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In part one of this three part post, I explained how believing that all men are like rubber bands (as described in Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray) with an intimacy cycle that causes them to retreat and return, can end up being a licence for women to over-invest in relationships where in actual fact, he is retreating so far out of the relationship, he’s not in it and on another planet.

This isn’t about people having a healthy level of space in a healthy relationship (because that’s normal and needed); this is about how a wide sweeping statement that all men are like rubber bands that go through an intimacy cycle can send the wrong message where women don’t decipher between someone being independent and autonomous in a positive way, and someone who is using this so called ‘intimacy cycle’ to manage down their partners expectations, keep themselves emotionally distant, and effectively stalling the progress of a relationship.

What becomes apparent is that we are not able to recognise what retreating is…

Everybody has different ideas of what ‘intimacy’ means to their relationship but trust me, if you are someone, or involved with someone who is emotionally disconnected, it is very difficult, if nigh on impossible to forge real intimacy.

It is not retreating from the relationship when your man wants to chill out on his own with the guys in the pub. It is retreating from the relationship if he wants to chill out on his own with the guys all the time in the pub and your relationship suffers as a result.

It’s not retreating from the relationship when your man has a hobby and it’s something that he does on his own or with other people. He may be retreating from the relationship if he generally doesn’t involve you in various aspects of his life. He may also be retreating if for instance, buried himself in playing Xbox morning, noon, and night.

It’s not retreating from the relationship when your man doesn’t feel the need to spend every single second of his life with you. It is retreating from the relationship when the amount of time he spends on the relationship dissipates over time rather than grows.

It’s not retreating from the relationship if he doesn’t think, feel, and act in exactly the same way that you think, feel, and act because this is too high an expectation to place on anybody.

It’s not retreating from the relationship if you can’t cope with the idea of him being away from you and literally any absence makes you feel insecure, question whether he still loves you, or has you wondering what you’ve done wrong.

Having a healthy level of independence and autonomy in the relationship is not retreating – it’s called being in a healthy relationship – it’s called living and co-existing and being real.

Relationships are not about living out of each other’s pockets. Relationships require two people who each have both of their feet in the relationship. Each person needs to contribute positively to the relationship and it’s impossible to build a relationship where one person tries to do the loving, feeling, and trying for the both of them. You’ll also find that your relationship will be fraught if it’s riddled with ambiguity, insecurity, and fear.

Just because you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you should lose your sense of self and individuality. You are partners, but you’re still individuals with your own thoughts, lives, opinions, feelings etc that also come together for your relationship.

You always have to do the balance and checks on this and ask yourself if you’re being reasonable about your expectations of your partner. If him doing normal things like having the odd night out with his friends, having hobbies, having time to himself or whatever throws you into a complete tizzy of insecurity, that is not him, it’s YOU that has the issues.

If you expect too much of your partner and basically derive all of your happiness, your value, your self-esteem from them and revolve your life around them, that is co-dependency. It may read like intimacy to you because it will be your belief that this is what real relationships equate to, but the reality is that it’s co-dependent and extremely unhealthy.

The process of adapting your relationship habits and building a higher self-esteem so that you can have a healthier relationship with yourself and with others is about recognising that good things don’t feel bad, pain is not love, and creating a picture of what healthy relationships look and feel like.

Healthy relationships have two healthy partners in them and whether we like to admit it or not, if we have a habit of engaging in unhealthy relationships with Mr Unavailables and men who habitually mistreat us, the relationship’s not that healthy and neither are his or your love habits.

John Gray like many who write about relationships is trying to teach people about what healthy relationships look like, but let’s be real – many people who read about relationships and look for solutions…have problems. He doesn’t say ‘All men in healthy relationships have intimacy cycles’ – he says that all men do, period.

For any woman who has been on the receiving end of going through the ‘intimacy cycle’ with an emotionally unavailable man or even an assclown, in the cold light of day, the retreating and returning which is more indicative of him not knowing his arse from his elbow and not being able to commit to an outcome, is not very healthy at all.

Nobody wants to feel like the fish on the end of a fishing rod being reeled in and out of the water at will.

Nobody wants to wake up and realise that ten years have gone by and it feels like they’ve been on a permanent date and that the relationship hasn’t progressed much further emotionally from where it was at the beginning.

It’s not very nice to feel the hot spurt of someone’s ‘intimacy cycle’ where they shower you with attention and make like things are back on track, only to suddenly go ‘dark’ and not be reachable or for them to reduce you to one line text messages and distancing measures.

It’s not very nice to to feel like your relationship is a series of fits and starts.

It’s not very nice to discover that they’re retreating from intimacy with you but trying to forge intimacy elsewhere.

It’s very confusing when your instincts say that your man is edging his way out of the door, but you disregard that feeling because you don’t trust your gut, only to discover that he’s already left the relationship building.

Is it fair to try and forge a relationship with someone who every time you get close reads it as a signal that you may expect, need, or want too much from him so he ‘disconnects’ and ‘retreats’ so that he doesn’t feel the heat too much?

Is it fair for him to start acting out by being difficult so that he can create an opportunity to retreat?

What about feeling damned if you do and damned if you don’t? Many women cannot win. They don’t react or get on with their thing when he withdraws and he starts blowing super hot and making all the right noises. These same women often let his withdrawal go by without question and accept him back, only for him to withdraw again! On the flipside, other women pursue when he withdraws which can cause him to withdraw further. He keeps his distance and she eventually takes the hint or he decides he’s ready to come back and he quickly learns to ‘punish’ her with retreating.

So yes emotionally retreating (which in some cases may also be coupled with physically retreating) on a habitual basis in the relationship, to the point where there is a recognisable and felt pattern of retreat is often a strong indicator of issues but you always have to to remember that none of this behaviour happens in isolation so you must be able to recognise the wood for the trees and understand the bigger picture of behaviour.

Back in part 3. Also check out part one.

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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32 Responses to Are men really like rubber bands? Understanding retreating (Part Two)

  1. tee says:

    Wow – this was explained so clearly which put words to the big picture. Its easy to try and rationalize crap behavior such as retreating “oh he is a rubberband, right – all men are!” — meanwhile you have been through the scenerio one hundred times before and know damn well the scene of the play already but refuse to face reality. Ouch that hurt when I read “Some men retreat and that is when they persue” how many times did I do that, only to feel like the biggest loser – I really got what I feared right smack in the face, rejection! I’m healing, but read these articles because they are really interesting and I can look back and just like a puzzle peice interlock and connect all the dysfunctional old thoughts and behaviors. How many times did we start getting close – then he retreated. There is saying “The only person you are fooling is yourself” – you can deny what you already know and just because on the surface things appear somewhat normal, in the end you are going to get burned if you choose to keep being emotionally disconnected from your pain. Very good post!

  2. When you have been emotionally unavailable yourself, therefore both attracting and seeking emotionally unavailable men, you have lost your perspective, and are no longer able to distinguish the difference between your imagination playing tricks on you, and when it is your intuition telling you the facts. I was unable to reclaim that perspective until I found the source of it getting knocked off kilter to begin with. I had to go back and figure out why I stopped loving and respecting myself to begin with, then forgiving myself, so I could love myself again. Otherwise, it is so clear in hindsight, but when your in the middle of it, you still fall back into the same pattern, even though you are determined not to.

    searchingwithin’s last blog post..Seeking Validation and Love Through Men’s Approval

  3. De says:

    I woke up this morning feeling very happy, then all the thoughts came running like water into my head, why this, why that. I stopped myself and thought why am I doing this to myself, why am I torturing myself, do I hate myself so much that I want to be cruel and nasty to myself the minute I wake up! Can’t I give myself some breathe, some goodness, some light. I wrote my thoughts out and a voice came screaming from somewhere very deep, I wrote it down. This is what it said.

    Deb he told you he wasn’t interested,, a million times, why didn’t you listen, why didn’t you stop, why didn’t you tell him to f…k off, to stay away from you, to leave you alone, why didn’t you stick up for me! You have to stop you are driving me crazy, there are three of them buzzing around you, coming in and out, taking what they want, when they want, stop it. They didn’t want you, they don’t deserve to be your friends

  4. De says:

    I pressed submit before I was finished.

    so the last bit I wrote was this… “They are your baggage, get rid of them now!!!

    Wake up call. A weight lifted. I start NC with these parasites today, and what is my part in it. It’s being to nice, too generous, thinking they are nice guys who didn’t really want to hurt me. Yea what ever I don’t care anymore. I want me back and I want to be happy, I don’t want to keep thinking what’s wrong with me, why didn’t they pick me.
    They don’t deserve me!! so leave me alone!! I don’t want to be your goddamn friend so I can see you safely into your next relationship, I’m not your mother, mummies boy!!.

    If there is any rubber band story in this, I hope it is my rubber band coming back to me, keeping my boundaries up and letting me relax in my own skin.

  5. RES says:

    Damn, right on the money!!!!!!!!!

  6. Delicia1973 says:

    How about I am leaving for the winter to ski and you can visit me?? I am coming back in May and then leaving in June to California, for the month. I will be back in July. Oh, and things would be different if you didn’t have kids. I just want to be single for a while and get over this abusive, you can wait for me, and I want a girlfriend who is happy with my opportunities. I would be, if they were work related and not hanging out pot smoking and drinking with your buddies for a month, and you actually included my if your life or you tried to be a part of mine. Loser jerk. Thinks I am going to grad school to support your lazy butt. I can do better than this and I will. Leopards do not change their stripes.

  7. De says:

    Yup, all on his agenda!! Stop the madness!

  8. Res Judicata says:

    Here’s is where I get confused. In my case, I cannot agree that I am/was EU; ergo, I sought and EUM. My current EUM has been beset by job- and former-marriage and kids-related stress. Is he EU because of that? If so, will that end? If so, when will that end? I know that the bad economy is wreaking havoc on finances, marriages, and relationships, but can someone tell me if/when an EUM transcends all of that — can he regain sufficient emotional composure to reenter a healthy relationship he enjoyed before all of this stuff hit him? I am trying to meet and date others, but it’s so frustrating to finally meet someone who initially appeared to be open and available, and to have it all blow up in my face for no apparent reason attributable to me.

  9. Sadthing says:

    I too believed all the rubber band stuff, my brother confirmed the cave theory but I’ve realised that my brother is an EUM too!

    I gave my ex all the space he could ever wish for. He’s very much a man’s man, and a lone professional fisherman too so spends a lot of his time at sea alone. I’m not exactly Ms Gregarious either so I was fine with this (though not so fine with giving him space for when his other woman came for visits).

    He can be moody, taciturn, uncommunicative you name it, when he’s not being super seductive, playful, and teasing (when he wants something) but I thought this was part of his struggle with intimacy being the sort of man that he is and was relaxed about backing off when he was in one of his moods.

    Now I realise that this has nothing to do with his ‘manly’ nature and everything to do with his self obsessed, manipulative nature, and I have to give him a real LOT of space, like keeping well away from him till I no longer care about him.

    Wish it was a bit easier, I keep thinking about the teasing fun times and I miss them, but it was really to make sure I stayed hooked and available for when it suited him. It’s scary that I could do it for so long and so knowingly. On some level I could see exactly what was going on and still I encouraged it all.

    Sadthing’s last blog post..Birth Announcement

  10. truthhurts says:

    @Res Judicata, I feel your frustration. I too got involved with someone who soon turned out not to be available emotionally. But unlike you I did think it was something I did, said or was that made him behave the way he did. At least you are a few steps ahead of me and many other women here. You recognize that the problem is him, not you. That saves you a lot of insecurity.

    Will he change? As it is his problem it is also his to solve. And who knows when and if that will happen. The only thing you can ask yourself is are you going to hang around waiting for him or are you going to move on? Good luck!

  11. Res Judicata says:

    @truthhurts:  Thanks for your comments and insight.  For many of the first weeks, I DID think it was me.  I fell back into old, familiar negatives.  Finally, accessing this site about a month ago helped me get to the heart of the issue.  I have tried to move on.  I have had three dates in the last ten weeks of not seeing him.  They have not been the greatest dates — but yet, I persevere.  He did not communicate for 25 days until two weeks ago, and now we are back to trading fairly innocent e-mails.  When not crazed by his personal demons, he was fun, funny, and we shared many common interests.  When he started to go off track, I saw the train leaving the station with no passengers; yet, felt powerless to do anything about it.In time, I hope that you will convince yourself that it’s your EUM, and not you, with the issues.  This is small consolation, when you are hurting and missing the good times, but it’s the only way I know to get through it. I went back to making jewelry (always my safe haven when hurt) and baking in the sun — two of my favorite things.  You have to regain the “you” that you put aside while you have been hurting and mourning your loss.

  12. Thecat says:

    Hi everyone

    I totally recognise this! Approx 5 weeks ago I saw my ex EUM in out in a pub he came up and said I love you still I miss you etc etc. I had changed my number and he couldn’t get hold of me or what I call torture because he just sends random texts like Hi or what are you up to for nothing to happen. He is also a big withheld number caller! he calls me withholds his number and does not say a thing I think this is just to check up on me. Anyway so for the first two weeks of us getting back together he made half hearted efforts to contact me and occasionally came round but I have to say he came round after going out with his friends on a Friday and Saturday so I was a botty call as the next day he didn’t spend the day with me. On Easter Sunday he came back to mine and I caught him checking his phone in bed. He had a text off another woman! The text said something like this is my last text tonight as I am running out of credit stop wasting my time. I balled him out over it and said who is she? Have you slept with her? Anyway I got this womans number off his phone and decided to text her and blow him up basically. I said he had a girlfriend although I know he wouldn’t refer to me as his girlfriend. I said she has seen the texts and he has another 4 womens numbers in his phone who he texts on nights out and whoever replies to the BAIT as I like to call it he texts them all night for his attention fix. This woman text me back and said thanks for letting me know I won’t text him anymore.
    Over the course of the next week I never heard a thing off him so by the Friday I decided to ring him he put the phone down. This other woman had obviously told him I text her and he didn’t like it one bit.
    So I decided to move on and get on with my life although I guess he is still trying to pursue this other woman. He is currently in retraeing mode however I am still getting the withheld number calls every couple of days. Probs to make sure I have not changed my number.
    So on Friday night I met with a new guy I have started to date I was in the same pub as my ex and the guy kissed me. He did not know my ex was there or who he was and to be honest I never got chance to tell him. The next thing my ex came over to the guy and said you think your clever don’t you, don’t do that again etc etc and lightly slapped his face! I was mortified and apologised to my new guy.
    I then received threatening messages from my ex saying get rid of the lad or he will kick his head in. I didn’t want any trouble and I really regret to say this I left the next pub to meet my ex! He has a horrible hold over me and I know I should not have let him come back to mine. So obviously now I have given him the message that he can retreat and come back to me anytime and I will take him back.
    What I can’t understand is why he went off on the guy and not me I was in the wrong to be in the same pub with my new guy but he never took it out on me he vented his anger towards my new guy who won’t have even known who he was!!!
    So now I am in limbo and thinking maybe this needs to be it and I change my number and don’t give him it when he blows hot again!
    Was I right to warn this woman?? I feel deep down I am however it won’t acheive anything as he will either continue to text and chase her or just turn his attentions on someone else. Why does he keep coming back to me when I get on with my life and ignore him???
    any thoughts?

  13. truthhurts says:

    @Thecat, my ex EUM does the same thing. Once a week, like clockwork, he sends me a one or two line email like “still thinking of you” or “miss you”. And always in the weekend late at night… I asume that´s when he gets lonely. It´s almost funny if it wasn´t so pathetic and intrusive.

    NML wrote a great blog about it. It might help you to understand why these guys blow hot even long after the relationship seized to exist. http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/the-big-question-but-will-he-try-to-get-in-contact-with-me/

  14. De says:

    He’s an abuser, fire him, would you put up with this from a girlfriend, no your real friends answer your calls, tell you the truth, say who’s on the other end of the phone and what the relationships is. If you were in a REAL relationship you would know all of these facts and there would be no hiding… well if he were trustworthy there would be no other phone calls from women. I know the hold thing, it’s really hard on you, but honestly, get out of the chaos and drama, give yourself a chance for happiness, there will be none with this guy, ever! The reason he keeps coming back is because it’s game of cat and mouse, you are the mouse, he’ll let you go, so he can fun reeling you back in. It’s sick!. You have got to get strong, really really strong. Get a new phone number, stay away from the bar, get away from him, he’s dangerous!?? I wish you a lot a lot of luck!

  15. nysharon says:

    Cat you’re a yo yo girl. Or even worse. You can block his number if you have verizon service by going to http://www.vtext.com. Or call your provider company and ask. That is what I did and I have to tell you that I don’t jump when I here a text come through now cause I know it won’t be him. By the way, you can also block the emails if you have a blackberry. Hope this helps. Turn your way around and keep walking the other direction. He’s a loser.

  16. nysharon says:

    Sorry: You have to register and then go to spam control and enter his number. It’s hard to find at first but if you call the company, they will walk you through it. This way you do not have to change your number and feel even further vicitmized. If you don’t do this, then you are just not ready to let go.

  17. truthhurts says:

    @nysharon, it hit home when you wrote “This way you do not have to change your number and feel even further vicitmized”. That´s what i´ve been feeling; victimized. As a rapevictim (not by him!) I feel like I am being violated all over again.
    So I put my boundaries up and finally blocked the EUM. Untill now I was curious when and if he would contact me again (every week as it turns out) but it is feeling more and more intrusive. And I am more and more wondering why I ever let this guy into my life. He is a disrespectful and manipulative assclown.
    I would have wanted him to hear me and respect my words but since that is not going to happen my only defense is to put the walls up. No Contact it is. But I am bloody angry that he pushed me to this last resort. It is very out of character for me to shut someone out.
    But apparantly thats something I need to learn to protect myself.

  18. nysharon says:

    Agreed ,Truthhurts, you must take control of your own life. Blocking his number for me was monumental because I too was wondering when I’d hear from him blah blah blah. When I finally realized the situation never changed and I continually set myself up–thats when I finally closed the door. Don’t feel bad about yourself (being angry is normal), just don’t torture yourself anymore. My ex is a married cop. When I blocked his text and phone calls, he started emailing me and said “who knows what I’ll do if I see you in public?” After that I had a coworker of his tell him that if he ever came near me again I would press charges. (would mean he would loose his job) He had the nerve to tell this guy that I will probably call him again at some point. I am so glad he said that because I will never let him be right about that now! I finally feel free. When I did run into him a month later, he kept his distance.
    You deserve better and sometimes having been victimized in the past sets us up to engage in a cycle of negativity. It wasn’t your falt what happened before, but if you continue to allow toxic people in your life, you only set yourself up to self blaim and trouble.

  19. finallyseenthelight says:

    Rubberband…rubbish…these guys are not commitment phobic…they are selfish narcissists that want to be players and purposely seek out vunerable women to prey on. Unfortunately, I had an encounter with my ex EUM, I got lonely, was deluded into thinking I could handle just seeing him for fun. I was mistaken, but it did open my eyes. I realize he is a predator on the dating sites, has a steady woman that he goes out with and was still wanting to sleep with me, without telling me any of this. Unfortunately, I was dopey enough to sleep with him. Now, he’s throwing me less crumbs than usual. I finally don’t want him anymore…and until I realized that, I was not at peace. Now, it’s like someone turned the lights on and I realize what a lying, creepy human he is. I feel like a weight was lifted from me…because until I realize that he’s nothing to want…I was blind to seeing him for the PLAYER that he is…I was in denial, deluded and now I’ve awoken. Almost 3 yrs on and off…now I can breathe.

  20. thecat says:

    Hello All
    God I am in a right state and feel like I can’t get out. Yesterday I succumbed and text him asking if it was him who was calling me and withholding his number. I then sent another text saying torture the whore you are currently with. I waited checking my mobile furiously for three hours!!!!!! He finally acknowledged my text saying ” what are you talkiing about why would I want to call you” which was just heartbreaking. I text back saying ok I need to change my number then and got no reply. At 1:30pm approx I got a withheld call and could hear a TV in the background and am certain it was him as he doesn’t work. I never got my usual night time withheld call.
    I now want to text this woman who is called Hilary and the one who I caught him checking his mobile in my bed when he had a text off her (please read my further post above for details). I want to ask if he is stil texting her and if she is texting him. I know I can’t because really he is not begging me to go back and I can’t be certain if it is him with hold calling me??? What should I do? I know I need to walk away and leave this assclown to his narcissitic fill of female attention.
    When I change my number after 5 or 6 weeks when he see’s me he makes all the right noises to dwindle away to crumbs again after literally a couple of weeks.
    I hate him I wish he would dissappear! I am going mad.
    The ironic thing is I actaully have a man chasing me making all the right noises of a man who actually wants a relationship with me!!!

    • NML says:

      Hi thecat. This is not rubberbanding – this is you drama seeking. You have to ask yourself why you need to text him and ask if it is him calling and witholding his number – did you think he was going to say ‘yes it’s me’ because surely if he wanted you to know it was him, he’d either of 1) revealed his number or 2) left a message. You then have to ask yourself why you would then send a text saying ‘torture the whore…’ etc – you are playing games and it’s not actually him driving you mad, it’s you driving you mad. Whatever he is doing, if it is him that is calling, he is making it more than clear that this is how he is going to play games. If you then choose to not only play the game, but inflame the game, you can’t blame him for that because at the end of the day, you already know that this is how he gets his kicks, so why feed it? Stop playing games and stop asking him silly questions because you need to decide if you are nosey ex girlfriend who has far too much of an interest in who he is texting and sleeping with because you want him to be texting and sleeping with you, or whether you’re ex girlfriend who has had enough of this fool and no longer cares who, what, and where he is getting his ego stroking and shagging from. But you must be accountable for your part in this and make a choice because I fail to see what kind of noises he can possibly be making for this cycle of behaviour to continue. You’re the one that needs to cut off from him – as long as you keep pandering to his crap and letting him back in, he will continue so if you want it to stop, you stop.

  21. Thecat says:

    Thanks NML I needed a wake up call and to give my head a shake this sillyness has been going on far too long now. It’s like you aks advice and and ultimatley you know the answer yourself. I need to stop myself from looking a fool as I have done so much in the past by going back. As stupid as it sounds each time I think he will change and now I realise he is NEVER gunna change not for me not for anyone!
    I just want to make him feel as bad as he has made me feel and I know the only way to do this is no contact as I know when I don’t get a reply it makes me feel bad. It’s almost like I want him to contact so I can no contact but really I should be glad he is staying well away and not making contact. I am not going to answer the withheld calls anymore.
    I just wish I had never, ever got involved with him!

  22. Katy says:

    ok so what about other people? I have been feeling so much better after taking control and breaking the relationship. No contact for a few weeks and I’ve been ok. My life has been getting back to an even keel and I’ve even been feeling peaceful.. However I have been avoided church but went back this week as I knew he wouldn’t be there. It turns out that a ‘friend’ who I’d confided in has told a church leader that I haven’t been because I am avoiding him which is the truth but was highly confidential and personal. This leader then approached me and demanded that I contact him to sort it out! I was devastated at both the leader and my friend. I now don’t know what has been said (the last thing I want him to know is that the has the power to stop me going places – but at the minute I need space)..I spend yesterday in tears and now it has really set me back. You see the leader thinks he is a lonely, harmless man who really likes me…er No…he is a cp ac..but thats not her business!

    Can anyone please advise on how to deal with this as I feel like not going back but I do have a lot of genuine friends there…??x

  23. Kissie says:

    Katy,
    This is an interesting case. I think if you need space then you need to take the time and space you need to heal. No one expirienced the pain and hurt that you did and no one has the right to tell you that you should try to work it out with someone who has continuously hurt you. Your friend, it appears, betrayed your trust and confidence. You need to, in your own time, confront this friend and tell them that what you said to them was said in confidence and should not have been repeated. Is the leader telling the man who hurt you to stop being an EUM/AC and treat you better? Is the leader telling the man who hurt you to shape up, be a man, and apologize for the hurtful things he did to you? Is the leader telling the man who hurt you to do better, to treat you better, to be a better man and not emotinally abuse women? If this man’s feet is not being held to the fire, so to speak, as yours seem to be, in the”reconciliation” of this “relationship” I would ignore this leader’s advice and take the time and space I need to heal and get my head back on straight. This is your life, the only one you have and no one has the righ to force you to do something you donot want to do, indeed something that can potentially be emotionally harmful for you.

  24. Used says:

    Katy-
    First, as to your “friend,” I don’t know how much she knew about your relationship with the ex EUM. If she knew how badly he treated you, then she may have told the church leader out of concern for you, to protect you; but, if she did not, then her motive(s) in telling the leader are questionable. In any event, I, too, would tell her that you did not appreciate her repeating the confidence, and that you wanted to handle the matter yourself, in any manner you chose.

    I would not be too close with that “friend” from now on, and would consider her merely an acquaintance.

    Second, as to the church leader, she is trying to keep her business going strong! She doesn’t want to lose you OR the ex-EUM. (Especially if you met this guy through the church, as your staying away from the church may be “bad press” for the church.) Hence her request for you to work things out with him.

    Now that you know that the leader is looking out for #1 here, before the leader goes and says anything to him, tell her that you will consider ceasing your patronage of that church if she even thinks about talking to HIM now about this matter. Use her own weapon (concern re: losing patronage) against her! (In a classy and diplomatic way, of course.)

    Stay on track: go to another church, for now at least. Keep up the NC.

  25. Katy says:

    Thanks Kissie for your advice and comments.. I have confronted the friend already and her reply was I was asking her to lie if she didn’t say anything as the leader asked her directly where I was. However I pointed out that there are plenty of diplomatic answers ie ‘sorry yes I no but its personal’… I made it clear that she has betrayed my trust.

    No this man is not being held to account at all. The leader sees him as innocent and a lonely, harmless man. She has no idea of the life he leads ( as I didn’t until he gradually revealed it). She has no idea that he has a number of lady ‘friends’ who he reels in and out at will and thats just the start. But ultimately his life is his business and what happened is our business and how I choose to deal with it is my business. I’m considering calling the leader and asking to see them so that I can clearly set my boundaries in a nice but assertive way…It probably won’t be liked though..

  26. truthhurts says:

    Katy,
    The consequence of setting your boundaries and standing up for your needs is that you most likely will sabotage other peoples plans. They have a certain plan or idea of how things should go and then you go and say “hey, wait a minute, this isn´t right for ME”.

    Don´t feel guilty about that. We compromise and accept other peoples needs often without questioning. You are entitled to the same consideration.

    And if someone can´t or won´t give that then sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away and hang out with people who do. Churchleader or not.

  27. Katy says:

    Thanks for your comments and support. You are quite correct but it certainly isn’t fair – then again thats life. Men seem to be able to get away quite well with being assertive but if a woman stands up for herself she is classed as argumentative at the least. I have no choice to stand my ground. But I am angry that I am being put in this situation at all when I’m already hurting. And also that it seems that I am getting the blame because I don’t want to ‘resolve’ our issues. As you all know here that is not the case but I am walking away because I’ve realised the harm that I’m doing to myself by staying.

  28. respect says:

    As long as i remember i have been involved with unavailable guys. But i am finally realising what the pay back is. (theres got to be a pay back right, otherwise why would we allow ourselves to be humiliated so much) I get obsessed with trying to get the response that i want.
    Like the validation i so desperately wanted from my father. He was always too busy to pay attention to me. He used to dismiss me and shoo me away when i wanted to spend time with him. I grew up raging at him as i felt humiliated. I get verbally abusive when a guy treats me badly, stands me up or rejects me. So im not perfect… i somehow seek out these guys, they act accordingly and then i rage out at them. Not good! I am trying so hard to stop this cycle cause i know i am not a victim. I am not proud of my last eum. He came on strong, was sweet and attentive, text me everyday. Took me out on a fantastic date and called telling me he could not stop thinking about me.
    Well he blew hot and then he started blowing cold… i asked him what was up cause he started cancelling plans to see each other again…but still sending texts and telling me how sweet and pretty i was. Well he stood me up the other night. I sent him a text telling him i was DONE and that he must not contact me again. Then i sent him another text saying ‘in fact if i had a d*ck i would tell you to s*ck it!!
    I ending up apologizing for that statement and said it would have been nice if he could have let me know that he could not make it. Of course he did not apologise and when i saw him the next day, he acted like i did something wrong. JERK!
    Well of course now i want to make things rights between us and im trying not to contact him to tell him how hurt i was that he stood me up. Yip the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different response.

    NC!!!!!

  29. Res Judicata says:

    Can supply explain this to me? My EUM keeps sending me internet jokes, as he did when we first met (from a dating site). Yet, when I ask him how he is, or ask him to meet for a drink, coffee, hike, etc., he does not respond. Further, when I e-mailed a “happy birthday” to him, he responded, “thanks for remembering”. Does this mean no one else remembered? Does this mean he can’t believe I remembered considering how we have fallen off track? I have tried to get “me” back, and am trying to date others, but when I hear from him in this fashion, it’s a cold knife going into my warm skin. I know that you say, “block him”….but I don’t want to appear rude, as he has been dealing with some fairly earth-shattering events during the last several months. Can someone get inside that head and tell me what is going on? How about you, Brad K?

  30. Brad K. says:

    Res Judicata,

    The “thanks for remembering” is a limited thank you. He doesn’t express happiness or any emotion that you thought of him. He doesn’t express any actual appreciation. Most particularly, he is not inviting any more contact from you.

    The internet jokes are likely automated – he might have forgotten you are on the list. Or perhaps he thinks it might send a message – that he doesn’t like you – if he drops you from the list. And, he may never check his emails, or his spam filter might have picked your name to discard – so he might not have been receiving your messages.

    If he has been going through life-changing events, and it didn’t bring you together as a couple – then apparently you got left behind. It will take time for him to settle out what is going on with him, and until then, no one will be “the one” for him.

    Needless to say, you don’t have anyone to hang onto – he has already moved on. And I think it would be disrespectful to try to date anyone, until after you have worked through your feelings for the EUM. The poison that is still there hurts you – and anyone else in your life.

    I would also suggest you look at NML’s post on emailing and EUM’s. Keep your contacts personal. That way, face to face, you can see and understand the rest of the message, beyond the words that are used.

    It doesn’t matter right now if he is withdrawn for a reason besides you, or doesn’t want a relationship with you. His lack of contact means that you are not important in his life. Words can *not* undo what his actions are declaring. You have to decide for yourself, because he is apparently unwilling to stand up and say, “This is over for me.” What you do know, all to well, is that any further contact with him will hurt you, will never make you happy, and probably doesn’t help him at all.

    Luck.

  31. Res Judicata says:

    Thanks, Brad. I have not seen him since February. After he was beseiged by many personal events stemming from this divorce, I gave him time and space. About a month later, I send him an e-mail indicating that if we were to have a relationship, I needed to see him somewhat regularly (once every two weeks would have sufficed — I am not into clinging), or if we were to be friends, I would be sad, but would finally move on. After 25 days of NC, he e-mailed me a pet joke (only contact on his list). Thereafter, I would sporadically write him, and he would write me, but it was very superficial until the aforementioned birthday greeting with the exception of him wanting a “rain check” on some hiking. I understand and acknowledge the gravity of his other matters. With that in mind, I have been taking baby steps at finding someone else fun to see and do fun things with. I will keep my toxins to myself! Thanks again.

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!
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