I know this sounds like I'm experimenting with FAD diets or something but I have been reading through the TAM site that LW recommended to me (hope it's not a dirty word on WV?). It has some great reads on it.
I took some advice from the site a few days ago, to do with boundaries and behaviour during the split. So...on Tuesday night I decided to do the "180" they speak of...even if I don't feel like it inside. I waited for her to come home (late, from London). Then, I said the following in a very confident and calm manner: "Listen. I've made it clear to you how I feel about you. You know that and I won't mention it again. I get that this marriage as it was is now over and can't be revived. Hell, I even agree with that. You tell me there's nobody else and I believe you. I would like this to work out in the future but if you don't want that then tell me now and I wont even consider it. You know, I know I wasn't a bad husband and that I'm a good person who many people would be happy to be with. And I'm confident I am gonna get through this myself. I'm gonna get on with my life. I won't say anymore about this. That's it."
Didn't mean a word of it...all for show...I wanted: to cry, beg, wail, persuade, hang onto her ankles (not in the sexual sense of it, unfortunately). But that' just it, the 180 stretegy is to do the opposite of your instinctive responses - there are reasons why, and you can read heaps about them. This is how you're meant to "act" they say, both for your own personal sanity and progression AND for the possiblity of any remote reconciliation.
Her reaction to that was to ask me to give her time...a few months...and we'll reevaluate, see if we're in a place to work on things in the summer. I said "Take as much time in the world...but I'm moving on and that's the risk you take. I'm getting on with my life and that's that."
Again, didn't mean a word of it...what I would have said: "So you do think there's a slender chance we might work on this? Great...can I have that in writing? Notarised?" But that would be a bad move they say? That's not an attractive person apparently? So I'm playing the hard ball. Taken my son to my mum's for five days and will not see her or contact her during that time.
She sends texts...annoying ones...that let me know she's thinking about me...but in a tempered down manner. I'm not responding. I answer her calls to check how our son is doing and so he can speak to her...but I'm calm, aloof, and business like.
She called today and wanted to tell me about how her final exam went...I had helped her with it last week (BEFORE my hard ball decision, you understand). It's like she still needs me emotionally in certain areas...she hasn't cottoned on to the fact that I'm not a cherry tree where she can take the juicy ones and leave the rest. Anyway, I was true to my 180...a little cold, aloof, but pleased for her...she wanted more from me...I could tell...I felt bad for not giving her more warmth. I wanted to call her back when I'd put the phone down...tell her I'm sorry I was a little cool...that I love her...that this is just the stupid 180 talking. Now I feel like shit...like she thinks I don't care...but I'm pushing on anyway. I think she does need to feel like I'm inaccessible...otherwise we're into cake eating territory again. Was I just unecessarilly cruel?
I would proceed with caution with this approach. I can see positives in not showing your emotions. I think however the overwhelming thread throughout this post is that you are hoping that this approach will lead to reconcilation.
Canuck is right, saying stuff you dont mean, well it might be that you are not being true to yourself. Is it better to say nothing at all except essential communication until your head is sorted?
Trying to manipulate or play games in hope that this might change something. I know this advice exists on the internet, it seems to me a receipe for feeling like shit about yourself and you refer to this feeling in your blog after the discussion. Practicing detachment in baby steps, avoiding communication for a while is an alternative perhaps more honest strategy. Being honest and true to ones own feelings is important in this whole process. Integrity is often one of the only things we have left after being betrayed and let down so badly.
The very sad fact here is that most dont reconcile after separation and most eventually divorce. Its not that people did not try hard enough or did not want it badly enough. Sometimes, we end up fighting battles to keep a relationship alive where the will is one sided and however hard it is to accept it is a battle we can not win. I likened my efforts to save my marriage (18 months of intense struggle and unhappiness) as swapping seats on the titanic. To use the sinking boat analogy further, I was there bailing out water with a bucket, desperately trying to keep the thing afloat, he was drilling more holes in the side of the sinking ship. I was just setting myself up to lose and cause myself further heartache. I could not save my marriage but I am at peace with that.
It takes two equally committed to make it work and even then it is very hard.
Sorry I am not telling you what you want to hear. But people here helped me to see alternative viewpoints early on in my own separation and it helped me enromously and saved me a shed load of additional pain.
Hmmm, this post has me thinking quite a bit. No, you were not cruel at all. I think you are stepping up and looking out for your own interests.
What you did is exactly what needs to be done whether or not you want her back. Your marriage is gone. Dead. Never to return. Yep, that's true. The question will eventually be, do you both want to build a new (and hopefully better) marriage? For YOU to get there I really do think you need to get through all the stuff you said and mean it. I predict with time you will mean it. And you will stand on your own. You will recognize the shortcomings in the relationship and can figure out your role.
My prediction is that she will come back. As you change, get stronger and live more positively she will notice and want you. This will confuse her. So get ready for that. By then, you might not want her :P.
I totally agree. Doing what you did takes a lot. Well done you, you should be very proud. It'll make her think. In essence, you're saying, 'look, I'm a human being, and here's the deal, and I'm not going to be messed with - and it's your risk'.
For what it's worth, there are times when I wished I had done something very similar, but my emotions always came bubbling to the fore.
You've shown us one thing: you're a fighter, and this means that whatever happens, you're going to be okay.
Sam i know it's hard but if you don't take away the things you put into the marriage she won't realise how supportive you actually were. I don't think you are being cruel, you are are trying something to save your marriage and your family.