thinking is it is best to keep it fairly light. Textual words via email and our phones don’t give the true intimacy needed in these situations and can be too quickly misread without the body language to support it.

      Mind you a good well timed apology that takes into account how our actions have affected our kids and that we are working on learning and doing better for them and our growth is a fabulous thing. When the relationship is stronger and you are catching up you continue the repair process.

      So hang in there when you get the rejection email or I hate you‘s or whatever your child is expressing (read anger, hurt and their own sense of rejection). Don’t take it personally. Rise above it and recognise what emotionally they may be experiencing and what need you have to meet.

      This takes a bit of skill on our part to hear their anger, resentment, rage and disappointment or whatever they are expressing. You will need to read between the lines and help them with this. Often we need to build our skill set in this way too. We need to acknowledge and validate their feelings. “I hear, I see you are upset with me. I can understand that, it makes sense to me.” Lower any reactiveness and remain with an open hearted stance towards them. Let go of any reasons, defensiveness or rational explanations, that will send them packing more likely than not. Give them time and space. This is a lifetime relationship regardless of your marital breakdown and completely separate.

      Hope this helps, I know it’s not easy as a parent to be on the end of a child’s heavy energies but it shows they care and how much you really do mean to them.

      Hang in there all of you parents and thanks Jack for the update. I know many folks out there will be in a similar position, so it is great to you have shared this with us. I would love to hear of others experiences and reflections.

      Best Wishes Philipa

      1. Hi Philipa

        I’m glad you have been able to use my contribution to make some general points for all readers. I might have some recent feedback on using LRT that could be similarly useful.

        I have been doing rock-solid LRT for 2 weeks. My wife and family are in another town. The last I heard she was angry with me, remembering all the bad times in our time together and stubbornly insistent our marriage was over. The situation looked utterly hopeless and I could see no option but to go completely dark and give her space.

        Yesterday I had little choice but to send a ‘business’ email even though it risked seeming to be ‘pursuit’. I kept the tone friendly, the content businesslike and suggested a reply wasn’t required and I wasn’t looking to start a conversation.

        What happened was she sent an instantaneous reply with grateful thanks, bits of news and a noticeably friendly tone. There followed a short exchange of emails. The tone was friendly, the content sticking to business and I made sure I was the one to call time on it.

        So it seems that LRT can produce a different response although it’s impossible to tell if it indicates a fundamental shift in her position. Her friendly tone could indicate that she feels she is doing great and doesn’t need to be hostile and not that she is starting to think that maybe I’m wasn’t so bad after all. I suppose that’s where not having expectations comes in.

        What I am pretty sure of for other reasons is it has nothing to do with the recent email exchange with my son. My inclination is to go dark again and see what happens although it seems she is determined never to be the one to initiate contact.

        Best wishes


        1. Dear Jack,
          thanks for the update.

          It’s great to hear from your experience the LRT can produce different results. It gives you the opportunity to learn and grow too I imagine. I am not sure going ‘dark’ as you put it is the way to go at this point in your progress. This might backfire lead to mixed messages, of course I don’t know how things have been for you. Basically you don’t want to repeat any relationship ( old, unhelpful) patterns.

          Steady progress is recommended. It’s not going hot and cold. I certainly like the friendly tone.

          Keep up the good work. Any parent I am sure wants the best for their children.
          Best Wishes Philipa

  66. So I have a sexquestion. You say have decided your spouse initiated it. Is this at any point during this process or only after they have started coming around to reconciliation?

    1. Dear Bryan,
      good sex question. and yes sex at any point in the process is good. It is after the sex you need to keep doing the LRT and not think anything has changed unless your spouse starts talking of reconciliation. So enjoy but keep calm and carry on with the LRT.

      The reason I say this is people read t much into sex, and can think this marks a turning point in the relationship. While it may, it is most likely just a moment of closeness where you both get to feel good. This is what you you of course but take it as nice thing and add no expectations into the mix.
      Hope this helps and I will answer your next sexquestion.

      Best Wishes PHilipa

  67. So I have a sexquestion. You say have sex if your spouse initiated it. Is this at any point during this process or only after they have started coming around to reconciliation?

    Sorry for the re-post. Fixed a typo.

    1. Dear Bryan,
      yes that’s corrrect it must be your spouses initiation of the sex and take the opportunity if it arises.In short go for it! Sexual contact helps in many ways, it releases endorphins that relieve stress and lower cortisol levels. It also stimulated our cuddle hormones oxytocin, which is a powerful bonding hormone. So this is a good thing. Be light and breezy after intimacy, keeping the LRT stance sans expectations.

      The only caveat is in my earlier reply.
      Thanks for your question, I am sure others have been unsure of this.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  68. Dear Philipa

    Thanks for pointing out the distinction between LRT and what I called ‘going dark’ meaning no contact. After thinking about it I got the point and reversed direction to aim for ‘steady progress’.

    Email contact with my wife is now polite maybe slightly friendly but mainly polite. Her mind seems made up although she says it’s incredibly painful.

    Having decided that I’m ‘broken’ my son wants no contact. Strangely, I’m less broken than I was a couple of weeks ago. That’s getting a life as part of LRT for you or maybe just misplaced optimism.

    Best wishes


  69. My husband of 7 years decided he was finished with our relationship about 7 weeks ago. We had been going to marriage counseling and I can see how we both had communication issues in the relationship. Anyway, I discovered he had been having an emotional affair with a woman on the other side of the country. In counseling he decided we needed to be “done” after 2 weeks of false reconciliation. He has moved out and I began implementing the 180 because all the begging, pleading, tears, etc were not working.

    Anyway, he has been more interested and has been texting more. I answer but not immediately. We have also spent some time together. I always try to be bubbly and happy. He has made statements that I have changed. I guess he is seeing the happy, less stressed me which is great.

    However, he almost always initiates some sort of sexual contact. It feels nice, but I’m not really comfortable with full blown intercourse right now. It’s hard for me to separate the physical from the emotional. I truly love this man and don’t want to get carried away or hurt again by becoming close through physical contact. Although I know it causes a serotonin rush for him which is also good. Is it ok for me to turn him down sometimes? Or, like I have been doing, just some sexual activity but not intercourse? It’s not that I don’t want to be intimate with him, but I struggle with the whole separating it emotionally.


    1. Dear Lily,
      thank for your email. Sounds to me like you have done a great 180 and it is having the desired results.

      This gives your relationship a real healing opportunity, but slowly, slowly! I reckon your observation is right on the money – he is gettng to see the happy you, the one he originally fell for and not the stressed part. Keep it up.

      Ok now for the sex part quesstions of your email.

      I truly hear your confusion. It is so good you have a clear awareness of you and your needs, plus I am glad you brought it here to the comments of our list. The last thing you want to be doing is having this discussion with your partner. This would only lead them to feel rejected, exactly not what your goal is. So by all means take care of yourself, men and women out there. So my first words of advice areto listen to you and your boundaries.

      We certainly don’t want any Harvey Weinstein or Matt Lauer type scenario’s happening out there.

      Sex can be a very bonding thing.

      it sounds to me like what you are doign is working so keep doing it. Only make sure it doesn’t get to hot and heavy, have a back up plan for leaving – recall you are the one to end the dates on your on terms.

      And I would not recommend turning him down per se. I would suggest something more like grabbing his hands and telling him you’ve had a lovely time but you have an early call to work and goodbye as you waft out the door with a warm peck. This saves face all round and is not going ot risk him or you feeling rejected.

      However it would be good for you to get strong enough within yourself to share yourself sexually but not lose yourself emotionally. Of course it is normal, what you are struggling with.

      Hope this helps and let us know how it goes.
      Definitely keep up the good work so far!!
      Best Wishes and high hopes

      1. Philipa:
        Thanks for the reply. I will keep doing what I’m doing. It is definitely hard but my marriage deserve this chance to see if we can reconcile. I just have to remind myself that this is a slow process.

        I am in individual counselor so definitely working on myself and getting stronger. She has told me not to have any physical contact with him at all because it allows him to enjoy living the single life while still having the advantages of marriage. However, he initiates it and since I’ve implemented the LTR method he is increasing communication so I think this is working better. I do like your suggestion of leaving before things get too intense. I will give that a try.


  70. My wife told me that she loves me but is not in love with me anymore. My first week was a disaster of LRT, because I did not know about it at the tine. At the advice of others I gave her flowers, left her cards, etc. Much to her anger. She said I was confusing the children, since we already told them that she wanted a divorce.

    Since then, I have been using LRT for about 3 days, and her tone with me has improved but she has recently told me that while she has not cheated yet, she feels like she could. Halfway through my LRT I screwed up and got roped into a discussion where I told her that I still believe in us and that we both made mistakes, which she agrees on but still told me she no longer loves me.

    Have I already made too many mistakes to continue using LRT? It has been 2 weeks since she told me she wants a divorce. She has been to a lawyer and said she is filing for divorce.

    She has been working out at the gym, losing weight, and getting attention from other guys. I know I can’t give her any attention now during LRT, but I always gave her a ton of praise, support, and compliments before. It seems she just doesn’t want them from me.

    I am desperately trying to save my marriage and my family. I have been applying LRT, no contacting her at all, short conversation that I end first. I have been cleaning the whole house and upgrading my personal appearance. We do live together still. I don’t feel like it is working. Is it too early to tell? This has been the longest 2 weeks of my life.

    I feel awful.

    1. Dear Joseph,
      totally understandable you feel at a low point. Thanks for your email as it raises some good points.

      Yes totally keep up with the LRT but this has to be 100% commitment on your part, find a therapist to address the part of you feeling insecure. The LRT has to be done for you and people can smell a rat a mile off. I think you really need to apply the second step hard. That is taking care of you, acting as if you are moving on and getting a life. So well done for starting this.
      And yes it is too early to tell. And stop doing what you used to do with your wife as you probably knwo that didn’t help. I am guessing she has lost respect for you, so you have to earn this back and it will take time. Again start by respecting you. That isn’t being cold and distant just firm and resilient if you get my drift.

      At least the LRT gives us an action plan, so I would recommend you keep going, it may takes weeks or months.

      Wishing you all the luck in the world,

      1. Thank you for the quick response. When she wants to talk divorce or relationship stuff, how do I respond? She asked me if I had contacted an attorney and I told her yes, because she went to a lawyer first. Bjt since I did not tell her before I went, she is accusing me of being secretive, even though she is the one leaving and going out randomly. She has been projecting on me all of her emotions.

        She has told me that she no longer loves me, but still checks in on me and tries to do nice things for me. She cries and gets upset when she talks about leaving. I feel like she wouldn’t be so emotional about this if it was she wanted 100%. Am I wrong to think that? It gives me hope that there is still love there.

        She has apologized several times and always tells me it’s her and not me at fault for this. I want to tell her it’s not too late and that she can always take back the divorce. However, I feel that it is still too early for that kind of talk from me.

        Today she noticed that my appearance was nicer and she smelled my new cologne. She wished me a good day and I reciprocated and left for work.

        Please tell me there is hope.

        1. Well I’m still applying LRT. She has been approaching me trying to talk about relationship things but I keep telling her that my stance has not changed and I need time to think on this. She said she feels strange being in the house with me.

          Meanwhile she has been asking questions about my new job, etc. She says she still cares about me. Regardless, I am not reciprocating those emotions right now, besides being polite (have a good day, thanks, goodbye, etc.).

          Last night she asked me if I needed anything. I stupidly said yes, but nevermind. She came down and looked me in the eye and asked me if I had something to say. It felt like she either wanted me to concede our marriage or ask her to work things out. She had a sad look on her face and seemed to want comfort. As hard as it was, I did neither. I told her I didn’t want to talk about anything. She said goodnight and went to bed upstairs and I slept on the couch.

          Did I miss an opportunity for reconciliation?

          Meanwhile I’m still concentrating on making myself look the best I can be. I’m going to pick up a hobby and get out of the house a few times a week.

          1. Hi Joseph,
            Yes your wife is wanting to talk about the relationship, do this. The LRT is about you not raising the issue. If your partner does it is important you respond openly from your heart, but without it being on your sleeve.

            When she next approaches you ask her what she is needing and really allow that in and take action on it. Learning to commuicate is a vital relational skill. Not talking could possibly send a not caring message, which is not what to do.
            hope this clarifies things.

        2. Hi Joseph,
          My pleasure i do try and get back as quickly a si can.
          Most folk have communication issues in their relationship. Hard as it is I would listen to her with regard to her talking about the divorce or relationship stuff. Now the real key is to LISTEN. NO one of us is that great at really hearing and listening to understand. I am thinking aobut offering a online video soon to help with that. IN short be a reflectiven non defensive communicator. One who asks open questions, uses considered tone and language.
          With accusations I would say something along the lines of “Yes I see how it would seem like I am being secretive, I am sorry that was not my intention, I guess I am scared (whatever you are feeling). I am confused and trying to figure out things for myself too.” Thats it.
          You are right it is way to early for you that kind of talk and it has to come from her not you.
          By the sounds of your email, there is hope. Of ocurse I am an optomist.
          Keep up the good work Jospeh. Check the blog for communication resources too.
          Best of luck with it.

  71. Thank you for the advice and the article…

    I was frustrated and at a loss at what to do next. My wife separated from me 9 months ago. I have always thought it was over but she has always kept contacting me even after weeks of no contact. She seems to want the best of both worlds… living apart but maintaining a loving get together every few weeks.
    She will not agree to counselling, nor trying to work on us as she does not believe it will work. It just feels like I’m on a roller coaster or on a fishing line. She states she loves and misses me and just wants to make sure I’m doing ok and catching up.
    After 9 months this has become too difficult to maintain and had to get off. I have requested we now go totally no contact as it takes two fix things which is ultimately what I would like to work on.

    I will see what happens from following the LRT approach… what else is there to lose. I will stay in touch

    1. Dear Rick,
      phew if you read earlier comments you will know you doged a bullet by not going ot counselling. I know this seems strange coming form me a therapist, but read Kristine experience which she so kindly shared with us.

      I would recommend you get some emotional support to help you grow through this. I can hear your frustration and confusion there, but you can’t let this dictate especially if you are going to do the LRT all out.

      Mot respectfully to you and anyone rading this -STOP any type of ultimatums or controlling stuff this is not the LRT but amy indeed be the fastest way to lose your marriage. People don’t respond well to these type of requessts and it only serves to remind them of why they left. Stop all those forms of anything that could appear like this and when you do get together be the fun happy you, your wife ovviously still cares for.

      That’s my two cents worth. And we would love to hear your results so please stay in touch.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  72. Hi Philipa:
    I have another question. You’ll remember that the LRT seems to be working in my case right now. My husband does always want to initiate something physical though. I’ve decided to take your advice and just make sure things don’t go too far, being careful not to reject him.

    However, is this allowing him to “have his cake and eat it to?” He was involved in an emotional affair with someone on the other side of the country. He has told me it is ended, but quite frankly, I don’t have any reason to believe him. Part of the work I am doing on myself is to stop snooping, asking about it, etc. I’m just wondering if in the times when I do make myself available to hang out with him, is this the “have your cake and eat it to” scenario?

    We aren’t living together. I am declining some of his invitations. When he texts me, I wait a few hours before responding and always keep it light. I don’t talk about our relationship. When we do hang out I’m just being positive, friendly and my normal bubbly self. But I just wonder if other people feel this way too when part of the relationship separation is due to an affair?


    1. Hey Lily,
      so pleased to hear the LRt is working for you, well done. This will be incredibly inpiring for others, who certainly will appreciate hearing your success.

      I would totally stop overthinking it re the cake and eat it too stuff. Relax and go with the flow.

      A loving relationship is aobut acceptance, responsibility and commitment. At present you are both probably working on the first two.

      With affair recovery, you will eventually have to take that risk and believe him with what he is telling you about it being over. Recall this is aout you and him, so refocus on this. A loving partnership is founded on trust. I reckon we have to trust that our partners love for us is greater than our insecurity about it. This can be so fraught with difficulty though. So fake it till you make it as they say in AA.

      You are obviously applying the LRT with ninja grace, go Lily!

      I am sure others do feel a huge challenge when you have both a separation and an affair. Totally unserstandable your concern there. However when the relationship reconciles you can then tackle what needs of you both that lead to this crisis.It’s too early yet.

      It would be fabulous to hear others experiences on this. Please comment if you care to share, most thankfully,

      1. Philipa:
        You bring up a great point about reconiliation. I haven’t told my husband that I am even considering it, as he has a lot of work that he needs to do on himself and it’s been recommended by my counselor not to offer him that yet. That offering reconciliation at this point could actually hinder his growth: as in he just stops working on himself, returns to the relationship, and we end up in a similar place in a few years.

        I wonder when using the LRT, when you know it’s time to reconcile? I get lots of nebulous answers like you’ll know when the time is right. And to confound this even mor, I told him the day after he decided we were finished that I would never have a romantic relation with him again. So my confusion lies in whether I tell him that’s back on the table, or just continue implementing the LRT and hope he has the courage to tell me he wants to reconcile at some point. He is still very raw at this point.


  73. Hi Philipa,
    I need help urgently.. this is really my last resort. I have tried everything that i could do to save my marriage even did the things i should’nt have like begging, pleading, letters, being aggressive and nothing helped.
    I came across your website just recently and really feel this might help. I have been in a relationship with my husband for 8 years and have been married for 4 years, i am 8months pregnant with our baby.
    My husband and i started of with a great frienship.. going through all the ups an downs in life together.. i thought our relationship was fine if not at the optimum, he used to say that he wants me to take care of him more..i did everything i could supported him through his financial troubles, almost became a dietician to help him with his health, worked like a maid and still tried to look good helped him in his business.
    We live with his parents so had a few issues, very normal to any family..had fights because of trust issues from my side for which i had proof but maybe i was too obsessive about him but we passed throught that phase.. i thought that things are going to be better even though i could sense that something is wrong and just 3 months ago he came from one of his lone trips and revealed that he does not love me anymore and gave me 2 options..1st was divorce, 2nd living together just as friends and that he would seek love outside because he wants to feel loved and not get into any kind of a committed relationship in both the scenarioes he would take care of me and the child financially and would be available whenever needed..i accepted the option 2 because i love him so much i was ready for anything.. tried to convince him for 1 last chance to prove my love but he went on aother 4 day trip and extented it to 9, lied to his parents that he is out for business..i kept communication to minimum and he didnt call even once..according to him today, i am left with only 1 choice now and thats separation because i did all that drama of begging and pleading and even became aggressive. He assured me that until now there is no one and he was not in a hurry to move on but i inscintively sensed that he was lying ..i got a chance to go through his messages where i found a mention of him and his girfriend to a third person while on the last trip .. for which he had an amazing explaination almost unbelieavable.. he still says that he isn’t involved with anyone.
    All he wants now is for me to accept it all for once and stop complaining and trying to make things better..”do something in life and move on there is more to it than me. divorce is not the end of life” this is what he usually says..
    He no more initiates any kind of physical contact but dosent stop me doing so.. i have had sex a few times, he lets me hug him, we sleep together, we speak about future plans and he is ready to be friends again but just dosen’t want me to have any hopes..haven’t involved our parents yet he says we have 1 year before we go ahead legally.
    He is not ready for any kind of marriage counselling..
    Should i just try being a good friend, pursuing my dreams again, being physically involved and stay with him..will this help??
    The no contact rule..will it help me?
    With my first pregnancy i feel really lonely .. i want him to love me again i want to save our marriage because i know its worth it..please guide me throught this difficult time you are my last resort.

    1. Oh Sue,
      I am so sorry to read your email, of course you are upset and feeling lonely you poor thing!
      I feel for you.

      Firstly congratulations on your pregnancy, this should be your entire focus right now, and i certainly not surprised to hear of your loneliness. We need to get you some TLC and support. I can hear your desperation, and naturally you are wonderfully more sensitive with the hormones of pregnancy, a very normal thing.
      Yes be a good friend – firstly to yourself. Set some boundaries for you, make some limits. You have both choices and options. And you msut make your baby a priority to welcome them into the world. I do hope your spouse is attending antenatal classes and your appointments with you. As this isn’t about either you or him but this precious life growing inside you.
      Please find with your doctor or midwife a therapist how can help your self esteem return, this is my best suggestion for saving your marriage, you need to totally apply the LRT Step 1 and 2 in particular with great urgency.
      Pursue your dreams you are so worth it. This will help you gain self respect and allow your partner to see the true beauty you are. Women do glow when fecund.
      Wishing you all the best, Sue.
      In love and light,

      1. Hi Phillipa,
        Thank you for the prompt reply..
        I have already started with 1st and 2nd part of LRT..its kind of tough to ignore the facts and pretend all is fine but i have noticed that whenever i am showing him any signs of me moving ahead he seems to be happy and appreciative. I have been asking my husband for a few months now to take me on a vaccation before the baby arrives. Just 2days back he messaged me the details of bookings for our 5 day outing. Is this a positive sign or is he just doing me a favour. i dont know what to do now? Should i even go?
        My husband is a bit more receptive now but he is again leaving on a lone trip soon.. dont know what to make of all this but i am going to continue with LRT and hope for tge best..thank you for your advice, will start with therapy soon.

  74. Hi Philipa

    This may be a stupid question but when the LRT suggests always sounding upbeat no matter what your real feelings are inside, does it just mean don’t show it if you are feeling devastated or does it include hide it if you are feeling irritated too?

    The reason I ask is my wife is firm that the marriage is over and has made the point that she has no feelings of anger towards me but it’s quite clear she is determined never to be the first to text and when she does there’s a subtle but detectable undercurrent of points scoring and needling. I have managed to be consistently polite – maybe a bit too polite – and I can’t see what I have said that she could be newly miffed about – but it’s really getting under my skin and there’s a huge temptation to be quite blunt about it.

    It’s always been her decision to end the marriage and she’s been the one calling the shots but it’s as if she doesn’t like the idea of me seeming to be just getting on with my life either.

    1. Dear Jack,
      Being positve and upbeat only needs to happen in your contact and interactions with your partner. I am being tongue in cheek here – If you want a divorce go right ahead and get irritated and devasted then share that with your partner.

      Instead I suggest when you are alone, in the shower or driving you are free to carefully express your emotions. There is an awful and incorrect myth around venting anger, suggesting is good for you. It isn’t at all. And if it’s toward another it can have devastating consequences.

      For everyone this is the holiday season. For some of us it will be like Charles Dicken’s a Christmas Carol with the ghosts of the past, present and future visiting us. Be the reformed Scrooge and give ‘happiness a comfortable seat.’ he was able to let his miserly and bitter ways of the past and free himself for the good of all.

      So please do the same. Look at the exercise I suggested for Lily and do this with the part of you who is angry or feeling misunderstood. You can do thsi in writing with your wife ( writing this to yourself to be clear, this is not to be given to anyone. ) as aself refelction exercise to raise awareness.

      Be gentle with yourself and others at this time.
      Best Wishes PHilipa

      1. Thanks Philipa.

        I managed to get through the period of irritation without expressing it and as far as I can tell she didn’t know anything about it. In fact, sometimes I worry about sounding too calm and coming across as patronizing, stupidly smug and not ‘getting it’ or just not caring.

        I have been doing LRT and been quite successful at getting a life (although it’s no substitute for my family). I don’t advertise it but I think she is convinced I am really ‘moving on’ because she told the children and I had a horrible letter from my son blaming me.

        The history of our family life seems to have been completely rewritten with me to blame for every single thing that was wrong and not a single good quality to my credit. It’s like being stranded in a parallel universe where our shared past was totally different. How do we reach any common ground as facts and words are useless and she will never, ever be the first to text?

        Best wishes


        1. Hi Philipa

          I’m really puzzled by my wife’s very few texts.
          A little while after the initial hostility of the split subsided our texts and emails became cooperative and quite friendly. But about the same time as I was settling into getting a life and maybe starting to sound confident she started to become more hostile for no obvious reason and it seems to be her default position. It’s like the more I’m coming across as settled and content to ‘move on’ the more she designs her texts to be needling. I’ll construct a perfectly polite ‘business’ text and her reply will be so short and offhand and sometimes hostile that you know it’s calculated because such rudeness is not her natural manner and she knows me well enough to be pretty sure I’ll pick up on it and it’ll get under my skin. What’s going on?


  75. Update on the continuing saga: I’ve been implementing the LRT. Things seems to be going well. My wh have been hanging out occasionally: just light and fun times. My wh actually brought up the word reconciliation this weekend. I told him I’m not ready to discuss that yet.

    Unfortunately, I thought about it for 2 days and then asked him what his plan was to help me feel safe and able to trust him again. He told me that made him feel pressured: that I was trying to run his life. This was not my intent at all. I let him know this and also thanked him for sharing those difficult feelings with me (he has historically been terrible at sharing negative feelings). So I think it’s now back a few steps. Clearly, although he brought up reconciliation, we are not ready to discuss it.

    I’m going back to LRT and will proceed forward slowly and cautiously. It is hard to act in ways opposite of our normal reactions but I had some success doing that until I reverted to my old habits.

    Anything else I should do besides stepping back, giving him his space, and following the LRT?


    1. Dear Lily,
      Thanks so much for the update.

      As a general thought, if your partner makes noises around reconciliation, I would be open and curious, whilst remaining cautiously optomistic.

      From your email it appears you may have shut down the beginnings of an important conversation. In a healing relationship we need the ability talk from our hearts with vulnerability. When we are safe and comfortable within ourselves this gets easier. REading your words it sounds like a part of reacted and withdrew, this needs to be addressed in you. Have you a part that protects in old ways? What I mean is withdrwas, punishes, shut down or other less than mature responses to overtures of connection or emotion?

      It sounds like you are not ready to discuss reconciliation from what I see in your email.

      Here is an exercise. Get a pen and paper. Ask yourself this question. What is the aprt of me which reacted to xyz bring up reconciliation?
      Gain an undertanding of this part adn you may even get a name for it. Ask it what it needs? And then look to meeting this need for this part in healthy loving ways.

      This may help you respond in new ways. You can do this with any reactivity you have. My belief is you will need to respond from a place of care and assertiveness to a partner reaching out.

      I recently had an experience like this with my partner and I had to own I had gotten all practical, and controlling which had lead to a shut down. I talked to him and shaqred this with him, he was able to do the same. Tnis is the intimacy and grwoth that can occur in this sort of progress.
      Keep it up!
      Best Wishes PHilipa
      Do a written question and answer without any thought.

      1. Hi Philipa:
        Historically in our relationship, I haven’t had a problem sharing with my husband. However, I am a little lost right now. Still recovering from the pain of his infidelity. And when he brought up reconciliation, I wanted to talk about it but didn’t think he really wanted to. I guess, it boils down to me being afraid of entering into that discussion only to have him shut down.

        I will be more aware of this if he brings it up again.


        1. Dear Lily,
          my best advice is when we change our responses the other person often does.

          We can’t let the past dictate our future. Later you will have the opportunity to address the relatinship issues, most likely in therapy.

          I do get your hurt, however you need to deal with this yourself and later with him, if you reconcile.

          Now for these conversations I would limit it to 10-20 minutes. I know my partner Chris can’t take any more than thirty minutes on the relationship chat, and I could go on for a lot longer. He luckily tells me that’s enough for now and of course I respect him. Then we go and do something fun taking the pressure off. IN your case I would end on an upbeat curious note and leave after the 10 minutes are up.
          Good luck !

  76. Hi Philipa

    I’ve been with my husband for 10 years married for 8. We have two beautiful children together and he took on my eldest two children as his own. We are mid thirties. We were so happy for years, genuinely best friends and never argued. Then I got pregnant after baby number 3, unplanned. I lost the baby and it had such an effect on me. I was desperate to get pregnant again and ended up with OCD which both made him feel controlled. He took a while to bond with baby number 4 and when things got difficult he blamed me for pressuring him. Ive always had a good job. I helped him get an amazing job which I knew he’d be great at but soon in to the new job he changed. I found he’d been inappropriately texting a girl ten years younger. This was the first time in 9 years I’d checked his phone. To say it broke me is an understatement. I ended up with PTSD. We tried counselling but he hates talking about it all he gets so angry from his guilt. He cried and said he didn’t want me to leave and said he’d lost his way. But I can’t trust him. I’m constantly on at him, he got a new life now new friends and he seems to be having a bit of a midlife crisis as he’s not helping with the children off doing his own thing. I think these new friends make him feel young whereas me and the children remind him he’s an adult. I’m suspicious that he has his phone on silent, and he came home from his Xmas do at 5am on Friday and I flipped. Every day I’m upset and stressing, asking for reassurance, asking him the same questions over again. Then I get the silent treatment for days, like right now he’s saying he doesn’t know if he can stay with me anymore because I’m pushing him away and he can’t take it. He says I need to leave him alone. It’s not fair on the children us arguing. My family is breaking up a week before Xmas. We can’t move forward unless I trust him and I need him to stop making me feel like I’m just here to look after him and giving me things to worry about. I begged him this morning to not leave me but he gets annoyed. My friends think he’d have gone by now if he was cheating. If he’s cheating though I don’t want him. I’m so lost and in the dark.

    1. Dear Jo,
      thanks for your email. Yes I can hear your distress and anguish in your email.

      There seems to be a real impasse. Frankly the upset part of you may be driving your partner out the door.

      I can hear there are unresolved issues in the partnership.

      There is good news and bad news. The bad news is the relationship won’t change unless we heal our inner anxieties and the way they play out.
      Adn now for the good news. PTSD and OCd can be debilating but are treatable. You get to change you for the better.

      The last resort will give you are blueprint for change. By doing a 180 you offer a yoru relationship a superb chance of not becoming another divorce statistic. You need to find a marriage friendly therapist to help you through this and deal with the part of you feeling super insecure. I would bet that is the part chasing and begging to no helpful end.

      I am answering your email with advice but I am not sure what you are rady to change in contacting us here. I get your situation is horrible, especially at this time of the year. However I would respectfully suggest this gives you an huge break out for change and an opportunity for healing.

      Complaints don’t often end in resolution, and take a person power away. Often provoking a defensive reaction from the person feeling blamed or accused.

      When I work with couples I suggest the hurt person bring up their needs in a soft and non accusatory way which expresses their true emotions.
      I would say, something like “I get scared you were out till 5 am in the morning the other day, as thigns have not been easy in the relationship I need some comfort and reassurance please?”
      See how this offers an opening and a way for your partner to come forward.

      I would be jumpimg head first into the LRT pronto! good luck.
      Regards Philipa

  77. Hi There

    9 weeks ago my wife of 20yrs dropped the bombshell i care for you buy I don’t love you, a couple of days later she left and in now living at a one of her girlfriends house,i tried all the texting and calling and meetings for the first month she was just cold, i now rarely get a text from her and haven’t seen her for 4 weeks, she’s pooping in Xmas day to see our son but then she’s off to spend the day at a friends house,I think she is having a mid life crisis as she says she wants to be happy for herself now and the last 20plus yrs she has been miserable, that there were no good memories from our relationship, her leaving has left me absolutely crushed, i have already started the not txting or calling first part just wondering if you have any further advise,
    Thanks Sean

    1. Dear Sean,
      It’s great you have made a start on the LRT. My advice is to read it, get the book and apply the hang out of it.

      I have been working with a person who’s partner questioning there relationship. Interestingly as they let og of holding on, contorolling and their insecurity their partner has stepped into this space.

      So give it your best shot. Good luck.

      Best Wishes

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  79. My wife and I separated 9 months ago and I have had no progress in trying to repair the marriage. She just wouldn’t engage at all. So I needed some space and after going “no contact” for the second time in recent months after 5 weeks my wife cracked big time and has started contacting me.

    THIS TIME… I will be following the LRT.

    I have backed off, and been upbeat and nice to her. She has admitted to still loving me, missing me and looking for me when she is out. I have played it very nice.
    I am not pursuing, delaying responding to texts (which is getting her mad) and keeping calls brief.
    I hope I see some change. What’s to lose right?

    1. Dear Rick,
      you have the right idea, I am glad you are seeing the progress already from your wife’s contact. Totally everything to gain!

      When delaying text message replies, I would suggest not leaving it for hours, unless it has been a necessity and then giving the person a heads up. My advice would be to aim more for taking a few minutes, say 3-5 minutes but under 30 minutes. I am sure you are doing this.
      Good luck with it!
      Best Wishes Philipa

      1. Thanks Philipa,

        Unfortunately there has been confusing negative progression. 2 am Texts about moving on and nothing has changed for her. Wanting just to “be friends”.

        I thought based upon the advice just to stay upbeat and thanked her for her feelings. I agreed with her, if nothing has changed for her then I understand she needs to move on and left it at that. It is in the hands of the Universe but I wanted to maintain my high road.

        Onwards into 2018…

        1. Well done, Rick!
          Friendships are valuable too. Let me remind you all of romantic friendships and fallings out. One famous couple would be Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They separate and divorced many times. Trivia question – how manu times did they remarry?
          Twice. Although Elizabeth Taylor really gave the insitution of marriage a tremendous effort, She married eight times to seven husbands.

          Yes sometimes fate has other plans. The less we hold on to outcome the freer we are. I like the high road as it gives you a better view.

          Indeed, onwards 2018.
          Best Wishes Philipa

  80. Hi Philipa

    Back again need some help was following the system then on Xmas day my wife came round to see our son all was going well I thought she was staying for dinner then I cannot remember what happened apparently I gave my wife my wedding ring and told her to get out before I had a meltdown I just can’t remember the trigger, my parents said my wife left in tears and my son met her later and she told him I gave her my ring back before telling her to leave: I sent her a txt msg apology but not heard back, thought I was making good progress bet looks like I have sabotaged any reconciliation. Should I try and contact her or just leave it, am so hurt bye this breakup & am sure she’s in full blown mid life crisis so do the same rules apply.look forward to your reply
    Thanks Sean

    1. Dear Sean,
      wow that reactive part of you is not good for your relationship, oh dear this is a real setback.

      I am guessing here but it sounds like your expectations of her staying for dinner and the subsequent let down lead to this cranky part damaging the progress.

      This is something only you can counteract. Remember no one can make us feel anything, we chose both our feelings and our responses.

      I am certain you will want to get help on this, your behaviour was not in your best interests. Forget about labelling hers.

      Stop doing any apologising until you get some clarity on your own reactivity and then address this in a new helpful way.

      Please check out the Resources Section for more help.

      I do appreciate you sharing this setback, I am sure we all feel for you and your hurt, this takes more courage to sit with as opposed to anger. And no one of us has been perfect, go for progress. It is about the repair after the rupture.

      Best Wishes Philipa

  81. Hi Philipa

    Thanks for the quick reply, will take your advise on board and try moving forward , have also ordered the book so looking forward to reading that, just got to get back into a good headspace as nothing has worked so far so nothing else to loose, will keep you posted & thanks again.


    1. Dear Sean,
      You are most welcome. It is wonderful to read you are wanting to learn more about this and naturally yourself in the process.
      You can order the book off my website in the blog post on the LRT YouTube videos ( Yes you can see and hear me discess the LRT)
      Thanks ever so much and well will look forward to reading your progress updates.
      Best Wishes Philipa

  82. Hi i have stressful situation. My husband and i have been married 16 yrs 3 children. 12 yrs ago i gave someone my number but nothing happened. There were no emotional attachments. He uses stonewalling and i use little lies to protect ourselves. We have been in counseling for 3 yrs and every 6 months weve had the same pattern where if he feels threatened he stops talking to me for weeks. It can be anything like the budget etc. The therapist tells me that i always own my crap but my husband only does the bare minimum. He told me 4 months ago he said he wanted a divorce. I was shocked bc i have been very transparent with everything!!! He just stated that he does not feel safe and that he cant trust me. I told him that his constant stonewalling causes me the same trust issues but he claims im the reason he stonewalls. I know this isint true bc hes stonewalled since he was a kid.
    He told me yesterday hes purchasing a house. Hes been gone for five weeks for a separation but does not want to do a therapetic separation bc he doesnt see ot working. Im so sad. I cant convince someone to stay nor will i obligate someone to stay with me. My girls are struggling and think he is just running away. My therapist cant make him stay but she cant council us if we are on different pages. What do i do? I love my family and i know myself. I am not a liar and i dont want to break up my family

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      This certainly is a stressful situation and time.

      16 years can build a lot of hurt and resentment up.

      Reading between the lines of your email ( apologies if it’s not correct), there appears to be both unresolved trust and safety issues in your marriage and possibly earlier in your lives.

      When people go into protective and defensive patterns such as stonewalling, this can be a manifestation of a trauma response.

      I see it all the time in my sessions. Folks who have been traumatised in childhood often have to ‘freeze’, the body goes rigid and silent. This has saved them when their parents are arguing and they are scared. When this part has taken over in times of stress, intellectual reasoning goes offline. However what happens for the partner on the end of the silence is they become louder, increasing the freeze reaction (an emotional overload) and then lose heart and usually go silence themselves, in an if you can’t beat em’ join them.

      If a partner says they are not feeling safe, this could possibly be a sign of the above.

      Therefore the partner who can connect with a mature part needs to work with the communucation.

      I have read or heard somewhere – Bandler and GRinder or Tad James and it’s from NLP “the meaning of the communication is the response you get.” This statement gives us an opportunity to turn the mirror on our ways of expression and review them. If we keep getting the same results from the person we are interacting with i.e explosions or silence or other unhelpful responses. Messages can take very different meanings from our use of language, expression, tone, psoture and gesture.

      My main message in all this I hope is clear, you can’t change your partner. That’s the bad news, the good news is you can change you.

      We often believe we are sharing ourselves clearly however if the response is a shutdown or less than ideal, perhaps we are not.

      From your email, I imagine your partner will feel heavily criticised and this really is a nail in the relationship coffin. You have to soften the language. I don’t use the term stonewalling as I don’t relly believe it helps. It may lead to futher regression. What is happening is is a withdrawal and needs to be both understood and tackled therapeutically for change. Labelling can increase the likelihood of a shame shutdown.

      Sadly you may be right about the running away, it may be he is running away from the attack/ defend pattern of the old relationship.

      I reckon you both have not heard each other’s hurt, pain and distress. When you can hear your partner’s side with an open heart it may lead to a change.
      Good luck with it and best wishes Philipa

      1. Thank you. He did have a traumatic childhood and thus was his defense. How can i apprach him now? He wants to start divorce papers. I want to try a last ditch effort weekend counseling intensive. What language can I use beside stonewalling? I have not come out of desperation but i am not sure what to do and not make things worse.

        1. Dear Anonymous,

          You are welcome. When a person’s spouse has had a traumatic childhood unless there has been tremendous support and therapy there can often be residual issues in relationships. I say often here, but not always. Nothing is ever carved in stone luckliy.

          I specialize in trauma and see this time and again. Trauma survivors will use trauma survival tactics as a defense. From the research this is a biological process – you have most likely heard of the fight, flight or freeze response. When a person has this part in the driver’s seat they will most likely be unable to access an intellectual reasoning state. In my experience therapies that help a person process and resolve trauma – Resource Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), Ego State Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Radical Exposure Therapy ( a form of Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique EFT) and the like. Talking therapy while helping gain an intellectual understanding of our problems which of course is beneficial, often doesn’t get the change a person requires. The part which i feeling hurt, rejected, abandoned or fearful needs to be worked with directly. Those therapies mentioned do this to great advantage and save hours of therapy time.

          I can certainly understand your eagerness and perhaps a certain amount of pressure as the divorce process starts. Anonymous last ditch efforts like a therapy intensive, are I respectfully suggest, not in your relationships best interest form the information you have told us.

          The rationale being a person’s partner may feel this as a pressure, and of course this is not what the LRT recommends, reread Step One for a refresher. From your knowledge of your partner, their history and the information above, you may get this would not be the best way to tackle things and as you say make things worse. I totally believe you are coming from good intentions, though your husband from past expereince will almost certainly react in the old pattern. By the way I am not suggesting here you tell your husband he needs therapy. Too confronting and people need to be ready to make their own change.

          Our communication with our partners needs to come from a place of integrity and gentleness, is without labeling or accusation. It comes from a place of love and openness where we share our feelings and vulnerabilities. It describes what happens and our response.

          If it is appropriate and your husband is wanting to work through things with you, the conversation about what he does and how it impacts you can be started.

          For now I would be asking him in a soft way, what it are his complaints in the marriage. I would then shut up and listen wwithout defense and reflect their points back to ensure I was getting the message. I would then thank them for being honest, go away and think about things and work on what I need to. Here is some more help

          Best of luck,

          1. So we went to the intensive bc i had already paid and he stated that he has to think about trying again. I am nervous but it was good to finally clear the air of past resentments and hurt. What should i do in the meantime to influence him for good? The goal is to try therapy for 2 months And be fully committed to see how it goes. Help??!

          2. Dear Anon,
            your focus must be on you as the LRT Step 2 advice. Forget trying to influence him. No one likes to feel they are being played and despite our best intentions, this is often how it feels when we attempt to manipulate another for good or otherwise.

            So I would work on influencing and growing your to be your best self.
            Best Wishes,

          3. Hi,
            I went to the intensive. The therapist was fantastic and is very pro marriage. I wanted to try to work on things and give it three months with full commitment to see if we can make it work. My husband stated that he still was not sure and he needed to think about it. This was 3 days ago. I am staying positive and working on being transparent and honest. What is your suggestions during this time period?


  83. I’ve been separated for almost 4 months now. Living in separate homes and my wife started the divorce process. She suddenly told me she wasn’t happy and moved out. I did everything I was not supposed to do and went into panic mode. Things haved calm down a little and I am trying to pursue happiness without her and show her that I am a better person. I miss her so much and I do not want to divorce and I don’t understand why it is happening. Some of the reason she gave me sounded more like excuses but I took accountability and I tried to change. She has been dealing with some emotional hurt not being able to come to me and talk to me about it. That was one of my flaws I wasn’t a good listener and there when she had a emotional problem. Anytime I talk to her or open my Herat up she thinks I’m tuning things and not worrying about my flaws.
    I gave her my everything and put her first in everything and supported her hobbies and goals she has. I’ve been a good father to our 4 year old as well. But my wife has checked out for a couple years and I thought it was just a faze she was going through cause of a goal she was trying to achieve. I had know idea she wasn’t happy cause we were some what intimate still, but not as much.
    She has had a bad childhood and we recently had her father had passed away. I tried to break through and talk to her about these things but she gets mad and thinks I’m not worrying about myself. She refuse marriage counseling and is living on her own now.
    We never argue now and we work our visitations with our child very well. I recently told her my feelings one more time and told her this will be the last time I will open up to you. I know she still cares for me because she is constantly looking at my social media. I have been pretending I am ok and post pictures of me going out. Thanks for the good advice I just need to be able to apply them better. Cause I still break down at times and cannot sleep thinking about her.
    I still don’t understand why I wasn’t worthy enough to try and go to counseling and fix this problem. She did not have a good answer for me I thought there was an affair but I believe her now there wasn’t. But she did make lots of new friendships and some were males. I always had full trust her though she made new friendships because of the sport MMA she is doing.
    We are not very far in the divorce process I’m still hoping she has a change of heart.

    1. Dear Ryan,
      I get you are having a tough time there. The LRT will give you some ideas to put into action, this may help you feel more in control.

      I will give you some advice here too. As always it is general and for all and is suggested in the spirit of helping and healing.

      This is really good to read:
      “Things haved calm down a little and I am trying to pursue happiness without her and show her that I am a better person. I miss her so much and I do not want to divorce and I don’t understand why it is happening. Some of the reason she gave me sounded more like excuses but I took accountability and I tried to change. She has been dealing with some emotional hurt not being able to come to me and talk to me about it.”

      The only issue i have is you cannot ‘try’ to change. It’s like being pregnant you either are or you aren’t. I think it might be Alcoholics Anonymous ( AA) where they say “trying is lying.” What they mean is that you have to be and live the change 100%.

      Pretending you are ok will not make the grade I am afraid. People are too cluey and will see through the act.

      Your statement “I still don’t understand why I wasn’t worthy enough to try and go to counseling and fix this problem. ” suggests to me a part of you is not feeling good enough. Yes you can take yourself off to counselling and this is a fixable problem. This may have caused the lack of trust you have. When we feel secure within ourselves we allow others to be their best selves in all their relationships.

      People I totally advise saying things like ” this is the last time etc” NOT helpful and likely to be untrue so don’t back yoruself into that corner. No ultimatums or stuff like this. This is anti LRT. Stop anything that sounds remotely like this talk or behaviour this minute.

      From your email, you are aware your partner has had a ‘bad’ childhood. Now I am not sure what this means but it is informing. Obviously if the abuse or neglect has not been resolved it is going to show up in our relationships. This means we need compassion and support to heal. With the loss of a parent, this hurt can be very close to the surface.

      Ryan, you need to offer unconditional love. This may mean letting go entirely.

      Definitely read and use the LRT and the blog posts here for best results.
      Best of luck and please let us know your results.

  84. Hi Philipa,

    Been married for 28 years and out of no where my wife said she didn’t love me and she moved out of the house. We have been separated for about a year now. Now she is wanting a divorce. I am emotionally devastated, in shock, and don’t know what to do. I will try this last resort technique. I made the mistake of trying to send too many emails to convince her to come back by pointing out I much I love her, made so many positive changes, and I’m totally focused on making a happy marriage…but she says, “too little, too late.” This is the classic walk away wife syndrome. I didn’t see this coming. The more I tried to reach out, the more it pushed her away. I get it now but I hope it’s not too late. Doing no contact is the hardest thing to do because you feel like you’re dying inside and love is slipping away. She definitely has her wall up now. I just don’t know what to do to get her to come back home for a second chance. I have put my heart and soul into working so hard to make everything right but I’m still not able to connect with you now. If she did come home, then I can put forth the positive action steps to rekindle the love again…but how can I do that if she’s not willing to give me a chance? She’s being very stubborn now. It’s hurting the entire family but she doesn’t care.

    Thanks so much. David

    1. Dear David,
      I am glad you have found the Laat Resort Technique, others are here for you.

      So sorry this is a huge upheaval of Mount Agung proportions. When volcanoes erupt they often give us more land once the dust settles.

      I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but it’s highly unusual after 28 years this has come from nowhere.

      We often have to look back within the relationship and do a review.

      What were the complaints your partner made over the years? What were my complaints? How did I respond to these issues? Did I hear them with an open heart and work with my partner to address them? Or did I ignore them and when they stopped mentioning it think things were better?

      Get a pen and paper and answer those questions and keep writing to yourself until you feel you have the answeres on this.

      My rationale for doing this is you cannot go in blind, in order for a repair you need to find the noise in the engine and find the best part to get it running smoothly. Makes sense, huh?

      Your focus needs to be on you right now. Research, get help, find a coach, a relationship mentor. Apply the LRT with the utmot gusto.

      Give it your best!
      Good luck Philipa

  85. Hi Philipa,

    I have read this technique with interest.

    My husband told me on 23rd December that he doesn’t want to be married. We have been married for 16 years and have 5 children together. I knew things weren’t quite right and have been drifting apart – but was hoping it was a dip in the path and we would find our way again soon.

    My husband has PTSD from his military career (left 8 years ago) and has recently been in contact with some old friends from the good old days. He has been meeting up and then not coming home until the next day without any communication.

    Since the 23rd he has been sleeping downstairs. We have spoken loads (more than in a long time). Towards me he is not sure what he feels and I am absolutely devastated and have said that I want to fight for our marriage. Apart from the sleeping at home nothing else has changed – in fact he has chosen to come and watch tv with me and invited me along (with 3 of the kids) on a family hike. Plus been more involved at home with the kids. He says that there is no one else involved (or potentially involved).

    He has agreed to try counselling together – we start on Friday. The technique you have described above I have been trying as much as I can but I don’t want to come across as too cold or flippant. I am now trying to save my hurt and upset until I’m on my own. He has mentioned that he thought I was uncaring – I do find it hard to show emotion to him (I’m a sweep under the carpet and carry on type of person), but all this has opened up something in me and I am an emotional mess!

    I have booked myself onto a yoga course for me and have made dates with friends to go out – but how to balance this with showing that I care, love him and what to fight for this?

    1. Dear Helen,
      thanks for your email.

      Reading through it, i believe you are on the right track with the LRT. While you may not have to apply it as drastically you can do the ‘light version.’

      Applying the no chasing, be mysterious type. She is hard to catch and yet easy to be with ( same for men).

      Reading between the lines perhaps you have soldiered on yourself in the marriage. This can lead to the other party feeling shut out or worse alone and abandoned. A marriage is built on team work. Which means sharing all of yourself. This needs to happen in the future I would suspect.

      The greatest benefit you will receive from the LRT is in applying Step 2 – getting a life. You are spot on, booking a Yoga retreat and catching up with friends. Totally mixx it up become unpredictable, reinvent you for you. Indeed I would mirror his behaviour a little, monkey see, monkey do for an experiment.

      Stop asking anymore on where he is at etc and focus on you. We do this for us in a self caring, which is in no way selfish.

      It’s great he’s more involved with the family, accept all these invites.

      You can be warm, charming and do the LRT. It is aobut building up you and your value.

      Best of luck and let us know your progress.
      Regards Philipa

  86. Hi Philip a

    I have been reading through a lot of the posts by other people and like the idea of LRT however my situation is unique and I would like your opinion as to how I can implement LRT.

    My husband and I have been married for 27 years and separates for the past 5.
    We run a business together and need to have contact numerous times during the day (usually via phone).

    During the 5 year separation we have continued to work together and holiday together and had a lot of ups and downs. We are still great friends but I want more.. I want us to live together and resume life as a couple. The only problem is I think I have missed the boat. Up until a couple of weeks ago he was sitting on the fence and said he could go either way with our personal relationship. I should have jumped at the opportunity but instead I pushed him in the other direction as I don’t believe that I can yet again satisfy him sexually .. I had a hysterectomy about 12 months ago and although we have tried found it quite painful.

    I expressed to him my concern over the sex and think I pushed him in the other direction. He has now been seeing someone new for a couple of weeks and we had a massive fight a few days ago (probably our worst ever) and he is now wanting a divorce. I have asked him to please re-consider and that I believe that we have now hit rock bottom (after 5 years) and that I would like to reconcile and live together and rebuild our relationship. He is digging his heals in and says he will still work with me in our family business but all personal contact has to stop. This is so very painful.
    We have been together since we were 17 and remained close throughout our separation. We have tried to work things out previously however when doing so have not lived together.
    I have not been the easiest person to deal with during this time due to health issues but he has always been there to support me. He will not consider counselling.
    I still love him so much …

    * could you please not use my real name – thank you

    PleAse help.
    Many thanks

    1. Dear J,
      I will not use a person’s full name ever on this site and have shortened the one you provided to an initial.

      Oh dear I have to agree you may have missed the boat ony many things, however the LRT definitely will give you an opportunity to grow, whether it is in this relationship or another.

      Urgently apply Step 1 and stop anything that would look like chasing. This means not asking him where he is at, what are his plans, over texting keep it to business and certainly to suggesting counselling. You have to do a 180 and wish him well.

      J this need to be a priority as you said in your email he is in the early stages of seeing someone. That means anything that looks like or feels as if it’s a pressure from your end will be in deep contrast and sound very different to the fun of discovering a new person. Heed my warning and heads up at your relationships peril.

      Reading your email, I am sorry to hear you are in both emotional and physical pain, and this is where Step 2 comes in. I respectfully advise your priority is to care for yourself. Get a make over, learn who you are repair the body and heal the self esteem. This is the most attractive thing we can do.

      Learn to be the easiest person to deal with despite your health issues and stop putting any possible burden on him, you want to be light and fun. 100 % no complaining or whining, or pleading at all! You need to make a remarkable recovery, so give it your best efforts. You have said your piece to him and you really need to hear him, that is the loving thing to do and you have said you do love him. So stop doing anything personal with the contact, respect his wishes. Sorry to be blunt but I want to help you as best I can with a few words in an email, I am sure the part of you that can hear this will be reading my message in the spirit of love and growth.

      This will give you the chance to grow and him a potential opportunity to miss you.

      Then apply Step 3, wait.

      Good luck,

      1. Thanks for your kind words Philipa.
        I am applying LRT and even though it has been only a few days he is asking how I am more regularly .. don’t know if this is a sign of missing me on a personal level or out of pity.
        I have remained polite and trying to be upbeat (although a struggle at the moment). I have shown no interest at all in his personal life and out contact had been only for business.

        About 6 months ago we booked to go on a cruise with friends (as previously mentioned we have maintained a friendship through our separation and have often holiday together as neither have had other partners). This cruise is in 2 weeks time and I do not know what his intention is.. I have thought about cancelling the whole thing but that would disappoint our friends. I do not know how to deal with it if we do go .. however I do not think his new girlfriend of a couple of weeks will be understanding. If he chooses to go then should I use this as an opportunity to bring us closer or should I not go if he goes?
        If he chooses not to go then I think I will still go and use this as an opportunity to soul search and try and get myself into a more positive feel about my future.
        Your thoughts would be appreciated.

        1. Dear Jeanine,
          My absolute pleasure – I only want to help you all here.

          From reading your email that’s definitely a postive sign of care, regardless what we can or can’t guess. Give yourself a break on the overthinking and analysing. Those parts can fuel anxiety – not pretty adn then can lead to a relapse on STep 1 the Chase. STOP.

          Good work on being polite upbeat and respecting his and your own boundaries. This 180 will help breath new air into things.

          Gee you are overworking the cruise trip. Who did the actual booking 6 months ago?

          Ask him what he would like to do. I’d guess it would be either cancel or take the new girlfriend – Sorry that may not be what you wanted to hear, I’m being a realist. Indeed I would using the LRT even suggest he takes her. Heaven knows it may even be in yoru best interests. There’s nothing like being cooped up in a cabin nowehere to go to test things. It may all fall apart. It will give him a chance to recall how well you travelled and you can be there being your best self when he returns to tell his woes.

          Here you are applying the LRT fully with the I am happy and have moved on part of the LRT. Which I would suggest may be vital given where your relationship is. This has to be done fully and with patience.

          Whatever you do I would most kindly think it would not be on a cruise with him. Go on your own holiday to do your soul-searching. do Step 2 and book yourself a great holiday. Be warned holidaying together at this time. Besides if you get back together you can have all the holidays from then on!

          Thata’s my ideas. I would be curious to hear what others think. Perhaps you have had this situation yourself? Please comment below and share your thoughts as this would help others too.
          Good Luck!

  87. Hello,

    My husband and I are currently at the start of a trial separation. We got married October 2016 and over the last year we have moved into a new house which we renovated which was the origin of most of our problems now. We didnt work well at a team together during this period and with poor communication we disagreed on most things which led to arguments. Since then we had been up and down and then one day my husband basically said that he didnt want to be with me anymore/he didnt feel happy anymore. I knew that we were at each other a lot but I was totally shocked with what he was saying and NEVER thought he would just leave like that without wanting to try and work things out. He left the house and I didnt think he was coming back! 3 weeks later he came back and we tried to work on things! The last 5 months has been up and down filled with fun times and bad times and I felt like I was just in limbo not knowing what he really wanted or what I really wanted or how to fix anything. A few nights ago my husband said that he feels like he cant do this anymore and something has to change. He suggested we have some time apart to get our true happy selves back and hopefully come back together as a happy couple like we used to be. I would have preferred to try and fix things again under one roof but as we kept discussing I felt like it may be a good idea so we can try to focus on ourselves and step back from the relationship and really see what was happening and realise what we were doing to contribute to this outcome. We are both hopeful that we will go back to the way we were. He said that he loves me and wants to be with me but feels like he cant be with me right now because if we continue on the path that we are on then it could ruin everything forever. He doesnt want us to get to the point where we hate each other and this way we can try to fix things now so everything will be good in the future and this never happens again. We have decided that 6months max is a good amount of time but I am just unsure of how often we should be communicating or seeing each other etc? Can a trial separation really a good thing or will this make us drift further apart.

    Any thoughts would be great 🙂

    1. Dear Kira,
      time apart for reflection and self healing can be extremely useful and healing.

      I do think if you keep repeating the same mistakes you will keep damaging the relationship. Taking a breather saves you both from creataing irrepairable damage.

      So yes, I believe a trial separation can be a perfect opportunity for a reset and to learn about yourself adn relationship patterns. I know it is anxiety making but secure love is based on the ability to differentiate. Find a therapist to help you on this.

      Personally I would let him take the lead on contact. So use the LRt in a mini version, not where you are moving on. Instead you are growing yourself. I can hear that old relationship wasn’t working for you both. You need ot own and change your part in that. Often one person becoming more mature and reasoned in themselves benefits all involved.
      Please apply Step 1 in terms of not discussing the realtionship and the problems, you need to get back to the fun and lightness that brought you together. Be that nice person your partner fell in love with, let that part of you shine through, not the anxious fearful part.
      That’s my two cents worth.
      Best of luck with it!
      Regards Philipa

      1. Hello again,

        Its about 1 month into our trial separation at the moment and I have been struggling a bit. He has left the house and been staying at his parents place.I have been using the LRT as a mini version like you said to better myself which has been great! I am feeling more like myself and a lot happier! I am just a bit confused at the moment with what has been happening.

        Over the last few weeks my husband has come to see me a few times by just dropping in (when he knew I would be home) without letting me know. I am glad to see him but I am just not prepared- I would prefer notice so I can atleast make myself decent looking and prepare how I am going to act around him. The first time he just hung around and was though he wanted to just hang out. We just talked about what we had been doing the last few weeks and our lives and had a good time together. He stayed for quite a few hours and it was as though he didnt want to leave. He was being flirty and a bit touchy feely and at this time I was a bit taken back and wasnt reciprocating because I was confused but we were still having fun with each other and it ended positively. We messaged each other saying that it was good to see you tonight etc after he had left.

        I went on a holiday the next week for about a week and he offered to stay at our house while I was gone to feed the dogs and look after things etc. He also said he wanted to fix a few things around the house so its ready to sell. He has said that he hates the house now because of all of the negative things associated with it to do with us and if we get back together he doesnt want us to live back there but to get something new and start fresh! I feel he is being too rash with that but can understand it to an extent. I checked in with him once while I was away to see how everything was going etc and he was asking about my trip- all positive messages. The night I got back he wasnt at the house but we had another positive convo via text message.

        The next day was my day off and he just dropped in again without letting me know. This is what has confused me! He was saying that he thinks about me everyday and that he wanted to come and see me because he missed me. But then he also said that even though he misses me he doesnt want to see me everyday and doesnt know what that means exactly. He also said that he doesnt want to lose me but doesnt want to lead me on etc but then was all over me and we ended up having sex! He said that he wants someone to spend the rest of his life with and wants that person to be me. I said to him that this limbo stage has been really hard and he agreed that he was hurting too. I said that I dont want this limbo stage to go on for an extended period of time (not sure if I should have said that- maybe I need to be more patient?) and that if hes out or thinking that theres not a chance of reconciliation then he needs to tell me now and we can just separate our things and its over. I would prefer that over doing this for months and months and then having the same result. He reassured me by saying that hes not out yet and that he loves me and kissed me. He said that he was coming back on the weekend to finish the jobs he was doing on the house and we could talk more about it then but he never came and I didnt hear from him at all. I havent heard from him at all since then really which was about 1 and a half weeks ago. I guess he hasnt come to a conclusion yet but I just dont know if the lack of communication should be worrying or not? I am giving him space and leaving the contact upto him but it just makes everything confusing! Should I just let him be until he contacts me? If he doesnt for the next month say where does that leave me?

        Any insight would be good!

        Thanks 🙂

        1. Dear Kira,
          Good job girl!
          A couple of slips but on the right track. Yes be more patient. I get it is hard and anxiety making having no certaintity. However if you press for timings or dates you will most likely push them out the door faster. Deal with this part of you in therapy or find a way to reassure you. My mantra is whatever will be, will be. And it will be for teh good of all concerned. It lets of of fear and any outcome.

          My other suggestion, is your get up in the morning and look your most gorgeous every day right from the get go and you do this for you! I might arrange some girl time out too. Keep him wanting more and ending on a good note.

          Yes you follow his lead. Relax and let him see how much has been changing, stop any talk of the relationship. Keep up your own life and interests. A big thumbs up.
          Keep us posted!
          Best Philipa

          1. Hi Phillipa!

            Thanks for your advice! Over the last few weeks I have been doing what you recommended and he has wanted to see me a few times meaning has just come around etc but then has also been pushing to finish things off around the house so it will be ready to sell. He has basically said that he feels like due to all of the negative things that has led us to this situation in the house he doesnt want anything to do with it anymore and wants us to sell so we can both move on with or without each other. He says that he is focusing on what will make him happy atm and wants the house out of his name so he can go and buy a farm and big land which is what he has always wanted and to try and get back to his happy self.This was always our plan together though. The house we are in now was always supposes to be a stepping stone.

            I feel that we need to know what is going on with us before we make a big decision like that and we should have time apart first and then decide what we will do. He says he wont beable to make a decision about us until the house is sold! At the moment I feel he is being incredibly selfish and manipulative/almost trapping me/forcing me to do what he wants because he is put out at the moment because he is living in a tiny transportable room out the back of his parents house and doesnt want to explore any other temporary options. Because he sees us as separated at the moment he is focused on himself and what he wants to do without considering me.

            I have told him so many times that if he wants us to be over he needs to tell me straight up but insists that he isnt out and still loves me. He says his heart tells him to come back to me now but his head tells him otherwise so he is still on the fence. I feel like he wants his cake and eat it too by wanting to do whatever he wants in the meantime but then have the option of being back with me later. I feel like seeing him makes this harder and to an extent want him to see what his life would really be like without me so it may be best to not have any contact/communication at all from now on? Its just so hard and confusing! 😔

          2. Dear Kira,

            You are in a bind here. I guess you have to make some decisions.

            I read this passage from you email:
            At the moment I feel he is being incredibly selfish and manipulative/almost trapping me/forcing me to do what he wants because he is put out at the moment because he is living in a tiny transportable room out the back of his parents house and doesnt want to explore any other temporary options.

            I am going to play devil’s advocare (sic) and say aren’t you doing the same thing? Just a different version by refusing to discuss and explore all the options. I know it sounds tough but I want you to have more flexibility in this. A house is a house.

            Your relationship is more than four walls. If you continue to persist you will be stuck in a losing battle.

            In the LRT we do not ask relationship questions – you won’t get the answer as you have found. Deal with your hurt and resentment in healing ways for yourself. You cannot scheme or plan what he will or won’t do. I believe you have to accept both yourself and his position.

            Doesn’t mean you like it but love is at the heart of it acceptance.

            Reread the LRT and focus on the possible blind spots you may now be aware of. Employ those!
            Good luck,

          3. Hi Phillipa!

            Thanks for your advice! Over the last few weeks I have been doing what you recommended and he has wanted to see me a few times meaning has just come around etc but then has also been pushing to finish things off around the house so it will be ready to sell. He has basically said that he feels like due to all of the negative things that has led us to this situation in the house he doesnt want anything to do with it anymore and wants us to sell so we can both move on with or without each other. He says that he is focusing on what will make him happy atm and wants the house out of his name so he can go and buy a farm and big land which is what he has always wanted and to try and get back to his happy self.This was always our plan together though. The house we are in now was always supposes to be a stepping stone.

            I feel that we need to know what is going on with us before we make a big decision like that and we should have time apart first and then decide what we will do. He says he wont beable to make a decision about us until the house is sold! At the moment I feel he is being incredibly selfish and manipulative/almost trapping me/forcing me to do what he wants because he is put out at the moment because he is living in a tiny transportable room out the back of his parents house and doesnt want to explore any other temporary options. Because he sees us as separated at the moment he is focused on himself and what he wants to do without considering me.

            I have told him so many times that if he wants us to be over he needs to tell me straight up but insists that he isnt out and still loves me. He says his heart tells him to come back to me now but his head tells him otherwise so he is still on the fence. I feel like he wants his cake and eat it too by wanting to do whatever he wants in the meantime but then have the option of being back with me later. I feel like seeing him makes this harder and to an extent want him to see what his life would really be like without me so it may be best to not have any contact/communication at all from now on? Its just so hard and confusing! 😔

  88. Any suggestions on trying to accomplish the last resort technique with a 4 month old in tow? It’s hard to keep myself out and occupied while trying to care for a baby all day. Baby and I do a lot of things but hubby doesn’t get home til around dinner time and we are always here then. I’m in crisis mode and have already started implementing some of the things I can, but a baby is an added element….? Help!

    1. Dear Estella,
      congratulations on your baby.

      Good work on ap0plying the LRT. I would start to be a bit unpredictable. I will make some suggestions but of course only apply those which fit for you and your situation.

      Perhaps I would leave hubby and baby for an hour or so at dinner time, while I went on an errand or met a friend. Have dinner at a later time.

      Be warm when you say hello and good bye. Tell your partner what a fun day you had once they have settled in from work. Join a mothers group.

      Get yourself some therapy and support. I would love you to be enjoying your wee one.

      I am surprised you are applying the LRT and would like to know why to be honest.

      Sending you all love and luck,

      1. Honestly, I think my husband is going through some baby blues and sprung on me about a week ago that he isn’t happy and is considering ending our marriage of five years (together for 13). I am beside myself. I was blind sided. I have already started looking into some mommy and me classes for us! Hard to leave baby with hubby because he isn’t coming home very much. He was wanted everything we have (including a baby) for as long as I can remember. He pulled the I love you but not in love with you card and thinks of me more as a mom than a wife. I am not going to let our family fall apart.

        1. Dear Estella,
          my heart goes out to you! You poor thing. Congratulations on your lovely baby.

          I cannot guess what you or your husand are going through. Naturally and necessarily your new baby takes up a joyous amount of time and energy especially in the first year or so. In my practice I have seen folk struggle with the move from 2-3, it is an adjustment. Being a new mum of course you have your hands full.

          Many of us have not had a lot to do with babies until we have one ourselves. Dad’s I think struggle to know where best to fit in, they haven’t got a boob to offer, feel disconcerted handling a wee one and may not be used to crying as baby tells us what she needs. They can flee to work or outside the home as a way to cope. You may be right this could be baby blues, not that we would say this but I can hear you have compassion.

          i have often had men say they felt rejected and sidelined at this time ( of course this was not intentioned by the wife at all in the beginning but over time nothing changed). it is important we get a working harmony between being the MUM and the Wife. One thing babies offer is unconditional love, so your love cup may be pretty full, however, your husband’s might feel low. Mum and Bub do get most of the focus in the early days and rightly so, however we need to be mindful of Dad and how best to include him in the mix.

          So pleased you have found the LRT and are taking action. Bravo on getting into the mum’s group. it is good to eat together too as a family.

          You sound incredibly strong – sometimes Men misinterpret this strength as not caring. Let him know you need and expect his help in caring for the child. Beware hovering or saying anything that could come out as critical. Trust that he will be a good Dad and as long as he knows the basics, like support babes head, not shaking but soothing, how to change a nappy hew will be right up there.

          You go girl!
          Take care Philipa

  89. My husband and I have just started a trial separation. We hope that we can get back to our happy selves and then come back together and have a better marriage. We have arranged the time frame to be a max of 6 months. Do you think this can be a good thing or will we drift further apart? How much communication should we have in this time? I am a bit lost.


  90. Thank you for your LRT information. I have only just stumbled upon it after 2 and a half years of deceit and betrayal by my husband who has rebuffed all my questions/concerns about his ever-deepening “friendship” with one of our female employees. After living with terrible anxiety and stress for so long, I took it upon myself at the end of 2017 to buy an online software program that allowed me to plug in his devices (iPad and iPhone) and retrieve some evidence from deleted messages which proves – proves – what I have known intuitively for so long. There were enough retrievable deleted messages to give evidence of his intimate connection with this woman.He was so shocked that I took this action that he actually went from his two and a half year long mantra of “we’re just friends” to “we’ve had an emotional relationship”. Even though I know they have been away together on several occasions, he refuses to admit that they have had a physical relationship. That must be a bridge too far in his mind – even though, as far as I’m concerned, an enduring “emotional relationship” is far more damaging to our marriage than a short term physical one. We have a beautiful 12 year old child who is caught up in this horrible mess and I need to find a way forward for 2018. I refuse to live another year of lies and deception and terrible anxiety again. I want one thing to be a circuit breaker.. I have asked for a time to sit and talk through the whole thing (without our child present) in th next few days. I want to present him with the timeline from the last two and a half years with key evidence of his connections with her along the way. I want to ask what his long-term intent is with this woman. He tells me that he “chooses our marriage” but I suspect that he intends to stay in the marriage and keep her on the side. I refuse to live like this any longer. I have told him he must chose her or us (our daughter and me). He tells me he chooses us, but he continues to maintain connection with this woman.

    Is my strategy useful? Should I have key open-ended questions to which I want responses? If so, what should those questions be? I want to ask him to move out for a period – say a month. Is this wise or will this drive him further into her every-ready arms?

    Thank you again. Your advice is the best I have read so far (including two time wasting and costly years of seeing a relationship psychologist).


    1. Dear Kay,

      thanks for your email and your kind words, I do want to provide old fashioned practical and honest support.

      Isn’t it strange how our intuitiion is so spot on. I can hear in your desperation you bought software to confirm your suspicions. While I do no advocate the use of this type of spyware or any other form of monitoring, I understand your frustation.

      My mantra is and will always be “TRUST YOURSELF”. When your gut feeling is something is wrong that in my book is the only evidence you need to voice concerns and want changes. If you feel your relationship is being threatened by a third party, then it does need to be addressed directly. Please people do not give your money away to spyware, private detectives and the like. Listen to your good self.

      My natural inclination Kay is to avoid the trial by fire approach and as I repeatedly say no ultimatums. I certainly wouldn’t be asking him what he is choosing, I would be asking myself what choice do I want to make given this old relationship no longer meets my needs.

      It is good you do have a private conversation with your husband. Here you speak your piece. I would say something like = I love you and am so proud we have brought our wonderful child into the world. I know I have been suspicicious about you and most likely not acting as best I could. I have been thinking about what my choices. I will no longer choose the way the relationship is with three of us in it. ( While he may dipsute this -I would say I am feeling too crowded and I want to honour myself and it is not about being right or wrong.
      Here you will speak only of your experiences and the choices you will make in an open hearted manner stating clearly what yoru needs ie to be the one and only. You hope this can happen but if not you will be examining your choices with regard ot the relationship.

      That is my five cents worth, I hope you get the spirit this general advice is given. Listen to yourself, be clear and assert your needs and decide for yourself.
      Good luck kay,

      Your relationship has past this point but I say this so others can hear me plain and simple and I will say it again – Trust Yourself and take assertive action early. I will write a post on this later if folk are interested please let me know.

  91. Hello. Just recently my wife of 19 years broke the news to me that she doesn’t feel affection for me and wants to move on. We Have been together since high school and have two daughters together. I left her the house to stay in till she found another place and moved in to a trailer on our other property. She’s been hanging out with a close mutual guy friend alot lately, (who also is dealing with a long term break up ) and I feel like in their fragile state they might seek comfort from one another more than a conversation. In the begining I asked him and her about it and they both said they’re just friends. It’s been 2 weeks since our break up and it feels like they’re getting closer and closer. I get the typical “I know” and “not in love with You anymore” comments from her whenever I try to conversate. She’s acting like a totally different person. Listening to different music and not doing the things she always loved to do. Everyone that knows are in complete shock. We always had a really good relationship. Not just husband and wife but best of friends. Everyone says they can’t believe it’s happening. I’m totally confused and hurt beyond belief. Do I just sit back and watch as they slowly get closer and closer? I don’t want to push her away anymore but don’t want to lose her by not doing anything. I feel like as long as their around each other she wont have time to think about us and all shes missing. I would give my life for her I love her so much. She cries alot when I talk to her saying it hurts her knowing how much I love her and how bad it hurts me and that I deserve someone who will love me back just as much. I don’t want anyone else. I need help. Please. I’m afraid if I try the LTR she’ll think I moved on, don’t care and she’ll go for the other guy.

    1. Dear Ben,

      I do think the LRT is your best bet. Your email describes many folks heartbreak, so thanks for sharing it with us. And know we are all supporting you through this not easy time.

      This appears to be a case of the grass being greener in th eother paddock. Here you must tread with true caution, as your partner is in the early stages of togetherness and most folks put a halo on the other person and no amount of convincing from you will dislodge it. That’s where the LRT becomes very useful to you. And now the grass begins to taste the same eventually and you have the years of success lodged in her memory ( just don’t remind her that’s a guilt trip no thte LRT).

      I say this Ben because the more you appear to move on and sit back and let this bush fire burn out of it’s own accord the better chance you have. I am sure you can now hear the logic in what I am saying with applying the LRT. Your pleading and cajoling only has the opoosite effect of pushing your wife into the other guys arms at a rapid rate. She wil only want to get away from you and the guilt it producees being in your company. I wish it wasn’t so but I believe in telling it like it is.

      You have to deal with your internal fear and insecurity as a priority. You can’t hold another person hostage with this, I am sure you get what I am saying.

      I hope you do apply the LRT adn the sooner the better, but ulitmately it is your choice. Make a reasoned decision.
      Best of luck,

      1. Thank you for the response. I wish I would of read it a day earlier. Yesterday we ended up in a fight. It drove her right into the other guys arms. I seen my wife later that night in town and we talked and she told me that she wanted me to know that she has feelings for him and they talked about the connection their starting to feel towards eachother. That our argument earlier made her realize she likes him more than she thought. I messed up real bad. Feel like I lost my only chance to get her back.

        With the guy being a semi mutual
        friend do you think I should maybe ask him to give us some time to still figure out our personal matters or do think it’s a waste of time.

        Just the thought of her replacing me with this other guy makes me sick to my stomach.

        1. Dear Ben,
          You are most welcome, sorry things are not easy for your at this time.

          We go in steps and learn as we go. The other day was a learning curve and yep fights will drive your spouse into the comforting arms of the soothing person on the side. I am sure you have gained from this experience tough as it has been.

          The good news is she is sharing with you. The wisest thing you can do is be open and honest. So acknowledge and appreciate firstly. Something like ‘Thank you for sharing this with me, although it is not easy to hear this I do appreciate your honesty. I love you and want to support both you and I in this, what do you need?’

          The next worst thing you could do is approach to other guy, this shows to both you are threatened, not the way you want to be coming across.
          Indeed it will only bring them closer together against their mutual angst – you! Sorry but you need to know this.

          This is insecurity and chanage the way you are saying this to yourself – “Just the thought of her replacing me with this other guy makes me sick to my stomach.” Change this to whatever happens I will handle it, I am worthwhile even though I am scared of her leaving, I show only love.
          Good luck,

          1. Thank you for all the help. I’ve been working on myself alot the last couple days. Keeping my mind from drifting and telling myself it’s out of my hands. It was her choice not mine.

            My love for her seems to be growing more and more each day not being around her and not being able to give her a hug when I see her. It just looks like she’s hurting when I’m around her and I want to comfort her.

            I recently found out she doesn’t even stay at the house anymore. It brings up to many feelings so she been sleeping on the couch at our so called mutual friends house. This guys really playing the part well and is winning her over more and more each day. When we talked about her feelings for him she did say she didn’t know exactly how she felt. She didnt know if it was a bond between two really good friends or feelings of wanting to get together.

            Just this morning when I took her some money because she does have one of our daughters with her she would barely talk to me or look me in the eye. For the last few days after I visit my daughter i would give her hug and my wife and i would hug and i would say have a good night. But today she just folded her arms and said she can’t hug me. I don’t know if it’s was because the other guy was around or just because it hurts her to much.

            We see each other every day because of the lifestyle we built together. With cattle and horses needing to be tooken care of stuff like that. Do you suggest I not to talk to her when she shows up and give her more space or try holding on to the little bond of seeing her everyday when she comes by to feed her horses. Is it good for her to see me daily or you think its making it worse. Im not stocking her or hounding her about her life. Just trying to be upbeat and in a good mood. Ask her how shes doing , if she needs anything and tell her she a good person beautiful and strong and to have a good day. I’m I doing the right thing.

          2. Dear Ben,
            I am grateful to be of assistance.

            When you found out this information about her not being at home how did you feel? Better or more insecure, I would hazard a guess. I usggest that you rotect yorself from ‘finding out’ information about her. The focus needs ot be on you – Step 2. So ask people not to give you information as ‘you are respecting your partner’s right to privacy and want to move ahead in life.’

            Sorry to say but the hugging etc is in breach of Step 1. it will feel like a calf being held down to be castrated. All that stuff asking how she is, what she needs and telling her she is a good beautiful person etc is chasing. Stop it immediately. It will only remind her of why she does not want to be around you. It will be guilt making and most folk like to avoid heavy emotions like this and the people that bring this out I am sure you are getting it is not having the desired effect and now you have seen her withdraw, which is an ouch!

            Obviously you need to care for your animals, perhaps vary the times slightly.She won’t get to miss you if you are there daily, is why I suggest this. And when you do see her keep your talk about the business, nothing personal enquiring after her your conversation. Like you are meeting a friend in town, keep it light and easy. Taking financial care is vital, is there a way she can have access to money without you delivering it? The reason I say this as she may feel controlled and childlike having to come to you for money. Further pushing you away from her. Adult relationships need independence in many ways.
            Good Luck and keep up the progress you have made Ben!
            Cheers Philipa

  92. Hello Philipa- This was a very insightful article. I had to fly back to another state to handle a issue with my parents. I told my wife I would fly back in a few days which I did. When I flew back she stopped answering my calls, texts, and emails. I stayed there for a week roaming around. I don’t have anyone there except my wife so I had no place to stay. I decided to fly back to my parents since I wasn’t able to reach her. I know she’s ok because I spoke to someone that told me they saw them last week. What should I do? I don’t want to stay at my parents as I keep thinking about my family. Should I fly back and look around for them? I’m not sure where to look as I’m not working now so I don’t have much money. But I feel like I have to do something. I sit around, sleep, and watch TV all day. I love my wife and son and I miss them so much. I can’t just focus energy on myself. I need to know where they are. I’m worried. I need some good advice.

    1. Dear Anon,

      Thank you and Michelle Weiner Davies of course.

      I am so sorry things are rough. So delighted to hear you are want to do something, indeed I think it is your best option.

      You say you haven’t got much money and are out of work.

      Being my practical self I would say get a job, this will repair your self-esteem and your wallet.

      Do this while practicing the LRT.

      Focusiing this energy on yourself would be a blessing to your family as they will in any case need practical support which is a totally loving thing and part of responsible parenting.
      Good Luck with your job hunting!
      Kidn regards Philipa

      1. Thank you Philipa.

        What you say makes sense but why in my mind I feel like by me flying there and looking for them will show my wife how much I love her. I can’t stop thinking this way.


        1. Dear Anon,
          thats a great question. My belief is that part of you is feeling mightily insecure and anxious, as you are in no man’s land at present. I would suggest you listen to the free resources available I have put up on another page to help this part. I will pop some more up, specifically I am referring to the Michael Sealey Meditations and Hypnosis tracks on YOutube.

          You are in crisis so not probably at your optimum.

          Here is what I think. If you let that insecure part dictate your actions and buy a ticket back to your wife, you would feel an initial sense of relief that part has got it’s reassurance need met.

          However your wife would likely see this as you focussing on you and taking care of your needs rather than the family. She would view this as an unloving act, I’d guess. She will most likely be angrier or diappointed than ever. The opposite of what you want. This will further cement in her mind you are not a good candidate anymore. Possibly fasttracking your divorce. I know that might be hard to hear but let it get into your mind. You need ot find a mature part of your personality to take responsibility and find gainful employment. I believe you can!

          Get yourself busy finding any work and sending them your financial support is my best suggestion. It will help on both counts.
          Any job will do, as long as you are earning money. We need to pay our way in today’s society.

          Good luck,

          1. Hi Philipa- I wrote to you on Jan 17. I’ve been having a hard time finding a job so I literally stay home all day watch TV and eat. I just think about my wife and son all day wondering how they are doing. I don’t know where they live only the state they live in. I know you said no but last week I flew there because I couldn’t take it anymore. For a few days I just spent time around the supermarket that I thought they might go to. On the second day I saw them. I was so happy to see them so I started walking towards them. She saw me and went back to the car and drove away. My heart stopped and I started crying a lot!!! I felt hopeless and didn’t know what to think or do. I thought at least if she saw me she would talk to me. She knows the flight tickets are expensive. I waited another day or two at the airport hoping she would call me. Since I don’t know anyone there expect her and I don’t have much money for a motel I had to fly back. I don’t know what to do. She is the only one for me. I can’t picture life without her. And shouldn’t my son be allowed to have his dad in his life too. I’m really struggling. I don’t know what to do or think anymore. I just want us to be a family again and enjoy life and also grow our family.

          2. Dear Anonymous,

            I don’t want you to go out and exert yourself finding a job. I get it feels like now you don’t have any options.

            The biggest question we need to ask ourselves in relationships are we being a part of the problem or the solution?

            From what I read you have lost yourself in your need for her. This sends both people into overwhelm. I am not suprised she was walking away from you. You need to realise what this really means.

            I really don’t know what you will need to change about this, I am sure you will figure something out soon.

            Perhaps it isn’t getting work, being up and off the couch away from the tv?

            I want you to know you have the power to change. Have courage and take the sword of responsibility. There are many resources out there to use for personal development and growth.

            Take care,
            Best Wishes Philipa

  93. Thank God I finally stumbled across your website! This is such a lifeline for me at the moment as I am drowning in the throes of relationship breakdown, caught in the flotsam and jetsam of lies and betrayal and disconnection and hurt – wounding, deep hurt that makes my soul ache with grief.

    After two and a half years of slowly sliding into an adulterous relationship, my husband has finally admitted to an “emotional relationship” after I presented him with evidence (text messages and phone logs) of constant and inappropriate contact a week ago.

    I initiated a formal meeting time where I asked him to talk about the immediate past, the current situation and future in terms of “where to from here” as an attempt at circuit breaking the endless negativity and stonewalling from him. I asked him to temporarily move out (within 24 hours from the talk) and he was totally shocked. He even agreed to seeing a counsellor with me, which he has refused to do all last year.

    However I realise that emotionally he has totally distanced himself from me. When he comes to visit, he is not coming to see me; he is coming to see our 12 year old daughter.

    In our initial meeting with the counsellor yesterday, he refused to take responsibility for his part in the marriage breakdown, saying “we’ve always had problems communicating” and that our “problems existed long before his ‘friendship’ developed” with another woman. He is so manipulative – I could feel the counsellor being sucked in to his charm and agreeing with him.

    How should I manage this from here? I keep falling into feeling desperate, trying to win his approval. I do love
    him, and I do want our marriage to work. I just don’t know that he loves me anymore, or that he wants our marriage at all.

    Thank you

    1. Dear Daisy,
      I can totally appreciate you are in a sea of hurt at the moment. Thanks for your kind words and know we are supporting you in your journey for change.

      It does sound like the relationship has been on life support for some time.

      I also get you are doing way too much of the work in this partnership, so I would definitely take an emotional step back, using the LRT will help you with that.

      We cannot change our partner. You are working way to hard on this time for a rest Daisy.

      I am concerned you have called him manipulative – if he is so bad why are you with him?

      Of course we will act in ways to show ourselves as best we can when meeting a person for the first time. Counselling can be anxiety provoking, I would give you both credit for attending and it is a good sign he is there. If you want to stop him coming keep trying to make him take responsibility. Otherwise I would let the therapist do their job – that’s what your paying them for!

      Your best bet Daisy, is to hear his side of things as he sees it, doesn’t mean you have to agree. Naturally you will have different views on things (there is nothing quicker than poisoning a relationship with being right) and it does seem as if your communication has not been working to help.

      Step 2 for the LRT is a must if this part of you needing approval keeps going on in this way it will not end well. Build your self-esteem, and address this needy part in your own personal therapy, again it needs to be more than talking therapy, see my advice on the best therapies to get to the bottom of this and gain deep healing for yourself. This insecure part drives the desperation and often pushes our partner out the door faster, sorry to say.

      Whatever you do don’t make it about the third party. Remember this person has been able to present their best self freshly dressed and made up for going out and having fun, this can be in sharp contrast to a partner who comes home to anger and accusation of their spouse.

      So you want to get your happy back on and get the part your husband was attracted and loved out, deal with the anxious part in your own therapy journey. This is my best advice, I hope this helps Daisy. You are important and special now don’t you forget it. So treat yourself with love and self care!
      Good luck and keep us in the loop.
      Regards Philipa.

  94. I’m so glad to see I’m not alone, and man was this to the ‘T’.
    Thank you, I’ve been doing most of this as, for me most had come as instinct but a lot of this Has filed in the blanks. Which I am praying this works. I give my god in heaven the burden, stress, anxiety and all my worries on him but it’s nice to have people who all share to. It help with things that seems like the right thing to do along with laying it all on God as he says. Thanks again.

  95. Hi
    My husband ended our marriage almost 3 weeks ago. I am sure he took up with someone else within 48 hours. How do I stop the constant thoughts of him having someone new and being so happy when he has torn my heart apart?
    I’ve had to relocate 3000 kms away as he would not let me stay in the house so the distance is unbearable.
    I am really struggling with dark thoughts and don’t know how to get away from them.
    Communication is nil because I’ve chosen to not respond the the irregular texts he has sent me.
    I really feel like my world has come crashing down.
    How can he be so happy so quickly?

    1. Dear Tania,
      You poor dear! Your focus needs to be back on you and taking care of you. Sounds like you are in a bit of shock.

      I would do some journaling to help you process this. Write all your thoughts and emotions ou, just put it all on paper for you.
      Then Byron Katie has a great process and book, I will pop a link in our Resources section.
      It is the four Questions:
      1, Is it true? ( yes or no, if it’s no go to 3.)
      2,Can you absolutely knot that it’s true? ( yes or no.)
      3, How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
      4, Who would you be without this thought?

      And repeat, as necessary.

      So why are you choosing to let your angry part not respond to his reaching out? I am not sure what your strategy is there.
      Anyhow Tania, here are some practical steps as above and with the LRT for you to get your self back on track.
      Take care, be gentle with yourself,
      Best Wishes Philipa

      1. Thank you Philipa
        Yes I suppose I am in shock.
        I have been writing all of my thoughts and feelings as I have them.
        I’m not angry. My dark thoughts are me struggling to get through each hour. I am absolutely heartbroken.
        The only reason I haven’t replied to his sporadic texts is because he was absolutely adamant that our marriage is over so I figured if I did respond, I would break down again, begging and pleading. I’m trying to avoid doing that.
        Thank you for your thoughts and advice.
        I have no one to talk to. No one.

        1. Philipa this is the BEST advice I have had to date. I have seen a therapist all year last year (I started because I figured I couldn’t change him but I could work on improving me) and just have not progressed forward at all. Your wisdom makes me think I need to address the issues around my needs further – maybe have a change of therapist?

          I appreciate your “tough love” approach – yes I have stayed (at the encouragement of the current therapist) when I can see his manipulations and deceits very clearly. And yes – why am I still here?

          It has to end. I need to end it because he will never have the courage to do so.

          Thank you so much.


          1. Thanks again, Daisy.

            My first question in therapy is what are you ready to change today? Hmm I guess it is kind of a tough love approach, though I like to think of it as practical. When you are in the middle of a buring house you don’t shout fire, you need to run.

            Love is always with limits. Especially those we care for deeply. We require more of ourselves and them. We offer and receive respect or we review and assert our needs. If they are unable then we need to be willing to let go of this dynamic.
            Regards, Philipa

          2. Dear Daisy,

            I am sure Tania appreciates your encouragement.

            Be clear in what you want to end and if this doesn’t how your relationship will progress. Please no ultimatums. Instead you make your own choices based on the other person’s response.
            Thanks for your kind words, Daisy.
            Good luck,

        2. Tania I really feel your pain and sorrow. I think as Philipa says, journaling is very helpful. This is a really dark time, an duly must face the pain and process your current thoughts and feelings, but you WILL get through this. You MUST get through this. You are better and stronger than a man who has treated you so badly.

          I think a good therapist would be helpful, but if you can’t afford it, the advice on this site is the best I have seen or read anywhere.

          Good luck (and keep your chin up),


        3. Oh Tania,
          anything you feel right now would be completely normal, shock disbleielf, anger, hurt and sadness to name a few.
          Sorry you are in despair, be gentle with your heart.
          Good idea you didn’t respond then, we are here for you.
          I would also see in your local area if there is a helpline for free counseling over the phone. Here is Australia it is Life line 131114.
          If you can tell me the general area I will look at finding you something in your area. We are also here. The internet is an amazing source of inspiration and information.
          Take it as easy as you can xx
          Regards PHilipa

  96. Philipa,

    I discovered an emotional affair of my husband of 19 years. We have 2 teenage daughters. We went to 3 months of counseling (during which the affair ended, on her end), but he wasn’t ready to make a 6 month commitment to work on the marriage which is what the counselor was asking of him. He moved out for a month and decided to come home and try. We tried for 4 months but he was not “all in” and I remained scared and anxious. He felt he couldn’t connect b/c of my reactivity (which I take responsibility for) when we spoke about his lack of connection despite both of us feeling like we were moving forward slowly. He left last week after asking for a 3 month separation to gain perspective and space. Needless to say, I’m crushed and scared. I’m not sure how to play this one. He says his goal is to work this out and hopefully come together stronger in 3 months. He continues to tell me he loves me and we go to weekly couples therapy as well as individual therapy. Our plan is to have one family activity and one activity with just us two (ie lunch) per week.
    My daughters are hosting a cast party after their high school play this Friday. It’s my night to have the girls so it will be at our home (he moved out into an apartment). He has offered to help with the party if I would like the help. This is where I’m confused. Do I include him as he still wants our marriage to work (and he’s a great father to our girls) or do I not include him as he moved out and not being part of the cast party would be a logical consequence of his decision and desire for space? He says he wants to work on the marriage, he does not want a divorce. Is this the time for LRT?

    1. Dear Karen,
      My belief is we always include the father of our children in any significant activity that involves our children.
      be it birthdays, thanks giving, Christmas and a cast party.

      I would just let him know he is welcome to drop in for a bit to say congratulations and celebrate. I am guessing it is more of a teenage party. With family stuff always extend the olive branch is my advice. This is a bias of mine.

      And yes it is definitely time for you to take new action and employ the LRT expecially step 2.

      Good luck and keep us posted.

  97. Thank you Philipa and Daisy
    It is helpful just to be able express myself here.
    I’m feeling so overwhelmed at the moment and I do know that time heals but it looks like in going to have to do the hard yards.
    A huge part of me regrets not replying to his texts last week because there hasn’t been anything from him since.
    I’m still hanging on to hope but think deep down I know it’s hopeless.
    Trying to be strong. Checking my phone 100 times a day.
    I don’t know if I’m ready to be told by a therapist that I’m better off without him. I am in Perth.
    He was my world.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Dear Tania,
      You are certianly welcome.

      So glad you have found the 180 approach. It is way more than a technique it’s a life change and inner rebuild in my view.

      Sure time heals but you are in the midst of the early stages so go easy on yourself.

      Sorry to be blunt but if he was your world where does that leave you? No one can be an everything. I may be wrong but I am reading that as perhaps you lost yourself somewhere in this? You need to be your own world is what I mean and be able to orbit in each other’s space but not merge. Otherwise, you sacrifice you and often at the expense of the relationship.
      Build your new inner world, whether that be in a relationship with him in the future, but start with yourself today please!
      Best Wishes Philipa

  98. I think what I am most scared of is by me NOT contacting him, he will think that I’ve moved on and don’t care.
    It’s so hard to know what to do.

    1. I caved and texted him.
      The conversation became quite angry on his part.
      I did what I didn’t want to do and asked if there is any hope for us.
      I really need to leave contact to him.
      It’s so hard.

      1. Dear Tania,
        don’t be so har don yourself. Texting is a terribly ineffecient way to communicate. We have hiccups doing the LRT the idea is to keep going and take some information from what works and what doesn’t.
        No relationship questions, respond with care and empathy. When you acknowledge another person’s feelings it can really be beneficial and a person will feel heard. And the good news is you don’t have to agree. Only let the person know you have herd them non defensively. It’s not as easy as it sounds I know but very healling.

    2. Dear Tania,
      this fear is a common one. If you read many of the questions and comments on this blog have this similar theme.

      Let me tell you you cannot have a healthy relationship coming from a place of fear. For whatever reason, that old relationship was not working well for you both. You need a really strong part of yourself to support you moving forward knowing you are good enough and strong enough to handle whatever happens.
      You could use the four questions to work through this one on your own.

      1. Thank you Philipa
        I can’t believe how right you are about so much!
        I have definitely lost myself because I did make him my everything.
        I have jumped back into LRT and do realise I have to be much stronger with it.
        Instead of sending a text, I write it down. That slows me enough to stop myself.
        I’m very confused because he did get angry when I asked if there was any hope for us and he wouldn’t give me an answer. Which made me question him on it several times.
        Surely if the answer is NO, it would be easier to just say no!
        I learnt the hard way yesterday that I must stick to LRT.
        I read through other people’s situations and there is so much hurt here. But it’s good to know I’m not alone.
        I couldn’t find the link to the 4 questions.
        Thank you so much again.

        1. Dear Tania,
          this is an amzing bit of insight on your part. We cannot give ourselves away. Super excited it has given you an opportunity to regroup and power on the LRT.
          Nice advice to write the text rather than send. I would ask the part wanting to send that via writing what it is needing. Write it’s response down.
          Recall the LRT Step 1 no askng about the future or the relationship. Yes there is a lot of hurt, heartbreak and help here on the blog. You are certainly not alone.
          Sorry I have not posted the 4 questions yet and I am in the process of getting a quick guide of the LRT for folk to print out available via email very soon.
          You are most welcome.
          Best Wishes Tania,

  99. Hi, my husband had a seizure recently from alcohol withdrawal. It has definitely always been an issue with us. He still works incredibly hard for our family, but was drinking too much at night. I’m not perfect either as I have definitely gained weight over the years and know that it bothers him. He was hospitalized for the seizure and has since grown incredibly distant saying the near death experience has made him revaluate his life and he doesn’t want to be married anymore, ie wants to sleep with other people. I’ve been a mess, because not only did I watch my husband die in front of our children, but now he wants to leave. We can’t afford two different homes, so we’re stuck in this strange limbo of living together in awkwardness. Some parts of me are exhausted from fighting for our marriage for so long and welcome the end, but deep down know it won’t be good for us or our children. This article was AMAZING, and exactly what I needed to hear. I can’t change him, but I can change me. I can be my best possible me, no matter how much I want to sink to that deep dark pit, and if he still doesn’t want to stay then I can still be proud of the person I am. Thank you so much! Day 1 of changing me for the better!!

    1. Dear Bri,
      Wow you and your husbands have been through a lot. I am glad he is getting support. People may be unaware alcohol is one of the msot dangerous drugs to withdraw from and often requires hospitalisation for safe monitoring. When I worked yeara ago at the Langton Clinic, the four beds we had at Sydney Hospital were only used for alcohol and complex detoxes.

      Sounds like your relationship has been struggling with addictions, booze, food and the like. Not a healthy cocktail for anyone – excuse the pun.

      Thanks for your kind words and I am pleased it hit the spot for you. When you do right by you in a caring way, all prosper.

      Go for being your best, kind loving you to you and watch the world change, as you learn and grow into the blossom you are meant to be!
      Keep up the good work and as ever keep us posted.
      To your success.
      I am inspired reding your email and I am sure others will be too.
      Best Wishes

  100. I’ve been going at this method for about a week now after weeks of making all the wrong moves when dealing with my wife’s profession of “not being in love with me anymore”. Crying, pleading, etc. I started seeing a therapist and it kind of woke me up to what I need to do. In truth I had been getting over the pain for a bit before that. So I started doing essentially everything outlined here and I have noticed her getting a bit curious. “Why are you doing so much around the house?” or “Why do you want to cook dinner?” type things. I even caught her peeking at my phone last night. But then today she says after I said I was thinking about making dinner “You knows it won’t make me change my mind, right?”. I just said “Yeah, I know. It’s just kind of fun to cook.” Is what she said normal at this point? A week in? It felt maybe overly harsh but I don’t want to worry too much about it.

    The other thing is that we did have sex a few weeks ago at her insistence but she just felt guilty about it the next day. Like she’d used me for sex, in her own words. I don’t know if I’m up for more cheap sex with her so I don’t know if I should go along with it if it she brings it up again, not that I necessarily think she will. Any insight would be so appreciated.

    1. Dear Marenghi,

      Good on you for seeing the therapist and I am liking the work already, especially as you say it was a wake up to what you need to do. Well done.

      This is exactly what is possible, your spouse may get curious. I do think what she said would be pretty normal. Especially if this is a big change folk get skeptical. That is why the LRT is more than a technique. It is a way of being. Where you are kind loving open and respectful.
      This is a good sign a week in but you must practice Step 3 Patience. This may be the most important step, I might say.

      I’m guessing here, but I imagine you didn’t feel ‘used’ for sex but hopefully enjoyed it together? Sex and the cuddles after stimulating oxytocin, our natural bonding hormone. Plus it feels good. So go for it I say! The only thing I warn, is that you do not read anything into it apart from two adults having consensual fun and I do hope mutual pleasure.
      BEst Wishes,

      1. Thanks for the reply. I don’t want to be overly hopeful, in truth I kind of don’t have any hope, but this kind of makes me feel a little optimistic. Though she seems to feel like she has to constantly remind me that this “isn’t a phase she’s going through” or that she’s not going to change her mind. She’s pretty dead set on divorce and vocally so. I really don’t know what’s going to happen but I’m going to keep up last resorting the hell out of her and working on myself and hope that she slowly comes around.

        As for the sex, I thought it was really good but I definitely didn’t expect anything out of it. 9 could tell halfway through that she felt weird about it and we didn’t cuddle or anything after. She just went off to bed (I was sleeping on the couch). If she actually does suggest it I might go for it simply because it might be the last time I can be with my wife in that way but I’d be surprised. :/

        Anyway thanks so much for the response. You guys are awesome.

        1. Dear Marenghi,
          Now you have to really use Step 3 wait. Applying your most patient self. Honouring your wife and listening to her with an open heaart.

          And really teh Lsat Resort can be a restart, this has to be a life change, my hope is for the better. For whaetever reason the old marriage did not work well for you both, so an opportunity to start afresh.

          Glad the sex was good, let her approach you. Here you can show her your care and loving skill.

          Wishing you the best and appreciate your kind words.
          Cheers PHilipa

  101. Hallo Philipa,

    I am with my wife 25 years and we are separated for 18 months because she firmly believes I cheated on her. Since I met her I never touch another woman, but she does not believe me. She found porn on my computer 2 years ago and she insist that she is right. If I tried to explain her that nothing ever happened and there was never any real woman in my lifetime she only got angry. She will not admit that she may be wrong and since we separated she wants to be divorced. We tried counseling but no progress.

    During separation time I did many changes with me: got a great life, found new amazing friends and become the best version of myself. I am now happy, energized, loving, caring, successful and in a good spirit and vibe for the last 6 months. The problem is that my wife did almost nothing with herself during separation time – she wasted all the time designated for your growth.
    She still wants to be divorced and she told me 2 months ago that she suspect that I am secretly dating another woman ( of course I am not dating anyone).
    During our separation I was very supportive to her but it did not matter to her. She was always looking to find something negative about myself.

    So the Last Resort Technique is for me really the last one chance. I started it 3 weeks ago and so far there is no response from her at all. We have no communication at all.
    So I just live my life to the fullest level and I am happy with myself. I know she is constantly checking my social media: Facebook/YouTube/MeetUp/etc but she will not contact me.
    Do you think that there will be now any change on her side, and how long may it take ?


    1. Hi Philipa,

      Do you have any suggestions for my case ?
      I am doing LRT for 4 weeks and so far only “NOTHING” happened. My wife is completely silent.
      I continue to live my own life to the fullest level, I am attractive and desired to many people I am meeting out there.

      Hi Matt,
      Did you managed to work out the problem with your wife ?
      If Yes, what did you do to save your relationship ?



  102. Hi. I really need some advice. I have just found similar advice to LRT from Dr James Dobson’s book. My long-term partner (with whom I have no kids, his choice which I was ok with so long as we were together and I thought we would be forever) bought a beautiful home with me less than a year ago. We were, I believed, really excited. In fact, I know we were. We have had our ups and downs because he has cheated a few times in the past, nothing too serious physically but each time he “fell in love” and sent loving messages, told them he was unhappy at home. This was true the second time – because I was struggling after the first affair. The first affair, however, occurred at a time when we were, in my eyes and I believe his, very happy – which is why it was so hard to recover from. The affairs were many years ago (maybe 9) but there has always been a lack of trust as he never sought to regain it, just expected me to get over it. I have found out that he has been cheating again, a full blown affair – first time – almost ever since we bought our new home and I am just beside myself with grief. He has been angry with me for months and I have not been able to understand why because, having moved to a fresh place with no unhappy memories, I felt truly happy and more myself than I have in years. He didn’t notice. I found out for definite in early December and had to go through the trauma of Christmas with his family and children in a pretence. He is still at home but I believe he plans to move out. I know he is in the process of renting a flat for six months. I also know, having seen messages to her, that he is planning a life with this woman, says he has never felt this way before (telling her everything he once told me and his previous partners and what he told the two affair partners from years ago) and that he loves her and cannot wait to spend every night with her and wake up with her. It is breaking my heart. I don’t know if he means it, if it is lies to her. He has certainly told her lies within his messages. For example, he has not told her that I have found out – no doubt she would be terribly worried I would tell her husband. She suggests her marriage is loveless and unhappy. He has even said they can try for a child which just kills me. I am too old now and he never wanted more children (he has adult children from a previous relationship). This woman is 14 years is junior, has a very young friendship group and lives in a different place entirely. I cannot see how it will work. But I have clung to him, begged, pleaded and totally lost my self-respect. He has even told her! I am desperate that if he moves out or if I tell him to go he will only remember the desperate, clinging woman who he could not wait to escape. I also don’t know if it is definitely over, if renting a flat is to give him the space he said he needs to decide if he wants me or her (he says he does not want to make a mistake), if it is to give her time to leave her husband so they can rent somewhere together. I am so confused and feel completely out of control. He lies to me constantly. And there has been so much nastiness, threats, aggression and anger I fear it has killed anything that might have been there. He hardly says a nice word to me and yet occasionally will make me a drink, kiss my forehead. For months all I got was “I love you too” and I had been asking why no “I love you”. Now I don’t even get “I love you too” and I have been stupidly asking him to say it. I love him so much. He has been my whole world. I see and know few other people. I have devoted all of my time to him, to support him and yet he acts like he hates me. I am so distraught. Please can you advise? Am I too late?

    1. Dear Nadia,
      so sorry you are distraught, from your email things have not been going well for some time in the relationship.

      I wonder reading this why are you putting yourself through this? You have to believe you are worth a loving, respectful and responsible partner. How would you describe your relationship? You may be interested in Tania’s email. She found when she had given her partner her all, there was nothing left.
      My concern is you have devoted yourself to someone who does not appear to be returning this devotion. You deserve more. Please, quick smart got to step 2 and find help to build your self-worth. My heart goes out to you at this time.
      Best Wishes,

  103. I did LRT for a few weeks before Christmas and it seemed to work quite well. My wife had left me but I got a bit of a social life going and in an email spat told her I was doing OK and ‘moving on’. This seemed to catch her by surprise and win a certain amount of respect.

    But now things seem to be slipping back into the earlier pattern. I’m not sure how this happened and it’s even crossed my mind she could be doing LRT back on me.

    One thing that trips me up is I miss my wife and my social life is a poor substitute for the depth of that relationship. The other thing is I keep thinking she might press the ‘destruct’ button if I look like I simply don’t care so I keep going back to make sure I haven’t given her the wrong impression to make her do it.

    Meanwhile she’s giving nothing away through a kind of masterful inactivity and I’m virtually back at square one with my brain being tied up in knots guessing all the time and a sore head from banging it against a brick wall all the time. I haven’t got the faintest idea what she wants and she’s very careful not to tell me.

    1. Dear Sam,
      you have to move beyond trying to ‘last resort her’, stop guessing and get the best out of your life.
      Move beyond fear. No one of us can hold onto a relationship, this crushes either ourselves, the other person or both.

      Love is letting go of fear. The worst may still happen but you will survive it my friend. So relax and look after yorurself in a loving way!
      Best Wishes

  104. No one seems to be in the same situation that I am in and I am completely lost :

    So a little bit of our story. We’ve been friends since 2011, together since 2012 and married since 2013. Our daughter was born in Nov 2016 and everything we down from there. We had always dreamed of being parents and our daughter was very much wanted, but something changed in him once she was born. He had a hard time assuming his role as a father (he has issues with his own father), and he wasn’t the kind of dad he always imagined he would be. He realized that he hated babies and didn’t know what to do with them.

    We moved around every 6-12 months for his job and arrived in a new town where I knew no one when I was 7 months pregnant. I moved to a foreign country to be with him, and as we moved so often all I really had was him and his family. After the birth of our daughter his brother came to live with us to find a job and never left. We spent a year sharing a two bedroom apartment with his brother and never had time to be alone or become a family. My husband also worked a lot often 12 hour days, so I was all alone in a new town, with a new baby and no friends.

    I started to become close with one of his co-workers, so he started to become closer with her as well. We saw each other often outside of work and even went to her wedding in July 2017. In august I started to enter a depression (I stopped breastfeeding and took out my IUD at the same time, I don’t know if that’s related or not), and I changed. I didn’t go outside anymore, I didn’t want to do anything anymore except cry and complain. My husband tried to do some efforts, but I kept pushing him away. His brother said if we wanted to be alone for my birthday in August, we needed to get a hotel and that was my breaking point. I left the house for 2 weeks and went to stay with my mother in law with my husband coming every weekend.

    In September we went on vacation, with his sister so still not alone, for 3 weeks and agreed that we needed to do something or we weren’t going to make it. We both agreed to try, and I did. I started to go outside more and take care of myself again. But he started to work more and more and spend time with the girl on the phone when he was at home. I started to have suspicions but they both told me that it was all in my head and there was nothing to worry about.

    Mid-October and they spend all of their time together (remember she is married), he downloads snapchat and they spend all day sending pictures back and forth to each other. I tell him that it has to stop, that I cannot handle it and he doesn’t listen. One night, he comes home late because he spent all day helping her with an interview and I snapped. I told him I didn’t want him to come home and that he needed to think about what he really wanted because I wasn’t sure if it was our family anymore. He tried to come home anyway and I wouldn’t let him inside.

    He went to see the girl and came home after and we both agreed I would go stay with his mom for a little while. The Sunday he tried to break up with me by text message, not accepting that I immediately drove back home to fight for my man. He said everything had started to change for him and he wasn’t happy anymore. So we separated but still shared the same bed, and our sex life had never been so amazing. We were having sex 1-2 times a day, more on the weekend and amazing sex. We agreed to go away for the weekend to work on our marriage. He told me before getting on the plane, if he felt like he was forcing himself at all he would end it and I shouldn’t expect too much because he wanted to go more than he wanted to stay.

    So our trip we found each other again and it was really, really good. He spent time talking with the girl, but realized it was a problem and stopped. He told me he knew he loved me more than anything and he wanted to fight to save our marriage. I had never been so happy. We went back home, then he went back to work with her. Then Friday night he came home saying that he didn’t deserve me and I was too good with him and he didn’t know if he could do it anymore. I was heartbroken.

    We spent another week, not together, but sleeping together every night having amazing sex. We agreed that the next week he would spend the week alone with our daughter so he could see what my life had been like the last year. I left Sunday and sunday night he was texting me telling me how sorry he was and how he didn’t realize how bad it was and how much he loved me. This is now the end of November. We saw each other Tuesday because I had an appointment and he once again talked about how in love he was, he came to his moms on Wednesday because his sister gave birth and by Friday he was full of doubts again. He said he didn’t know if he loved me anymore and he felt dead inside. I said, ok let’s end it then because I can’t do it anymore. He started crying and begging me to give him one more chance. We agreed to go on a date when he told me that he knows I am the love of his life and he will never find anyone else better for me than him and he doesn’t know why his brain is being so stupid. That he knew what he had to fight for and he wanted to be with me and save our relationship. That I was the most important thing in the world to him. He deleted and blocked the other girl from his phone and promised he wouldn’t see her anymore outside of work. I believed him. I agreed to stay the week to help his sister with the baby and he went back to the house. Monday he still loved me and we were making plans together. Tuesday he didn’t know if he missed me enough, Wednesday no contact (I later found out he spent all day with the girl), Thursday I get en email on the ipad to him and the girl from a coworker referring to them as “the lovers” and I go crazy and confront him.

    Once again, he leaves me by text message saying nothing had happened with the girl but he just couldn’t be with me anymore. He had been forcing himself and he wasn’t happy. I did all of the things I shouldn’t do : cry, beg, plead and it got me no where. He then called me a few days later to tell me he had left because he had fallen in love with our friend, the girl who got married in July. I immediately texted her telling her what a horrible person she was because she had promised me it was nothing and now my husband had left me for her.

    Come to find out later, while she had pretended to be my friend and I had trusted her with all of my secrets and our relationship problems she had been repeating everything to my husband. She had been telling him our relationship wasn’t healthy and he should probably leave. He came a week later to see our daughter and we had sex and he immediately started to cry feeling like he had cheated on the married girl ! He left and we had a huge fight.

    I ended up trying to kill myself the next day and went through 2 really hard weeks. In my despair I ended up contacting her husband to let him know everything – including the fact that my husband had been sneaking around with his wife when he was at work. He confronted his wife and they ended up separating. My husband (who left me dec 2) and this girl who left her husband right before christmas, spent christmas together in Paris and became intimate for the first time.

    I came back to our home the weekend before christmas where I found the girls underwear in our bedroom. He swore to me nothing had ever happened, she slept in the bed and he slept on the couch. He took our daughter for the first time the weekend of new year’s and I later found out that the new girl went with him to meet his family. I lost my temper and sent him a text message calling him a horrible person and asking how he was able to replace me so fast and let her act like she was the mother of our child so quickly. He told me I was crazy and blocked me.

    When she returned home she asked her husband for a divorce and then started living with my husband a week later where they slept on his brothers floor.They just got their apartment together Friday and I am devastated. He told me that he knows that he isn’t ready for a new relationship but that he can’t stop himself. With her husband we gave them no choice but to live together because I took the apartment and her husband won’t leave theirs. When he came to get our daughter this week he told me he loved both of us but he knew our relationship wasn’t ok and he would have always regretted not trying something with her. But then he tells me that he still loves me and he knows that he always will, but that love isn’t enough to stay with someone. He doesn’t think he’ll ever regret trying something with her because they are happy and sooooooo in love but that he doesn’t trust himself right now either because our relationship falling apart in the biggest regret of his life.

    I have been horrible with no contact – I’ve been trying so hard to make him see his mistake and to help him realize that he got caught up in something that went way too far with a co-worker, but for him it’s normal that he still loves me and doesn’t want to be with me. I’ve started limited contact as of today but I don’t know if it’s too late as they’re already living together and going to meet her parents this weekend. Both of their families are acting like this is completely normal we were together 7 years and have a 14 month child together, she was with her husband 7 years and married for 4. Their co-workers also say that they’re happy for them, so they have no one telling them that this isn’t ok. I feel like this will soon fizzle out between them once they realize that the grass isn’t greener, especially since it’s all so fast.

    I’m working on myself doing all of the things he complained about and he’s commented on it but I don’t know if it’s too late. I have friends again, I have a girls night once a week. When he sees me I’m dressed nicely with my hair and make-up done, but we both always end up crying when we try to talk about our relationship.

    He tells me he still loves me and knows he always will and that nothing will ever come close to the love that we had, but doesn’t think he could ever be with me again. Is it too late for me to save my marriage?

    1. Dear Jessy,
      you certainly have been through a great deal. It sounds like it has been a confusing and painful time for you so sorry sweetie.

      From your email, I would say you definitely will be giving your marriage the best chance to save your marriage by taking the LRT actions.
      Whatever happens, you need to work through this for your child. Please promise me and everyone here no more suicide attempts.

      I hope you are getting some therapy and are rapidly repairing your self-esteem. focus on getting you happy and healthy again, please.
      Best Wishes,

  105. About 3 weeks ago I discovered that my wife has been having an affair for the past year. Things between my wife and I the last year and a half to two years have grown distant to the point where we were basically roommates; I have been sleeping on the couch for the past 9 months or so. We have two children. After I confronted her she was apologetic, but said that she had already emotionally moved on and that the affair was her moving on, despite her saying that she was going to tell me in a few months and has been looking to start the divorce process. Part of me didn’t blame her, I had cheated on her years back, so I know the anatomy of an affair and realize it is only an escape from the problems in the actual marriage even though she tries to convince herself she is only trying to find happiness. She says she still loves me and always will, but is not in love with me. After a lot of self-realization I discovered I have been struggling with social anxiety, emotional intimacy issues, and conflict avoidance behaviors for a long time as a result of the social anxiety and a plethora of irrational fears and insecurities. I recognize all that now and how it destroyed the marriage. These are things I deep down knew, and I have always wanted the intimacy, to kiss, hold, touch, and talk to her. But I never did out of fear and only grew more frustrated with myself and things just compounded and continued to get worse. I was pushing myself away because I was unhappy and frustrated with myself and had begun isolating myself from my wife, friends, and family.

    Realizing these issue with myself I have sought out a therapist and just had my first appointment last week. I want to be aggressive with learning how to manage my social anxiety, free myself from my emotional intimacy issues, and develop positive behaviors. I recognize all of the bad behaviors that manifested in order to protect myself. I have started trying to change some of my behaviors around the house that my wife always complained of, helping more around the house, and taking action in other areas even before I found your last resort plan. I have also joined online social anxiety support groups, and went to a local anxiety group for the first time. I want to be free from my issues and be a happy person, not just for me but for her. We still have to live together due to financial situation not allowing her to move out right now. She has said repeatedly that she feels we are have never been right for each other and has already emotionally moved on. Part of me feels that she is trying extra hard to convince herself of this. She has been seeing a therapist of her own for several years. However I believe that my issues were not right for her and that I at one point was able to be that person and make her happy.

    Because we haven’t told any family or friends of the affair and intent to divorce, her and I are really the only people besides our therapists that we have to talk to as I try and learn to cope with the emotional burden of rejection, anger, and hurt from the affair and quality of the marriage the last couple years. She says she wants to be there for me to help me recover, but is adamant that she doesn’t want to try again, not wanting to get hurt again. She did put her heart and soul into trying to repair our marriage after my affair, but given my issues I let all that go to waste. I see that now and accept responsibility none the less. It doesn’t change the fact that I am still in love with my wife and always have been. I don’t want to lose her.

    Where do I even start? Discussing my issues, fears, hurt, and anxiety issues with her has allowed me to let her into the deepest parts of my emotions and my heart; something I have rarely been able to do. It scares me, but I don’t want to put those walls back up. I want her to see the real me that she fell in love with and was able to make her happy at one point. Do I stop talking to her about this? I feel I would risk the losing that emotional intimacy opportunity but also don’t want to push her way or make her feel that I am pushing my issues on her to fix. They are mine and mine alone, and want to fix them. I just feel that time is against me. I don’t want to lose her. I don’t want to give up, and still have hope even though she says its hopeless.

    1. Dear Kevin,
      you have plenty of time. That is only the anxious part of you and you cannot let that part put pressure on her or the relationship. It will only squeeze her out, sorry for the pun!

      I am super impressed with both your insight and action on the anxiety. Well done! You are a beacon. Sometimes life hands us a catastrophe and we get to grow, so again super work!

      You have to not let the part that wants to protect you put those walls up again.

      My advice is you have downloaded and shared with her, that is enough. Too much problem and issue talk especially guy to girl often sends a person to the friend camp. Emotional intimacy is something that happens over time. You now want to go to STep 2 and look after yourself in healthier ways, share your fears with your therapist and grow to your full potential, whether it be in this relationship or another version of it.
      Best Wishes,

      1. Philipa,

        Thank you for the response; it is very encouraging. While I do believe that my wife cares about me getting help with my anxiety and other issues that affected the marriage, and wants to see me be happy, how much do I share with her regarding my therapy work if or when she asks? She has said she wants to remain engaged and help me any way she can, but per your advice on LTR I should keep my answers short. Just how short? Enough to be vague and she gets curious and wants to know more? One thing that I have been looking into is learning how to play the drums to help occupy my free time; something I have always wanted to do. The only problem is its something that doesn’t necessarily get me out of the house. Should I be looking to get out of the house more as well?

        I truly appreciate your feedback.

        1. Dear Kevin,
          It is our pleasure and you are most welcome. I get you are in a challenging place.

          That is a good question what to share about your therapy. I would keep it to about 2 or 3 sentences. Using your own words. Here is an example “Your wife asks how’s therapy going?” You: Thanks for asking. It’s been a real eye-opener and made me appreciate the relationship dynamics.” After a you’ve been in therapy a while, you might say, while I wish it hadn’t gotten to this crisis, however I appreciate your courage and it’s helped me grow as a person.” Obviously your own truth and insight. But keep it small, waxing lyrical about how much you have changed in a month will not go down well, I suspect. A word of warning too here, make sure it is not to self- focused. Usually a parther is after an update and not a catalogue of revelations. So no me and me and did I tell you about me by the way? I am sure you get the gist of what I am saying.

          The reason I suggest the above Kevin, (not knowing what your wife’s concerns were in the relationship) you don’t want to get into a helper/helpee relationship. It’s not relationally inspiring and terribly unsexy. The key thing is (attitude wise) you don’t need her help as you are a mature man capable of learning, though you appreciate her concern. I wouldn’t say this to her it’s more of ‘I believe in me, so you can too.’ It’s respectful.

          Go to drumming workshops outside the house to find your rhythm. I did one a few years back and it was super cool! Perhaps a dance class, and you are correct – get out of the house and live! Look at the internet resources page here and find a laughter yoga group or something similar. Go for a walk in nature, head to the library.
          Take yourself off to a movie. Date yourself. Spend quality time getting to know your kids.
          Let us know how you are going.
          Best Wishes Philipa

  106. I stumbled across this website after searching for ways to stop my wife from getting a divorce.
    I have 2 children in this marriage and having gone through a divorce before and losing the child in that particular marriage I am not willing for the same to happen. After reading a book called ‘It takes ONE to Tango’ and a session with a Pychiatrist I realise that I have been wrong in my approach to things that bother me in my relationship and dealing with conflict related to my behaviour. I have further sessions scheduled weekly, which seems too far apart, but that is probably related to the anxiety the situation causes in me. Financial issues causes stress too and makes a persons state of mind not conducive to portraying happiness and adds to frustration especially with communication being hard as is.
    My wife has gone to see a lawyer whom is busy drawing up the divorce agreement and I am awaiting to be served with papers.
    Up until now I have been fighting for my life exhausting all means possible, including talking to her parents about the mess that is unfolding..
    This last resort method feels counter-intuitive and I cant say that I know for sure how to practically implement it.. Moving on and pretending to be happy and all of a sudden start going out and attempting to enjoy life and pulling away from my spouse in effect also means focusing less on my kids as they are always in the mix in the family I so dearly love and want to keep.. already my 7 year old raises worry if Daddy is not part of a family event where my wife doesn’t want me to be.. but I am willing to try. I’ll appreciate some further practical pointers and advice if you can give me any.


    1. Dear Mac,
      we are glad to have you on the LRT blog, thanks for writing in.

      I will look up the book and check it out, thanks for the reference, we love to hear what has helped. Good on you for seekinginsight and therapy.

      From reading your email it appears that what you ahve been doing in the past hasn’t worked, and this is exactly where the Last Resort Technique comes in. Indeed it has been called the 180. As it gives you an opprtunity to turn yourself around. And you will know from your book it only takes one party to change the steps for an improvement.

      Deal with your anxiety in therapy, there are also some suggestions on the blog here. I personally like the Michael Sealey Hypnosis Youtube videos both free and accessible. Simply listen at night.

      You are right pretending won’t cut it. You have to live and breath step 2. To use the cliche you have to fake it till you make it!

      Now you are not using it for the children. They need to hear that you love them no matter what happens, make this your anthem for them. It is totally ok to say you are not sure what is happening but Mum and Dad love you, wherever we are. I will write more on this.

      Regardless of what happens in your marriage chidlren are for life! You can provide emotional, and financial support whatever the distance.

      Reread the LRT Listen to the Youtube videos
      Or look for the Maarriage Works You tube channel. I hope to put more up with themes and advice.
      Good luck and best wishes,

  107. Thank you for this wonderful advice! I have two questions. My husband of 13 years (together for 21) just dropped the bomb on me 2 weeks ago after pulling away from me and becoming distant from his birthday in November through the holidays. It was a complete shock. We have always had problems, especially communicating, but never in a million years did I ever expect him to want a divorce. We just had the best summer together we’ve had in years and he was talking excitedly about our future this past October! As far as I know, there is no OW (although apparently a lot of his “friends” he started spending a lot of time with when he pulled away from me are divorcing) and I do suspect part of this is possibly a MLC (he just turned 41). I asked if he wanted to try counseling, moving — anything — and he said “it’s over,” “I’m done” and “it’s too late.” We’ll, I told him I respect his decision and did not beg or plead. And as far as he knows, I’m carrying on with my life and not moping at home. So I’ve basically already started this from the bomb drop. Because we don’t have enough money for him to get an apt, he is renting a room and we agreed to a sort of adapted “nesting” arrangement for our kids by default. His schedule is always changing, so some of his days off will be weeknights, some weekend. I’m going to go out and take care of ME for once on the weeknights (gym, shopping, doctor/therapy appointments, etc) and go out and stay with friends/family on the weekends he’s at the house. Here are my questions: 1) Will this nesting arrangement help or hurt my chances of implementing this? Also, we haven’t had a conversation about what happened or our relationship since bomb drop, but I assume it’ll come up Monday when we discuss what we’re going to say to the kids. So should I come right out and say things like, “You are right, this is for the best?” Am I supposed to really act like I agree with him and am already moving on?

    1. Dear Jen,
      thanks for your email. Sounds like you have started out well on your own, I know this is not an easy time and we can all empathise with you.

      To answer your questions.
      Firstly I was impressed with the ‘nesting’ idea. From reading your email you take turns and the kids stay in the one home, while the other person goes to the rental? Five stars for innovation and helping your children through what is an unsettling time, keeping as much routine without having to go from one place to another I believe achieves this.
      No, I don’t think the ‘nesting’ arrangement will be an issue for the LRT. It is about adapting the LRT to your situation and it sounds like you have. My hat is off and I am bowing to you and your husband, and childfocussed solution!

      Honour yourself and him when you discuss this prior to advising the children. Never say to the children this is for the best. Of all the people who’ve come through my office, only a handful said they were relieved when their parents divorced. Their situation was more like a concentration camp. All kids want their folks to stay together. They would probably like the fighting and unhappiness of the marital relationship to take a hike into never-never land.

      I don’t believe in telling an untruth. Although partners will love hearing “you are right.” I’ll bet you could sy things weren’t working out well, we did seem stuck thank you for having the courage to call it. ” See I imagine there’s a truth to a statement like that. Of course, use your own words and experience. No accusations. Find what you can have empathy for, this is powerful and can be a game changer in it’s own right.
      Good Luck and keep us updated on you progress.
      Best Wishes,

  108. Hi Philipa,

    The LRT strategy did not work in my case. After 4 weeks of silence my wife texted me that she still wants to be divorced.
    And actually when she see that I am happy and living a big life on my own it only makes her angry and frustrated. She is questioning why it happens now and not when we were together …
    Should I be rather just depressed and miserable ?
    I am choosing to be happy.

    There is absolutely nothing I could do in our case and the worst thing I could do is to force myself to be with someone who does not love me, does not appreciate me and does not want me.

    I run out of all option, nothing left but move on. I am going to recover from divorce, and then find a new true love and I am going to make my new partner incredibly happy.

    Thank you for all your advices and your website is great and very helpful. At least I should have no regrets because I did absolutely everything what was in my control to save our marriage.

    Some things in life are out of your control, and all you can do it accept the reality, adapt to it and move on…


    1. Dear Milos,
      truly I am heartened by your email.

      This is exactly the spirit of the LRT to grow into the best you and a)either return to your relationship or b) hold your head high knowing you have given it your best efforts and are now having a good life. Having no regrets paves the way for a new and exciting chapter of your life.

      Thanks for your kind words and we are so pleased to hear the advice and website have been helpful.

      I have to say acceptance is a wonderful and peace-giving thing.
      Well done Milos,
      and all the best for your future relationships, while continuing to grow you!
      Best Wishes Philipa

  109. My husband is going through a midlife crisis but refuses to believe it. He started playing in a band, partying like a rockstar, and had an emotional affair with my good friend in the band. He dropped the bomb on me that he no longer loves me about 4 months ago… and revised history to say I’ve been making him miserable for years, refuses to remember the abundant amazing memories we shared. He consulted and lawyer and wants to move out. We have three kids so I refused the move out option with the kids going back and forth to two different homes. I did everything wrong at first, begged, pleaded, bought gifts, wrote letters, apologies. Then I started doing the 180 and the last resort technique for about the last three weeks (with many slip ups)… but doing it for the most part. He now says, he will never love me again, no amount of time will change that, he doesn’t want to grow old with me… BUT he will stay in the house to co-parent the children as long as we are officially separated. He has been treating me with a little anger lately, I think to justify his plan to separate. So that was a week ago, he is still I the house, still wearing his wedding ring, treating me like a leper or a roommate, and I’m miserable. I’m still doing the last resort, but I keep slipping up… and I feel like I’m getting NOWHERE.

    1. Dear Katerina,
      I can hear your pain, hurt and isolation. So glad you have found us as support. Its not been an easy time for you.

      Forget diagnosing him, put your precious energy back on to you. Really work Step 2 of the LRT. This will help you both now and in the long run.

      Horrible as it is to say this but misery is no company. Find a way – journalling, online or in the suggested Resources section here to release the anxiety.

      We have to let go of the holding on and release our fears.

      Address where you are slipping up on the LRT and work out a better way for you to progress.

      My heart goes out to you in this uneasy time.
      Best Wishes,
      PS I say this most respectfully and tongue in cheek -perhaps you could go out and have your midlife crisis, ie awakening to rediscover who you are post kids. Get your good self back and have some fun doing it! xx

  110. My husband says he doesn’t want to stay married. We have 3 kids. I’ve been trying to do the last resort method, but I wonder if it’s different enough? With the kids it’s almost impossible not to communicate. I joined a new fitness class. I’m currently a stay at home mom so any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Sorry to hear your husband has told you this.

      Yes having children adds an element to the Last Resort. Obviously you need to communicate with your co-parent but keep it to the basics of practicalities in a friendly upbeat manner.

      Perhaps this can be an opportunity for your husband to get more time with the children, so you get to explore for yourself?

      In my experience folk often say that a benefit of the separation has been they have formed a closer bond with their children. I’m looking for the silver lining of course, no one in their right mind would instigate a separation.

      Gather your friends, meet in the park, beach or play area. Do things that inspire you. Perhaps you have a business idea you’ve always wanted to progress?

      Learn a new language – duo lingo have a terrific app.
      Do some journaling, gardening or cook a new dish whatever makes your heart sing.

      I like the library too. So glad you have joined a fitness class.

      The Internet is an amazing resource too.

      Sending you, and all the others reading this hugs and love,

  111. I’m definitely doing step 2 but I have so little spare time because I have three children in activities and I work 50+ hours per week. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to “get a life”. But I do go out for drinks with friends and spend as much time with my kids as I can. I am just running out of hope and patience that he will see the new me and fall back in love with me.

    1. Go Katrina!

      Step 2 is vital and the idea is to get your best self back. Let go of the outcome and fall in love with you, the wonderful and amazing person who has 3 kids and working so hard!

      If it is suitable I would let Dad spend more time with the children.

      I would like you to put the emphasis on you for a change. Start by asking yourself what do I need? What would I like to do? I suspect it may be to chill out on the couch, with your busy schedule. All I ask is you take care and have no judgment of yourself and your needs. Rather act on them graciously.

  112. Dad gets way too much time with the kids because he only works 30 hours per week and he seems to be buying them gifts and playing super dad lately because he wants 50/50 custody desperately if he moves out. I just wish I knew how to get him to notice all the positive changes I have made so he can soften his heart and give this marriage a chance by working on it. He refuses to work on it. We used to be so in love and such a great couple. But he has forgotten all that and totally rewritten history. It’s so sad. And it’s hard to do LRT when we live in the same house and co-parent 3 kids and he’s home most of the time due to his job flexibility. Is there anything I can do?

    1. Dear Katerina,
      thanks for your email.

      I am not sure how much time is too much time for a parent to spend with their children. It sounds to me like you both want to be there for your children, whichis wonderful.

      The biggest and best thing to do is realise these positive changes and good things you are doing are for you. When this hits home, others will see it notice it too.

      This is best achieved with sustained effort. Keep you your good works and let og of the focus on him and what he is or isn’t doing is my best suggestion.

      Think about what want to achieve. Is it a loving relationship? What is an example of a loving relationship? For what purpose? And then get specific. Really think about it and apply.
      Take care and we wish you the best!

  113. Hi my name is chantelle and i am currently seprate from my husband for a week
    He has had enough because i am parinoid and cant value him he beged and cried but i couldnt see by me keeping tabs on him that it was pushing him away.He has moved out of the family home and has rented his own place.We have spoke and he is said that there is no way back and hes had enough after 10 years i have beged and pleaded but nothing is working.I am at lost as what to do next so will give this a go any advice will be welcome

    1. Dear Chantelle,

      Reading your email I get a sense that the anxiety you experience has created a divide in your relationship.

      Chantelle I don’t want you to allow the insecurity and paranoia you feel to stop the relationship.

      So glad you have found the LRT to give you the steps for personal growth and change.

      Apply Step 1 and live Step 2 while being in Step 3 with patience.