The Last Resort Technique

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Last Resort Technique

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

This needs to start immediately if:

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

Broken Heart mend it with counselling

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

Hold onto the hope I give you here, please!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. STOP Chasing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Get a life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the person your partner fell in love with.

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

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

Starting Today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Love yourself well. Rediscover your passions.

 

 

 

 

You DESERVE it. I know you are worth it.

3. Wait and Watch

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

First, Nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try discussing your future and see what happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele gives some great advice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We are here for you buddy..

 

 

 

 

 

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

Thank you!

1,160 thoughts on “The Last Resort Technique”

  1. Dear Rowee:

    My wife is going to tell kids soon we are going to have a divorce, despite me pleading not to have one. She wants the kids to get used to the idea over the summer. We have been in therapy for years, due to my insecurities, self-esteem, negativity and she has given up. What can I do besides begging at this point, and how do I make it better for the children.

    1. Dear Jim this would ideally be a time when you tell the kids together. Otherwise your wife is doing all the work.
      You need to step up despite your fears. Talking with your children together and honsetly about what is going on is the best way to make it better for them.

    2. Wife and I have been married 6 years together for 8
      In past year she has asked we’re divorced two times.
      This last time I agreed I am tired of being on pins and needles.
      We have a three-year-old daughter who I do not want to leave I want to see every day I am very afraid I will mess up her childhood . I love my wife and I would love to stay. I have not had sex in over a year. I do not think she is seeing anyone else
      Her family is involvement in our relationship has always been an issue . I believe they do not think I am good enough for her. As they are financially well-off and I am not. However I feel I am quite successful .
      We both have strong personalities .
      As I said this time she asked it is not as hard the first time I begged and pleaded not to mess up our little family . This time I am willing to let it go does not hurt and feel as bad as in the past . I think she senses this and understands I will walk away this time .
      I have used all your suggestions however pretty much on my own kind of came natural. And I feel a sense that she understands this time I will leave. There is been certain indications just in the way she acts and maybe it’s truly know what she wants .
      I don’t know what to do going forward we are kind of in limbo living together raising our daughter and doing a great job of it .
      I asked her the other day to split up a joint savings account we have she would not do it and claimed that is our savings and we should not spend it freely. I only needed a few thousand dollars for my business to cover some unexpected expenses .
      My point is if she is finished with me why should she care half of the money is mine and she will have to give it to me if we divorce .
      Just came back from a family vacation everything seemed to go well and we all had a good time. Not sure where her head is but it is true my acting in different to the situation seems to have changed her attitude

      Any input would be appreciated

      1. Dear Ottavio,
        good work. You are into a precarious stage and I would be building upon those good family times. Perfect! Well done.

        I think unless you address the issues in your marriage you will be back to square one again soon.

        I am loving Imago Therapy and Chris my fiancee attended the couple workshop in April this year. It really helped us both feel more connected. That’s proof to me!

        So I would like to refer you to the international body of Imago Therapy. Go to the Couples workshop if you can and please engage a certified Imago Therapist. Deep, challenging work but marriage saving!

        So invite your partner in, do this tentatively and back off as needs be. You may say, I had a wonderful famly trip go into the fun times here to help you, I was wondering if you would be willing to think about therapy, I am not sure what the outcome would be and am open. What do you feel? And really listen.

        Let us know and best of luck.

  2. Dear Possible Help,
    My wife approached me three weeks about getting divorced and that she wanted me out that day. She said she felt like she couldn’t be herself anymore and that I was being childish often. So I packed up and went to my moms and have been here since then. I have tried to ask her out to lunch and tried to be her friend, but I feel as though I’m getting no where. I try not to message her or anything and it’s been 4 days since I spoke to her. I can’t lose her. I know what I have done wrong and am changing. I started going to church again and even joined a Men’s Life Group from church. Please help me!

    1. Dear Dylan,
      you need to identify the parts of you that lead to this. There sounds to me like some controlling and immaturity which suggests to me the insecure parts are holding you to ransom. Use this time to reflect on your wife’s reasons for ending the marriage and see if there is any ring of truth to them. Use this the to help you learn and grow. Glad you have your faith and a group to support you. Keep it up

      1. I’m growing, but I am lost at this point of what to truly do. I feel as there is no hope anymore. She doesn’t reach out and talk to me or anything.

        1. Hi Dylan, that’s where Step 2 – get a life comes in handy. Really find you again and focus on recovering your worth and self-esteem. Glad you are growing and at this point it sounds like all you can do. Take care.

  3. My huband and I are in a rough patch. A few weeks ago I saw he was 5alking to someone a bit inapropriately through text, and he said she made him happy and stirred up feelings he didnt know he could have.

    He said these feeling were more of the high school giddiness type, nothing more. He started questioning if love was a feeling or choice. I said I thought it was work and choice. Comfort and respect. Especially after being married almost 7 years, the butterflies may stop, but something better sets in.

    The next few weeks he started to have extreme anxiety and acting like a totally different person. From being anxious to bummed out, saying he hated how we started out and doesnt know if he ever loved me. We met online and have a 9 year age gap.

    We got married when he was 22 and me 31. We had/have much in common, a super loving, intimate, lots of kisses, everything you would imagine in a good relationship. We did have our arguements, mostly after alcohol was consumed and hateful things were spewed. But we talk about it and move forward. Putting the past where it belongs.

    Since our latest fight about this girl, things have been slowly deteriorating. He is getting more and more distant and closed off. I did the exact things stated not to do here. Trying to talk, leaving notes, sulking, all of the above. I’m trying to be positive and he said it’s only temporary and I’ll fall into old ways. I asked him to kiss me and ge did and said he felt nothing.

    Our anniversary is in a month, I suggested we go on a trip.(I know now) He said he is not ready to make plans. Is my relationship salvageable? I really need the help, I’m too depressed to function. (Btw, I moved 3000 miles to be with him. Any family is back home and my parents had since passed, which threw a wrench into my mental health for the last 5 years)

    Thanks for any help!

    1. Dear Marisa,
      firstly sorry for the loss of your parents. Get your mental health in order. I don’t think you guys have resolved the past, though this is somethign you cannot tackle yet as yoru relationship is under threat from the outside.

      The trouble with drawing attention to the girl is you make her more attractive as she won’t be accusing him of stuff and will be being kind and his soft place to land. Hard as it is your partner is looking for an exit – the other person. So don’t push him out the door into her arms.

      I don’t think the LRT in full is your answer. Yes stop the pursuit and get yourself together are key. I would advise you guys talk to an Imago therapist in your area. I would say to him something like “I am scared and I do accept things are not working out for us, would you be willing to see someone with me to see where to go from here?” Using your truth and your words of course. Invite him in. That’s my take. Good luck.

  4. Hi Philipa
    Great article and an interesting read;

    5 months ago my wife told me i dont love you anymore and i dont want to be with you as she handed me her rings..

    to cut to the chase i found out that she was emotionally connected to a co worker for a few weeks prior to this and as it had developed she decided to “leave me” before it got serious with her as she in her opinion this meant she was not cheating.

    firstly my wife has strong family morals, loves our kids hates drugs and hates getting drunk. (this will play in later) she is 25 today and i am 25, married 3 years together 7. she had a 1 year old when i met her at 17 and i adopted him at 5years and we added two more (4 and 1).

    her new lover got his girlfriend pregnant and as soon as she had the baby began a relationship behind her back with my wife.

    My wife has always been so incredibly loyal, faithful and loving! well i have since realized I was an amazing lover until we got married..then i felt i needed to be a parent and husband and began putting my time and love into our kids and providing.. well she felt unloved and i didnt realize!
    Time went on and she was often angry. without realizing i looked at our friends calm happy family demeanor and desired it in my wife.
    there was absolutely no relationship, no contact and no desire but it did cross my mind what if.
    We felt my wife was always angry and she saw a doctor for depression. Now i realize it was because she felt i was seeing this lady.. she lived with this in her mind for 3 years!
    She began doing things like losing weight, trying new sexual things, overall being amazing for me trying to win me!
    well i took her for granted and eventually her lover gave her attention and she fell for it.. i dont blame her but i love her so much!

    for the first 4 months i was a puppy following her everywhere around the house, messaging non stop etc etc and now i see i was pushing away. she was on and off with him but as of a few weeks ago she is saying to him she loves him but he never replies back with any emotion. so i feel he is a rebound as he is the exact opposite of me (as she has stated to a pot smoking friend you would love him he is always high! i smoked with him and passed out in his arms i dont know what happened next) she is also drinking with him and friends during most outings, he is also a cheater to his girlfriend who i believe has now left him.

    to cut to the chase i began desperately searching and i found your article far better then any full no contact article. as we live together, sleep in the same bed, have 3 boys we both love and parent amazingly! we dont fight, we get along and we talk easily! she just goes out each night to see him while i watch the kids.

    i have been using your method now for a few days (i know it hasnt been long!) and i am seeing that for the first time in 5 months she is actively texting or calling me, asking how i am or to chat about the kids etc, she asks where im going and who with (she is very curious), we do not have sex or any intimate touching.
    i stopped saying i love her as you mentioned but i do hug her when i get home or when i leave (she half heatedly hugs me back but never refuses). i am now much happier and not depressed i look to the positives but also feel good doing me! but i do love her incredibly!
    my question to you is:

    -Should i be hugging her still?
    -When we talk in person i am more outgoing then when we talk via text or call. should i reduce this to more uninterested conversations at home?
    -how should i respond when she says she is going out (right now i just say ok have a good night, be safe and hug her)?
    -A huge one is finances, when she left me we spit all bills, her money as hers, mine was mine and in our country all parents get a chunk for kids from the government that we use for groceries etc)… she has just been laid of from work due to end of season and she is stressing and getting angry about money, i dont feel i should support her financially but they are also my bills and will effect me and the kids too…
    -is there anything i can do to disrupt her lover and her? or is does he sound as if he is a rebound and time will play its course?

    any other advice is welcome:)

    1. Dear A,
      good work glad you found the LRT it makes so much sense, right. It’s hard core in that it focuses on you and what you can change.

      To answer yoru questions A – I think you know the answer about the hugs – she is doing it halfheartedly back and you are doing it for you. Let this hug thing slide. I reckon she may approach you if you give it some time.

      What do you say to your friend if they are going out? I’d say something like ” have fun and enjoy yourself. Forget the be safe way to parental. You must support the mother of your children. Help her out and pay the bills without asking. You take the high road here. Ask her what she needs in this time of need. This may be what could disrupt her and the lover. Your kindness in the tough times, boy that will pay off. And be the best man you can be. Good luck.

      1. Great thanks!
        She has continued to show curiosity and I find it so odd that even though she is chasing him and has said she doesnt love me nor are we together she still hides him from me (I’m staying at a friends or I’m going to a friends meanwhile she sees him) I feel she does this as she doesnt want to burn the bridge down in case she needs it to get back to me?
        I agree on the Bill’s until we divorce god forbid or she moves out etc.
        How would I kindly tell her I can’t give her money (when I know it’s to see him? Or should I support her financially regardless of the cause) for the sake of us still living together etc and not being fully over? Cheers

        1. P.s it’s our wedding anniversary July 11 I feel that if I say something she will not care and I definitely think if I do something it will be rejected.
          Do I simply say nothing or what would you recommend?

        2. Dear A, I’d bet it’s nice to have curiousity as opposed to animosity.
          Really who can know her reasons for not being up front. My usual suggestion is to give the person the benefit of the doubt – perhaps she may not want to her you, and so hides contact with him. It’s best you don’t make any deal of the other guy. Eye on the prize here. As the mother of your children I believe you should support her and this will continue regardless of the marital situation. Pay equity for gender has not been reached yet. consider it good will but really it’s a honour and responsibility for the partner that earns more. Often wedding vows talk about this. You just can’t control what she does with the money sorry.
          Yep go with Bill there. You are doing well and I am very proud of you A.

  5. Hello,

    My husband and I have been separated for 10 months now. We separated because before he left, he went out with a female coworker and boss until 6:30AM to a lounge. I respectfully addressed him about it. We went on vacation, this issue wasn’t addressed and the vacation was overwhelming because we were the hosts and his family were guests, along with friends. When we came back, (a month goes by the issue is not resolved) there was arguing, I went into his phone and saw he was flirting with this same coworker. I told him I went through his phone, he said it’s 3AM and you’re telling me this? I’m leaving. He left and never came back. For the past 4 weeks, I’ve reframed from any contact, only pertaining to the children which we speak about on Saturday for him to take them for the weekend. Monday-Friday, no messages, emails, or phone calls. I found myself being ignored. So I stopped. He hasn’t told me he wants divorce, nor told me he wants our marriage. He has just told me, this is not going to work with us and that he left because he couldn’t take the fighting and he didn’t want it to become normal in our marriage. Also, he felt like what he was doing was never enough in terms of trying to reframe from going out (not financially). I am afraid because he does these little things and I get my hopes up. One Sunday he brought me coffee in church. When we celebrated my daughters birthday, he came and said how skinny I looked (kind of flirting) and he referred to me as my love at one point during dinner. But then we go back to not speaking to each other. He’s not interested in counseling. He doesn’t wear his ring. I do not know what to do from here. I would love to speak to him and him see I’m not trying to fight. I miss him. I’ve been living life, but I’m dying sexually. I do not want to sound as if I desperate to make love, but I really miss it. I miss his touch.

  6. Hello there,

    I tried finding a similar situation in all these comments but couldn’t. So now here I am.

    My husband and I met in his country and married and lived there together for a year and a half. I would occassionally come to the US to work or to be with ill family, and eventually to file for a spousal visa.

    My husband grew up in a war torn country, cared for by his grandmother, and considered a bastard because no one knows who his father is (I think my MIL was raped). So he has serious issues from all of that past trauma. He wasn’t given any help in life from his mothet or her new husband, yet they put all their kids in school and gave them land.

    My husband is truly self-made, having gone to the capital city at 17 (never been in a vehicle before he got in that bus to leave) and loved on the streets, working as a security guard for many years while putting himself through university.

    Now enters me…we met when living/working in the same building. Our relationship started out as friends working on a project he started in his village. We ended up spending so much time together that we decided we should rent an apartment together. (This was before any romantic encounters). So I would say we had a very strong foundation. I feel deathly ill with malaria, and he took amazing care of me. It was during this time that he confessed his affections, and I admitted I felt the same. So we became a couple. We continued our project (free/low cost pop up health camps) and even rallied enough funds to buy an ambulance. We were so madly in love and happy to build life together.

    My grandmothet became very ill, so I travelled to my country to be with her for 3 months. During this time, he moved back to his village, near family members who treated him very cruelly as a child. Our crops ended up getting first flooded, and then struck by severe drought, so by the time of harvest, he had nothing to show for his efforts. This was a very difficult time for him. It is when our arguments really began (as in not being able to resolve them).

    When I got back, things were different. He was always moody, had lost his interest in church and praying, and seemed annoyed by my presence. In his culture, a wife should stay home and not go everywhere with her husband. But we were inseparable before. I couldn’t understand why all of a sudden he felt so strongly about people making fun of us.

    We ended up moving to a big city. I had friends there who I worked on other prjects with, and thought he would be happy to meet them and collaborate on projects together. However, this is when I discovered his jealousy. So I pretty much cut myself off from all my old friends. It was just the two of us, trying to make it in the slums, looking for jobs with no luck. We decided since I could easily get a job in my country that I should head back and work as he continued to look for a job. So I did that, for 7 months. During this time, we filed for the spousal visa. I came back as soon as the first stage was completed. Things were even more difficult this time. He was more moody than before. He was constantly leaving the house for hours at a time with no contact when he was supposed to only be gone for 20 mins tops to buy groceries. When he would get back, he would be glued to his phone on social media. He had become emotionally attached to all these other women who I found out he would complain about me to, that I was just annoying him, that he was too stressed, that our culture didn’t fit well, that he was bored and needed new friends, etc.

    It truly devastated me. I panicked and couldn’t comprehend how he thought any of this was okay. From there, our fights got much worse. He stopped really even trying to be friendly. He spent a lot more time away from me than with me.

    In July of last year, on the way to a medical camp he was supposed to meet me at, I was in a bad accident in which my leg and foot were crushed. I wont go into all the details of how I wished he had acted vs how he did respond, but I will tell you that my expectatiins were left far from fulfilled. I spent 3 whole months totally bed ridden, with his dear sister taking care of me (she moved in with us). I almost went mad in that tiny room. I read all the books I had. I sat at my window, I played guitar, I tried my best to pass the time. But being so alone and not knowing if I would ever walk again, plus awaiting our fate with the visa, was too much. I eventually broke down one morning before he left the house for the day (he wadnt working, btw, just hanging out with his friends each and every day at the trading center). I told him how crushed and abandoned I felt. I let him know how much I missed our friendship. He literally just sat there like a stone,a nd when I ran out of words and energy, he just said, “ok, see you later” and went on with his day.

    A few weeks later, our second stage was approved, and we were assigned an interview date at the consulate in a neighboring country. I begged him to let me come (it was our 1 year marriage anniversary, and my birthday). I actually travelled pretty well, considering my crutches and cast.

    The big day came and we were approved the visa! Just a week later, we were boarding the plaen to my country.

    Fast forward to January of this year. We got jobs amd an apartment here, and even got pregnant! We were having fights, him always saying our cultures were too different, but I thought things were manageable. Well, he asked to go see his mom for 2 weeks. We bought the ticket, and off he was. One day, he skyped me to say he wasnt coming back. I was so caught off guard. I did not respond calmly. I actually totally lost my head. I couldn’t believe he was doing this.

    Well, some might say, simple, let him be. But we have a child on the way. And I know that he does love me. So, after weeks of negotiations, he came back (with 2 false starts in between). When he got back, things were actually really sweet for about the first 2 weeks. Then he started going back to all of his complaints of being too different, being different races, feeling threatened by being here on a visa, feeling as if he were losing himself. So we went to counselling. But he didnt like that because 1)the counselor is a woman and 2) he feels every American judges him and cant possibly understand him. So he quit coming.

    Last week, he got a DREAM job at an amazing international company with insane salary and benefits, yet he isn’t happy about it at all.

    He brought up the idea of a separation until September, when our daughter is born. I agreed to it, if that is what he felt would help him get some peace and clarity. We had the best week ever. It felt like old times. We were in love again! Flirting, cuddling, talking about our future. It was so amazing

    Well, 3 nights ago, he flipped personalities again. Now we are back to something he keeps mentioning when he starts a list of reasons why we cant be together….that he wants to divorce, but still live together.

    He has been claiming for the past 3 months or so that it is just the “title” of marriage which messes him up in the head. So he wants us to divorce, but still live together and raise our daughter. And then also leave back to his country for months starting in January, when I wont be able to work because of newborn, and he expects to find me here when he gets back, ( I would of course be here, and have no desire or intentions of ending our family or finding someone new) but remember, we wont be married. So what, I’m sorry but please excuse my language, the HELL does this mean????

    I’m so confused. I just walked out of the house to go to subway, amd he said he doesnt understand why I take his words literally and cry.

    Well, I’m 7.5 months pregnant, and he speaks such painful words to me with a sarcastic grin on his face. He doesn’t want to talk when we get home from work. He tells me almost daily how much he feels marriage has ruined his life. So yeah, it is really hard for me to not get upset and not take us I words literally.

    I know this was very long, but I feel all of that hsitory is important. I am missing something here, and would greatly appreciate your insight.

    I dont understand…how can we simply dropping the title of married solve our problems (according to him)? I feel like the only major differnece between marriage and relationships is a promise to commitment. So he wants to be 20% committed, but 80% not? He says this isnt about another woman, but the way he guards his phone and how obsessed he is with being on it alllllllllllllll the time, really makes me wonder.

    I have been instinctively doing the LRT before even reading this. Now I just see a few things I need to tweak. But what is your opinion? Is it making any sense, dropping the title of married but still living together?

    I thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Dear Mia, so much has happened in both your lives. Firstly I want to congratulate you on your upcoming baby. This baby needs you guys to work something out. Of course when we are pregnant it is naturally a super emotional thing with our bodies hormones. So be gentle with yourself.

      I do think you need to find a counsellor. Perhaps there is one in your church or faith? Your husband has had a life time of rejection and most likely would have Post traumatic STress Disorder. Here youare offering love and this may scare him on a level as he may possibly believe he is not worthy. This will not be a conscious thing and I say this to inform your compassionate part. The part of him trying to distance is only trying to protect him. All parts of us are there to help but sometimes the way they do this can be confusing. You need to find someone who specialises in EMDR/ Trauma therapy I’d guess. It’s no wonder having a baby is bring the past trauma up. This doesn’t mean his behaviour is acceptable and you need to at least get yourself some therapy. I hope he is attending your ante natal classes and medical appointments. This would be a requirement for me. Do the LRT in terms of not doing it all yourself. You take care and get some support there on the ground where you are dear one.

      1. Thank you so much for taking time to answer me, and everyone else on here. You have a big heart for the work you do.

        So we did go to a counselor from our Church. It only seemed to make things worse for us. He felt that everything she said was an attack on him.

        As far as med appointments for the baby, he says it is a cultural taboo, so he mostly avoids them. However, we are doing a home birth, amd our midwife comes to our house, so sometimes he will stay in the room. She is an immigrant as well, and I chose her because I thought it might help him a bit. It has. They have connected well. But it is rarely to talk about the baby, and more to tall about life here in the USA. However, he seems to listen to her advice about sticking it out. When I tell him to give things time, he blows up. But when she says the same, he is hearing it from someone like himself.

        He never wants to discuss the baby. It makes him very angry and he says things like he got on alright without a father, so she will be fine too. He flips back and forth between saying he will visit his country for 2 months, and then saying he is going and will never return. This terrifies me.

        I love him so much, and I know he at least used to love me very much, but I’m not sure he does now. The things he says to me are so beyond cruel. It is a relentless tirade of insults.

        I miss my husband and best friend. We used to dream about having children, and now he sees it as the worst possible scenario.

        Yes, I do beleive he is trying to protect himself.

        Since I dont think he will try counselling again, what can I personally do to reassure him that I am here and not a threat?

        1. Dear Mia,
          thanks for your kind words. It does take me time and energy to reply to everyone.

          Listen I think it’s good that you went to counselling. However I would see about finding another counsellor as this person did not seem like a good fit. Perhaps a male? Just a thought.

          I’d guess the baby is not a known thing for him, it’s very different and wonderfully so for you. Having another life growing inside ready to enter the world. A true miracle. Please don’t take his inability to discuss the baby personally. When folk have past trauma, it can bring those afraid, fearful and anxious parts online.
          Please enjoy your upcoming baby and pregnancy. Good choice on the midwife.
          My thinking is you may have to really hear his fears without being patronising.

          Stop trying to change him, as he may feel more pressured and not many of us respond well to emotional pressure. Instead focus on what he is doing right by you. We all work better with encouragement. Be gentle to yourself and each other.

          I would even get your own therapist – make sure they are systemically trained and have couple therapy experience. Hope this helps in some way. Use your Church and support find yourself a mother’s group. Good luck!

  7. I forgot to mention that we were together 1 full year before marriage. We will be married for 2 years this August.

  8. My husband and I have been married for 4 years, together for 7. I am 32, he is 37. I had a 2.5 year affair with my boss (who was also one of my best friends.) Things about my boss slowly started leaking out (I am hardly the only skeleton in his closet) and I knew eventually, our affair would come out. I had already resigned from my job, and on June 19th I woke up and started planning to tell my husband. I read articles on how to do it, and started going through our house and getting rid of any and all things that were related to my affair partner.

    But before I could tell him, he got a text from a random number, just wanting to “make sure” he knew about my affair. (It had come out with his entire family). I fully admitted to everything.

    The thing is, is at first he was obviously enraged and hurt and lost, but he said he wanted to try. But last night, he called and said he was done, and he would still go to counseling, but more because he wanted to learn how to “co-parent” and work through life with a child together. (I am 13 weeks pregnant through IVF…so yeah, theres that too.)

    He’s not being a total jerk..he said he would let me live in the guest bedroom, give me alimony, child support, and anything needed for the baby….but he said Monday he’s calling a divorce lawyer. (we have a counseling session on Wednesday.)

    I know I exhibited behaviors last night that this says not to….begging, pleading, etc. And I will stop. But my question is…is it too late even for this?

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Wow that’s a long term relationship you had with your boss. It will take at least that to repair a breach like this. You really need to have a lot of patience. So pleased you have counselling session, I think it’s super important. Congratulations on your pregnancy. With IVF you guys have worked very hard to get your baby. Hold onto that for now. I do have hope but you guys will need to remain in therapy for a good while. You will have co-parent regardless, use that as a starting point. Have you shown remorse and have you worked out what lead you to be outside the relationship and sharing your kindest self with this other person? I really think those are key issues for you. How good about yourself do you feel? I am thinking about your self esteem, so take care and get support. Good luck.

      1. I have shown remorse. I have done all that I feel like I can right now. And he has said the same thing. He said he believes I am earnest in my willingness to work things out and do anything to save this.

        He says he does not see a way for us to come back from this.

        I am not feeling great about myself. I have always thought of myself as a strong woman but right now I am feeling very beaten down and honestly not feeling great about myself as a mother and our child hasn’t even been born yet.

        I have been working with a counselor on my own about why I strayed and feel confident that we will be able to come to an answer.

  9. Hello Philipa,
    A friend gave me the suggestion to look up my trouble on the ‘net so I did and found your column and although not all things apply to my situation, i.e. not married but have been in a relationship for close to eight years and no children together…I am hoping desperately that you can help.
    My Partner just recently turned 51…I am 60 and disabled while he works. In November of 2017 I sensed something…wrong and asked him if everything was alright several times through the following month…always to the response of ‘Everything is fine’ and ‘Nothing is wrong’…..Until my birthday at the end of December when I sensed he had something on his mind again and I asked him to talk to me…That was when he told me he had ‘Met someone else’ well actually it was someone we both knew that he worked with…long story short. She is younger than his daughter with a Significant Other and baby who came clean to her partner and insisted that my Partner tell me…They both say nothing happened (other than he tried to kiss her and she rebuffed him after all the flirting etc.) and I believe it but after three failed marriages ending by their cheating and me catching them it was extremely hard to trust him (my partner) and for the past seven months my trust issues have gotten the better of me. On his 51st birthday he had to work and when he works he usually calls me on his breaks and at his lunch..on his birthday when he called it was unusually quiet and I mentioned it…he got defensive and accused me of accusing him of lying about where he was. That was the latter part of May. When he got home that night he told me that was the ‘Line in the sand’ or rather I think it was that night…honestly this has all been a panicked blur for me…it may have been later that week. There is more but it is too convoluted, messy and painful to air here. He has since told me that he loves me but doesn’t want to be in a relationship…any relationship, then in the next he says he wants something ‘different’ but there is no one else… It is close to his lunchtime now and he hasn’t called yet…not even a text at his break and an online friend messaged me asking what was wrong…when I asked what she meant she said his status is now single (mine still says In a relationship with him) Have I blown it? I admit I am a worrier and I have a hard time keeping my emotions under wraps so I end up crying and the arguments start. We are both exhausted emotionally and I asked (and since deleted the texts) about his status change and also told him that I love him (also deleted per your suggestion)I can go into greater detail if you wish. I have nowhere to turn, my family and I are estranged (we’ve never been close) and I know nobody here as I am unfortunately housebound…all my friends are online and live in other states or overseas. We still live in the same house…share the same bed but there is no contact where there used to be hand holding and or ‘spooning’ before which makes me inevitably cry myself to sleep which makes him angry. It’s a vicious cycle. Should I sleep on the couch? Although when I have tried that before IT makes him angry. I love him with all I am and I want to make this work but the more I try the worse it gets. Please…can you help us?

    1. Dear Winter,
      I don’t think I can help the “us”, but I do think you can help you here. You must be like a caged lion living in captivity there. I am not at all surprised to hear you get emotional, upset and then the arguments start. You need some more stiumlation, not just from him. I would hazard a guess to say you are lonely. You must really apply Step 2 for the LRT for your own sake. Stopping the chase is also recommended.
      Find another outlet in your area, develop a support network find connection in your life as I believe this may have put a lot of pressure on the two of you. Best of luck.

      1. Thank you Philipa for your response I truly appreciate it…unfortunately we live in a small town with no resources. All of my friends are online (as a matter of fact, that is where he and I met because I have moderate agoraphobia. I have thought of going back to school online which I am glad to do. I do feel like a caged lion at times…Today after reading your article I have resolved to pull back, I would like your advice though…should I quit sleeping in the same room with him? It seems to make him angry and I don’t want to ‘push him’ too far away? I have hobbies here at home that I have lost interest in, I make jewelry, draw and paint which I will also start to try to do again. When he gets home we usually watch some television together as well and lately I have been too preoccupied to really enjoy it. As an over thinker I tend to DWELL on the problems. Trying to find constructive coping mechanisms with limited opportunity is going to be challenging though as a lot of the things in Step 2 are not options or opportunity here. I will keep this article and if I forget or feel like I am backsliding into the bad habits I hope you do not mind my corresponding with you again. Thank you.

        1. Dear Philipa,
          Sorry to bother you again but there is something I am not clear on. Your advise is to stop saying I love you…I understand that however…if they say it to you first…what do you do? Last night when he came home he came over to me and put his arms around me and kissed my forehead the said You know I love you. I didn’t respond. Was that the right way? Or should I have said it back?

          1. Dear Winter,
            Well of course you will respond to their I love you. I get you weren’t sure.

            So what he is asking you – if you know he loves you? Would that be a “yes” or “I know”. Or is if for you “I am not sure as it is confusing for me right now”.

            He’s not asking you if you love him – can you see that? Be honest, really listen to what the person is asking and respond gently and kindly but with reality. Thanks for your question it will be helpful to others.

          2. Dear Winter,
            He said ” you know I love you?” That is a question you respond to. I don’t know what your answer would be. Do you know? My guess is yes or it perhaps you are uncertain with how things are between you. Best to be honest to keep it real with brevity and kindness.
            We really need to hear what our partner is asking or saying. The less we let go of our own thoughts and ideas about responding the more we cna be present with our partner.
            My best answer on how one could respond is ” You want me to know you love me?” See how you stay with them?

            I am glad you asked this question others will find it helpful too. Wishing you all the best.

  10. Hi Philipa. My wife and I were together about 30 years. We were best friends to each other and it seemed a strong marriage although things were stressful outside. A lot of the time it seemed like us against the world. About 8 months ago we argued. Things were said and she left taking our teen children. Afterwards we hardly spoke and my emails and texts were in the main ignored. The message that came across loudly was I am 100% to blame for everything bad and anything good I contributed to the family didn’t happen or isn’t worth counting. 3 months ago I said sooner or later we had to start talking or get divorced and she replied she had already started divorce proceedings. At first I said it was huge mistake but after being told rather coldly it was too late I said she was probably right and it might be a relief to us both to get out because things had been difficult. Since then I have heard nothing at all about divorce proceedings. I have no idea if she was lying or put things on hold. I am doing LRT and haven’t been in touch since. I have sent emails and presents to the children like I did before but there’s never a reply. She says she hasn’t influenced the children against me and before it happened it wouldn’t have been in character but she seems much harder now and it’s difficult to believe they can’t be influencing each other even if they don’t mean to. I spend a lot of time trying to work out what’s going on but apart from guessing I am baffled. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

    1. Hi Tenor Sax,
      this is the part where you play in the band, I guess. To be honest with you I wonder if there is some denial on your part around the issues in your marriage? I say this because you really need to know your instrument inside and out to really get the best sound. I always say forget blame and fault. Take up responsibility as this gives you the real power.
      My suggestion is to stop guessing. We can really never know another person’s thinking. And give your wife the benefit of the doubt. I don’t like even thinking about your partner lying. Stop all that.
      There sounds to me like there has been a breach in your relationship with your last argument. This may have been the proverbial straw for the camel’s back to go out.
      Things are cooling down and time helps. Great you are financially supporting your wife and the children.
      Use the LRT 100% to get the most out of it. Good luck!

  11. My wife filed a Jan 31 2017 and divorce lawyers etc have worked on this and the final papers await my signature. I am suspecting that I will have to sign them. I have done all the wrong things begged, pleaded, tried to explain what I have learned and how much I still love her and will implement what I have learned from self examination. She has no desire to talk to me. We have 3 children twin girls 18 and a 15 year old son. Son is spending time at each place. Wife was with me at the house from when she told me two weeks before our 20th anniversary (8/16/2016) that she was “Done:” and wanted a divorce. then she stayed with me same room same bed with instructions not to touch or hug or kiss or anything. Jan 31 she filed with a lawyer and stayed until Aug3 2017 when she moved to an apartment. I have tried to accept and I know I should just have let things set and not try to keep reconciling. But I could not seem to stop… still it is hard. My question is there still any hope that she will come back to me? I have held out hope but seems so bleak. I am convinced I know what happened and what my parts were in it and I accept them all. I am told I take too much of the blame but I just want a chance to prove that I can do what I promised.

    1. Dear Phil,
      so sorry to hear your pain and anguish with your situation being so bleak. Of course it is not easy for you. I do agree with the person re the blame, forget that. It may have been to little to late after 20 years.
      There are always two sides to the story.
      Your chance to prove to do what yo promised might be acting gracefully and signing the divorce papers. This would be very courageous on your part and I would suggest honoring your wife’s wishes.
      Forget trying to tell or convince her of your changes – as honestly that will further reinforce how much you haven’t changed as ironic as it sounds.
      That’s the beauty of Step 2 in the LRT as it gives you back you, Phil. I want you to work on you now, this is your reconciling. All the best.

  12. My Husband has been in touch with an old childhood friend from when he was a teenager. We had a fight and I was out of town on travel and he didnt bother contacting me once. When I got back he was still very cold… When I was paying our cellphone bill that night I noticed he had been speaking to her every day throughout the day and texting each other as well… His calls went for 1, 2 and 3 hours at a time with her….

    I confronted him and was so upset…. He said shes just a “Dear Friend who cares about him and they were catching up” I told him a married man doesnt have this type of relationship especially when I seen one of her messages via text that said ” Are you saying that there are feelings there?”

    He , of course had a strategic answer to this but after fighting and some conversation , he agreed to not call her. The next 4 days we went on date nights and were rekindling things to reignite us.

    I then noticed he called her again, after promising not to. I again confronted him….. He said it was just to say whats up…. I told him he promised he wouldnt call her……….He then , on his own deleted her number and said….. I deleted her, but dont get mad if she wishes me a Merry Christmas…..

    My husband knows every Male friend I have and in fact speaks to them and they are friends with him and me….. He never spoke to her in front of me and she refused my friend requests when I requested her on social media.

    Fast forward a few days after deleting her from his phone….. My daughter, a pre teen who was very upset with this woman and her dads “relationship” deleted the woman from his Instagram.

    My husband must have been looking for her and discovered the deletion but says upon finding her deletion he seen someone deleted his daughter from a previous relationship who he had been estranged from and reconnected with a couple years back.

    He is adamant it was me, Though it wasnt…… He was infuriated saying I caused years of a relationship to be lost…. But I didnt do it….. I asked him why he would think I did it and he said because I fought him when I seen he got in contact with her a few years back…. His recollection is a bit skewed…. I did argue with him because I felt it should have been something we at least talked about as a family….. he always does things on his own even if it is something that will impact the family…

    Anyway, he immediately stopped texting me, answering my calls or calling me at all ( He use to call me several times throughout the day) he doesnt want to kiss me, he doesnt say I love you, we have sex and he doesnt look at me…..

    We started group counseling on Tuesdays last week ( he wanted to ride separate and called that woman again) and he acted so disinterested and so unwilling to be at counseling, though he suggested it.

    We then went out to dinner that night and seemed to have a good time…. But I feel its a mind game cuz we also just started couples private counseling on Thursdays and he again wanted to ride separate but hesitantly agreed to ride with me…

    Counseling couldnt have gone any worse… a 3 hour session ended as it started…….. He wants me to admit to something I didnt do, he has convinced himself I have done it and says everything I said to the counselor was a lie…… I was so thrown off because I was completely heartfelt and completely truthful…. I did however abstain from responding to his insults,accusations and belittling as the Counselor said let him speak and listen to his feelings….. Doing that seemed to make him mad because me not answering he was saying I was not being truthful….

    Im in a crazy situation because I feel like im in prison for a crime I didnt commit…. Im not sure if he accidentally deleted her or my son who was not really in a good place with this sister did it (he always had my husbands phone) My 12 year old didnt do it, she only did the woman he has been talking to….

    My husband and I slept together the night of the counseling session and 2 more times since…. we are cordial and talk fine and have little niceties….. but he is definitely colder, pulled away and wont look at me, wont kiss me, wont say I love you and now closes his eyes during sex.

    He called that woman again the other day while we were home waiting for him to come home from work…… I asked him to please give us a fighting chance and not make it complicated with speaking to her while we are trying this and to please give it his all.

    we argued……… he then agreed… but He has already agreed 3x to not do it and has….

    The daughter friend requested my 12 year old and so I sent her a nice little message asking if she would like me to take them to lunch or dinner to meet…. ( Thinking I was doing a good thing for him) I told him about it today and he seemed mad with me.

    I just cant do anything right for him and he seemingly wants it so badly to be me so that he wont feel guilty about what he has been doing getting into an emotional affair with this other woman…… I think if he can make something out of this accusation of me then he wont look like he did anything to destroy our marriage or family……Truth is, this inappropriate relationship with this woman started weeks before he supposedly found this instagram block of his daughter.

    I get where he feels devastated and hurt…. I want to be there for him because I cant imagine his pain….. With everything in my soul I will even write a letter from my death bed, I did not delete or block his daughter……. But I feel deep down even if I showed him a video of someone else doing it……. he wants it to be me so he can pursue this intrigue he has with this other woman.

    I have been doing things you say to not do….. I will Stop…… But this is such a numbing and unbelievably devastating time for me….. I feel like im in a bad nightmare……. He is not the lover and friend that I have spent over 20 plus years with……

    Desperately looking for advice

    1. Dear Ellen,
      Hi reading your comment, it would appear that things have not been easy in your marriage. Here is what I see lot’s of anger and accusations being thrown at each other to no good effect. Demands made, blame apportioned and all you get is hurt. From this approach you are taking it is clear it is not working for you guys.
      I guess you have some sensitivity and may even have felt partly threatened (emotionally) with your partner’s daughter. We can’t allow our insecure parts to act out. We need to do that work on helping ourselves.

      Things need to settle there is way too much reactivity on both sides. I would like to stop over-analysing, stop doing and give yourself a break. The Who did what blame game really misses the point, further leading a person to feel unheard and disconnected. REgardless of how it happened the real issue is it did and it has caused further estrangement and pain. This is what needs attention.
      Ellen, I always say forget about the other man or woman. The more you ask, and make demands the more attractive they become. Really think about this – every time he contacts her is she going to be playing detective, making him choose between you, forcing him away? I sincerely doubt it. She will most likely listen to his complaints about the relationship and your actions. This is why I say STOP!! And START listening to him. That means no reasoning, no blame and zero defensiveness. Instead you validate and empathise, which isn’t the same as agreeing. But sends the message to your partner I get you, and shows your heartfelt courage.

      You said “I get where he feels devastated and hurt…. I want to be there for him because I cant imagine his pain….. ” See what you wrote there. Interesting. This is your stretch to really get his pain, hurt and devastation and it may have something to do with the dynamics in your relationship.

      Ellen yes please stop and start doing Step 1 and 2 for you. You need to require more of yourself – I know you can do this, I have every confidence in you. Keep up the counselling that’s a brilliant step but you lose ground when you make him ride with you, don’t take that personally if he want’s to go separately. Respect his boundaries. Besides it may be better in the long run for your relationship. I myself have been with Chris to couple therapy and I can honestly say I get anxious, and it’s not because our relationship is on the line. I just do. And when we get anxious we can be more likely to say stuff that’s not helpful. I’d stop asking him to ride together, my vote is for separate. And you may have to deal with what that brings up for you sweetheart.
      So this is my advice, your job is to follow it fully for your own self-respect.
      Take care xx

    2. I get it is a devastating time, but you need to do this for you and the relationship. It will give you the best chance! Really apply the LRT fully otherwise it won’t work. Good luck

  13. I received a text message from an unknown woman about my husband cheating on me with her and when my husband got home I asked who is this woman that texted me and said that you tried to have sex with her and he said to me that she tried to have sex with him and the situation turned into she said he said and I went to my clinic appointment appointment as a routeen check up to come to find out I had contracted herpes I always had a clean bill of health of never had no kind of std I am hurt and confused.?

    1. Dear FG,
      Gee that’s not ideal.

      What did the clinic tell you about herpes?
      As I understand it you went for a routine check up so you did not have an outbreak or symptoms?
      Many of us contracted oral herpes as children by being kissed my a relative who had a cold sore. When I am stressed or have had too much sun I can get an outbreak on one side of my lip – annoying and painful. Oral herpes – Herpes 1 can be transferred to the genitals. Herpes 2 can be transmitted via skin shedding. The good thing is it is very treatable with medication, diet and calm.

  14. Hi Philipa
    Just wanted to update that you that I am working hard on myself and getting a life- some days are better than others but overall I do feel better about myself. I have now decided to start my own business and I am working on that so it keeps me busy.

    I wanted to ask a question about sleeping vs not sleeping together in the same bed. We are married for a bit more than a year and for the most part of the year we haven’t had any intimacy at all… and it seems to be getting worse, he is now not kissing me a good night or even walking out the door without acknowledging me. I am working with myself to deal with that and I sometimes really feel like taking the pillow and sleeping on the sofa instead, at least then I won’t feel rejected and ignored. Does me wanting to sleep seperately because of this rejection I am feeling go hand in hand with Last Resort Technique or should I just suck it up and remain sleeping next to him? Thank you for all the brilliant work you are doing x

  15. Please help.
    I’ve been in a relationship for 9 years, 2 kids (6) and (3). We’ve had 8 1//2 great years I love her so much, but for about 6 months I’ve noticed a change in her. She got off birth control, and Everything we’ve done for the last 9 years is no longer what’s she wants. She made a appointment to get her tubes tided in which was a surprise to me. I’m 38 she is 30, she has changed her behavior and about 3 months told me she loves me but not in love with me anymore. When we met I told her I don’t think I ever want to get married and I thought we had a understanding that was something we didn’t need to be together forever. She now tells me since I didn’t marry her that she wants to be married and it’s something she needs in her life and I waited to long. I understand and didn’t realize it meant so much as we both agreed it was just a paper so I told her if we get through this, marriage is on the table. She also uses arguments from 7 years ago against me and tells me I pushed her away. I’ve always controlled the financial side of things in this family as that’s what she always wanted but now resently she wants it all to change. I’m ok with that I was just taking care of what she wanted me to take care of. This destroys me beyond anything as I’ve kept me promise to her to never leave her and always keep this family together. I did all the changes she said I wasn’t giving enough of her, attention, understanding, touching, date nights, more one on one time. I work so hard making sure my family is happy, coming from her I didn’t give her? Her time. So I changed me, (not that I wasn’t giving those to her before hand I just increased it) we seemed to get past the rocky part and working towards a better future, she had date nights, we had one on one time, I gave her more attention. she seems happy again, told me she loved me once again, sex was good. I’ll do whatever it takes to make this relationship happen. Then all the sudden I felt distants again. I asked her is everything ok and it wasn’t, she said she needed a break (separation) to figure things out and all the changes are just not me she says and feel pressured. I’m the bread winner in the House so she doesn’t have anywhere to go, so we are still living together. With no talking and just splitting up the kids day to day. She sleeps on the couch, in which I feel horrible about but one side of me says this is what she she wanted the other side of me says I love this women. Her mother has been diagnosed with depression in which Prozac has cured and I wounder if she has something similar since I notice this all going on after the break in birth control, or maybe it’s just me making excuses to cope. She has started selling natural products and everything she does is natural this natural that. She started working out like crazy all things I’m ok with and support but it’s the random change I noticed. hanging with co workers whom also have resently divorce or going through problems and it worries me how much are they influenced her this far. She has always been high and low emotionaly and she realizes it as it’s been something we always laughed at until now. I just want my partner back that I had a year ago.

    1. Dear Mr Sadly,
      You won’t get the partner from a year ago. Although I only have your words here, it seems to me the relationship you describe has mainly been on your terms. You didn’t want to get married so you didn’t. I am sorry your partner was not able to be honest and talk about her need for marriage and what it meant.
      Yes it is just you making excuses to cope, Prozac has never cured a relationship issue. Depression and anxiety are more about lost connections – please read Johann Hari’s book here it describes how the pill dose increased but his depression never left.
      I am guessing there is a power differential in your partnership that has shaped where you are at and really needs to be addressed honestly and with integrity. I am sure you are up for this. You guys needs intervention to help you work out whats going on. Best Wishes.

  16. My husband and I have been together for 12 years, married for 10. Our relationship has always been awesome and all of our friends have always said that they wish that they had a stability we had and they wanted to model their own relationship, based on ours. A year and a half ago, he started a new job that he quickly became successful in. I’ve always been the breadwinner. He’s always been a little torn about it, saying that he didn’t care if I made more money but he also felt like he should be the one to support the family. So with this new job, he became very confident in his skill while slowly working his way up to what I make. He started working out and became very fit and for once, comfortable with himself. And then he started talking about this girl at on of the places he works. I knew he had a crush on her. She was cute, tiny, and a science type and it made sense why he liked her.
    On my own end of things, I was depressed and had been for 2 years. My job was stressful and I gained a lot of weight. I loved my general job but there was also an overload of stress involved. I felt like the only stability I had, was our relationship.
    He started talking more and more about her and how other women were looking at him and it felt really good. I tried to just pass it off and tell him that it’s because he looked great. And I started feeling jealous because I wasn’t.
    2 months ago, he looked and my with complete distress and said that something was very, very wrong with us. I immediately started working on myself and stepped down from my position into a lower paying job with very little stress. I was willing to make less money and focus on my family. Btw, we have a 10 year old boy.
    After having put in a month of a lot of work to reset myself, he came to me and said that for 2 years hes felt like aomething wasnt right. Not that it was bad, but not right. And he said that he was moving out.
    And so he did. And I supported him because I thought that a separation would be beneficial to both of us. 2 days after he moved out he came and told me wanted a divorce.
    Fast forward a month, he called me to tell me he wanted to start dating. I knew it’s why he left. He wanted to be with the other girl who’s 7 years younger than him. Even after he gave me 10 reasons why it wouldn’t work between them. I was supportive and told him that I hope that she made him happy and things worked out. I was on my own emotional rollercoaster days I felt well and days I was a wreck. But I focused on me.
    I’ve lost 30 lbs and I’ve come to love myself for the first time in my life. I’ve realized that I’m an incredibly strong person and I’ve always tried to do my best when it counted.
    Last weekend he came over to see our son who had been gone for some time. By the end of the day he professed that things didn’t work out with her and he completely opened up to me about being sad and needing therapy to deal with his childhood. He didn’t really say anything about still 100% wanting a divorce and the way he opened up to me confused me because he previously said he didn’t feel a connection with me anymore and he didnt feel any love for me. We’ve always, even through this process, have been friendly and respectable toward each other.
    Knowing that he’s dealing with a lot of old emotionally issues, I’ve decided that I won’t file divorce papers until he sees a therapist. ( I wanted to file so I could move on with my life. I also don’t reach out to him but occasionally I’ll do something nice for him that he says he really appreciates.)
    I’m left feeling confused.
    I will continue to minimize contact with him but I do truly think that my capacity for love and forgiveness and perseverance is what he needs and what I want.
    I know he went to her in a crisis of not knowing where his life was and he wanted to escape and be free.

    I guess I want to know if I’m doing the right thing. And any other advice that I could get moving forward. Am I blinding myself or is it right to continue to want to save our relationship? We don’t need relationship counseling but he needs therapy. I’m emotionally strong but should I press him to get the therapy as soon as possible? How long should I wait to decide that he’s not in it and I should file?

    Long story, but I appreciate your time.

    1. Dear Patience Wins,
      you comment name says it all. I am for you waiting, it won’t hurt and you can keep moving your life on in ways that feel ok.
      So well done you taking care of you and with your patience for the father of your child:
      “I’ve lost 30 lbs and I’ve come to love myself for the first time in my life. I’ve realized that I’m an incredibly strong person and I’ve always tried to do my best when it counted.”
      You sound like a good person this is important.
      Sometimes in a marriage one has to carry the relationship, and it sounds like this for a time is what you may need to do. I have the utmost compassion for your husband and hope he resolves his trauma, it’s a great first step acknowledging this pain. You dear heart will need your winning patience more that ever.
      Personally I would not file for divorce or pressure him to get to counseling adn sometimes there can ge some false starts on this. Then I do think you would be ready for relationship counselling. What I love about Imago Intentional dialogue work is it uses our childhood wounds as a point of healing in our current partnership. It is amazing…look up the Imago books here..
      I really do think you are doing the right thing. Look at how you rode out the low self esteem relationship your partner took up – how wise was that!! Anyone here on the LRT blog who is dealing with a third party take note.

      I believe you see things in an accurate light. Wait longer than you think you need to and avoid putting any deadlines in for now. One of my favourite latin quotes is “Festina Lente” – Hasten slowly.

      I appreciate you writing in and sharing this. Keep up your good works but please ensure you are not sacrificing yourself. All the best – Patience Wins!

  17. Dear Philipa,

    Do we have still have a chance after almost 4 years of separation……

    I have been married for 10 years and we have 4 children together, most of our marriage had been quite distant as I had to work abroad most of the early years together and being distant from her I made the mistake of being unfaithful to her while I was working abroad, she of course found out.
    I wasn’t aware of this and when she came to visit me about 6 months later To confront me, I also found out she had not only been seeing someone else but had moved him to the family home, she denied at the time anything was going on between them and was just helping him out. I was totaly devastated, distraught and extremely emotional.
    I rationalized it at the time that I rightly deserved it because of what I had done.
    While she was visiting me we managed to get some professional guidance on what to do next. And after some soul searching we had agreed I would stay abroad to give her space and demonstrate I could be trusted (her brother also worked in the same country so we agreed we were would stay together)
    She also agreed that the guy would move out of the house as soon as she got back home. So for six months I was a changed person realizing my stupidity and the potential of losing my family. We kept in good contact on a daily basis when I could.

    After the six months during Christmas Day I was supposed to speak to her and the kids on Skype after calling all day and no reply she finally picked up, she was very abrupt, dismissive and when I spoke to the kids she kept the conversation very short as she had things to do. I sensed obviously something was wrong. 2 weeks later I returned home to what i could only describe a cold reception and annoyance that I had returned. To cut this side of the story short after 2 days, it was apparent she had not only continued to see this guy that they had all spent Christmas together, I found all the pictures on social media.
    This pretty much broke me, I immediately left the house and stayed with my brother.
    She was completely indifferent to the whole situation at first but after 3 days after I came to visit the kids and explained I had started divorce proceedings, she broke down in tears and said it was a mistake and didn’t want to loose me. I off course still adored her and took the opportunity to come back and at least finish the rest of the leave with her and the kids.
    We had also agreed it would be best for me to return home for good but we wouldn’t be living together and would seek counseling.
    I still had to return abroad to organize my move back with less than 24hrs of returning abroad i recieved messages from her new partner with pictures of them together in bed and other poses and also him explaining that he thought I should know the truth that she was just trying to keep me sweet in order to get as much money from me as possible.and when I confronted her she agreed with everything he had said and she said she still wanted to be with him. So devastation for me and which eventually led to depression. I made the decision to stay away and started a new job shortly after and cut all contact from her apart from short messages arranging times to speak to the kids and this is what I did for almost 4 months. she then got in contact I sensed an opportunity to reconnect as it was what she was asking for, so we agreed to meet up just the two of us. So we did and it was great she was very affectionate and caring and thought at the time we could get back on track. I still rationalized what had happen previously i deserved for first due to my infidelity and basically not being around enough to support her. Anyway I had to finish the contract but arranged to come home in another 3 months. 1 week before I arrived the same atmosphere started to appear, not responding to messages etc and very cold when we did speak. So I just confronted the guy on messenger and he was just as surprised that I was still in contact with her and had been on holiday. So I immediately changed the plans confronted her but I wasn’t agrresive or as emotional this time I just excepted it was over and decided I just focus on the kids , I came home picked up the kids and totally disconnected. I spoke to her briefly on my last day before returning abroad and on that day I kept calm and she totally lost it screaming at me she wanted divorce. I told her to file the paper work and would be more than happy to sign and left. And basically for over year we had little contact apart from making arrangements to speak to the kids. I moved on but I was lying to myself that I had actually gotten over her and subsequent relationships I tried to establish didn’t work but i kept my distance from her and no begging messages etc. after 1 year and half I got made redundant and had to return to the UK. Upon my return I had stayed with my brother who luckily lives very close to her.
    When i returned I found out she had split up with the guy a few months before I came back. I spoke to her about it as she looked stressed out and turned out he was a total nightmare etc, anyway i spent the next 3 months staying at the family home a few days in the week when I wasn’t working to spend time with the kids, I stayed in a seperate room and through the whole time nothing in terms of trying to get back together happened. But we did resolve our issues of what had previously happened and made the effort to at least be civil with each other and I made the effort of helping her more consiidering she was basically now a single mother of 4 children. I will be honest deep down I still longed for her especially the days we were playing happy family’s but I didn’t say anything or hinted, I stayed upbeat and positive. But that was on the outside inside I was hurting so when the opportunity came again for me to go abroad i took it. Fast forward 9 months we did have some more general contact this time and I tried dating other people but I was actually missing being home with the kids and one day when chatting to her she said i should just come home the kids miss me and she would be happy for me to come and stay with them at the home.
    I wasn’t sure if I could risk it totally but I found a great job where I could work a month abroad and have month home enabling me to have more family time while earning a decent salary to take care of them.

    So after a long story and thanks if you got this far I’ve been home now for 2 weeks living with her and the kids, still separate rooms and no physical contact etc, we have been getting on great kids are happy and so is she. I found out after a few days she is seeing someone, it was like a knife through the heart because I thought maybe just maybe with me being home more I might have chance. I didn’t threak out about it, I just casually asked her and explained i obviously have no right after all this time to judge or question the relationship but I asked why risk your present relationship with him by inviting me to stay here etc. she said he knows and he’s fine with it and she said honestly I just see him for dinner now and again as I have no one now and after further discussion we both admitted we still had feelings for each other even after what we have put each other through. But I didn’t push the matter to much.

    My point is is it really worth it after all this time making a go of it, she was talking about us all going on holiday together as a family. I still care for her very deeply and it clouds my judgement on what appropriate thing to do. In my mind I figure enjoy the time at home with her and the kids for now but if it’s going to be regular I should split the time staying somewhere else, and I try and judge the situation to see if it’s really worth waiting to see he she really means she wants to make a go of it. Or pull the trigger and say to myself it’s been almost 4 years embrace the friendship with benefits it will bring for the family and just go ahead with the divorce so I can let go and move on?

    1. Dear Kevin,
      the theme I notice in your comment that stand out to me is one of distance. Your work abroad has meant your wife would have been a single parent most of your relationship. I respectfully suggest this is her norm for her.

      Indeed it would seem that you guys have a great holiday romance that struggles when reality comes in. You really need to think beyond money, etc what all the working abroad is about for you? I sense it does not give you the intimacy either of you desire hence your wife lonely finds another.

      From your email, if you would commit to staying in the same country regardless for an extended period five years or so rather than cutting and running, sorry if that seems harsh but it kind of looks like the pattern I am reading.

      I wonder what would be more possible because I do believe the relationship is salvageable if you guys get good help. It is clear you get on well and you have four lovely children who will need you more than ever now. You might need to give it two years focus though. Be kind and generous. Well done for getting counselling sounds like that has worked in the past to your benefit. All the best.

      1. Dear philipa,

        Thank you for the kind advice, you raise some good points. We had a good discussion together yesterday and she seem surprised that I would still be interested in trying to save the marriage and she wanted to know why. I explained just as she needed space and find her own independence I needed time to heal mentally and get myself strong. But through it all I never gave up hope and still seek admends to bring us back together as a family
        I gave no demands of what she would need to do to save the marriage etc we talked about what we are both looking for but I did explain the eventuality of what would happen if we continue on this path as happy as it is.
        I’m willing to make the effort and with the more time together we can see.
        I will leave soon and when I get back she is traveling abroad to see her family and I will look after the kids while she is away. I explained my intentions and said take the time while I’m gone to assess what you need to make you happy and if your current partner can fulfill that for your future then I wish her all the best.

        As you said I will still approach the situation with kindness and generosity as that has definitely helped in our current state.

        As for the working abroad it is something I will consider but in order to do that I have to give up a 20 year career and the financial implications would be huge, all worth it for love ? I’m a bit of a romantic but I have to be sure it’s what she really wants.

        And I agree it’s definitely going to take a couple more years of focus which I will be prepare to do for now and in due course update you with results and I hope other readers will have some positive results from reading about it.

        Thanks again

        1. That is truly wonderful Kevin, I am so glad you did approach her honestly. Very interesting indeed.
          I do hold out hope for you both. Is there a way you guys could attend the Imago couple therapy workshop, the two day weekend option? It may really turn things around.

          Great work on not demanding anything. That’s the way – open mind and an open heart and let whatever happens happen.

          Good to know your kindness and generosity help. I really think out partners get this when we are genuine giving and real.

          Hmm I am the romantic too.
          And I would say what is your relationship worth?

          Obviously you would need to be truly in place of readiness and make any change your choice, otherwise there could be a risk of depression/ loss of self with the substantial change for you in status and lifestyle. But hey you may live longer with a happier heart!
          Thanks for letting us know your progress. I am sure other readers will be inspired also.

  18. Hi there!!
    My story is similar to Marisa… I’m older than him 9 years and he was just 22 when we gotta married. Everything seemed to go perfect, no fights, no arguing, nothing… the only problem was that we’re doing IVF for 3 years and 3 weeks ago when I did the last one and it didn’t work again, he went crazy, saying that he doesn’t need this shit and he’s not expending not even a quarter with this anymore, he’s done.
    After that he started looking at me mad, not even talking much, staying longer at work, not answering the phone, saying that I should let him go, telling me that he never loved me and etc. so I decided to check his stuff to see if I would find something because that reaction was out of the blue, he was really supportive and from nowhere he changed like that.
    Of course I found something about another girl but it didn’t tell me that they’re together, it just saying that he helped her beeing her reference for a job application. I didn’t confront him about it because I need to make sure, if I just say that he’s with her he’s going to deny and get mad… and things will get worst. So i decided to shup up and wait but is beeing really hard after everything that he told me including that he wants divorce, pretend that nothing is happening.
    I was doing everything like texting, trying to kiss him, hugging him and he always pushing me away. So after reading this, I was at home alone because he decided to “stay more at work” and I said I need to try one of this things so I went to the church and I didn’t text him asking what time he would get home as usual I just left… when I was coming back he texted me asking where I was and I didn’t answer… so when I got home I went to kiss him and he said: Is everything ok? And I said: yeah of course. He didn’t ask where I was anymore and I didn’t ask eaither. So now idk what to do I’m scare of pretend that I don’t care and push him even further straight to her arms since every time that he has a chance he says that he needs a vacation by himself to think about this all thing… and I know that is not true because he never travel by himself because he hates airplane.
    I cry everyday, I can’t work very well, sometimes I don’t sleep for 2 nights straight I don’t know how I’m doing this, I already lost weight and I don’t see a light in the end of the túnel because he’s really determined and this scares me. Please help me

    1. Dear Tatiane,
      I really feel for you. I have heard and seen so many couples who have IVF and it has been a real trial regardless of the outcome. I’d guess you might be sad and disappointed – both of you. There needs to be healing between you and honoring where you are. Seriously if you both aren’t feeling loss and grief I would be very surprised. Would it be possible for you to get some support from your church?
      The LRT is not about pretending, this won’t work. While you still care and that’s how it should be, this is now about your recovery from the IVF treatment and let down. Please get some help, from what you say in your comment you are suffering from anxiety and depression most likely and that is best treated with therapy – couple therapy. The LRT is more about letting him come after you. Please take care and let me know you have gotten therapy, I really feel you are important and please take my advice on this. You matter!!

  19. Hello Philipa,
    It was wonderful to read you artical. I am on the other end of the spectrum in this with a husband who doesn’t understand why I need some space. We have been married for 9yrs 10 in December and together for 14. We have two children 4 and 6. A few years ago I was at an emotional breaking point I had things coming at me from all angles with a husband who only ridiculed and belittled me. Work was terrible but I was scared to leave. My friends were all busy or lived to far away. Things weren’t great with my mom and he was not safe emotionally because he always told me what to do about things and never just listened. I did everything I thought I could to help. Discussed that I needed to feel wanted. Read and tried to apply 5 love languages, wrote letters of how I loved him and was so proud and appreciated how hard he worked for the family ( he worked a lot). I never minded that he worked or when he wasn’t if he wanted to do other things so he could “recharge” like playing softball or hunting etc. but when he was home he was angry he would snap at me and the children and when I wasn’t home and he was he would also snap at me for not being home. I did all the housework and took care of the children’s every need. Including being the only one to wake up through the night with both kids all the time while still working full time. And when he was there he would complain about the dishes not being washed or criticize the way I was parenting the children. He sucked the happiness out of every situation for me. So I kind of gave up. Damned if I do damned if I don’t. I was emotionally broken. There was a male friend at work a mutual friend who is also married and we all hang out together. He became my emotional rock it just happened he was easy to talk to and just listened. And I never talked about my marriage problems with him just other things. He would notice me say my shirt was cute asked if I got a new lipstick. He made me feel confident and I developed feelings for him. My husband noticed this and started to make some changes in his behavior but he threw a kink in everything that had been he was never around and now he wanted to be around 24/7. He claimed my mom was trying to take his place and made it to where I felt guilty for things I normally did I was choosing my mom over him. Slowly causing more and more holes in our relationship. Then the straw that broke the camels back he did something in the bedroom I specifically asked him not to do. It broke all trust in him emotionally and physically. So now my feelings for the other person are stronger. My husband has since realized I love this other person. He is aware on how I got to have those feelings. Now we are to the point we are now he is actually trying to change and be a great person and I have a lot of anger and resentment I can let go of and I am constantly waiting for him to snap. He wants to talk and I just don’t. I tell him that I need some space from him to heal and in time spending time together as a family having good times we can remember why we love each other. He isn’t accepting of that and doesn’t understand he thinks that we should do it all together and if we aren’t doing it together we just aren’t working. I want to come from a place of understanding when I am with him but he just keeps pushing me farther away by pushing everything. I just want some time and in that I feel like thinhs could eventually rekindle but I can’t heal if he is constantly trying to “fix” things. He wants me to stop talking to the other person and I know I should however at this point it’s the only place I feel emotionally safe so I don’t want to give that up. At this point the relationship with the other has progressed and he knows how I feel about him and we have found comfort in each other in our distraught relationships. I just don’t know what to do at this point he keeps pushing me away by his constant pushiness…all of it letters, test, emails, flowers, asking for dates, constant compliments, telling me he has changed and I can’t see it because I won’t kiss him. All of his pushiness just feels fake and manipulative.

    1. Dear Confused, it is interesting for folk who are using the LRT to see from your perspective. I am concerned as reading your email, it sounds like the relationship was not emotionally healthy. While you have the upper hand for now with your guy on the side it seems like you can call the shots. What would be the best way to resolve your power struggle? I am not sure what you are both doing will work out in the long term, appreciate you writing in. xx

  20. Hi Philipa,
    I have been married for almost 4 years and our anniversary is coming up in few days. About a year ago I have noticed her to change a little bit and start getting distant with me to the point where she would barely initiate any touching or kissing. I have asked her couple of times what is the issue and she would always shot down and not really give me a clear answer other than she has to think this through. Few days ago I happen to look at our cell bill and have noticed that she calls this guy she worked with before daily before and after work and can talk up to an hour a day. I have asked her what time she will be home and she said later on in a day but I had a feeling she will go straight after work to his house and I was waiting there for her to show up….and she did. I did not want to cause a scene so we went back to the house and tried to have a conversation with her about the whole situation. She has admitted to it but did not say anything else. I had to leave and get some fresh air and when I came back she was gone and left me a note saying that she is sorry. After having a brief conversation on the phone I realized she went to stay with her lover and 5 days later she is still there living with him, avoids to have a conversation with me and tell me really how she feels. Is this the best time to use your last resort technique?

    thanks

    1. Dear Paul,
      I would say this would be an ideal time to use the LRT. Ensure you read through the comments on the blog to get some help pertaining to your situation. Your relationship has drifted into the danger zone of neglect and unfortunately made it vulnerable to a third party. Let other’s who read this to take heed. Ignore distance without gaining reconnection in love to your peril. All the best with the LRT.

  21. Hi,
    We have been married for 23yrs, everything was good(so I thought). He has been more distant than usual, he told me that he has been unhappy for years & he is done. Our youngest will graduate high school this year and he wants to divorce after that. He has been sleeping in a couch for a while he blames my snoring for that, there are no third parties involved. He says we have grown apart, we have nothing in common and he is done. He won’t go to counseling and had suggested that I can move back with my mom(out of state). I’m just lost and still in shock and pain. I came across the last resort and will start using it, do you think is too late?

    1. Well Lost, the LRT will give you a decent chance. So no it’s not too late. I get you are in shock and pain. Let yourself lick your wounds for a bit, but don’t get stuck there.

      I want you to get out there and reinvent yourself. You are moving into a new and exciting time in your life as your youngest flies the coop.
      Especially focus on Step 2 and really get yourself back. You have all those years as mum, now you can refresh your identity. All the best and read through all the comments to get a sense of the LRT’s effectiveness. Take Care. xx

  22. Great article! Thank you for sharing. I too am in a difficult situation and don’t see any stories here that are similar so I will ask your advice if LRT would work in my situation. My wife of 18 years told me in January that she loves me like a brother. We don’t fight or argue. In fact we get along fabulously but she says the thought of a passionate kiss or sex, turns her stomach. We talked with a sex therapist and have both spoked with counselors and earlier this year we had more sex than in the previous 10 years. But even after all that, she tells me she didn’t enjoy any of it. She still says she loves me dearly but I just don’t turn her on anymore. We are both near 50 and in great shape. I’ve always been a bit of a ladies man and can still turn quite a few heads, unfortunately, not the one I want. Neither of us wants a divorce but for me, sex is an expression of love and knowing how she feels about me, makes me feel unloved. We still hug and kiss goodnight/good morning, and say I love you but we have 0 intimacy. Any thoughts?

    1. Dear Rob, I think you may be best doing part of the the LRT. Step 2 in particular.

      Your relationship has gone into the friendship zone. I think it may pay you to be less available and do something for you, take up a new hobby. There’s the issue of comfort-ability. You guys have lost the frisson.

      So what I suggest is getting more in touch with your masculine side in some ways. Getting a personal trainer to work with you on some weight bearing exercises. Let’s build up your testosterone naturally, loads of stuff there on Utube. Do some research on this.

      You sound like a nice guy, and that’s great but what may be needed is a tad more beef, he man. I am guessing. Get a new hair cut. Spice yourself up. Do this for the intrigue we want to inspire. So be a bit more mysterious, vague but friendly. Do this sort of thing without talking about it. AS the counseling hasn’t gotten you quite there yet. I suspect this is not a sex issue. These are my suggestions, I hope it helps. At least you have a course of action!

    2. Thanks Rob,
      Well sex is a powerful glue and something that enlivens your marriage.
      Totally understand your feelings of rejection. However what you need to really hold onto is this is issue is not about you. Our partners stuff always triggers our stuff hence the feeling unloved reaction you have for your wife’s behavior. We have thinking, feeling, sensing and doing functions. You are high in the doing function and sensing I suspect, and maybe missing in those areas for your wife.
      Find a getting the love you want workshop in your area. Here’s the link Look up a Getting the Love You Want Couples Workshop
      Just type in your local area.
      This will be so worthwhile! My husband and I have attended we were so much closer and connected. I highly recommend it. Keep us in the loop.

  23. Dear Philipa

    I have had a few setbacks when I wasn’t on course of LRT as my husband of 14 months several months ago told me he wants to seperate… I did hold LRT for a few days/week until our next argument or me crying out of loneliness and desperation…

    However, the last 2 weeks precisely I have got my act together and have fully embraced LRT, I am busy, smiley, happy, confident (at least I appear to be, even though occasionaly inside I feel different). I act as if… and I act as his withdrawal and moodiness does not affect me. I have been going out with my girlfriends, staying at work until as late as possible and whenever I am at home with him- I am easy going and happy and have stopped pursuing and approaching him, as well as begging and blaming, and crying. However… despite all these efforts he seems to withdraw even more. I am not sure what he is up to during the day, he is probably seieng some of his exgirlfriends…, his business is difficult at the moment and he is depressed because of that but I am not sure how else I can support him or should I support him at all?… we haven’t had a holiday together this summer (we live in the UK), he has planned his seperate boys holiday which I am fine with actually, we haven’t had sex for almost a year now… he goes to sleep only when I am in bed and wakes up hours earlier just to avoid me. I am an attractive woman and get a lot of attention and I am considering an affair…. although part of me wants to save this marriage.. I really don’t know what else… how long till LRT will work? will it ever work? what am I doing wrong in this? Should I sleep in seperate bedroom because I don’t have sex or intimacy anyway… ?

    1. Dear Jane,
      you go girl. Glad you have taken to hear the LRT. And yes you can’t do it piecemeal, so good on you for diving in again. Hopefully you are feeling better in yourself as a result of caring for you. Best focus at present.

      This stuff won’t happen overnight. I get that two weeks feels like an eternity but you must now apply step 3. Forget having an affair. That’s not the way to resolve problems or end a marriage if that’s what you want to do now. Sure you may get his attention for a while or worse you may not and fast track divorce.
      Take into account a guys worth can be like us all tied into their work, so be gentle and no pressure. No offering but be warm and friendly. If he is depressed it may take him longer to notice. I wouldn’t make any changes in your bedroom for now, that would most likely seem like a rejection, so given he may be disappointed with his work thing don’t add anything to the load.
      I don’t know how long your relationship has been struggling for but an indication is not having sex for a year. Give it two years or so. Nah I joke but tongue in check – I am sure you what I really mean. Be PaTIENT!! Step 3 is to wait. After a year or so you may choose something else yourself. Good luck and keep at it. xx

      1. Hi

        I too am following this but l am currently sharing a bed with my wife, do l stay sharing or move onto sofa?

  24. Hi Philipa,
    This article is really hitting home. My husband and I have been married for 15 months but together for 8 years. The last year has been really hard on us and our communication is not great at all. I found out about 6 months ago that he was having an inappropriate text message conversation with a woman and he said that he immediately stopped. We use to have a great sex life before our marriage but it just seemed to fizzle because we both got lazy, busy and weren’t connecting. We’ve been going to counseling now for 5 months to get my trust back up and I’m finally there. For the past few months we’ve really struggled with my self confidence (I’ve never had this issue in my entire life) and with me just wanting him home all the time. He’s told me that I’m suffocating him but I just didn’t listen or didn’t think I was and now I see that I was pushing him away the whole time. We’ve just started working on what exactly went wrong and why we fell apart in the first place and we did that for 2 sessions and he told me last week that he thinks that we lost our love along the way and can can’t do it anymore. He hates our sessions and he’s not happy and he wants a divorce. I’m completely devastated and don’t know what to do. He left for a few days to clear his head and the first day he was gone I did everything you shouldn’t. I emailed and told him I loved him and that I’m committed to make this marriage work and when I was in dark times I looked at old pictures and messages and attached pictures of our happy times. I also texted him that night and told him goodnight and that I loved him he didn’t respond to either. I didn’t say anything for the remaining 2 days and on the 3rd we are meeting tonight to talk. I’m trying to be strong and I just feel like I’m losing.

    1. Dear Lost,
      I get you are in despair and we often act out of desperation and do not the most useful stuff. Sounds to me like you have got it out of your system and know the results which will prove valuable. You have to apply the LRT full throttle. I do hold out hope. So stop losing it and take care, xx

  25. Hi Philipa,

    Last night my husband told me he just didn’t think he wanted to “do this” anymore. Of course I cried at first but I tried to keep my head about me and let him say his piece. The birth control pill I’ve been taking is causing me anxiety I’ve never had before, complete with panic attacks. He says he doesn’t know what else to do, and that at this point maybe he’d be better off alone. It’s taken me months to figure out exactly what was happening, but he already sounds like he’s checked out. Even if I stop the medication today, I will likely still have weeks of residual effects.

    He’s a larger-than-life type of guy. He’s been with me through a terrible car accident, one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. Every single person who knows us as a couple swears tells us we have something special, and I believed it for years. Now, I don’t even know if it is salvageable. He has seen me at my worst, my most vulnerable, and I am terrified that he will always see me as a victim. And these panic attacks reinforce that view. I’ll never be as outgoing as he is, and I think because of that he views me as weak. We’ve been together for seven years- I expected the new-ness to fade, but I guess he didn’t? He said that it isn’t “fun” or “interesting” anymore.

    How on earth do I get him to see me differently? Or to that point, see me at all? My instinct said to pack a bag and leave for a few days, but now I’m not so sure. How do I live in the same house as somebody who only sees me as my most vile, shameful self? How do I make it seem like everything is going to be fine when my physiology is fighting me every step of the way?

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I am sorry to hear your physiology is fighting you – how can you address this?
      And boy you say some harsh things about yourself here. Take it easy dear one. You need to hear each other’s perspective. Tough as that is. The trick is once the newness fades is to feed the aliveness of the relationship. Not often easy.
      Simple answer you have to be different. How would it be if you were accepting of him and his view? What if your expectations were also relieved? You have to see you and be your best you. Get your health sorted pronto please sweetheart and focus on healing you and see what shifts. xx

  26. Hi Philipa
    Please help I’m desperate. 10 months ago I had to leave nc to ut because one of my kids got in trouble with the law. My husband understood it was temporary and agreed it was best. Now I’m ready to go home and he is telling me he is not emotionally ready for me to come home and he has over the last few months become more distant, less calls and texts. He says he isn’t the same person he used to be and is scared I will leave him. I had him come visit and he was emotionally empty. He doesn’t want to go to counseling. I had to tell him I love you in order for him to say it. I kept questioning him because I’m hurt he says he loves me and wants to be with me but I’m putting to much pressure on him. What do you think?

    1. Dear Mary,
      I hear your hurt.

      I think though you are not meaning to, he is feeling under pressure. It sounds from your comment he does feel abandoned and sadly as an attempt to cope has withdrawn behind a wall of protection.

      I think you may be in a stronger place to apply the LRT. I would also use the listening technique – Echoing. When he says he says he loves you and wants to be with you and feels you are putting too much pressure on him, simply say those words back as an echo. Paul I hear you love me and want to be with me and feel I am putting to much pressure on you? Did I get you? Is there more? And keep doing it. If he balks say something like I am really wanting to know how you are so I am staying with your words on this to make sure you feel heard and I have gotten where you are at. Good Luck xx

      1. Hi there

        My husband and I have been together for 14 years and married for 10. We have two kids, 6 and 3. We have always been partners. We don’t fight much but when we do we never seem to reach an agreement. For the last few years I’ve pursued more of my own interests as he works about 70 your weeks. Despite us not spending much time just the two of us, when I would always ask about this he would say it’s the stage of life we are at with young kids. Up until a month ago we were actively trying to have a third baby.

        Recently our family had gone through hard times. My mother was acutely very ill and as a result my mental health went downhill with intense anxiety. About 4 weeks ago after a trip to Indiana my husband told me things needed to change and that he doesn’t feel we are emotionally connected. He said he loves me but feels we aren’t in love. He said he isn’t miserable with me and does love me but isn’t sure if we are compatible for the rest of our life. He isn’t sure if our marriage will work long term. This completely blindsided me.

        At first I went into crisis mode. Suffocating him. Demanding answers. He said he noticed he had an interest in a coworker. I made him give me his phone password to check his texts. He said this interest was benign and that she didn’t know he was interested. He said he wouldn’t call his interest “feelings” as he doesn’t know her well enough.

        I feel this interest in another woman made him question if he loves me enough. He said he never looked at other women before and he has caught himself doing it more recently which makes him feel like we aren’t connected in a way that he needs.

        He tells me he loves me. I am usually first to say it. We still sleep in the same bed, are not sexually intimate because he said he doesn’t feel right having sex until he knows things will be ok. He kisses and hugs me daily both when leaving for work, before bed and sometimes randomly.

        I am not sure how to act because if we were having sex, everything would seem normal. But I feel I can’t talk to him about our future because he is uncertain. I am not sure exactly how to act to be able to give him the space he needs because we are acting fairly normal otherwise. I want more than anything for our marriage to work out. I have become more attentive to his needs as that was his primary complaint. I wake up early to make him breakfast and lunch before work and I’m helping out more around the outside with chores.

        Any advice would be appreciated!

        1. Dear Erin, your relationship is at a crossroads and I think you would be best to urgently seek professional help.
          It seems like it is too early for the LRT.
          I would ask your partner to pause things with the benign friendship and get to a good therapist to discover if you can work through this together. It can be done. I think you both need an intervention which is why I suggest therapy. You do this in honour of your relationship and your children. Your relationship sounds like it’s suffering from a case of neglect.
          I prefer Imago therapy so please see Imago therapist directory but a good therapist and shop around can work wonders!
          Good luck xx

    2. Dear Mary, I agree with you, you are putting way to much pressure on him, this is the exact opposite of Step 1 in the LRT.
      So stop all the pushing, questioning, talking of therapy and saying I love you. Immediately cease this behaviour. Get to know Step 1 like the back of your hand.
      Good luck!

  27. My husband and i have been married for 14 years. It’s been good mostly. We are still passionate and I would still love to spend my life with him but his bad choices is pushing me away. He has struggled with meth for years and the drug causes him to be so distant, selfish and empty. I LOVE who he is when he is clean but despise who he is when he is not.
    In February, I found out he had been talking to a girl at work because he was home sick and she texted him and I opened it. It was SHOCKING to me. I never thought he’d be unfaithful. I confronted her and she said that he told her I’m not his wife, that we only live together and that he loves her and wants her. He denied ever saying any of that. But didn’t deny that he flirted.
    They say love is blind … I gave him the benefit of a doubt that it was the drug causing him to make terrible decisions. He agreed to go to rehab. While he was in rehab I found out that he had approached an older family member of mine (40) asking for sex a year ago and this is the first time this person told me because she said I wouldn’t hear it before, I’ve always defended him of accusations. A side effect of meth is an extremely high sex drive so users look to satisfy that craving. I have never used any drug but have extensively studied it to try to help him. Fast forward… He came home after 3 months at rehab to recover from addiction. He stayed in recovery and did really well for two months after he came home (total 5 months clean). It finally felt like a healthy relationship, I felt connected to him again, we had both healed from the damage of the past and were moving on etc. Then, he relapsed. He failed a test 10 days ago on Monday, then failed again one week after that this last Monday. I said, are you kidding me?! Not one “fall/mistake/relapse” but TWO times within ONE WEEK?! He said he swears he only relapsed the one time but guesses it was still in his system the second test. I’m soo at my wits end with it. I can’t continue on this cycle with him… The longest he’s ever been clean was 5-6 months. It’s a yoyo. Super good happy times during clean time then BAM he uses and turns into this dark, empty soul. Then recovers after a few weeks and happy again. I’m sick of it. I feel like he takes advantage of my unconditional love and knows that I’ll stay so ends up giving in again. Even after I’ve told him in counseling that I’m done with this cycle. I understand addiction is a disease that’s why I keep staying. I hate it. He couldn’t at least been honest about the slip up and reached out for help but he didn’t. He lied, decieved and munipulated like before. He said he didn’t think twice when it was offered to him… He just did it. I thought, oh okey… the pain you put everyone through doesn’t get a second thought. I thought about serving him fake divorce papers to show him I’m serious… To see if it’ll be a wake up call. He says he doesn’t want to lose everything but yet him accepting the offer came too easy and I know where it leads… It leads to cheating. I can’t put myself at risk of stds because of sleeping around while using. Its sucha battle to walk away from someone you love with fear that leaving them alone to themselves will cause them to self distuct. Advise, please? Thank you for your time.

    1. Dear Nicole,
      it sounds like a tormented journey you have been on.

      I often think when we are dating a person with a drug problem, the drug is like the other person. They are being unfaithful to the relationship but it’s with a substance. I am sorry to hear of your partners drug addiction. My belief is it is not a disease. Chemical dependency is a way to escape from the reality of life. It needs specialised treatment. Meth seems to be a horrible drug also.
      You can love someone but not choose their behaviour. I am sorry but there has been three of you in this relationship for most of it by your words.
      You may be helping him by letting him deal with his issues on his own account, indeed it may be the most respectful and honouring thing you can do for your relationship. I agree with you and do think you have to keep your mental and physical health as a priority. There comes a time when the courageous person has to call it and I think you are brave. Take care and you will also need to go into recovery from this relationship threesome.
      xx

  28. Hi Philipa
    I am the husband i think that confused talked about on the 14th of July.
    I realize now the things i have done wrong and am trying my best to fix things but am being too pushy and always bring up the past and that im sorry ect.My wife of 17yrs( 6months ago )i noticed started acting different,loosing weight,being different towards me hanging out alot more with her female friend(alot younger) from work.
    Noticed my wife was on social media(messenger) till 4am pretty much every night as i would message her through messenger each morning .
    I checked her fb page and noticed she had hidden her friend’s list ect.I asked about that and she made up an excuse that i knew wasnt true.
    I asked questions about this and it eventually come out that my wife had a male friend(mutal friend of her young friend) that also worked were my wife and young friend did.
    My wife became increasingly shady always had her phone on her ect changed her password which shed never had one on her phone before.
    I eventually found out she was having an emotional affair,and made the stupid mistake of working out her password and saw all the evidence that the affair was true,which to say the least she was furious that id taken her phone and discovered all of this.
    Since then she has said our marriage is over,but then says we are working on things and they will get better if i give her time and space apart..18months before this happened i moved 4hrs away and started a buisness,rarely saw my wife and 12yr daughter in the first 12months.
    My wife said i left the family and she became lonely,also my insecurities over the years were that she would leave me for someone else and i voiced them to her.
    I have made all the wrong decisions and have done all the wrong things begging,pleading,wanting to spend more time with the family,texts phone calls,questioning about her and “him” She has fallen in love with this guy like confused has explained in her email.
    I suspect and am pretty sure the affair is sexual now aswell.
    She always has her phone in her hand and takes it everywhere with her now(i understand i broke her trust there) She has turned into a completly different person now.Gets angry with me constantly,doesnt want to spend time with me,lies to me constantly about even the smallest things she doesnt have to.
    She still says she is only friends with this guy and whatever it was is over now.She is still in contact with him daily though.
    I think in my heart that she is done,i love her and want to work on the marriage and have a great relationship with her again like it was years ago.
    She says she didnt love me like she did back then anymore and just wants her space to work out what she wants.
    Im terrified of loosing her and am struggling not to contact her at all.
    Im so commited to repairing our marriage but she is so resistant and doesnt seem to care at all about it.
    Is there any chance of us reconciling and working things out?
    I ask her if she wants a divorce but she says no.
    I have confided in some friends and they say that she just wants to have her cake and eat it too.
    I have lost all my confidence and must seem pathetic to her at the moment.Things in the last few weeks have esculated to very heated arguments with us both saying things in the heat of the moment to each other..
    Like she hates me,why do i even bother.Bit also says she loves me and things will all work out.
    She says she is trying her hardest but nothings changed at all.She blames me for everything and brings up every thing over our 20yrs relationship.
    Im so confused and dont know what she wants anymore.
    admit i have been ignoring her when she says stop with all the long texts and talking about feelings,she doesnt want to talk about “that crap”
    Is our relationship too toxic to repair?Is she already gone an opted out.
    I really want things to be good again and really want her to be happy.

    1. Dear Lost,
      I would like you to reread your comment. I can hear part of you has felt insecure all the way through the relationship and it would appear as if this part has pushed your partner out the door.

      You really need to hear her and respect her wishes here. This anxious part of you has acted in pushy and controlling ways. Unless you address this part that feels insecure and anxious I don’t know how the relationship would be able to progress. You can help and heal you. If you start, this may offer your relationship real hope.
      Will this be easy? NO, will it be worth it? Yes.
      She is confused. This can be a good sign. Get your emotional health in order talk to a professional and then you need a mature part to be able to talk and listen to your wife.
      All the best.

  29. Hey There,

    I definitely feel at a point of desperation. After discovering my spouse is having an emotional and physical affair, we have both been flooded with hurt, anger, and resentment. My ability to understand him in anyway is so difficult. And I WANT to understand. Last night he said that right now, he doesn’t believe things can change. But that he’s willing to “try to try”. And he cannot answer what trying looks like for him, me, or us. This feels like nothing to me. Yet, he’s still around. Am I better to go to this last resort advice? I have so many questions.. and his ambivalence to our relationship is incredibly hard to process. I seem to always ask the wrong questions….He also doesn’t seem willing to give up all communication (like social media etc) with his affair partner. What do I do when he’s not sure he’s ready to try 100% with us? Thank you…

    1. Dear Sarah,
      I think it may at least give you a roadmap. So do the LRT and when he comes back around you will both have to address the crisis in your relationship. From your words, I don’t think things are steady enough yet. So build yourself up with Step 2. Be religious with Step 1. Wait for the other relationship to burn itself out. Please read other blog comments for the folk who did and and how that paid off for them.
      Take the pressure off him and you – that is key here to a turn around. As you can bet the third party is offering open arms and a friendly ear. If you stop being angry and get on with your life you can be the hero here. Super good luckx

  30. My husband and I have been married for about 2 1/2, been with him 6 years, know him for 14 years.

    We have been having a lot of issue this year, ALOT unresolved because for some reason he seems to not talk about his feelings. ( note: he’s always been shy & quiet with his feelings to a point ) recently it’s worse! He constantly is on his phone watching YouTube and playing his xbox, I even encourage him to have his own things that way we both can manage our own space on certain days after work. It has gotten to the point of no return because all does now everyday all the time EVERY chance he can get is play on his phone or Xbox . He puts it above me and our marriage and it has really been affecting me.

    We are living together still but at the moment I’m staying at my parents house sitting while their out of town.
    I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for us to actually have the space from one another because as of yesterday it just seems we are passing in the house and without eye contact or saying a word. ( it’s very chilly )anytime I do try and have a conversation with his he won’t even hardly look up from his phone or he gets a displeased aggravated look on his face, and he will look back on his phone again. I’ve talked to him about maybe limiting his phone time to spend with me because I felt like he had an obsession with it (he said so who cares ) he is very stubborn when it comes to me asking him/ maybe telling him to do something.

    We are intimate pretty often and it’s amazing everytime.. I definitely try to level the playing field so I’d say we are pretty healthy there.

    I just recently about two and a half months back packed my bags and told him I was considering a divorce, something I’d never thought I’d think about or get.
    I packed my bags and was ready to go but we had along talk then. I left a bag packed for about a week or so.

    What do I do.. I’ve read books , tried to talk to him countless times of us improving our marriage & each other, ive been the sweet wife, he spontaneous wife, it’s definitely not a I’m not attractive thing but a I love you but I’m not in love with you thing and I feel like he resents me for past things , such as me asking to help with cleaning the house , and just getting onto him for leaving dirty clothes on floor.

    ..I just want to add in he is a wonderful husband does everything you’d expect a husband to do (duty wise).
    Just not as wonderful a partner to me.

    1. Dear Outlook24,
      REading your email, it is clear you guys have a good thing going and you do love each other. The struggle you are having would appear to be that you want him to love you in the way you want – you want to talk, discuss feelings and so forth. Totally understandable but it based upon your email this appears to make him withdraw.

      My advice stop this talking. Men in general respond to action – look what happened when you packed your bags. This is not the best way to handle your differences – which of course we all have no one wants to live with a carbon copy of themselves, right? Boring!

      Again stop talking, and show love. I want you to start notice what he’s doing right. Stop any type of criticism of his behaviour/ phone etc anything that he would consider nagging. You know what that is, as you are a smart gal, I can tell.
      When he does something nice be complimentary. Touch him more – in passing put a hand on his shoulder, peck him on the cheek. Don’t tell him you are doing any of this. Try all the above with no expectation but as a gift you give your marriage. I want you to write back after two weeks and tell us what’s happened. All the best xx

  31. Dear Philipa,
    Me and my husband has been married for 6 years. We have 3 kids (4y.o and twins 7 months old). Last year when i was pregnant with the twins, my father passed away in foreign country so I had to fly there and i stayed there until give birth (total 6 months away from him).

    When I got home, I discovered that he has been texting constantly with female co-worker and over friendly. They have several company trip and business trip together. I felt hurted and betrayed, I asked him to stop and he said he would. 6 months later I discovered that she sent an email to him saying she misses him (she went on company trip and he stayed home). I confronted him and he admit that last 6 months he tried to limited, they talked less but still in contact as they work in same department.

    I asked if there is any physical or is it emotional affair? He said they re just friends, she has bf already, he just like to talk with her cause he doesnt feel we re connected. So I talked with this girl. She said she only wanted to be his close friend n he looks depressed when I was away so that s when they start talking. And as she saw this effect his marriage, she would stop reply his message.

    Since then Im trying ask him to have sharing time and asking him to be opened with me. But he said he doesnt feel like he could talk to me and it has been like that for a long time. I questioned him that is it because he love her. He denied and said he doesnt even know if he like her in person, he just like to talk with her. And he doesnt want to “work on our marriage”, he even suggested me to find my own happiness and he just want to be alone. Since then i have been chasing him, caring any details, texting when he s at work, at night I would bring my laptop next to him and do the “talking”.

    He didnt seems against those but he would push me away if I talked about our marriage and relationship.

    I love him and i really want him back, im afraid if I do the ignore strategy he will feel more distant and close to the co worker girl.

    What should I do now, he s nice to me, help me take care the kids, repky all my messgage, when I ignore his call, he would try all ways to reach me, but he kept saying he doesnt love me anymore and I should move on.

    Is he trying to push me away so he can get official with his emotional affair?

    Should I apply last resort now?

    Thanks and best regards

    AprilN

    1. Update: for the last few days I applied LRT, I didnt text him anymore, call him or answer his phone call from work, i stop the morning n kissing routine also, I went out late, he didnt ask me where i am going but when I looked back, he was standing by the balcony watching me leave, he looked kinda sad
      He reconfirmed many times that he stopped message the co-worker, they now only talk when needed related to work. But he didnt say anything about “work on us” but still saying he is not in love with me anymore.
      Should I continie LRT or resume to be a caring and loving wife?
      Thanks n best regards

      1. Dear April the LRT is a long term thing. You have to stop talking about what he is or isn’t doing, you might even say I am working on moving on from that, as I know realise I have been confused and have lost myself putting pressure on things thanks and do not expect any talk about working on us. Let it go and keep up the good work!!

    2. Dear April,
      yes you should definitely apply the LRT fully. I would guess his distance has more to do with your relationship stress and failed repair attempts.STOP talking about the other person – this only reminds him of her and what a kind ear she had for him. You need to be warm friendly but get busy with you again. Stop ALL or any relationship talk, discussions about the future. Good luck!

  32. We have been married for three years with three beautiful kids (twins and one) she is very young. I understand her hurt as she told me I have been extremley distant, unwanting to have sex, partied too much in the beginning of the relationship and neglected her, all while I have been focusing on gaining financial stability for our family, which we have finally obtained. She has put up with this for about 2 years now. We started fighting about 2 months ago and she started wanting to go out, losing weight and being very dismisive towards my needs until she told me she was contemplating divorce. I started to understand my faults and started changing, beind suportive and being a better person, father, much busier and dedicated to her, she will react here and there and then suddendly she remembers the hurt I caused her and she immediately turns cold and distant again. I left my home for one day in order to give her space and she said she misses me and I should come home, so I asked her on a date the same day before I went back home and everything was great until we discussed our relationship and it turned back into “ I think we are good seperated”. We have 3 maids at the house so it is easy for her to move about at her own will, which I am guessing she thought would be great for her and she noticed, so that same night I decided I would go back to my house, as it is our home, my children should not see their father as someone who gave up, plus she had asked me to come back. I got back home and she was happy, we cuddled and fell asleep and the next day I told her my reason for staying and she said, I hate that you always do things your own way! I started acting goofy, fun and loving around her and she reacts with giigles and laughs but I still see her very confused never kisses with passion or have we had sex for the last month. I dont know if Im on the right path? She has said she has seen me as her best friend but no love, I asked her for the papers for divorce and she said she isnt ready for that or to leave. We are going to go on dates and I am going to be me. I too am confused by her actions as she asks me to be affectionate, to touch her and she says I love you on ocassions. Then she says things like im 95% sure i want out.

    1. Dear Jorge, you certainly don’t wanting to be asking for divorce papers.
      I want you you to get out a piece of paper with two columns the first one with her complaints about your behavior and the second one is what is the grain of truth to this and keep writing examples.
      Start with this “she said, I hate that you always do things your own way! .. Next column well I …
      Write ever single compliant your partner has and take careful note. This is your change list. This is going to give you your action points for change. So get busy.
      For instance ” you do things your way/ I do not ask for her thoughts or feelings or negotiate with her ( not on the relationship though) and start this today.Let us know your progress.

  33. Dear Philipa,

    I am writing to you to hopefully get some advice and clarity on my current situation as I am so very sad and lost. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for nearly 2. 10 months after our wedding he said he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore and left the house for 3 weeks. I thought we were over at this point. He said he loved me but wasn’t in love with me anymore and wasn’t happy. This came as such a shock to me because he never communicated any huge issues in our relationship upto this point. We were in a very rough patch in our relationship and I too felt unhappy and trapped because I felt I had communicated my issues so many times and nothing ever changed.

    After 3 weeks had gone by he returned wanting to try and fix things. We tried this for the next 6 months but everything was so up and down and we didn’t really get anywhere. I was still in shock that he had given up on us and left in the first place and felt that things would be good for some time and then go back to the way that they were- I no longer felt secure with the way he felt about me and everything just felt off. After the 6 month period, my husband left again stating that we should take a break and try to get our happy selves back again so we can be happier together after some time apart. Within this time, he moved his things out of our house and wanted us to sell so he could buy a block of land and try to move on with his life as he thought this would make him happier in some way. In his mind, he wanted to separate everything and become happier people so we could reconcile again and have a new and fresh relationship in a new home. I asked him numerous times if there was someone else and he always said no. At this point, I was doing the LRT and regained who I used to be. My husband still kept in contact with me and we would see each other atleast once a week. He wanted to come over and give me massages, was being extra tentative, did something really nice for my birthday and took me out for dinners. We still had sex sometimes and he wanted to be all over me. This was very confusing for me because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just come back home to me by the way he was acting. He wouldn’t give me a clear answer and I felt like we were in limbo land for months and months- it was torture.

    For the whole month of May, I went away on an overseas holiday. I felt like I needed to get away and do my own thing. He was staying at our house while I was away to feed the dogs etc. While I was away, my husband continued to contact me and he said that he missed me etc. From our messages I was fairly certain that we were going to get back together when I returned from my trip. He was going to be at home the night I returned and because I had learnt so much over our time apart and from my trip, I had realised so many things that I would have done differently in our relationship to make it better. Upon my return, I was told by family members who were told by an anonymous person that my husband had been cheating on me on and off for months. I was stunned. I confronted him when I returned to our home and he denied some of it in a panic. This is the truth that came out: In the 3 weeks when he left initially, he slept with another woman a few times. He said he felt so unhappy in our relationship and so lost that he changed into another person and when someone gave him attention or affection that he longed for he fell for it. As soon as he did it, he regretted it and knew that all he really wanted was me but that I would never forgive him for this. This is when he came back to me to try and fix things without telling me about it. Within the 6 months of trying to fix things he said that he felt so bad about what he had done that when we got better it made him feel worse and he went into an even deeper and darker hole and changed into another person again who went back to the other woman on and off within that 6 month period. When he chose to leave the 2nd time he said it was because he couldnt handle what he had done and felt bad about lying to me but didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to lose me or a life without me. After he left, he went back to this other woman again to feel wanted or to boost his self esteem. He claims that it didn’t mean anything and that he never wanted to be with her- it was mainly for the sex and the need to feel wanted again. He never took her on dates and only ever saw her at night. She ended up getting a boyfriend because he wouldn’t commit to her and they remained friends a few months before I went away. It was also revealed that a few weeks after being on my trip, he slept with another woman also just once and he says he did this so he would makesure he told me about being unfaithful when I returned home. I don’t think he ever wanted me to find out about the first woman.

    So now, a few months after everything was revealed I am still in a state of disbelief and just wish we could go back and change everything. My husband is truly sorry for what he has done and doesn’t even feel like that was him that did it all for so long. What he did goes against his values and morals and can’t understand why he would do this to me. We have analysed our relationship before he left the initial time and have greed that we were in a terrible place in our relationship and so many needs weren’t being met. It was like we had so many other things going on at the time that we forgot about each other and the simple things in life. We both felt unhappy and trapped and felt like nothing was very going to change – and also lost ourselves as a result. There are so many things that we have both learnt and would change. We are just so stuck and don’t know what to do. We tried seeing each other for a little bit and wanted to see how that went. My family knew about this from the start but his family has just recently found out about it all and are just as sad as us. My family are willing to support us with whatever decision we decide to make going forward but my brother has his own opinion about what has happened (which I understand) and can’t and won’t forgive him ever and has already said if I decide to try things again then I am an idiot and that he won’t be involved in it. Since this has happened my husband has gone from wanting to try and fix it to you deserve better than me and I want you to move on without me.
    I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him and get over the horrible things that he has done to me- let alone ever trust him again. I have read sooooo many articles and books on this subject to get help and some have positive and negative outcomes but nothing seems to help. I have even seen a psychologist a few times now too and still find myself struggling with the reality of the situation. We both still love each other and want to be together but there’s this huge mountain in the way now- and its changed our relationship and the way I view him forever. How do we move forward with or without each other? This is the most difficult and sad and traumatising time in both of our lives. At the moment , we have decided to take a 1 month break to not talk or see each other and see how we feel after that as we haven’t had no contact at all before. I am hoping his sheds new light and clarity on the situation. We both just don’t want to feel pain anymore. Being around him and with him makes me so happy but then makes me so sad because of what he’s done and he feels the same way. Its painful to be with him and painful to not be with him.

    Any professional advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks 🙂

  34. Dear Philipa,

    I am writing to you to hopefully get some advice and clarity on my current situation as I am so very sad and lost. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for nearly 2. 10 months after our wedding he said he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore and left the house for 3 weeks. I thought we were over at this point. He said he loved me but wasn’t in love with me anymore and wasn’t happy. This came as such a shock to me because he never communicated any huge issues in our relationship upto this point. We were in a very rough patch in our relationship and I too felt unhappy and trapped because I felt I had communicated my issues so many times and nothing ever changed.

    After 3 weeks had gone by he returned wanting to try and fix things. We tried this for the next 6 months but everything was so up and down and we didn’t really get anywhere. I was still in shock that he had given up on us and left in the first place and felt that things would be good for some time and then go back to the way that they were- I no longer felt secure with the way he felt about me and everything just felt off. After the 6 month period, my husband left again stating that we should take a break and try to get our happy selves back again so we can be happier together after some time apart. Within this time, he moved his things out of our house and wanted us to sell so he could buy a block of land and try to move on with his life as he thought this would make him happier in some way. In his mind, he wanted to separate everything and become happier people so we could reconcile again and have a new and fresh relationship in a new home. I asked him numerous times if there was someone else and he always said no. At this point, I was doing the LRT and regained who I used to be. My husband still kept in contact with me and we would see each other atleast once a week. He wanted to come over and give me massages, was being extra tentative, did something really nice for my birthday and took me out for dinners. We still had sex sometimes and he wanted to be all over me. This was very confusing for me because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just come back home to me by the way he was acting. He wouldn’t give me a clear answer and I felt like we were in limbo land for months and months- it was torture.

    For the whole month of May, I went away on an overseas holiday. I felt like I needed to get away and do my own thing. He was staying at our house while I was away to feed the dogs etc. While I was away, my husband continued to contact me and he said that he missed me etc. From our messages I was fairly certain that we were going to get back together when I returned from my trip. He was going to be at home the night I returned and because I had learnt so much over our time apart and from my trip, I had realised so many things that I would have done differently in our relationship to make it better. Upon my return, I was told by family members who were told by an anonymous person that my husband had been cheating on me on and off for months. I was stunned. I confronted him when I returned to our home and he denied some of it in a panic. This is the truth that came out: In the 3 weeks when he left initially, he slept with another woman a few times. He said he felt so unhappy in our relationship and so lost that he changed into another person and when someone gave him attention or affection that he longed for he fell for it. As soon as he did it, he regretted it and knew that all he really wanted was me but that I would never forgive him for this. This is when he came back to me to try and fix things without telling me about it. Within the 6 months of trying to fix things he said that he felt so bad about what he had done that when we got better it made him feel worse and he went into an even deeper and darker hole and changed into another person again who went back to the other woman on and off within that 6 month period. When he chose to leave the 2nd time he said it was because he couldnt handle what he had done and felt bad about lying to me but didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to lose me or a life without me. After he left, he went back to this other woman again to feel wanted or to boost his self esteem. He claims that it didn’t mean anything and that he never wanted to be with her- it was mainly for the sex and the need to feel wanted again. He never took her on dates and only ever saw her at night. She ended up getting a boyfriend because he wouldn’t commit to her and they remained friends a few months before I went away. It was also revealed that a few weeks after being on my trip, he slept with another woman also just once and he says he did this so he would makesure he told me about being unfaithful when I returned home. I don’t think he ever wanted me to find out about the first woman.

    So now, a few months after everything was revealed I am still in a state of disbelief and just wish we could go back and change everything. My husband is truly sorry for what he has done and doesn’t even feel like that was him that did it all for so long. What he did goes against his values and morals and can’t understand why he would do this to me. We have analysed our relationship before he left the initial time and have greed that we were in a terrible place in our relationship and so many needs weren’t being met. It was like we had so many other things going on at the time that we forgot about each other and the simple things in life. We both felt unhappy and trapped and felt like nothing was very going to change – and also lost ourselves as a result. There are so many things that we have both learnt and would change. We are just so stuck and don’t know what to do. We tried seeing each other for a little bit and wanted to see how that went. My family knew about this from the start but his family has just recently found out about it all and are just as sad as us. My family are willing to support us with whatever decision we decide to make going forward but my brother has his own opinion about what has happened (which I understand) and can’t and won’t forgive him ever and has already said if I decide to try things again then I am an idiot and that he won’t be involved in it. Since this has happened my husband has gone from wanting to try and fix it to you deserve better than me and I want you to move on without me.
    I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him and get over the horrible things that he has done to me- let alone ever trust him again. I have read sooooo many articles and books on this subject to get help but nothing seems to help. I have even seen a psychologist a few times now too and still find myself struggling with the reality of the situation. We both still love each other and want to be together but there’s this huge mountain in the way now- and its changed our relationship and the way I view him forever. How do we move forward with or without each other? This is the most difficult and sad and traumatising time in both of our lives. At the moment , we have decided to take a 1 month break to not talk or see each other and see how we feel after that as we haven’t had no contact at all before. I am hoping his sheds new light and clarity on the situation. We both just don’t want to feel pain anymore. Being around him and with him makes me so happy but then makes me so sad because of what he’s done and he feels the same way. Its painful to be with him and painful to not be with him.

    Any professional advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks 🙂

  35. Hello,

    I am writing to you to hopefully get some advice and clarity on my current situation as I am so very sad and lost. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for nearly 2. 10 months after our wedding he said he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore and left the house for 3 weeks. I thought we were over at this point. He said he loved me but wasn’t in love with me anymore and wasn’t happy. This came as such a shock to me because he never communicated any huge issues in our relationship upto this point. We were in a very rough patch in our relationship and I too felt unhappy and trapped because I felt I had communicated my issues so many times and nothing ever changed.

    After 3 weeks had gone by he returned wanting to try and fix things. We tried this for the next 6 months but everything was so up and down and we didn’t really get anywhere. I was still in shock that he had given up on us and left in the first place and felt that things would be good for some time and then go back to the way that they were- I no longer felt secure with the way he felt about me and everything just felt off. After the 6 month period, my husband left again stating that we should take a break and try to get our happy selves back again so we can be happier together after some time apart. Within this time, he moved his things out of our house and wanted us to sell so he could buy a block of land and try to move on with his life as he thought this would make him happier in some way. In his mind, he wanted to separate everything and become happier people so we could reconcile again and have a new and fresh relationship in a new home. I asked him numerous times if there was someone else and he always said no. At this point,, I was focusing on myself and began to regain who I used to be. My husband still kept in contact with me and we would see each other atleast once a week. He wanted to come over and give me massages, was being extra tentative, did something really nice for my birthday and took me out for dinners. We still had sex sometimes and he wanted to be all over me. This was very confusing for me because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just come back home to me by the way he was acting. He wouldn’t give me a clear answer and I felt like we were in limbo land for months and months- it was torture.

    For the whole month of May, I went away on an overseas holiday. I felt like I needed to get away and do my own thing. He was staying at our house while I was away to feed the dogs etc. While I was away, my husband continued to contact me and he said that he missed me etc. From our messages I was fairly certain that we were going to get back together when I returned from my trip. He was going to be at home the night I returned and because I had learnt so much over our time apart and from my trip, I had realised so many things that I would have done differently in our relationship to make it better. Upon my return, I was told by family members who were told by an anonymous person that my husband had been cheating on me on and off for months. I was stunned. I confronted him when I returned to our home and he denied some of it in a panic. This is the truth that came out: In the 3 weeks when he left initially, he slept with another woman a few times. He said he felt so unhappy in our relationship and so lost that he changed into another person and when someone gave him attention or affection that he longed for he fell for it. As soon as he did it, he regretted it and knew that all he really wanted was me but that I would never forgive him for this. This is when he came back to me to try and fix things without telling me about it. Within the 6 months of trying to fix things he said that he felt so bad about what he had done that when we got better it made him feel worse and he went into an even deeper and darker hole and changed into another person again who went back to the other woman on and off within that 6 month period. When he chose to leave the 2nd time he said it was because he couldnt handle what he had done and felt bad about lying to me but didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to lose me or a life without me. After he left, he went back to this other woman again to feel wanted or to boost his self esteem. He claims that it didn’t mean anything and that he never wanted to be with her- it was mainly for the sex and the need to feel wanted again. He never took her on dates and only ever saw her at night. She ended up getting a boyfriend because he wouldn’t commit to her and they remained friends a few months before I went away. It was also revealed that a few weeks after being on my trip, he slept with another woman also just once and he says he did this so he would makesure he told me about being unfaithful when I returned home. I don’t think he ever wanted me to find out about the first woman.

    So now, a few months after everything was revealed I am still in a state of disbelief and just wish we could go back and change everything. My husband is truly sorry for what he has done and doesn’t even feel like that was him that did it all for so long. What he did goes against his values and morals and can’t understand why he would do this to me. We have analysed our relationship before he left the initial time and have greed that we were in a terrible place in our relationship and so many needs weren’t being met. It was like we had so many other things going on at the time that we forgot about each other and the simple things in life. We both felt unhappy and trapped and felt like nothing was very going to change – and also lost ourselves as a result. There are so many things that we have both learnt and would change. We are just so stuck and don’t know what to do. We tried seeing each other for a little bit and wanted to see how that went. My family knew about this from the start but his family has just recently found out about it all and are just as sad as us. My family are willing to support us with whatever decision we decide to make going forward but my brother has his own opinion about what has happened (which I understand) and can’t and won’t forgive him ever and has already said if I decide to try things again then I am an idiot and that he won’t be involved in it. Since this has happened my husband has gone from wanting to try and fix it to you deserve better than me and I want you to move on without me.
    I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him and get over the horrible things that he has done to me- let alone ever trust him again. I have read sooooo many articles and books on this subject to get help but nothing seems to help. I have even seen a psychologist a few times now too and still find myself struggling with the reality of the situation. We both still love each other and want to be together but there’s this huge mountain in the way now- and its changed our relationship and the way I view him forever. How do we move forward with or without each other? This is the most difficult and sad and traumatising time in both of our lives. At the moment , we have decided to take a 1 month break to not talk or see each other and see how we feel after that as we haven’t had no contact at all before. I am hoping his sheds new light and clarity on the situation. We both just don’t want to feel pain anymore. Being around him and with him makes me so happy but then makes me so sad because of what he’s done and he feels the same way. Its painful to be with him and painful to not be with him.

    Any professional advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks 🙂

  36. Hello,

    I am writing to you to hopefully get some advice and clarity on my current situation as I am so very sad and lost. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for nearly 2. 10 months after our wedding he said he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore and left the house for 3 weeks. I thought we were over at this point. He said he loved me but wasn’t in love with me anymore and wasn’t happy. This came as such a shock to me because he never communicated any huge issues in our relationship upto this point. We were in a very rough patch in our relationship and I too felt unhappy and trapped because I felt I had communicated my issues so many times and nothing ever changed.

    After 3 weeks had gone by he returned wanting to try and fix things. We tried this for the next 6 months but everything was so up and down and we didn’t really get anywhere. I was still in shock that he had given up on us and left in the first place and felt that things would be good for some time and then go back to the way that they were- I no longer felt secure with the way he felt about me and everything just felt off. After the 6 month period, my husband left again stating that we should take a break and try to get our happy selves back again so we can be happier together after some time apart. Within this time, he moved his things out of our house and wanted us to sell so he could buy a block of land and try to move on with his life as he thought this would make him happier in some way. In his mind, he wanted to separate everything and become happier people so we could reconcile again and have a new and fresh relationship in a new home. I asked him numerous times if there was someone else and he always said no. At this point,, I was focusing on myself and began to regain who I used to be. My husband still kept in contact with me and we would see each other atleast once a week. He wanted to come over and give me massages, was being extra tentative, did something really nice for my birthday and took me out for dinners. We still had sex sometimes and he wanted to be all over me. This was very confusing for me because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just come back home to me by the way he was acting. He wouldn’t give me a clear answer and I felt like we were in limbo land for months and months- it was torture.

    For the whole month of May, I went away on an overseas holiday. I felt like I needed to get away and do my own thing. He was staying at our house while I was away to feed the dogs etc. While I was away, my husband continued to contact me and he said that he missed me etc. From our messages I was fairly certain that we were going to get back together when I returned from my trip. He was going to be at home the night I returned and because I had learnt so much over our time apart and from my trip, I had realised so many things that I would have done differently in our relationship to make it better. Upon my return, I was told by family members who were told by an anonymous person that my husband had been cheating on me on and off for months. I was stunned. I confronted him when I returned to our home and he denied some of it in a panic. This is the truth that came out: In the 3 weeks when he left initially, he slept with another woman a few times. He said he felt so unhappy in our relationship and so lost that he changed into another person and when someone gave him attention or affection that he longed for he fell for it. As soon as he did it, he regretted it and knew that all he really wanted was me but that I would never forgive him for this. This is when he came back to me to try and fix things without telling me about it. Within the 6 months of trying to fix things he said that he felt so bad about what he had done that when we got better it made him feel worse and he went into an even deeper and darker hole and changed into another person again who went back to the other woman on and off within that 6 month period. When he chose to leave the 2nd time he said it was because he couldnt handle what he had done and felt bad about lying to me but didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to lose me or a life without me. After he left, he went back to this other woman again to feel wanted or to boost his self esteem. He claims that it didn’t mean anything and that he never wanted to be with her- it was mainly for the sex and the need to feel wanted again. He never took her on dates and only ever saw her at night. She ended up getting a boyfriend because he wouldn’t commit to her and they remained friends a few months before I went away. It was also revealed that a few weeks after being on my trip, he slept with another woman also just once and he says he did this so he would makesure he told me about being unfaithful when I returned home. I don’t think he ever wanted me to find out about the first woman.

    So now, a few months after everything was revealed I am still in a state of disbelief and just wish we could go back and change everything. My husband is truly sorry for what he has done and doesn’t even feel like that was him that did it all for so long. What he did goes against his values and morals and can’t understand why he would do this to me. We have analysed our relationship before he left the initial time and have greed that we were in a terrible place in our relationship and so many needs weren’t being met. It was like we had so many other things going on at the time that we forgot about each other and the simple things in life. We both felt unhappy and trapped and felt like nothing was very going to change – and also lost ourselves as a result. There are so many things that we have both learnt and would change. We are just so stuck and don’t know what to do. We tried seeing each other for a little bit and wanted to see how that went. My family knew about this from the start but his family has just recently found out about it all and are just as sad as us. My family are willing to support us with whatever decision we decide to make going forward but my brother has his own opinion about what has happened (which I understand) and can’t and won’t forgive him ever and has already said if I decide to try things again then I am an idiot and that he won’t be involved in it. Since this has happened my husband has gone from wanting to try and fix it to you deserve better than me and I want you to move on without me.
    I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him and get over the horrible things that he has done to me- let alone ever trust him again. I have read sooooo many articles and books on this subject to get help but nothing seems to help. I have even seen a psychologist a few times now too and still find myself struggling with the reality of the situation. We both still love each other and want to be together but there’s this huge mountain in the way now- and its changed our relationship and the way I view him forever. How do we move forward with or without each other? This is the most difficult and sad and traumatising time in both of our lives. At the moment , we have decided to take a 1 month break to not talk or see each other and see how we feel after that as we haven’t had no contact at all before. I am hoping his sheds new light and clarity on the situation. We both just don’t want to feel pain anymore. Being around him and with him makes me so happy but then makes me so sad because of what he’s done and he feels the same way. Its painful to be with him and painful to not be with him.

    Any professional advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks 🙂

  37. How are you doing? Me and my Wife are both 27 and have been married for almost 3 yrs. Coming into this marriage she had kids when she was 18, two kids by two separate guys. We also have a kid of our own and I’ve adopted the other two. This year has been challenging due to us relocating many times during the process of buying our home. As of lately she has rekindled the flame of old friendships that have died down since we have gotten married and I don’t have any problem with having a social life but she has abused it.. coming home at 4in the morning, sometimes being out from Saturday 5pm to Sunday 12 at night, and really leaving me with the kids while she’s going out. I’ve asked her to be respectful with these things and she has insisted we give each other space because it has burdened me and I’m very upset because of how she switched up. She wants me to get an apartment so we can become the best versions of ourselves even tho I own the house with her and it jus seems like she’s being irresponsible and idk what to do. She seems like she doesn’t wanna be married and wants to be living the single life.

    1. Hi there,
      your relationship sounds like its in the danger zone. You guys need to address what is happening between you guys. I fear for your marriage seek professional guidance. The warning signs are there take heed!

  38. Hello,

    I am writing to you to hopefully get some advice and clarity on my current situation as I am so very sad and lost. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for nearly 2. 10 months after our wedding he said he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore and left the house for 3 weeks. I thought we were over at this point. He said he loved me but wasn’t in love with me anymore and wasn’t happy. This came as such a shock to me because he never communicated any huge issues in our relationship upto this point. We were in a very rough patch in our relationship and I too felt unhappy and trapped because I felt I had communicated my issues so many times and nothing ever changed.

    After 3 weeks had gone by he returned wanting to try and fix things. We tried this for the next 6 months but everything was so up and down and we didn’t really get anywhere. I was still in shock that he had given up on us and left in the first place and felt that things would be good for some time and then go back to the way that they were- I no longer felt secure with the way he felt about me and everything just felt off. After the 6 month period, my husband left again stating that we should take a break and try to get our happy selves back again so we can be happier together after some time apart. Within this time, he moved his things out of our house and wanted us to sell so he could buy a block of land and try to move on with his life as he thought this would make him happier in some way. In his mind, he wanted to separate everything and become happier people so we could reconcile again and have a new and fresh relationship in a new home. I asked him numerous times if there was someone else and he always said no. At this point,, I was focusing on myself and began to regain who I used to be. My husband still kept in contact with me and we would see each other atleast once a week. He wanted to come over and give me massages, was being extra tentative, did something really nice for my birthday and took me out for dinners. We still had sex sometimes and he wanted to be all over me. This was very confusing for me because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just come back home to me by the way he was acting. He wouldn’t give me a clear answer and I felt like we were in limbo land for months and months- it was torture.

    For the whole month of May, I went away on an overseas holiday. I felt like I needed to get away and do my own thing. He was staying at our house while I was away to feed the dogs etc. While I was away, my husband continued to contact me and he said that he missed me etc. From our messages I was fairly certain that we were going to get back together when I returned from my trip. He was going to be at home the night I returned and because I had learnt so much over our time apart and from my trip, I had realised so many things that I would have done differently in our relationship to make it better. Upon my return, I was told by family members who were told by an anonymous person that my husband had been cheating on me on and off for months. I was stunned. I confronted him when I returned to our home and he denied some of it in a panic. This is the truth that came out: In the 3 weeks when he left initially, he slept with another woman a few times. He said he felt so unhappy in our relationship and so lost that he changed into another person and when someone gave him attention or affection that he longed for he fell for it. As soon as he did it, he regretted it and knew that all he really wanted was me but that I would never forgive him for this. This is when he came back to me to try and fix things without telling me about it. Within the 6 months of trying to fix things he said that he felt so bad about what he had done that when we got better it made him feel worse and he went into an even deeper and darker hole and changed into another person again who went back to the other woman on and off within that 6 month period. When he chose to leave the 2nd time he said it was because he couldnt handle what he had done and felt bad about lying to me but didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to lose me or a life without me. After he left, he went back to this other woman again to feel wanted or to boost his self esteem. He claims that it didn’t mean anything and that he never wanted to be with her- it was mainly for the sex and the need to feel wanted again. He never took her on dates and only ever saw her at night. She ended up getting a boyfriend because he wouldn’t commit to her and they remained friends a few months before I went away. It was also revealed that a few weeks after being on my trip, he slept with another woman also just once and he says he did this so he would makesure he told me about being unfaithful when I returned home. I don’t think he ever wanted me to find out about the first woman.

    So now, a few months after everything was revealed I am still in a state of disbelief and just wish we could go back and change everything. My husband is truly sorry for what he has done and doesn’t even feel like that was him that did it all for so long. What he did goes against his values and morals and can’t understand why he would do this to me. We have analysed our relationship before he left the initial time and have greed that we were in a terrible place in our relationship and so many needs weren’t being met. It was like we had so many other things going on at the time that we forgot about each other and the simple things in life. We both felt unhappy and trapped and felt like nothing was very going to change – and also lost ourselves as a result. There are so many things that we have both learnt and would change. We are just so stuck and don’t know what to do. We tried seeing each other for a little bit and wanted to see how that went. My family knew about this from the start but his family has just recently found out about it all and are just as sad as us. My family are willing to support us with whatever decision we decide to make going forward but my brother has his own opinion about what has happened (which I understand) and can’t and won’t forgive him ever and has already said if I decide to try things again then I am an idiot and that he won’t be involved in it. Since this has happened my husband has gone from wanting to try and fix it to you deserve better than me and I want you to move on without me.
    I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him and get over the horrible things that he has done to me- let alone ever trust him again. I have read sooooo many articles and books on this subject to get help but nothing seems to help. I have even seen a psychologist a few times now too and still find myself struggling with the reality of the situation. We both still love each other and want to be together but there’s this huge mountain in the way now- and its changed our relationship and the way I view him forever. How do we move forward with or without each other? This is the most difficult and sad and traumatising time in both of our lives. At the moment , we have decided to take a 1 month break to not talk or see each other and see how we feel after that as we haven’t had no contact at all before. I am hoping his sheds new light and clarity on the situation. We both just don’t want to feel pain anymore. Being around him and with him makes me so happy but then makes me so sad because of what he’s done and he feels the same way. Its painful to be with him and painful to not be with him.

    Any professional advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Dear Lee, you have to decide what you want.
      I get infidelity and what you have been through is not easy, but you are letting it define you – as a victim and I most respectfully suggest I believe in you more than that. Pain does heal, obviously you would both need to be working on that in the future to strengthen your relationship. For now work on the Last Resort as your guide and directions for now. Stop all pursuing behavior, start caring for you as you would a good girl friend – I really get a sense you are kind, so give yourself some of that you deserve it!! xx

      1. Thanks for your reply!

        Deciding what I want is the hardest thing 🙁 it would be good for this to not have happened and for us to go back how we were and work on our relationship. I cant change the past and feel like I am having trouble accepting that he is the person that has actually done this. Maybe I am in a bit of denial I dont know? You think you know someone and then they just rip your heart out- I just dont understand. I will try the LRT again and see how I feel. I feel like if we try to work things out then I will feel shameful and obviously there would be trust issues. Its just so hard and unfair of him for putting me in this position 🙁

        1. Dear Lee,
          he is human, like us all so we make mistakes. If there is children here, you need to seriously give this your best shot. It’s good to learn and this can be a real opportunity. It won’t be easy staying and working on things but it’s better than quitting. You may not quite be past the LRT where you guys can work on things so keep it up, after a few months then you may see how you feel! xx

          1. Thanks!

            No we dont have any children yet. I know that people make mistakes its just so hard. He feels like he will never beable to forgive himself for what he has done to me so he says how can he expect me to forgive him. We both feel horrible and have been in a limbo land now for the past year. Do you think a break from each other to clarify things is a good idea to heal a bit first? He seems to think thats a good idea because right now its like whats happened is our whole life- we think about it everyday and it brings us down. After these things happen do couples normally jump straight back into it and work on things or take time away? He hasnt been living in the house for the last 7 months so I feel like we are basically not together anyway. Wish we could just start fresh but cant change whats happened. We just dont know how to make it work or if it even should. Its a struggle

            Xx

            1. Dear Lee,
              every couple who deals with a betrayal needs to find their own way through it. Not everyone needs therapy, some folk bounce back and reconnect, others take time and it’s a few steps forward then a bundle back. Sorry to be vague but it is really a case of what works for you both.

              There are some key features in infidelity healing. Spouses need to help each other, respond to their partners needs and be remorseful. It doesn’t pay to get stuck in pain or guilt that slows processing past the pain.

              Marital therapy can help fast track a few things. The recovery process and the strengthening of your bond for the future.

              I hear your struggle. Perhaps check out books for helping your relationship survive infidelity and betrayal.

              1. Hello again,

                Thanks for that! Its been so hard. I just want to forget about it all and make the pain go away. My husband isnt keen on marital therapy of any kind at the moment- he is in a place where he wants to forget about it all and block it out because he cant deal with it at the moment and feels horrible and depressed all the time. He says he feels like he needs a break from it all as he has been dealing with it for a year now- I found out 2 months ago. We are in totally different places. He just wants our old life back now but its not that simple- its going to take a lot of time and work and patience and more hard stuff which he tends to run away from. He said initially he needed space so we are not upset about it or confronted with it all the time and just wants me to be happy instead of feeling horrible. Its like its just all too hard for him- he doesnt have good coping mechanisms! How do I let this go and move on if he cant even try? I still cant believe any of this! 🙁 do you have any tips or techniques to stop intrusive thoughts popping into my head? Any tips would be great!

                1. Hello again,

                  Thanks for that! Its been so hard. I just want to forget about it all and make the pain go away. My husband isnt keen on marital therapy of any kind at the moment- he is in a place where he wants to forget about it all and block it out because he cant deal with it at the moment and feels horrible and depressed all the time. He says he feels like he needs a break from it all as he has been dealing with it for a year now- I found out 2 months ago. We are in totally different places. He just wants our old life back now but its not that simple- its going to take a lot of time and work and patience and more hard stuff which he tends to run away from. He said initially he needed space so we are not upset about it or confronted with it all the time and just wants me to be happy instead of feeling horrible. Its like its just all too hard for him- he doesnt have good coping mechanisms! How do I let this go and move on if he cant even try? I still cant believe any of this! ? do you have any tips or techniques to stop intrusive thoughts popping into my head? Any tips would be great!

                2. Dear Lee,
                  If that’s the case find a good therapist to process things with, as you are totally correct you are in different places. I am guessing there is a deal of shame here for your husband and sadly he is feeling trapped in that. From your comment it is clear he is not ready so I would honour that for now. I don’t reckon you can force folk and as you say he’s an avoider from the past. Get some good coaching to help you address it and then raise it in helpful ways. Our communication is part of the pattern.

                  Look up the resources sectionHelping yourself. I will add more soon. Try Emotional Freedom Technique. We all have intrusive thoughts – a lot of folk find meditation super helpful, perhaps you can find a group, do it online, look at Youtube and there are Apps.

                  It’s a case of finding what works for you. Hope this helps. xx

  39. Hi there! My husband is now distant and cold. We had a few recurring issues before and feels like it’s happening again. He won’t let me hug him, even a good bye kiss isn’t allowed, says he is not comfortable with it. We were separated for a year last 2011-2012, and now feels like history is repeating itself. He says, whatever he is now, it was me who taught him that. If he’s distant right now, it was all because of me, he says. I really want us to work our marriage, again. Because the first time was really difficult and I though it wouldn’t happen again. What do you suggest I should do? Thanks in advance.

    1. Dear Desperate,
      STOP Stop pursuing – no hugging, kissing or talking about the relationship and where it is or the past.
      Be present and hold onto that part that is fearful and give the LRT your best shot. xx

  40. Dear Philipa,

    Last Saturday night, my wife decided to end things with me because she told me my negativity in social occasions/outings has tired her out. She tells me that she still loves me, I’m a good father to our young kids and that I have improved significantly from our therapy which we took together last year; but that it’s not good enough and I’ve really shattered her happiness because whenever we’re with people I don’t really care for, I go into a shell. She doesn’t feel the support that I should be giving her as a spouse. And she’s right. I have acted bad many times in our 11 year marriage.

    While she hasn’t said anything specifically about a divorce, she has mentioned she wants us to start moving towards financially unbinding ourselves with the house, real estate, bank accounts. etc. I just read the 3 rules to apply in this situation and am trying to stay positive and look out for me after I emotionally pleaded with her not to leave. Is there any further advice you can give so that I am on track in winning her back?

    1. Dear One day at a time – you may need to be careful with the LRT, if your wife would see this as a withdrawal and what usually happens in the relationship you need to do the opposite. I am really proud of your ownership of your part in the pattern, however you now need to now pick up the sword of responsibility and take action to cut out the bad behaviour. It is going to take a while, too if this dynamic has been going on for 11 years. Let go of any expectations and keep your chin up!! Go you!!

  41. Hello,

    My partner of nearly 2 decades says he no longer wants to be with me, blames all his problems on me, on a daily tells me how he hates how I am. Pretty much just degrades me to nothing. He left the house I begged for him to come back to our family he did but it’s just this nightmare I’m living. He tells me to get my act together if I want to be with him that the lifestyle he wants i don’t show enough effort to want all the big things he wants in life. He threatens to leave me almost daily and makes it seem like he is punishing me for bothering him to talk about our relationship. He has threatened to leave the house for longer period of time. I almost don’t know if this is just some sick game he is playing and enjoys seeing me suffer or he is trying to teach me some lesson. It’s just terrible. I feel like a servant to him not like a partner. He just shoots down everything I have to say like it’s not important he the one that only and truly matters. We were not always this way. There was a time I can remember when he truly loved me. I almost feel like he just used me up and is just done with me and kicking me to the curb. He tells me he needs to get high to go down to my level because when he is sober he says he does circles around me. I honestly can say I was very independent person and he made me dependent of him and now he does not like it and wants nothing with me. He just confuses me so much. For example i use to tell him that I did pretty much everything for him like I wanted to look and be my best for him(done up, fit, beautiful, career in order for us) he then began to tell me don’t do anything for me do it for yourself. So I started to stop saying I was doing it for him. I started saying I was doing it for me my health. He then tells me I should want to look good for him. I should do it for him. (This is what confuses me so much. so you do or you don’t?) He has been unfaithful in he past and he came forward on his own told me asked me for forgiveness and I of course forgave him. But he is acting the same way he did when he was having his affair. I truly love him but I know this is so unhealthy for me and the kids. But I’m am just so weak I don’t know how to talk to him for him to come clean to me and tell me what is really going on with him. I almost feel if he is honest with me I can maybe feel a relief and have this weight off of me and maybe I can move on. Don’t know maybe it just wishful thinking. He just has this hold on me I feel like I honestly have nothing with out him. I think I am starting to believe everything thing bad he says about me. Sometimes I wish I had no emotional connection with him that I could move on with my life. But I don’t even know how to start feeling that way. I’m just completely lost. Because I want to fight for our family but don’t know what to do. Please give me advise. And thank you for you time.

    1. Dear Jasmine,
      i hear your pain and anguish. I am slightly confused but I think i got your partner is also confused, and is using drugs to medicate his feelings and your self esteem has beem affected in your negative interactions.

      So first thing stop talking about the problems, give yourself a break here. I am concerned your self worth needs boosting; Statements like this” or example i use to tell him that I did pretty much everything for him like I wanted to look and be my best for him(done up, fit, beautiful, career in order for us) he then began to tell me don’t do anything for me do it for yourself. ” Actually put a lot of pressure om a person I hope you understand what I am saying. When do you get to care for you because you deserve it? You fight by letting go of all expectations, being kind and reminding him ( with actions only!!! no words) of your qualities and beahviours that he used to appreciate. Try this first and use the LRT especially the part about taking care of you. Get some new clothes, your hair done, a new lippy or any tiny shift of care xx

  42. Good day,

    My husband and I met many years before we started a relationship, he wasy a vey good friend of my brother. As time went on I became interested in him, we were in our late teenage years 17 and 18, but I never expressed or tried to get to him; he ended up moving to another state and we didn’t keep in touch. Three years later, he came back to my state, he had always had many family problems and this time he was kicked out of his house for the third time in two yeats. Our family took him in temporarily, and we began to spend more time together. He confessed he had always had feelings for me so we started dating.

    He was my first boyfriend, and everything was very new and special to me. We were very serious about this relationship and were inseparable. His problems often got in the way, and created very tense situations. He had been through a lot his whole life, especially with his mother.
    We kept trying hard and stayed together, we were very much in love and got married 6 months into our relationship. We thought we were invisible. Days after our marriage, he fell ill and was basically incapacitated for the next 6 months. I was very scared and tried my absolute best to stay strong. I helped him do everything, cheered him up, worked for us and tried to keep a strong face. Deep down I was devastated, but my family was always very supportive an helped us so much.
    His family slowly came back into his life, including his mom. Time went on and he finally got back on his feet. I was so traumatized and emotional drained by all that had happened and shortly after became pregnant.
    Finances were not very good and unfortunately I had to stop working since my job was a very hectic and unpredictable working environment. I was also an immigrant. I couldn’t find a job, so I stopped contributing to our home.
    Unfortunately for him he had to work on his own and he was not very happy. He tried to be understanding, but he clearly never got over it.
    I had a rough delivery via c section, and our lives became very tense. I was also very traumatized and emotional because of the surgery and all we went through with his illness.

    Two yrs after he put in a petition for a visa. So we mutually decided that I should stay at home with our child
    Time passed and our case was hard so it took us one or two more years. During all that time I was very stressed, emotional, hurt by his comments about me not working and doing anything productive, but honestly all that I had experienced in so little time broke my confidence and I became very dependable not to mention that I had also left my studies and everything I loved to do very early on just to always be with him, That was my own mistake.

    I became cold and mean due to his bipolar character. He would was always uncomfortable with me not working, never satisfied with my attempts at having everything perfect (home, laundry, dinner, managing appointments, paperwork) he was always stressed from a hostile work environment, yet he tried to also be loving and expected affection from me, but I was going through a lot as well. He never validated my own emotional state, however he was always affectionate. I brought up divorce on may occasions in the first two yrs of our marriage because I felt like we were too broken. This obviously hurt him so much.
    3 years into our marriage he began to bring up the idea of having another baby, but while I also wanted one, I was so scared for our future especially because of finances and our Rocky relationship.

    We found out i was pregnant in January, and we were happy, also we had the immigrant interview scheduled for April, so many things were happening, also he was ready to leave his current job.
    I was approved for the Visa, and we were so happy. We planned so many things for the future including me working as soon as our baby was born.

    He began a new job which he felt very happy for. He was also earning more, which he loved, however his schedule began to cause problems. Along with my pregnancy and still Rocky marriage, I was expected to be very diligent with his meal prepping, laundry, all while I hadthe rest of my responsibilities around the house and as a mom to a young and active little one. I was experiencing so much and was always exhausted. I began to become more and more tired , physically and emotionally as everything never pleased him. If I missed breakfast, his pants weren’t creased, the socks he wanted weren’t washed, he would snap and I would feel so bad. I became very angry and emotional, I felt unloved and abandoned as he was never home due to his current job as well as his previous jobs. We became very distant. I was very distant. We became unmotivated and pushed him away. I didn’t know how to feel. I felt as though the didn’t care about my pregnancy and the inevitable symptoms I would get. I was so angry.
    He kept his usual loving self even with everything mean he would say earlier during the day.

    Fast forward to July. He finally broke his silence, and said he was done with our relationship. He brought up how unappreciated he felt and that he couldn’t deal with my unloving self. He ended our relationship but did not mention divorce. I found out last week that he’s moved on and he’s talking to a former coworker from his previous job. He didn’t want to say more as I basically pushed him to confess if there was more to his sudden breakthrough. This hurt me so much, and I couldn’t help myself self to feel helpless and worthless.

    All the stress has put me in the hospital twice for abnormal bleeding. Today, I am on my second emergency at 31 weeks, I initially wanted him to disappear, but he wants to stay at home for the kids. He also promised to provide for me and the kids. I am torn, and his decision has me even more confused. I unfortunately have done many mistakes listed on the website. I have been very angry, even told him to stay away from us, but now I am pleading, texting, and calling him to stay and give me a chance. We have talked in person about this and he is very hurt I feel terrible.

    Everytime I want to make up my mind and just ended, I always think about the situation and cry so much. I’m very hurt. And now my baby could be born earlier than her due date. He came to see me with our daughter and as they left I asked him to hug me, which he had already refused to do on other days. I bursted into tears as he held me and asked to to please stay. He left nearly in tears.

    I needed to chat with someone totally unbiased and fortunately I have found you. My husband seems very confident about his decision and even told me his family supports this, even asked him for very long why hasn’t he left me; his mom has been very involved into his life for about four years now, and I can’t help to feel angry at the fact that she has gotten a chance to redeem herself and I won’t.
    Ihope you can shed some light into this. I am really trying to stay away from hurting him more and am trying to focus on my self as much as I can, but I just feel so abandoned despite having my family always by my side(they are very neutral about this situation) and can’t do much because I’m pregnant and possibly high risk according to the doctor.

    Thanks for your time. This was an awful lot and perhaps not very cohesive, but I really don’t have anyone to guide me right now.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Dear Angela,
      you and your relationship have been through so much, I am not surprised to hear the hurt, anger and distress. You state clearly you have been traumatized. Right now you need to focus on you and the safe delivery of the baby. Follow the last resort diligently. This is a crisis no one should be making any relationship decisions- staying or going at this point, your unborn baby must be cared for which means getting some support – please find a systemic therapist to help you and to deal with trauma and stress.
      You choose to act on your anger and you choose unhappiness, I believe in you and know you can achieve more. BE kind – especially to yourself.
      By the way super happy for your Immigration interview went well. Focus on the positive things and notice what effect this has. Take care sending you and your family – including your husband love and healing.

  43. Hello My name is Lisa,
    My husband and I have been fighting on and off for awhile since he has started a new job and is gone 90% for travel. He told me he doesn’t want to talk to me and doesn’t know if he wants to be married anymore. He left 3 days ago for a trip I was suppose to go on and has said not to call or texted him.
    I’m trying to respect his wishes but it’s extremely hard. We have a friends vacation coming up this weekend for a week and he said he doesn’t want me to go. This is the only text he sent. I’m not sure what to do. We went through a really rough patch about four years ago which almost killed me emotionally. I didn’t give up and I saved our marriage. I’m not sure if it will work this time. Any advice is helpful!!

    1. Hi LIsa,
      I think you really need to listen to him – he doesn’t want to talk about it, so honour that. I know as a women that can be tough. You need to show him your love with your actions – what were you doing when things were easier? I’d bet you were relaxed, kinder, more affectionate and let things slide. Think back and use this part of you to help restore your relationship. Give him his space. NO pressure!! Stop doing it all yourself but not talking, nohting, nada. Notice his good qualities share and affirm him with positive ego strokes. YOu have to do with without any expectation – it is the gift you give your relationship. Keep in touch,

  44. Hi,
    My name is Katie. I have been married almost 5 years now. My husband was deported back to his country after 1 year or marriage. He was living with his family for 2 years in his country while I was in the US with all 4 of our kids. Since his country was dangerous and this is where my job and everything was I did not move there. While he was gone I supported him financially. We talked on the phone and FaceTimed regularly. When he came back everything was great we got along and didn’t fight much. Now that he has been here for 2 years things are turning bad and we hardly talk to each other. He works a lot and gone a lot. I used to be able to talk to him during the day or he would call just to tell me he missed me or loves me. Now I’m lucky if he calls to grip about something. I’ve noticed he is calling his ex wife a lot and talking to her for hours at a time. Why can’t he talk to me that much? When he comes home he goes to the bedroom and plays on his phone. We have sex maybe once a month. I try for more but he turns me down. I’m usually busy the kids or housework in the evenings when he is home since I work during the day also. When I ask him about his day he just says good and goes back to his phone. He gets mad when I ask him to put it down and talk to me. How can I get my husband interested in me again?

    1. Hi Katie,
      you have been through a great deal in your marriage. I am thinking from your comment it is important to recognise what’s not working and do the opposite. While you are not at the LRT stage, I reckon you could benefit by a lesser version. Stop any chasing and take care of you! This is the best way to attract your spouse back. Give to you. Let us know how you going.

  45. I have a very short and sweet comment. I’m at the last resort stage after 18 months of being separated. Ive been working on things and I’ve made progress with my husband with a constant cycle of one step forward, two steps back. Recently we went 100 steps back. I’m now at the point where I feel the only option is the Last Resort Technique. Realistically for the time length that we’ve been separated and his tenacity to not work things out, is there any possible way that it could turn my marriage around. Has there been other success stories?

    1. Dear Christine,
      thanks for your short and sweet comment. I hear you an dyou are at the Last Resort Stage, so glad you have found a way forward to help you. Your’e right progress isn’t in a straight line the terrain will have it’s ups and downs. Hang in there! Yes there are successes – read through the comments, as generous folk have discussed what really helped them in this process. What I usually hear is you have to really commit to doing the turnaround 100% not bits and pieces. Give it your best shot and you have nothing to losw!

      Where there is life there is hope. I like he’s got tenacity, your job is to inspire that for you and that’s where the LRT is. Give him and yourself the benefit of the doubt. Let us know how you go xx

  46. My wife said, she needs space to be who she is. I am trying t be strong, not to be pushy, but our couples therapy was pushed 2 weeks and my wife is not scheduling her individual one. I feel resentment form her. The being tough and not being pushy and getting a life seems not to work. How long should I wait for some results?
    I am a emotional person – I need to talk but can’t talk to her. This is devastating to me. What should I do? How to be strong? I am starting to feel anger toward her, because, she is not trying (I feel) to repair our relationship. I guess she is trying to repair herself, but this just looks and feels to me like she is running away from me and our daughter. (probably mostly me). This angers me. She is letting our relationship slowly die and as a result she is killing our FAMILY!!!!!!!!!
    HELP!!!! I can’t control my emotions (trying to look cool and strong with her)

    1. Dear Luke,
      you really need to get a handle on your anger, sure it may be completely justified. But it’s not going to help you here, indeed it may hasten the end. I hear you are emotional and truly this is to be expected at this time of your life when you are facing an uncertain feeling.

      You can’t let the hurt part of you dictate your actions. Honour that hurt part, address it for your individual therapy.

      This paragraph is not the most useful way to address things, dear Luke. “She is letting our relationship slowly die and as a result she is killing our FAMILY!!!!!!!!!”

      You each have a role in healing this so choose how you will best achieve this Luke. Hint it won’t be with harsh emotionality. It will be with love and acceptance.
      Take care1
      HELP!!!! I can’t control my emotions (trying to look cool and strong with her)

  47. Hi Philipa,

    After my wife of 8 years (together 12) told me 3 days ago she “would be happier without me” your LRT and commentary is the only thing giving me hope at the moment. Thank you for your insights.

    My wife and I have always had what I consider a strong marriage, where we have overcome obstacles and always put our relationship first. We also are the proud parents of 4 year old twins, which has come with its share of ups and downs.

    Over the last 2-3 months we have been arguing non-stop, and mostly pertaining to parenting styles and her family’s constant involvement in our life. Admittedly, I have been irrational with my behaviour towards her family, and often have become very sharp and unkind whenever they are around. I have self-diagnosed this behaviour as a lack of attention I have received from my wife, and I believe it has led to what seems to be my marriage’s downfall.

    What is most difficult is that while I have only recognized a real issue in the last 2-3 months (successfully suggesting we start marriage counselling), she states she has been feeling this way for the last 12-months, and is confident her feelings will not change. Only 2 counselling sessions have been had to date.

    I am in a panic at the moment but have immediately started implementing fundamentals of the method. Not much update as of yet but I remain patient.

    I am fearful that my wife will advance separation and likely divorce proceedings without giving counselling and/or my behaviour change a chance, and I am curious to know how you think I should react to her potential advancement of separation (lawyers, financial advisors, etc). I for one am planning to “slow-play” any form of advancement but wonder if this may push her to expedite. Alternatively, do I engage in the separation activities and roll the dice hoping she sees the light before things are ultimately over?

    I am also curious how family and confidants whom I have advised what is happening should behave? Many want to reach out to my wife and try to talk sense into her, but I believe that may be counterintuitive. Alternatively, should she not expect my family (specifically) to react with her? If they do not, wouldn’t she feel as though there is something fishy going on? “How can both he and his entire family have no problem with this and has moved on with their lives?”

    Hope you can help me with some direction on these items. Thanks,

    1. Dear Adam,
      thanks for reaching out – I hear your desperation and am glad you have a flicker of hope, remain true to this care. I do so appreciate your great and thoughtful questions! As many other folk will have similar thoughts.

      Of course you are panicked and that goes with the bombshell being dropped and you are spot, on patience is your best ally.

      My first feeling is you are overthinking it all.

      I get this is a rough time for you being on the ledge there. Fear though is not the ideal motivator. Love is. You need to honour the part of you that is scared to death of the marriage ending and yet not allow it to be in the drivers seat for recovery. I am thinking Adam you are wise to this reading your comment.

      Let me speak directly to what you ask. I am for less planning of ‘slow play. For one it is playing as you say and not real. And I believe no one of us likes to be controlled or obstructed and it will likely feel this way to your wife – people are intuitive. Which I reckon you read correctly will expedite things. So do the opposite of what you want and do what she wants. This will change it up and get her seeing real change.

      Fro the next item -“I am also curious how family and confidants whom I have advised what is happening should behave? Many want to reach out to my wife and try to talk sense into her, but I believe that may be counterintuitive.”

      Here I would slow down or cease this discussion entirely. Your family will want to support you naturally and involving them takes away from your relationship, so honour your marriage and limit conversations with others. I recently went through a tough time in my relationship. I really had to be careful who I discussed it with amongst my friends. As most would vehemently support me and not really see my partners point. I had one shining light who was so amazingly neutral and even handed. This really was the most supportive thing I needed. Perhaps you have a mate who can be this type of confidante.

      I am guessing your wife might be the mother of your children and so will be involved in the future with family naturally. So you might suggest to your family if they can please support you and your relationship by letting the two of you work through things without syaing or getting involved however this turns out as you believe this might give the best outcome for a future.

      Hope this helps good luck!!

      1. Hi Philpa,

        Thank you for your response and kind reassurance. As much as I would love to say there has been an update in our relationship over the now close to 3-weeks (where I have been relatively diligent in working on myself), no real signs at this juncture that things are working. Thankfully my wife has not furthered any proceedings with respect to an actual separation or divorce, but I continue to wonder when that day may come while I live separately in our guest bedroom and time with our children split relatively equally between us.

        What is most troubling is that my wife has shown little to no interest in me at all in the last 3 weeks – which is a far cry even from before she dropped the bombshell on me. Not sure if she is testing my emotional state or if she has truly checked out, but it’s hard to stay positive when very few signs of life exist. For example, earlier this week I learned of a close family member’s passing, with whom my wife had a strong relationship with as well. While grieving, my wife never took any initiative to consol me, even while crying directly in front of her. Prior to this devastating news I also had an MRI which I had been awaiting for months to diagnose a back issue. Not once has my wife asked how the MRI went or what the next steps are.

        Safe to say I am deflated but have to remain hopeful that the wife I know and I love will return.

        Re-reading the theory and commentary continues to provide hope – curious if you have any feedback on what I am witnessing. Thanks

        1. Dear Adam,
          well no divorce proceedings are what I call progress. I get it’s not a easy place, a kind of no-man’s land. Hang in there you are doing better than you think, I am guessing. So I want to encourage you to do some self reflection. Take a think at what you are doing at present that helps and what isn’t. Go with the stuff that is working.

          Forget the wondering and forecasting for the future. No one of us truly knows. So I say stay in what is.
          Mindfulness is a huge support for many. Check out our resources section here Resources

          I read that going over the comments and absorbing the Blog info at Marriage Works helps inspire you and keep your hope alive – thank you for saying, Adam. I hope others hear, your observation and take action on your advice. Super appreciated Adam.

          Hold off on any resentment. Sorry about the MRI – how did it go are you ok? We will listen. Find a friend to support you on that for now, preferably a male or your pet. You get what I mean huh?! Cheeky me.

          There are still signs of life, but at present I am guessing the emotional storm is too turbulent for you to be there for each other.

          I am so sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you, please accept my deepest condolences.

          We cannot have the old or new expectations. They will only drag you down. I get there should be support but it’s not likely given where the relationship is standing for now.

          Take care and support yourself, in your most health giving, life affirming ways you can.

          Hope this helps in some way.

          1. Hi Philipa and thank you for your caring words. Things are escalating quickly in my world and my wife has taken an aggressive approach despite my best application of the LRT.

            While she was away with a girlfriend over the weekend, she returned home without her wedding rings on. When I made the observation she said that she had just taken them off that day, however I am skeptical as to what happened during this holiday.

            Further, following this observation I made a mistake and scanned her cell phone while locked to see if there were any text messages (I am human). To my concern there was a message that I would consider a potential infidelity but I can’t say for sure – regardless, it was wrong of me to check the phone and I regret the pain the speculation is causing me.

            What made the entire week worst of all was that earlier this evening my wife advised that our separate living arrangements (within the same home) were not working and that she wanted to explore next steps regarding our separation, including shared custody of our kids (2 days on/off) and the splitting of our assets.

            Per the theory, I played things calm and did not stall the notions she was suggesting, something which was incredibly difficult to do. She appeared surprisingly content with how easy things were going, which gives me doubts that I have been taking the wrong approach all along.

            That said, I am hopeful that our separation from our kids (even while temporarily still living together) helps to bring us closer together – am I losing my mind? Can this be possible? Is it actually over?

            1. Dear Adam,
              I want you to review your above email.

              Let me be clear no where in the LRT do I or Michele suggest you scan or breach the trust of your partner by using spy technology to check anything. I get a lot of spam where people offer to do that. This sort of behaviour is super unhelpful and you need to stop this immediately.

              From your letter “it was wrong of me to check the phone and I regret the pain the speculation is causing me.” It is wrong and is has caused you more pain.

              This is an opportunity for you. With the the LRT I would suggest not making the observation of the ring for anyone-this isn’t being cool and letting go.

              Where there is life there is hope, thanks for your honesty too, Adam. Your experience will inform others.

              Take care and go easy – no chasing!!

  48. Hi Philipa,

    There are so many comments so I apologize if this has been addressed. My husband and I have been together 15 years, married for 7, and in mid-June he told me he wanted a divorce and he was not willing to work on things at all. I found the LRT and really stuck to it and within about two weeks he told me he realized that a divorce is not what he wanted and he wanted to work on our marriage. He said he was willing to read books and go to counseling. We basically went right back into marriage and acting like things were normal.

    After a week we got in an argument, my fault, and he immediately said he was done. Said that he realized nothing would ever change. He was back to wanting a divorce and even more intense with his desire.

    I don’t know what to do now or how to approach the situation. Do I do the LRT again? What are the chances a spouse will give a second chance after I messed up the first time. The last thing I want is a divorce and I am so scared that it went too far.

    We have kids so we are still communicating about the kids but we are not staying at home together.

    1. Dear Confidential,
      I appreciate you writing in. When you get a chance have a look through the blog for more, but I will help you of course.

      Well done for doing the LRT in the first place and I am so pleased you saw results and quickly by the sounds.
      So You have a history of getting back on track. Go back to it and review what worked best, mix it up a bit and really work on you. So yes do the LRT – you know it works!

      There is another part of your comment I need to address and thank you for raising it. Once the LRT works and there has been a turn around that is only the beginning not the end. The next vital step is to work on strengthening your marriage and overcoming those old road blocks. That is really where the foundations lay in forging ahead in a new partnership. Some of the old marriage will be worth bringing forward and some other patterns will need to be replaced. Don’t worry none of us are taught this, so these are skills we can all learn.

      When you are back together more fully after the LRT you can approach your partner with love and say something like ” I am scared and love you and want to work things out but honestly I don’t know how, I would like to improve our relationship in honour of our love, would you be willing to think about couple coaching? Use openness and vulnerability and your belief in your spouse. Be open for a yes or a no. That’s ok, ask what it might take in the future or go yourself to a specialist relationship therapist.

      You can change your marriage solely by changing your reactions and getting the best Resource State out to talk effectively. That usually means hearing your partner without criticism or defensive and empathising. It has surprising effects!

      Well done you so take heart and jump back into the LRT. Wishing you every success!

  49. If acting like a fraud is the best way or the last resort to saving your relationship- then I’m out.
    Acting fraudulent in order to gain back the part of the relationship that was happy, invigorating, exciting, is just plain wrong. You may get that person back, and for awhile you can still “act” this way to keep him or her there, but then over time the stress of having to act this “certain way” will put a toll on your mental integrity. I’ve done it- yes it worked- but then it all crumbled….again. I was too stressed to continue the charade in order to “keep” the man I loved- but didn’t love me for the real me.

    1. Dear Melissa,
      it’s so good to hear you say this! I hear you.

      Absolutely agree with you, acting like a fraud is not the way to go and is not what the last resort technique is in anyway suggesting you pretend. Although you may have to do a wee bit of faking it till you you feel better.

      Let me tell you by the time you have divorce papers in hand, your spouse is only seeing the dark side of the relationship. This too is not a true view but usually at this point this is their only vision of the marriage.
      I guess in a way you could say that is fraudulent too and you would be right!

      That must have been a rough ride for you. However what if you showed the part of you that was capable of love, happiness and joy, that has most likely gotten lost in the mix. I bet that is some of what happened. Isn’t this part the real you too?
      I get you will have a distressed and hurt part which needs acknowledgement and validation.

      It’s being able to be open hearted in the most desperate of situations. Not easy at all, I get that.

      The LRT is about rebuilding you to with step 2, taking care of yourself, being in touch with the kind genuine you – as I’d bet you are Melissa.

      Once your partner turns toward you and there is more stability in our marriage, we then have to address what got you to this point, so as to not have it repeat.

      So the LRT is only a launching point for you and your spouse.

      In the long term what is necessary is relationship growth and repair. So patterns of unhelpfulness do not repeat. Then you get to raise issues and deal with things but not in the old ways, it must be communicated in clear assertive and with gentleness. Believe me this is an art and I teach both married and folks who come alone how to address their spouse in reconnecting ways. Skills like this are easily learnt and reap huge rewards.

  50. My partner and I have been together for 7 years at the end of the month. We are not married for the simple reason that I don’t believe in marriage, not because we didn’t want to marry each other. We also have two kids, 5 and 2 after I got pregnant 5 months after we started seeing each other when we were both 21.
    Our relationship has always been a bit rocky due to the fact that we are opposites (opposites attract) and we often see things differently and his alcohol issues (which have improved drastically over the years, but hasn’t solved) but at our heart I do truly believe that we both love each other.
    2 and a half years ago I discovered after too much to drink at a work xmas party he messaged an ex saying how much he missed her, but it was also clear that he hadn’t seen her or had contact with her for a while. He apologised, cut off any contact with her, and showed me when she messaged him, i forgave him and we moved on.
    10 months ago he started a new job in a new industry, and after years of unstable work it was really good to have a steady(ish) job. however he wanted to keep business and pleasure separate, so I have never met his coworkers, or been invited to functions where other partners were invited. I have now realised that over time he was withdrawing from me and putting all his time and effort with them, being a small company they’re all very close.
    Approximately 6 weeks ago he kissed a co-worker after a work function. About a week later I found out, got very upset and told him I couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to end it. A day later I told him I didn’t want to give up on us and wanted to try getting past it. Throughout the past 6 weeks I developed severe anxiety (apparently it runs in my family) and started having panic attacks. I also found out that he kept messaging the girl. He told me he wanted to talk to her to figure it out, but I still want to make this work.
    Despite all this, our sex life was barely dented. On Sunday we didn’t fight, went out with the kids, had a nice time and later that night had sex. On Monday he came home from work and seemed upset, he said he couldn’t keep hurting me anymore and ended it. one big hurt now instead of all the other hurts when he screws up later on because he can’t seem to control himself. and packed up and moved out.
    After 6 weeks I am not ready to move on, we identified the reasons he was unhappy before and I had already started to fix them. It seems like the last resort is my only option.
    My question is, how long do I try for? since he has already moved out and there will be no divorce papers, when do I give up and accept that it’s over so I don’t try this for a decade?

    1. Dear Kate,

      It is truly up to you how long you keep up the Last Resort. Recall Step 3 is about waiting and patience. So glad you are not ready to move on after 6 weeks. It is about shifting your emotional space in the letting go of the old relationship patterns.

      It’s about holding on to a new reality and regaining your inner strength and wisdom to come to the fore.

      I find usually most couples have taken a while to get to breaking point, and we are not about the short term band aid fixes here. I believe those only last so long.

      The hope is it won’t take a decade. It will give you an opportunity to grow yourself back into the good person you are, which can get lost along the way of being in a committed relationship and raising children.

      Please let us know your progress – read over the blog for help and encouragement in those tough times. All the very best xx

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