I'm going to lay out why a strict adherence to one persons beliefs and direction will not work for everyone and use myself as the example. I'll start by saying I never read this while in the depths of the period after D day and had no idea what 180 was. I'm actually glad I didn't stick to this script 100% or I would not be where I am today. I've read numerous books as well and visited read a lot on the MB website. From ALL of those sources I developed my own plan that fit my situation and how I felt.
So, here goes my opinion on this plan - first the plan from your thread:
Originally Posted by AFEH
Q: What is 180 and how does it work? Submitted by Making It
A: 180 is a list of behaviours from Michelle Wiener Davis, the author of Divorce Busting, that will help your spouse to see you moving forward as a healthy person. I would highly suggest that any new BS begin these behaviours as soon as possible. I am convinced that if I had implemented them, I would still be married. In retrospect, I did everything besides 180. I looked pathetic. No one wants to be perceived as pathetic. 180 makes you look strong. Strong is attractive. (Making it)
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These three points are my mind completely wrong and I'll list why after I list the points:
Don't encourage or initiate discussion about the future.
Don't ask for help from the family members of your WS.
Don't ask for reassurances.
Discussion about the future is what moving toward reconciliation is all about. Why the hell would you close off discussion on your goal?
Having my wife's eldest sister who she admired and respected greatly understand the whole situation and talk to my wife was one of the best things that happened. I agree you have to be very careful in this regard because involving the entire family can cause your spouse to be very angry at being exposed and embarassed. Also some family members may not support your position or desire to R and may actually sabotage your efforts. In my case, this really got my wife moving out the fog and thinking.
As far as asking for reassurances, how do you know if what you have been doing to change yourself or the things you have been discussing are having any impact if you don't ask where they are and whether or not they are leaning toward R. Again, shutting down communication is counterproductive in my mind.
More of her points and my responses:
Don't schedule dates together.
Don't keep saying, "I Love You!" Because if you have a brain in your head, he/she is at this particular moment, not very loveable.
Do more then act as if you are moving on with your life; begin moving on with your life!
Scheduling dates is suggested by many other therapists as a way to start to showing your changes and to start to build trust in you and start to rebuild the good side of the love you had before. I don't buy this one at all. If you can't keep the date totally off the A and avoid arguments and keep it just a relaxing loving time together then don't do it. Wait until you can have the date that way.
Not saying I love you is a form of intimidation and with holding your feelings. It's intimidation because you are trying to make your spouse feel that you are truly and finally gone with the sole purpose of trying to get her to come back. This is a mind game and dishonest.
Do more than ACT, I'm not going to ACT that again is mind games. Truly move on with on your life, sorry, that is not what I wanted and I wasn't going to pretend that I did. I did set my boundaries and requirements for R and what I would not continue to tolerate. That is honesty and if you can't walk the walk you are asking her to walk you are playing games.
Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and independent.
Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go out with friends, enjoy old hobbies, find new ones! But stay busy!
These I agree with though being cheerful is again acting. I think the WS needs to know how hurt you are.
When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words. Don't push any issue? No matter how much you want to!
If you're in the habit of asking your spouse his/her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING. Seem totally uninterested.
Your partner needs to believe that you have awakened to the fact that "they (the WS)" are serious concerning their assertions as to the future (or lack thee of) of your marriage. Thus, you are you are moving on with your life? with out them!
I agree you need to reduce pressure on your spouse to give them the room and time to think. Constantly badgering them won't help.
But doing this to seem uninterested is again acting and intimidating to the spouse - a game.
As far as asking whereabouts, that was part of my requirements to R! Seeming disinterested is again game playing and dishonest. She needed to understand my expectations for transparency and stop the affair.
No I wasn't moving on and wasn't going to pretend I was. She kew I would separate and D if things didn't change and that I was serious about it because I discussed with her my plans and discussion with our lawyer. More game playing that is dishonest and intimidating. If I'd followed this method, my would would have simply said file because that was where she was and it was the simplest way out for her.
Don't be nasty, angry or even cold - Just pull yourself back. Don't always be so available? for anything! Your spouse will notice. More important, he/she will notice that you're missing.
No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment? Make yourself be someone they would want to be around. Not a moody, needy, pathetic individual but a self assured individual secure in the knowledge that they have value.
Nasty - absolutely not, Angry - she already knows I am and it's something we need to work through together why play act differently, just don't be abusive in your anger - walk away and calm down then restart the conversation, cold - agreed - that's not in my heart either - i Still loved her and made sure she knew I did. Pull back and be unavailable - absolutely not. I wanted her to know I was there for her and willing to work through it. Again this is play acting. The last statement, yes but not to the play acting level. Her knowing I was determined to do whatever it took to work through it including changing the things in myself that made her fall out love with me and not throwing in the towel to R so long as she agreed to NC and transparency was the goal of the two options I presented to her. I was resolute in ending it if she continued in contact and in the A. I was also resolute in working with her to allow her feel comfortable with me and be the better choice - not giving up. It was what I wanted. It was not needy or pathetic. Moody, you bet I was and again hiding it was play acting. Showing contentment and happiness - why? That's not how I felt - play acting again and dishonest. Showing her I would work on myself and not be an interrogator, would walk away and calm down instead of attacking or getting disrespectful in an argument was what started moving her back to me. She saw I could change and stated to me that was what gave her the strength to try.
Don't be available - horse hockey - my wife needed to know she had safe haven with me discussing the way to move forward without me being abusive, angry or intimidating or game playing. I created that haven and she responded to it by opening up and trying. I didn't want her to think I was missing -counterproductive to my goals and again game playing and dishonest.
All questions about the marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may not be for quite a while). Initiate no such conversation!
Total horse hockey. If I don't understand her issues, how do I work on being the better choice? How do either one of you start to understand the wedge that drove you apart. Back off and give her space to think and consider her options - absolutely. Not initiating a discussion is one way to relieve the pressure. I did try to do that as much as I could. Obviously my reason for doing that was not the intent of this author.
Do not allow yourself to lose your temper. No yelling, screaming or name calling EVER. No show of temper! Be cool, act cool; be in control of the only thing you can control? YOURSELF!
Don't be overly enthusiastic.
Agreed from the perspective that these things will only cause your spouse to feel intimidated and scared and withdraw. Not what will make them feel safe and comfortable coming back to you - in fact it will drive them away and galvanize them that you cannot change and the right thing to do is end it. Taken in the context of putting on act.....
Not being overly enthusiastic - best you consider both the worst and best that can happen and plan for both. Hiding that you are committed to working out - again horse hockey.
Do not argue when they tell you how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger). In fact, refuse to argue at all!
Be patient and learn to not only listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you? HEAR what it is that they are saying! Listen and then listen some more!
Boy that first sentence is WAY off base. You are bing disrepectful arguing about how your spouse feels. They have their feelings and you need to understand them. Yes arguing causes them to withdraw because they feel you are ignoring how they feel and that only causes them to try and make you understand - if you want to call that making their feelings stronger - yes. In her overall context - horse hockey (I'm going to start using HH for horse hockey because BS also stands for betrayed spouse). This is what I call using the right words to draw you into her over all context. Touching a cord with you as it were. The last part of this statement is dead on - you must listen and understand your spouses feelings. While the use a very black brush to paint your past actions - it is the way they feel and you need to understand it to start addressing what actions or feelings they either misunderstood, hurt them, drove them away and ultimately left them open to an A. I am absolutely not responsible for the bad choices my wife made having an A. I am absolutely responsible for the things I did that caused her to fall out of love with me.
Learn to back off, keep your mouth shut and walk away when you want to speak out, no matter what the provocation. No one ever got themselves into trouble by just not saying anything.
The first statement - dead on. Don't be provoked into angry disrespectful responses or respond to tirades by the WS. You too deserve the respect you are showing her if your doing the things I list. Tell the WS to come back to you when they show some respect. Don't cut them down. Do listen - there may some shred of the problems they see buried in their tirade. Do walk away before you blow you top and do what they are doing.
The last part of the statement HH. This lack of communication, openness and honesty is precisely what got marriage to the point it was in and left my wife feeling unloved and receptive to an A. She would respond to my tirades by heading straight to the OM. We never truly resolved issues because she ran from conflict even when I didn't respond with an explosion. She shut down and I usually read it as she was OK when in fact she was far from it. So you are making a grave mistake by just walking away and not coming back later and working though the issue and you will end up in larger trouble in the long run.
Take care of you. Exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil.
Be strong, confident and learn to speak softly.
Agree 100%. You need to stick to your goals, boundaries and requirements for R and not waffle. Most importantly, can the angry disrespectful loud responses and work hard on talking in a normal, respectful manner. These will show your WS you are truly trying to get to the root of the troubles in the marriage without driving them away and making them scared to discuss them. Be the safe haven they need, be the better choice. Again, taken in her overall context – she is advocating play acting and deceit and dishonesty.
Know that if you can do this 180, your smallest CONSISTENT action will be noticed far more than any words you can say or write.
Agree only in the context that consistency in your behavior shows you can change and truly will not give up on R. The 180 as she has written it and it’s overall context – HH.
Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are feeling totally desperate and needy.
Again suggesting play acting deceit and dishonesty in the overall context. I wanted my my wife to see the pain she had caused me, understand it and own it. Those feelings in her were the start of remorse and her own self examination – the start of not focusing on just her feelings but mine as well. Being needy or desperate solely and piling on the pressure to change, no. She needed the time to process her own feelings and mine.
Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse. It's not always about you! More to the point, at present they just don't care!
The first statement yes. The last is presumptuous and falls into the trap that your spouse has their shields up, is refusing to face themselves and what they have done. Deep down they do care or they would be long gone and divorced from you. Another example of playing your feelings by drawing you in with a positive then hitting her agenda again.
Do not believe any of what you hear them say and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives and do so in the most strident tones imaginable. Try to remember that they are also hurting and afraid. Try to remember that they know what they are doing is wrong and so they will say anything they can to justify their behaviour.
True to a point - your spouse has their shields up, is refusing to face themselves and what they have done. They will use that very negative black brush to paint your past actions and they are doing it as a justification for their actions – they can’t face themselves in the mirror. But buried in all the bravado – big girl panties or manning up they are doing (not in the context people on here espouse – but in the negative sense), are tidbits of how they feel and what drove them away. Look for those and try to understand them.
Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel. It "ain't over till it's over!"
Do not backslide from your hard earned changes. Remain consistent! It is the consistency of action and attitude that delivers the message.
When expressing your dissatisfaction with the actions of the wayward party, never be judgmental, critical or express moral outrage. Always explain that your dissatisfaction is due to the pain that the acts being committed are causing you as a person. This is the kind of behaviour that will cause you to be a much more attractive and mysterious individual. Further it SHOWS that you are NOT afraid to move on with your life. Still more important, it will burst their positive little bubble; the one in which they believe that they can always come back to you in case things don't work out with the OM/OW." (Poodlepapa)
Agree completely in the context I have put forward – not in this woman’s context. She reverses herself by saying “explain” – if I’ve cut off all communication how can I explain? Mysterious – HH – I want my wife to know exactly where I am and where I’m coming from.
In total this plan is deceitful, dishonest, intimidating to your spouse with the underlying result of being abusive, play acting, prevents open communication, prevents the process of R from starting. It espouses exactly what I want my WS to get away from and how can expect her to do that when I’m setting exactly the wrong example?
As far as pushing as this as a gospel to success – HH. Like everything I read, there are good points and bad points. No plan fits every relationship or R or D. This one is especially off track and presumes your spouse cannot be convinced you are the better choice without resorting to the same things she has done with the A. If your spouse can’t find her way back, I’m my instance I had laid out where I was going to go clearly and without tricks or intimidation and she knew that was where it would end up. If it did end up in D, it would, but not without me knowing I had done everything I could to save it. Some people can’t get past the A – it’s a deal breaker and I respect their decision. Get it done and move on – don’t play games or get revenge. Hopefully those people will still do the self examination to understand what truly happened to their marriage and be the wiser to prevent it from happening again. Not to take the blame for the affair, but to learn what went wrong in the relationship and change themselves for the future.
I read a ton. I picked what made sense for me and my situation and thankfully I made the right choices. My wife is back DEEPLY in love with me. We have specific boundaries regarding the OM and all other men AND women. I still have a huge cross to bear with 20 years and 3 men. I am still processing what happened and working through most of it on my own as it should be. She is there to support me in every way when I hit a trigger or get stuck. She too is processing, owning her actions, trying to understand why and discussing all of it with me. From those discussions we are BOTH learning, making the marriage safe for both of us and building up a staunch wall we can both rely on to prevent a future affair. I will never trust to same blind level I did before and that’s good because it makes me stay vigilant to her feelings and happiness – the best defense against another A. This will be a forever effort on both our parts. I wish I would have known what I know now, I could have prevented this A.
So AFEH – I did NOT follow the 180 and hadn’t even read it. I’m glad you put it up so it can be discussed openly – I thank you for that. I will continue to state my views to all members and NOT stand behind this as written.
These are precisely the things I voice my opinion about to new members. Some will grab any straw thrown at them and try to implement it to save their marriage. NONE of us has the right to force an opinion as the only way to safety and success which I why I always propose to them they make up their own mind and follow BOTH their heart and their gut and not some scripted plan. I also try to lend credence to both points of view so they can decide for themselves and specifically list what I did and it’s results so they understand the viewpoint I’m coming from. Many only say do this, follow the 180 and don’t deviate, man up without explaining what it does NOT mean.