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Just some basic advice that worked for me


RobD70

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I have more experience in this area than I want to admit. My wife left about a year ago and had an affair but she did come back twice. I did a lot of things right but I also did a lot of things wrong. I may or may not get a divorce in a month or two as I am in NC and my story isn't quite over yet.

 

I'm wanting to share what I have learned this past year. Believe it or not, getting back together is the easy part, keeping them is where the real work begins. At the moment my wife thinks I'm the perfect man even if right now she can't break herself free of the other guy. My mistake was becoming a doormat and losing her respect and taking her back too soon. I'm fixing that now.

 

Here's a list of things that worked for me getting her back when dealing with her. NC is important as they can't start missing you until you are gone. Don't be their friend (but be friendly), all that does is make them feel less guilty and let them pursue other relationships with you as a safety net in case it goes bad.

 

1. Act happy when speaking with them. This makes a big difference but can be extremely hard to pull off when you are depressed or angry. It's important that they see you upbeat because happy people are attractive people and depress/pathetic people are turn-offs. Fake it if you have to and try not to cry or act depressed/needy around them. If they think you are happy without them they will start to want you back. Don't try to make them feel sorry for you, it wont work.

 

2. Never fight them, never. Agree and validate everything they say even if you think they are 100% wrong. The point is to disarm any negative feelings, not to show them the error of their ways. They will automatically discount anything you say and try to prove you wrong anyway. Agreeing with them puts a monkey wrench in that and it's like using reverse psychology on them. Let them have and believe whatever they want for now. Fighting them only gives them more ammo for leaving you. Right now it's about feelings, not right or wrong. They say "I think we need a break from each other" you say, "I understand why you feel that way, maybe that will be for the best". Just because you agree with it doesn't mean it will happen, it usually makes them think twice. What you resist, persists.

 

3. Take the blame for everything bad that's happened. They will start to defend you once you jump on the grenade and take responsibility. Remember they want to prove you wrong so saying it's your fault they'll end up trying to take the blame themselves. "I wasn't get best bf/husband, I did a lot of things wrong and I understand why you feel you need to leave".

 

4. Don't start relationship talks, let them bring it up and try not to add to much too it. It's all about them and they don't really want to know how you feel because it makes them feel guilty. They only care about themselves right now so don't talk about what you are going through. Bite your tongue and don't share your feelings with them. Don't tell them they are wrong about their feelings, just validate.

 

5. Don't talk about the other person (if there is one) for a long while. Getting over an affair is hard and talking about it may end up backfiring on you (as it did me) so hold off those type of talks until your relationship is secure or in counseling.

 

6. Don't stop living your life if they come back. Try to keep up the changes because once they are back they may start questioning themselves again if things go back to the way they were. They left for a reason and you have to fix that reason or they will leave again.

 

7. Never show anger or act out in a mean fashion and no name calling or acting judgmental. Always take the high road.

 

8. Don't put too much into the relationship. The more you invest the less they have to so make sure you pull back every now and then so they can come to you. Nothing worth having comes easy so make them do some of the work.

 

9. Time is your friend. It take lots of time for them to have a change of heart so don't expect anything to happen soon and question positive changes because they can slip back at any time. Always stick with your plan (getting a life and NC) until they come to you begging you back. If they want you back you'll know it, no question.

 

10. NO PRESSURE!! You can't put any pressure on them and you must give them space. Asking questions is a form of pressure so stop that as well. Leave them alone as much as possible. NC is your best friend.

 

11. No pursuing, no "I love you's", not gifts, no cards, no calls, no txt/emails, no nothing. The more you chase, they faster they run. Stop and let them come to you.

 

12. Most affairs die within 2 years but usually last at least 3-6 months or more. You can't compete with the honeymoon stage of an affair so leave it to die on it's own. Usually the other person is filling a need for them that we neglected but rarely can a new person fill the other needs we provided. Once those needs become important again and if you were smart and worked on filling the needs you lacked then you become a better choice.

 

13. Find out what it was they didn't like about you and change that. If it was that you were a slob and didn't help around the house then start cleaning. In my case, I wasn't affectionate enough and wasn't always there for her. I made a huge effort to fix that and if it wasn't for her still having feelings for the other guy then she would probably be with me now.

 

14. Don't believe anything they say. They will say all kinds of stuff but end up taking it all back later on. Just agree with it for now but don't take it personally.

 

15. Be mysterious while in NC. Let them think you are having a good time and if they think you are dating then all the better. Let their imagination run wild and it will eat at them. Don't respond immediately to any contact from them and don't respond at all if there's nothing to respond to (like if they are just sending an FYI).

 

16. Don't keep reassuring them that you'll always be there for them. We all want what we can't have and being easy doesn't help your case. They need to be afraid that you'll be over them. If you can turn the table on them then all the better. If they invite you for lunch for instance, tell them you are busy but you'll take a raincheck.

 

 

From what I have read from many forums is that they almost always come back the minute you have moved on. Getting over them is the first step on getting them back...assuming you want them back.

 

In my case, I am detaching as much as I can. The only way I would take my wife back is if she dumped the other guy for good and stayed away for at least a month. Then she would pretty much have to beg for me back and continue going to counseling. I've been burned too many time to just take her back the minute she changes her mind again. I lost her respect being too easy for her so now I have to man up and take a stand.

 

I did get her back twice doing the above and I was able to show her that I could change and be the man I wish I was before. I don't regret having the opportunity to do that and it helped my personal growth. This was the most painful year of my life but I did learn so much from it and made some changes that I really needed for myself.

 

I don't really expect her to come back and I'm fine with that but at least I know she thinks the world of me and she takes all the blame now for our marriage failing. She'll carry that guilt for the rest of her life.

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Rob,

 

Thank you so much for your post! It was truly helpful and you spent a lot of time to give the advice. I've heard bits and pieces of all this stuff before, but it is good to get all of this in once central thread. I'm sorry your wife is still with this man, but you seem to have a mature understanding of the situation and you're thinking rationally which is awesome.

 

A couple of questions: 1) How long were you and your ex together? 2) How long did it take her to come back after her first affair? 3) How long after her second?

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I have to say its great advice and a great thread....however pretty sad. I read all the advice and I totally agree...however that is the sad part. Basically we have to put on this act...be so careful around the dumper...tip toe making sure we dont make any little mistake or show any sort of feelings....it just seems like its a lot to get the dumper back...if u really have to do all these things...do u really want the dumper back? U have to act not interested in them..just so they can be interested...i know its human nature to want what u cant have...but its so freaking annoying. i think all of us dumpees need to realize something....most of us r great people...WAKE UP....stop taking this BS...we all deserve better....who the hell or the dumpers anyways??? That we have to be so careful, agree w all the BS and take their S$%#. I believe we all deserve better and can find better.

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14. Don't believe anything they say. They will say all kinds of stuff but end up taking it all back later on. Just agree with it for now but don't take it personally.

 

can you further explain this one?

like, is it talking about when your ex says bad/mean things to you after the breakup, etc.

or is it in the sense of: dont believe what your ex says about wanting to get back together with you.?

 

 

great post, by the way, Rob!!

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And Divorce Busting....doesn't work for everyone.

 

I followed this approach for about 9mth's after my wife walked out on me. Didn't work except turn her into a friend.

 

I'd say....unless you have kids...go dark "NC" and move on.

 

Funny thing is....now I don't want her back as a wife. I'm not going to give her a second chance at pulling a stunt like that again.

 

Her loss. I'm getting the house, most of our savings and half of her pension.

We have no kids..so I haven't got any baggage to carry into my next relationship.

 

If she does decide to come crawling back....too late. That door is now closed.

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Rob,

 

A couple of questions: 1) How long were you and your ex together? 2) How long did it take her to come back after her first affair? 3) How long after her second?

 

We were married 4 years. She left for 3 months the first time but decided she loved me more than him so came back even though she still had feelings for him.

 

After being back for 6 months she left again and went back to him for about 6 weeks then came back for about a month.

 

We split up again the first week of January and she filed for a divorce about 3 weeks ago. She is still seeing him but I don't expect it will last.

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It does suck and you have a point. For me it's about self respect. What my wife did was wrong and I want to call her ever name in the book but saying nothing at all makes more of an impact.

 

We will end up better off than them in the end and yea, it would probably be better if we just cut ties and run. Sometimes though the other person is just confused and a relationship can be salvaged. All this does is put reconciling odds more in our favor if that's the path someone wants to go down. It doesn't always work but trying does make you look better. To be honest, I think I might actually hate my wife right now but I'm not going to tell her that...at least not yet.

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can you further explain this one?

like, is it talking about when your ex says bad/mean things to you after the breakup, etc.

or is it in the sense of: dont believe what your ex says about wanting to get back together with you.?

 

 

great post, by the way, Rob!!

 

Both. They will tell you they will it's over and to move on then a month or 2 later ask you for drinks.

 

Here's a quote out of an email I got on 12/18 right after we got back together: "I would be honored and blessed to spend the rest of my life with you. I am very proud to call you my husband."

 

Last night she spent the night at her boyfriend's house (I look at my online banking and saw a charge by his house this morning). Last I checked last night was a part of her life.

 

I would not be surprised if in a month or 2 she sends me another email saying the same crap above. They say what they feel at that minute and don't seem to realize their feelings will change down the road.

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And Divorce Busting....doesn't work for everyone.

 

No it doesn't and a lot of times when you get someone back you end up changing your mind and kicking them to the curb. 9 times out of 10 it's best to let them go but most people want to try something even if there's only a 1% chance of working. I know I was fighting a losing battle and I have no regrets as it did work for me. My problem was when she came back I thought I won the war and that's where I failed.

 

To get by, I ask myself "What can she do that some other woman can't do for me?". I'm finding my wife wasn't as special as I use to think she was.

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In following some of this advice, I feel that the cheater is paying no consequence for his/her cheating ways...

 

You are rewarding them, for their cheating behaviour..

 

...why not give them a pat on the back while you are on??

 

They end up paying, just not at first. It's not rewarding what they are doing, it's removing any justification for them doing it and letting them see for themselves if they are making a big mistake.

 

Someone here wrote: Short-term happiness brings long-term pain, but long-term happiness requires some short-term pain.

 

My wife is wracked with guilt for what she's done and because of how nice I have been to her it makes it that much worse. I will be over her one day but even years down the road you can bet she will look back at her actions today with shame and regret. I will be free of that knowing I did everything in my power to save my marriage. She failed, not me and she knows it.

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Hey Sam! Been wondering how you've been. Looks like you're healing well too. Kept up with the dancing?

 

Hey there GoldenHillGuy,

 

I'm doing pretty good actually. It took about 6mths to get out of my funk, but things are great now.

Not dating.....don't want too for a while. This is the first time I've been single for about 12yrs...so I want to make the most of it while it lasts. It's just a matter of time before we all get back into another relationship, so I'm going to enjoy the single life as long as it lasts.

 

Kinda stopped the Salsa for now. Too busy going to the guy almost every day to be able to do the dancing thing. Also....I wasn't really improving and don't really like Salsa music. It's difficult to follow and keep tempo. I might try swing or rock-n-roll next time as the beat is not so complex.

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I followed this approach for about 9mth's after my wife walked out on me. Didn't work except turn her into a friend.

 

I'd say....unless you have kids...go dark "NC" and move on.

 

Funny thing is....now I don't want her back as a wife. I'm not going to give her a second chance at pulling a stunt like that again.

 

Her loss. I'm getting the house, most of our savings and half of her pension.

We have no kids..so I haven't got any baggage to carry into my next relationship.

 

If she does decide to come crawling back....too late. That door is now closed.

 

I followed this approach too.....and all it did, was to serve to relieve his guilt.

 

Now while I think some of the advice is good.....I wouldn't advise people to take it in a situation where they had been cheated on...

 

Cheaters deserve a consequence and should pay consequences for their actions...and that doesn't and shouldn't include the betrayed party, licking their butt.

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I followed this approach too.....and all it did, was to serve to relieve his guilt.

 

Now while I think some of the advice is good.....I wouldn't advise people to take it in a situation where they had been cheated on...

 

Cheaters deserve a consequence and should pay consequences for their actions...and that doesn't and shouldn't include the betrayed party, licking their butt.

 

That is true and was a mistake I made. I didn't know at the time that being friends with them enables their affair. You can take responsibility for the relationship failing but NOT the cheating. It's best to just be NC until it dies a natural death and then you got to ask yourself is it worth it if/when they come back.

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I also wanted to add:

 

I really do like #9. Too many people put numbers on things. Sometimes just because they are over it and showing it, but honestly, you don't need numbers to prove you're over them. I feel a lot of people read stories about how X got back together with Y after "65" days of NC. So they start counting and think that after 65 days of NC from then, or around that ballpark, that their ex will come back or w/e (or if their stories are similar, the process will be similar). People could learn from your post, and that point specifically.

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In following some of this advice, I feel that the cheater is paying no consequence for his/her cheating ways...

 

You are rewarding them, for their cheating behaviour..

 

...why not give them a pat on the back while you are on??

 

 

I agree.

There is some useful stuff in the OP related to reconciliation....but I don't think it translates to a situation where infidelity is a factor.

 

This one particularly I have an issue with:

 

"3. Take the blame for everything bad that's happened. They will start to defend you once you jump on the grenade and take responsibility. Remember they want to prove you wrong so saying it's your fault they'll end up trying to take the blame themselves. "I wasn't get best bf/husband, I did a lot of things wrong and I understand why you feel you need to leave".

 

This is straight from "How to win friends and influence people", but again - in the case of infidelity, I feel completely inappropriate.

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I have more experience in this area than I want to admit. My wife left about a year ago and had an affair but she did come back twice. I did a lot of things right but I also did a lot of things wrong. I may or may not get a divorce in a month or two as I am in NC and my story isn't quite over yet.

 

 

1. Act happy when speaking with them. This makes a big difference but can be extremely hard to pull off when you are depressed or angry. It's important that they see you upbeat because happy people are attractive people and depress/pathetic people are turn-offs. Fake it if you have to and try not to cry or act depressed/needy around them. If they think you are happy without them they will start to want you back. Don't try to make them feel sorry for you, it wont work.

 

2. Never fight them, never. Agree and validate everything they say even if you think they are 100% wrong. The point is to disarm any negative feelings, not to show them the error of their ways. They will automatically discount anything you say and try to prove you wrong anyway. Agreeing with them puts a monkey wrench in that and it's like using reverse psychology on them. Let them have and believe whatever they want for now. Fighting them only gives them more ammo for leaving you. Right now it's about feelings, not right or wrong. They say "I think we need a break from each other" you say, "I understand why you feel that way, maybe that will be for the best". Just because you agree with it doesn't mean it will happen, it usually makes them think twice. What you resist, persists.

 

3. Take the blame for everything bad that's happened. They will start to defend you once you jump on the grenade and take responsibility. Remember they want to prove you wrong so saying it's your fault they'll end up trying to take the blame themselves. "I wasn't get best bf/husband, I did a lot of things wrong and I understand why you feel you need to leave".

 

 

 

 

12. Most affairs die within 2 years but usually last at least 3-6 months or more. You can't compete with the honeymoon stage of an affair so leave it to die on it's own. Usually the other person is filling a need for them that we neglected but rarely can a new person fill the other needs we provided. Once those needs become important again and if you were smart and worked on filling the needs you lacked then you become a better choice.

 

13. Find out what it was they didn't like about you and change that. If it was that you were a slob and didn't help around the house then start cleaning. In my case, I wasn't affectionate enough and wasn't always there for her. I made a huge effort to fix that and if it wasn't for her still having feelings for the other guy then she would probably be with me now.

 

 

Rob,

 

Although I agree that these are good advice, I can't help feeling that it is twisted and so unhealthy. So they dumped you. So they have an affair. Yet you are doing all this "changing for the better" and "not pressuring them" and "doing anything to make them uncomfortable around you" ? What about you? Where are your needs? What about your needs? They don't have to do anything for you and you end up being the person who tip-toe around them doing everything to make sure they are comfortable.

 

Ugh...

 

Not to say I am not doing all these dumb things myself but I am getting tired of it. Why try so hard to be with someone who doesn't care about being with you?

 

(I am so mad at myself....why be so nice to someone who can't meet my need, who I have no right to demand anything from? If I want anything my ex could just get away with "but we are not going out any more" This is so much fun isn't it?)

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We never get love from another person with dishonesty or judgment, no matter how shrewd we are about it. I think you may falsely give her hope temporarily that you've changed by confusing her in these ways, but that won't be reality. And that may be part of the reason she keeps leaving.

 

I believe the two of you could really help each other if just one of you began doing the real work. You don't need her cooperation. You need to learn to be responsible about your needs for physical space in a way that is not threatening to her need for closeness. You need to learn how to make her feel safe, and not judged. You need to learn to listen and show real understanding without threat. That would be a start, if you really care about this woman. You have to go beyond the 'things to do to get her to do what you want'. That's a normal stage - but you want to take the next step. She will follow if you really get down to learning..or at least she'll really take notice when she begins the struggle with the other man and compares that to you, who are beginning to get a clue.

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In my case, it was win-win no matter how things turned out. I had issues, no doubt. My ex-gf before her left me almost exactly the same way and for the same reasons my wife did. Considering they are 2 completely different type of people with nothing in common other than being with me, it was clear I was the problem. Whether I got my wife back or not, at least I become a better person after everything was said and done so in a way, I did do all this for myself.

 

I'll admit, I have been too nice to my wife in all of this but it forced me to change which I needed so I don't make the same mistakes in my next relationships. People don't change until not changing becomes more painful than changing. Sucks but that's how we are.

 

My wife didn't stay with me because 1) she never got over the other guy and 2) I didn't set boundaries and she lost respect for me. I needed to show I can live just fine with or without her and I ended up acting too needy which was my downfall.

 

Now I realize that all we really have is ourselves and the pain we feel is self inflicted. I'm now trying to be a better person and do whatever I want, when I want for me. I'm seeing how my life will be better and less complicated without my wife in it so I can be at peace with moving on.

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Rob, great thread, let me ask you this... What type of things were said between you and your GF/wife that were ended up being taken back on her part?

 

Luckily I had read this thread before I made contact with my ex. she said 2 things that really hurt my feelings and because of your thread I am not taking them personally. Along with reading the book the four agreements (which one of the agreements is do not take anything personally).

 

I may as well share the four agreements with everyone.

 

1. use perfect word(another words don't talk BS just say what you need no mor eno less)

 

2. don't take anything personal

 

3. don't assume anything

 

4. try your best!!

 

so anyway it sounds like a fair amount of things are said before reconciliation. I was curious to hear what was said to you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The four agreements is great but hard to do sometimes.

 

My wife never said anything negative, except that I didn't give her enough attention and she didn't feel like I loved her. When she first left she built up these walls around her and it took 6 weeks for her to stop having negative feelings for me. She never thought she'd ever feel love towards me again. At the 3 month mark she was desperate to get me back. The guy she left me with took her to Hawaii for a week and she would sneak phone calls to me telling me how much she missed me and all. My mistake was taking her back too easy and thinking she learned her lesson. Boy was I wrong.

 

She noticed my changes and came back because of them BUT because she had an affair she just couldn't shake her feelings for him and ended up relapsing back to him (twice).

 

As of now, she has moved back in with him and that is the straw that broke the camel's back. I now only feel resentment and hate towards her and if I never see or hear from her again that would just be peachy. She gave me too many empty promises for me to ever be able to trust her again. I'm also disgusted by the guy she choose over me as well.

 

I don't like feeling this way but it is better than pinning away for someone who obviously doesn't want to be with me anymore. She made her choice and I'm moving on now

 

 

In retrospect. I believe if I had filed for a divorce last year when I first found out about the affair, she would had respected me more. I did all the things I mentioned in the first post but I'm afraid I went overboard and looked weak in her eyes. I should have done a better job hiding my emotions and not trying to help her through all of this. It's was just in my nature.

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