…nouthetic, Christian care after an affair.


Search for:April 15, 2016marriage, Reconciliation

David and I are often asked about the 180 U Turn, so we thought we’d dedicate an entire episode to explaining what it is and when it is useful. Through examples, we explain how you can use the 180 U Turn technique whether you are recovering after an affair that lead to divorce or reconciling your marriage after an affair.

in my humble opinion, the 180 could be used for either recovery circumstance. But the gist of the technique is this: what you’ve been doing IS NOT WORKING. If you did not change and just kept doing things “as you are” then the likelihood that you and your marriage would stay a mess is about 100%.

Thus, what you do is a 180 turn from what you’ve been doing! Think of it as “The U Turn” instead of the 180 maybe.


The 180 U Turn list includes things that people typically do that are intuitive but actually very counter-productive, but the list isn’t perfect for everyone, and there may be stuff not included on the list that you should do 180 degrees differently.

So let’s look at a few examples.

When someone first finds out that their spouse is cheating, a very typical reaction is to cry and beg them to stay and beg them to love you and them around like a puppy dog pointing out all “the good memories”… The loyal spouse sort of enters this competition for the disloyal spouse’s love (PICK ME!) and buys gifts and promises they’ll change and calls them all the time nagging them about reconciling.

This is a VERY typical reaction, and it is 100% counter-productive! To the disloyal spouse you look like a weak, beta, wimp with no self-respect and no worth. Honestly it is irritating to have someone follow you around all mopey and begging you to choose them.

So the 180 (The U Turn) says “Do the OPPOSITE.” Another way to think of it is like George Castanza–remember how he did the opposite of every natural instinct and suddenly he had TONS of women? The 180 concept is sort of similar–do the opposite of what you’ve been doing that hasn’t worked.

Imagine what would happen if you found out your spouse was cheating, and rather cry and beg them to stay and beg them to love you and them around like a puppy dog pointing out all “the good memories”… the loyal spouse said, “I have decided to stop all this crying and begging. If you don’t love me, then so be it. I do feel sad, but that’s your choice and I’m perfectly capable of functioning without you and finding someone who does appreciate what I have to offer. So good luck and buh-bye now.” And then just carried on as if they were completely okay and like a weight had been lifted off their shoulders!!

Then rather than entering the competition for the disloyal spouse’s love (PICK ME!) and buys gifts and promises they’ll change and calling them all the time asking for reconciliation, what if the loyal spouse redecorated the house in a new color they always wanted? And the loyal didn’t call, and in fact seemed to move on okay with the disloyal? And when the disloyal called them…they couldn’t take the call because they were at an event having a great time and they’d call some other time?

See, trying to manipulate someone into loving you is never going to work. But begging and crying and following like a puppy and calling just show weakness. The goal of the 180 (The U Turn) is to help YOU become someone who has self-worth and who sees their self-value. If someone has self-worth, even if the one they love chooses to do something painful, they don’t doubt that they still have worth! They just accept that the person they love did something dumb and recognize that has nothing to do with their value! Make sense?

So going the first route demonstrates lack of self-worth…and the 180 says “How’s that working for ya?” Your relationship is a MESS and now you need to learn how to do the exact opposite to demonstrate that you are developing (or re-realizing) your WORTH.

In the end, who can say if the disloyal will reconcile or not? Doesn’t really matter actually. The goal is to act in a way that supports and reaffirms your own worth. If they choose to reconcile–coolness they see you as a stronger, alpha kind of person who can carry on. If they choose NOT to reconcile–too bad, their loss, because you are a person who can be just fine on our own without them!

You may choose to have them in your life, but you do not NEED them. Make sense?

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One thought on “What is the 180 U Turn? Does it help in recovery or reconciliation? [Podcast]”

  1. savingshards says:April 16, 2016 at 1:03 AM

    I’ve seen the 180 work effectively. Important that it is for the betrayed’s emotional safety and self-value…to help them find their voice. I agree…and harder to implement than some realize.


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