Larry Bilotta

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Larry Bilotta

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to work with me, click here.

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Chaos to Purpose scale

I’m often asked how to deal with a spouse as they’re seeking a divorce and trying to end the marriage.

  • Should you back off and give them space?
  • Should you shower them with gifts?
  • Should you apologize and tell them you love them?

Here’s what to do based on where your spouse falls on the Chaos to Purpose scale.

Keep in mind that everything your spouse is doing is based on how much pain they experienced in their first 10 years of childhood. Childhood pain is the driving force of their actions, emotional condition and how they react to everything around them.

This often results in multiple stages of a midlife crisis – from an emotional collapse to the final step when the midlife crisis fog lifts.

The more childhood pain your spouse experienced, the more you must change the way you deal with them in their troubled emotional state. The Chaos To Purpose scale will help you identify what to do about your situation based on his or her emotional condition. 

The scale goes from 0% at the worst to 100% at the best. It describes the three zones of how parents handle the emotional development of their children. 

The Chaos to Purpose Scale

ZONE 1: The Purpose Neighborhood

This is the 80% to 100% zone of the scale. 

Here, your spouse’s parents enjoyed each other and made them feel important and valuable by actively talking, teaching and directing what the child was learning.

As a child, your spouse saw what a great relationship looks like – mom and dad enjoyed each other. 

A child raised in this zone is the most resilient and you’ll find they are more flexible in handling marital challenges.

ZONE 2: The Twilight Zone

The second zone ranges from 50% to 80%.

In this zone, children are not raised with actively involved parents who took an interest in their child.  Instead parents with kids in the Twilight Zone tried to survive by providing food, clothing and shelter to the children. They believed that should be enough.

In the Twilight Zone, mom and dad do not take a unique interest in the future of the child by consciously installing morals and values.  All of that is ignored. 

This leaves the child growing into adult life without a moral code, for example “Under no condition will I cheat on my mate.” 

Or a sound moral belief such as; “When my spouse is troubled, I will help them solve the problem so we can maintain our connection.” 

Twilight Zone kids just don’t have a dependable set of moral values to apply to their intimate relationship with you.

ZONE 3: The Chaos Zone

This zone ranges from 0% to 50%.

I was personally raised in this zone. I often tell people I was raised by wolves because myself and my siblings were left to fend for ourselves while our mother was out drinking and my father was gambling.

Fortunately, I married my wife Marsha (who also grew up in Chaos) and after 27 years of a marriage made in hell, she pushed me to become the man I am today.

The Chaos zone is the worst place to grow up and it is where your spouse, as a child, experienced some combination of emotional or physical abuse, divorce, abandonment and other traumatic events during those first 10 years. 

If your spouse is raised in the Chaos Neighborhood, you must treat him or her very differently than you would a normal spouse when they reach the point where they want to end the marriage.

7 ways guide

7 Ways You're Pushing Your Spouse


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Hi, I'm Larry Bilotta and I'm determined to help you make sense of the sudden, dramatic changes in the one you love.

7 Ways You're Pushing Your Spouse


Get instant access today.

Hi, I'm Larry Bilotta and I'm determined to help you make sense of the sudden, dramatic changes in the one you love.

The Purpose Neighborhood

Purpose kids have programs in their brain that cause them to believe an intimate relationship is based on honesty, openness, give-and-take, forgiveness, laughter and lots of other related positives. 

That’s because people who are raised in this area of the Chaos To Purpose scale have seen all of these good things in their parents’ marriage.

If your spouse was raised in this neighborhood and you’re going through a rough patch in your marriage, consider creating a surprise event for them.

Do something like creating a giant card that says “Get Well”. 

Inside it could say something like “The opportunity of a lifetime awaits as we mend our differences on February 24 and 25th having fun together at XYZ event.  Then attach the actual tickets to the card. 

Pick a comedy show with a famous comedian, a Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage seminar or some other event you must travel to together.  Make it a fun event you will both enjoy together. 

This is the way to get your spouse’s attention.  The reason you do this is because a person raised in a better home is more flexible and more willing to solve differences in unconventional ways.

Women in the Purpose Zone

I can guarantee you that your wife wants you to make her life stable, make her feel personally safe (financially and emotionally), and finally she wants you to make her feel she is FIRST, not second in your life. 

If you did not make her feel stable, safe and as your first priority, then you need to fix that as soon as possible.  Going to a happy and upbeat weekend event is a great way to do that.

Men in the Purpose Zone

Your husband wants you to tell him how good he is at all the things he does, give him free time for his selfish pursuits without guilt and make him feel that he fulfills you sexually (you pursue him sexually). 

If you ended up putting all your time and interest into your children, career or social circle, then you need to fix this right away. 

Get your husband to attend a fun, upbeat event to mend those broken fences in your marriage and set aside some special time for the two of you.

The Twilight Zone Spouse

In sharp contrast to someone who grew up in the Purpose neighborhood, you need to do something quite different with someone in the Twilight Zone because of their childhood ‘source code’. 

You must appear in their life less – not more.  The fact that your spouse is holding previous behaviors against you means they have reached an emotional endurance limit.

In the Twilight Zone, your spouse might have been programmed in their childhood to live one of three ways:

  1. To be a victim
  2. To be emotionally disconnected
  3. To be confrontational

The Victim

A victim spouse believes that life is a deck stacked against them that can’t be won. 

That means they want to give up and be victimized by forces that can’t be controlled.  The more you press with urgency about your future relationship, the more they will feel like the victim.

You likely never saw it coming – and without realizing it – you’ve just become the physical source of all of your spouse’s emotional pain. 

You certainly are not, but it doesn’t matter because your spouse believes you are.

The Emotionally Disconnected 

If your spouse was programmed to be emotionally disconnected, you will have noticed in the past that it was difficult to get close to them.  That is the mark of a person programmed in childhood for emotional disconnection. 

This is also the person who shuts down when there is any sign of conflict.

The Confrontational 

If your spouse was programmed to be confrontational, as in “prove you love me! Fight back!”, then they are being pushed from within to create conflict in order to prove there is love.

In their mind, conflict = equals love. 

This is a person who would get mad at you in a variety of situations because the program in their brain tells them to.

Make Yourself Scarce

No matter which of these three program systems your spouse has, I would encourage you to make yourself very scarce.

Don’t be so available for phone calls, don’t text and don’t appear places where your spouse is. 

Plan on doing this for eight weeks straight so they feel a real vacuum because you are missing.  There is no need to do anything legal regarding divorce and such. 

Just don’t be so present.

You have become the physical source of all of your spouse’s emotional pain which means that every time you speak or act, the pain will increase in your spouse.

Let’s Summarize

  • Don’t be so present in your spouse’s life
  • Keep your distance for 8 weeks
  • Don’t keep checking on them, never check cell phone records, and don’t ask friends for information
  • If you are to give your spouse a real vacation from you, then be serious about it and find other things to do.  If you keep reappearing, you’ll continue reinforcing that you are the source of pain.

Why Make Yourself Scarce?

If you’re not occupying your spouse’s every waking thought, won’t they just forget about you?

No, but this is a common fear I hear over and over when I give this advice to people whose spouses are running away.

They try to involve themselves in their spouse’s lives so much, for fear that the spouse will move on and forget all about them.

But by creating a sudden vacancy, your spouse (raised in the Twilight Zone), will start to realize and sense that even though you are gone, THE PAIN IS STILL THERE and it takes about two months for them to realize that.

These two months are not time to work on your marriage.  You’re in no shape and your spouse is in no shape to do this.

Now is the time to fall back and retreat. 

After the two months is over, you can initiate a small amount of contact such as a single text with the line “are you still there?  – me.”  Wait for the response, even if it’s more than a week. 

Don’t send any long messages during these two months.  Remember, you’re giving your spouse a complete vacation from you.

Look back in the recent past and you will see that one of you was gradually disconnecting from the other. 

One of you was gradually making your “thing” (children, career, friends, etc.) more important than the person you married. 

If that person was you, now is not the time to smother your spouse with words of affirmation and affection.

What to Do if Your Spouse was Raised in the Chaos Neighborhood

Because the Chaos Neighborhood is so troubling, let’s look again at what your spouse experienced in those first 10 years: 

Some combination of emotional abuse, divorce, abandonment, physical abuse and other traumatic events during those first 10 years at the hands of some very troubled adults.

I can promise you that dealing with this person is not like dealing with the other two I’ve described above. 

In other words, if you are married to a person who was raised in the Chaos Neighborhood – you’re not in Kansas anymore.

You are definitely in the land of OZ – an entirely new and strange surrounding with a whole new set of rules. 

That’s because when this adult has their childhood come after them with a vengeance, you will NOT see the person you married. 

When your spouse falls into to their dark side and enters into a midlife crisis, you’ll see the sudden transition from the person you fell in love with to someone you can barely recognize.

You will see someone else in the same body. You’ve married a Chaos Kid. A Chaos Kid is angry about their childhood and that childhood anger is now directed at you.

You Have Become the enemy – Everything You Do and Say is a Threat

It doesn’t matter how good or bad you’ve been as a spouse, if they were married to someone else, it would be the same story.

The 5 Rules of a Chaos Kid 

  1. They say what they don’t mean and what they mean, they don’t say.
  2. They believe their needs are more important than your needs.
  3. They sell themselves as somebody they’re not.
  4. Any good thing you do or say, they see as a threat.
  5. They want what they can’t have and what they have, they don’t want.

In this hostile environment, you must become you at your best to avoid pushing your spouse further away. Gifts, cards, kind words, notes and affection will only push them further away from you and add fuel to the fire.

Save Your Spouse From the Monster Within

The way to get through to a spouse in midlife crisis is by securing your own emotions.

I’ve created an on-demand class for women and for men that covers how this works and also teaches you the 3 mistakes spouses make when their partner says it’s over.

This is a great place to begin the path back to becoming a family again.

  • mike colafrancesco says:

    hi me and my wife have been together for 7 years married for almost 2 and have 2 kids a 5 year old and a 13 week old i was neglecting her and didnt realize it she has told me she doesnt know who she is or what she wants and that nothing matters i even at one point said if we get divorced i will be taking the kids and she said she didnt care also she has been talking to a guy at work it was not appropiate talk either but she swore up and down they were just friends and after i caught her she swore it was over i dont know what to do i refuse to get a divorce and i am willing to do whatever i have to and wait for as long as i have to for her she is my entire world and i put something before her and have been appoligizing for it but she says she doesnt know if she can forgive me please help me

  • I am trying to seek wisdom on husband & wife relationship. We got married for 14 years now. We have 3 children. I personally noticed that as the days go by, my “love: feeling towards my husband is quiet hard to find now. I am even thinking of confronting him for an arrangement since, the feeling is gone and it seems that we only live and go together for children’ sake. Just today, i told him I think we need to discuss things, have an arrangement and he told me the same. I believed that we have made a vow for this marriage, but, on the other hand, I also believed that if things don’t work out, why push?

    I hope I will have more understanding on my present situation. Thank you for your insights

    • Hi Marie,

      Many people believe when they lose the “feeling” we call love, that their marriage is over and that if they “work on the marriage”, it will suddenly come back – but they have no specific plan on how to do that. Losing the feelings you once had simply means your needs are being met. If your needs are not being met, your husband’s needs are not being met. Chances are, neither of you have any idea what each others needs actually are. If you haven’t read it already, I would encourage the two of you to read my report “How Husbands and Wives Can Find and Fulfill Their Two Greatest Needs Before It’s Too Late”:

      Also, I believe Marriage 101 might be helpful for the two of you as well. This program involves a private 2-hour call with one of my Marriage Translators who will help the two of you understand each other’s greatest needs in life. You’ll also walk away from the call with what I call your “Driving Force Cards”, which give each of you a snapshot of 5 Do’s and 5 Dont’s – so you have something specific to work on. You can find out more information about this program at

      I hope this helps.

      • Larry I’m married to a chaos kid. His parents mom 17 (her mother passed away when she was 11) & his dad 19 ( narcissistic and spoiled by his mom who passed when chaos kid 7) when they had him. The father was a drinker and gambler and mom had an abortion a year after my chaos kid was born. I feel that the grandmother until she passed was my chaos kids caregiver/ nurturer. I believe chaos kid was neglected and tolerated. We met when he was 18 and I 20. Chaos kid I believe is also narcissistic and selfish but that didn’t all come to light until married with children. I’m finally out of the fog. Chaos kid doesn’t speak to his mother and his abuser dad he would avoid. I’m the one that came to the marriage with the family and stability. Chaos kid is a drinker and always take his wife and kids for granted but friends are so important. He’s been meeting woman on the internet and now has walked away from the kids and myself. I used to shovel the snow for this man every winter because he plows 12-16 he’s and just now after 20 years of doing this that I emasculated him. An act of love was emasculated to him. He’s been seeing a therapist for 4 years, we tried marriage counseling and the marriage counselor told me I stayed to long. His therapist and H refuse to share anything from his personal counseling. I filed for divorce and chaos kid is dragging it out. Fighting for custody of the youngest s7 but s17 has dad figured out. S17 started to enjoy working with dad on muscle car only for dad to decide he didn’t want to work on it anymore I feel because it would have created a father son relationship. He has now filed as well for divorce. This is my kids father and I don’t know what to do to be sure he is the best father for them especially my s7. Husband is basically out of the house living with AP I believe. I would hate for my youngest to turn into a chaos kid and I know I won’t exist by then to try to help him. Please any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  • My husband and I started out as friends by way of my brother during the teen years. Later he and I became very close, best friends (with benefits) we ended up sharing a daughter and eventually decided to become a couple then got married. The time span of just our friendship/relationship is well over 20 years, a 16 year old daughter, 9 years as a couple 6 of those as husband and wife. He moved out just over a month ago. On my side, I had become somebody I was not happy with as I focused all my energy into raising a healthy child and (admittedly) trying to control the path of my marriage, I lost myself. Naturally this led to unhappiness for both my husband and myself, don’t get me wrong he came in with his share of issues, (chaos kid perhaps?) and eventually it lead to our current split. I feel like he is going through a mid life crisis of sorts due to the way he is running around. I started to make personal changes for myself (getting back to the true me) months before he left but he was still in the same place, seeing me as the person I was not the person I was becoming so he decided to leave. We still communicate and he has said (harshly) that he will never come back home, because he don’t want it no more but he seems to a little less harsh today. I try to give him space and time we even went 3 days without contact, he seems to be able to do that easier than me I am the one who broke the silence. But when I did I asked if I could see hm and he said sure so we spent around 3 hours together and it almost felt like our earlier days as he was flirtatious and we were a little touchy. It was nice. I am wondering if there is a chance to save this marriage, and not save the way it was, but build it to the way it should be?

  • Hi Larry, if I’m giving my husband a vacation as stated in your above artical; what would happen after the eight week vacation? I think he is both “the victim” and “disconnected” type of chaos kid.

  • Larry, I’m giving my husband 8 weeks vacation as you suggested since he had troubled childhood, I think he s both ‘the victim’ and ‘disconnected’ type of chaos kid, what will happen after the vacation ?

  • Hi Chelsea,
    It has been proven thousands of times that when a woman leaves a man while she still loves him, the man is woken up to his troubling way of life. He is then very motivated. If she waits until her love is dead, then the man can figure to come back all he wants but she has no love for him because her love died. She doesn’t want him back. It sounds like you are leaving him BEFORE you no longer love him.

    While you are away from him, and he shows urgent efforts to prove that he has changed, your job is to show yourself as very reluctant and very un-trusting. You need to act the part and convince him that you are still not convinced. The more unconvinced you are appearing, the more urgent his efforts will be. The reason you’re staying away for two months is to keep hammering into his brain the experience of being desperate for the woman he cannot have. Eventually at the end of the eight weeks, you come back to allow him to prove his love for you.

    I don’t know your husband but one thing I’m sure of: he is treating you exactly the way his father treated his mother during his first 10 years of life. He is a programmed robot of his father and only great fear of loss can wake him up from that terrible program.

  • Hi larry
    I am in the the same boat as a lot of your other readers, i have been married for 21 years and 2 months ago my wife said that she doesn’t love me anymore and has nothing more to give. I never realized she was so unhappy. We still live in the same house as I don’t want to be away from my children but it is very hard on me. It dose not seem to worry her as she already has seemed to have moved on. She is so worked focused and team orinated and has been this way for some time. I was just wondering if it is possible to get her back or am I too late for that, as she seems to be enjoying others company.
    I am at a loss what to do. But I don’t want to loose my kids as i don’t know what she is telling them.

    • Hi Grant,

      Very often the spouse that wants to save the marriage waits far too long, doing all the wrong things they were programmed to do from their parents that end up destroying their marriage just like their father/mother did before them.

      If you waited too long, then it’s not about the marriage anymore. It’s about whether you want that person in your life again. If the two of you have children, you will always be connected, so it’s up to you if you want to get a new relationship started. Don’t think about divorce or no divorce, because divorce is now just a formality.

      You should know however, that many people give up too soon, assuming their spouse has reached the point where they are emotionally dead, when they have not yet reached that point. When a spouse has reached that point, it is business as usual. He or she has made the decision to divorce, cleaned out the bank accounts, and is barely recognizable as the person you married. They are indifferent about the marriage and have moved from the stage where they are not sure what they want to the phase where they’ve made up their mind and “the kids will be fine”.

      If your wife is at the phase where she is emotionally dead, the question you need to ask yourself is “Do I want this woman?”

      There is a way to bring this woman back to you once again, even after the legal marriage is over. That’s because this is not about marriage. Marriage is a legal structure for society to operate. This is not about saving that structure, it is about the person. The person cannot be replaced. You can always get another legal structure, but you cannot replace that woman. She CAN be won again. You can start to attract her all over again. It will take time, but you must learn how. Right now you have no tools or understanding to accomplish this.

      You will have to become you at your best, not you at your worst in order to win her back. That’s what I teach my students and it does not deal with behavior. We focus on the source of behavior. You cannot win her back through what you say and do. In fact, what you say and do now, she takes as a threat and an offense no matter how good it is. If your wife has already reached the emotionally dead point, the only way to get her back in your life again is to eliminate your negative feelings and show her (not tell her) that you are a different man and wait for her to come back to you. Any attempts you make to save the marriage at this point will be met with rejection and criticism from her because she feels “if you could have, you would have”, and now she is likely seeking personal happiness over anything else.

      The way you will win her back is by changing the vibration you give off every day and that is not about behavior, that is about the source of behavior. That’s how you will win your wife again if you really do want this woman. If you are interested in learning more about this approach, I encourage you to watch the video presentation I created for men here.

      – Larry

  • Hi

    I hope you will be able to lend me some advices.

    My husband is 49. I am 40. We have a daughter age 9. His also has a son 17.5. First marriage for me second for him. His first wife cheated in him. His dad was in the army so they have to move every2 years or so. His mum died when he was 13. No counselling or much support was given to him then. His dad remarried about 8 months after the funeral. Mike was more or less left to himself. He left that house at 17 .

    Anyway back in February he came home to tell me he wasn’t happy anymore. That he loves me but not in love. That the feeling wasn’t there anymore. We decided that he should stay in separate bedroom so we could decide the next move and maybe break up in a friendly way so not to affect our daughter to much. He then said he didnt want to leave and talk divorce. Then in april I found out he was seeing a co worker. Swear nothing sexual and I believe him.
    He decided then to stop seeing her but after a couple of weeks he told me he couldn’t. But still didnt know what he wanted. That he got feeling for her but didn’t know what kind.
    So back to trying to be friendly still leaving in same house. Had a family holiday and told me he misses her a lot but still didn’t what his feelings for her were. Back from holiday they went away on a weekend to found out where they were going but not much came out. Just that he missed me a lot. Then he started saying he got strong feelings for me. Can we make a go out working it out. He started saying he want a us till the end. For better and worse. That he believes and want us to make it through.
    he decided that for us he has to stop seeing the OW.
    Since making that decision he came back on his words. That he doesn’t if he want a us but the feelings are there. He wishes for him to be able to come and go as he wishes and meet new people and go away on weekends. But he says he feels safe, warm, wanted,needed, and love with us.
    He ask for us to go to counselling to save our marriage first but I should keep open minded that maybe it won’t.
    He still kisses me, hold my hand and ask me to cime and give him a cuddle before bed. Still not sharing a bedroom.
    I ask him was the point if he want out. Told me he didnt want out at anytime soon. Doesn’t want to talk divorce but say to be realistic that it might come to it.
    Now iam on such a roller coaster I just dont know.
    We are to start counselling soon but anything I can do in the meantime will help.


  • Hi Steph,

    I believe I answered your question earlier, when you submitted it through the contact form on my website, but I will repost my answer here, in case it will help others in a similar situation.

    When I answer this question for you, I can answer it for 1000 other women who are married to men I call “Chaos Kids”. That’s because your description below is of a man in a midlife crisis. He does not know what he wants and frequently changes his mind. He wants what he can’t have and what he has, he doesn’t want.

    You believed your husband’s childhood would have no effect on the rest of his life but you would be absolutely wrong. You, like everyone around you, continue to believe that your childhood has nothing to do with the rest of your life. You believed it was just a memory and that you have complete free choice to do anything you choose and so does your husband. All of this is completely wrong and everyone I talk to refuses to believe it. When I say “everyone”, I’m really talking about the people who are not in pain.

    The people who listen to me about Chaos Kids, or people married to them. Why are they in pain? It’s because they married a “Chaos Kid.” What is a chaos kid? It’s a boy or a girl who is raised by a mother and father, or a single mother or father who did not give them the 2 things a child needs most. I call these 2 things “The Kids Standard”.

    Number 1: “mom and dad, enjoy each other.”

    Number 2: “mom and dad, make me feel important and valuable.”

    Your husband most likely got neither of these things. In fact, he most likely had an extremely negative version of a mother and father relationship, a relationship with arguments, blame, tension, perhaps even physical violence. On the second part of the Kids Standard, make me feel important and valuable, he could’ve been put down, criticized, blamed and or loaded down with guilt from one of these adults.

    Now you are writing and explaining the result of his childhood to me. You are asking what you can do. But if I told you what to do 8 to 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have listened to me. That’s because you believed you married a normal man. A chaos kid is not normal. What you must do now is understand what your husband is going through by being possessed with this childhood pain.

    What makes a chaos kid is a machine. That machine is in his brain and is loaded with instructions on how to re-create the marriage of his parents. I don’t even need to hear his story because I have heard hundreds of them. They are all virtually the same. The Kids Standard is destroyed in his 1st 10 years. Today, as an adult, the machine in his brain is raging at him to re-create the marriage of his parents. The pressure of this machine is so great, he got involved with another woman, because you are the source of the reminder. He wants no part of it and so he did highly irresponsible and completely self-centered things.

    You must understand that as a child, he wanted the kids standard which means he wanted to be what a kid is supposed to be… Self-centered. Children are supposed to be takers their 1st 10 years. They are supposed to be taking from the parents and the parents are supposed to be giving. The parents are supposed to be giving the 2 elements of the Kids Standard. But instead, your husband was given nothing and even worse than nothing, he was given very negative things. Now this machine in his brain that carries all of these terrible instructions is causing him to become the child he never was able to be. He wants to take and he doesn’t want to give. He doesn’t have the emotional security to give anything. Many of these midlife crisis men can’t even keep a job. Midlife crisis in both men and women can last 2 to 5 years.

    Your question is “What do I do now?”. The answer is first that you will need to learn something different than what you have always known. Everything you did has brought you to this spot. Both you and he contributed to where the two of you are now, you trying to save the family and him trying to destroy it. You must do something different.

    His mind may change from one week to the next, and depending what counselor you seek out, they may convince him he is unhappy in the marriage, side with one spouse over another, or make things worse. I hear this story very often after couples go to counseling. What he is looking for is validation that he is right and you are wrong, and if you choose the wrong counselor, everything will backfire.

    Whether you work with me through my Environment Changer program, or someone else in the coaching world, you need help now. You need to learn what you never knew and now you have to decide who can help you because you cannot go through this alone and expect everything to be fine. It’s time for you to learn… And we only learn when we are in pain. As a starting point, if you haven’t watched the hour presentation video I created for women, I suggest you start here:

  • Hi Larry,

    I sure hope you can help with some advice because your videos answered to some of my questions. I got married in September 2015 and after 2 months my partner said he is not happy anymore, that he has no hope that I can change and show him the affection that he needs and he wants out…after just 2 months he snapped.
    I have to say we bought a house together, been living there for almost 3 years now (dated for 2 years before our home), made plans for when we were 60 together and did very much together to secure our home and life. I thought that after all the stress during the buying/redecorating the house and then planning the wedding we now will finally settle and be at ease, enjoying each other. But this nightmare occur instead and I sometimes think this is not my life and I hope to wake up.
    His parents separated when he was 6 and after a few months his father died. His mother didn’t help him at all fill the hole and he grow up by himself practically and embraced only his own convictions.
    He told me before we got married that he wanted the family that he never had and wants a child with me. Now he tells me that I wasn’t able to give him what he needs, he doesn’t believe we deserve a second chance and he is very cold, cruel when talking with me and rejects everything I do. I feel like I was hit by a train and for sure didn’t see it coming after just 2 months. He said he believed in us for 5 years and not anymore and he has to put a stop to it.
    His godfather died 2 weeks before our big fight in December and I think this was the trigger. He denies suffering, he says I want an excuse for his behavior because I don’t understand it’s my fault and I am the reason we got to this point. He blames me for his misery and told me I have never made him happy and I will never be able to do so.
    This is the same man that after our wedding was looking for babies stuff. How can a 36 year old man change after 2 months? I don’t know who he is, I know we have had some problems but I think they are not serious and we can make it work, but he refuses to give us a second chance.
    All that I did this last month was to show him how much I love him and the result was that now he wants to leave the house. So, what can I do?
    I want to fight but I don’t know how

    thank you!

  • Hi Anca,
    You are describing all the details of a chaos kid. When a chaos kid gets to that point between 35 and 45 years old, chaos will come for them and when it does, they will become somebody you don’t know, somebody very selfish. You’ve given me a perfect description of that. Your entire note is about how bad he’s treating you and that’s exactly how chaos kids treat their intimate relationship. In every story I have ever heard, every chaos kid husband treats his wife in the same cruel ways. That’s because he is now being driven by the selfishness that he was never given as a child. You confirm that when you made this statement, “he wanted the family he never had”.

    Now you want to know what to do but your request to know what to do is laced with powerlessness. You’re powerless because you cannot use behavior to change his behavior. Nothing you say or do will change the energy of the selfishness. But depending on where you are in your life right now, there is something that may help you.

    This is really not about a man rejecting you. It is about energy, his and yours. Energy is not something most people understand and that’s why they need a guidebook to help them understand it. I would highly encourage you to listen to the audiobook titled “The Astounding Power of Emotions”. The author is Abraham – Hicks. You can download it to your smart phone from At this point in your life, this may be exactly the message you’re ready to hear and could help you solve the problem that seems unsolvable right now.

  • Christopher says:

    Big Issues. July 31st 2014 Pregnant only to loose baby in EOM September 2015 “not sure if she had covered mental issue”. July 2016 Wife changes job alot of stress she took on more than you can chew. Mid November, 2015 right before Artificial insem procedure wife calls work and says ” I don’t want kids with you” and “I am interested in other men”. Closely following this she states “I love you but I don’t in that way” Following in early 12/15 the test results were negative and her comment “I am glad my life would be over”. January 2016, wife moves out of bedroom and wants space. She started taking about me moving out of the house in Mid January 2016. Then following this she states we are friends and roommates. Following this she states we are Separated but living under the same roof and still pushed for me to move out. I stayed tried to make it work and it got worse. February was up and down. Early March 4th I moved out of the house cause I couldn’t take her abuse the living situation under the same house was not working she threatened Divorce. I wasn’t able to recognize her anymore. I am have been out of the house for 3 weeks now. She has now been looking for apartments and she has posted an ad on online dating site. She doesn’t want to talk, see me, or anything for 3 months. She said if she had the choice she would divorce right now but since I left the house she stopped. She says she doesn’t love me. She says she wants the three months to figure things out and to see how she feels in 3 months. Anything left here to save or she is gone for ever and waiting for the inevitable.


  • Christopher Zagaja says:

    Sorry forgot to mention and amending to the above. She is showing no empathy right now and blames me for everything. She says the marriage for the past 5 years was horrible but yet she wrote and confided with a priest in writing she found a wonderful husband with some much to offer. She has always held her deepest feeling inside her where it was always a struggle to have her open up and be vulnerable. I know her father always worked and may not have been an active role person in there life. He is a man of little words. Her sister also has a problem with her husband, one day she simply snapped and just did not want him any longer. Very similar to what is happening now. Out of the blue she snapped and it has gone down hill. Her mother is religious and seems to have held the household. My wife is catholic and was raised in this household, yet she is still married (civil / Catholic) and posting ads on Christian mingles. How hypocritical?Chaos kid??

  • Christopher,

    Thanks for your message. Like so many people do when they are in a marriage affected by a midlife crisis, you shared with me all the intricate details of your situation.

    The reason so many people do this is because they believe if they explain all the small details of their situation, a solution will appear.

    If this were true, psychologists and therapists would have massive success, but unfortunately, therapy has a history of keeping people emotionally limping from session to session.

    Over the years, I have spoken to thousands of people who all shared a common theme – nothing seemed to change, even after years of therapy. While there are some professionals seeing success, many end up prescribing drugs that numb the pain, but don’t address the source of it.

    The reality is, there is no solution in the situation.

    All these grizzly details you have taken the time to write may have made you feel better for a very small period of time. In fact, after a day or so goes by, you probably feel worse. The reason you feel worse when you dwell on the situation is because you are literally magnetizing what you DO NOT want. Those dark and negative descriptions are a magnet that bring you more dark and negative events.

    Think about it this way: There are two kinds of people in the world.

    1) The first person is what I call a “Pin Ball”. This is a person who looks for something outside their body to give them a good feeling. (They want their team to win, a bigger raise, they want to buy a new car, a new TV). The three words that describe a pinball are: Wait, react, resist.

    2) The second person is what I call an Environment Changer. An Environment Changer changes the feeling inside them first by focusing on their thoughts and feelings as the focus of what they will change. The three words of an Environment Changer are: Create, attract, allow.

    Environment Changers create what they want by creating positive thoughts and feelings. Those positive thoughts and feelings attract more positive things. They allow whatever happens to happen and resist nothing.

    So while the pinball is waiting for something to happen, reacting emotionally to whatever happens and then resisting what they don’t like, the Environment Changer is busy creating (through their positive thoughts and feelings), attracting everything they think and feel and then allowing everything to happen and resisting nothing.

    Look at the contrast: Wait instead of create.
    React instead of attract. Resist instead of allow.

    This might not mean much to you right now Christopher, but these three differences will change the situations of your life if you pursue them.

    I would encourage you to download the audio book titled “The Astonishing Power of Emotions” by Abraham – Hicks. You can get it from This book will move you more into a more positive belief system and out of a Pin Ball system.


  • Anonymous says:


    I believe my husband is a chaos kid based on how he has treated me in the past couple months, and how emotionally distant he’s gradually grown over the last couple years. However, in some of the descriptions you’ve listed it seems he may fall on the emotionally displaced scale… His parents were/are both alcoholics, and they were at one point separated from each other for 6 months when he was about 13 years old, and did get back together and are still married. No abuse, divorce, or anything like that. But the way he has been acting, everything he has been saying, me feeling like this is absolutely not the man I fell in love with and it’s just not him… All follows the chaos kid category… But I don’t know if his mental health plays a part that is making it sound/feel like chaos kid, or if it actually is chaos kid.

    My husband has struggled with depression and is struggling with anxiety, and an eating disorder currently. He blames all of that on me and while I know it isn’t true, I do understand how he feels because they “started” after we met, and I am what he associates everything negative with. But from the point when he told me about his unhappiness to the point when he told me he can’t be my husband because he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to get over all the hurt, anger and resentment, and doesn’t have the energy to try to get over it because he doesn’t know if he was ever in love with me… was a total of 7 weeks… We were separated for the last 5 of those.

    He has also completely suppressed every good memory, event, and feeling of our entire relationship. He said if he thinks really hard, he can remember a few things. But it’s like he’s deleted our entire relationship, and rewrote our history where everything is negative… Even adding things to his imagination that never happened… Everything is my fault, he was never in love with me, we were never best friends, I never made him feel special/appreciated/respected/loved… It’s like I have no idea who he is. All of this resonates with me as your information shared on “chaos kids.”

    My question is, if my husband has depression and anxiety, and can not physically remember anything good because he’s suppressed everything good about our relationship… Is it possible that I can still win him back? How can he attach new memories to what he believes to be only negative experiences in our relationship, if he isn’t going through your course and if he doesn’t want to? If I do all the work that I’m fully committed to doing, will it be for nothing because he can’t recall any of those memories, only the painful ones? We’ve been together for 16 years and have 3 children together. I want him, and I want our family… But is depression/anxiety/eating disorder/memory loss a game changer?

    • You have written an anonymous and well thought through question.

      Now that you are educated about what a chaos kid is, you are doing what we all do when we face a troubling relationship. We focus on the troubled person out there and we focus on what their problem is. You have done that in great detail.

      We all focus on the other person’s problems because of a widespread belief that we are separated from other people and that they have their own problems which are their responsibility and we have our own problems which are our responsibility.

      This brings us to the law of attraction. The law of attraction (Google law of attraction for more information), is very simple: if you look at it, it comes to you.

      Our widespread belief that we should look at other people’s problems in order to solve them attracts those problems to us and they keep on coming. Let’s look into your message and we see you use these words: emotionally distant, alcoholics, not the man I fell in love with, depression, anxiety, eating disorder, blames me for everything, suppressing every good memory, rewrites history, and of course chaos kids.

      Then you go on to ask about HIM. You ask: “what if he cannot physically remember anything good?”

      Your question is all focused on HIM. So I would propose an opposite plan.

      Download a good book that simply explains the law of attraction and start to apply how YOU think. The more you think about creating positives that don’t yet exist, the more those positives will come to you. Your message is stating that you have not done this yet. You are still living in the widespread belief that focusing on other people’s problems is how you solve them. That has never been true.

      The book I would suggest you start with is the Abraham – Hicks book titled “The Astounding Power Of Emotions”. This book will get you started into a new way to see your inner life. Your inner life is the way you think and the way you feel. It is a whole new way of living and this book is a great introduction because it gives lots of real life examples of the right way and the wrong way to get the results you’re seeking.

      Most of all you feel powerless to do anything as you asked the question: “But is depression, anxiety, eating disorder, memory loss a game changer?” Which infers to me that you are not making the rules of the game. But what you will learn after you read or listen to the above book, you’ll realize that YOU actually make the rules.
      – Larry –

  • So what do I do after leaving her alone for 8 weeks ? She still won’t be done with her midlife crisis . I just gotta hope all the negative feelings she’s having won’t be associated with me ? If she’s having an affair will she still even be paying attention to what I’m doing ?

  • I really enjoyed reading this and I agree with your theory. What I’m curious about is how you would differentiate a chaos kid from a covert narcissist?

    At this point I do believe his upbringing was so damaging that his psychological development was crippled and that he was mimicking normalcy (to the best of his ability) for most of his life.

    Now the jig is up and the truth is, salvation isn’t possible, he can’t remotely relate like a normal human being. At best, he can only pretend to. Please share your thoughts on when a chaos kid could be a lost cause.

  • I am stuck in a limbo scenario with my husband of 22.5 years now. He started proceedings more than a year ago, but now avoids his lawyer and won’t proceed any further. He is living with the woman he met before he left. She has been married and divorced 5 times. They had a “wedding” in September, but we are still legally married. He will talk nicely, then turn into an absolute monster if I don’t do what he wants. He has walked away from our children as well. Even so far as saying they are my children. Not his. His children are her 5 children. He did this because she told him this was the easiest way to prove that they are right together. He went on a massive spending spree with her and now blames me for having no money. He used to tell me his mother beat him when he was a child. This woman dominates every part of their lives. I don’t know what to do.

  • With great pain, I recognize myself in the last three rules of the Chaos kid.
    Husband (49) and I (40) have been married nearly 22 years, with 3 magnificent blessing of children (18, 16, and 13).
    I have very much reached the “my love is dead” phase. I do not want this person in my life. Him giving me a 2 month vacation sounds like pure bliss, and no I would not miss him whatsoever. The decision to plunge into a life of my own making fills me with hope for the first time in 2 decades. Ours is a story likely not uncommon, filled with such pain I can’t see it ever transforming into something beautiful. My only hesitation is for my children. I am ready to admit defeat and use myself as a cautionary tale and pray they are wiser people than I; I just don’t want to further deteriorate their potential futures by seeking to heal myself. They are the only reason I have stayed tethered to this man, and he would greatly weaponize them (he’s told me this) in a divorce scenario. How best to proceed?

    • Hello Elle,

      You sound like a woman who married a man that brought you chaos. You concluded that you are demonstrating the last 3 rules of a chaos kid. What could possibly create that? Are YOU a chaos kid yourself? Is your husband a chaos kid ALSO? Every woman goes into a marriage expecting the man she marries to live up to what she expects in her heart. When that man discovers he’s not able, not interested, not willing, not determined to reach her expectations, then the woman writes like you did: “I DO NOT WANT THIS PERSON IN MY LIFE”.

      That woman will also write lines such as you did that say – I CAN’T SEE IT EVER TRANSFORMING INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL” Without a man you can believe in (even in a small way) you lose “Vision”, the ability to see hope in the future.

      But I’ve interview over 1,000 men and women in seemingly hopeless marriages, and I am more convinced than ever, that it takes ONE to heal a relationship. You asked how to proceed, I would ask you to reassess your goal. You no longer want this man in your life, but you will always be connected since you have children.

      Some women become a student of my Environment Changer course for this reason. To create a civil relationship for the sake of the kids and to gain a sense of personal relief despite what is happening around you. If this approach interests you, you can learn more here:


  • I am a Purpose Child and my husband is a Chaos Child. We have been married 24 years. I recently came home from a work trip and my husband had moved out while I was gone. The reasons were all “my fault” as He said other things in my life had become more important than him. I was blindsided and in disbelief. I did not talk to him for almost a month except for necessary things like bills, etc. We are now at 4 months and we text and call every day. He says I am his Best Friend but he doesn’t know if he is my husband or I am his wife. No other person is involved. I am just so confused. His parents both died in the last 3 years – in their early 70’s and lived a tumultuous life together. My parents were married happily for 60 years before my Dad died in the his mid 80’s. My husband turned 55 last year and it a huge focus for him. Not sure where my Marriage is headed or if it is truly over.

    • Holly, thanks for your question. Your story reminds me of a student I once had. After going through a period of self-discovery, she experienced a remarkable transformation in her marriage.

      To give you some perspective, I interviewed her and her husband about their journey here. Their story might offer valuable insights into what your husband is experiencing. Many couples face similar challenges during midlife. Don’t give up just yet. If your husband is in a place where he sees you as his best friend, it is still possible to help him through this and turn your marriage around – you can do it through this heal yourself, heal your marriage approach that has helped so many others before you.


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