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Wayward Side :
Time Out

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 7:14 PM on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

I have discussed lots of things with IC and with my domestic abuse group. One of the things/techniques that has come up often is the "time out". A technique used to stop any hurt feelings or frustrations escalating into anger and potential physical abuse. We discuss on here the emotional abuse we inflict on out BS, but rarely do we cover the abuse suffered through anger. While the time out is designed to attempt to stop the physical abuse, it can also help reduce physical intimidation, arguments, other forms of abuse and even the times of stunned silence we shift into.

Before reading and learning, I would "take five" which would mean me walking into another room, muttering to myself, take a couple of breaths and then back into the discussion/argument we were having. This, of course, never worked.

A time out needs to be discussed in advance (discuss the concept, safe words, plan of where to go, length of time) so that the other party is aware of what is happening and what is going to happen while the time out is in effect.

A quick google will show a number of different methods to work out when a time out is needed. The ones I have encountered suggest using a scale 0 - 100 and normally a temperature gauge. The idea being to STOP the temperature getting to 100.

Everyone has different physical and emotional indicators of when they're getting annoyed. It's worth reading up on this to work out your own. The recommendation would then be to take a time out when you it 60 or 70 rather than allowing yourself to get to 100 when it's too late.

There are a number of steps which need to be taken for the time out to be effective:

- Take your temperature. Check your feelings and think where you are on your scale. If you've reached your exit point, then you need to proceed with the time out

- Tell your partner that you need to take a time out. Tell them you're concerned that if you stay in the home any longer then you're worried about controlling your behaviour. As you have discussed this in advance then this should not be a surprise.

- Tell you partner how long you will be (most recommend 40 minutes to an hour) and promise you will return after this agreed time period. If after an hour you still feel like your temperature has not reduced sufficiently, contact your partner and tell then you need another 30 minutes.

- Leave the home. Going to another room is not sufficient. Do not drive, go to a bar or visit family or friends during this time. Go for a walk, use any breathing techniques or mindfulness. Bring yourself back down and then continue with the time out until you've been in this calmer place for a while.

- Contact your partner and tell then you're returning home. When home continue with the discussion. Return home at the agreed time, unless you've agreed to more time.

Other advise includes, do not abuse the time out, do not take one just to avoid a difficult conversation. Learn from the time out what triggers the anger and work on this with a view to it not being an anger trigger in the future.

A detailed version of this can be found in "Stop Hurting The Woman You Love"

Is this something that you have used with your partners? How was/is it? Have you encountered any problems?

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[This message edited by Bulcy at 10:34 PM, Monday, May 16th]

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 199   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8735440
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 5:19 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Hi Bulcy,

Didn't want to leave you hanging.

I've used the time out quite a bit. BH and I are both making use of this technique. The way we use it is different though, in that we don't need to leave the house, just the conversation.

When a conversation is getting too heavy, we will say, "I feel defensive/upset/hurt/overwhelmed right now. I don't think I can productively participate in this conversation. I'm going to have to go and calm down a bit."

It focuses back on our selves and where we are and doesn't implicitly blame the other spouse for our feelings.

We're getting better at using it, but still not perfect. There will still be days where we will have a discussion begin escalating into a fight before we cool it down. We've improved quite a bit though.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Ending current one of his own accord- recognized it as "inappropriate" and stopping. Still won't call them A's... can't have everything in life.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 721   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8735715
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:02 PM on Thursday, May 19th, 2022

It's hard sometimes to notice the signs of anger, especially when I go from 10 to 100 in a couple of steps. This is something I'm working on with a counsellor.

Tuesday we covered more on Emotional Abuse. This was a really hard session for me as I talked through how much abuse I have subjected BS to over the years. We are covering and will cover changes that can be made to make me a safer person and to act and communicate in a way which is not abusive. Next week we will be covering different techniques. I will post more then.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 199   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8736048
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 10:18 PM on Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Tuesday we covered more on Emotional Abuse. This was a really hard session for me as I talked through how much abuse I have subjected BS to over the years.

I think it's great that you are keeping up with this, it's important. But more importantly, the statement above tells me that what you are hearing is "landing" and that you can relate to it, and see it in yourself.

Can you give some examples of things you've realized now that you were not aware of before? The ways you were abusive but it didn't register at the time?

Among "the stages of recovery" for a WS, there comes a point where you start to get honest with yourself. I mean really honest. The point where all the detached, "I know I had an affair, and that it was a really bad thing to do" kind of talk stops, and a real connection steps in instead. It's the point where you no longer need to explain it, instead, you begin to understand it, and can see it in yourself. It is where the talk turns to, "Holy shit, I always thought I was a good person, but I'm a fucking monster. I can't continue to be that person, I'd rather cut my own arm off before hurting my loved ones that way."

It's a tough stage to face. A "shit or get off the pot" moment. When you see yourself for who you really are, and put that in context with what you've done (your entire life, not just the affair) and are so appalled and disgusted at yourself that change is no longer an option, it's a do-or-die-trying goal, a significant, life-changing event.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of where you at now. Keep going and keep learning and keep searching within yourself.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1282   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8736057
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wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 10:41 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

The Stop Sign has been removed from this thread. Betrayed Spouses can now post within the Guidelines of this forum.

FBH - 50 FWW - 51 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 15 & 20
The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55387   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8736294
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