forest

Over parts one and two of this mini series, I have been explaining why John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ theory that are all men are like rubber bands because they have an intimacy cycle that needs them to stretch (retreat) and then eventually spring back when they want to get closer can be a dangerous belief to have that will cause women to overinest in inappropriate relationships in the belief that poor behaviour is just ‘normal’.

I’m a firm believer that with the type of modern day relationships that we have which are fraught with commitment issues, emotional unavailability, assclownary, and complications like technology such as online dating and text messaging, that subscribing to this theory is like giving a man carte blanche to take the p*ss. It also means that the lines become very blurred because many women do not end up being able to distinguish between this so-called rubber banding and someone who is actually using a cycle of distancing themselves and then returning to control the relationship and manage down your expectations.

You always have to remember that in any relationship, we teach people how to treat us and also what to expect.

For people with issues who will want to control their environment as much as possible, they use blowing hot and cold and the pushey pulley game to teach you what to expect from the relationship and ultimately, what initially will have felt uncomfortable to you will eventually become familiar and habitual, even though it is actually uncomfortable.

There are a few key things that you need to take into account to assimilate your situation:

1) Are you in a hot and cold/pushey pulley cycle with your guy? If so, this is a very strong indicator of problems. This can feel like passion and excitement initially but it will eventually translate to tension, ambiguity, and drama.

2) Are you looking at the bigger picture? Are you seeing the wood for the trees? These things do not happen in isolation. Where there is one dubious pattern of behaviour there will be others plus red flags and boundary crossings. The truth is, when you open your eyes and take off the rose tinted glasses of betting on potential, the reality may add up to a whole lot of issues. When he’s ‘retreating’ what is he doing? Being a bit quiet or doing a few things he enjoys doing on his own, or trying to shag other women, completely ignoring you to the point of hostility, or straight up disappearing?

3) How much of an impact does fear have on your relationship? Fear draws us into poor relationships anyway, but you do need to start differentiating between your internal fear which is the negative messaging from fears that drive your mentality and beliefs about yourself, love, and relationships and also external fears, which is their real, negative behaviour that exacerbates your internal fears.

Fear derails relationships and also creates bad ones but we also need to recognise that sometimes our internal fears can have us either believing that someone is retreating when they are not, or can cause us to believe that they’re going to retreat so that we behave in ways that bring about the outcome and create the self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you do either of these things, this will create a dubious intimacy cycle that’s actually of your own making.

4) Are you co-dependent? In my ebook Mr Unavailable and The Fallback Girl I explain that

“Co-dependency is something that affects all Fallback Girls because the very basis of your interaction is built around the idea that you place all of your love on one person, that makes you feel secure, builds you up with his own supposed intrinsic value, and provides the source of all of your wellbeing and happiness. When he leaves, you feel miserable, agitated, nervous. You wonder where he is, what he’s doing, and if there is a possibility that in the last few hours, he may have discovered the ‘truth’ about you and decided to leave you. You fear abandonment and with some women, every time their Mr Unavailable leaves them, it feels like abandonment. It’s like you need them in your field of vision.”

I also say that “You lose yourself in relationships and you find it easy to take on his characteristics or relationship style so that you can fall in sync with his behaviour.”

I bet this sounds familiar to many of you!

The trouble is with being co-dependent is it’s a recipe for relationship disaster as it can feel pretty overwhelming and intense to feel like the complete and utter focal point and source of everything for another individual. Imagine then, that you have that expectation of someone who is emotionally unavailable or an assclown, and do you really have to wonder why you run into problems?

5) Is there a noticeable, negative impact on the relationship? If so, is it because of how you have reacted, or is it because he has behaved in a way that detracts from the relationship? Really, is he actually retreating or is he just being independent and autonomous and you’re struggling with that?

The reality is that whilst we all have our off days and can be impacted by stress, tiredness, and a variety of factors that may not actually be related to our partners, it shouldn’t be a ‘chore’ to be in a relationship and you shouldn’t really have to be at the mercy of some guys emotional menstrual cycle that seems to come about when it all gets a little much and he wants to go away so he can feel the desire to come back.

As I said in part two, there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone wanting to maintain their independence and autonomy but there is a big difference between this and actually using the ‘intimacy cycle’ to edge out of the relationship or ensure that it’s solely on your terms.

Because this is something that stands out about this rubber band theory – much like when we’re involved with Mr Unavailable’s and assclowns, this is about doing things on their terms and jumping to their beat and relationships require a bit more than that.

What I can say is that generally speaking, healthy relationship or not, when someone does appear to retreat the solution is not to come at that person full force. Whether that’s because you continuously ask the person what’s wrong (sometimes you can’t always put into words that you’re just having an off day) which can often make it bigger than it actually is, whether you go into a tailspin and start wittering on about what you may have done to ’cause’ the retreat, or whether it triggers you to start drama seeking, doing the bums rush on his retreat no matter what relationship you’re in will just exacerbate the issue and blur the lines.

This is why it is important to have some self-esteem in your relationship because when we have low self-esteem, we are inclined to place ourselves in the centre of everything and assume that if something appears to be ‘wrong’ it must be down to us and we respond accordingly.

If you have higher self-esteem, not only will you make better love choices, but you’ll be confident enough to recognise that when your partner does appear to ‘retreat’, it’s not down to something that you have ‘done’ and you can see the wood for the trees enough to realise that it could be any number of things or he might just have ‘things on his mind’. You will also have your own healthy desire for independence and autonomy.

If you’re already in a cycle, the only way to deal with it is to break it. One of the biggest ‘weapons’ (for want of a better word) in your relationship armour is realising that when you start to take control and remove the controls that men like Mr Unavailable’s and assclowns have (like when we do No Contact), you not responding how they expect you to respond throws the cycle out of kilter.

Stop chasing, stop asking, stop drama seeking, even if it means sitting on your hands and taping your mouth closed. Fight the urge because trust me, being in a cycle means that he has come to believe that you will behave in certain ways.

The key now is what does he do when you don’t play ball? Does he adapt his behaviour in a positive manner? Does he pretend to adapt and then slowly slip back into the cycle?

If it’s genuinely a case of him just needing a little space, try to step back and leave him to it without being resentful and see what happens. If you do ask what’s wrong and he says it’s not you, take it at face value and go about your business.

But if you know that this is one in a long line of things and that your relationship isn’t particularly healthy, you will need to start making some uncomfortable decisions and having some uncomfortable discussions, and taking action and making what may feel like uncomfortable changes.

Relationships require positive consistency, not extremes and ultimately the choice is yours – if your man does have an ‘intimacy cycle’, can you handle it? Do you want to?

Your thoughts?

Get ahead on understanding waste of space men and relationships with my ebook, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Find out more and download. Also find out more about my No Contact Rule web seminar, or if you need personal advice or analysis of your relationship, check out my consultation service.

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54 Responses to Are men really like rubber bands? The Bigger Picture (Part 3)

  1. Loving Annie says:

    Dear NML,
    How are you feeling ? how is the new baby doing ? How is her older sister taking having her at home now instead of just being a bump in your tummy ?

    You’ve been teaching me now through your site and our phone session counselling for a year now, and each time, things make a little more sense.

    My mistakes are getting smaller, and my confidence sturdier as I lessen my own drama, change my habits and way of thinking.

    I ‘met’ someone on the web just 6 weeks ago.
    Close to my age, been married once for 20 years and now has been divorced for 8 years. He is a junior high schoolteacher…

    He has called every single day since I’ve been home from my trip.
    I’m relaxed, I’m not tense or worried, and he answers questions easily.
    He’s NICE to me in our conversations, nothing mean, no games, no committment phobic control garbage.

    So THIS is what normal looks like – compared to the men I used to be attracted to who put me through the anxiety pushey-pulley and I fooled myself into thinking their words mattered more than their actions, and their unavailability was just temporary.

    We’ll see wehat happens, but this feels good – so thank you !!!!!!

    Loving Annie’s last blog post..Do you like political cartoons ?

  2. mel says:

    this rubber band thing is exactly the reasen why i am obsessed/addicted to a guy with whom i wanted and do stupidly still want a relationship with, i think it is more that i want A relationship full stop. this (instant attraction) guy who told me he was divorced and didnt like it!! 2 now 3 years ago, started flirting a year ago, he would back off every now and then but i just put it down to the fact that he was divorced he missed his son, so we took it slowly however a year later he has a new baby, is living with his girlfriend (reason for his divorce) and insists we stay “very good freinds” he does the dissappearing act gets cross if i suggest we shouldnt keep in touch or be friends said his girlfriend trapped him into a relationship etc. and he made a big mistake, i am such a soft touch for a sob story but feel guilty if i think “yeah right” but he can suddenly become intimate at the drop of a hat i did think it was me but he did the persuing and initiates contact although he does get openly emotionaly upset which makes me feel sorry for him, if i try and break it off.then i think that someone has to love him?? and all the other stuff such as “working at it” my dad was the same with my mum!!!! i see all this, and the patterns and yet i cannot seem to stop attracting the same kind of guy, and i too have read the christian carter thing and this can be misconstrued but i think if your head is as mushed as mine anything will make sence and dont know how to resolve my own issues? or lose contact because i work with the guy and i cannot say a bad word about him despite totally agreeing with everything i have read on this site and others and knowing what i want ??? help

  3. Conditioning…you got a love it. I have only dated one guy who was a master of conditioning. He didn’t totally disappear or slow down on the phone call, etc., just not show up or be available when he should. Although, I called him on it every time, by staying or at the very least issuing a punishment in accordance with the crime, I still expressed loud and clear that it was acceptable.

    Just one more example of “actions speak louder than words.”

    Open Your Heart to the Love’s last blog post..Seeking Validation and Love Through Men’s Approval

  4. Anusha says:

    That is my story.I had a LDR relationship with a guy for almost 7 years,we are broke up for a litle more than 4 months now.After the break up he did something very weird and I want you to tell me what you think it means.I emailed him soon after the break up(with questions about what went wrong,trying to understand the break up and so on) and he took 3 weeks to answer me.In the meantime I texted him asking why he havent answered(that he ignored) and sent a second email explaning that I wasnt trying to change his mind about the break up with my first email in case he had thought that.After 3 weeks of the first email he answered it and his reason to had took so long is that he was sick of computers and so havent used it until then.Anyway I didnt send anything back after he answered(I was planing to take 3 weeks to answer his aswell after he made me wait for 3 weeks).About a week later he texts me on my birthday and starts to text me everyday from that day on.We kept it going for about 2 months and I had to stop the texting because was getting too expensive (we would text for hours sometimes).We switched to a email every 3 days then.Now the main point,during those times we were talking about sex(and about our days) and I decided to cut that subject because I thought it wasnt right to keep talking about sex being broke up.But since that day his behaviour totaly changed,he wanted to email every 2 weeks now and he wouldnt text anymore (we still texted sometimes when we were doing the emails every 3 days).Isnt that very weird? Why you think he did that?

  5. Betterwithouthim says:

    Anusha: Who cares why he did not respond for 3 wks then starts hot and heavy w/texting. Did you read these 3 articles and any of the ones previous? All signs point to you going No Contact and exit this so called relationship. You deserve better, he’s an Assclown.

  6. Anusha says:

    Ok but what I cant understand is why when we were talking about sex he was fine emailing every 3 days and texting and when that subject is cut our contact just becomes much less often?

  7. Loving Annie says:

    So much for my big mouth a few hours ago. We just crashed and burned because I don’t like to talk about the bible, sigh…

    Loving Annie’s last blog post..Do you like political cartoons ?

  8. truthhurts says:

    Anusha, you need to get real with yourself. You know exactly what it means. He wants to text and email when it´s about sex and otherwise he is not that interested. Ergo: he wants sex!
    Not your mind, hart, intelligence or good conversation. Don´t kid yourself, he is using you to get what he wants, and that is limited to sex. And that is, I assume, not what you want. And thats where it ends, doesn´t it?

  9. Tenderfoot says:

    Right now im getting over a 5 year relationship – he disappeared 3 months ago – he had been ‘retreating’ for the last year – which included going out in the morning and never being able to say when he would be home – when he did come home, usually very late, he was always drunk. This would go on all week not just on the weekends.
    Eventually he retreated all night and came back the next day without explanation (we have lived with each other for 5 years) and I really felt that he had crossed the line. I’m not prepared to live with someone who would just stay out all night when he choose to without letting me know.
    So he ran with it. Because I refused to condone his behaviour he ‘punished’ me by leaving altogether. He left all his clothes, paperwork everything behind. It’s been three months and he hasn’t set foot in the place since.
    Initially I didn’t answer his calls and you know it felt great to feel that I didn’t ‘need’ to take his calls if I didn’t want to.
    Now im trying to move on. He has phoned me in this time but he never has time to meet. He doesn’t work and I know for a fact that he isn’t busy. He is still saying that his heart is there, that what is the point in saying sorry – sorry doesn’t mean anything. (one of his favourite phrases), he says he doesnt want to come and have to listen to my shit. I replied I dont want to take your shit so what’s next? No answer.
    I need a bit of help – for some reason all his stuff being here is making me panic – what am I supposed to do with it? He won’t come and collect it, it’s like he is enjoying the fact that it is still here. I dont want extra drama or a showdown of any kind.
    Also I am not in my home country – Im in his home town/country. Now that he has left I have to answer everyone I met who asks ‘Where is He?’ The relationship is over I know that but it seems like if I mention to anyone it will be all round the place. Everytime people ask ‘Where is he?’ it’s like a constant reminder. It feels quite vulnerable right now. There is something I have to take care of before I leave so I could be around here for another 6 months. Help.x

  10. Nikki says:

    Tendefoot, tell him quite clearly that if he does not come to get his stuff that you will leave it in boxes out on the stoop or front porch for charity to pick up. You’d be surprised how quickly he will come to get his stuff. He’s using this as a way to keep a foot hold in your life and keep you in limbo. I’d also advise you to change the locks soon too.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    All people have some flexibility in their personas and their personalities. It becomes a question of what is appropriate to the situation and the dynamics of the relationship.

    The unpredictability of the rubberband like behavior is what kept me hooked to the “unique and special” relationship dynamic I thought we had. Although I knew better, I got addicted. The intermittent reinforcement of wondering: when will he call?; he said he would be here by 5:15, and it is now 6:00; I’ve been sitting in the lobby waiting for him for over 15 minutes.

    It is shitty behavior, yet it keeps us hooked. It is an addiction that is harder than hell to break. Even when you find the strength to maintain NC, you still want that phone to ring,, because you don’t know (you were conditioned) when he might call. I have been able to kick every bad habit but the one for the EUM/AC.

    He read the book, and when he explained his “man cave” retreat crap – I bought it – it made sense. But, with the EUM/AC it is a pathology that they can’t help. Well, they can, if they want to change. What I should say is, he will only change when he wants to, not because you want him to.

    Even though I now understand my poor choices in men, and what brought those choices about, it has been very difficult to recondition myself out of what I was taught about men: Hope that better things will come; hope that love will prevail; hope that because I understand him and his needs, he will understand mine.

    Here is what I have learned: No, not really. Magical thinking only gets me stuck in unfulfilling relationships.

    And, you will never be able to change it. You can only control your actions and reactions to his inappropriate behavior.

  12. Tenderfoot says:

    Thank you :)

    @ Nikki – I never considered the lock situation – I’ll make a point of doing that. Sometimes he can be quite stubborn & hang the consequences – right now if I left his things in the open I’d probably be walking past them every morning for the next few months. :/

    @ Brad – I appreciate your advice on how to handle the awkward questioning – no fuss no lies just quiet brief truth. It shed a lot of light for me.

    The drinking has been a real issue for some time. It’s like ‘he’ isn’t there – just this alter ego -’the drinker’. It’s been so frustrating but from reading on this site I know it won’t help to dwell on it – won’t lift me out of the situation – I have to take responsibility for myself and my life.

    It’s been hard to break away from it for lots of reasons – I doubted my response to it for a long time because nearly everyone around him shrugs it off – ‘It’s just how he is’. He is popular and well liked. For a long time I felt like some uptight crazy because it bothered me so much. I also acted like an uptight crazy sometimes often saying too much and being too critical. He repiled by drinking more and accusing me of trying to change him.

    Now letting go, in the practical sense, feels like a long slow process – inch by inch moving away and on.

    I will read on the websites you suggested Brad – I’d like to find out how other people coped with a partner with drinking issues, I think it would help to read some personal accounts of how they dealt with it emotionally, mentally and practically.

    Many Thanks – I much appreciate the post and also your insights.

    T x

  13. Betterwithouthim says:

    Tenderfoot~My parents were alcoholics, and my sister is married to an alcoholic. All I can say is that nothing and I mean nothing is as important to an alcoholic as his next drink. The alcohol (of any type) is his best friend, his main concern, first on their mind.

    They make up stuff, cover up stuff and it’s just a continuous state of denial. You’ve suffered enough, but the next step is up to you. Can you leave him, his stuff, and the past experiences with him behind and start anew? You deserve to start anew and get on with your life and enjoy some happiness, and tranquility.

  14. Mike says:

    Tenderfoot

    Just a bit of advice. Before you start changing locks and boxing up his things, you might want to find out what the laws are in your area first. By doing things without first knowing the legalities involved, you could be opening yourself to even more trouble.

    It’s just a suggestion

    Best of luck

  15. annied says:

    NML, I totally get it. I’ve lived the rubber band relationship and I’m still trying to rid myself of it. AC broke up with me on the 20th, asked to be friends on the 22nd, had no contact with me for two days, asked me to have sex with him (w/o committment, of course) on the 27th, raged against me on the 28th, acted contrite on the 29th and is acting like the wounded victim today.

    Is your head spinning? Mine stopped a long time ago. Now all of the stress/tension lives in my chest and shoulders and neck. I got a massage today and the girl had to keep telling me to BREATHE. I havent been able to really breathe for a long time.

  16. aphrogirl says:

    I’m glad I never read the rubber band myth, that it did not color my thinking. I knew something was wrong from day one with the EUM I befriended, but never having met as AC before I was sort of intrigued, did not believe anybody could really be like that, thought his words a sarcastic joke etc etc

    Eventually, I realized i was not breathing …., more like holding my breath waiting…waiting for something good to come out of it all.

    For sure Annied, stretch, do massage, exercise and sleep well but heres another technique I have been using, ( I’ve written about it here before a few months back), learned it from Pema Chodron, a practice called Tonglen…here is the way i understand and use it

    When the most painful feelings come up, I face tehm without anger and breathe in all my painful feelings brought up by knowing the yoyo rubber bandy AC I was involved with. At the same time I breathe in, and feel my pain, I realize that there are others all over the world feeling this very same pain right now. I know this to be true as I have read some of the stories here, amazing is it not ?

    Sometimes, when I feel bad, I even take on the pain of the two women who actually married the AC I knew, and the pain of how he must have worked to break hearts, his own included and destroy the beauty of what the promise if marriage can bring. Then I breathe out and let it go and repeat, as needed. It sound so weird, and so awful, but it really heps me in a way nothing else does.

    I wanna share one more thing…In case you are having your own rubber bandy thoughts about returning/breaking NC. I read this in Halpern’s ” how to Break your Addcition to a Person”… a boy receives a big box of poop and goes digging through it , and when people ask him what he’s doing he says… ” but there must be a pony in there somewhere ! ” Ah, but as Hapern writes… sometimes there is NOT a pony in a pile of poop. Pretty funny, and sad. Sad that some of us have to learn this the ” heart” way.

    One thing rings true in all three of these posts. When he comes back..is it any different ? or is still just all poop and no pony ? Inside you know the answer. Despite all the damage done, your inner wisdom is intact, you just have to break some very bad habits.

    Good luck all, as always thanks NML – Blessed be your newest loved one.

  17. annied says:

    aphrogirl … wise words. the woman giving me the massage today pretty much told me the same thing. I was holding my breath. i always hold my breath. she told me to breathe in the pain and let it flow out. she told me my chest was very tight and that is where we hold emotion, near our heart. makes sense, doesnt it?

    Funny and sad, i just got an email from the AC – in his misery he says he never wants to speak to me again. I replied with “done”. while it hurts, it wont hurt forever. Today is my beginning. This is my life and I want to be happy. I want to have peace. :)

  18. astelle says:

    annied, are you talking about the same AC that you talked about a few months ago or is this AC a “new” one that you just met?

  19. Arlene says:

    That certainly sums it up. I agree with you about the rubber band theory – not need for extra exuses

    Arlene’s last blog post..A half-truth is a whole lie

  20. annied says:

    Astelle, It’s the same one.

    He’s the only one (AC) that I’ve ever dealt with and it’s just about killed me. I think this guy has a personality disorder. His actions are all over the place. Right now he is really really angry – at me!

    There is a lot of hidden anger in this man – he isn’t just a player, he’s broken. I cant keep trying to fix him either. I’ve tried so hard to help him, I’ve broken myself.

  21. elizabeth says:

    wow. i have been reading this site for months. “seeing” my male friend for about 10 months. it is extremely eerie how similar all our stories are. i really thought i was just dealing with a really depressed guy that needed my help. lost his job about a year ago. lost the “love of his life” – or so he says – his wife of multiple years because he was having an affair with a co-worker 16 years younger than him(i think this is why he subsequently lost his job). he blames everyone for this(wife, affair girl, etc) – none of it is his fault. now – i think he is moving across the country to live with another woman. he has known her for about 4 years – says he doesn’t love her – he loves me, but i am too dangerous. she doesn’t have any expectations & she can help him get back on his feet again. its funny, he claimed he was the best thing that ever happened to me i just ruined it. just the other night he left me at a restaurant in the middle of dinner(i didn’t know he was leaving – i went to the bathroom) – it was of course, my fault or that is what he would say – i think it was because i ordered the beef instead of the chicken. he hasn’t talked to me since but of course in my despair(& not thinking clearly) – kept texting & calling(i tried NC for 1 day – didn’t do very well). this am i get a text saying so nice to wake up to such nice words – all my best. the funny thing is – you question yourself. i have loving friends & family & am now going to therapy & EVERYONE says it is clearly not you. its weird – because i have said mean things but it is only after you have been pushed to the limit(or pushed out the door or dragged from the bedroom to the front door – serious rugburns) – because he wants you to leave. instead of acting like the intelligent, sweet girl you are, you do start acting crazy – literally. the things that have flown out of my mouth or why i just didn’t get out of his house or car when he asked i regret. i have become the queen of self help books(trying to quit reading them – the narcisstic info very interesting). he mirrors, projects & does the “gaslighting” thing. he forgot it was valentines day(but had texted me at 1130 pm, valentines eve, wishing me happy valentines day. um…ok. we will go out & have a great time one night then the next night he will be texting i miss you or i am lonely or…HE LIVES MINUTES FROM MY HOUSE. um again….ok – you are a grown man – invite me out. or if you would have called me 10 minutes earlier i would have invited you for breakfast. crazy stuff. gets extremely jealous over silly things. oh, my therapist liked this one – he will hold my hand for about 10 seconds then let it drop – over & over he does this. sleeps with his back towards me(because he has a herniated disc – he does – but…). hasn’t been in my house for months & wont even park in front of my house when he comes to get me – either way in front or behind. there is so much more. just typing this makes me wonder WHAT IN THE HECK AM I DOING. i just begged to see him today(again) because i think(?) he is moving next week to live with this person he is not attracted to or loves(so he says – i don’t think he does – will just use her too). i asked him again the other night – if you love her – i get it – as painful as it is – i get it. no, he says, i just know i can’t be with you. but, when we are together – we have a great time – you would think we are this terrific couple. another weird thing – he has told me so many of his “extracurricular” activities(inappropriate, i know) – before he met me. but, when he is with me – most of the time he doesn’t even open his eyes & look at me – i feel like he is a million miles away. i have been dating for years & have dated cheated, liars & people that just fall out of love with you, but this twisted thing is the wildest thing i have ever seen. when i found this site & started reading these stories i almost felt a sense of relief because i was not alone in such an experience. it still baffles me this is almost textbook – it also disappoints me that i am textbook in my reaction – all the info says get the heck out. i don’t know why it is so hard(ive read the info why but i really thought i was smarter than that & had much more self confidence). he says he would never lie to me & he has removed himself form his friends that are liars or “not real” but, seems to me – he is a liar. i think that is the worst part because you want to believe in someone you care about & not that they would be capable of such cruelty. its sad to me. anyway…thanks for the site. its been quite an eye opener. cant wait to get out of this fog – this is very unlike me & i am sure very unlike many of you on this site. my own mother & 2 best friends – you are not even you anymore, you are no fun. i use to be so vibrant & fun loving. i read somewhere this is like a prison cell – but you are not locked in you can walk out at anytime. heres to all of us getting out of that cell & running away from it as fast as you can & NEVER looking back.

  22. nevergoingackthereagain says:

    Annied – I was with an eum who also displayed personality disorders -narcissisist/angry/issues with alcohol – i was with him for 2 1/2 years and it destroyed me, it has taken me a further 8 months after I moved out of our house to fully break away from him and our dysfunctional situation – you have to accept that you cant fix them & nothing you do will make the situation any better, the only thing you can fix is yourself!! the only thing that has finally changed for me – is me!! I finally got a little bit stronger, wised up to the situation and got with reality, im still not fully over it & literally dread any contact from him (mines also sways between angry blaming, projecting, insulting me & putting me down to then wanting to committ to me & trying to win me back to going round full circle again to saying he cant be with me) – its been a rollercoaster – we just have to accept defeat and know when to get off!!

  23. nevergoingackthereagain says:

    Elizabeth – get as far away from this man as possible!! or be grateful he is leaving you to be with some other poor women he claims to not even ‘love’!! your right, these men are text book cases and often our stories are very similar – I could write a book on mine and all the crazy making he did in our so call realtionship, in the end though its a bitter pill to swallow when you finally wake up and realise ‘ I am doing this to myself, I am participating in the madness & I am allowing this man to treat me like this, only I can stop it’ I know you think you love him, but like me, you probably love the fake him who originally swept you off your feet and was on charm offensive at the beginning! I also fully saw all the red flags right at the beginning – but thought I could fix him, makes me very sad now that I have literally wasted nearly 3 years of my life on someone that brought me down to such a level my friends & family didnt recognise me, I too had therapy and used to think I was going mad, but things get very clear when you are away from these people and you start putting the focus back on yourself. Please please please keep reading this site, all your books & start putting yourself first – I honestly thought I would never get over mine, but I did and you will too and you will look back and be glad he moved on to another victem!

  24. lisa says:

    Elizabeth,

    “Nevergoingbackthereagain” is totally right.

    Just so you know, if a guy is always saying “it’s your fault” he’s never going to change. You can try everything in the world to “prove” to him that you’re a great person, and he won’t care.

    There is no light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been there to the point where I started questioning “Am I really this mean person that he says I am?” Then I’d just be even nicer than I already am, and he’d find something else to find fault with.

    Like she said, if you remove yourself from the situation, you will again remember the nice, loving person that you naturally are! You might have issues (who doesn’t), but you can work on you and get back the nice you that he took from you! (or as I’ve learned from this site, we let them take from us)

    All the best.

  25. finallyseenthelight says:

    It took me a long, long time to realize what a narcissist my ex EUM is. I honestly was blinded for a long time and the blinders came off little by little. The games these ACs play – pushey/pulley, etc…kept me in it…always wishing and hoping for the man I thought he was…thought if he would just commit…I was mistaken…I was in love with an illusion, not a real man…this man is a poor example of a man…his character stinks…lying, cheating, omitting things…and preying on the emotions of sweet women who want to be loved…knowing fully well what he’s doing…another flag is that many of these ACs have been at this game a long time…mine was divorced over 12 years…and had a lot of practice…they just want us for an ego stroke and most of them have a harem of internet babes. Well, it’s a freeing feeling to know that he’s a bag of air and there is no substance, nothing to WANT anymore…I’m FREE!!! My mind is not obsessed with thoughts of him anymore because I realize what an AC he is…NC or no NC…he’s a narcissist jerk that can’t love anyone but himself.

  26. aphrogirl says:

    Elizabeth, I think we have been here together since the new year, I finally decided to confront the confused eum I was close friends with, who was having trouble even being a decent friend, about mystery emails I suspected he was sending, that were troubling me. He blew up and raged at me in a way I’d never seen. That was my boundary that he finally crossed that made me know I had to do NC.

    This led me to a lot of thinking, and I ended up writing a very long letter explaining why I was going to stop contact and why he was not welcome at my workplace. I did leave it open that if he was came to see the value in working hard to develop a solid relationship, that I would only be willing to talk to him in the presence of a third party. And I would honor that anytime in the future that I could.

    As with any other time there has been trouble between us, he goes under for awhile and then resurfaces like nothing happened and can not talk about it. After establishing NC I did not expect to hear back from him, and I have not, it’s been six weeks.

    So…is NC hard ? hell yeah !
    Does NC hurt ? hell yeah !
    Is NC good ? hell yeah,
    in fact it is better than good. It is sanity and hope and recovery all in one. It is not a quick fix, but it is so much better to be alone with my own thoughts than being tossed about in the waves of the storm that the rubber bandy man creates. Six weeks in and it is starting to seem normal to not have his storm in my life. We were in contact almost daily.

    Lastly, do I hope to hear from him ? Yes, but only if he calls to say that he is willing to meet me at somebody’s office. That wanting grows lesser every day, that is the clue that my dysfunctional addictive habits with him are being broken.

    From the latest you wrote, I am urging you to think very hard about establishing NC. With this person I think your boundaries need to be strictly defined first in your own mind; you must know what your absolute boundaries are, you must make them clear to him and you must stick to them totally.

    In my case, I had to consider whether I really was willing to enter into therapy with an emotionally troubled person who I really cared for. This would be a long term investment with no guarantee of success. Because ours is an odd relationship, and did not include sex, so I was comfortable with offering this option. But I will do nothing less than this with him ever.

    In your case, I think this guy is more than a little troubling. I cannot imagine someone leaving me in the middle of dinner without telling me, for any reason. That is a boundary that I would find unacceptable, if not right away, then certainly after some reflection.

    Sometimes we do not know a boundary is crossed, we are just so stunned. It toook me about three weeks of thinking and driving 1500 miles alone to realize that that my EUM had crossed a boundary. Then I sent my letter and began my NC.

    We are all here supporting you, NML’s posts and book give you all you need to know to make the right decisions for yourself. I know your head is there, I supsect your habits are so ingrained. trust me, I had them too.

    But, if you want to be out of his storms, you have to get out. You may have many weeks or months of recovery ahead, but the only way to begin to feel better is to get away. Don’t be afraid of this change, even when it is hard, it still feels better than the roller coaster.

    I think you are so close to being ready for a change. You do have an inner wisdom inside if you. It is being messed with by someone who is totally unworthy at present, maybe forever. But you are the only one who can control who is messing with you.

    I really wish for you to get back to seeing the beauty and joy in life. This guy is pretty much showing you the dark side, and maybe, like me you had never really seen it. A bit fascinating in its awfullness. But you have seen it, you may be getting ready to decide it’s not for you to live it anymore.

    I really wish for you to know the strength that is inside of you.

  27. Angelina says:

    I, too, have become a self-help book junkie. I replaced the obsession with the EUM/AC with an obsession about reading about the EUM/AC and the issues that I have with addiction to the EUM/AC. I have spent hundreds of dollars on these types of books, but it has helped me immensely. In the beginning, right after the break-up with the EUM/AC, the reading kept me focused on something other than wanting him. It also made me realize that unless he wanted to change, there was nothing that I could do to bring him closer to me or to bring him closer to actually committing to me.

    Furthermore, even if he wanted to change, it was most likely not to happen as it is hard, hard work to change. It can be done; there are men who have conquered it, but my EUM/AC didn’t have it in him. I should have been able to see the lack of conviction and carry-through in other areas of his life. It was there, I just didn’t see it.

    I didn’t want to become a statistic, and it now appears that I belong to one of the largest demographics out there: That of a woman who loves deep and seems to feel/think that with enough time and patience, the EUM will come around.

    When a woman gets involved with an EUM commitmentphobe/AC, particularly in an extended and protracted relationship, and then loses him, it is traumatic. I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. The pain didn’t kill me, but I realized that if I didn’t get over my addiction to him, that my addiction might actually kill me.

    The ups and downs and the push pull dynamics keep our bodies’ adrenaline on alert all of the time. So, literally, in time, this will take a toll on us. I know that it did me. It has been almost a year since I broke it off, but I am not 100% back to a healthy me. I have progressed, can go to work, etc., but I am no more ready for a relationship with another person than I am for a trip to the moon. There are still many lessons for me to learn and many more patterns of behavior for me to consistently apply before I move into another relationship.

    I am fortunate that I have a job to go to, reliable transportation, etc. The illusion of normalcy really got me through some of the worst days. I am so thankful for this site, as I am too embarrassed and ashamed to share my story with people who know me.

    That’s the other problem with getting involved with these types of men. It is them who should be ashamed, not us. Alas.

  28. aphrogirl says:

    Elizabeth, I just though of one more thing since you have mentioned depression. One time I was talking to my MD, who is an awesome alternative healer who knew how the eum was negatively affecting my health. I told my doc the man was depressed. My doctor looked at me and, matter of factly said ” well, depressed people are …depressing”.

    He was right, my experience became depressing, I felt that the eum sort of took me down with him. Well, and I chose to go too, but fighting all the way. And sometimes I fought to pull us both up, but I have come to believe he is often comfy down there. Then there are times he is not and he looked to me for help in getting better.

    I became exhausted. this is another example of rubber band behavior, maybe a more dysfunctional version. The effects are just as devastating. I got worn out, tired and sad, ….just like him. I knew I had to get out and I am grateful for all the help I got here that got me there.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    This is a different Elizabeth, but I so completely get the post about depressing people . . .

    Yes, the EUM and the EUM boss I had both took their toll on me. My job – for my own mental and physical health – was to find out why I was attracted to this very dysfunctional dynamic.

    I was at the theatre with my former EUM boss and his friend. I happened to be sitting next to boss, and it occured to me that the energy that he emitted was not there. And I realized that I was absorbing that energy. In a way, that was an epiphany for me. I kept wondering why I was in jobs that didn’t suit me, and in relationships in which I was unfulfilled. And that night, in the theatre, when I wasn’t enjoying one of my favorite plays – - it hit. I absorb the energy of those around me.

    Shortly after, I found this website, and the pieces began to fall in place. I was putting myself in the same situations over and over and over. In jobs, in friendships, in love relationships.

    I was clininging to hope and magical thinking. If I just worked harder, talked more clearly and succinctly, loved deeper and broader . . .
    then all would be well. They would see – my EUM relationship man, my EUM boss, and my EUM girlfriends. I was attracted to those who were not connected, in a healthy way, to their environments.

    Now, it has been a lot of hard work for me to get to this point. I have this tendency to think that if I try harder, make the work product look better, make the house cleaner, the hair-do prettier, etc., that someone might notice.

    But, I have finally come to the conclusion that those who don’t give me the time of day with what I have to offer are not worth my time. I can say that it is empowering, but right now, it is so new, that I am no less lonely.

    I don’t know if that makes sense, but I am at a place where my feeling good about me matters more than the acceptance of others.

    Here was the other epiphany: The EUM boss and the EUM man – at the end of the day – disconnected. The EUM boss: it was never his fault that X went wrong at the work site. He ran the perfect meeting (or so he thought), he had a handle on things the way no one else did, etc. But guess what: he got fired – twice – within two years – for the same thing. To this day, he will not acknowledge that he had some hand in his fate.

    EUM man. Same sort of story. It was never his fault as to why he couldn’t do X, Y, or Z. His daughter needed him – that was why he couldn’t stay for more than an hour or two; he was late because so and so called and they needed help with their computer. He just could never own up to his end of the bargain.

    The ex EUM man. Involved with someone else now. But, I don’t pity her. This one deserves him. I did not.

  30. Astelle says:

    aphrogirl, were you in a relationship with him or was this just a friendship?

  31. aphrogirl says:

    Astelle

    You know that can;t be a short answer, not sure I draw a distinction, meaning I am in relationship with any close friend. He was definitely one of my closest friends ever, someone I felt very mentally matched with. That mental match is important to me and something hard for me to find in a friend or a lover. If we had been better emotionally matched I believe I would have entered into a very deep and significant romantic relationship with him.

    But here is what happened…. we have known each other many years and at one point a few years ago our friendship crossed the line, and I said OK, we would explore the option of romance. But this one encounter freaked him out like nothing I have ever seen and he emotionally ran away, and ran hard, and kind of turned on me and never quite came back, But also never quite went away. Enter rubber bandy man.

    Over the next two years I tried to get him to relax and talk it out but he has major intimacy issues and could never talk about it. The rubber bandy man had appeared, he would get a bit closer, then back off and disappear.

    Because of the way we were mentally matched we remained friends, in close email contact, always his preferred method, he is very much a loner, uncomfortable with people, seems to have no friends, called me his best friend, and I knew and accepted all that about him. I saw him every few weeks, and that was okay for awhile.

    I guess I am a bit odd in that looking for a lover is not my top priority, so I was willing to go on with him as a friend. But then something about the unresolved romantic angle started to bother me.
    And I would occasionally bring up the subject and he would make the smallest of comments, in this tiny voice, about how he wanted to try, but realize, this was not an emotionally mature or confident man…. he could barely talk about his emotions ever.

    Winter is long and this one was the worst I have seen him, he pulled away hard, and I gave him a lot of space. Then I started getting strange mystery emails I think were from him and I confronted him about them. I got the sense he was angry at me for staying away, and at the same time he was very busy pushing me away harder than ever.

    Course when I confronted him it all blew up and he lied, blamed me for all the trouble between us, said he never cared about me, said plenty of other cruel things. I was stunned and a bit concerned. Then he showed up at the store I worked at a few weeks later like nothing had ever happened and unwilling to talk about his raging on me. This proved to be too much for me and motivated me to do NC.

    So, was I in a relationship? certainly nothing conventional, but we enjoyed each a lot, and I do like many parts of his head a lot. But his stunted communicative abilities, his yoyo behavior, and his unwillingness to work on our problems made it impossible for me to continue.

    And that broke my heart because I believe we could have learned a great deal from each other and been closer to each other than anyone we had ever known. Had he been willing to work on building a stable foundation I believe we could have had a very mature and loving relationship.

    I guess I was gulity of the typical wishful thinking that he would somehow turn from the AC he was with me into the emotionally brilliant man that I still believe might be in there somewhere. And he also kind of led me to believe that he wanted to, albeit very occasionally.

    I find this ending hard and sad, I have had to ask someone I considered one of my closest friends ever to leave me alone, and that is heartbreak for me as bad as any I have ever known. At this point though, the only way I will deal with him is if a brilliant guy steps forward. I hold no expectations, and am working to let go of desires for any particular outcome.

  32. Astelle says:

    aphrogirl, yes, this can be a short answer. I have male friends and we do NOT have a relationship, we have a friendship – there is a big difference. I don’t understand what you mean you were “mentally matched”? What does that mean?

  33. sadthing says:

    It’s those tiny little glimpses into their inner world that keep you hooked on the idea that one day they might wake up ‘normal’, it’s so hard to let go of hope.

    I too have had to walk away from someone I’ve known for 6 years, and I miss the fun times, but I now realise that I was like a satellite, circling around him, giving him space when he was stretching away, there for him when he was in the mood for play.

    I could never have been what he wants in a woman, a housekeeper with sex thrown in. For years he’s been telling me that he wants someone to clean his house and cook for him, for years he’s been telling me that he wants to get some new bedroom furniture. Now his OW is giving up her life to move here and live with him, and he’s told his friends that she’s going to buy that furniture.

    They really don’t have the capacity to think of anything other than themselves and their needs. We could spend the rest of our lives trying to understand why they’re like this, but what for? They aren’t going to change. This is the hard part to accept, that we tried and failed, and that we got sucked in in the first place.

  34. aphrogirl says:

    Astelle

    Mentally matched to me means a meeting of the minds. I am odd, don’t watch TV, have a lot of freinds as you describe them, but cant get anywhere deep with many of them, whether they have no interest or ability or are uncomfortable I do not know. I don’t care a lot about popular culture, material stuff, or many ” things”, I am an artist, thinker and explorer, and much prefer intellectual conversation or working on developing things, ideas or understanding with others.

    I never have felt to be better understood by anyone, than this friend, who turned out to be a man with some very big problems with women. I did not really see this problem till our relationship crossed the line into romance and then it took me two years to fully grasp the magnitude of his inability ir unwillingness to transcend those issues. In those two years the back and forth, rubber band behavior took its toll on me as I tried to understand what was going on.

    And, like sadthing I found I had to walk away, the lack of willingness to work on this problem made a mockery of all the good we had shared. I respect his choice to not work, though it makes me angry and sad. So be it..

  35. lisa says:

    Dear sadthing, You wrote: “They really don’t have the capacity to think of anything other than themselves and their needs. We could spend the rest of our lives trying to understand why they’re like this, but what for? They aren’t going to change. This is the hard part to accept, that we tried and failed, and that we got sucked in in the first place”

    Well, Amen to that. That says it all, lady!

  36. ph2072 says:

    Decided to answer after reading the whole series.

    I bought Mars/Venus a long time ago while with my last (now ex-) boyfriend. I know NOW that he was just waxing hot and cold (and we were both young), and I always knew that he was very passive-aggressive, but back then I bought the book because I was trying to figure him out and make things more comfortable for him. :-| I tried everything in that book.

    Needless to say, that book didn’t help. It probably made things worse and put all of the power in his hands. He wasn’t really trying to understand me and was just with me because I (stupidly) made the first move by telling him that I liked him. (I’ve done that twice in my life, which is VERY unlike me, and it’s always bitten me in the ass. I’ll NEVER do it again. Let them chase ME.)

    I still have that book somewhere on my bookshelf, but I haven’t read it in years and I ought to throw it away.

    Thanks for this series. It’s a refresher course for me. :-)

    P.S. Here’s to hoping that you and the new baby are doing well. :-)

  37. De says:

    Hmm could be a great premise for a movie… girl reads ‘Men are from Mars’… trying to be the perfect partner for her (so called) partner..starts out just dandy, he gives all the right moves, talks the talk, charms the charm. It begins…Chapter one!! through till the end then the next book changes.. …christian carter..blah blah etc etc (we’ve all been there) till finally! her character arc takes her to Baggage reclaim!! hahaha love it!!. ..It’s a modern fairytale where the princess escapes to become the wise role model!!

    any writers out there??

    peace and happiness

    Deb

  38. Claire says:

    I believe i have been seeing one of these men. He flattered me with lovely comments and gifts – told me by email/text how he missed me everyday, was falling for me. Told me all the things he wanted to do to me. All my colleague thought he was wonderful. Then when it came to seeing me in person he seemed distant and cold. He never actually took me out anywhere either! I was bessoted by his musical talent – if i went to watch him i might as well not have been there. He then told me He didn’t know what he wants, thinks we should split now before it hurts more down the line? His heart had froze? He actually said he thinks he’s broken, emotionally unstable and has locked himself away from the world? I noticed on the internet he’s been flirting with other girls (seem to be from other countries). I hadn’t heard from him for a whole week (unusual for him) Then got a email to say he’s not ignoring me just not been well? sure his fingers worked still. To which i stupidly replied Hope your ok? whats wrong? Remember i care…haven’t heard nothing since – What do you guys make of this?

  39. lisa says:

    Claire,

    He told you”He doesn’t know what he wants and he thinks you should split up” That seems pretty clear. He doesn’t take you out, and when you go to his gigs, he doesn’t act all happy to see you. And he’s been flirting with other women.

    No one can tell you what to do, but if you step back and look at how he is and how he is treating you, do you really think that is a relationship worthy of investing your time? Is it really even a “relationship?” I wouldn’t want to be treated that way!

    My whole family are musicians. The guy I was married to was a muscian, the married AC I thought I was in love with (well after I was over my marriage) was a musician, and both of my sons are working musicians. So, I’ve been around enough musicians to know that, if they are in a relationship with you, you will know it. They will introduce you to their friends and they’ll come over and give you a hug and sit with you between sets, they’ll be proud to sit with you, you know? My oldest son always aknowledges his girlfriend at his concerts, and will often dedicate a song to her…. that’s the way we all want to be loved, isn’t it?

    I hope this isn’t too harsh. I don’t mean it that way. But, you have the opportunity to get out now and make yourself more available to someone who isn’t going to rubberband you around.

    Good luck.

  40. finallyseenthelight says:

    My ex EUM is a perpetual dater and he’s damn good at it…but bad at being a boyfriend. I thought I could ignore the NC rule – it doesn’t work with these predators…I’ve been obsessing since the last time he emailed me…I have to go NC again…when will I learn…there’s no being friends or keeping contact with these ACs…I’m not even sure they are human. HUGS everyone!

  41. Kissie says:

    Claire,

    The man you describe is a typical EUM/AC. If you are new to the site check out NML’s How to Spot an Emotionally Unavailable Man (EUM). He was all over you in the beginning and then began to cool his pursuit of you, typical EUM behavior. He actually told you that he was emotionally unstable. Believe it. It’s true, he is… and you don’t need him or the inevitable drama he will bring in your life. Him actually telling you that he’s emotionally unstable is a blessing. Take it for what it is, see him for what he really is and run…fast. He WILL NOT change. DO not pursue him. DO NOT think that being nice and lowering your standards (or having no standards or boundries), bending over backwards for him and making excuses for his crappy behavior will make him like you and be with you. It WON’T!!! You deserve more, much more than he is capable or willing to give. Take it from someone whose has had quite a few EUMs in her time and is just now, at 35, learning to love myself enough to not put up with these men and their non-sense. Love yourself enough, Claire, love yourself deeply enough so that you don’t go through the pain, hurt and disappointment that is surley to come if you pursue and stay with this man. Good luck to you.

  42. thecat says:

    Hello All
    Well I am here again after a drama fueled weekend with my Ex EUM. Friday afternoon came after not hearing from him for 2 days.
    The usual withheld number at 6.30pm whilst I was in the shower. I went out on that evening and the third pub I was in had a strange funny feeling that the ‘other woman’ was in the same pub. Isn’t it weird how you sort of get a gut instinct? So anyway I aksed a friend who was in the pub if a woman called ………. was in there and sure enough it was her.
    I then went to another pub for my ex to walk in and I just launched at him which I am sure he loved the attention of. I feel ashamed and embarrased for giving him that much attention. He then SPAT in my face and I was totally gob smacked. I spat back but the humiliation had already been done. This other woman was in the same pub talking to another man!!!
    Anyway went to the next pub and again he was in there. So a guy I know from school started talking to me. My ex sent me a text saying ha ha whilst I was talking to this guy!! Then another one saying ha ha you can’t make me jelous.I mean what the hell would you send that for if you weren’t jelous. I wasn’t talking to the guy to even make him jelous!
    I spoke to my ex EUM outside of the pub and told him I knew who the other woman was who he was seeing and that she wasn’t a patch on me and to be fair she isn’t she is a short, dumpy blonde and above all else OLDER than me!!! I am 28 my ex is 40 so she older than him but more his age.
    He still lied saying he didn’t know who she was and that nothing has ever happened. Anyway I decided to ask her once and for all and she confirmed she has been seeing him for four months while he has been on/ off with me!! I change my mobile number and NC for weeks and then see him again and it starts again. She said she has splet with him which felt like someone punching me in the stomach. Guess where she slept with him??? At his mothers house!!!!!!! That is where he lives. The thought of his mother hearing him have sex oh my god.
    Anyway that was that so yesterday I decided I wanted to have something to eat and was driving down a road and went into a fish and chip shop. Low and behold the WOMAN WAS WORKING IN THERE. I was shocked to say the least and thought she will think I am stalking her which I have to say I was not I did not know she worked there it was by pure chance.
    I said to her I am not stalking you and sorry for coming up to you the other night and talking about that prick. She told me he was out last night texting her to take her home! I could tell by the look on her face she had that and I did not have my usual withheld calls on the evening or the morning. I told her that one night when he was trying to get back with me I saw her name rining his phone and he was putting it down!!! She said oh was that Valentines night when he was suppose to me me??? It wasn’t but it sounds like he playing the same trick with her as he was with me arranging to meet up and then being uncontacable. Wonder who he was with that night as it certainly wasn’t me.
    After me and my friend left the shop my friend said she is still seeing him you can tell by the way she was going on. I just laughed because I thought she will be in this cycle with him for as long as it takes her to realise he is not relationship material. I mean what woman goes back to a house where the mans mother lives????? I have my own house I am glad to say.
    I sent him texts saying I had spoken to her and that I know she went back the night before. All this after she knew he was seeing me whilst he was seeing her. More fool her I say she welcome to him.
    I now need to go not contact. I have had a withheld call at 10:30pm last night I ask though why is he withheld calling he is not texting now at all or calling from him mobile number but why keep withheld calling is it part of his game. Anyway thats enough brain time spent thinkning about that!!
    Any thoughts other than I am stupid and need to break out of this drama!!!

  43. De says:

    Wow, you sure have earned your name thecat! All I can say is good for you for sticking up for yourself! Please now leave it alone, it will just make you bitter and angry and believe me I can see him salivating at all the attention, what a jerk. But more so, all this adrenaline you are creating in your body is negative energy. You have to change this in yourself otherwise you will go drama seeking forever, it’s not a good look and it will wear you down. Stop it and get some positive adrenaline going, go to the gym, listen to music, get your head in the right space and place. and oh my god stay out of pubs, I know this is a tough one but alcohol is fuel for the fire, take your mates out and do something different, go to a movie or go to dinner or a show or ten pin bowling or skating or anything other than siting around with a drink and gossip, it’s the worst thing you can do. I wish you so much happiness. hope this has helped a bit.

    De

  44. Delicia1973 says:

    I am dating a guy who is still telling another woman he misses her online and trying to see her by telling her he will be in the vicinity of her residence. She doesn’t respond affirmatively but he still tries. I have decided to unload him. I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal cause he told me that but it is to me so I guess I must be crazy and insecure cause I looked at his email and found all these emails to her. I suppose I would be upset too if I was hiding something. I don’t have any emails like that? Hmmmm.

  45. thecat says:

    Oh my god he has sent me a text saying ‘ You stop saying stuff about me you are only jelous bitch’. The other woman has obviously told him what I said!!! This woman must be still with him what an absolute crazy person! She must like the drama of the ‘so called relationship’. I text him saying why would I be jelous I am seeing someone else. He said thank god I have got you off my case. Note to myself change number and go no contact for my own sanity!!!!

  46. truthhurts says:

    Delicia, hahaha, are you dating my ex? Cause I was getting a lot of “i miss you” and “I am in the neighbourhood” emails.
    Good you are unloading him, you don´t need someone who turns you into a crazy and insecure person.

  47. lisa says:

    Thecat, Do you really want to be in any kind of contact with a guy who uses the words “Jealous Bitch” to describe you? That is so disprespectful, and if I were you, I’d run far the other direction and never look his way again. No Contact works. It is hard when you first start, but it works. You get your sanity and dignity back, and they eventually go away and leave you alone when they realize that you are not playing “their game” anymore. The adrenaline yo-yoing that it takes to keep up that kind of relationship drama is not worth it. Stay away from “pubs” and other places where you know he will be until you have totally gotten that AC out of your system.

  48. Jer says:

    First of all, I feel as if this is important… I’m a guy. I happened upon this article as I searched for answers as to why my girlfriend keeps pulling away from me during certain times in our relationship. Our relationship is rather weird, as our roles are somewhat reversed (I’m very sensitive, loving, touchy-feeling, and she’s very distant, unresponsive, etc.).

    The issue is this: Her and I moved in rather quickly… about 3 months in. We’ve been together close to a year. It was great for awhile, but eventually the struggles of trying to relate to the other person while moving that quickly took it’s toll I suppose. We were fighting every other day or so. We thought it was normal for awhile, but then she started breaking up with me… seemingly to get a reaction out of me. She told me it was the only thing that would “make me see her point of view”. It went on for months until she finally left and packed her things when I was at work. The next day she told me that she wanted to be with me, and that she left because she needed to work on herself before she could come back and live with me. She named her anger as a primary influence. She wanted to see a therapist to deal with it. Another issue we touched upon was her unavailability emotionally. We’re in our very low 20s, and I always want to make love to her. I’m an emotional person and I always want to be passionate. Over the last few months she really hasn’t wanted to as much as I’d say is normal… but it doesn’t stop with sex. I find myself touching her and caressing her all the time I’m around her, but she kind of just sits there and doesn’t really do much… I feel as if it’s really one-sided. I’m hurt when she doesn’t return the intimacy. She said it needs to be worked on on her side of the fence. Apparently, she believes she has problems with it.

    I’ve been having a difficult time with all of it, especially giving her space. I try and hang out with her pretty much everyday and every hour that we’re not working… maybe a few hours a day? Today, we got into another fight, and her anger came out of nowhere and never let up. She said some pretty hurtful things to me… questioning why she even moved out if we were just going to fight all the time anyways… like it’s the same now as it was then. The entire time I was just trying to calm her down and talk to her about it, but she just kinda did exactly what she was doing before all of this. She told me there was nothing to talk about and to leave. I stayed and calmed her down somehow, but had to go before we talked it through. Before I left, she told me that I’m too sensitive, and that I can’t be over there everyday and that she’s repeatedly told me that she needs space to deal with her problems.

    With everything that I’ve read, I can’t help but see some similarities… between this archetype in the article and her behavior. Is it wrong for me to be chasing her around like this? Does she really need time to work on herself? Or does she need time away from me? Is it healthy that she feels as if she needs to be away from me to do this? How should I be interpreting all of this?

  49. truthhurts says:

    Hi Jer, I think it is always wrong to chase someone around like that. For the other person as well as for yourself. In a healthy, committed relationship no one should have to chase. You obviously put more commitment in then she does, stop asking yourself what she needs but ask yourself why you do it. Are you getting enough in return? And does it make you happy? Are you hoping she might change?

    It might give you more insight to you read some of the other articles here as well.

  50. Jer says:

    Well, she tells me that she needs to do this for us. I feel as if her doing this, however hard it may be, (and believe me, I know she misses me… she cries and tells me she does) is her way of trying to help. Whereas I have this completely different way of dealing with my problems… I turn inward and fix myself if I need to. She told me today that not everyone can do that, and that she can’t and she needs this to be able to change. Am I right in believing that even though she’s pulling away… she’s doing it for the right reasons, and I should support her if I really love her?

  51. sadthing says:

    Hi Jer, I’m sorry you are going through this, I’d guess that a lot of us reading this understand how you feel, we’ve all been in these imbalanced relationships, that’s why we are here!

    The thing that stands out to me, is that your need for her, is much greater than her need for you, and believe me I’ve been in the same position as you for the last 6 years. I’ve spent that time analysing my X to pieces, it’s got me nowhere. He is what he is for whatever reason, and more importantly I’ve been chasing him despite the warning signs that things were not working.

    My advice to you? Step back, try to focus on yourself and consider your need for validation from someone who is giving out such mixed signals. It’s not an easy thing to do, I needed professional help to tackle it, but until you can clearly see what the dynamics of this relationship are really about, it’s going to be difficult to move forward.

    sadthing’s last blog post..Waiting To Exhale

  52. Jer says:

    Well, we had a talk yesterday… Sometimes I’m quite foolish when it comes to her. I know her better than to think she’d try and pull away from me, and once we talked I came to the realization that she’s really doing this for us. I also came to the realization that I am, indeed, smothering her and making her responsible for my happiness. That’s a lot to put on someone’s shoulders, and it’s not a burden I should be making her carry.

    She knows how much pain I’m in, and it hurts her everyday to put me through it, but she has complete belief that this will help our relationship and that everything will be so much better once we move back in. She tells me that she’s not pulling away, and she’s noticeably hurt when I say it seems like she is… because she knows it’s taking a negative toll on us putting distance between us like this. She’s having a hard time keeping faith in her decision, but she’s always been headstrong and that’s what I love about her. I know she loves me, and now I know she’s doing this for the right reasons. It’s just going to be hard until we’re both ready a month or two down the road.

    And yet another thing that I realized is that I can’t keep asking other people how to solve my relationship problems… I know her and our relationship better than the people I ask for advice, and I should be the one making the decisions for myself. Thanks for all of the help. I really think things will be okay now.

  53. Girl,

    I’m like loving this post. As soon as I saw rubber band effect and then the name John Gray I was hooked!

    I’m a big fan of his and loved his book Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus.

    Not only does it give great insight into Men but also into ourselves. Why we act the way we do and why we have the tendency to feel insecure.

    I loved many of the points you made especially about the pulling and pushing affect. I think it made me realise that this is something I do a lot with my men, the reason being that I’m just not that into them.

    However, it could be something much deeper!

    Thanks so much for the insightful post! Your blog is looking might grand!

    Hot Alpha Female
    The Only Woman You Should Take Dating Advice From

    Hot Alpha Female’s last blog post..I Really Like Him – Now What?!

  54. amanda says:

    Hey guys I would really appreciate if you guys can give me since advice on this guy i’ve been with on and off for 2 years and a half. We are great when we at doing good but when things go sour things become bad. Anywho this guy broke off our relationship for the second time. I must admit the first time we broke up I did the while pleading and begging thing but then I realize that was the worst thing I could have done. I went no contact and we were able to put our issues to the side and reconciled. My question is he always comes back when I leave him alone and when we do meet its to catch up. I really want him to stop the bs and tell me something meaningful how can I get that?

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!