Category Archives: Love Extinguishers

Reconciliation Tool #3: Love Extinguishers Quiz [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we continue our five-week series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the third tool–the Love Extinguishers Quiz, by Affaircare!

Love Extinguishers are actions that people do that are more likely to quench the fire of love like putting water on a fire.  They are when we treat our spouses poorly, disrespectfully or abusively.  There are seven areas of neglect that we’ve identified as Love Extinguishers:

1.  Emotional Neglect

2. Spiritual Neglect

3.  Physical Neglect

4.  Financial Neglect

5.  Family Neglect

6.  Social Neglect

7.  Security Neglect

You can find links to the Love Extinguishers Quiz on our Affaircare Quizzes page, or

Here is a link to the Love Extinguishers–What Are They? article so you can learn more about them.

Both you and your spouse should take the quiz.  We recommend that you both print the quiz and take it!   You answer for the way your spouse acts toward you, and your spouse answer for the way you act toward them. Then we recommend that you find a time to talk that is calm and relaxing, during which you will not be interrupted, and you both know you are going to talk about Love Extinguishers, and exchange quizzes.  Wives let your husbands see what you truly think and feel–likewise husbands let your wives see what you truly think and feel.

As you come together to talk about your quizzes, bear in mind that what you read is likely to possibly hurt you, and likewise it is possible that your spouse will be hurt by reading what you wrote–even if it is true!  But one of the things we are working to rebuild is transparency, so we are asking you to practice being honest in a situation that is a bit hard. Make it safe for your spouse to be honest with you inthe little things, and they will be honest with you in the bigger things.

So, no matter what you spouse says on the quiz, commit to telling your spouse “Thank you for telling me the truth.  I will think about what you’ve said.”  Then, think of what you are willing to do to change in those areas that are extinguishing the love for your spouse, and the two of you work out a plan together.  How are you going to work on this TOGETHER?

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools-Love+Extinguishers.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

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What the Disloyal Spouse Can Do to Save Their Marriage

 

apology1. No Contact with the Other Person (OP).  Under no circumstance should you in any way have any contact with the Other Person!! Delete them from your contacts and then delete the means by which you stayed in touch, and if that means the inconvenience of changing your cell phone number then so be it. Endure the consequence of choosing to use that device to compromise your marriage! For me, I had been in touch via a secret email account , via a second FB account, via a game, and via the game’s forum…so I deleted the secret email altogether, deleted the second FB account and then stayed off FB altogether, removed the shortcuts for the game, deleted the game, and removed the bookmarks for the forum. The point here is not to think “What’s the bare minimum I need to do here in order to appear like I’m removing all contact while keeping one last way of contact open?” but rather to REALLY HONESTLY DO IT. Cut that person out of your life. Go over and above to remove not just the ways you did contact, but ways you could be tempted to contact.

Final thought: often people use their cell phone to either text with or call the OP, and it’s not enough to “remove them from the contact list.” It is much more thorough to get a new phone number. Now you may be tempted to think: “But all my work contacts have that number and it would be so inconvenient….” but you know what that shows? You are thinking of yourself and making YOUR life easy and “to heck with my spouse!” You are a grown up and you chose to be unfaithful, so it is reasonable for you to now endure a little inconvenience in order to go all out in ending contact. You may others endure pain for you–now it’s your turn, and it’s fair.

2. Transparency. This one will be difficult and scary, I guarantee! Being transparent is not just being honest, but rather being “see through.” Right now you have been hiding behind masks of “who you are” “what you think” and “what you feel”…holding up a false facade for your spouse to think you are who you are not. My guess is that you felt things that hurt and you were afraid to say them out loud or you felt unheard. My guess is that you thought things that were were ugly and things you knew would hurt your spouse so you didn’t want to share them…maybe avoiding the trouble you’d get into if you said “the truth.” My guess is that you want people to see you as “a fine, upstanding pillar of the community” and speak highly of you…when you are not ACTING like a fine, upstanding pillar of the community with high morals and character! Soooo…..you lied. And the lies caught up to you! NOW in order to save your marriage you are going to have to go against what you’ve gotten used to, and not only “tell the truth” but also open up about WHO you are, what you honestly FEEL, and what you truly THINK.

To me there were two parts to this transparency thing. First, I had hidden my computer, my secret email, my second FB, etc. from my Dear Hubby, so Part One was relatively easy–I let him in. I realized that a GIGANTIC part of my issue was that I had shut him out of my life and myself by excluding him. So Part One was to actively INCLUDE him in every single thing I did all day long. The easy stuff was letting him see my computer, letting him have my passwords, not locking things down and hiding them from him, letting him see my secret stuff, and letting him see me delete it all. We deleted everything TOGETHER so that it was like a ritual of ending the old/beginning the new. As I said, this was the easier part for me!

Part Two was to actively practice letting him see the True Me…with all my warts and everything… and then see if he really loved me! If I had a thought that was not so lovely, but it was true–I shared it. If I had a feeling that was painful, I didn’t bury it but instead I shared it. And sometimes my thoughts and feelings were “not all that great” and I let him see it! Now, did I come right out and say everything unedited? No. I realize that sometimes, in the heat of the moment my head “sees red” and I think swear words, and repeating that wouldn’t be productive–but what I WOULD do is let him know I was angry…REALLY angry…and that in order to be respectful to him I needed some time to settle down before I could discuss it. So share the truth (anger) but in a way that is still respectful.

3. Commit to actually DOING the work, not talking about it. Lots of people miss this one. They talk about “going to a counselor” and they talk about “doing whatever it takes to save our marriage” but then when it comes down to facing themselves in counseling or facing their fears or facing what they’ve truly done…it’s too much and they avoid, run, hide, flee. So right now, purpose in your heart that you KNOW you are going to have to look at YOU and ways YOU perceive things and ways YOU cope with things, and it’s going to be hard and scary…but you are going to DO it. When your counselor says “Write this journal or list”…you do it. When you come up to something that is hard or scary or painful, rather than avoiding it, make a promise in your heart to not run away. Rather than falling into your old pattern (which got you in this mess in the first place), remember and try the NEW pattern.

Final thought: There is no “say”…only do. Do not tell your spouse a bunch of promises about committing or doing anything blahblahblah. Your spouse does not believe you right now, AND by your actions you’ve already demonstrated that your commitment means nothing. So instead of telling them, just let your actions show them. Seriously, do not promise. Just DO IT.

4. Gather evidence of love to get through withdrawal. When you have an affair, it’s very similar to being an addict, because what you are addicted to is the “high” good feeling of someone thinking you’re wonderful. There actually is brain chemistry that goes off when you’re “in love” (infatuated) and thus, once you feel that rush of good feeling, you want more of it and the affair continues. When you end your affair and return to your spouse, to you it is going to feel like you are losing the “good feelings” high from OP, and turning to the person who made you feel bad in the first place (NOTE: I’m not saying that is the truth–just “how it feels.”) To you, it will feel like a huge LOSS because you are losing that person who thought you were great–the person who gave you that ‘infatuation high’ feeling!

So once you initiate No Contact, there is going to be a period of what I call “withdrawal.” Again, it is an analogy and not exactly like addiction withdrawal, but it is somewhat similar enough that it helps people understand. When you were in contact, the contact was “the drug”…so when you remove “the drug” you go into withdrawal: namely, the first couple days every few minutes you think about the OP, you think of excuses to contact them, you crave that contact, you NEED that contact! Gradually it begins to feel more desperate, and to some degree just like cold turkey, you just have to get through this. I did two things: 1) I told myself to wait 15 minutes “I will put this off for 15 minutes and check how I feel in 15 minutes.” Then in 15 min. I put it off again for 15 min. all through the day. The next day I put it off half an hour, then an hour, and so on and so on. 2) I gathered reminders of love, so that when I was craving something positive, something that loving, something that shows caring about me, I looked at my Dear Hubbies old love letters, an old card from him, a drawing he made, songs he wrote, etc. If I need the positive “high” of love, I went to my DEAR HUBBY to get it…no one else.

5. Spend “fun” time with your spouse. Right now, when your spouse thinks of “you” s/he associates you with painful emotions and hurtful thoughts. YOU=Pain, to your spouse. Often times, people get so focused on saving their marriage, and working to fix it, that all they do is the deep, long, intense talks and the tears…and they forget to be the kind of person their spouse would want to be with. So that association of YOU=Pain is enforced (because you=deep, long intense talks, navel gazing, and tears). It is REALLY important right now to begin to look at yourself and think: “If I were in my spouse’s shoes, would I date me right now?” and if the answer is no, then start to become the person they would date again. I’m not talking about “Go buy roses” –I mean being the kind of person with whom they would associate good or happy times! Be the sort of person who is interesting. At some point, you had things in common that you both enjoyed or that you shared together: music, sports, hobbies…something. So rather than being “a downer” who always talks about hurtful stuff all the time…on the occasion, take the pressure off, tell your spouse you just want to be best friends right now who really care about each other, view your spouse as your very best friend to whom you tell everything, and once-in-a-while, take them to something fun. Go to a concert, not as their date, but someone who is interested in a band they also love, and share the fun of hearing a band you both like. Begin to change to YOU=Positive. You=listen without judgement. You=share fun times. You=good feelings. Get it?

6. Be accountable to someone. This reconciling is HARD, so don’t think to yourself, “Oh I got this. I can do this by myself.” Find someone who is a GUY who can be your mentor. Find someone who will know when you are lying and sneaking around and who will call you on it!

7. End Love Extinguishers. Okay I view the love in a marriage like a campfire. There is stuff you can do to the love that builds the fire (that’s a love kindler) and there’s stuff you can do that puts out the fire (that’s a love extinguisher). We all do both, but lots of times what happens is we get so caught up in life, work and bills that we don’t realize we pretty much love extinguish ALL DAY LONG… and we’ve kind of dropped the love kindlers. Now most counselors will tell you to “date your spouse again” and whatnot, and that almost never works, but here’s why! You take your spouse out to dinner (love kindler to them) but then you complain about the bill and make a scene to get a free dessert (extinguisher to them). YOU think you should “get credit” for the dinner, but the dinner was a positive and a negative to the flame of love, and nothing built up! So it feels like spinning your wheels (because you are)!! In reality you don’t need to start dating your spouse–you need to stop the love extinguishers!

So if you really, really want to start working on building love, look at your own self. What harmful spirits do you have inside you that are putting out the blaze of love in your marriage? Are you a scorekeeper? A faultfinder? Disrespectful to your spouse? Withholding? No tender touches that don’t lead to sex? Unstable employment? Hidden debt? Don’t help with the house or kids? Discourteous? Give them the silent treatment? Angry explosions? Attack dog…attacking your spouse? Passive-aggressive?

Don’t think “Yeah, but s/he….” or “Those describe my spouse!” because what we are doing here today is to look at YOURSELF–HONESTLY. If you can say to yourself, just privately, “Yes, I do that” then pick that one and work on that one. If you are a scorekeeper, how can you learn to stop keeping score and give of yourself, your time, and your everything freely without expecting a reward for what you did? If you have had unstable employment, how can you demonstrate with your actions that you want your spouse to feel safe financially like they aren’t going to have to scramble to pay rent right before eviction? Again, this is not the time to make promises…just pick a couple of those typical love extinguishers and work on them, and let your actions speak for themselves.

8. Re-start Love Kindlers. After you’ve worked on becoming the person you want to be, after you’ve done the work and made changes, after you’ve stopped some of the bad habits that have inadvertently been destroying your marriage–THEN if your spouse is willing, you can re-start love kindlers. These are the things that people do to show love through their actions, and this is probably easier for people to do than the love extinguishers and that’s why they start here! However, think about this: at one point you and your spouse got along well enough that you two wanted to get married. You had some similar interests, enjoyed each other’s company, couldn’t wait to be together, couldn’t wait to talk, and did all kinds of goofy things to help love grow. Well…that means you already have a foundation to rebuild on! Think back to the days when you were dating, and become the person who attracted them again. They liked you! So there is hope….

In conclusion, I want to remind you that you committed adultery. Say it: ADULTERY. Your spouse would be 100% within their moral rights to walk away and never give you another chance. Some people are not able to get over infidelity and it is a deal-breaker for them. Period. And here’s the super important part: THEY are not the one who broke the marriage–YOU ARE because they were faithful and you went outside the marriage! If your spouse chooses to walk away, they are walking away from the rubble of the marriage that was, because you nuked it. If your spouse does give you any sort of chance, you have GOT TO think of it not as something they owe you or as a second chance you expect, but as A GIFT. Priceless and Precious.

You can choose to change whether your spouse continues the marriage or not, and I personally suggest that you do change. And here’s how we can tell if the change is “real”–we would see you doing 180 degrees the opposite of what you used to be doing, and more importantly, we would see you taking the time for your life to demonstrate, through your behavior and actions, that you are DIFFERENT! The thief doesn’t only stop robbing-they do actions that help others! The liar doesn’t only stop lying–they start telling the truth. The adulterer doesn’t only stop the affair–they start acting in a way that protects their marriage and spouse FROM YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES.

Recovery Tools: Love Kindlers and Extinguishers– Why They Are Important [Podcast]

During the month of June, we are going to explore the tools that a couple can use to reconcile their marriage after an affair.

So in this week’s episode, we discuss Love Kindlers and Love Extinguishers–but rather than going over the list (we have plenty of articles and blogs from the past for that), this time we’re discussing WHY they are important, and how to use them at the beginning of reconciliation.

URL’s IN THIS PODCAST:

Love Kindlers-What Are They?
http://affaircare.com/articles/love-kindlers-what-are-they/

Love Kindlers Quiz:
http://form.jotform.us/form/40890590616156

Blog posts about Love Kindlers:
http://affaircare.com/category/love-kindlers/

Love Extinguishers-What Are They?
http://affaircare.com/articles/love-extinguishers-what-are-they/

Love Extinguishers Quiz:
http://form.jotform.us/form/40181103830137

Blog Posts about Love Extinguishers:
http://affaircare.com/category/love-extinguishers/

Please join us next week as we continue our June series reviewing tools you can use to recover after an affair. Next week we will be discussing one of my favorite tools: the Myers-Briggs Personality Quiz, and why it’s so important to reconciliation!

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Kindlers+and+Extinguishers–Why+They%27re+Important.mp3]

Love Extinguisher #5, 6 & 7–The Final Three Neglects [Podcast]

Are you still a ‘Mama’s Boy” -or- do you still run to your Mommy every time you and your husband have a disagreement? Do act like you’re single and make decisions without considering your spouse? Do you “go for the jugular” during a disagreement and use words to just lay waste to your spouse?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This episode we are talking about the final three Love Extinguishers: Family Neglect, Social Neglect, and Security Neglect. Family Neglect is Love Extinguisher where we neglect the family formed with our spouse by clinging to our family of origin, by not making time for your spouse or for sharing chores equitably, or by getting too comfortable and giving up. Social Neglect action that puts out the flame of love by neglecting our spouse’s social welfare. Some examples might be behaving in an irritating and impolite way to our spouse, making decisions as if we are single and not married, or excluding our spouse from your fun. Security Neglect is the Love Extinguisher that neglects our spouse’s emotional, mental and physical welfare–keeping them safe! Typical Security Neglect behaviors are angry outbursts, being an attack dog, being passive aggressive or being physically abusive.

We have a LOT of ground to cover in this video, so let’s get started!

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Final-Three-Extinguishers.mp4]

Love Extinguisher #4 Financial Neglect [Podcast]

Have you been unemployed and you’re not even trying to find work? Are you hiding debt from your spouse?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Extinguishers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #4 Financial Neglect. This extinguisher is about the ways we neglect our spouse’s financial welfare by refusing to contribute financially to the marriage, by overspending and not living within our means, by being unwilling or unable to live by a budget, by hiding debt from our spouse or by having legal financial trouble that tears the marriage apart.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Financial-Neglect.mp4]

Love Extinguisher #3 Phyiscal Neglect [Podcast]

Do you withhold sex or use it as a way to manipulate your spouse? If they do what you want, to you “reward” them with sex? Or do you offer “birthday sex” or occasional “pity sex” but nothing else?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Extinguishers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #3 Phyiscal Neglect. This extinguisher is about the ways we neglect our spouse’s physical welfare by removing their only moral means of expressing sexuality, by neglecting our own appearance and “letting ourselves go”, by withholding tender touches such as hugs and kisses, and by not caring for our spouse physically when they have had an accident or medical illness.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Physical-Neglect.mp4]

Love Extinguisher #2 Spiritual Neglect [Podcast]

Do you hold a grudge against your spouse for every little wrong they’ve ever done against you? Do you hide your actions, motives, thoughts and feelings from your spouse?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Extinguishers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #2 Spiritual Neglect. This extinguisher is about the ways we neglect our spouse’s spiritual welfare and live a life that’s detrimtental to their spiritual growth and maturity. If you justify your bad behavior, deflecting your own bad behavior onto your spouse…or if you disregard your spouse’s spiritual life by engaging in disrespectful judgments…then this video is for you!

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Spiritual-Neglect.mp4]

Love Extinguisher #1 Emotional Neglect [Podcast]

Do you keep track of all the wrongs your spouse has done against you? Do you point out every little think your spouse does “wrong”?  Do you demand more and more and more and you’re never satisfied?  Do you try to control your spouse and make them do things the way you think they should be done?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Extinguishers, and this video is all about the first Love Kindler #1 Emotional Neglect. This extinguisher is about the ways we neglect our spouse’s need to feel valued and loved, and even sometimes go to the opposite extreme of emotionally abusing our spouse.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Emotional-Neglect.mp4]

Quick Steps to Take When Your Spouse is Cheating

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1) Go to your bank tomorrow morning and separate your finances. Open your own savings account that your disloyal spouse can not get into, your own checking or savings account, and make sure your house and car payment are transferred to your new account. Do not tell your disloyal you are doing this–just do it.

2) Rent a storage space, pay for it for three months, and put all your disloyal spouse’s possessions into it. You may not legally be able to “kick them out” if their name is on the title or mortgage, but there’s no reason your disloyal spouse can’t at least go to a friend’s or sleep on someone else’s couch.  Removing their “things” may be yet another very realistic wake up call of what they stand to lose: their home, their lifestyle and half the time with their kids!

3) Get a doctor appointment to be tested for STDs.  It may also be a good time to let your doctor know what’s happening and discuss anti-depressant medication.  Now we personally recommend recognizing that it is natural to be depressed when something as depressing as infidelity is occurring in your life–that’s situational depression–so we aren’t advocating medicating so you don’t feel the pain.  There also are alternatives such as herbs that are natural and can help (such as St. John’s Wort, KavaKava and Valerian or Melatonin for sleep).  However, it is wise to keep your personal physician informed so they can make a decision if needed.

4) Contact all your bills and change them to your new bank account, and anything for which you are paying for disloyal spouse…you drop/close that account. You paying their cell phone bill? Time for them  to take care of their own finances if they wants OP!  DO NOT pay for their infidelity!  Hey it’s a free country–if your disloyal wants to cheat they are free to do so, but the PRICE of that choice is that they have to pay their own way!

Why some couples just can’t seem to reconcile–Part 3

leakyBucketHave you ever known a couple who decided to reconcile after one of them had an affair?  They even went to amarriage counselor and everything! Yet they just spun their wheels and never could really get ahead, and they ended up divorcing even though they really tried?

Or is that maybe where you find yourself today? Your spouse had an affair -OR- you were unfaithful, and the two of you made a choice–a decision–to reconcile, but it just isn’t working?  Oh you are going to marriage counseling and the counselor told you to “try dating” but how in the world do you DATE someone who tore your heart out?  How do you DATE someone who gave you the silent treatment when you desperately needed and wanted their attention?  You’re trying…and I mean really trying, not that faking it stuff… and yet somehow you get no traction and your marriage just is not recovering.  You worry if you will ever feel loved again and wonder if you’ll just end up divorcing even after all this effort.

Today is the final in our series examining why some couples have so much difficulty reconciling. (If you want to catch up, here is Part 1 and Part 2.)  There is an uncomplicated reason, but in order to understand the explanation, you need to understand our Basic Concepts here at Affaircare.  Let me summarize:

To keep it simple, envision that the love in your marriage is like a campfire. There are actions that people do to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers (we will be going over the Love Kindlers over the next week). Much as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning, makes it brighter and warmer, so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interaction, builds the fire of love in your marriage. There are actions that people do that are like putting water on a fire–some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Smothering a fire will eventually put it out. Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.

When you go to marriage counseling, and you’re told to “try dating” …what the counselor is focusing on is the Love Kindlers. But what happens is that the husband tries to think of some nice “kindler” to do for his wife but picks the wrong love language, so she doesn’t notice or if she does notice…she’s underwhelmed. Well hey–it didn’t mean love to her in her language! So he gets upset that he put ALL THAT EFFORT into it, and got no benefit, no brownie points, no passion…and he starts finding fault with everything she does, and one step forward just became three steps back! Or the wife tries to win her husband with his favorite meal and a ticket to the ballgame (what guy wouldn’t love that?) but she works herself into a frenzy that he’s going to meet “her” at the game and ends up bringing up the affair and making several disrespectful judgments about why he’d rather go to a sporting event than be with her. One step forward…three steps back!

Love Kindlers are lovely. They are! They are what make us fall in love with each other, and we often call them “romance.” But we can not fall in love with each other if we are sabotaging the relationship with LOVE EXTINGUISHERS. So before you can get to the rather fun part of adding Love Kindlers, it is vital to first look at yourself (not your spouse, and I don’t care if they were the Disloyal or not), and be honest.  Have you been doing these things?  If you have, forget the Kindlers for now and practice stopping these Love Extinguishers!! Last week, we looked at the first four extinguisher: Emotional Neglect, Spiritual Neglect, Physical Neglect, and Financial Neglect–and today we address the final three Love Extinguishers: Family Neglect, Social Neglect, and Security Neglect.

1.  Emotional Neglect

2.  Spiritual Neglect

3.  Physical Neglect

4.  Financial Neglect

5.  Family Neglect

  • Refusing to Leave and Cleave–Are you still a ‘Mama’s Boy” or do you still run to your Mommy every time you two disagree? Do you drag your In-Laws into your marital business?
  • Not Making Time for Personal Adult Time–Do you go to the gym, PTA, board meetings, church activities, and out with friends…but make no adult time for your spouse?
  • Not Making Time for Each Child-Child Rearing–Do you have so many activities so that you are neglecting spending time with the children? Do you just let your spouse do that stuff with the kids and shirk that parental responsibility?
  • Inequitable Distribution of Household Chores–Do you expect your spouse to do all the household chores (like vacuuming, laundry, dishes and mowing) and never notice or thank them, while you sit and watch TV or relax?  Do you do ever give your spouse a “break” from their chores and do for them what you expect them to do for you?
  • Getting Too Comfortable: Giving Up–Have you gotten lax and don’t put any effort into the family, the marriage, yourself or life? Are you a slug that just sits there and won’t interact?

6.  Social Neglect

  • Irritating Habits (Discourteous)–Do you chew your food with your mouth open? Leave stuff all over the counters? Make piles all over the house? Interrupt?  Do what your spouse has asked you a thousand times to stop doing?
  • Independent Behavior–Do you ignore your spouse’s thoughts and interests, and just do what YOU want to do? Do your have your own set of friends and do your own activities that EXCLUDE your spouse?
  • Not Sharing Activities or Free Time Together–Do you sit at home like a lump and ignore your spouse? Do you ignore your spouse’s need to occasionally see another living being? Do you refuse have any couple friends or do anything with your spouse that you both enjoy?
  • The Silent Treatment or Not Listening Actively–Do you give your spouse the cold shoulder for DAYS ON END? Do they try to talk to you and you ignore them? Do you let them talk but they can tell you are just planning what you are going to say and not really listening at all?

7.  Security Neglect

  • Angry Explosions–Do you ramp up a disagreement until there is yelling and an explosion? Do you try to ‘hurt them back’ or punish your spouse for hurting you? Do you rage at your spouse?
  • Attack Dog (Verbal/Emotional Abuse)–Do you “go for the jugular” in a particularly cruel way? Do you use words to just lay them to waste? Do you emotionally DESTROY your spouse just for disagreeing with you?
  • Passive Warmonger (Passive-Aggressive)–Do you always say you”forgot” to do the the things you agreed to do? Do you say nasty things about your spouse and then say “It was just a joke! You have no sense of humor!”?
  • Physical Abuse–Physical abuse isn’t always “hitting.” Have you ever THREATENED a pet? Punched the wall right near your spouse’s head? Grabbed them? Pushed them? Kept them awake all night arguing? Thrown something at them? Attacked them with a knife or knitting needles or scissors? Stood in the way so they couldn’t leave?
  • Not Being a Safe Haven—Can your spouse be their True Self with you and know that they are safe and loved and accepted? When they come to you for support or comfort during a time of vulnerability do you add to the hurt?

To learn more about ending the Love Extinguishers so your marriage can recover, have your spouse take the Love Extinguishers Questionnaire about you–and likewise you take the Love Extinguishers Questionnaire about them.  Share your results, knowing that you are going to hear some hard truths.  If your spouse is honest with you, even if it hurts to hear it, thank them for their honesty and let them know you will think about what they said.  And remember, this questionnaire is not meant to tear your spouse apart or nit pick, but rather to truthfully let them know the actions they are taking that are consistently killing your love for them.

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