If you’ve ever wondered how you can get an avoidant ex back when you’re extremely anxious then you came to the right place. Last week I had the opportunity to interview Grace, one of our success stories of the program about how she successfully won her ex back.

What was interesting was how she mentioned the key to her success was getting a handle on her anxious behaviors.

This is something we’ve been studying a lot lately and we believe it may be the hidden key to your success. Especially if you identify your ex as being extremely avoidant.

But don’t take my word for it.

Take hers!

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How She Got Her Avoidant Ex Back When She Was So Anxious

Chris Seiter:
Hey. Here we go. Today, we’re going to be talking to one of the success stories in our private Facebook support group, Grace. I must admit, usually I do a bunch of research to figure out people’s situations before I start talking to them. I know where I’m going to sort of ask, but with Grace, I ran out of time today. I’m going to be learning as you’re listening. How are you doing, Grace?

Grace:
I am good. How are you doing today?

Chris Seiter:
Busy, busy, but I just wanted to take a minute and thank you so much for coming on and doing this. Honestly, I like to tell this to people that I don’t really care if they followed the program to a T because really through doing these interviews, not only are we helping to inspire people who are in the same situation, but it’s also helping refine our process to actually understand what’s working in the field. I think that’s a really important thing. I’m going to ask you just questions to see where my curiosity goes, but don’t be afraid of telling me, “I tried this and it didn’t work.” I want to know that stuff.

Grace:
Awesome.

Chris Seiter:
Take us back in time to the dark days where the [inaudible 00:01:10] occurred.

Grace:
My boyfriend and I had been seeing each other for around a year. Actually, we had just had our anniversary maybe a week before the breakup happened. We had battled several things. He was having some struggles personally. When he would have those slip ups that would affect me. That’s when those issues would flare up. We had a series of bad luck as well. We tried a couple’s counselor who ended up trying to separate us, and we were having to go through… It was not good. We’re having to go through the process of the LLR, and having to report some of the things that he did that was inappropriate. We had some bad luck as well, along the way. The breakup, it happened on May 2nd 2020.

Chris Seiter:
Literally a year, a year ago.

Grace:
It was right a year when I wrote the Facebook post that Anna actually tagged you in and got this ball rolling. I was just thinking back on it, because we just got back from Hawaii. I was like, you know what? Just pondering about this day and just thought that I would write a Facebook post about it because it was just interesting how much had happened in this past year. We had been struggling for that year. Things started out very fast and very, very good between us. We meshed very well, very quickly. I think that that contributed to when the hard times came. They were that much more difficult. Because we essentially didn’t see any flaws in each other immediately and we moved pretty quickly because of how well things went. When he started going through… I’m sorry.

Chris Seiter:
I was going to say, when you say you move real quickly, are you talking in terms of how there’s always that honeymoon period where everything’s really great. Are you saying you literally move quickly to the point where you’re moving in together and things of that nature?

Grace:
Yeah. That happened too. He works at the gym that I go to, and that’s how we met each other. He does management there and he stopped me one day. It was a very odd encounter that I hadn’t had. I’d always known someone before I started seeing them. He was actually just this like super tall, a former athlete, handsome guy that just randomly asked me for my phone number and I’m this person in law enforcement from a small town that doesn’t… I was like, what? It was almost like a fairy tale type of thing for me initially.

Chris Seiter:
I take that.

Grace:
As soon as he got my phone number and we started texting back and forth, he arranged a date for the following weekend. Then after that we started seeing each other, every chance that we got. We didn’t really take it slow, like, “Hey, let’s go on a date once or twice a week.” It was like, I want to see you every single day because it was almost like we just had this amazing attraction to each other where we just couldn’t not see each other when we had the opportunity. Then unfortunately with him, he had a roommate who ended up selling their house. The guy ended up selling their house very quickly, and he had to leave very quickly. Coincidentally, my roommate at the time, she was in military and she deployed. It just worked-

Chris Seiter:
Just aligned. The thing is like, “Oh, why don’t we just move in together?” There you are.

Grace:
I was like this is so much easier. It’ll help with bills and all of that stuff. We met in March of 2019. We started officially dating in April of 2019. Then we moved in together by late July 2019. It was very quick.

Chris Seiter:
[inaudible 00:05:13] together. That is moving fast. The attraction is definitely there.

Grace:
Definitely. I think at that point we hadn’t had the chance as well to see some of the day-to-day things. I don’t like the way this person brushes their teeth, or those types of examples of little nitpicky things.

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Chris Seiter:
That comes out when you move in together pretty quickly.

Grace:
That came out at the same times as the things that he was struggling with came out personally. I didn’t know how to handle those things as well. Then when we would have these arguments about these things, or when we go through these struggles, I was finding myself, which I didn’t know at the time, but I learned through ERP, which was, I was going through an anxious attachment style when we would have these issues and that he would be avoidant. He would be wanting space, but I would be afraid that, “Oh, you’re going to go mess up again if you’re out of my sight.” It was very much not meshing well that how I was giving him that space.

Chris Seiter:
What’s really fascinating about what you just said is we have found, if you’re going to type cast our clients with their exes, it’s almost always anxious client avoid an ex. It almost always it is that. There’s fireworks when they get together, but then it’s like, “When it breaks apart, it just breaks apart pretty bad.

Grace:
That is exactly what happened.

Chris Seiter:
Let’s fast forward and take us to that moment because obviously how were you living together before things start to get really… You keep alluding to this issue that he’s struggling with. I’m assuming you’re like the, well, let’s fix it. I want to fix it. Are you that type of a person?

Grace:
Yes. It was an issue mainly that I didn’t know how to fix. I didn’t realize… I mentioned earlier, he was a former athlete. Well, he played football. When he played football in college, he got hurt really badly. He had several back surgeries. With that it was at a time that college sports were very much about their making money and their team and all of that.

Chris Seiter:
I hate to break you. They’re still like that.

Grace:
Still like that. He was getting fed pain medication, and they didn’t know that he had a bulging disrupted disc, whatever it’s called in his lower back.

Chris Seiter:
The pain meds were just making it to where he didn’t feel it.

Grace:
Well, the doctor on the team actually… Side note, he ended up getting fired because he didn’t realize what was going on. My boyfriend at the time wasn’t allowed to see another doctor than the team doctor. He had actually ended up in the ER. The doctor got fired, and it was a big old mess. In the meantime, they kept feeding him pain medication to get him through these games. They were like, “You’ve got to play. We need all of these ticket sales and all of that.” Due to that, he actually ended up getting so injured that it ended his career because he kept playing through that. Then the mixture of ending his career as well as getting back pain medication that was his pick me up. He actually ended up in an addiction because of that.

Chris Seiter:
I’ve actually experienced this myself with… I think it was before we started recording. I mentioned I had four surgeries. My surgeries were not small surgery. They were major ones. I ended up having to go hunt down one of the best doctors in the entire country, one of the best surgeons to fix it. One thing that you get hooked on the pain meds, like the narcotic type stuff they give you because you’re in so much pain all the time. It’s really easy to get hooked onto it. I remember having trouble as well with that. I can definitely empathize.

Grace:
It was something that was so unnatural or it was very a new, I guess, experience for me. I had never been in that type of situation. Like I’ve got to mention I was-

Chris Seiter:
Because you’re in law enforcement, so how ironic is that?

Grace:
I was in a very tough spot of, “Oh my gosh, I love this person. I want to help this person, but I don’t want to… We live together. Something can come to where I’m.” It was a very hard position for me to be in. On top of like you were saying with the pain aspect of it, he was going through the depression of losing his identity because he thought, “Oh my gosh, I’m going from division one college to being a quarterback in the NFL.” That’s what he thought. Then that all came crashing down. It was also making him feel better emotionally or psychologically.

Chris Seiter:
There’s always a pick me up with those type of medicines. I think that’s honestly why most people get addicted to them because of… It’s almost like you get really, really… This is a weird turn to the breakup conversation. You almost get really like you’re in the best mood possible for four or five hours. Then it wears off. I was lucky in the fact that the meds they gave me would make me extremely nauseous after-

Grace:
After taking them.

Chris Seiter:
It just got to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. Though, the craving was always there. I definitely empathize with it. That’s incredibly difficult too when you add in the identity loss aspect. Then he’s there with you. You’re just like, how do you fix that?

Grace:
It was very, like I said… Sorry, can you still see me?

Chris Seiter:
No, no, you’re good.

Grace:
It was very difficult because I wanted to help. In times like that, he was honest with me when we first started seeing each other. He told me that he had had this issue in the past, and he told me that he had gone to rehab and that it had been two and a half years. He was good and clean and all. It did turn out that there were weak moments. What he claims is that he cannot get anything past me being in law enforcement that I just always know when he’s guilty or I always know when-

Chris Seiter:
You got the bomb sniffing dog in the house just to do the-

Grace:
He was like, ‘You don’t understand. I never got anything past you.” I would always sense something. I could sense something was off with him. I could sense something didn’t add up like, “Oh, where did this money go?” There was always something that I could sense. That was really where those struggles came in really difficult. I didn’t honestly know how to handle that. I hadn’t been in that situation. I was in anxious attachment style. Then naturally the way that I am is I like to control things in life. I don’t mean a controlling crazy psycho person, but controlling it, I like to control what’s going on because I want things done my way because I think my way is the right way.

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Chris Seiter:
You want to be the master of your own fate.

Grace:
That’s how I naturally am. The anxious part, that part, and then having natural suspicions being in law enforcement. It was just this huge, and I didn’t know how to handle those situations. It was this huge… I was this overwhelming just super cloud of anxiety over him. He just couldn’t handle that.

Chris Seiter:
Was there ever a confrontation where you would just sort of boil over and be like you got to get help or something like that?

Grace:
Yeah, there were several where that happened. Sorry, I’m going to grab my charger. There were several where I was saying, “You’ve got to get help. You’ve got to do this. You’ve got to do that.” At the same time I’m spouting all these things off, and I don’t really know what I’m talking about. It was hard because I wanted it done my way, and I didn’t really understand how to deal with someone in that type of crisis.

Chris Seiter:
Also, it’s difficult because it’s true like a situation where the messenger gets shot, they almost have to learn it on their own. Forcing them to do something that they don’t want to do, it doesn’t always work out so great. I’m assuming this all boils up and eventually who breaks up with who?

Grace:
He broke up with me. Like I said-

Chris Seiter:
You’re just trying to help.

Grace:
I know. I was like, how did this… Regardless, it was the middle of COVID so, of course, that was just wonderful. He had gone to work. The gym wasn’t open because of COVID. However, they still had employees going in and just doing some admin stuff because they were able to do that much here. He’s gone to work and come home. I’d seen a therapist for a while because I have anxiety really bad. I see somebody and I had talked to her that morning. When he got home, he normally talked to me about my session because I’m normally uplifted in a good mood and all of that. When that happened, when he got there, I was like, “Hey, I had my therapy session today and I just noticed something was off.” He didn’t ask me about my session. He wasn’t really interested in the session and-

Chris Seiter:
Body language is disinterested.

Grace:
Right. I kind questioned him about it. He was like, nothing, I’m just tired. He went to get in the shower. When he did that his phone went off, and I just out of just a reaction, I just looked over and the preview of it on the screen was an email and it had his name. It said, thank you for your interest in these apartment complexes.

Chris Seiter:
What a way to find out. If there’s ever a way to truly find a way to center a breakup and an action, that would be it right there.

Grace:
It was not fun.

Chris Seiter:
That’s awful. Looking back, it’s a fun story to tell. Look over and see this apartment thing, but in the moment if that happened to me. I’d be having a panic attack right there.

Grace:
Oh my heart sunk.

Chris Seiter:
Did you confront him in the shower because that would’ve been the best?

Grace:
No. I did later on in this story, but that was not very [inaudible 00:15:52] but we’ll get to that part. He got out of the shower and I said, “Hey, I just noticed this popped up in your phone.” He was immediately defensive. He was like, “Where are you looking at the phone?” I was like, “Oh, I wasn’t. It just popped up.”

Chris Seiter:
The preview, it was just a preview.

Grace:
I was like, “It was a preview. It didn’t even show the whole email.” He was like, “Well, no, it’s nothing. It’s for us for when we decide to move from this place or whatever.” I was just like, “Okay.” Then later on-

Chris Seiter:
That’s a pretty good way to spin it. Now that I think about it.

Grace:
It was. I just had that feeling. You know that gut feeling, and that’s what it-

Chris Seiter:
It’s not a good sign.

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Grace:
It kept lingering. I was like-

Chris Seiter:
If you really think about it, if you were truly like, “Oh, yeah, we’re going to upgrade to a new apartment.” You think you would be included in that conversation at some point.

Grace:
Right. Exactly. I told him, we had talked about feelings and all of that. I was like, “Hey, I’ve got that feeling again. I’ve got a gut feeling. It’s just not good and it’s about this email. Was it really for that purpose?” That’s when he decided to sit down and let me know that he was looking at apartments to move because of us not being together anymore. He knew I had to go in to work night shift that night. It was a Friday night. As I mentioned to you previously, my department was involved with a television show. I was about to be on national television that night. It was so terrible. He was like-

Chris Seiter:
International TV. How do you feel? I feel great.

Grace:
He was like, “I wasn’t going to do it tonight because I know that you have this show.” He was like, “You brought it up.” I was like, “Oh God.” We had had some really emotionally draining talks going into this. The topic of breakup had come up. It hadn’t recently. This was a shock. I was just too emotionally drained to keep fighting at that point. Whereas before, I probably would have cried or begged or said, please I’ll do whatever. I just was like, “Are you sure that that’s what you want to do?” He was like, “Yes.” I was like, “Where are you going to stay?” He told me he was going to stay in a hotel. That he said that this is one of the most difficult things he had to do because he had never broken up with someone before, had to break up with someone before that he didn’t actually hate in that moment. It hadn’t gotten… He was like…

Chris Seiter:
Before it was an easy decision for him, this was-

Grace:
Yeah.

Chris Seiter:
You’ve set the stage. You’re on the TV show feeling super sad about this breakup. Let’s [inaudible 00:18:36] a little bit. Somehow you come into our orbit. How did you come into… Was it just frantically searching Google, YouTube? What’s your story?

Grace:
It would be Google. It was Google.

Chris Seiter:
Google.

Grace:
I was like, “I don’t know what to do, anything. I was just probably exhausted. All of my friends and family have all of their free time. God bless them for just dealing with me as much as they did.

Chris Seiter:
They were pretty supportive.

Grace:
They were. I had so many friends that would talk to me on the phone. They were probably falling asleep on the other end because I just was getting super anxious.

Chris Seiter:
They’re good friends.

Grace:
They were. I just needed more of a strategic approach I thought. When I started Googling it and then I found this program, and this is not to be insulting at all because I learned that-

Chris Seiter:
It’s okay. I’ve heard every insult. Don’t worry. It’s like, who wants to get an ex back? Oh, this is dumb or this won’t work. I’ve heard it all.

Grace:
Well, my first thought was there is no way in the world that I’m going to pay for some type of program like this. It’s probably a scam. These people are normal and they’re-

Chris Seiter:
It used to be more expensive, believe it or not. It used to be like maybe 70 bucks to get into the program, but I lowered it to 47 to make it more affordable, but still people pitch about it.

Grace:
That’s why I actually ended up doing it. I was like, “It’s only $47.” I was like, “You know what?” I kept seeing this thing about this Facebook group when I was looking through it and my mind kept coming back to it. Even though I kept saying no way, no way I’m going to pay some money. I read-

Chris Seiter:
[inaudible 00:20:11] you’re the kind of customers I love to win over.

Grace:
I’ve read probably every article that you ever wrote. I would-

Chris Seiter:
600, that’s a lot of posts. I’m going through and redoing some of them. I can’t even stand it. It’s so much work to go through and update them.

Grace:
When I tell you I’d be like 03:00 o’clock in the morning in my patrol car, what article can I read?

Chris Seiter:
That’s great. I love that.

Grace:
I would do that and I’d watch the podcast or listen to whatever’s on YouTube or whatever I can find. I realized that it made me feel so much better to listen to that stuff or read this stuff. It just made me feel like everything that I had been feeling… Everything was based off of so much emotion. I felt helpless or hopeless with basing everything off of emotion. When I started reading everything and seeing these stories and all of that, I was like, this is a logical approach. It makes it look like strategy. It makes sense to me. That was something that I really struggled with is I couldn’t make things make sense to me. When I realized that that’s what… How this is making me feel, that’s when I was like, “It’s only $47.” If it doesn’t work, then it’s $47.

Chris Seiter:
[inaudible 00:21:26].

Grace:
I ended up paying for it. Then I realized the Facebook group was so much more helpful on top of everything because I started learning based off of certain… People’s individual experiences when they would post in there and either moderators.

Chris Seiter:
Did you get loaded up with the battle buddy system?

Grace:
I did. Yes. My battle buddy was great. I’ll make sure that she knows that I did this. I’ll be like, “You’re the best.” She helped me out so much. That was very helpful too, because we were in the same time zone, but she was able to be there for me and anytime-

Chris Seiter:
She’s also going through a breakup too, right?

Grace:
Right. She understood.

Chris Seiter:
Exactly. A lot of times you talk to friends and family, they’re supportive. Sometimes they’re not supportive, but they don’t really get exactly what you’re going through until they’re experiencing it. Because a lot of times you go through a breakup and it’s like, “Oh, screw that guy. I’m going to get over them.” While if you’re trying to get that person back, it’s a little bit of a different experience.

Grace:
I definitely went through that. I had a couple of friends that was like, “Hey, girl. He sounds like he sucks. He didn’t want to be with you. You can get anybody, blah, blah, blah.” I was like, “Well, this is not what I want.” My battle buddy was great. Then just learning off of each of the experiences when moderators would comment, and even when other members who were more seasoned and all would comment. I was just teaching myself so much. I would just go through… I’m going to make myself sound like a loser with no life, which I didn’t have one at the time. It’s not incorrect. Just like I would read all of the articles, I would start reading all of the Facebook posts. I would just learn so much. I would only be a couple of weeks in and I’d see a new post. I’m like, “Girl, you’re not supposed to do that. Don’t you break your no contact.”

Chris Seiter:
I’ve been fighting that battle, Grace, for 10 years of the, don’t break the no contact early. Are you doing a no contact rule? I get it.

Grace:
I went from that to, I ended up getting a coaching session with Anna as well, which was another thing that I said I wasn’t going to do. I was like, “I am not going to pay that money.”

Chris Seiter:
It’s too expensive, too expensive. Then you get on with Anna, and you’re like, “Wow.”

Grace:
She’s the best. She’s so amazing.

Chris Seiter:
You know the funny thing about her? Grace is, we’ll do… Her and I do podcasts episodes every week. I’m sitting there. I literally think to myself, “I cannot believe how much I’m learning just listening to her.” Her perspective is so fresh. I learned things. I created the program.

Grace:
I couldn’t have imagined more of a… Just the perfect balance of what I needed when I spoke with her because I needed all of my feelings validated, even though I was super anxious. I’ve had all this going on, and she validated all of those feelings. However, I needed someone to shake me into a logical mindset of how to do this. She did that perfectly. Like I said, she didn’t make me feel like any of my emotions were dumb, or I was acting crazy or anything like that. She also was like, “Let’s think about this in a logical way and what would be a more rational or reasonable way to go about this.” She was great. Don’t let her go.

Chris Seiter:
I haven’t. I’m holding on to her like… Don’t leave. You get the coaching session with Anna. How long into the process are you at this point? Are you past your no contact period?

Grace:
Between when I scheduled the appointment and when I had the appointment, I had just finished the no contact period. However, I did bring us to my first mistake. With the no contact period, he had reached out several times. He reached out to my partner. I have a male partner at work. He reached out to him.

Chris Seiter:
What an interesting conversation in the squad car that must have been like, “Who’s [crosstalk 00:25:51]?”

Grace:
We were actually sitting at lunch, and he showed me the text message. I was like, “Oh my God, what?” It was-

Chris Seiter:
Did you go like, “You didn’t respond to him? Did you?” Did he ask your permission to respond, or?

Grace:
I was like, “You didn’t say anything, did you?” He did respond, but he actually had a very good response. He was like, “Hey, man. I hope you’re doing okay.” He didn’t respond about anything about me personally.

Chris Seiter:
That’s perfect.

Grace:
He actually had a really good response. He was like, “I hope you’re doing okay man. If you need anything, you can give me a call.” He didn’t go into any details about me or anything that I was up to. That was really good. However, my no contact was right at the end. I had done so well, but-

Chris Seiter:
It’s so good to listen to the mistakes.

Grace:
I know. Something actually happened at work with one of the trainers from the gym that I came in contact when I was working in law enforcement. He ended up being in a crisis. He needed to go to the hospital, so on and so forth. He was like, “Hey, can you please go to work, at the gym, and let them know that I’m going to the hospital?” I was like, “Oh, I’m not good at-

Chris Seiter:
Don’t you know ex-boyfriend recovery says not to do that?

Grace:
I was sitting there thinking. I was like, “Oh.” I couldn’t really tell him, but I was like, “Oh, boundaries, but I wasn’t good at that.” I was like, “Okay.” I thought I was just going to sneak in, and I was just going to find my ex’s boss at the time. Of course, I go to the front desk and I was like, “Is so-and-so here, who would be the boss.” They were like, “No, but [inaudible 00:27:39] is here,” which was bad. I was like, “Of course, he is.” I walked around the corner to where his desk was, and his eyes looked like he saw a ghost. He was like… Because he had been reaching out to me and I never responded.

Chris Seiter:
Well, the funny part-

Grace:
I actually had one run-in. I had one random run-in. I forgot about that. I messed up that one too. I didn’t follow any of the advice because it was so… I was so shocked that I think he told me later on once we talked about it that I looked terrified. I didn’t play that one well. He was like, “You look terrified.”

Chris Seiter:
We’ll just forget about that one and focus on this one.

Grace:
Yes, we don’t have to. When I saw him, it just came out of my mouth. I was like, “This guy’s in the hospital. He just wanted me to let you all know, and I got to go.” He was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait, wait, wait.” I was like I’m not good at saying no. I was like, “Okay.” He was like, “Do you hate me? Do you never want me to try to talk to you again and all that stuff?” I was trying to think of what all of… The Facebook posts said to do and what your article said to do with the program. I was like, “No.” It was so difficult in the moment. I was like, how do I say it like, no, I don’t hate you. I don’t want you to stop reaching out to me.

Chris Seiter:
You should have just said that. Said, no, I just needed some space just for a moment.

Grace:
I think that’s what I ended up saying. I was like-

Chris Seiter:
That was pretty good.

Grace:
I just needed some time. I just need some space. He was like-

Chris Seiter:
You didn’t mess up the no contact rule. You had no control over that guy going to the hospital.

Grace:
That’s true. Then afterwards, we ended up jumping the value chain.

Chris Seiter:
Let’s get to that mistake.

Grace:
We ended up talking there. Every time I went to try to leave, he would indicate something that he wanted to talk to me about when I was not talking to him for a month. He was making the little slide jokes about how you didn’t talk to me for month. Whatever. I was like, “Well, what were you trying to talk to me about?” He was like “I don’t want to talk to you about it at work.” He was playing this game as well where-

Chris Seiter:
He was trying to get you on a date.

Grace:
I was like, “Well… He did ask me to hang out with him that night, but I was good then. I was like, “I’ve got plans.” I did have plans. It was like, “I’ve got plans.” I went out. He was texting me the whole time. He called me. He was like, “Let me know when you’re on the way home. I want to make sure you’re okay.” I told him I was on the way home. He called me. He wanted to talk to me. He kept saying he wanted to see me. He actually made a really funny joke, because I think this happened on a Monday. He said, “When can I see you again?” I was like, “Oh, I work Wednesday and Thursday, so maybe Friday.” He said, “Oh, I forgot June has no Tuesdays.” I was like, “Okay, funny guy.” I don’t know if I… I can’t really remember if I actually saw him that Tuesday or I may have made them wait for the weekend.

Grace:
Once I saw him again, it was all of those feelings from before just came and they would just pop in. It was just basically like we were way back together, again. It didn’t seem like it wasn’t working up towards it. You know what I mean?

Chris Seiter:
It just came naturally.

Grace:
I didn’t build the rapport. I knew at the time, I was like, I know I’m going too fast. I’m way jumping in this value chain that I read about and all this stuff. I was just going with what felt good to me. However, there was an incident, or I had… I can’t remember how I realized this, but I had just had this feeling that there was a woman that he worked with. I had this feeling that he stayed with her before he got into this apartment that he got into. The breakup happened on May 2nd, and he stayed in another place until June 1st is when he moved into his place. He had kept telling me that he was staying at… He was just like he rented a room that he found online or something like that. It was weird because I wasn’t allowed to know where it was.

Chris Seiter:
You were the ultimate detective.

Grace:
Exactly, so he wasn’t very smart in this. Some of these conversations actually happened before I found the program do no contact because we had conversations and all before I realized that. I kind of made it really-

Chris Seiter:
That’s actually really good to know.

Grace:
I made this realization before I went into no contact that I thought that he had stayed with this woman at work.

Chris Seiter:
This girl.

Grace:
She did not have a good reputation. Her husband was in military, but he was deployed and she was known for not respecting her marriage while her husband was gone.

Chris Seiter:
Just say it. She’s known for cheating on her husband. That’s the truth.

Grace:
I don’t think anybody physically saw her do anything, but everyone had their… They noticed her with different men just being too close. She had gone and made dinner at different guy’s houses. Just things like, why do you do that?

Chris Seiter:
I feel just bad for the husband. Do you think he-

Grace:
He’s out fighting for his country, but.

Chris Seiter:
Yeah, he’s out fighting for his country and his wife is just two timing.

Grace:
I had had this feeling. I can’t remember, some things are just feelings and then there was things that would back it up. She had acted weird on social media. I knew that he had seen her at the gym that day because when… They were the only ones that were allowed to work out there because of COVID, but there had to be at least two people for liability reasons. He and her happened to be the two people that were there together before this happened. There was just a lot of stuff. He was very weird when I would bring her up. I just had the feeling. You just know.

Chris Seiter:
He stayed with this other girl.

Grace:
That came out, yes. When I had talked to Anna during all of this, when I was struggling with this, because I was like, “Anna…” He was very touchy, feely. He was very excited to see me at first. He got very, very avoidant very quickly within a couple of days. I told Anna. I was like, “Anna, I think that this happened.” Oh, I missed the worst part, which is the whole shower thing that I was going to tell you about. I couldn’t-

Chris Seiter:
I think I can read between the lines and figure out what happened there. I think most can.

Grace:
Well, maybe. I was very, very anxious. He got in the shower and I went through his phone because I just could not-

Chris Seiter:
Oh, I thought you were going to jump in the shower with him.

Grace:
Nope. It wasn’t that great. I went through his phone because I was so, I needed to know.

Chris Seiter:
Did he have a lock on his phone? My phone has the pass code.

Grace:
Yeah. I was lucky enough, lucky or not lucky. I don’t know how you can say that.

Chris Seiter:
He didn’t change the pass code or-

Grace:
He never changed it. Yeah. I looked and I saw text messages with him and her, which would have indicated that he would have been staying with her at that time. He was in the shower. I had a little bit of an outburst while he was in the shower, and I went to leave. He like chased me out the door in a towel.

Chris Seiter:
That’s great.

Grace:
It was a good sight. After that I talked to Anna. He wanted to end things again with me then because he got very, very avoidant. He went back to those… Which understandably, and Anna was-

Chris Seiter:
I see your point of view too. Sorry, continue.

Grace:
I was on fire. Anna was like… Again, like I said, she was great. I talked to Anna about the situation because the girl actually reached out to me in the meantime. I was like, I’m so… Because this was happening when we were having a bunch of riots and my city that I work in had some riots and stuff like that and had to go and work that. She texted me and she was like, “I just want to let you know that you and all of your brothers and sisters in blue welcome. If you are ever afraid to go home or need somewhere to stay, I have an extra room. She’s texting me this knowing obviously that she allowed him to stay there.

Chris Seiter:
It was a guilty conscious to me.

Grace:
Yeah. I was telling Anna that and I told Anna what she texted me and all of this stuff. Anna was like, “Oh, no. She’s shiesty.” She validated me. Then at the same time, she was like, “Okay, he sounds like he’s avoidant.” She was like, “You have to make sure that for every… You can only have a negative interaction for every thought positive interactions that you have, because that’s how intently he takes these negative interactions.” It made sense because even when we were talking in the breakup, we could have had like two, three good weeks of just the imperfect. Then we got into an argument on the third week and that’s what he remembered. That’s what he didn’t… Anna was like, “This is what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to shoot for this.” Then she said, “We’ve got to shoot for getting him outside of his apartment.”

Grace:
She was helping me along at that point. I did okay for a while, but I did end up bringing her up again to him later on, maybe a week later. He was like, “I can’t take this anymore.” He ended it again. I went back into another no contact. I went back to another no contact-

Chris Seiter:
This is a real up and down story. This is a great story.

Grace:
I don’t know how it got to where we are now. I’m just going to be grateful for it. I went to another no contact and then I had been posting, which I didn’t mention. The one thing that I did do consistently well was the social media. I only posted actual… The only social media he had was Instagram. I only posted an actual post on Instagram and if it was a very good post to post. Then I would post some stories at times that were good throughout the day, but not maybe just post like a full post material, permanent post material. I think I did do that very well. I know that I did that very well because he’s said since then that he actually blocked me a couple of times because he couldn’t take my posting. He couldn’t take seeing me and things that I posting and all, but he’s also admitted since then, which is why I need everyone in this program to listen to me. He actually said since then that he would unblock me and go look at my page and he would go-

Chris Seiter:
[inaudible 00:38:39].

Grace:
Yeah, and then blocked me again. He said that he did that-

Chris Seiter:
I knew that because I’ve done that. It’s like the hit run approach. Oh, what’s she up to, nothing. I’m going back to the safe home base.

Grace:
I’ve tried to tell people that and the Facebook and stuff. They’re like, “What do I do? How do I post, if I’m blocked?” I’m like, “Listen, just keep posting like he’s there, because he’s going to look.”

Chris Seiter:
It’s hard to [inaudible 00:39:06] for a lot of people, I think.

Grace:
Yeah. It’s what I did. I didn’t think the no contact was going to work for me. I was like, “Oh, he’s done.” It really did. Both of my no contexts were very effective. I thought going into the second no contact I was like, I just did this. It’s not going to work this time. It was very effective too. He began reaching out to me almost… It would normally take him about a week to try to reach out to me. Then he would give it a couple of days and try again. Then maybe around the third week, like you say, he would start getting really anxious and I’d get an influx. Please talk to me. I’m trying to call you. Come on. I’m not trying to mess with you. I just need to talk. Why are you doing this? Stuff like that. That was happening.

Grace:
One thing that did happen, which was a social media thing that got us back again, I was probably… I don’t think I was quite three weeks into my second no contact. Like I said, I’m working in law enforcement, and I actually went on a call. I got into a fight and I got hit. I had a black eye.

Chris Seiter:
Cool. Not cool, but did you post that on social media?

Grace:
I did. I waited a little while. I was about to go out of town. I had a trip planned to the beach with a couple of friends. Right before I left, the black eye thing wasn’t even my big thing. I had a really, really good jealousy post that I was going to put. Anna loved it. I was like, “I can’t wait.” I posted the black eye first and it was still very much visible, but it was clearing up. I was like, “Oh, my black eye is almost gone or whatever.” I posted on my story. Not as post, but he ended up watching it after he had blocked me and unblocked me and then followed me again. He immediately started texting me. He was like, “Are you okay?” Then he was like, “Please, just let me know that you’re okay.” He was like, “I think about you every day. I worry about what’s going on.

Grace:
I just need to know that you’re okay.” He’s like, “I see a picture of you with a black eye on Instagram and my heart sinks, or my stomach sinks or whatever.” At that point I didn’t know what to do because I was like, I don’t… Anna and I had spoken about how he didn’t… No contact was very effective, but when we talked about it, he was going forth. I do want to. You do let me know when you’re okay, because when you didn’t speak to me for a month, and there was riots and I knew that we got shot at. He was like, “I see this on the news and you won’t respond to me.” I did post it in the group before I did anything. I was like, “Anna help.” She said okay, you can respond to him. Let him know that you’re okay, but then add like five days or so onto your no contact. I said okay. I did that.

Grace:
Then he starts responding and I’m not responding back. He was like, “Are you calm?” I didn’t respond back. Then he said something that indicated that he was at my apartment. I don’t know. I can’t remember what it was, but I think he said like, “Hurry up and get to your door because that needs to be in the refrigerator.” Or something like that. Like I said, I was on the way out of town to go to the beach. I was like, I got to respond because is he at my front door right now?

Chris Seiter:
I saw a text.

Grace:
I responded and he had brought me my favorite thing in the world is chocolate covered cherries. He had brought me chocolate covered cherries and some flowers and dropped them off at my door. Diet Dr. Pepper because I love Diet Dr. Pepper. He left me a six pack of Diet Dr. Pepper. At that point I had a friend pick them up and I told him that I wasn’t able to get to them. I was out of town, but a friend of mine that was a neighbor at the apartment complex picked him up. We started easing into texting. Like we talked about before, I was like, “Oh, I’m not supposed to be texting yet.” It just seemed like the right time to try to ease into it. Everybody finish your no contact.

Chris Seiter:
Well, you had already finished one too. The optics are a little different when you have to redo it again.

Grace:
Then I also too, didn’t want him to see what you’re talking about too. Him to see, “Oh, it’s been exactly a month again.” I didn’t want him to start putting those things together.

Chris Seiter:
You want some variation, for sure.

Grace:
I started texting him. Things were rocky. I was trying to reel in my anxiousness. He did talk to me and admit that he stayed with this other girl. He admitted that to me finally. He swore up in there on everything that nothing happened. He didn’t touch her. It wasn’t like that. It was literally just a place to say, a room to be in, to save money. Get his apartment, all that stuff. I still didn’t like it.

Chris Seiter:
You don’t have to.

Grace:
It was just a point where I had to tell myself for a while. I was like, “Okay, do you have… I felt disrespected. Could he do it? We were broken up, but I felt really disrespected. I had to tell myself too, or remind myself, you got to make the decision. You got to be with him or don’t be with them. You got to be able to get past it and be there or don’t be with them. This decision you’ve got to make. Which is something that when I had my second coaching call with Anna, she helped me realize too. She was like, “What would you tell a friend of yours in this situation?” I said that exact advice. She’s like, “Okay, if you’re mad about it, and you don’t want to be with them then don’t. If you’re going to, then you got to forgive them before.” I chose to do that, even though it was difficult. Things were rocky a little bit.

Grace:
I was anxious, but I started learning. I started going through really the follow-up email that Anna sent me with the dealing with my anxious attachment styles and stuff like that. When he would get overwhelmed and say, “I don’t know if I need to do this.” I would start feeling like he was going to be avoidant and either cut or shut us down, or he was going to just back off. I would take the lead, and I would say, “You know what? You’re seeming like a little overwhelmed or really stressed out right now. Why don’t you take tonight do this or do whatever.”

Chris Seiter:
[crosstalk 00:45:51].

Grace:
Text me when you feel better. Then, another thing that Anna showed me was if the conversation, because sometimes he would steer the conversation. He’d start getting stressed out and he would just steer the conversation and say, “We’re not back together yet. I don’t want to lead you on.” He would start turning the conversation like he was going to end us. I would say, “You know what?” Anna would tell me to take over, take the wheel, I guess, from in the conversation. I would do that. I would basically do the same thing. I’d be like, “You know what? I want to take some space. Let’s take some space.” Finally, after I did that two or three times, he was like, “Oh my God, I just appreciate you so much because I feel like you’re really learning me.”

Chris Seiter:
That’s fun.

Grace:
I feel like you’re really learning me and you’re just… I see this change in you. You’ve just realized exactly when I need some time and you don’t have your grip on me whenever you feel like something’s not going right. That really helped a lot. It was a huge game changer. Then at that point we just started… We were just working into being together again. I did get anxious to myself, not to him a few times about the amount of it was taking for us to be official again. I just gave myself an internal deadline. I’d seen in the group, if you have a deadline, don’t give it to him. Don’t put that pressure on him, which I don’t think would have been good if I would have done that. I just gave myself an internal deadline, which was Halloween of 2020. He was cutting it close. He had about 10 days.

Chris Seiter:
How did you swing it? How did the actual official title get re-bestowed?

Grace:
It was weird. It happened without saying it at first. We went to a friend of mine’s birthday party, and he said something. I was like, “Well, you’re not my boyfriend.” I was like, “We can go together, but we’re just hanging out.”

Chris Seiter:
We’re just like better than friends, a little bit.

Grace:
He was like, “Oh my God. Come on. You know that we’re together.” I was like, “Oh, really? How would I know that? What do you mean I know that we’re together?”

Chris Seiter:
Nice job, Grace. I love the attitude, the tone of that. That worked really well. What did he say then?

Grace:
I was actually moving into a different place. I was really excited about it. It was much better than my last place, which was a nightmare. He knew all of the terrible experiences that I had in my last place. He was really excited for me to get out and just have a fresh start in this new place. When I moved in here, it was the end ish of October, beginning of November. I moved in here, but I didn’t have all my stuff in until maybe the little after November started. My birthday’s in November. My birthday is mid November. Maybe a week before my birthday, when I was fully in here, he brought me a bouquet of roses for my new place. He got me a Tiffany necklace for my birthday. That was the okay. We’re together. It was a big moment for him too, because he was like, “I’ve never bought a girl jewelry before. You don’t understand.”

Grace:
He just in the month of October, I don’t know what it was. It happened. Like I said, it was just like a blessing that… It must’ve just been a mixture of everything building up, but he really committed. He changed like that avoidant… The avoidant is pretty much gone with him, or his behavior, the way whenever he was avoidant. I think it must have just been me giving him the space because-

Chris Seiter:
You could have learned, you’re the avoidant whisper at that point. You’ve had a lot of practice going in.

Grace:
The last thing that we went through right before we were official again was we had struggled when we were together before with him having me meet his family. He would always say, “Oh, let’s go do this and do this with my family,” which they live about two hours away. He would say, “Let’s go do this and do this with my family.” Every time the day would come up, he would have an excuse not to. He’d be like, “Well, I don’t have the time because of this. I don’t feel good,” or whatever would be. This happened maybe beginning of October, and I got upset. I said, “This always happens. You always say that you are going to do this, and this is a perfect opportunity because your sister who was out of state is here with your parents. You keep saying that you’re going to do this and then you don’t.” Then I took it to the group and Anna and Christie-

Chris Seiter:
Christie.

Grace:
Both responded. They were like, “Hey, you have to be patient.” They were like, “You got to let him do this on his time because-

Chris Seiter:
Especially with avoidant.

Grace:
They were like this is his family. This is his thing. You got to let him make this decision. You can’t put this pressure on him because as much as you may deserve this or whatever the case may be, it’s his family. He’s got to make that decision. Anna made me feel really better or a lot better too when she said, I don’t think that it has anything to do with you because she knew about his personal things when we talked and all. She was like, “I really don’t think it has anything to do with you. I think it has to do with his personal issues that he’s had going on.” That helped ease me a lot. I ended up talking to him and saying, “You know what? I’m really sorry. That’s your family. Whenever you want to take me or whenever you want to do that, that’s going to be up to you.” Then once I gave him that decision, he turned around. He went the next day. By the time he was there for two hours, he ended up calling me, begging me to come.

Chris Seiter:
That’s beautiful. There’s a lot that goes… We’ve got about five minutes left, but I want to say one thing about the family meeting thing, at least my perspective on it, and then ask you one question.

Grace:
Sure.

Chris Seiter:
I’m sure you have better things to do than sit here for hours and-

Grace:
I’m probably talking your head off.

Chris Seiter:
No, you’re fine. That’s what the interview is. What’s really interesting to me about the family dynamic is a lot… I think it weirdly works in your favor extremely well by you getting upset and then sort of taking it to the group and then having the group basically say, “No, that’s his family.” Then you literally word for word, telling him. Maybe the narrative he’s thinking in his head, which is like, “Wait a minute. This is my family. This isn’t your family.” You even just putting him out there, he has this clarity of understanding like, “Oh, she gets me.” Then you find that opening up. You actually find that a lot in the book Never Split the Difference. I don’t know if you had a chance to read that, but.

Grace:
I’ve been told to, but I need to.

Chris Seiter:
I think it’d be right up your alley because it’s by a guy by the name of Chris Voss. He’s an FBI hostage negotiator. What’s interesting is the beginning of the book starts with him being interviewed at Harvard. He’s just blowing these Harvard professors minds. They’re like, “How is this working? This isn’t fitting in our psychology books.” He’s like, “Well, we’ve just been for the past 50 years, looking at what’s working for police in the field.” One of the things they learned is tactical empathy, which is labeling someone’s exact emotions to their faces. If you’re able to find out what his narrative is, and repeat it back to him, they open up to you. I think weirdly enough, it worked in your favor extremely well by you just be seeing like, “Oh, it’s your family, whenever you want to do that.” Then look immediately… It’s like, wow, she gets me. My question for you before we end is when you look back on everything that you did, what do you think was the most important factor for your success?

Grace:
I think it was learning patience. I’m not a very patient person, so-

Chris Seiter:
That’s a really good answer. I haven’t heard that one actually, which is ironic because almost everyone is impatient when they go to [inaudible 00:55:01].

Grace:
That’s what I had to be reminded with the whole family thing is well Anna and Christie were both patients. That was Christie’s exact words, was patience grasshopper.

Chris Seiter:
She’s Australian. She gets some of those-

Grace:
Anna would tell me every time we spoke. She’d be like, “Be patient.” I learned that with both of the no contacts. Obviously I’m sure you hear it all the time. I was not a fan of doing a no contact. I was like, not talking to him for a month. Excuse me, he’s going to have three girlfriends, four babies by the time this is over with.

Chris Seiter:
Four babies. You went there.

Grace:
I was like, no way. Once I was patient, and I went through that and then patience with giving him the space. Like you said, just letting him know that I’m just sympathizing with his feelings or empathizing may be a better word.

Chris Seiter:
Yeah, empathizing.

Grace:
With his feelings and just letting him know that he could have those feelings and I’m not going to be just overbearing the time just. I think patience was the biggest thing.

Chris Seiter:
Well, what’s interesting about the whole thing, and I promise I’ll leave here soon. A lot of times I think you hear from ex’s, you get back. Your ex literally says to you like, “Wow, you seem different.” The reality is though you’re just more aware of like, “Oh, I have these anxious tendencies. I need to not be so anxious. I need to let him be… Allow him to have his feelings with me without me trying to like, fix it.” Then that appears to them that you’re this whole different person when really you’re just a little bit more self-aware of these are my tendencies.

Grace:
I did definitely recognize it.

Chris Seiter:
Grace, I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming on and doing this. I really appreciate it.

Grace:
Of course, thank you for having me. I love being able to help anyone that I can. I’m pretty excited.

Chris Seiter:
You gave maybe the best interview ever for coaching period. I called Anna on this. I called Anna on this. Just thank you.

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