Whatever you focus your mind on becomes real, eventually taking over your awareness.
This means that it's quite possible to alter our thoughts. Our thoughts, in turn, will direct our emotions. The hardest part of doing the 180 is wanting to start it. So, in this case, don't worry about the wanting - just start it.
Go to a museum. Take a walk in the park. Get a new haircut. Buy a new book. Take a class. Set up a new budget. Update your resume. Go to a friend's and cook a gourmet dinner.
Even though you don't want to do those things, do them anyway. Given some time with performing those actions, you'll start to feel that empowerment come back to you as you rebuild your self esteem independently. As you start to incorporate those positive influences in your life you'll start to move forward with confidence.
I did send him an email that said this:
I'm not happy with the way things are going. Some of it's you, some of it's me. I gave you a list of things to do, you said you'd do them. You haven't and you haven't abstained from the things you said you would. You have one week starting today to get an appt made with ***** or another counselor, to set up an appt. with ****. and to start treating the kids especially collin with some respect. Watch your mouth around them as well. This is your last chance Mr. beajus. If you dont' do this stuff, by friday the 12th then please plan to find somehwere else to live after christmas... say by the middle of January. I love you, I always have and I probably will never stop, but for the sake of my own sanity and kids well being I need to make some decisions.
I had intended on being in bed by the time he got back from work, but forgot the kids needed canned goods for school tomorrow so I was packing those when he came home....
Things were alright, I was cordial and that was it, THEN he triggered me badly....all over the stupid work christmas party... and then tihs happened
I sat on the bed and said **** i meant what I said in the email. This IS your last chance. Your last shot at saving your family, at keeping the kids close that have loved you for almost 8 years and saving the woman who has loved you for 9 1/2 yrs. I said i cannot take the non responses to the emails i send you and the being left in the dark on everything. I paused for a bit and and I said..I deserve someone who loves me for me, cherishes me, thinkisn i'm beautiful and compliments me so that I feel that way too. I deserve someone who respects me enough to NOT sleep with some whore behind my back or get BJ's at HyVee when he's supposed to be picking up milk. Our children deserve a father who WANTS to spend time with them, who wants then to grow up to be productive citizens, who can acknowledge them and smile when they give the father they love a picture. One who doesn't crumple it up and yell at them for wasting paper. I stopped and looked at him as i'd had my back to him because i was crying... and I said.. aren't you going to say anything.. and he shook his head no and rolled over and is now asleep.... I dont' know where to go from here.....
Is that 'legal', when trying to work the 180?
Any tips for where to statr with the 180? Tricks to figure out how to turn around those behaviors.
180 is about claiming yourself within this process. How you work it will be individual to each person and relationship. I interpret 180 as about intent rather than a prescription.
It's a way of gathering your strength and owning your life, not letting the A take over your life.
I hope you find your way through this. It's a hard road, but the journey is what is important, not the destination.
"When dealing with a cake-eater you close the bakery" - Catwoman
The first question you have to ask is: "Is he committed to the marriage?"
You'll know if he:
-Has cut off contact with the OW and set up plans to ensure it doesn't happen again.
-Is honest and transparent, rebuilding trust, and actions match word.
-Is remorseful and empathetic to you (not just feeling bad for himself) and trying to make amends to the marriage.
If not, focussing on rebuilding your relationship is similar to finishing your basement when the house is on fire. Doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, eh? Elimination of further threat is required before damage remediation. Always, always, always.
If he is actively working for the marriage, then take those elements of the 180 that foster a positive attitude and personal responsibility and empowerment to take the necessary steps towards your self improvement. Don't get lost in the list - read the first few pages for the fundamentals.
If he is not an active partner, then work on your emotional detachment to move forward.
A quick summary that was posted earlier is:
Reach out with one hand:
-Make your home, yourself, and marriage inviting/attractive.
-Show self improvement in areas that could use work.
-Communicate calmly and act self assured.
-Offer forgiveness and understanding (but not blindly).
-Avoid any harmful communication, bad habits, or behaviours.
Assert with the other:
-Don't accept the blame for their choice.
-Expose the affair.
-Protect the assets of the marriage.
-Do not shield them from the consequences of their actions.
-Lay out the boundaries and consequences.
Don't get so caught up in the details of the 180 list... take the understanding as a whole and apply it as it best fits to your situation... work with what your WS gives you to work with.
1. Chase him down every minute of the day and night. Beg him to come back to you. Get down on your knees and plead for him to come back to you. Appeal to his humanity and capacity for mercy. Make sure you look at him with adoring eyes while you are doing this.
2. Call him frequently. In fact, call him several times a day to remind him that you exist and that you are suffering. Make sure you end each telephone conversation with the words, "I love you, how can you do this to me?"
3. Make sure you point out the "good points" in the marriage. In fact, go to a crafts store and make him a giant scrapbook highlighting all the good points of the marriage. Or better yet, write him a 10-page letter outlining every single good moment you both have had, supplement it with pictures. Make sure you include every single thing you have ever done for him. Deliver it to him in person with a sad look on your face so that he knows how much he has hurt you.
4. Follow him around the house. Be his shadow, this way, he'll know you exist and will think of you instead of the OW.
5. Encourage him to talk about your future. Initiate conversations about your future together. Plan romantic vacations/cruises.
6. Call up his family members and friends. Ask them to help you win him back. They'll be sure to get him on board with the program. The more people you have on your side, the more likely he is to change his mind about the OP. Remember, this IS a popularity contest. This way, you can say, "Look how many people think what you're doing is wrong and how you're a stupid fool for picking the OP over me. Look how many people are on my side" Remember, for every person who is on your side, you get extra points.
7. Ask him to reassure you constantly that he loves you and wants to give the marriage a second chance.
8. Buy him gifts and leave them on his pillow. Bake him his favorite cookies and bring them to him while he's with the OW. It will remind him of how much you love him.
9. Try to schedule dates with him. If he won't go, try to disguise the date by saying he has to do an activity with the kids, and then when he shows up, conveniently forget the kids and just say "We're going out on a date!"
10. Every chance you get, tell him how much you love him. Because lord knows, a cheating man is very lovable.
11. Act as if your life is over without him. Refuse to go out with friends in case he calls or wants to reconcile. Sit by the phone waiting for his call.
12. Always look sad and dejected. This way, he'll remember that he's destroyed you. In fact, if you can, fight with the OW over him in front of him. Just think how attractive and strong you'll look.
14. When your WS is home with you, make sure you constantly talk about the affair and how it is affecting you and the children.
15. Now is the time to start stalking him. You'll be surprised at how stalking evokes feelings of love and commitment.
16. Tell him that you'll never divorce him/her no matter what they do.
17. Always wear attractive sexy clothing when you see your WS. Make sure they know that you are always available for sex and that you'll give it up in a minute.
18. If you have kids, now is the time to march them out in front of your WS and show them what they are doing to the kids. If they don't care about you, at least they'll care about what they're doing to the children. Remember, your children are a pawn in the game of "winning back you spouse". Make sure they are always well dressed and polite and never too noisy and arguementative. Instruct the children to look sad and dejected whenever your spouse leaves the house. In fact, cue them to cry, "Daddy, you're leaving Mommy for that whore"
19. Whenever you see your WS, let your face light up. Make them think that you only exist for their benefit.
20. Take an ad out in the local paper and in this ad, list all the things that you love about your spouse and what makes them a great person. Make sure you list their sexual skills in the top 10 reasons why you want to stay married to them.
21. Whenever you get angry at your WS, just remind yourself that they are "IN THE FOG" and that once they come "OUT OF THE FOG" they will love you again. Never let them see you angry.
22. Make MC and IC appointments for them and constantly remind them that they have to go to these sessions. If they skip an appointment, just make another appointment. Eventually, they'll get the message and just start showing up.
23. Make a playlist or CD of your favorite songs that you listened to together. Especially songs that were popular when you first started dating. Have an electrician specially wire your home and their car so that whenever they enter the house, or whenever they drive, these songs will automatically play and your WS will start reminiscing about your marriage and want to come back to you.
24. If you look fat, make sure you lose weight in order to be more attractive to your WS.
25. If you're just plain ugly, get lots of plastic surgery because everyone knows, beautiful people don't get cheated on.
26. Think of winning back your spouse as an audition, or reapplication for a job that you might lose. Submit your resume to him listing all your attributes and outline how you are better than the OP.
27. Get a lifesize picture of the OP and with permanent marker, notate all their physical deficiencies and present this to your WS over a candlelit dinner. You can even use a laser pointer (you can buy this at Staples) a la Lorenzo Lamas, to point out how they have a big ass or fat thighs. And then, make sure you show them how nice your thighs are even after giving birth to HIS children.
28. Occassionally, wear your wedding dress when you're with your WS. This way, he'll remember why he married you in the first place. Better yet, have the entire wedding party show up at your house and reenact the wedding. Be sure that you get new gifts.
29. Remember to constantly tell your spouse about No Contact with the OP. But if he does have contact, just pretend that you never said anything, and repeat it again.
Eventually, he'll learn that you have boundaries and that he can't overstep them.
30. If all else fails, consider sharing your H with the OW. You could even offer to set up an equitable schedule in Excel. Be sure and offer to send reminder emails to OW when it's her turn. Remember, nothing says "I love you" like a wife who is willing to share her man.
[This message edited by SerJR at 2:16 PM, December 9th (Tuesday)]
I can definitely see the benefit in applying some detachment.
Just not sure how to go about it...
He says he is NC. But I am in a place where that could be true or not and him telling me he is NC doesn't reaffirm my belief, kwim? I don't believe anything he says.
He kind of vascillates between seeming very remorseful and, well, seeming somewhat entitled, like HE'S the victim.
See, in some ways, I was working the 180 incidentally, without knowing it, before the A. As our counselor put it, I had entered a Freedom Phase in the marriage: very focused on my life, my self, my schooling, work, spirituality, service work. I gave very little energy to the relationship. He cites this as a reason he sought out the attentions of the OW. I'm sort of scared that if I am detached and self-focused again, it will be counter-productive... but something about the strength that seems inherent in working the 180 appeals to me.
You put your foot down and made it clear to him where you stand. Good for you.
If he doesnt meet your request and deadline, then be strong and tell him that you need to be apart. Don't waiver on this.
In the meantime, do the 180. Don't repeat your request again, don't ask him about what his intentions are, where he is going, etc. Focus all your attention on yourself and the kids.
Exactly what I needed!!!
Really, though this is so against every bone in my body to not tell him how much I think he is hurting our kids. I understand that I have been telling him this for 2 mos and it has done nothing. I keep hearing Dr. Phil in my head saying "and how's that workin for ya." and of course it hasn't worked at all.
So here I am again trying my best to resolve that tomorrow I won't be consumed with how to once again explain to WH how he is destroying our family.
Tomorrow I will work on how I am going to build our "new" family!
I am dropping weight like a bag of hammers and still eating chocolate. Maybe the insomnia is doing it.
It's the WS birthday this weekend, made him a birthday present a few weeks ago... really not sure if I should give it to him or not. It doesn't fit with the 180 guidelines.... but it is a seriously cool retro gift that I know he would love.
Fuck life can be confusing!
I keep hearing Dr. Phil in my head saying "and how's that workin for ya."
That phrase is one of the best to keep as a little voice in the back of our heads
caribou - 2 points:
1) Your health. You may want to consider consulting your doctor. Tell him everything that you are dealing with (don't worry, Dr's have heard it all and worse). You're likely suffering at least mild depression. With the weight loss, although flattering, if it is too rapid your body is canabilising itself. You may want to monitor your diet. Supplement with a liquid meal replacement (such as Ensure) if you have no appetite. Get vitamin pills. Make sure you take in sufficient protein (this is what your body uses to repair and build tissue). Also, think about exercise. Intense physical activity (e.g. weights or muscle building) for managing anxiety attacks. Moderate activity (e.g. running or walking) for everyday life. A balanced combination of proper diet and exercise will help with the isomnia.
2) The gift. WH is out with OW, right? I wouldn't bother giving him a gift from you. This tells him that you still think he's pretty magnificient. I would make the gift from the kids. It will help with the children's self esteem, show him that you're not 'veangeful' and do still 'care' in a sense but that you're nobody's fool.
[This message edited by SerJR at 7:13 AM, December 10th (Wednesday)]
I've seen my doctor a couple of times... am on valium (diazepam)occasionally when it gets tough (but am aware it's addictive so try to moniter my inatke) - which is helping, walk lots to work and home again so getting in at least an hours walking each day, plus up and down the stairs instead of taking the lift... am really aware that depression is a possibility so am trying to moniter it and have talked to my doctor about it.
I'm eating a decent lunch eat day, but find dinner really hard to get down, so am trying to eat small regular meals and lots of water.
Some vitamins might be a really good idea... thanks for that. I should have thought of it myself. I work in health so am cogniscent of the weight loss issue and depression. Have certainly developed an anxiety disorder for the first time in my life.
The panic attacks have calmed right down in the past couple of weeks since I went 180... and started to let go.
I ttok my daughter shopping last week and helped her buy him a gift for him. I want her to feel loved and supported through this mess.
Thanks for your wisdom tonight.
OK, I need to try and sleep again....
I was doing a great job (if I do say so myself ) at the 180.
Last week in MC WH talked about us "just co-existing".
He hadn't said anything to me so I was surprised he had noticed my change in behavior.
He went on with his complaining about it saying that he felt I had decided the M was over, I didn't care anymore blah, blah, blah.
The MC then directed towards ME!
Asking why I was doing that, saying I needed to "share" more with my H.
I said I had just stopped doing "my thing".
I shouldn't have to be the one who is always giving.
I was here if he wanted to initiate meaningful conversation ect.
After we got home, my H proceeded to tell me that his IC (that he saw the hour previous to MC) said I was PUNISHING him!!!
That "I have set the bar to high and we might not ever be able to repair the M".
I swear my H was having a childish hissy-fit and the C's supported him!
He has made an effort to really talk to me a few times.
What do I do then?
I am very leary of trusting him with my feelings.
I was doing so well and feeling so much better.
Please, I need some encouragement.
I'd work with what he gives you to work with. It sounds like he has self esteem issues, and that it *may* be possible that he feels like giving up because he doesn't have confidence if you don't have confidence in the marriage. If he initiates a contructive dialogue, then you reinforce your willingness to work on the marriage by exploring it with him. I would tell him what you need for this marriage to work and say "I love you, but in order to respect both myself and the marriage I can't allow myself to be hurt further by your behaviour. Here is what I need to feel confident with this marriage, and it's your choice to follow through or not. I'm giving you a chance, but I can't do your part for you."
I'm having a better time this week, have been really busy, enjoying myself, feeling more relaxed... still some insomnia but I can cope with that. Still losing weight, but that has slowed down.
Had an amazing talk with WS this afternoon- I think he might have had a quick look through the fog and saw me again. Not getting my hopes up at all; but it's been good to see that we can talk again, respectfully and actually listen to each other.
I am so thankful that I fouind this site and discovered 180 as a self healing tool.
He is living in his tiny little apartment claiming that his kids mean more to him than anything. He says he wants to change himself for the kids (not for the marriage). He says the kids will adjust.
I want to say: your kids can't possibly mean everything to you if you have hurt them so much and conitnue to hurt them by not working on YOU. You have not made an appt. for IC and will only do any real communicating with me at our bi-weekly appts at MC. Of course the kids will adjust - we all will, but if they may not have to adjust or go through a D why would you want that for them? To me its like if one of the kids lost an arm in an accident - we would help them through it we would teach them how to move forward,live life to the fullest, be happy, but if we had the choice we would have never wanted them to lose that arm.
So thats what I what to say to him this morning. I have said all this and more and its gotten me nowhere so I am trying like hell to not repeat what is not working!
Thanks for all here that lend an ear (eye) and your support.
Once again you are dead on with great advice!
I will continue reiterating exactly what you suggested.
I have said those things to him many times.
I think the first time he actually listened was after the 180 recognition.
Thank you for the support and the feedback.
So foggy he doesn't hear a word of it.
Back on the 180 starting NOW!
My H has been involved in an EA with a coworker for about 5 years. Our D-Day was July 2008. I'm so glad I found this site. I read up on 180 and started do some things. He's looking at me funny, like "hey, what's on her mind?"
After D-Day, I couldnt get any affection from him. Two weeks after 180, he's touching me, giving quick little kisses. I smile and walk away. Wait till he says "I love you". I plan to smile, look at him and say "thank you".
This is fun!
"It ain't about love anymore."