Combating The Affair Fog: Reverse Babble

Listening Carefully - Hand to the Ear

Reverse Babble – a tool used by those who have to deal with babblers.  For the purposes of this article, Reverse Babble (RB) is a tool used when dealing with a Wayward Spouse in the midst of the Wayward Fog; however, it can be used on anyone who tries to manipulate situations or persons for harmful intent.

A Wayward Spouse is a spouse engaging in infidelity with an affair partner.

Reverse Babble is a concept/technique.  The implementation will vary based on the Betrayed Spouse’s (BS) personality, and what is needed.  Focus on the intent and goal.  Know that this tool is not meant to ‘teach or fix’ the Wayward Spouse; it is to protect the Betrayed Spouse and family…to return responsibility to the Wayward Spouse.  

Reverse Babble kept me in balance during my crazy time.  ;)  

The History of Reverse Babble

I read and re-read the posts about those dealing with an affair repeatedly until it made sense.  How it was discovered (D-Day), how the Wayward Spouse acted and reacted, how the Betrayed Spouse and family acted and reacted.  How supporters of both sides acted and reacted.  Even if it wasn’t my situation exactly, the pain I could feel from reading the posts and the healing of it all made a deep impact on me.

Many a night my heart would cry for my pain and that of others on the board.  Through those tears came acceptance, healing, and then…. Reverse Babble was born.

I have now been using Reverse Babble for many years. I began using it mainly as a survival skill in dealing with the Wayward Spouse.  I then learned to apply it to others who behaved like a Wayward Spouse.

Understanding Reverse Babble

Babble is what happens when the Wayward Spouse expects the betrayed spouse to come to an obvious (or desired…by the WS) conclusion on a misleading statement. It’s a ploy. Don’t play; send it back to the Wayward Spouse unanswered. In fact, send it back as shown below: with a question. It can make the Wayward Spouses’ head spin.

WS: Everyone else says the email thing is controlling.

BS: Really? What are their names? Who is “everyone else?”

Reverse Babble is a simple concept. Give back the guilt, pressure, or anxiety to its originator.

Recognize Babble and Spin It Back

A wise Betrayed Spouse learns to recognize that babble and spin it back (reverse babble style). This is why it is important for all Betrayed Spouses to identify their personal boundaries and enforce them. By learning to differentiate between Wayward Spouse babbles vs. Wayward Spouse true statements, the Betrayed Spouse learns which ones to respond to, and which ones to babble back on.

So be careful…learn to distinguish between legitimate statements and babble.

Sometimes Reverse Babble involves using the Wayward Spouse’s own words (babble back).

WS: You don’t love me.
BS: Yes, you don’t love me.

Other times RB involves acknowledgement.

WS: You always want to be in control.
BS: Yes, I need to be in control right now. Someone had better be in control and for now, that’s NOT you. We do not feel safe around you.

Sometimes, RB can be a look. Try to avoid rolling your eyes.

An Example of Reverse Babble

RB responses can be short and sweet, or just short.

WS (after he moved out): Did you know that it costs a lot of money to eat?

BS: Really?

WS: Yes, I am even resorting to Taco Bell for dinner. Sometimes I go to Safeway to get a salad. That’s still too expensive.

BS: Oh, really?

WS: Yes, that is why you need to give me more money or cut back on what I give you for our child’s day care.

NOTE: No alimony or consistent child support was being given by the WS at this time.

BS: I can’t.

WS: But you have to, I am only eating one meal a day now.

BS: Maybe you should eat every other day.

WS: Oh, ok.

In all seriousness, our conversation was pretty close to this example.  Imagine! He was in shock that dinner cost money, but he was ok with my” eat every other day” suggestion. How bizarre.

The affair partner in our situation had promised to make him ‘happier, healthier and wealthier’ than he ever had been with his family. I told both of them to “go ahead.”

Tips for Success

  • Getting your mind and heart in sync will keep you balanced and focused. With it you will be able to identify and defend yourself and your family from your Wayward Spouse and his/her babble. Your strength will increase, and your Wayward Spouse will get weaker. That is a positive outcome.
  • Remember that the Wayward Spouse and Affair Partner are watching you. They want to see you falter and fail. When you don’t, they can be sent into a tailspin of fury…which can result in the affair’s demise. Whether or not it does, you will continue your personal progress.
  • Remember that Reverse Babble is just a technique/tool to help the Betrayed Spouse and family cope, and it is always ready for you to use at will.
  • When the Wayward Spouse makes a reasonable request or statement, work with it. When the he/she makes an unreasonable demand, request, or statement, do not get manipulated into the drama of it.
  • Learn that safety is important. Be consistent with your actions. Create a supportive environment for yourself and your family.
  • Know when to say “No” and be OK with it.

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This entry was posted in Combating The Affair Fog, Communication Skills, Coping with Infidelity, Honesty & Deception, Infidelity & Affair Recovery, Infidelity Help and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Combating The Affair Fog: Reverse Babble

  1. catcake86 says:

    I like this because I often fumble around with what to say when my spouse makes unreasonable statements. This takes a lot of pressure off to try and think of the right things to say.

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