I thought it might be interesting to take a survey of those who are in R as to whether you used the 180 and how did it help.
For me I did not do any form of the 180. The PA part of my WW's LTA ended about 2 years after I found out and just some sort of an EA continued. I got immediate sorrow and wanting to continue the M. For the first few weeks I did get continued TT as far as the amount of contact that was still going on though and it did take 6 weeks for full NC. Things are doing good, we have a ways to go still but overall I think our ending will be a good one. In my situation I feel a 180 would have set things back for us.
What is your story as far as 180?
There are 2 parts to the 180. The more prominent part (file, talk only about kids and finances, don't communicate, don't ask Qs, etc.) is only for BSes who want to R but whose WSes aren't remorseful. These tactics help the BS detach and learn that they can live just fine without his WS. If the WS comes back, OK, but the target of this part of the 180 is the BS in despair because his WS won't R.
The 2nd part of the 180 is a set of tactics that we all need to do to be autonomous, authentic human beings. For example, most of us have developed some level of co-dependency. It behooves us to minimize that, even if our WSes are super-remorseful and R is going well.
Anyway, that's my take in 2 'graphs. YMMV.
But, like you said, the ideas behind the examples --learning how to live like a strong adult-- is excellent advice.
My "180" was to completely engage in everything. Very hands on. I opened up my accounts, I involved her in finances, I expressed everything I had been repressing for years, I shared my deepest darkest secrets, I vocalized all my wants needs and expectations.
People here probably would have screamed for me to do the real 180. 10 months of TT and lies, broken NC, procrastination every step of the way. I didn'tsee remorse for awhile but I did see guilt, shame, and humiliation. As she did work on herself that slowly turned to remorse. All along the way I saw little tiny improvements and changes.
"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection
It is the teeth of the 180 - the minimizing conversation and ignoring the WS that I think may actually be harmful when recommended to new BS when their situation is not fully understood. For me it seems like the method to use AFTER you have tried other things and better understand what you are dealing with. To me it doesn't read like something you would recommend to someone days after DDay.
So why is it a standard recommendation here without even knowing the situation? In the healing library it specifically says it is highly suggested that ANY new BS do the 180 as soon as possible. Is this bad advise?
the minimizing conversation and ignoring the WS
I tend to make my own rules and encourage others to do so as well.
I believe I initiated the 180, but I never ignored my W. How could I we have 3 kids and she is a human living in my house.
I took the 180 and just made it about me. My W simply was not part of it. I used it as a time to take a look see at the world, imagine what it would be like to be divorced, living on my own and without attachments. I lived that life to a certain degree during the 180. I made a schedule that revolved around what I needed to do with my kids and my job and other than that I did what I wanted. No revenge A or anything like that, but I considered all my options for the future. That is how I view the one 180. She left me, so it seemed reasonable to consider all my options. I was free to make a choice then.
I guess I looked at my W after that A and said yeah she ain't that great. What else is there out there. She started to become great. I came back.
In my situation I feel a 180 would have set things back for us.
That is interesting and instructive to this conversation. I did not care if we were 'set back.' F-her at that point. I had no say in her decision and well she was not going to get any in mine. I needed a full break and was fully ready for her to walk. Was it a test for her? Probably. If she couldn't wait for me to figure out what I wanted after what she did, well she just didn't fully understand what she did.
I think all politics are local and all situations and relationships are too. It's one of the reasons when lending a hand here on SI I almost always write from my experience. It's all I know and the only thing I can truly translate.
[This message edited by wert at 10:05 AM, November 15th (Friday)]
Personally, I don't think there is a one size fits all approach to R. You knew your particular situation and acted the best you could. Leave it at that.
Sometimes, I notice a bit of a group think that occurs to get a WS in line. It usually goes something like this:
1) Get your bitch boots on! (meaning stay angry and bully your WS until they capitulate) If that doesn't work then
2) 180 their ass (which is often misinterpreted as withhold affection). If that doesn't work then
3) Go talk to a lawyer (to show you are serious about D)
Maybe that type of thinking works well for others, but it never would have worked in my case. I found that showing compassion and kindness was a better approach to R.
On D-day I discovered I was dealing with a 3 year EA/PA, 2 cyber affairs, and my FWW was pursuing the OM's best friend (and was thankfully failing because he would not cheat on his wife). To answer your question, I never did the 180 and I considered us fully R'd about 18 months after D-day.
[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 12:39 PM, November 15th (Friday)]
The 180 isn't a "one size fits all" but I think in the right situation, it can be the best and only option.
For me, it wouldn't have much benefit. I think, from my own personal point of view, this is a second marriage (at age 42), after living alone with and supporting myself and my kids and being happy doing so. I don't need to learn to be and look after myself, etc because I already did that recently.
Where my SAWH is concerned, he's had a lifetime of driving people away with his behaviour - so where is the punishment? I'd rather be the one who hung around long enough to at least TRY and get HIM to that "authentic" stage. Then we will see whether there is still an "us".
Who knows? I'm just a learner really
You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think (A A Milne)
My reading of SI is that the 180 is recommended where R is obstructed by an unremorseful WS. I don't see it as a general recommendation. Now you make me want to go through each post to see how often and in what sitches it's actually recommended.
I realize I didn't answer the question posed by RP in my previous post.
I most definitely kept communication with my W open. We talked about everything that came up, and I was not at all shy about sharing feelings and asking where she was going and what she was doing. I questioned her almost endlessly about her A, with little regard for her feelings, breaking only when I was done for a while or so she could eat or sleep (and then only at her request). We seriously increased the amount of time and energy we devoted to sex. I never considered talking to a lawyer. In these sense, I ignored the 180, thanks to SI advice that the 180 was for BSes with unremorseful WSes, and my W was remorseful.
I definitely wanted to R from the beginning, but I made myself stop thinking she was my partner and I was hers. I did my best to imagine myself alone and thriving. I did my best to consider choosing D as an outcome. I started working on our M on D-Day, but I didn't enter R until I saw 90 days of consistent commitment to R from my W. In these senses, then, I did use 180 tactics.
[This message edited by sisoon at 11:58 AM, November 15th (Friday)]
I think in every situation its best to do what works for you. There is no one size fits all solution for every situation. Personally I didn't do a 180 but I have distanced myself emotionally from my husband. I need the space to regain my balance.
[This message edited by heme at 12:07 PM, November 15th (Friday)]
However, I printed out the 180 steps and showed them to my therapist today for his input. He knows the situation, obviously, and has met my WH a few times and heard what he has to say about things. He agreed it was a good idea, if I could manage to do it. I told him that it felt dishonest to behave in a way that was contrary to how I felt, and he likened it to the way they tell people to act in Al Anon - take care of yourself first, because while you love the alcoholic, you don't love his actions. Given that my WH is currently acting like an OW-addict, I really connected with that idea.
I still love him, and he knows that. But he also knows he hurt me and is continuing to hurt me as long as he keeps trying to have his cake and eat it too. In time, if things don't change, he'll lose me. For me, as others have said, it's about focusing on detaching myself from the unhealthy codependency I've developed.
Really, I think the 180 is the perfect antidote for codependency. Which is really, really common in relationships, but it's not always the primary problem - which is why it's not always the only solution. However, I think there's a part of you that will know if it's right for you. The idea has appealed to me from the beginning, despite how scary it sounded.
"Are you hurting the one you love?
You said you got to heaven, but it wasn't enough."
In my case I really believe the 180 would have actually set us back significantly and my TT and NC would have taken much longer. In cases where the WS wants R, you have to remember they are hurting too. The reasons they hurt, probably hurt us more but I think if you are wanting to work as a team to get through it you are likely to be more successful. Now if the WS in not doing there part, by all means 180, 180, 180.
The problem I guess I have is that is not the way the healing library reads and is not how the advice is sometimes presented. However I dont think my opinion is all that uncommon on SI regarding the 180. Even the 180 primer that gets bumped says the 180 is not to punish the WS, it is for you. That makes it sound like it should always be done because it is for the BS not the WS. For me, the time to use the 180 is to wake up, or punish the WS. Sure it will also help the BS get stronger.
It is like the hail mary pass - the M is gonna end if we can't get it back on track so get it all you got. I just feel like if it is not yet 4th down and some time is on the clock why are you throwing the hail mary pass.
I think it would be to stop cake eating or rug sweeping. Either we are on the same team or we are not and this is what its going to look like if we are not.
As to the general question, I think the 180 would have been good for me to do in the early days. Maybe I wouldn't still be married, but I might have had a faster personal recovery. Which I think is the point.
I guess I'm not the patient type.