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!

1,179 thoughts on “The Last Resort Technique”

  1. Hi Philipa,
    My husband told me he needed space to clear his head about 2 weeks ago. At that point he just packed a few things to stay at a friend’s house for the weekend but I let my insecurities get the best of me and i acted so desperate to the point where he came and got all of his things and is now staying at that friends house. He has told me he wanted a divorce and then the next day said he didn’t mean it, and he just wants us to work on ourselves and then see where our relationship stands. I have high anxiety and I still continued to react in a desperate way with the crying and begging and texts and calls. He told me again he thinks it’s best we go our separate ways and file the papers but he was also angry again when he said that so I don’t really know if he means it. Now he straight up ignores me unless it’s about our finances. He won’t speak to me about anything else including my daughter that he took on as his step child. At first he agreed to go to counseling but now he refuses and honestly I think I have pushed him to this point. My daughter and I both miss him dearly and I see what I’ve been doing isn’t working but do you think if I start implementing no contact now I still have a chance of him coming back? I’ve never dealt with divorce so I have no idea what is a good sign or bad sign…is anything he is doing telling you either good or bad as far as the future of our marriage is concerned? I worry that since he isn’t speaking to me that he is really done but maybe this is just because I pushed him to that? I’m just lost.

    1. Dear Rebecca, thank you for writing in.

      You have a great deal of awareness. It will help others in a similar situation.

      I want you to know it’s normal to have high anxiety given your relationship is on the line here.

      It can almost feel like a death. I am so proud of you recognising the old reactions – crying, begging and pleading are not the way to go. This level of awareness gives you a head start.

      You have to find a new way of dealing with the anxiety – which sounds like it may be related to our childhood wounds, we all have. Something like abandonment. Which is why it feels so deep and intense for you. It’s primal our longing for connected love. I truly get that. We all long for heartfelt connection.

      We need you to come from your adult, mature part who we know on a heart level can handle anything, even the most unwanted situations.

      Get in touch with this part that has been able to handle things, the strong you that has had to face loss or adversity and rose to the challenge with grace and aplomb. Channel this part of you now.

      This means too honouring this part of you feeling lost. Go inside and ask what she needs – most likely love and find ways to acknowledge and be with her in supportive health ways.

      Let us know your progress.

      1. I came across your website today and read the last resort technique. It helped me solidify the overall consensus of several other sites I have come across during the last few weeks. I am trying to mount a game plan to save my marriage and this is great advice. My wife Maria and I have been married for 17 years and have 3 children. They are 15, 12 and 8 respectfully. She has asked for a separation due to several issues. The main one is, her feeling that she has never been an equal partner in our marriage. I have left her out of many of our family’s biggest decisions, that have effected us all and should have been solved by the two of us. My spending habits have also contributed to our current situation. Until the realization of separation/divorce was presented to me, I never saw that these problems and yes they are my problems, may cost me my marriage. I now have begun to recognize my issues that have put me in this terrible place. I have taken several steps, including admission to my wife that this was wrong and how sorry I am for it and have started going to therapy for answers. I do not wish these circumstances on anyone, but know that reading all this information and advice helps.

        John

        1. Dear John,
          thanks for your kind words. Glad to hear you found my blog useful. And there are many others comments here to help too.

          It is so often I hear those same thoughts – “I didn’t realise.” Often our partner has attempted to say something but as there has been no shift we think it is ok for now. It comes to the crunch when our spouse hits the eject button, sad to say.

          But I am an optomist and believe you take account, make the changes and live them, many marriages can turn around.

          This can be a real growth opportunity for your partnership. Please keep us updated with your progress.
          all the best,
          Philipa

      2. My Wife just filed for divorce yesterday we had our 5 year anniversary in December . she wants me to sign the waiver to proceed. i have done 2 sessions with a marriage counselor specializing in discernment counseling. My wife will not attend and says there absolutely nothing that will change her mind. we have both been extremely emotional abusive towards each other. she asked for a separation which is now in its 8 week. We have beautiful baby girl who is 2 and a son who is 9. She told me 8 weeks ago in a marriage counselors office who had been seeing for 8 months that she was 75% sure she wanted a divorce saying the other 25% she doesn’t is because she doesn’t want to hurt me. my emotions have gotten the best of for the first 3 weeks of the separation and i believe the wedge was driven so far its stuck. Sad part is that i realized a medication that I was using that was prescribed by my doctor had side effects which include anxiety, anger, irritable, aggression I had to stop taking it due to the extreme anxiety that i was having from the situation. since then I have realized that most if not all of those side effects affected my marriage and caused its steady spiral into separation. my wife believes its just an excuse and still wants the divorce but i know deep down that the medication had an adverse effect on our marriage. I hopeful through the divorce she may see these changes and maybe reconcile but i am not very confident.

        1. Dear J.T
          sounds like you are in a really rough place. This is where you have to practice the LRT to the inth degree.

          I get that you wish you knew the side effects of the medication and perhaps that is a reminder for us all to check. But I can also understand why your wife wouldn’t be having the ‘a pill broke our marriage up’.

          Sorry to be blunt there but I know you have more power and while the medication may explain some small part it won’t allow you to really progress. So you are both right there. So I wouldn’t mention it again to her.

          You need to take a good look at your marriage and see your part hard as that is. This alone will give you more insight. Forget assigning blame to anyone or thing. Focus on what your wife says has been the issues and remedy these. It will take some time and I can hear there has been a lot of hurt, as you say there has been emotional abuse both ways. You have to stop this immediately regardless of your wife’s actions. The reason why is that it creates a toxic pool and your relationship can slowly drown under it’s influence.

          Good on you for getting therapy really use that to get your emotions under control and use the Last Resort as it is marriage saving. Obviously there is a disclaimer here no matter what you do sometimes the relationship won’t survive in it’s current form and that is where step 2 can give you hope!
          Take care and thanks for writing it, keep us posted.

      3. I have come to your website as I just found out my wife is having an affair. We have struggled for many years with numerous issues and she claims that the affair is not what caused the marriage to be over…it was over way before the affair. She wants out and has stated that she thinks we just are not meant for each…grown apart. My mother passed away just a few weeks ago so this has just added to my anxiety along with a feeling of hopelessness. Do you think the LRT would work? She says one of our biggest issues is that i dont listen, i might hear but dont listen! Thank you for any advice.

        1. Dear Doug,
          thanks for your email. Yes there is a crisis in your relationship I can hear. It’s funny your wife says what a lot of others who say. Basically the problems were around before she had the affair. The affair is a big exclamation mark which is likely to draw your awareness of what those problems are.
          Yes Doug the LRT would be your best bet in this case. So sorry for your loss of you mother, get support from friends who are supportive of you and yoru relationship.
          The key to listening is to really acknowledge what the person is saying withe defense or excuse.
          For example – Your wife says you don’t listen, you would say to her so your biggest issues was that I did not listen, can you tell me more. And really basically repeat what your wife says. Then you might say I imagine you might have felt frustrated, sad and alone. Find the part you can follow of what she is saying. and let her know you get here. This doesn’t mean you agree, merely you have been listening and paying attention.
          All the best xx

    2. Hello,

      My husband dated for 10 months and then got in our early 20’s while still in college . Neither of us was actually properly prepared or mature enough to understand the hardships that can come with it . We have been married for 4 years and throughout that time we have been unhappy with one another but hopeful that we will grow in time because we got into this not where we should have been as people .

      My husband viewed pornography before the marriage and said when we got married it would stop. After being married we both found out he was addicted to pornography due to him indulging in it 3-6 days a week and not being able to stop no matter if it jeopardizes his job or marriage . I do believe he is a good man at heart and had been actively working to overcome it but it just haven’t happened yet .

      In the mean time his addiction took a toll on me due to not knowing how to handle it . I was not the loving kind wife I should have been due to resentment and anger towards his actions . We were not emotionally connecting like we used to because it was like the other women were always with us in my mind . Long story short I ended up cheating on my husband through what started as a emotional affair with a coworker for 4 days and on day 5 escalated into sexual . The very next day I told him what I did because I held horrible about my actions and he deserved to know .

      He moved out the day I told him and won’t tell me where he lives .Within 2 business days he filed for divorce . He constantly says his mind is madeup and the marriage is over due to my choice to cheat because I could’ve handle my issues a different way . He initially wasn’t picking up my calls but now he does and will listen until he feels too bad to listen anymore . He will respond to my text but when I discuss reconciliation and how he should look at this as both of us doing something wrong he doesn’t want to hear it . He sounds very serious about the divorce he filed and does not want to cancel it.

      I still love him and after I did what I did I feel like I can have a better understanding of love and forgiveness to work with him through his issues . I am working on changing myself but he does not care . I am hurt that he is divorcing me but not looking at the whole situation . I know that this can be a wake up call and Turing point for our marriage and encourage us to take more action than we did before to work on ourselves . When I sent him the screenshot of the divorce he filed he said he “never actually seen that before and felt sick “. He is sad and angry right now . It is 2 weeks past disclosure of my affsirz. He doesn’t share the same vision I have of our future and keeps telling me he wants his Space .

      Help !!

      Thank You,
      Chantal

      1. Dear Chantal,
        this is a tricky situation. And particularly relevant to the the LAST resort. I want you to immediately apply Step 1. Stop all the chasing today – it’s disheartening anyway, I would guess and leads you to feel more insecure. Stop this minute.

        Respect his wish for space.

        He needs to have some time to miss you, so give him that.

        Read the LRT and all the comments. You must apply it Chantal for your best hope. Good luck.

    3. My husband moved out 4 months ago – he is emotionally attached to our mutual friend although denies it and lives with her and her brother and two young children – I do feel he has lost some interest in her lately but I could be wrong ? I have done just as you suggest – I look better than ever – dress well – have very limited contact ( only concerning our children ) and am as positive as I can when I do see him – I notice that he notices my appearance now and often see him looking me up and down or at social functions we both may attend he is often staring at me but he has never commented on any of my positive changes and has not made any attempt to reconcile sadly – I do wonder if his pride is in his way as he has mentioned to someone else that he can never come back after leaving ? He said he loved me but wasn’t in love with me when he first left and has been up and down with nasty / nice interactions although they seem less nasty now but that makes me worry that he just doesn’t have any feelings for me at all now ?

      1. Dear Sharon,
        firstly let me congratulate you on your good efforts with regard to the LRT. It is obviously having an impact from your comment. He is noticing you, this is a terrific start. So soak it up, I am guessing he may not be the commenting type and his looking at you says it all.

        Good thing to never mention any third party whether emotional or otherwise. Time is on your side here. As he loses interest. Remember step 3 – patience.

        I love that you have really worked hard on step 2 – you go gorgeous, no matter what happens from now on you know you are putting your best foot forward.

        My take on him saying he could never come back is this. I believe he is saying he would not want to go back to the old relationship. And I am sure you would not want to either. There is a reason you separated. This is about starting afresh and a new chapter Sharon. So hold on to the hope and you keep you head high girl. Work Step 1 to it’s maximum effect. Now it is wait and see.

        Take care and please update us with your progress xx

    4. Hi. I’m going through a rough time with husband. He went away about 3 weeks ago and when he came back he freaked out and said our relationship was over and wanted a divorce. He didn’t feel comf9rtable at home because i perhaps jumped on time he he got home from work, didn’t support him in doing things together, always saying no to trying new things etc, and these things are not me at all, and now have to work on. Then he said he’s giving us one more try by taking a break. I’m scared and don’t know what the end result will be. I will move out until the end of the summer. I’ve told him I will get help, etc for me and for our relationship and he is happier. He talks about picking me up from the airport in August, but then some days he is like I don’t know what will happen and end the conversation. I never wanted a break, and sometimes he treats me like I’ve cheated on him but I’ve never had and would never do that. He’s been cheated on before which led to divorce . Im willing to do what it takes to be better for myself and our relationshio. Is there any hope he will love again and want me back? Or just say hes dobe and wants a divorce.

      1. Dear Shanei, where there is life there is always hope.

        I read your comment and I think you may need to look at your reactions and patterns. Take this paragraph “He didn’t feel comf9rtable at home because i perhaps jumped on time he he got home from work, didn’t support him in doing things together, always saying no to trying new things etc, and these things are not me at all,…”

        You say you “perhaps” jumped on him – whether you did or didn’t really doesn’t matter, as he feels as if you are. Why I say this is from his perspective he may feel criticised and unsupported by you. Is this somehting you can take ownership of?

        By ownership say “yes I am negative and have been not doing things with him and saying no.”

        You have a good guy here by the sounds who actually wants to do things with you and I reckon please you but thsi negative part is not helping but pushes him away. I imagine there is a pattern you need to see and change here.
        Start with zero negativity and use the LRT !00%
        Be kind and complimentary. Have compassion too he may not have overcome his anxiety and hurt from a previous anxiety – this you could really help him overcome with your support. So don’t see it in black and white Shanei, this will take time and you can make huge changes. I would love to hear the outcome of this new way of being.
        Good Luck and give us an update.

  2. My husband and I have been together five years and only married three months. In the middle of raising two kids and planning a wedding we lost our way. Three weeks ago he told me he did not want to live unhappy the rest of his life. He told me he felt forced to marry me and doesn’t love me in that way anymore. I asked him if he wants a divorce but he said he hasn’t really thought about that he just know thinks it’s best if we are not together? I’ve been trying hard to keep to myself but some days I do bring up our relationship. As soon as I do he’s distant again. He will be moving in with a friend soon as I told him I can not live in the same house as room mates. He’s hurt and sad that he has to leave but doing it anyways. I love him so much and regret not giving him the attention he needed. I can’t help but over thinking every aspect of our relationship. Do you think I have a chance to win him back?

    1. Dear G,
      yes I truly do think you have a chance of growing and learning from this. I don’t really think of the LRT as ‘winning him back.’ Although I get why you would say that. The true spirit is about winning you back. By this I mean getting in touch with those loving kind parts of you that your partner originally fell in love with.

      Often we get trapped in the daily routine and forget to grow our garden with kindness and food. Think about how you were back in the early days and win yourself back!

    2. Dear G,
      help yourself by not over thinking please! It will only create further anxiety and frustration for you and the relationship.

      You deserve a better chance. Stop trying to “win him back.” I would like to ask you – would you be willing to “win you back?” And what that will have you doing, saying and changing in support of you.

      Please let me know G. I am curious. With love xx.

  3. Me and my husband have been together for 13 years (since we were 15). We have been married for 4 years. We have had our ups and downs. For the past couple months we have both been visibly unhappy. I have tried to talk to him multiply times about it because i want to make this work. 2 weeks ago he left me stating that he does not love me anymore and that he doesn’t want to work on it. I have tried to give him space but it is very hard for me. We have a 2 year old daughter and she goes to the school that he works at. I have to drop her off with him every morning and he meets me at the house in the afternoons with her. So i am seeing him twice a day everyday. I feel like we can never work on anything if we are having to see each other that often. He is hot and cold with how he treats me. One minute he is being nice and the next he is very cold. One minute he is asking me to breakfast and then next he is super rude. I made a trial separating agreement that would protect me and my daughter and it is all stuff that we had already verbally talked about and he refuses to sign it. One of the agreements is that we won’t date or have sex with anyone from the opposite sex. I feel that is the reason why he won’t sign it. He states that it is none of my business what he does. I love him so much and want to fix us but I do not know what to do. He told me last night that he is not focusing on fixing our relationship and that he doesn’t know if he ever will and that I need to focus on our daughter and myself. Please give me advice. I want to fix this!

    1. Dear Rachel,

      I hear you, you really want to fix this. Can I be honest with you? I want you to STOP trying!

      Please let me explain. I want you to take a rest, put the contract down and breath.

      Now I want you to get a pen and paper and write a note to yourself answering this question:

      If I imagine I am Geoff ( whatever your husbands name is) my biggest frustration with my wife is…write this down.
      If I imagine I am Geoff ( whatever your husbands name is) my biggest upset with my wife is…write this down.

      If I imagine I am Geoff ( whatever your husbands name is) what does is…write this down.

      This is going to give you some great points to work on. When you have your list, you now know what to do differently.

      Second sheet of paper:
      Here you will answer each:
      If I imagine I am Geoff I want you to answer each point with WhatI feel is…. What I really need from you is…
      And this would help me…
      For example:
      As Geoff – She criticisms me in front of the children… there may be more get specific. What I feel is I sad and humiliated. What I need from you is to talk to me as an equal and in a soft tone, asking for my opinion. And this would help me understand you and be a better parenting team…

      Hope this gives you some ideas. Please feel free to share. I am sure your journey would help others.

    2. Omg this is like my story to a tee, together 13 years, married 6. What was your outcome? Did you work things out?? My husband left 5 weeks ago..

  4. Hello I would like to say this steps by steps is best thing to a man who’s failing with their marriage to read and take as an advice. My wife told me she loves me but she’s not in love with me after a couple of rough months pulling us farther more then ever. We tried brakes before but this time she wanted a separation, so being the way I am before I packed my begs, I opened her Mac and saw texts from her to a new coworker basically sexting and planing a date after I left which, made me take initiative and left our home right away leaving her a note behind. I told her it finally sank in that she wasn’t in love with me anymore as it caught me off guard (which I did ask for another chance) but that I also knew what was going on in her workplace, and that she had been planning on cheating on me or had already kissed. I told her she was better then that and I wished her all the best of luck and as her business partner and best friend I was going to always be there for her if she needed me. When she got home she called me I didn’t answer told her I was exhausted and I needed sleep then hours later, in the morning she called again I answered and it was her crying saying she made the biggest mistake ever and that she was going to do whatever it takes to have us back together… I said I was finally releasing her and that I was hurt by what she did and I couldn’t believe who that person was by reading the things she was texting, it wasn’t the woman I knew. I honestly believe she regrets it and by telling me she feels guilty who doesn’t want to loose the love of her life and wants to save our marriage. So I’m on to the RARE STEP, that she wants to reconcile. Our feeling stills raw as this all happened yesterday now I need continue focusing on myself and find a way to not give in so quick because ultimately it’s what my heart wants! She wants me now to give her a chance which it did a completely 180, so I need to pace myself and take the right steps with caution.

    1. Dear Andrew,

      Get therapy. Find a good relationship therapist to help you both navigate this new territory. You are at the rare step where things have done a complete 180. This is the time to take action.

      I say this because if you do nothing you will find the same pattern repeating in your relationship sooner or later. Where one of you gets frustrated and takes an exit action. I think you guys can repair and restore.

      This old way of relating needs to be released. You are past the last resort you are in super fragile place of being able to regain the love and connection which brought you two together. So I would really like you to give this your all the both of you!
      Wishing you the best of luck and help.

      1. I’m in the same boat… I did cheat and now I’m trying to do the 180 and show my husband I can change that it was a mistake. You never know what you have until your about to lose everything. I wish you both the best of luck.

      2. I’m in the same boat… I did cheat and now I’m trying to do the 180 and show my husband I can change that it was a mistake. You never know what you have until your about to lose everything. I wish you both the best of luck.

      3. Hi, I’m really glad I found this web page. Because I’m going to try to do what you have said here. I know I’m mostly doing what you say not to. So starting tomorrow or tonight I’m going to start.
        I cheated on my husband and now he wants to leave. I regret everything and wish I could take it back. We have two kids together and I want nothing more then for our marriage to work. I’m hoping he will come around and see that I am trying to change for the better for our family.
        He has now done things to hurt our marriage too. We’ve been married for 12 years together for 15 and have known each other for 18 years. In the long run we have both hurt each other in our marriage but at this point I’m the only one trying to fix us. I’m hoping that I will gain his trust back and fix what I’ve done to hurt our marriage. Maybe you can give me some insight on what I can do to make this happen before the end of this year. Thanks for what you do and continue to do for people like me

        1. Dear Aimee,
          so glad you found this helpful advice in your relationship situation.
          I want you to start NOW! I believe in you, so do it girl.

          The cheating adds a complexity and will need to be worked through when the relationship has more strength and you are truly back together. But in the mean time address areas which promote both his and your insecurity around this.

          Actions are your best bet to show the 180 turnaround and this takes some time to get traction. So stop any talking about how you will change, what you understand and live this in your day to day actions.

          Again an infidelity exit is really a sign you weren’t happy and you both need to address this when the relationship regains it’s strength – I’d recommend therapy when you get to that point.

          Thank your for your appreciation of what I do and I hope it helps.
          Take care xx

  5. Hi Philipa,

    Beginning today, I am going to begin incorporating your advice into my relationship.
    I want to make this as concise as possible, as not to bore you, but I am desperate for anything in addition that you might recommend..

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 14 years. We are living together, but broken up. He has agreed to go to 3 counseling sessions with me, but if we can’t salvage the relationship, we have agreed to move out.

    We have many issues..Mostly, he feels that we repeat the same arguments over and over, and he’s tired of it. Though both are fundamentally different people, I remember a time where we were very much in love. We met when I was 25 and he was 31. We moved to California so he could purse acting. It never happened and he never fully recovered from it. He takes jobs that are below his worth and together now at 40 and 47, we have no savings, no retirement, etc. We have chosen to be child-free so that isn’t a concern, thankfully.

    Important to mention: he grew up in a home where he witnessed his mom go through four divorces. He had no interest in marriage, but eventually proposed to me six years ago. I was so happy and I thought he was too. In the years to come, a lot of stress came into the relationship – my parents got very sick (Dad with M.S. and in a nursing home, and Mom with drug/mental issues). Living far from home is very stressful for me. Combined with two jobs I hated and left, I was very depressed. I self medicated my depression, anxiety, guilt and sadness with alcohol.
    The drinking was a big issue for him because it brought out a side of me that was whiny, pathetic, and loathsome. I think it brought out contempt on is part toward me. That contempt never left, even though I have not had a drink in a year and seven months.. I thought my sobriety would make things better, but within the last few years, he called off our engagement twice. He said he didn’t see a happy life with me. I understood this initially -I was on the couch when not working -depressed and just immobilized with sadness. The second time he ended the engagement stuck..there is a wedding dress that I bought just sitting in my closet, invitations that are filled out but were never sent. My heart is broken. Even worse though, we have spiraled down. I am still coping with depression and anxiety (he doesn’t get mental illness really), and still go to AA meetings and see my sponsor. I am dealing with a lot -extremely sick parents, and a man I love who I fear lost his love for me somewhere along the way.

    I should also mention that there has been some emotional manipulation on his part through the years. I feel like he sometimes manipulates me. When I call him out on a bad behavior, he turns the tables on me. He is quick to take us to the “break-up zone.” I sometimes feel I could change many things about myself, but it would never be enough for him.

    I harbor a lot of hurt and anger about the called off engagement, but right now wonder how we will make it to the next month.

    I am still in love with him. I want to fix us. I feel like he has checked out.

    I am doing all the desperate things you said (texting, asking for reassurance, etc) and will absolutely stop.
    I have days where it is hard to even function. I just turned 40 last month -I can’t believe this is my life right now. I feel so lost. This is the last 14 years of my life. He is the last 14 years of my life. I just want us to work it out. Please help?

    1. Dear Kaiyla,

      please let me congratulate you on your sobriety. That will certainly be one of the most helpful things you can do for you and the relationship.

      It is funny isn’t and not in an easy way – how when we finally get to a better place our relationship erupts.

      As this is what I read in your email and I am taking it as a good sign, so have a hope.

      I am so glad you are beginning your healing journey and this will give you guys the biggest chance at reconciliation.

      Right now I would guess you may need to put aside your own hurt, and protection mechanisms to best help your partner. Later you can address stuff but not right now. It’s all too raw for you both.

      Acknowledge and care for your hurt and angry part but please do not act out on it.

      Your partner now needs you to step into huge growth – I know you can do it. You have to find it within yourself to see it from his perspective. That means validating and empathising with his hurt and pain. No way is is this easy and it is not about agreeing. What it is about is seeing him for who he is and acknowledging him as a fellow human being.

      This is really hard, and I think if you find yourself an Imago Therapist for those 3 sessions you will gain huge insight.

      Fingers crossed for you. Keep in touch and drop us a line to let us know. xx

  6. My wife and I have been married for 8 years and together for 10. A few years ago she told me she did not love me, which hit me like a train, and wanted to seperate. I reflected on my issues and tried to immediately fix them. She completely shut me out of her life, pushed me away, and told me she only felt guilt and pain around me. I decided to leave and apply a 1 month+ no contact period. There were set backs due to me spying and snooping which threw a few wrenches in the no contact period. I found out she was in a long distance relationship with another man for the past few months and had sex with this person at least once. After confronting her she just lied and grew more upset / distant. Soon the other man dumped her and she was devastated which happened to be around the same time I came back from no contact. I came back, applied some fixes to my personal issues, and slowly we began to rebuild our relationship. We were seemingly back on track for awhile although it seemed she made no changes to herself and we fell back into a negative routine.

    Fast forward a few years to present day she has told me (while crying) that she doesn’t love me the way I love her and that she has no passion for me. She questions why she has no feelings and can’t figure it out. Bottom line she feels all is lost and does not wish to put any effort in what she considers to be a dead marriage. We have different hobbies and schedules and did very little to work on our relationships. I once again realized things I could do better, but she is pushing for divorce and splitting of assets. While I acknowledge her attraction for me is missing due to my lack of effort around the house, my career, and requests for sex, I do not believe there is another man in the picture and things don’t seem as bad as they were the first time. There is no passion and a very clear cycle of negativity / fighting with one another. Due to her schedule and new hobbies we have no time with each other except complaining and dealing with finances / other obligations.

    I decided to once again leave and start a no contact period. At first I tried to reason and suggest working on things, but decided to just agree and take notice of how broken things are. We are both not getting what we want and while I want to try to deal with that she simply sees no hope. Since I left to apply no contact just 5 days into no contact she is calling me to get the divorce and assets split as soon as possible. I don’t mind going through with this, but I don’t want to disrupt the no contact period. She claims the reasoning is to help her move on and put this behind her, but we both know nothing can be finalized until I return. (I’m out of the Country).

    Besides general advice on how to move forward I would like to get feedback on if the “no contact” approach is similar to the LRT and if I’m on the right track. I don’t have any expectation or a % chance of this or that, I’m fully accepting that this could just be a good way to move on and heal the both of us. However, if there is a chance to get her back and give us another chance I would like to give that the best effort I could. I am fully committed to her, but right now she isn’t and maybe will never be, therefore I must fully commit to myself right now. I would just like to not push her even further away or damage what may be left.

    Thank you,

    John A.

    1. Dear John,
      thanks for your letter.

      You are in a similar spot to Andrew but with a few years down the track and exactly where I fear he may end up without therapy to intervene in these patterns. So really appreciate you writing in from your experience.

      Not a fan of “no contact’ as you put it. And to answer your question this is not what we would recommend as part of the Last Resort. I get it may somewhat seem like that, but it is more like being in different contact and bringing back those parts of you which your partner was attracted to. You know him John, the happier, freer fun guy – we all used to be, bring him forth.

      If I were you I would reach out and make a request to her. You are open to hearing her and you would like to have a few sessions with a therapist to figure out how you got here, what is possible and how to prevent this in the future, if not in this relationship in the next.

      Good luck!

      1. Initially I told her we could seek relationship advice, but she was 100% set on splitting. Just no interest in a relationship at the time. Since applying “No Contact” she reached out to me quickly about making plans to separate assets. More recently she has called and texted to tell me about misc things like “I can’t find the dog leash” or keeping me informed on things she’s up to. I have replied with short/positive things. I honestly don’t want to respond and focus on myself. I respond as to not ignore her but delay my responses showing her I’m busy, but ultimately responding positively.

        I’m not sure what the differences of the Last Resort compare to the no contact rule, but either way I left my home because it was an already bad environment before she told me she didn’t love me. I had to get out, everyday I could see her guilt / pain and she could see mine. Nothing good was coming of staying around that situation. I’m with friends in California and she is in Virginia. While I wonder if she is cheating on me again and what she’s doing sometimes, ultimately I’m enjoying my time away and space. I feel she is enjoying it as well. Seems like the only way to go right now. Any additional advice?

        1. Dear John,

          keep reading the blog to glean the most useful information. That old relationship wasn’t working for you both. You perhaps need to think about what your hopes are here. A new relationship must be forged together and this will take energy – otherwise you may strike a similar pattern in your next relationship. I would encourage you to have a good think about this. Good luck!

  7. Hi Carmen,

    My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We have a kid together.

    I had a 8 month affair with a co-worker which I told my husband and he was devastated. He tried to save the marriage but I wasn’t ready at that time. After 2 months, I ended the affair and a month after that I started working on our marriage, realizing that I’ve made a huge mistake and I love my husband & family.

    My husband is firm with his decision to divorce but I told him to give me 4 weeks as I would really want to work on this marriage. Throughout the 4 weeks, my husband moved back to the house and there were many happy and unhappy times but we spent time as a family. He is sometimes friendly and distant.

    During the 4 weeks, he would mention divorce but I told him to give me some more time. Relatives and friends talked to him and advised him to think twice. Our kid told him not to go to the lawyer’s. Last night, he was still firm with his decision and he plans to move out of the house next week. I asked him for more time and that we go to a counselling session.

    I told him I regret my mistake and I apologized for causing him hurt and pain. I told him that I will try to fix this marriage and I won’t give up. I would really love to see us remain as a husband & wife and as a family.

    I’m not having enough sleep and I’m scared of what will happen in the next few days.

    Any advice from you would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Dear Carmen,
      I am hopeful reading your words. Your husband has some opening there. You may not yet be at the LRT but very close.

      This relationship crisis would benefit from therapy. I just said the same to John. When we are in the middle of things we can’t get out of our loop.

      As their has been infidelity, this must be worked through for you both. In my experience, it is a 1-2 year process with good therapy. And neverending hurt and dysfunctional patterns erupting most likely without marital therapy.

      Again honour your fear but do not act out on it. Talk to your husband, from your letter I get a sense he may be open. Find a new way to do this though with openness,vulnerability, accountability, remorse and hope.

      Write and update us Carmen on your efforts and outcomes.

  8. My wife and i have been married 9 years and we have three kids together. I have spent these past years trying to be the best father, husband and provider i can be for my family. Unfortunately, i can admit that we didnt take the time we should have to invest in ourselves. She told me a few weeks ago that she loves me but is not in love with me anymore. I have appologized for missing all the signs of not working on our marriage as much as i should have, aswell as anything else i have done. I truly love her and dont want to let her go. We are still living together until she can afford to move out. I have been a wreck these past few weeks, and have told her i love her still with no reply, ive texted her and talked to her and do feel as though i am pushing her further away as you describe. Do you feel the LRT is my best bet to win her love again?

    1. Dear John,
      Yes it does sound to me like you are at the Last Resort Stage and it is about winning you back. Look over the blog for hope, inspiration, encouragement and the wisdom of others. You are worth it!

  9. Hi I’ve been with my husband just short of 6 years. Looking back now, he always felt the need to message other women sexually explicit content. I find out he apologised and things are good between us for a few months then back to square one. We married 2years ago on 9 September.
    He moved out about 6 weeks ago saying he needed time to think and work out why he felt the need to message other women other women.
    I did the chasing and begging and he called it a day.
    For the last day I’ve only contacted him regarding the kids.
    I love him so much and want him. The kids are suffering aswell.

    What do I do

    Can I please stay annoymunus

    1. Dear annoymunus,
      yes you are at the Last Resort. So follow steps 1,2 and of course 3. This will guide your actions. You may have to do this for a while.
      It is common for people to ‘exit’ the relationship with outside factors, I hope when things progress you can then work together on the issues.
      Best of luck

  10. Hi Philipa,

    I’m still not sure how to act with my partner. He has always had issues (often stemming from his dad) but he has refused to deal with them, and that’s where I think a lot of the problems are coming from. While there definitely are issues, I think a lot of the problems stem from his issues that he won’t deal with, and not from me or our relationship.
    This also makes things really difficult for me as I am not only dealing with missing him and everything else that is going on with us, but I am also genuinely concerned about him. So is his mother, she has tried to talk to him, and tried to get him to see a counsellor for himself, but he won’t open up to her and she is met with resistance. In her exact words “he takes it out on the ones who care about him the most. Then isolates them. I have dealt with it for years and will continue to because I am his mother, but it is stressful and draining”.
    She has said that there is nothing we can do about him now, he is angry at the people who love and care about him (including his Nan), won’t take her calls, and all we can do is wait till he messes it up with his new friends, which he will, or hits rock bottom. At the moment as they have only seen him when he is in a reasonably good place, they are unknowingly enabling him and don’t realize that he actually has issues that he needs help with.
    This is also a large part of the reason he didn’t have many friends, he is sociable, charismatic and easily forms new and casual connections, but often messes them up when he gets too drunk, or perceives something as a slight.
    This isn’t necessary a typical case of a relationship that hit the rocks. I believe that I am the scapegoat for his anger and personal issues, which would be why he keeps getting angrier, and ANY question from me is seen as a personal attack and is severely over reacted to with the “I can’t win/I can’t do anything/whatever I do I’m an arsehole”. While I believe I may have been controlling over some parts of our lives, he had control over others, he has cherry-picked his data, complaining whenever he did something he didn’t like, but not counting stuff he did. A lot of his complaints have stemmed also from not having the freedom that we used to have after our son was born as you just don’t have that flexibility with a newborn.
    There is so much that I just don’t know how to deal with. I can see where the last resort technique is extremely effective when the issue is “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” but how effective is it when my partner’s issues are uncontrolled, and he’s acting extremely immature, doing what he wants when he wants, and enjoying being single and having no responsibilities, which is not a life that he can have with me and the kids.
    I got a text on Friday saying that he was working night- shift next week and wouldn’t be able to pick up the kids. I said OK and asked a question about something that he put up on Snapchat a few hours before, which was ignored. I asked if night shift meant that I needed to organize 5yo into after school Care, something that we had discussed that he would continue to do, and said yes. I asked about helping me answer the questions on the Centrelink application as I had gotten stuck. He asked what they needed to now and said later. I asked if he would still see the kids fathers day, and was told probably not if he was working Sunday night. I got upset as they were excited to see him and give him their presents. He told me “you need to pull your hand out of my arse. Stop treating me like a fucking puppet’ I told him this wasn’t about me, but his kids. He had to come over, at least for an hour, and if he wanted I would leave, as long as he saw the kids. He said he would try…

    In the end I got a message on Saturday afternoon saying he was coming around to see the kids later instead of on Sunday. He came around at about 4 and was there for almost 2 hours. During this time he was exhausted, he had been out on Friday night, and overslept and missed his job on Saturday morning. He talked about work, but didn’t ask me about mine. He was on his phone, but when I went over to the side of the room that he was on (either to move the cat, or because 5yo asked me to sit on the couch so I could see her better) he put the phone away and hid it. He was asked if he was staying for dinner by 5yo, he said no, and that he wanted to stay up all night so he could sleep all day Sunday before going to work. He failed at that (he always has) and made no attempt to contact me to see his kids for fathers day, so I went and saw his mum for the afternoon.
    On Saturday we also discussed the email that there was a fathers day afternoon tea at our sons daycare, and he said if he was awake he would go. I sent a facebook message on Monday asking if he made it (no judgement) and was told he’d just woken up (a lie, he’d been awake for about 2 hours) and then told me only to text him, not to use facebook (which he always on) I said OK, and asked why, he said “because I asked you to…” and I left it at that. For a guy that has said to me and his family that he wants to try and stay friends, putting restrictions on how I can communicate with him is not the way to go.

    It has now been almost 4 weeks since he ended things, and I have been applying the Last Resort technique since then. I have become a bigger mess and am now crying both before and during work most days. He is getting angrier and treating me horribly. If I believed that this is who he really is I would be running for the hills, but he is not a terrible person, he is acting like one because he’s not in control of his problems. I am still getting no contact from him, occasional texts about money, never received a phone call. Should I be seeing some results by now? Is my relationship too far gone?

    1. Dear Depressed and confused,

      Of course this is a really hard time for you! From your email your relationship has been under a great deal of pressure and both your needs for love and connection have been lost in the mix.

      I find the ideas of Harville Hendrix’s very useful. I encourage you to explore his books Books to help here. He believes we choose our partners who are at a similar stage of emotional development so that we can heal and grow together. Harville says we go for a person who matches our Imago – with both our parents and positive and negative traits. And when we get together it’s all good until love’s anesthesia wears off and we see our real partners. That’s why I am recommending Imago Therapists.

      I think you need to reapply step 1 with your wonderful determination. Stop all contact, do the opposite of what’s not working – ie when you get the reactivity from him that would be a good sign. Relationships have patterns you need to work out your pattern – ie he withdraws and I react by checking snapchat or INstagram, you get the picture and stop doing this.

      Look at the exercise I put up in an email and use this to further your progress.

      The LRT recommends you stop all the conversations with relatives, friends about what he is or isn’t doing or trying to figure out his issues. Break this loop and find a friend who can be more neutral in support. Focus more on you and what you can control – your responses, you are powerful!

      And keep Step 2 going, knowing that you will need to really connect with Step 3 – Wait and have patience. So take it as easy as you can, and I think with reapplying the LRT Steps in their totality you may have better results in a few weeks.
      Good luck and let us know how the changes impact.

      1. Hi Philipa,

        I have been applying most of step 1 for the past month. I don’t contact him and he doesn’t contact me, or if he does it’s very clinical (afterpay comes out on the 1st) and that’s it. I basically only spent 1 evening talking to his mother, but the part that I think keeps getting missed are that he had these problems before we got together, and while we were together, they are not there because he left me. Me changing my behavior won’t change the fact that we saw my friends a lot because he doesn’t have many. At the moment basically all his friends are from his work, and he has refused to let me meet them since he started a year ago, so I was never going to suggest seeing them. The girl he cheated on me with is also from his work, and I know he is still in contact with her as her chat bubble was open on his phone when he showed me and our 5yo a picture on his phone. He mentioned a coworker who quit and said something along the lines of “he came and worked his shifts, came to the meetings and stuff, but wasn’t part of the family”. I think one of the main reasons he left, and won’t stop talking to the girl he kissed is that she is part of this work “family” and they are more important to him right now than me or our kids (has only seen them for a total of 8 hours in the past fortnight). He doesn’t spend time with anyone outside of work, and has dinner at a coworker’s house (not the one he’s living with, or the one he cheated with) more often than he comes to see his kids, and spends longer there.
        He also had me call his phone after he misplaced it and I discovered that he has changed my ringtone from the generic one to alarm that goes “WARNING!! YOUR EX IS CALLING!! CRISIS ALERT!! CRISIS ALERT!!” I don’t even consider him my ex at this point.
        While I know I cannot control his actions, surely there are things that I can say/do to help him realize what he’s doing is not healthy. Most of the problems in our relationship were caused by him a “I do what I want when I want” attitude, which is a real problem when it comes to doing kids stuff. Otherwise, I’m basically to the point of telling him get out of our lives forever and never come back.

        1. Dear Depressed and confused,

          Great you are applying most of the LRT Step 1, now really give it your all and do it 100%.

          So many comments here on the blog suggest this is the best way forward and those who have success and a turnaround appear to apply it and do it fully. Go for it.

          I hear your confusion and frustration.

          Depressed and confused I am not surprised to hear there were problems in the relationship before. I guess you guys would not have reached this break down point. And these will be long standing patterns between you where you both have struggled to get to the heart of things and it seems not get past – I am sorry. The leaving only amplifies these issues as we become stressed and overloaded with all the emotion and upset. We basically do more of the same. This is where the LRT comes to the rescue as it gives you a blueprint for doing something else.

          Often less assertive partners will take an exit by having an affair, rather than talking about the issues they are having and address them, so sorry.

          If you are using the LRT we recommmend forget analysing your partner and their behaviour, I get you want to know. And no long phone calls going over the details

          At this stage there is nothing you can do about the cheating, this needs to be addressed when the relationship is returned. And usually those things fizzle out.

          Ouch that would have been hurtful, I would guess hearing that ring tone. You need to be the opposite of that. It is clear although you don’t view yourself as the ex, your partner does. We need to acknowledge you are in different places on this.

          I get it’s painful as he is living his life and there is not much time for the kids. I would like to see you both set a routine up for the kids. We know kids thrive on predictability. So they know Dad will be there Wednesday and Saturday. Then you will also be able to have a life too.

          Your kids are super important and need you to be caring and helpful as they also navigate confusing times. I get you love them and they really are looking at you and your reactions. Be peaceful.

          You are so right you can’t change or control his actions. I get you want to help him and care for him.

          The very worst thing you could do is say or try to make him realize what he is doing is not healthy, this will only prove to him how right he was for leaving, sorry to say. There pattern in your relationship problem echoes this so give yourself a break and work on you – Step 2 you deserve a life. Take care xx

  11. I’m so glad I found this post Philipa, I think I am in the last resort area now with my husband. We have been struggling and fighting for about a year now and just last week he said he thought we should separate for a time. But it feels like that basically means the end, doesn’t it? He hasn’t yet talked about divorce, and maybe some space would help us, but I feel like we need to work on it, not just separate and let it all fall apart. Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Dear Jenny,
      yes I agree you are in the Last Resort Stage. Now you need to stop bringing up anything to do the relationship and especially the problems. As this will come across as negative and critical – the opposite of wht you want to be showing up.

      I get this is really hard. So hang in there. Read the blog and use the LRT 100% for your best hope!

    2. Dear Jenny,
      yes I agree you are in the Last Resort Stage. Now you need to stop bringing up anything to do the relationship and especially the problems. As this will come across as negative and critical – the opposite of what you want to be showing up.

      I get this is really hard. So hang in there. Read the blog and use the LRT 100% for your best hope!

  12. My husband and I have been separated for almost two months. He is from Africa originally and came home one day and said he wanted a second wife in africa. I told him he had lost his mind. Then I found out he actually had someone picked out and has been talking to her for sometime so I kicked him out. My question is how long do I use this technique before I just give up and ask for a divorce. Part of me wants to be patient and have hope, another part wants to move on with my life and not waste time on someone who doesn’t love me.

    1. Dear Erin,
      In some countries, I believe polygamy, having more than one wife is a custom. I am guessing the culture you are from and country is not one of them.

      Gee it Erin, it is not uncommon for me to hear a partner say they are in love with both parties. With your situation, you must decide what is acceptable for you, and your personal standards. I feel for you as I would find it really hard in this situation.

      Use Steps 1, 2 and 3 to give you your best hope. I think this may be a clear case of you setting your won limits and boundaries which will inform the two of you. I believe you would need to have a conversation with your husband. I als0 have a curiosity on the legality of this. The other wife would have to remain in Africa.

      Tough decisions for you. Take care xx

  13. My husband and I have been married for 12 years and we have 3 children. This Summer we had another fight and I suggested he move into the basement. We have been pretty much fighting over the same things for the last 4 years and this time we didn’t makeup and smooth it over.
    My husband became involved in cosplay about 4 years ago and at first we tired to make it a family thing. But my kids would like the activity for a little while the grow bored and I would be the one to stay home or leave early and he would be able to hangout with his friends. I also have been at my heaviest weight and have not liked seeing myself in pictures and have not felt comfortable doing stuff with my husband. My husband has always treated me good and never made me feel bad about myself. I knew that my behavior was hurting our marriage but I didn’t make changes to myself then and now we are here and my husband is hurt that I didn’t want to work on our marriage before and he thinks that he never made me happy why do I think anything will be different now.
    I know that he started an affair since moving into the basement and I have done all the wrong things, pleading, crying, talking with his mother. He knows I know about the other woman
    And part of me understands why he did get involved with her, but sometimes he appears like he still wants us to work, he will ask me to cuddle which will usually turn into us having sex. I have also gotten excited about these times and will then talk about something in the future or will start the cuddle and I can feel him stepping back. I have asked him how he feels about the other woman and he says he doesn’t know. I have lost a lot of weight since our separation started and am feeling alot more sexy and fun. Sometimes I get angry when I feel like he is getting his cake and eating it too. Should I be letting him think it is okay to be with me and still date his mistress? But I do love him and it is hard to give up on 12 years together and our family but it seems so hard to know if we can ever overcome all that has happened.

    1. Dear Marybeth,

      I can see you have been reflecting on things. I am so glad you are caring for your health and self esteem in a more useful way. That 4 year issue may need a professional in time.

      With the LRT we don’t ask about the affair partner- whether they love them or make any comparison and certainly no threats – you can’t make him think or feel anything. And getting angry will send him straight into her supportive arms – most likely the result you are after.

      You bring the fun and loving part of you forward that he was initially attracted to- remember her? She probably got lost somewhere along the way. This is the power of step 2.

      I think you have a really good chance. The power is in your hands.

      You absolutely must have zero negativity and criticism when you are with your husband.
      When things are back on track you will have to address the deeper issues in the marriage with good therapy.
      Best of luck and love yourself well!! xx

  14. Hey Philipa,
    My wife and I have been separated for just over a month, she left finally after years of really great times but fraught with us always fighting, even if we had a great day we fought at one point or didn’t get along etc. I know most of it was me, I have grown up with anger, and with an angry family that has always stayed together but not in the healthiest ways, my mom and dad bicker and are jerks constantly. She is currently staying with friends that tell her not to be with me, she says she resents me, and doesn’t think that will change even if I do, and really is only nice to me when we talk about the 6 year old we have together, or plans for pick up and drop off. When I suggest getting together it mostly goes bad. She says she is finally happy to be working on herself and doesn’t want to work on it with me, but she hasn’t filed for divorce. I have been seeking counseling to work on my anger (just to be clear never an abusive male at all just angry) as well as having to come to terms with the fact that I have not been appreciative of all the extra she does for us and the kid around the house and in life, now that I am alone I have to do it all and realize how unappreciative I have been, and have told her so. I truly feel like I blew my chance to give my daughter a happy together forever family, and don’t know what to do. When she does go to therapy with me she says it is to work on co parenting not to be with me. She sometimes tells my sister or others that she isn’t sure what she wants, but when its me she is steadfast that it is not to ever be with me again. I have ruined by being a jerk and ungrateful the best thing that has ever happened to me, meeting Nichole…I don’t know what to do, for the first few days I tried to convince her, she says I’m to smart and is avoiding talking to me so I don’t talk her back in to being in a bad situation. Which is actually fair for her to say. She says its for the best for her and the kid but the kid is miserable and just wants her family back together. I am in the house surrounded by pictures of my family together, my kid wont let me take them down, and Nichole hasn’t moved her things out, she comes and goes as she pleases to get what she needs for the next few days etc. I don’t tell her to get her things because I honestly don’t want to lose her and don’t want to aggravate what I have already done by essentially being a poor husband. I never cheated and just realized that I made the changes I am now when she was there…true what they say you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone…im so scared to lose her, I’m trying to go out and enjoy life but everything reminds me of her, after spending almost 8 years together I’m lost…is there any hope? Please help me .

    1. Hi Kosta,
      yep mate this is the time to man up and put your best wisest foot forward. You need to put on a brave front around your daughter. Children need stability in these changing circumstances more than ever.

      Yep tough place and it has taken this crisis as you say to figure out what you may have lost. Patience is going to be your best friend.

      Stop discussing your fears and everything with friends and family – use your therapist for this. Well done for seeking professional help.

      I think there is room for hope but you will have to work super hard and it may be for some time. Put no pressure on your wife.

      Go well and use the LRT fully. There are loads of comments to read here on marriage saving advice from others on the brink of divorce. Take are and thinking of you.

  15. Hi Philipa,
    My wife and I have been dating for 8 years before we got married and being married for 10 years now and we have 9 years old son. 5 years ago I did the worst mistake of my life and cheated on my wife. I was working overseas and as we already had issues in marriage I was feeling unwanted and insecure and did something that I regret very much. After she found out I decided to leave my job and go back to my family to try to work things out. For a year I was at home and we were getting back together slowly. I know she was never the same after that but we were making some small progress. 3 years ago I got an offer to go back overseas and we made mutual decision due to financial situation and future plans that I am going to accept the offer. We even set the timeline to until I am 40 and after that I am coming home for good. For the last 3 years we were spending vacations together, going on trips. things got so good between us that we even started saying I love you to each other. We were making plans and all. In November last year she expressed a wish to buy a business from one of the people she knew that I suspectend long time she was attracted to. The job fit well into her education degree and I did not want to be jealous idiot so I supported decission . At the time she was not working and we knew it is best for her to star something even small better that staying at home. That is when things started changing. She slowly started pushing me out of the business, not telling me what is going on and hiding things. Business is massage salon. One month before my last scheduled vacation I caught her lying about a trip she made with her girlfriend. As soon as I confronted her she closed out telling me she is not going to justify herself to me and that she does not owe me any explanations. For a full month I was going through hell trying to figure out what is going on. After coming home we went on a summer vacation for 8 days. I can’t say it was bad, even the things in bedroom happened although I was not expecting. Then as soon as we came back home things started falling apart again. I saw her deleting the messages from the phone from exact person I was suspecting she has something with. We started arguing and she denied any accusations of cheating. She told me she is deleting the messages because I was so jealous of that person. Mind I never had her phone password so there was no way for me to read any messages I just sow her deleting messages while she was sitting close to me. Remaining 18 days of my vacation were hell. Either arguing or deadly silence. She even dropped me at the airport with “Take Care” instead of any nice words we used to say to each other. I am back overseas again and things are not better. The things that I see doing wrong is exactly what you said not to do as step 1 of LRT. And I mean all of them. She told me several times she does not love me anymore but is persistent in denying she has found someone else. My wife mentioned several times she want a divorce but never filed one. Even when I told her OK go and file paperwork she didn’t do it. Although she is saying this she still sends me messages, telling me where she is and with whom, sending me pictures of her going out being with her friends and I’ve notices she is even monitoring if I am online on viber of whatsapp. So some of the signs of her not wanting a divorce are there as well. But no love and she told me she is sorry that she does not feel anything and that without feelings everything is falling apart. It was yesterday when I came across your video on youtube about LRT and I would like to know if this is a moment for that. I know that distance is not helping and she is used to do things without me and I accept that. I am so confused with these mixed signals. She wants a divorce but telling me her plans and business schedule and time for herself but sending me pictures of where and with whom she is although I never ask. I know I am being weak now and that she does not see the man she wants in me right now but this is the only person in my life I am weak about.
    I am sorry for any typing errors, English is not my native language.

    Thank you Much

    1. Mirza,
      so glad you have found me and the You tube video of the Last Resort Technique from Marriage Works Channel. You are at the Last Resort alright.

      Good you are recognizing the unhelpful things – stop them immediately. I want you to get a hold of yourself and I know it’s not easy being far away and have courage. You are getting mixed messages so only go with good stuff.
      The way I read you situation is this she has become used to being independent of you due to your overseas job. This is neither a good or bad thing it just is. So you need to adapt to her new way of being in a strong way and accept her. Forget about cheating and totally stop talking about anything like that.
      I believe there is certainly a chance. I’d bet she is just as confused as you are. I see hope and possibilities but you will need to apply the steps and no slip ups ! Good luck.

  16. My husband and I have been married for 4 almost 5 years, we have a 3 year old child. He asked a month ago for a divorce. We are still living together, sleeping in the same bed and we are still intimate. He said he will allow me to get to place of acceptance before proceeding with discussing divorce. He said he doesn’t want to seek professional help because it didn’t work previously. His love for me hasn’t changed but he’s basically checked out. He said he doesn’t think things will ever change and he doesn’t feel, he’s at a place to even allow or accept my changes. He said me not defending him when my family member disrespected him, that was the nail in the coffin. He feels “my” family will always be my priority not him. He does call me(short and long conversations), he texts me asking about my day, almost daily. I do text him from time to time asking about his day. We kiss each other on the cheek almost every morning and night. But, he’s not affectionate, he doesn’t hold/spoon me at night, we don’t kiss on the lips, we don’t hug nor do we talk about the future. He goes out with his friend(not a lot). I never begged him, tried to reason with him or any of the DAMAGING things when he asked for the divorce. I’ve stopped the nagging, questioning, I’ve amped up our sex life, doing more around the house (things he said were problems) and I’m going out more (doing me). He’s made comments about my changes. But previously, towards the beginning of him asking for the divorce, for a few weeks, he would say he didn’t want to confuss me, he still didn’t want to reconcile. For the most part his mean comments have stopped recently but I’m not sure if the changes I’ve made, are helping. I’m not sure if I’m fooling myself and he’s tooo far gone… I want to ask him to go away bc we always had a great time on vacation or go on a date but I think that’s too much, I think that’ll push him further away. I’m afraid to hug or try to kiss him on the mouth, I’m afraid of rejection… I don’t know if I’m currently doing all the right things and I just need to give it more time or am I leaving something out that I should add… please help!!

    1. Dear Mrs D,
      it really sounds like you making these changes have had an impact. I’d bet one of the biggest ones is you are feeling better in yourself as you are taking care of you. People notice this.

      Good idea not to ask him to go away, it will be a guilt holiday if he agrees and it is not what we do when we are Last Resorting! We don’t chase in any way. So good you are not pursuing hugs. kisses etc. If we are honest with ourselves this is usually more for our on insecurity, which we need to work on from the inside.

      No pressure let him slowly see the woman he fell in love with. Work on your listening skills and empathizing, which means being able to see his perspective without defense or railroading your opinion over top.

      Step 3 be patient you definitely need to give it more time and I think keep up the good work. Well done and we look forward to your update.

  17. My husband and I have been married for 4 almost 5 years, we have a 3 year old child. He asked a month ago for a divorce. We are still living together, sleeping in the same bed and we are intimate. He said he will allow me to get to place of acceptance before proceeding with discussing divorce. He said he doesn’t want to seek professional help because it didn’t work previously. His love for me hasn’t changed but he’s basically checked out. He said me not defending him when my family member disrespected him, that was the nail in the coffin. He feels “my” family will always be my priority not him. He calls me (short and long conversations) he texts me asking about my day, almost daily. I do text him from time to time, checking on his day. We kiss each other on the cheek almost every morning and night. But, he’s not affectionate, he doesn’t hold/spoon me at night, we don’t kiss on the lips, we don’t hug and we do not talk about the future. He goes out with his friends (not a lot). I never begged him, tried to reason with him why we shouldn’t get a divorce or any of the DAMAGING things when he asked for the divorce. I’ve stopped the nagging, questioning, I’ve amped up our sex life, doing more around the house (some things he said were problems) and I’m going out more(doing me). He has made comments about my changes. But previously, towards the beginning of my husband asking for the divorce, for a few weeks, he’s said he didn’t want to confuse me, he’s still didnt want to reconcile. For the most part his mean comments have stopped but I’m not sure if the changes I’ve made, are helping. I’m not sure if I’m fooling myself and he’s tooo far gone… I want to hug, spoon and kiss him on the lips. I want to ask him to go on trip because we’ve always had a fantastic time on vacation, I want to ask him to go on a date but I’m scared that’ll push him further away or afraid of rejection. Im wondering if I’m doing all the right things and I just need to give it more time or do I need to add something to what im doing… please help

  18. Hello Philipa –

    My husband and I have been married for 20+ years and together for 24. 2 months ago he asked me for a divorce, but agreed to separation. He said he loves me deeply, but doesn’t like me and isn’t attracted to me anymore. He is not motivated at all to fix or work on our marriage. We have 4 children and Our youngest just graduated high school and we are finally empty nesters. We were going to travel and start really working on us. We have always struggled a little in the bedroom part of our marriage. I want it more and affection and attention and he feels like I pressure him too much. We own a business together and I know he is struggling with his part of the business, possibly mid-life crisis etc, but he just says it’s me. I am not willing to give up on our marriage and NO PART of me wants to quit trying, but I am the only one trying and he just doesn’t seem to care at all. He has his walls up, he is cold and distant. Between our kids and work, unfortunately we have to talk, but I have tried over the last couple of days to stop the crying, begging etc. He agreed to talking about our relationship 1x per week at a designated time. Is this a good idea? This is progress right? I am not sure what to expect. I feel like he will still be cold and distant, but I am hoping he will take down a wall or 2???

    1. Dear Carrie,
      He has checked out, so I get your pain and frustration. So give yourself a break and whole heartedly embrace the Last Resort as your life raft to safety and direction.

      Keep your talk warm friendly and brief be sure to end it on a good note. You want positive associations.

      All the relationship talk, reminders of the good times will only push him out the door faster.

      I read you have made progress, and now it’s time pull out all stops. Forget trying to figure his reasons and him out. Focus on you now – Step 2. Take care of you. Get your girl power happening.

      The weekly designated meeting to discuss your relationship is not part of the LRT. Honestly it makes you sound like his boss and more desperate. Which will only drive a reluctant partner out faster. It confirms things for them sadly. I would let that slip off your calendar.

      This is the best trying you can do – I get it seems counter intuitive but really think about why it will work and read the LRT religiously.
      Good luck and keep us in the loop!

  19. Please help my husband doesn’t know if he wants to be married and we are currently living under the same roof in different bedrooms I’m so confused and hurt. Apart of me wants him to just go but he refuses as we both own the house. I don’t know what to do would love my husband to want to be with me again nd be happy but can this happen living under the same roof but not together how do I make this work so he does want to be us again

    1. Dear Sm,
      this is the place to use the LRT fully. I hear you are hurt and confused, not to mention probably angry and feeling rejected. While I don’t want you to mask your feelings, I want to make sure you don’t share these heavy emotions with your partner or react from them.

      Get your integrity back, study and apply the Last Resort to it’s full capacity. Get in touch with the wonderful woman who he initially fell in love with and bring her forward. This I believe will give you your best chance at surviving this relationship roadblock. And yes it can happen while you are under the same roof. Start going out more, taking care of yourself – a new shampoo, skin cream or lip stick. Listen to your favourite movies.
      You get the idea take care xx

  20. Hi Philipa,
    I have listened to your advice and after an argument my partner has agreed to come over an help wit the kids on Tuesdays on Thursdays, after any 2 nights a week wasn’t working. We have gone out all together a few times and it has been nice, also if he comes over early, he now climbs into bed with me and snuggles, usually leading to sex.
    The issue that I have is that while I feel like he is interested in me, I don’t really think he’s interested in us. He either would be happy if things were good again, without having to actually work on fixing them, as he never tried to fix things, just waited and left. Or more likely he enjoys being single. I think he likes living with other people, and not having he responsibility of dealing with the kids (still very little at 5 and 2) and wants to go out whenever he wants without having to worry about me or babysitters. Basically, he likes coming over and spending time with me and the kids when it suits him, but still having his freedom. We don’t really communicate unless we’re in the same place. and he never calls me to talk, he has his new housemates for that.
    How do I approach this without coming across as controlling? I know that will only make things worse as it impacts on his freedom, and me being controlling was to him a big problem in our relationship

    1. Hi Philipa,
      Just adding to the comment above, can I ask him if he is dating anyone? I have seen some things (mostly unintentional) that suggest to me that he might be. Also we are moving house in a few weeks due to our lease ending, his name will be on the lease at the new place, but he doesn’t plan on coming back, how do I handle the address change? At the moment everything is still listed at our place, not the one he’s staying at.

      1. Hi again Depressed and Confused – you can’t ask him if he is dating anyone if you are doing the LRT.
        Forget those things you have seen.

        I am not sure what you are asking about the lease. How come his name is on the lease? I don’t get that. Did he offer to do that?

        1. Hi Philipa,
          With the lease we were given a notice to vacate before he left. Centrelink has not sorted itself out yet, and there was no way we would be able to secure a house on my income alone without being able to prove the rest. It was discussed a while ago, I can’t remember if I asked him or he offered when the moving house issue was brought up.

    2. Dear Depressed and Confused,
      thanks for your update and frankness.

      This is a good sign he is coming over, glad things have been nice when you have been out. I like that!

      So you want your time together to be really pleasant family time this allows him to see how you are moving forward in a new and enlightened way. He gets to miss the wonderful girl he fell in love with.

      And good that you are giving him freedom, more is wise, especially as you have said his complaint was the controlling stuff.

      Sorry you can’t approach this without seeming controlling and insecure which is not what you want here. YOu need to practice radical acceptance with him and this situation for the time being. So don’t do it at all.

      If you bring up your concerns by approaching him it will either a) lead to one of the old fights. Or b) He may call you out of obligation but it will be like being on parole and having to report in. Certainly not the vibe you are wanting to have here.

      You are doing well and I am very proud of your efforts. Keep up the good work!

  21. Hi Philipina,

    It’s Kaiyla from a few weeks back (August). You asked me to drop you s line.
    Thank you so so much for your reply.

    Here I am at 4 in the morning feeling confused and broken. We are going to therapy but needed to stop as my stepdad just passsd away and I needed to return to MA (we live in L.A.). She is very expensive for us and we are both in dire financial situations. I am still going to AA and my own insurance-covered therapist. Despite my stepfathers death, I kept my sobriety.

    Anyway, I am finding we are having a great few days and then his anger just explodes from lot of nowhere.
    I just returned from back east after losing my stepfather and although the has been supportive of all my emotions, he lashed out at me tonight. In the last, myself and friends have taken notice that he can be very condescending and speaks down to me. I addressed him regarding this, a year or two ago. He made effort to change it, but did it again in public tonight. He tried to play it off as a joke, but I was embarrassed. At home, he called me a “gross gross gross person.” I am 5’0, 112lbs, but very depressed and broken.. he knows this. He he has called me names before and put me down. Given the timing and my headspace right now, that really really hurt.

    Please please advise me? I’m not sure my heart can take much more. I wa so excited I maintained sobriety through the one thing I thought I’d never make it though -losing a parent. I was clinging to that one happiness but now all I feel is sadness and resentment.. I apologize, and thank you so much.

    Best regards,
    Kaiyla

    1. Dear Kaiyla,
      I want to both celebrate your success with you sobriety and also send my deepest sympathies for the loss of your parent. This is the time to be more vigilant with you health and prioritize your abstinence. This will certainly give you a clear head and sounds exactly what is needed at the moment.

      Watch the little things too and be gentle with yourself.

      Ok I am concerned – the the anger outbursts. put downs and name calling fall into the category of emotional abuse. This must stop immediately. While you have raised the issue a few years ago – well done by the way from your letter it’s clear it has not stopped.

      Let me put it to you this way Kaiyla, your partner was probably concerned and upset about your drinking, he may have mentioned this hopefully in a supportive way. You too action and the steps required to address this issue.

      We can influence our partners negatively and positively. It sounds to me that this behaviour of your partner must be addressed by him, he needs to change this. I would say something like “You require more of him and trust that he is capable of better action. No need for reasons or excuses, change is the only acceptable option here – his behaviour. It must stop and he has to deal with this or you will be reviewing you options.” It must be concrete action like a program – I always watch what a person does not what they say they will do.

      I believe in him and want a better outcome for your partner. This is why it is so important you let him know what you need in a relationship. You can’t date people who have 3 year old like tantrums when they are adults. You aren’t there to parent your partner.

      I know you are feeling sadness and resentment and I can understand why. What would your step dad want for you?

      Glad your friends are supportive. There is no place for the condescending remarks especially not when you need love and care as you both recover and grieve your loss.

      Go to the library find books by Patricia Evans – or see my resources books on emotional abuse and how to move beyond here.

      You must respect you!

      There is no need to apologize glad you let us know what’s happening. Share this with your therapist.

      Sending you love and admiration, keep it up. A day at a time as they say in AA. xx

    2. Dear Kaiyla,
      my heart goes out to you lovey. Very tough time.
      Your sadness is a natural regard for your loss. Resentment and anger gives us energy at times to pull us through.
      Take care and know I am sending you love and healing vibes xx
      Go gently and do as best you can with your sobriety.

  22. I’m Tiffany currently living in Ontario Canada, i was going through a break up with my boyfriend which made me so depressed, i would cry all night wishng he could just come back to me again but he was with the other girl. i was searching for help online when i came to your site but it turned into an amazing result. Robert came back to me and i’m just too happy now. thank you

  23. My husband of 15 years (together for 20) just told me that he thinks we have nothing in common and that he has never been himself in our marriage. He wants a divorce so he can be happy. I’m shocked and devastated both for me and our 2 boys (6 and 8). He has grown distant over the past year and would never talk about it but we haven’t been fighting. Is the LRT worth a try? We are still living together but he is in the guest room. Should I still ask him simple questions like “How as your day?” or tell him things about the kids? Or is that chasing behavior? Also, how can I get a life when I am at work all day and then caring for the kids in the evening (my husband isn’t making it home until late at night?) Thanks for your help.

    1. Dear Shocked,
      Thanks for your email. If you read the blog here you will see you are not alone in this situation.

      I have heard from many a spouse, who’s wife or husband one day does a back flip in the marriage saying exactly those things – we have nothing in common anymore, I am not in love and how they can’t be happy within the relationship.

      So my heart goes out to you and to him too. You are both struggling here but have different ways of coping.

      And to answer your question – Yes the Last Resort is your go to from now on. Definitely worth a try and it will give you a guide for these perilous times.

      The freer you are in the letting go the better. As it will help him release any sense of feeling trapped in the relationship.

      From your email I am guessing he was not so much of a talker on the issues, that’s ok some people aren’t. They are the thinkers and do a lot of it in their heads. Which is why it is such a shock when they have worked this stuff out for themselves in their head without consulting you.

      And vital here when he does talk you listen and empathise. Really crucial. What i mean is if he says ‘sorry I can’t be with you I am not happy and we have nothing in common’ I want you to say I hear you you want to leave as you aren’t happy and it’s like there no connection holding us together’. You make it safe for him to express.

      The worst thing you can do even though it will feel like it’s the best is tell him about all the good things, times and so forth. Bad idea as it will only remind him of how much you don’t get him.

      Totally counterintuitive I know! But most folk who are unhappy tell me they feel unheard, unacknowldeged and invalidated by their spouse. This is not you. You hear his pain, confusion and longing. This makes sense right – we all want to be happy.

      Acceptance of the situation is key and applying the LRT. You will have to adapt it to your circumstances. I would be polite but without enquiry. Usually a good rule of thumb is to do the opposite of what you usually do. So if you would usually ask how was his day, I would stop. Let him ask you about your day and the kids. Mystery is good thing here.

      You can take care of you at home. It might mean having a nice bath. Doing your nails in the privacy of your room. Getting a life is about you caring for you. I want you to let us know what you have come up with.

      Also you now have a built in sitter. Take yourself on a date once a week and get him to feed and bath the kids if possible. It might be as simple as getting a cup of coffee or taking yourself to the library or a church group. Just get out and look good doing it!
      Take care and let us know your progress.

      1. Thank you for your kind reply. I have not had a chance to listen with empathy and validate his feelings yet. Currently my husband is not talking at all. He leaves a room if I enter and will not even make eye contact. I stopped asking about his day but he has yet to ask anything about me or the kids. Perhaps it is all too soon? I have been working on GAL within my home. I have been trying out some new photography techniques and doing several baking projects. Mostly I am just trying to carry on as if this is all going to work out. I hope I am doing it with confidence and not coming off as an ostrich burying my head in the sand about the situation.

  24. Hi Philipa,

    I’ve come to your site a few times as it gives me both encouragement and comfort in a time when my marriage has been struggling.

    I wrote awhile back several months and at that point you suggested my husband and I get marriage counseling. Since that time we have started counseling but my husband is still unable to make a decision on if he wants to remain married. He says he doesn’t have a longing to be with me or loving feelings. The “I love you but am not in love with you” sentence describes how he feels towards me.

    He suggested that the only way he thinks he can figure out his feelings is through a trial separation. He moved out a few nights ago and the intent is to stay away for 3 weeks. We have two kids who think he is just working long hours and he will come home on the weekends as I work weekends.

    Is now a point where I start implementing the LRT? He has asked me for a favor today which will require I see him. We are on great terms. I worry that the LRT will make him look at me more like a friend and confirm his decision to stay apart since we can get along when he is away. What if it backfires and he doesn’t miss me?

    1. Dear ENM,
      So glad you have found the Last Resort Blog and Marriage Works helpful and it gave you encouragement and comfort. That means so much for me to hear typing away at my laptop thousands of miles away. Very touched. I really do want to support you and others out there through the tough times.

      And y=YES you need to apply the LRT. Let of of the fear as it will only have you acting from anxiety. Hold your fear and go forth with an open heart and mind.

      Remember you and he have shared many a difficult time and have a history – no one else has this. I want to remind you of this – though I don’t want you to remind him. Here you need to show not tell.

      This is where Step 2 comes into play. I want you to start focusing back on you and taking care of you. Thik back to when you were dating and all those things we did to make an effort. I want you to reignite yourself. Get out there and mix it up, become unpredictable.

      Zero negativity and act as if you are accepting him and moving forward. Please let us know your progress.
      Take care xx

    2. Oh ENM,
      that is so wonderful to hear, you have visted Marriage Works Blog and I am wrapped in provides you with encouragement and comfort. Heartfelt gratitude from me to you!

      I think the LRT is going to be helpful. I am proud of you to be on great terms.
      Look a friendship is a soldi foundation for a lasting relationship so well done you. Don’t overthink it as that can tip you into the worry zone and you may end up more doing things hoping for a result, you have to entirely let the outcome go. Step 2 is your friend here.

      Usually the LRT has the opposite effect, not backfiring but rekindling the flame.

      Step 2 of the LRT will remind him of what and why he was originally attracted to you. Let him remember the gorgeous free you, with your turning over this new leaf and blossoming!

      Take care and love and update. Thanks

  25. HI Philipa,

    ive been here on and off a few weeks reading , searching and hoping.
    my wife lost her mum 12 months ago and experienced the deepest grief during which I let her down and made her pain about me when it wasn’t. I did fail her during this period. its fair o say she is still deep in grief and says she doesn’t know who she is. cant see the future and wants to live now day by day. she also feels I spoil her happiness. I think she feels like we will go our separate ways and she will be happy but im sure she wont.

    although I still feel like we had a good marriage during this period on reflection perhaps it was not. she ended up finding support in a friend of ours that had left his wife. the emotionally connected through there pain and things got physical.

    I found out and we agreed to keep going and rebuild. in the following weeks she tried so very hard, threw all her love at me but I struggled to move on . 3 months on from the day I found out and we are separated but living together. I did all the thigs you are not meant to do.. chasing begging talking all the time. we both tried but it feels like we both failed.

    for a week oi have cut right back spend more time out don’t call and txt etc. the result initially was promising work on me and the behaviours she had vocally called me out on in the last few weeks.. the first day after the change in behaviour she cried a lot and things that would never be again. it was the first time I had seen anything other than anger at me for weeks. she even asked me 3 times for hugs again something she hadn’t done in a few weeks. the next couple of days she was angry then that settled down and now it juts feels like we are drifting apart ,, each other becoming more and more separate from the other. im worried I am in the situation where the result is… nothing.

    any advise would be great.. thanks

    1. Dear Broken,
      I know you are in a tough place so glad you have found hope and keep reading and connecting on the site. At least you can read and find ideas to help you here.

      You have to deal with your hurt without her for now about the other person. This will have to be addressed when you guys are back on solid ground.

      I am so proud of you seeing your own stuff. This is key the more you recognise and change the more hope you can have.

      Of course we do the wrong things until we know better, so give yourself a break on that one.

      Glad to hear you have had some promising results but like all things we must prepare for setbacks adn it is still early days here. You have had real breakthroughs as your behaviour has given your spouse the opportunity to reflect and get in touch with the stuff underneath the anger – hurt and sadness. You have to be able to empathise, I will write some more on that at a later date. Accepting where she is at is key.

      So don’t let your fear and anxiety play out. Remember Step 3 is patience just the opposite of what you want to hear but take notice of your gains here.

      She has responded with a shift and a softening. See that and give yourself a pat on the back.Also she has made a plea for something else. I note this as your old relationship will not be the one you get back into. It has to be a fresh start but that comes later when your wife has made a commitment.
      So apply the LRT fully not trying but completely is your best bet. Keep us posted!

      1. Thanks for the reply.. I am aware of my own issues more than ever now. hope I have it in me to make the changes I need to make for personal growth and to move forward with whatever outcome this all has.

        I cant help but feel like I have failed my family, our 3 children. robbed them of the upbringing both me and my wife didn’t have and were so very sure we could avoid.. history repeating.

        im scared that she seems so done with it all now and seems to be moving on forward on her own.. before her mum passed she was the model human. honest (sometimes too much lol) loyal. the model mother and the most fantastic wife. all the small things I feel I took for granted all the things I could have done differently. is this all too little too late?

        we are nursing my alcoholic father with dementia and he has gone down hill rapidly. she sent me a msg today saying she would always support me and I wouldn’t have to deal with his illness and ultimately death alone, she said she would refuse to let me sink the way she had. she would be there all the time I wanted her there. we as a couple were on a journey we never imagined but we could do this thing with my father together. time to be strong and focus on him. she will always love me no matter what.

        its hard to find the strength to do this . im sure if any of these problems we face came to us individually we could get through but all at once is to much. I have too try and focus, there is nothing to loose. I love her so very much and I know she loves me. she has always said our issues are not about love.

        thank you

        1. Dear Broken,
          you are so welcome. I know this sort of stuff really puts you in touch with the not so nice ways we have responded Be gentle with yourself.

          Especially as you say one of these problems you can handle individually but when it all comes it once it can be overwhelming. So please go gently.

          So sorry your father has dementia and alcoholism and of course your marital issues.

          I hear a part of you feels useless and feels like a failure, I am guessing it wants better for you than what has happened in your family history. This is totally understandable. Though I doubt giving yourself a hard time will assist with that.

          That is a very powerful and kind message, your wife sent I can see why there is so much love between you. You have to address her concerns with actions not words.

          Take care and sending love, hope and prayers.

  26. My husband has worked with a very small company for eight years– the same amount of time that we have been together. Over time, the owner of the company has invested time and money in my husband to groom him to help take over the company when he retires. The plan was that the owner’s daughter (then office manager) would run inside operations, while my husband would be shop foreman and in charge of sales. Come to find out, he has been having an affair with the owner’s daughter for a year now. (Who, by the way, I was extremely close to;I have since cut all ties with her.) After 3 weeks, my husband is still going to work every day. He spends about half the time at his mother’s house and half the time at our house. He is still helping support the household financially, covering me on his insurance, etc. (I am employed; my company’s insurance isnt great.) He also has agreed to allow me access to anything I want– his phone, passwords, computer. He let’s me know when he does talk to her at work and gives me details about their conversations. He has said that he is willing to go to marriage counseling, and he understands why I would want him to get a job and if we decide to work things out, he will. He is just terrified of finding a new job, especially since this is the only real job he’s ever had. He is also afraid of giving up the job and then us just winding up right where we were when the affair started ( we had been having intimacy problems– he tried so hard, and while I dont actually blame myself for the affair, I recognize that it was an issue in our marriage.) I don’t know what to think. It’s been almost a month with him going to work every day; he says he doesn’t want to lose the life we have together, but he also has worked so hard at this job. I also know that he cares about her, but he does love me and has been remorseful. He is still affectionate with me and says he wants me to be happy and that he loves me. He just says he doesn’t know how to handle this situation. Right now, I feel like he cares about the job more than he cares about me. After weeks of us seeing each other, texting regularly, and him staying the night at home a few nights a week, he still has not made a decision. I desperately want to reconcile; I feel a little stupid for wanting to try, but I am just not ready to give up. He has asked to take me out on dates, and he continues to tell me he loves me. He hugs and kisses me when we do see each other. I started the LRT yesterday. I’ve already done the begging and pleading and I’m done with that. It’s been over 24 hours since I talked to him (for the first time in 8 years). But we had a date planned for this weekend. I know he is going to want to see me, kiss me, and tell me he loves me. My question is: how do I respond to that? What do I do if he asks to come home that night? I want to rebuild the self-respect and confidence that I feel I lost after the begging and the pleading. And I want to do the right thing by my marriage.

    1. Dear Confused and Broken,
      thanks for writing in – I am quickly responding but will go indepth with another post soon. I know it is the weekend fast approaching you.

      Let go of expectations and I think go slow to go fast. Be affectionate back if this feels right. Whatever you do you need to both commit to therapy and work out how this crisis came about. Give yourself a break – you did the begging and pleading when you were desperate and did not realise the impact. You know more now. Well done you.

      I love your insight and honesty. If you can share that with your partner in a soft way without ultimatums of demands it may be useful. But have fun, you need to bring that back in to lighten up the serious issue and remind him of why he loves you! Keep doing a mini version of the LRT.
      More soon! All the best xx

      1. Thank you so much for your insight. I’m trying so hard to be hopeful for both of us because I think for the first time in my husband’s life, he is actually truly terrified to make a decision. He has always been so laid back and calm, and lately, he’s a wreck. I’ve known him for 15 years, and in that time, I’ve never seen him cry. I can’t count how many times I’ve watched him cry in the last month. And even though I’m hurting and angry, it hurts me to see him so hurt.

        1. Dear Confused and broken,
          you are so welcome. Perhaps be hopeful just for you. Are you guessing this is what is going on with your husband or has he told you? I would think it’s also to do with the crisis he is and feeling torn.

          There is real pain when a relationship is in distress – it almost feels like a death. He sounds likes he is having a opportunity to catch up with a lot of emotion. Feelings are there for a reason. You take care and I hope the weekend went wellxx

          1. Hi again,

            My husband and I had a very good weekend together. I decided not to talk about the affair or us; we just had a good time with each other. It was sort of like when we first started dating.

            He has told me that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone else, and either decision he makes will hurt someone. He is also afraid of starting over at a new job–he feels like he has a good opportunity at the one he has. I mentioned to him that if he and I stay together, that future might not be so bright, and if he stays with her and things with her go south, since she’s going to become owner, it still might turn out unfavorably. But I haven’t mentioned it since. He told me that he understands all that, but that he needs to sort through all this and decide what’s going to be best for him in the long run. And he told me he wants me to consider that too.

            1. Dear Broken and Confused,
              So pleased ot hear you had a nice weekend. That is exactly what we want – for it to feel like you were when you were first dating. Then you only had fun, played and no serious stuff. You enjoyed each others company.
              I love it, you are doing the LRT.

              Talking about what if’s is an impossibility. I am glad you only said something about the future only once and left it at that.

              So I want you to consider what’s best for you too. And take care of you, with the kindness and compassion you deserve. So I would like to encourage you Step 2. Get a life. Get to the hairdresser etc. You deserve it !! Take care xx

              1. Hi again,
                After our date the other day, my husband has stayed the night every night this week. He says he likes being here with me; that it’s comforting. I’m feeling frustrated because I know he sees her every day at work and then comes home and acts like everything is normal. I like him being home, but I’m struggling with this whole “cake” situation. He says he just needs time to make a decision, but it’s driving me nuts. Plus, our wedding anniversary is in a few weeks, and I don’t know how to handle that either. Are these all normal feelings? Do I just stay the course?

                Thanks.

                1. DEar Broken and confused,
                  yes these are very normal feelings, so please give yourself a break. The thing with feelings is to acknowledge to yourself without acting on them. Often along side frustration is hurt. So be gentle with yourself. Take it day by day. And you are right he is coming home to you. Stop asking him about anything to do with the relationship.

                  I am wondering if you would be able to up the ante on Step 2 and get your life going for you. This will help you focus on something new and give you a break. And yes stay the course. You really must have patience.
                  Good work xx

                2. Broken and confused
                  Yes stay the course, well considered there. I get you are frustrated but we must not act on on those negative emotions.
                  When we are positive and upbeat without any pressure or relationship ‘talks’ or questions it has the ability to draw our partners love back toward us.
                  Eventually the other person will get to be an every day thing and the shininess will wear off. You have to remind yourself of this.
                  I like to advise people on a case by case basis. If you are the one who usually organizes events like anniversaries then don’t. Mark it with a simple card with one or two lines. Watch though if his love language is gifts or words of appreciation. Give him the things you know he will enjoy. good luck xx

  27. Phillipa,

    My husband and I have been married for 11 years. I have battled alcoholism on and off since we got married. I would have several (12-18) months of sobriety, then get “comfortable” and fall back into old habits. The final straw came this past April when our finances were struggling, I was drinking (self medicating because I was lonely due to his work schedule) and I was planning a trip with my mom for her 70th birthday to Scotland. My husband tried to tell me he needed help with the bills and that I “couldn’t” go on the trip, for which I saved up for (14 months of savings). I bought my plane ticket anyway and got drunk – basically gave him a slap in face and big middle finger. He filed for divorce a month later.

    Since the filing I have stopped drinking, gone to therapy, found new hobbies, am more focused and involved with my work. We had been carrying on since the filing as a married couple – living in the house, same bed, sex every week. 2 times he has amended the “date of separation” on the divorce filing, and now I have filed for a motion to dismiss. He moved out in November (to his moms) because he felt that the motion “forced his hand” and his attorney “highly suggested he move out because he lacked discipline”.

    Since the move we see each other 2-3 during the week because of our daughters activities, our interactions are civil to polite to distant to affectionate. It’s hard to tell how he feels or what he wants at this point. We had several discussions between April and now about withdrawing the divorce but nothing has come of it other than my motion.

    He says he still loves me but can’t trust that my habit of falling back to drinking won’t happen again. I dont know what to do. I work on myself daily, I want to save this marriage and my family. I am trying the “no contact” thing but it’s really hard not to want to text,talk, see our side of children related issues.

    Please help! And advice would be appreciated

    Merry

    1. Dear Merry,
      thanks for your comment. I can see you have made a great deal of progress. Congratulations on stopping your drinking. This is an opportunity for you to change patterns in your behaviour. I get the sense a part of you may feel controlled and rebel – that’s only a guess from what happened with the airline ticket. These sorts of patterns in relationship will need to be addressed. With your awareness you can really grow.
      Honestly it may take some time given the past relapses, so be patient and work on your recovery.

      Of course with children you will have to have necessary conversations with you co-parent. Be warm and friendly.

      You have to let him come to you I am afraid, hard as that is to hear. Keep showing him you mature self. It sounds like you are doing a fine job with the LRT and it has had an impact, so keep you your good work. Take care xx

    2. Dear Merry,
      you are going to have to really apply step 3. Time will be on your side here.

      Keep up your recovery. And I want you to really work on you here this is vital as it appears you seem to rebel in an unhelpful way lovely and you deserve to have and be loved, truly!

      Remind yourself of the idea behind the little contact concept – absence makes the heart grow fonder, pursuit drives a person out the door. Texting, sending Snapchats, Instagramming are all forms of chasing. Totally not the dynamic we want to create. We want to have freedom, choice and love. Allow that to grow with space.
      With love, P

  28. Hi Philipa,
    What are your thoughts on goodbye hugs? I’ve started getting them more when he leaves, and I’ve been thinking this is a good thing, but realised today that a goodbye hug is standard for females. My friend, partner and kids spent the day in the city, she gets a hello and goodbye hug. Do you think it means anything, or is he just being friendly? My big concern at the moment is that we are just becoming friends.

    1. Depressed and confused
      You are totally overthinking it. Relax enjoy a hug and it is a good thing! A friendship is a building block to more. Hold onto your fears without acting them out. Hugs allow for bonding as they release oxytocin. We don’t hug every one we meet, so it helps with connection. So let your energy accept the hug and give your head a rest. You are doing so well!!

    2. Depressed and confused,
      hugs are a caring gesture. I am female and I don’t think hugs are standard, rather I reserve them for people I feel close to. Mind you we can all probably do with more nice safe hugs in the world.

  29. Hi Philipa,
    I read this article, a very interesting perspective. And most of these comments and replies too. Thank you for publishing this! I need help and am not sure where to get it but writing this may help. I am in a 15 year marriage, and I love my wife to pieces. And she loves me, too. I would not say she is “in love”with me anymore. But I still just adore her. She is of a different religious faith than I am, and she is very frustrated I have not made any advances in joining her church. I guess I need to say I was raised without religion in my life and she was raised in her church so it is a huge part of who she is. I actually think it is one of the things that makes her so amazing to me. This has always been an issue we have danced around, and now our kids are nearly grown and she tells me she is done, she feels alone and empty because of this, that she pretended all this time she was ok when she wasn’t. We have talked about it at length over the past few months. It is a very big deal to her, bigger than I knew.
    A few nights ago she told me she was done with our life together. She shared some things that hurt and disappointed me. We have almost no intimate relationship anymore, she claims it is her lack of desire, not me. More recently, she said she doesn’t like when I touch her, she feels better when I am not around, and she sees no future for us. I am a great, faithful husband and awesome dad. She is an awesome wife and mom. Never any unfaithfulness or anything like that in our marriage. No addictions, no depression, we live a healthy life and are financially stable.
    My family is everything to me. I dont know what I would do without them but it is looking like I may have to find out. I did the typical wrong thing that first night… upset, crying, asking her to stay and not to give up on us, but now realize I was doing it all wrong. So I have been more neutral the last day or two, just telling her it will all be ok and giving her a hug. Last night we held each other, she told me she loved me, and apologized. I am not sure what to believe, and I do not know any longer what is real and what is fake. Its a roller coaster ride I dont want to take. There is obviously something really serious going on and I feel leaving may give her what she wants, which is away from me. The last 6 months I have also become more interested in her church but she tells me it is not enough. The most messed up thing is… I love and care for her so much I am willing to do whatever is needed so she can be happy, even if it means going away and being miserable myself. I am at a loss for next steps. Do you have any advice? Thank you.
    BR

    1. Dear Brian,
      thank you for writing to me and I have a deep gratitude to you and everyone that has written in and shared their pain, progress and perseverance.
      I read that your relationship has gotten to deeper level over the years and has reached a new stage of growth. I am hopeful reading your comment. I totally understand this is a painful and confusing time.
      Your wife has had the courage to express her unhappiness – mind you I don’t think it’s as clear cut as it’s me not you and so forth.
      What we long for in relationship is connection. I am guessing your wife is most likely feeling disconnected. You have been a wonderful husband on may levels. I believe she is reaching for you emotionally.
      This is where you can let her express herself without defense and with safety. I would not be taking any dramatic actions like leaving.
      i want to challenge the line you say I feel leaving her would… I don’t buy it – I think you run the risk of copping out on your wife further. I wonder if she might say she feels lonely, perhaps even abandoned. Now please don’t let this be a critique, rather I am wanting to point out to you, she really is hoping for you to reconnect, not disappear.

      Instead offer no solutions, no problem solving. Yep none, nada, zip zero.

      Do this – listen, acknowledge, validate and empathize.

      So when she says I wish I had told you how I feel, you say back to her “You wish you had been honest with me about your feelings? Tell me more and reflect what she is saying without adding or interpreting.

      Really listen to connect and cross the bridge into your wife’s world and watch things change.

      I think you would be best seeking an qualified Imago Dialogue Therapist to help you through this. Do this with an open mind.

      Wishing you both all the best and remember you have fifteen years – hold onto this in the hard times, but don’t say this to your wife as it may come across as a guilt trip, definitely not what you want to be offering atany time!! Thanks again for writing in Brian.

  30. My husband and I have been together for 18 years married 15. We have 4 kids 18, 17, 12, and 8. The older 2 are from his first marriage and we have had full custody of them after going through long drawn out battle with his ex who abused them 8 years ago. There have been multiple issues with his ex and the kids over the years. Including knowing the younger of the 2 is not biologically his as she had cheated on him in their short marriage which was also very violent and tumultuous. There are other things bit to osay our family has gone through a lot is an understatement. We had grown distant with each other over the years. He had always made comments to me about the lack of intimacy but with us working opposite schedules ( i work nights) and running very busy lives I was always just tired and not thinking about our relationship. He felt like it was a chore to me to be intimate with him and that there was no desire. Well finally it happened and he tells me he can’t do this anymore that he is done. Never did I see this coming. He said he loves me but isn’t in love with me amd there is nothing that will change it. He denied he had cheated on me but was just so very cold about the whole thing. Que me doing everything i should not of, but I felt suspicious and found out he was cheating and confronted him. It gone on. For almost a month and he say his affair has no bearing in his decision that he juat doenst feel that eat about me anymore and that it cannot be fixed. I know i also have intimacy problems due to a very conservative and over protective upbrining. So i begged and told him I would get the help I need to fix the situationa nd work inmyself dor the better. I also threw the cheating in his face as inexcusable not matter how bad our marriage had been. After initial conversations he did agree to go to counseling but to work on our communication not to fix the marriage and get back together. He also does not want to break it off saying he has real feeling for her and that it was a connection with her. We have not yet attended counseling but have pretty much agreed to the fact that divorce is where we are going. I plan to start using your steps but the question is how do i go about it when we will be going to therapy to focus on our communcation and to coexist. My goal for therapy was to work in things to build back the live but he says he just doesn’t see it working out between us. He loves me but the feelings are just gone and its been a long time coming before head given himself this ultimatum and agreed that he is being selfish in his thought process. Our 1st appointment is later today and I want to know how to apply this method while we are in therapy for what maybe nothing more than deciding how to talk to each other. Remember we also have a household where we shuffle the kids everywhere and he is not wanting to move out.

    1. Dear Just confused and broken
      thank you for your heart felt letter. I agree your relationship has been through a good deal you have fought to keep your family together – well done. I’m not surprised to hear once that had been dealt with the relationship issues then came to the surface.
      Let me reassure you this is pretty normal. I am sorry your husband has chosen to step out of the marriage with an affair.
      All is not lost though. I want to remind you of your history of success together in big trials – custody battles are no fun.
      I hope Just confused and broken you can hear me encouraging you!
      I am holding the candle of hope – that is why I love the Last Resort Technique, start with the basics of that Step 1 and 2 are vital to practice with fervour. It’s purpose is to help you navigate this tricky time.
      You can apply the principles all the way through and especially in your situation, the LRT is a good fit.

      And please go with the positive your husband had agreed to go to therapy, that is a fantastic head start.
      For the moment ignore the affair it’s too much of a distraction from the real issues here – your relationship.
      And I do hope the session went well. I love your long term goal. Better communication is the building block of healing, so take it in that spirit my dear one.
      Love to hear an update and how your session went, apologies I couldn’t respond in time. xx

  31. Hello, my wife seems to have the walk away wife syndrome. Seems like All scenarios was me as the problem. She said she’s out and doesn’t want to change her mind. Im 1000% dedicated to making it right. Does the last resort/hope work to help mend, reconnect with my wife? Thanks.

    1. Dear Vic,
      the walk away wife syndrome may be what is happening, I can’t know for sure without more details but you know your situation best.
      The Last Resort Technique sounds like it is where you are out. You will really need to apply it and make big changes. You really need to take note of your wife’s complaints within the marriage and turn it around. Basically Vic doing the opposite but in a low key way. And you will need great patience here. Sending you luck and hope, wishing you the best with it Vic. Keep us informed!

  32. Hi, i have been with my husband for 19 years. i am truely heartbroken. My husband walked out on me 2 months ago after finding out that an old friend (whos male) text me. we exchanged a few messages and these were in no way of any sexual nature. i had deleted the messages though. once he found out i did say they were just friendly chit chat but he still left. our marriage had been going through a bad patch for about a year and in that year hes was very distant and threw himself into work and his hobbies…we bearly saw each other. throughout out bad patch we have had holidays and days out and they had been fantastic. hes been gone 2 months. when he left he said he was a broken mad and was only interested in our son. ive tried to talk to him and we have had the rollercoaster of yes lets try…no lets not a number of times. the last time was a few weeks ago where he said he could not see a future with me. i have tried to back off. we are quite nice and amicable to each other but he is only arroud to see our son. he has reluctantly agreed to see a marriage councillor, but i think he thinks this is to support our seperation. i love him dearly and have never cheated or wanted to cheat on him. i just cant get through to him. thanks

    1. Heather thanks for your email,
      the texting was really the tipping point. The energy sounds like it has been low for a while in your relationship.

      You will need to apply the LRT FULLY. I get this will be tough but it will be the only way to get through to him – STOP TRYING! The more you try the more he will back away. You know what I am saying as you are living it. So stop chasing today. I am so glad you have started marriage counselling, please let me now how you progress. xx

  33. Hi, i have been with my husband for 19 years. i am truely heartbroken. My husband walked out on me 2 months ago after finding out that an old friend (whos male) text me. we exchanged a few messages and these were in no way of any sexual nature. i had deleted the messages though. once he found out i did say they were just friendly chit chat but he still left. our marriage had been going through a bad patch for about a year and in that year hes was very distant and threw himself into work and his hobbies…we bearly saw each other. throughout out bad patch we have had holidays and days out and they had been fantastic. hes been gone 2 months. when he left he said he was a broken mad and was only interested in our son and said he wasnt sure if he loved me any more. ive tried to talk to him and we have had the rollercoaster of yes lets try…no lets not a number of times. the last time was a few weeks ago where he said he could not see a future with me. i have tried to back off. we are quite nice and amicable to each other but he is only arroud to see our son. he has reluctantly agreed to see a marriage councillor, but i think he thinks this is to support our seperation. i love him dearly and have never cheated or wanted to cheat on him. i just cant get through to him. thanks

  34. Hi, i have been with my husband for 19 years. i am truely heartbroken. My husband walked out on me 2 months ago after finding out that an old friend (whos male) text me. we exchanged a few messages and these were in no way of any sexual nature. i had deleted the messages though. once he found out i did say they were just friendly chit chat but he still left. our marriage had been going through a bad patch for about a year and in that year hes was very distant and threw himself into work and his hobbies, making any excuse not to be with me..we bearly saw each other. throughout out bad patch we have had holidays and days out and they had been fantastic. hes been gone 2 months. when he left he said he was a broken mad and was only interested in our son and said he wasnt sure if he loved me any more. ive tried to talk to him and we have had the rollercoaster of yes lets try…no lets not a number of times. the last time was a few weeks ago where he said he could not see a future with me. i have tried to back off. we are quite nice and amicable to each other but he is only arroud to see our son. he has reluctantly agreed to see a marriage councillor, but i think he thinks this is to support our seperation. i love him dearly and have never cheated or wanted to cheat on him. i just cant get through to him. thanks

    1. Our relationship connections get blurry when we start talking to others – I mean the guy who texted. It can be a slippery slope for some where they find comfort. Your husband was feeling threatened so it is good you have heard him and stopped contact. You can’t minimise the text or defend it at this point, things are too rocky by the sounds. Good luck!

  35. Hi Philippa –

    I am 46 and have been married to my wife for 15 years, together for 19.

    I was shocked 6 months ago when I noticed she began pulling away from me for what seemed to be no good reason. It was a subtle shift, but soon she was reducing the amount she talked to me, not telling me when she was going places or doing things we normally would do together. For example – we don’t have kids (neither of us wanted to) but her brother and wife have 4 and we go see them quite often, but she stopped telling me that she was going and seemed to be obliged to have me at events if only for appearances (or maybe out of guilt or pity?) to our friends and family.

    I panicked – started doing way more around the house and being there more but this seemed to just push her further away. And then we started having verbal fights for the first time in the relationship.

    I feel terrible for initiating some of the fights but she has shut down on me and it was the only way I was able to get anything out of her as to what caused this shift. She told me she is unhappy and can’t make me happy. She said she had been feeling this way for over 2 years and was afraid to tell me because I would have had an emotional breakdown (I admit that this is somewhat true). She said she needed space, that she needed to focus on herself, and I need to focus on myself and then we will see where we are afterwards. Once I brought up couples counseling and she said she didn’t want to go because going two or three times wont fix everything

    I started seeing a psychologist and working through my dysfunctional past, I began meditating to try and find space and slow my anxious thoughts. I started finding ways to think more positively, and I searched for ways to give her as much space as I could.

    Giving space is a challenge, as we are both in the same house, and it is a small house. It was a great house when everything was going well, very symbiotic, but with this breakdown in communication, it is not an ideal situation and difficult to give her the space she says she wants.

    Through counseling, I have been able to stop being defensive and upset when we have talks about the relationship. I have learned that she doesn’t want me to leave, but doesn’t seem to want to communicate at all or spend couple time together.

    Some of her other faults with me are centered around what she perceives to be my over-reliance on her to solve my problems due to a recent tough 5 year period at work where the company I work for nearly went bankrupt and caused us a lot of financial stress. She says she is tired of trying to “fix” me, and waiting for her to tell me what to do all the time.

    I will admit that I was in a depressed state and relying on her more than normal during that time, and that I should have taken these issues to a psychologist rather than her. I have apologized to my wife for this and am working on correcting it. However, I also feel that I have contributed positively and significantly to the relationship, and that at the moment it seems that my wife might be viewing everything through a negative lens…

    On top of all this, it worries me because it seems like she is also withdrawing from her real life friends and family, way more emotional, angry, and irritable than normal. Her personality seems to have shifted suddenly – away from a strong confident person into someone who seems to be very unsure about herself. Everyone we know has seen it and or commented to me about it. She seems to be looking for ways to isolate herself from everyone except for friends she has made on the internet in the past few years.

    When I asked her a few times if something is going on with someone online, she rolled her eyes at me and half-laughed saying that’s not it at all – and I am pretty sure I believe her. Of course I could be wrong, but she has been hurt in a previous relationship, she does not lie, and all her family and friends that I have talked to have said she would never do something like that.

    I have tried talking discreetly a couple of times to very few friends or family members, trying to gain some more insight but this has been backfiring on me as it eventually gets around to my wife and she gets angry at me for it. Her way of processing whatever is going on is completely the opposite from mine – to withdraw into herself and not want to discuss anything with anyone. When I pressed her during an argument as to why she wasn’t talking, she said it was because she would get angry and didn’t want to fight with me. My psychologist has said she also might be trying to protect me from what she is actually feeling, or perhaps waiting to see what I will do.

    Basically I am at a point where everything is in limbo. She still makes suppers for the both of us, and we still watch TV shows together in the same room – in silence, but now she is buried in the internet with earphones in and seems to not want to look in my direction most of the time. Sleeping in the same bed has become an issue a lot of the time- for example if I come to bed, she stays for about an hour or two and then can’t sleep and leaves to go sleep on the couch in the living room.

    I have also noticed her struggling with sudden bouts of anger not directed at me, insomnia, and a few periods of forgetfulness. I have made very sure to not say anything about any of these things – I don’t want to make things worse and I am trying to understand as much as I can, but at this point I just don’t know what to do.

    I hope you can provide some insight as to whether the LRT would be the right course of action. I’m also not sure my wife is aware (or can cope with the fact) that this situation can’t continue much longer before the lack of communication and “quasi-separate but together” (?) thing, plus skyrocketing psychologist fees, financially affects our lives. I am the one who runs the finances, and I have noticed our debt climbing substantially since this started. I’ve been able to hold our finances together for a while but at some point in the future we may have to sell the house. I have not brought this up because tensions are very high right now, but it is a reality that is coming soon…

    Thanks for listening and thanks so much for the blog post. Any insight is greatly appreciated…

    1. Dear John, yes you are certainly in a last resort situation here. Begin by studying the steps and take action today, your situation is dire and change is urgently required. You have the power I see to adapt and grow.

      Hold onto your 19 years in your mind and heart to give you courage and hope in this tough time.

      What you are seeing in your wife is a very stressed person. All of your wife’s behaviour you describe in your email emotional, angry, irritable, poor memory and so on are signs of stress and anguish. Like you she is also struggling with the situation.

      From your letter II read, ” I also feel that I have contributed positively and significantly to the relationship, and that at the moment it seems that my wife might be viewing everything through a negative lens…”

      You insight is spot on here John. When we are feeling hopeless and helpless we have a negative lens. Your wife really needs to be heard. I see you have sought out a psychologist and it has helped you well done! I imagine in this external relationship you have been heard and supported. This is what your wife needs from you now. The hardest thing to give unconditional love.

      This means hearing her complaints and you have without defensive or offering solutions. It’s the Imago dialogue process of reflecting your partner’s words almost verbatim and offering validation and empathy.

      At present your focus is on your inner world, like us all. When you use the above listening skills you will be entering into her world. Let me give you an example of what this style of communication would look like.

      Your wife comes in and says she has had a horrible day and stubs her toe just to top it off. You look her in the eye with gentleness, a soft face and an open heart. You say, ” I hear you have had a horrible day, and you just hurt your toe, ouch! Pause and let her see you are showing up for her and have heard her about 7 seconds or so. Ask is there more? And repeat as a mirror staying with her words.
      If she says no. Validate with something like ” It makes sense you feel upset with such a horrible day and then you hurt your toe. Then empathise I imagine you may be feeling hurt, lost and alone (whatever your best guess on her feeling is). Is that what you are feeling? Reflect what she is feeling back to her. She may say angry reflect that back with ‘I hear you say you are feeling angry. And finally say, ” I appreciate you telling me this. Thanks.” This will take practice and expect it not to go smoothly. Research Imago dialogue and you are being the listener so learn how to be totally present to your partner.

      In my office one of the most common spousal complaints centre around not feeling heard, supported or prioritized by their mate.

      Her tuning into her computer is where she get’s her support I would guess and also avoids the tension in your home.

      You also must apply the LRT rigorously. Step 1 is no chasing, stop all pursuit. This includes talking to others about your relationship or concerns about your wife. I get you have good intentions but you won’t get the results you are after. Your letter makes it clear this is not useful and is harming your relationship with your wife. So don’t do it in any way shape or form.

      This paragraph appears to me part of the issue in your relationship.
      “I’m also not sure my wife is aware (or can cope with the fact) that this situation can’t continue much longer before the lack of communication and “quasi-separate but together” (?) thing, plus skyrocketing psychologist fees, financially affects our lives. I am the one who runs the finances, and I have noticed our debt climbing substantially since this started. I’ve been able to hold our finances together for a while but at some point in the future we may have to sell the house. I have not brought this up because tensions are very high right now, but it is a reality that is coming soon…”

      You are thinking about making major life decisions, which will affect you and your wife’s security without talking to her about your concerns. So avoiding this difficult conversation because of tension is not the way to go. I would guess this is a long-term relationship pattern that will not serve you. Make it a part of your past. You really have everything to gain. Open communication is healing.

      I totally understand finances are a hot topic for many couples. I would rather have a tough conversation and get all the cards on the table than be the one to say sorry we need to sell the house now, unless you are ready to divorce. John you have to man up here and share vital information with your wife. You don’t have to fix it, or resolve it. Make an appointment to talk to her, be gentle and open use the imago techniques and see what happens. Avoidance only leads to more of the same. Do it differently today. Make your own budget cuts with no suggestions for her. Ask for her help as a teammate involve your wife.

      The way I see it is you guys have real chance to team together and work cooperatively to help save your house. It’s a metaphor for your marriage. This is pivotal to your relationship’s survival.

      Of course John I am reading between the lines, so forgive me if I’m completely out of the water here.
      Happy to listen and am grateful you found us here. Thank you for your appreciation – it is appreciated, smiley face.
      Hope my insights offer a new view for you and others. Read the blog, remember you are not alone the internet has loads of amazing stuff.
      All the best and post your progress please. Wishing you both well.
      Philipa

  36. Hi

    My husband and I have been married for 4 years (together 9 total). No kids just two dogs. We started drifting apart about a year ago and the fighting/arguments just became repetitive without any real resolution. It got to the point where I started being callous and closed of because in a way I stopped feeling the love I had for him. He started an affair with his coworker (near my birthday too) and had an affair for 5 months. He confessed to me after denying many times he was cheating when I would be suspicious (he actually at one point made me feel like I was crazy but I was right). He saw how much this was hurting me and when I spoke about separating or getting counseling he confessed. This was only four days after our fourth anniversary. There are more complicating things that negatively affected our marriage but I want to focus on possibly fixing our marriage after this hurtful event. He left the home we shared, let me keep everything and replaced our bed (because he brought her in our place when I was out of town) within a week. He says he loves me but he is not in love with me anymore. However there are times when we see each other that we are happy and I see in his eyes he does love me. We have been separated for over a month now- i almost divorced him but after I asked him if there really wasn’t any chance left, he said that there still might be. I think he blames me for a lot of things he did not do for himself, and to be honest our relationship became more of a codependent marriage which was toxic to us both.

    We are at a point right now where we see each other maybe once or twice a week and he texts me sometimes (I used to text more but realized I needed to stop making all the effort). He told me he let the other woman know that he is trying to fix his marriage- however I don’t know if I believe this since he still works with her. He has asked me out on a few dates here and there but I am codependent and don’t think it’s enough. I am also scared that he is only leading me on…

    Would no contact be better for me since I am codependent to him? I’d like to try the last resort (I see him tonight) but I am scared that even being around him or contacting him will keep me from detaching myself to be a healthy individual again.

    Thank you

    1. Dear Daphne,
      lovely name. Thanks for your question, it’s a good one and I am sure many others have thoughts on this very topic. How do I grow me when in relationship. You totally can become a healthy individual in a pair. As a couple therapist I am helping people daily with this process. The psychological term we use in the therapy world is differentiation. It’s the ability to be me and for me to allow you to be you with all your differences. It sounds simple – it’s not.
      This is what I think may be a part of your struggles.

      The yearning to be with your partner while dealing with the fear and anxiety of the possibility of an ending.

      Any way short answer to the ‘no contact’ in your particular situation, is no remain in contact. I think it would be more of the same, as it appears there may be a distancing pattern or some such in your marital relationship. The Last Resort is about doing a different pattern, usually the opposite of the current moves.

      We are all co-dependent to some degree, so be gentle there with yourself.

      This crisis in your relationship is certainly frightening and while it’s natural to want to avoid and protect oneself, it’s the fools way out.
      We need to be heroes again.

      From your comments it’s clear your marriage has been in a critical condition long before the affair. I get this is the most painful thing at present, but I say this because we need to see the whole picture here. I always write my advice generally to for others to connect with Daphne so thank you for your question.
      While it’s tempting to fixate on the biggest hurt, it’s usually the small cuts that cause expiration.

      I think your relationship would benefit from marital therapy. A partial version of the Last Resort sounds useful – step 2 get a life will help you reconnect with yourself for a healthier you.

      I reckon your husband wants to be there for you, your challenge may be to let him in now. He is making all the right moves – have hope there.So my recommendation is to stay connected, accept dates and get therapy together. You will learn how you came to this cross roads. I am recommending you find a therapist here Imago Therapy American website . I am using the Imago dialogue process with all my couples to great effect. I feel incredibly blessed working with my couples and seeing their wonderful insights and deep emotional shifts in the safety of connection in my office.
      As you now I am for connection and healing!
      Take care and let us know your progress. xx

  37. Hi Philipa,
    I’ve been married to my wife for 14 years. She recently told me that she did not see a path forward in continuing our marriage. This is due to my lack of emotional support and broken promises which is totally true. I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done and begged, tried to convince etc. She says she still loves me but isn’t in love me but does think it’s possible to fall in love with me again. I’m working out of town so technically we are separated and I am completely alone, depressed, stressed etc. I started step 1 last night and am willing to put in all the effort needed to make this work. I feel like this can be saved but she is confident that it cant and she is the type of person who makes up their mind and follows through. Please help.

    1. Dear Mike,
      Well done for starting Step 1. You have 14 years of history so hold onto that in those dark moments.

      So you don’t want to be discussing your relationship future at all – I am trusting you are implementing Step 1 diligently. This will avoid you hearing her further committing to leaving.
      She is strong willed but don’t let your fear run the show.
      Step 2 is where we get ourselves stronger and repair our self esteem. So please use this opportunity. And Mike Step 3 is going to be very important hear – wait. You are going to have be the most patient person to allow your wife to see these changes you are making are not just a flash in the pan to get her back.

      Show her you are coming from your integrity and hearing her. This means making no promises at all, taking ownership of the past and remedying what you can without expectation. You must live this change for you and let her see this over time.

      Wishing you all the best and please keep us posted with your progress!

      1. Thank you so much for the help. Quick update: since implementing step 1 and well in to step 2, I have received much more interest, an apology and an unsolicited “I love you”. She still is showing no signs of reconciliation but at least it’s improving. I wanted to share this to give others some hope.

        1. Dear Mike,
          Thank you for your update. Wow that is wonderful, since you have taken action you have seen positive changes. Yay!
          Know we are all cheering you.
          Step 1 and 2 are vital. With Step 1 it creates the emotional space for your partner where they can reflect without any pressure – a guaranteed passion killer. Step 2 brings you back to you and as you are feeling better your spouse can notice this shift.
          You have made a fabulous start. Now the real results will be applying all three and practicing vast amounts of patience.
          I’d be interested how you responded to the apology and I love you. My take is to be genuine and often we need to have the ability to receive our partners love. Go with the good stuff.
          Yes it is improving step 3 comes into play now, wait. Thanks for sharing this I know others will be encouraged and can connect with your hope!
          Fantastic Mike.
          I am looking forward to further updates.

          1. Well, I went home for a week. Things didn’t go well in the beginning. I was allowed to touch her (snuggle) but it was not reciprocal. Furthermore, it was made perfectly clear that there would be no sex. After a few day’s, we had the “talk” where she informed me that she would file for divorce although she maintains that she still loves and cares for me and believes there is a chance we could reconnect. I didn’t put up a fight, I told her I wanted her to be happy no matter what. In fact, I drove her to the courthouse and sat with her as she filed the paperwork. That was pretty tough to watch. A day later, we were actually getting along pretty well. She approached me for sex which was amazing. We had several more sexual encounters during the week. By the end of my stay, she actually went out of her way to hug, hold hands etc. Before I left, she wanted to thank me for the work I put in (sexually) during the week and that she can see an improvement. I’ve been away now for two days and she has reached out to me much more often than before. She also told me that she had been thinking about the last time we had sex. I’m not sure what to make of any of this. I think I’m more confused now than before. My gut tells me this isn’t finished, I just don’t know what to do from here.

            I apologize if parts of this comment were more graphic than most, I just thought it was all relevant.

            Any ideas?

  38. Hi guys.
    My husband and I have been together for 9 years and married for 6. We’ve been through a lot in the last five years, deaths of family and friends, illnesses (our own and family members), work stresses (both of us), family breakdown (with my husbands mother), and more. I discovered on 1 March that my husband had set up a P.O. Box in another suburb. When I asked him about it, he revealed that he had been getting counselling for 6 weeks, and was moving out. I was obviously shocked and upset. I knew things had been a bit shaky between us for a while, but not to this extent. He moved out the following day to a house he had leased. Several days later he agreed to try couples counselling (at my request) only to then change his mind. Last Saturday, after seeing his counsellor during the week, he told me that he didn’t love me anymore, hadn’t for a long time, and that his counsellor had told him there was no point in getting couples counselling. I feel like my world has ended. He has been married before and had another girlfriend prior to me, and says that each relationship has played out the same way. Apparently his counsellor has told him he has attachment issues. We’ve been discussing our relationship – he feels it had been toxic and codependent. I don’t believe it has been codependent, but we probably haven’t been good for each other due to both being reactive. I believe we have both tried our best, with the tools we had. We may not have communicate well at all times, or set proper boundaries, but I believe we’ve had good times. He doesn’t seem to believe that at all, and claims I’ve never loved, nurtured or cared for him. This is hurtful to me, as I thought I was doing my best at all these things. Anyway, he told me during the week that he would come around today to grab some more stuff, but has turned up with a trailer and is taking everything of his. I am distraught. At no time has his behaviour, actions, treatment of me or anything in our raltionship give a sign of his frame of mind. He still hugs me, is still contributing to our mortgage etc. I am prepared to work on myself, our relationship, our communication, everything, and I’ve told him this. I know I haven’t been blameless in this mess. I just don’t know if it’s all too late. He said it is too soon for him to even think about that at the moment, but I worry that we will drift further apart, and it will be unfixable. I honestly believe that with hard work, self development and self realisation on both our behalf’s, we can get this thing back on track. Is it too late for TLR? I just miss him so much, and care about him. I certainly don’t think he completes me or that I can’t live without him, it would just be nicer with him in my future

    1. Dear Kylie, this is exactly the right time for the LRT!!

      We pretty much all have attachment issues and boy do these come to the surface when our relationship is threatened with ending as yours is. I do truly feel how hard it is and hear you are distraught. While your feelings are entirely reasonable you must get support and the LRT gives you a game plan. It is your best bet for healing here.

      I would like you to really get familiar with Step 1. Stop telling him what you are prepared to do. Only take action You must immediately stop reminding him of the good times, as this will feel like a guilt trip and he will only want to exit faster.
      You have to really honour and hear his point of view without defensivveness, judgement or pleading. For example if he was to say the relationship was toxic, you can reflect that this is his perspective by reflecting this back in his own words. This will help a person feel really heard. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with him but I would guess one of his complaints might be that you don’t get him.

      You have to put aside your worry and get a life with Step 2. This will help you gain inner strength regardless of what happens.
      Go full throttle on the LRT! Good luck xx

    2. Yes use the Last Resort Kylie. Look into what your husband says are the issues. Ask yourself what part may I have played in this issues. Self reflection will give you great insight and a direction for changes.

  39. Hi, my husband and I have been together on and off for 8 years. We split up twice before we eventually got back together and got married and moved country. We have been married for 2 years and have a 2 year old and a newborn. My husband says he wants to leave. He says he never wanted to be married and have kids and feels extremely anxious and irritable when he is at home and feels the need to flee. This is a new thing over the last 6 months. He is bipolar and 6 months ago found out his best friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and this friend has subsiquently died. He is seemingly in a “manic” phase now.
    Do you think the last resort will work despite his mental health issues?!

    1. Dear A,
      I think a modified version of the LRT would be advised.

      So often I have heard from the partner with the mental illness that the other partner sees everything through that filter. What I mean is the husband may say his wife is irritable or any unwanted behaviour is seen as symptomatic of the depression of anxiety. Then the partner starts to ask about medication and it becomes a bit of a battle. And more like a parent child relationship.

      You have both been through a great deal of stressful events. I am thinking therapy may be useful either couple or individual. He is wanting to escape and grief and stress seem to be running him at present – the 6 months agog diagnosis gives us a clear time line. Grief and loss can affect us very deeply. I do imagine your husband feels out of control given these circumstances and wants to escape emotional distress and pain. Like most of us really. Bad and sad news can have any one of us acting in not the most useful ways.
      Hang in there and take care of yourself. Please write again. Thank you!

  40. My ex-husband left just over a year ago, served me with divorce papers and where we live, the divorce process happens so quickly that 90 days passed and it was over. We have been divorced for nearly a year now (he had been sober for 7 years prior to meeting me then lost his sobriety during the marriage but has since been sober again for 2 years now). About a month into it I started LRT and has been going great.

    Fast forward to now: we spend about 20 hours a week together as family time and have sex together once to twice weekly. The children really miss the family unit which is why we continue to do so much together. Whenever I bring up us spending less family time together, he makes comments such as “I’m perfectly happy just how things are and spending time with you and the kids. I’m not opposed to trying again, but I’m just not ready to do so now and need more time.” He will frequently say how much he enjoys our time together and when strangers will make comments about what an adorable fun family we are (we’re quite active together), he responds with “Oh, I’m a lucky guy!” My friends jokingly refer to it as ‘fake family fun time’.

    We don’t argue at all together and genuinely have a great time. Is this typical?! I see a psychologist and am in a much better place personally than I was when we were married, and my therapist is flummoxed by my ex’s behavior. Says he’s never seen anything like it in all his years of practice. Outside of our time together we live our own lives but there is no one else for either of us (I’ve dated here and there but never anything serious). I guess I’d like your take on it since this is where I first started a year ago… Thanks so much!

    1. Well done Lisa!
      So proud of your success. This is not fake family time – this is an investment in your children. Yay for you and your husband. Congratulations Lisa I am cheering for you. Well done.

      Bringing up less family time is talking. Use your actions – see below. Men often don’t hear words but notice our behaviour.

      So it’s time to review things. Who’s organising the family time? If it’s you, dial it back subtly.

      I want you to start to focus on Step 2 more – get a life and start to act as if you are moving on from the marriage. Do this artfully without words.

      For instance you might cut family time short, as you get changed for an outing (let him see you looking gorgeous and leave him wondering), say goodbye and let him to put the children to bed. Mix it up a bit and be more mysterious. Get your hair, nails or a new outfit. Wear a new lipstick – bright. Smile more and be coy.
      Flirt.

      Have a think about how you can use Step 2 for you. Let us know how you go. When he approaches you be vague and say something short and sweet like …” you’re deciding to explore and really live your life.” Good luck!

  41. Hi philipa

    I found out at the end of January my wife was having an affair and when I confronted her she denied it and said they were just friends but said the marriage was over as she don’t love me no more and that she hasn’t been happy for the last 3 years which she never told me about. 3 week later after lying it all came out and the person she had the affair with dumped her and said some hurtful things to her. She then said about getting back together which we did with me back in the house but in the spare room we were back to kissing and cuddling and she said she missed and loved me and we went to relate counciling but after her own appointment she said she doesnt love me and still wants the divorce which I have now moved out and received a letter from her solicitor. I’ve been doing all the classic mistakes do I stop now and follow your plan or do you think it is to late. I’ve also noticed she still has photos up of our marriage. I’m just at a loss now what to do

    1. Dear Allan, yes stop all the classic mistakes and start following the Last Resort Plan. You are the exact point where you can most benefit.

      Stop all the chasing, clinging and talking about the relationship and the good times. Forget about the affair for now. Are you still in counselling?
      Pull back apply Step 1 and 2. Perhaps get your own therapist who is relationally trained – this is crucial otherwise your psychologist will not be the expert you need in this crisis. Too many people go to individual therapists without the specialised training and expertise of working with relationships. Even when I am only working with one partner I am also working for the relationship, especially if there are children involved.

      Act with grace and be your best step while following the blueprint the Last Resort gives you. Chin up and let us know your progress. Good luck!
      Cheers Philipa

  42. We have had a great relationship for many years & full on for the lady 5 yrs. I snknowledge that the last year we grew apart due to some health and family issues but I still thought we were good.
    In jan he told me he was attracted to someone and wanted to Perdue a relationship with her. He left but was back 2 days later during the last 10 weeks he has been with us both & has told me many times he loves me not her but “it’s different” with her and Tharp share Thiet sport times together. She did not know about me but must of dfelt something was not right as he spent so much time with me. He told me that their attempts at intimacy were mostly s failure because he loved me & we had a great connection,
    He agreed to end it with her when I threatened to leave. But I found out he was still seeing har & this is when I went crazy. I cried begged & made threats to call her & tell her I even dialled her number told him I was going to her house.
    He came we spoke & I gave him a choice you tell her or I will. Do he called her & ended it . Then told me he loved me & wanted us to get back on track…
    The very next day yesterday he told me he didn’t like the person I now was making threats to her & threatening to tell her the bits he didn’t. She told him she loves him.
    Now he doesn’t want any contact with me as he said he needs time & space to think about everything . I am scared he had gone to her.
    I’m going crazy I haven’t attempted any further contact.

    1. Dear Kaz,
      you’ve had a major shock in your partnership, I get it feels like you are going crazy with the stress of it all. I think it is from the 12 step program where they say the definition of ‘insanity is repeating the same mistakes.’

      So this is were the Last resort really kicks in. It gives you an action plan for not acting out of the stress. Holding your dignity at this time can be so good for your self esteem, after all the only person we can control is ourselves. Read the LRT and use it to hold you steady.
      Wishing you good luck!
      Philipa

  43. Well, I’m here as “ the bad guy”. I’m the one who has checked out of the marriage, uttered the words …I’m not in love with you, having the affair. I want to help my husband the best I can. I realize this is extremely painful for him. The things he’s doing and saying are out of desperation to save the marriage. Unfortunately, it takes two to make a marriage work and I’m just done with it. What can I do or say to help him through this? He’s begging, pleading, crying and honestly it is just pushing me farther away as I don’t know what to say. We still live together, have been nothing but roommates for many years. I’m actually fine with that. I don’t plan on leaving and I don’t expect him to either. We have lived separate lives for a long time. Last summer I told him that we didn’t have a “ marriage “. I told him that he was free to go do what he wanted with whom he wanted and I would do the same. His response was “ ok”. No fight from him, no questions, no reaction at all. We continued to go about our normal routine. He just found out about my new “ friend “ and suddenly wants to make things work. His fight or flight has kicked in. I feel terrible for him… I really do. I don’t know what to say or how to handle it. The marriage is over. I just need him to understand that. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Dear Sharon, thanks for writing in – especially as the “bad guy” as you put it. It is good to hear from your perspective – the leavee if you like. Our readers are very lucky, most appreciated.

      Reading your email I see a marriage neglected to death. For your husband it’s a Last Resort situation.

      Sharon I am of the belief we choose our partner to learn and grow with. Why I say that is I bet I would see patterns in your marriage of conflict avoidance, pursuit and withdrawal – the one that is happening right now I dare say.

      After the love chemicals of romantic attraction wear off – the limerence period. This can it us with a thud as we begin to see a real person with all this entails. An individual with different ideas, behaviors and beliefs. This is when a marriage really begins.

      What happens for most of us we don’t know how to handle this and worse still connect to our deepest fears from our early development – abandonment, being smothered ( could this one be you?) not being known seen, heard fear and cut off to name a few.

      If you look back on your marriage Sharon you may see this dance, it takes two to tango as they say.

      Now to answer your question, how to get him to understand. Short answer you won’t. His limbic system and reptile brain are in survival mode. Brain scans have shown us threat fires up the our evolutionary neurons and shuts off the prefrontal cortex our rational thinking brain. The thought of a relationship ending sends our nervous system into this autopilot. In the early stages no one of us can help it.

      As your cognitive brain is more online here’s what I would suggest. I read you do care about your husband, a lot of people who are as you say the bad guy calling it can be fearful of showing their spouse any warmth as you worry that will take this as a sign of hope. And they often will. And yet you need to get your message across.

      Forget trying to get him to understand – usually when I say that I am really mean agree with me and do what I want (poor Chris!) and he won’t because he’s got his own mind. His mind will be fixated on getting you to stay at all costs. You can’t negotiate when there is no win.

      Apologies for the long winded rationale, I hope my other readers will benefit and take heed.

      So here’s what I suggest and I am basing this on an Imago dialogue which I use with all my couples even those on the brink – especially these guys.

      1) Make a time to talk to him, ask him is now a good time to talk. (Make sure there are no distractions)
      2) Ask if you can hold his hands and sit face to face very closely – touch helps settle the nerves and reactions. Tell him you have some things you would like to discuss and would like him to hear you first and then he will have the right of reply. Check he agrees.
      3)Talk from your persective only I feel. I think… etc. Do this in 1-2 sentences only.
      Really slow things down this is crucial. We all know the how quickly an argument escalates. So be super patient. Expect an emotional, defensive type reaction, I am sure you know how your husband reacts. Let him. But remind him he will have his say after yours. Keep it pretty short like a few minutes with your key points.
      4) Breathe 6 seconds in hold and 7 seconds out. Soothing our autonomic nervous system.
      5) After you hae done a few minutes of sharing swap roles and let him know you will be listening to him do this without interruption.
      6)Be super present and mirror back the essence of his responses as best you can word for word. Tell him you are listening really carefully.
      7) Validate and empathise. For example I follow what you are saying. ” You did not realise how things were for me and how lonely I was and me wanting to end the marriage is a suprise and I would imagine may be frightening. Ask “Am I getting you”?
      8) Cycle around. You may have to have several goes at this conversation in this new method. It’s a wonderful process.

      I would also suggest going to an Imago Therapist in your area. Search the site I have put up a US directory for these relationship specialists.

      Sadly what happens in our last relationship ie the patterns often show up in a similar of different way to last one. You want to avoid this.

      Thanks for writing in Sharon, and i would dearly love to hear your process around this. Please give us an update as the flip side of the LRT coin. Philipa

  44. I’ve done this technique and things have slowed down and I don’t feel like I’m on a bullet train to divorce town but still feel like we’re slowly going down that track. Maybe on a really slow freight train. I’ve also been practicing “Act as if…” and that’s helping. But when can I tell her that I still believe our marriage can be saved and awesome? I’m so afraid she won’t make the first move to open the conversation. Can I tell her I still want to save US without walking into a heavy conversation that pushes her away?

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Carter, great work and you are getting results if your not on a bullet train to divorce. And yes you are still on that track, I get it. It will take time and energy for a real turn around and it’s got to come from your wife.

      Good on you for practicing the “Act as if” and that it’s helped. I am curious to know more please write in and let us know, you may inspire others.

      Bottom line is you can’t tell her that you believe that your marriage can be saved and awesome. Why? Because that will only tell her you are not getting her at all and put you back on the bullet train.

      From your wife’s perspective she is in a very different place to you. I get your fear and you cant’ act out of this place unless you want the ticket to divorce station.

      You have to stop all the telling her anything about US, saving the marriage. That is not Step 1 – stop chasing and all those questions and comments are HUGE Pursuit. And will damage your chances.

      Just watch what happens every time you tell her something like how awesome you marriage can be and watch her shrug her shoulders and say a half hearted yeah I guess ( to shut the conversation down mind) or worse silence.

      Carter practice Step 3 patience with buckets of diligence. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
      Philipa

  45. I’m at a loss as to what I can do. Myself and my husband have been together for 8 years, we have had some difficulties (we are 27 & 28 years of age) and suffered some big knocks. His mum has been diagnosed with early on-set dementia & is now in the latter stages at 54 years of age, he is really struggling with this (turning to drink/drugs) and withdrawn from me / not talked to me about it (which he now says is because he doesn’t believe I actually care).

    At the beginning of March I asked if he wanted to separate (stupidly to test the water) & he agreed… the next day I told him I do not want this & I want us to work on us… he told me he wasn’t going to change his mind. 3 days later he left to stay at a friends. 5 days later he returned to the home, said he wants to be in the home whilst he thinks about us & what to do as “its not the first time we’ve been in this place”. He made reference that we are like siblings (our sex life has been hit, I fancy my husband beyond anyone else but he has been so aggressive it has been difficult to want to have sex with him. Yet this is the first time that he has ever told me how important it was/is to him..). Whilst in the house he kept saying that he needed space but making comments about his new life & would shout at me when I got upset (as i’m “emotionally strong-arming” him) / threaten to leave. Our 2 year wedding anniversary was during this time, we had a lovely day & he admitted to me he really enjoyed himself. I had asked whilst he was in the home thinking about “us” if we could date.. he said we couldn’t until he had done his “thinking” I asked why he wouldn’t try as it was killing me and I loved him. He told me he loved me too but he felt he was self-destructing / needed to be alone.

    He left on the 31st March (mother’s day) when I came home from my mum’s after 4 days (trying to give him some physical space). He was telling me how he was really worried about his friend & I asked whether he cared about me or had any respect left for me as he hadn’t been worried / checked in that I had got to my mum’s ok (1 hour & a half drive away). He packed a bag & left saying I don’t care about him / what he wants, I only care about myself.

    Two days later he turned up at the house (my mum was there) collected more belongings and told her that he was never coming back, he has “told me this already” “break-ups are brutal” etc. I called him & we had a row with him shouting saying I can’t give him space / i’m not strong enough. After that phone call he sent me a message saying “let me get my head around this, i’m acting on anger. please just let me be”. My mum told me he was never coming back so I contacted his friend saying thank you for being there for him, his Nan had text me so I replied to her & I text the friend he was staying with to check that he was ok..

    The Saturday came & he turned up again (my mum was there) he got further belongings, his passport & told her that he knew he had to speak to me. He went away for a boys weekend & I stupidly went on one of his old phones.. I found some porn / women’s numbers in his blocked items – but the phone notified him that I had logged on.

    Monday night I called him to ask him to speak to me. He shouted & swore, told me to not contact his friends, family or stalk him.

    He turned up Tuesday & was angry, aggressive, told me “I want documents signed for when we divorce, as this is where this is going” “I want to know when I can get my money” and that he wants to be alone.. but that I couldn’t give him space and had driven him to this. He told me he loves me but isn’t in love. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Dear Rebecca,
      thanks for sharing so honestly, your email will help others.

      Girl what were you thinking when you asked him if he wanted to separate? EVERYbody – listen up, never ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.

      From your email and what your spouse is saying could it be possible you are “emotionally strong arming him”? I hear from what you share he feels pressure from you and that he doesn’t believe you care. And you fancy him but won’t have sex with him. I would bet he is feeling rejected and alone. Plus you are now breaching his trust by looking up his phone, dangerous territory and low integrity.

      He is at a low point in his life with his mothers health and now his marriage is in tatters. The guy needs a break and deep compassion if you ask me.

      Reread your email, as all your actions are pushing him into the divorce courts.

      You have to STOP, listen to him and honour his request for space.

      I think his anger and swearing are a result of the frustration he is feeling at your inability to see things from his side of the river.

      You do need to stop contacting his friends and stalking him that’s illegal and not a good look honey.

      I am not sure if you can do this but you really have to read and apply the LRT – that’s what you do. Most of your actions have been contrary to the LRT and are not getting the results you want.

      Good luck and as ever let us know what happens when you work the LRT.
      Philipa

  46. Hi,
    My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. We have two children together . 3 weeks ago my husband moved out and wants a divorce . He found out that I was having an affair with his cousin that was visiting us for for 6 weeks. I’ve tried begging him to stay and not move out . I told my husband it was a big mistake what I did and that I love him and want to work on our marriage . I also told him I refuse to agree on the divorce but he keeps saying he doesn’t love me and that I’m a cheater and he can’t be with a cheater . He says in our Arab culture, once a woman cheats the man sees the woman dirty and is not allowed to sleep with her or be married to her . I still want my marriage and husband . I will be honest, we have always had problems in our marriage . I would always tell him I don’t feel like he truly loves me . He finally told me that he never did love me and it was a mistake even marrying me . What can I do to save this marriage ?

    1. Dear Amanda,
      Ok wow. You need to stop talking Amanda, at this point he can’t hear your words. You need to allow him time to process this. It’s likely to be a double whammy as it was with his cousin. Please grant me license to generalise – men are territorial and physical. You have shared yourself with another person not him, this for a man feels like being stabbed in the heart. So critical care is needed.

      I get you feel bad and remorse that’s a good sign. Having an affair in never going to help a marriage resolve it’s problems, it adds a layer of hurt.

      Oh and the cultural barrier to infidelity may be real challenge. There’s strong conditioning there.

      Use the LRT. I get a sense you have felt insecure for a long time – this would be behind “telling him you don’t feel like he truly loves you”, I am guessing. When I read you are “telling him you don’t feel like he truly loves you” I want to add in the way you BELIEVE you should be loved is often the missing part. Thne we expect people to read our minds and know.

      For anyone who is reading this – stop all criticism and nagging in your marriage. Be bold and ask for what you want with kindness and grace.

      Do the Last Resort Technique to save the marriage. Good luck, truly.
      Take call and let us know how you go.
      Philipa

  47. I would love it if my spouse started going out, had hobbies, heck, even if he met someone compatible to either set of the characterics he chooses to display. At a certain point in life, and in relationships, you have to accept when it is no longer working for you. If one of the people in the relationship thinks about leaving on an almost daily basis and the biggest thing stopping them is they haven’t yet found a good place to rehome their furbaby, and is trying to come to grips with the emotions of not being able to take the furbaby with them, there IS no relationship. I’m no longer invested in this shipwreck. After all the joking, selfishness, “accidents”, and all around Jekyll and Hyde style of living, it’s time to exit stage left ASAP!

    1. Dear Tina, this is a common theme for many of us.
      With full respect you would like him to change.

      I reckon your partner and you need to be up front about where you are at in the relationship. Sounds a bit like two feet out Tina. How come you stay?

      You sound fed up and lonely. When we get honest with our partners and share from this part of ourselves we can get through.

      To do this we need to be authentic and compassionate in sharing.

      Rading between the lines I think your partner is both angry and fearful, mot likely of you leaving. We sense when our partner is not invested and usually revert to unhelpful ways of trying to control the situation. This usually inflames things and their partner. I read you as also angry, not sure if I getting you?

      I bet you are both feeling differing amounts of lost, alone, anger and deep hurt. How did we get here.

      This is work considering. Tina we have to work out what we need to do. I don’t recommend ultimatums. I like measured conversations. See earlier posts for ideas on dialogue using mirroring, validation and empathy.

      When we soften we see our partner shift in most cases. What can you share with your heart, rather than your head with your spouse?

      All the best, Philipa

      1. I am wondering if the last resort technique would work for my situation. My wife told me she has no feelings for me and will never have them again. She said she is 100% committed to a divorce but wants to stay together for 5-10 years for the kids.We still live in the same house and sleep in the same bed but it feels like we are already divorced. She puts in a lot of effort making plans so we spend time with the kids seperately, never all of us together. Treats me badly and spends a lot of effort ignoring me and making me feel like I don’t exist. We simply grew apart according to her because we has so much going on in our lives. I have used marriage coaching to figure out my deficiencies as a husband and have worked really hard to improve those qualities. When I asked her what she tried to do to save the marriage, she explained that she tried to change me, nothing about herself.

        1. Dear Chris,
          Yes the Last Resort is definitely where you are up to in your marriage and your best hope.
          Read through the comments on the blog and the LRT. And really apply it you have nothing to lose and much to gain.
          Actions are going to be important rather than words I suspect. Good luck and keep us posted thanks@

  48. My spouse has been having an affair with married women( who is not happy in her marriage) for last 10 years. I had my doubts in those 10 years but he always denied. I came to know their affair for real in 2 years back, since then we have been having fights and I asked him for divorce because he was still seeing and texting her every day. I have tried begging, crying, loving him and I also have lot of anger inside me after such constant betrayal. We have kids age 15 and 8 and are scared because they see us fighting all the time . My husband has been keeping grudges for every small mistakes I have commit in my marriage but he never appreciated me in 20 years. He said he doesn’t want to work on our marriage or want to go counseling. He is done with us. I don’t really want to divorce but want to save our marriage but he doesn’t care what we all are going through, he said it’s better for kids also if we go separate ways. He said he feels happy and peaceful with the other woman. I really don’t know what to do any more. He has filed for divorce . I don’t know, if I can save this marriage at all.

    1. Dear Ritika,

      Your marriage certainly has been under a strain for many years. From your email you sound angry with him and he with you I’d guess. Lots of grudges, unfairness and fighting are toxic to a partnership and usually miss the point – you may be both lonely, hurt and feeling disconnected.

      I don’t know if you can save this marriage either to be honest. Your best course of action is to do the LRT and you will have to do this religiously. It will be hard not to let the hurt and anger out.

      Stop fighting around your children, it’s not great for children to be exposed to your marital issues. It is our job as parents to protect them. Otherwise a child’s environment can feel unsafe and can be traumatizing, which speaks to your husband’s justification – it adds support for what he is saying, I am afraid. You can do better I believe in you!

      Horrible situation and wishing you the best of luck. Stop fighting yourself too. I think it would be great if you were to get some support professional therapy may benefit you.

      all the best,
      Philipa

  49. Hello Philipa,

    I’m not lonely, however, I am angry, frustrated and very, very tired(physically, emotionally).

    I’ve been completely honest with my spouse about everything. Even when we were dating and long before our relationship turned into more than just a couple dating. I believe in transparency; good, bad, ugly, and many other adjectives. I asked the same of him. Apparently, the mask slipped when we moved back to our home state, and he had an “audience”. He eventually confessed that he didn’t believe me when I told him and showed him who I was, and apparently, assumed I’d getcwith his program. NOT! To paraphrase Maya Angelou; when someone shows (or in my case,) tells you who they are, believe them the first time.

    My anger is due to all the unentangling I have to do (sell the house, etc., etc.), and having no choice but to rehome my dog. Though, I feel much better after having talked with a friend that works in rescue. I also scheduled an appointment with a separation counselor to ensure everything is done by the book/and to the letter of the law.

    I don’t issue ultimatums and have advised him repeatedly that he does not have to change. He should find someone more compatible with his personality. That person is not me.

    I’m sure your program may help those that wish to remain in a relationship. The title was catchy (The Last Resort), though not at all for where I am, and have been for almost 3 years.

    I do appreciate your response.

    Take care

    1. Thanks Tina,
      I appreciate hearing from you. As a therapist I tend to see anger and frustration as needs not being meet and often having more vulnerable feelings at the heart of them like hurt and sadness once the energy or anger runs its course. I am speaking generally.

      My advice would be to tell him what he needs to do, I really think it’s great you are talking about what you need without ultimatums. Well done. Stating what you need is important.

      Sorry about your dog, there is a lot of loss for you Tina.

      As a couples therapist I tend to look at the patterns playing out between partners.

      Yes the LRT is designed for those who wish to remain in their Marriage. I think it’s really wise and honourable to your relationship you are seeing a separation counsellor, this may be useful for future relationships.

      Take care Tina xx

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