I had near identical contact over the last couple days from two different guys who have gone from “holy crap she’s going to leave me” a while back, to “she just broke down sobbing because she’s finally understood that I’m either getting what I want from this marriage, or I’m finding someone else that will.”
The question is… now what?
Well that’s up to her. As long as she is making progress in the direction that you want, and actually making some positive changes, it’s okay to soften your approach somewhat. You’re getting what you want from her, so you do have to reward that behavior from her. It’s just usually frustratingly slow going.
The switch now is into more of a coaching approach of;
Alpha = I’m not letting you off the hook for getting yourself together. Aka “Stick.”
Beta = I’m going to support you in doing that. Aka “Carrot.”
If you are currently having sex once every two weeks and want sex twice a week, getting to sex once a week is an improvement. You have to acknowledge that as such rather than be mad that it still isn’t twice a week. You’re looking for consistent small gains.
Obviously if you walk into a gym for the first time, no one is going to expect you to push 400lbs on the bench press. If you were yelled at for failing to press 400lbs, you’d probably just give up and never come back to the gym. If you press 100lbs on the first week and then 120lbs on the next week and got a “good job”, then you’d be more interested. Maybe you hit 130 the next week, then 140 the one after that. Maybe two years later you hit the 400lb mark.
Change is a process. As long as you are seeing positive progress in the direction you want, you shouldn’t give up on her. Talk about it openly, “hey you actually initiated sex with me last night, that was really good that you did that, I appreciate it.” “The house is looking cleaner, that’s good.”
It can be a case of two steps foward and one step back as well. That’s fine too, just look for the long term pattern of positive progress. But when you see things starting to really reverse track, you have to step in and ensure that she understands the consequences of that.
Don’t give up on her, just as she’s finally doing what you what. Ironically this often happens at your point of total exasperation with your marriage. You can’t undivorce yourself if you start the divorce right now, but you can start the divorce in three months if she was just all talk. So breathe…. you worked so hard to get to this point. Just breathe and see what she does.
Not what she says she will do… what she actually does.