Part Two: GET A LIFE
The 3 step process we talked about in the last blog 1. Stop the Chase, 2. Get a Life, and 3. Wait & Watch is going to save you from becoming a statistic. We talked about when your spouse is leaving or has already left and how most people pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead, and implore the other the stay when they are faced with this life altering moment. This is normal, however, so is divorce.
We all know the staggering statistics about divorce in Oklahoma and how we rank number one in the nation when it comes to divorce. In this newsletter we will talk more about stopping the chase and getting a life. Sticking to this process can make or break your marriage at this point so it is very important to stick with it even though it is hard and could be the hardest point in your entire life.
1. Stop the Pursuit. It’s time to try something different. Let’s first look at what would be considered “pursuing” according to Michelle Weiner-Davis who coined this 3-step process. Say ‘no’ to:
- Frequent phone calls
- Begging your spouse to reconsider
- Point out all the good in your marriage
- Writing letters
- Following your mate around the house
- Encouraging talk about the future
- Soliciting help from family members
- Asking for reassurances
- Buying gifts/flowers
- Trying to schedule dates together
- Spying on your spouse
- Last but most important - stop saying “I love you”
Each time you say “I love you” you remind your spouse that they don’t share those same feelings at the moment. You likely get a cold response like “I know” or nothing at all. Not exactly reassuring, huh?
2. Get a Life. Once you have stopped the pursuit, you must begin to pull yourself out of the depths of your despair. When your partner has left you it’s like someone has died. You become desperate, clingy, and depressed. You mope around, loose interest in things, and you become a blob. Loosing someone you love and watching your family fall apart is not easy. It’s actually probably the worst time in your life.
In the end, your desperateness is unattractive to your spouse. If you think about the reasons for why they left - the REAL reasons - like a fantasy life without problems or a real life affair you’ve got to get it together! We are not saying that this isn’t normal - in fact this is very normal! Everyone feels this way. Here is how you can become cheerful, strong, outgoing, and attractive:
FIRST - Remind yourself of why your spouse fell in love with you in the first place. What are your wonderful traits? Remind yourself that you are acting differently right now because you are going through hell NOT because you have changed.
SECOND - Do the opposite. More than not calling over and over you need to be even less available. Let the phone go to voicemail. Call him or her back after you have finished a project. When you answer sound happy. Add a little bounce to your step knowing that this is causing them to wonder “what’s is going on?” They will be be curious and it will draw them in.
THIRD -Be unpredictable. As you keep yourself preoccupied with something else like a new hobby, sport, or an activity like reading or writing a book not only will it keep your mind off of your problems but you won’t be so available.
MOST IMPORTANTLY - This doesn’t mean you are mean or nasty. This is just being less controlled by the painful emotions and not being swayed by circumstances. In fact, this is taking control of your emotions and circumstances.