I am not that woman who will sit on the sidelines and wait for you to figure out if you're going to leave her to be with me.

When you’re The Other Woman, it’s a rollercoaster of highs and lows and at some point, you should and probably will become sick of being in the situation and will want to break off the affair. Breaking up is generally hard to do even when we really want to and know that it’s the right thing. Affairs can be extra tough to walk away from because there’s that fear that you haven’t been understanding and patient enough – you have – and that all pervasive fear that you’re going to break up with Mr Married/Attached just at that moment when he was actually going to leave his wife/girlfriend. There’s the sense of rejection, loss, and even abandonment that can be activated by an affair. It can feel like an exorcism that brings up every ugly thought and issue that you may have been unaware was rumbling around inside you.

Many BR readers have been or are in an affair situation and wonder, How the hell do I put an end to this affair and move on? I hope that these fifteen tips can help to put any woman who is in this situation on the road to feeling happier, secure, and free to move on to healthier relationships.

Before you go down the breakup route, do have an honest conversation with you and ask:

Is this a halfhearted cry for attention from him that I hope will force his hand into making the decision to be with me?

If yes, halt. This is how you lose credibility and open you up to more pain. He will just think that you’re crying wolf and it will only be a matter of time until you’re back in the affair hot seat. Be honest with you about what you’re trying to achieve. If this is about trying to influence or even force him into making a decision or at the very least, gameplaying, re-evaluate your motives and think about the bigger picture and whether this is how you want to spend your time, because it’s a slippery slope to losing your dignity and no one is worth that.

If you’re serious, here are some suggestions for making an exit that focuses on self-care.

1. Be firm and strong.

Be resolute about your decision and immovable. If you really do want to break up with him and you are sick of the situation, he shouldn’t be able to wheedle his way around you. One of the strengths of the guy in this relationship is that he has the power to get around you. This time he can’t. This time he won’t.

2. Make it about YOU, not HIM.

If you put the focus of the breakup on him, he can make excuses that he means at the time but probably don’t hold up after the event and he’ll make promises that he means at the time but is also unlikely to keep. Yes, you are breaking up because he can’t give you what you need, want and deserve, however, you’re also breaking up with him because YOU are better than this. You are not that woman anymore.

3. Remind yourself that he is throwing you the crumbs of his time and his emotions.

Yes you may be conditioned to think that the crumbs are enough for you, but the reality is that a healthy relationship with a man that is only with you and puts you at the centre of his life, feels far different to the flimsy ‘relationship’ that you’re in now. That and whatever you’re prepared to settle for is what you’re going to get. You always deserve more than crumbs.

4. Think of the woman he’s with, the woman that you view as the person who is robbing you of the opportunity to be with your guy, as a human being with feelings and strengths and weaknesses just like you.

Put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself how you would feel if you were her in the same situation. Whatever story he has told you about why he’s with both of you, the cold hard truth is that he has chosen not to leave because having the best of both worlds is what he chooses. There’s also no such thing as an honest cheat. He chooses dishonesty. When you stop seeing her as this inconvenient, pesky obstacle, in truly empathising, you will be able to feel compassion and also have self-compassion. Blaming her for his infidelity and blaming you for why he hasn’t left ignores the bigger picture of the real issues.

5. Is this how you saw a healthy, happy relationship? Do you still want to be doing this in 3, 6, 9, 12 months or even in years?

I know that I never saw myself as a sideline woman, no matter how low my self-esteem was. Think very hard about whether you want to continue living on the fringes and in the shadows of his life? Can you continue living with lies? Could you do what you’ve already done, forever? This is a good time to think about your short-, medium- and long-term goals, as well as your values. Is this affair taking you towards your needs, expectations, and wishes or is this taking you in the opposite direction?

6. Remember that occasions like birthdays, Christmas, New Years won’t have to be spent waiting for his call or snatching a moment together.

7. Go cold turkey.

If you can afford it, go away for a few days or a week to somewhere nice or go and stay with friends and family. Turn off your phone and let the important people know where you are so that you don’t worry. There should be absolutely no contact.

8. Stop being where he expects you to be and break whatever routine you have.

When I speak to women involved with attached men, whether they realise it or not, they are almost always in a tight routine. After all, keeping things in a tight routine is how he stops himself from getting caught out and also how he fits you into his schedule. You must break the routine. Stop being in his rotation. Let your phone go straight to voicemail or screen. Be out when he calls. Instead of being in watching TV with your feet up waiting for his call, be out. Be busy. If you think you’ll be tempted to be swayed, change your mobile phone or block his email address. Find out more about No Contact.

9. Tell somebody that you trust.

You’d be surprised at how many women act in secrecy, which actually plays even further into the man’s hands as you are totally at the mercy of whatever he is telling you. Affairs and in fact, all dubious relationships rely on element of shame and secrecy and this compounds your dilemma. You’d be surprised though – lots of people have been in your situation. There is someone in your life who can and will be empathetic and support you with your exit. A confidante gives you a sanity check but also gives you a rock of support. Choose someone you trust and who can be supportive but tell you that it’s time to quit. Failing that, tell a professional or even that coworker who has gently taken an interest in you or expressed concern. The latter is how many readers have exited not just from affairs but also from abusive relationships.

10. Don’t date until you’re ready. This protects you from knee-jerking into another situation that you may not recognise as being unsuitable and unavailable due to craving some sort of emotional replacement – there is no progress in ditching a married man for another emotionally unavailable man. There is also no point in dating if it’s a way of passing time in the hope of filling in the gap until the married guy potentially becomes available. The only time you should date is when you are truly ready to move on and Mr Married/Attached doesn’t figure any longer.

11. Remember that you need time to grieve and heal. There is no quick fix and the right decision doesn’t always feel good initially. Grieving is a process and it takes time. Weather the storm, cold turkey it out and let out the tears and frustration but don’t give in. Your ‘relationship’ is over.

12. Seek professional support. If you’ve been in relationships that have a habit of wearing down your self esteem and you want to understand your relationship patterns, or feel you need a little extra help to get you through this time, this is a great way of giving you support. Exploring the reasons that contributed to your desire to be in this relationship will also ensure that you ‘re able to gain a fresh perspective, heal and move forward. Also check out the Get Out Of Stuck email series and the Unsent Letter Guide in the downloads section – the former will help you to identify and transform unhealthy beliefs and the latter will help you to explore your feelings and address current and old anger that may be affecting your decision to be in the affair or keeping you stuck in it.

13. Address other areas of your life that have suffered whilst you were with him. No matter what you think, something or someone, or both, suffered while you focused your energies on your situation. If you let work slide or put off career decisions, prioritise whatever it is, now. If you’ve neglected friends or family, build bridges. If you’ve neglected yourself, spend time on you. You have to put the focus back to you if you are truly intent on succeeding. It’s because it’s been all about him why you lasted so long with him in the first place.

14. Yes I’m sure there were happy times, but you need to remember how you REALLY felt when you were with him. Look back at your diary, think back to specifics and there are probably a lot of times when you were lonely, disappointed, insecure, sidelined, teary, clingy, frustrated, angry, too dependent, listless and much more. Put both feet in reality and get real about who you have really been. If you were that happy, you wouldn’t be reading this and you wouldn’t be breaking up. You wouldn’t even want more. Try keeping a Feelings Diary. Also keep a note of all of the reasons why you’ve broken up and the disappointments – refer to this list when you’re tempted to revisit the affair.

15. Know that you’re not alone. It can be a shock to discover that your situation isn’t unique and that it’s not about you not being ‘enough’ why this person hasn’t left. 


NB!!! This post has been republished due to the very high volume of comments on the original post creating technical issues such as slowing down the site and preventing the original post from being reloaded.


Dedicated to helping people improve their emotional and relationship literacy, think of me as emotional baggage declutter, shady relationship buster and self-esteem booster all rolled into one! Find Out More | My Books | 30-day projects | Weekly Podcast .
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558 Responses to Breaking Up With and Getting Over a Married/Attached Man

  1. sarah says:

    In an affair 12 years, he was the love of my life, he promised me everything and I wanted to believe it. She found out a year ago and sent me horrible letters, put nasty stuff on the internet about me. He told her everything about me, although he said she found out from someone else! He promised for 6 months after to leave her and that he would take me away on holiday and that he couldnt let me go et etc. Of course he didnt, when I started internet dating he started to become indiferent towards me. We still saw each other for sex. He has now gone on holiday with her for 2 weeks. I have to finish for good, I am sick at the moment and driving myself crazy thinking about it and how I can finish, it has gone on so long I feel so stlupid that I did not finish before, but every time i tried he got me back. I guess I just have to go cold turkey, I almost dont care if i dont find anybody else I just want to be out of the pain.

  2. suparsta says:

    Im sorry to hear of your pain, but MM say everything and anything to keep you on a lead..your worth so much more than he could ever offer you..And lets be honest here if he left her for you,hes sole purpose would be to try to get back with her! They are cowards and all the while you stay in the game.. (i wont call it a relationship because its not…relationships have 2 people!! ) You will continue to put yourself in more pain…Pick up the rest of your dignity and close the door!!!..Its an addiction and one that has to be broken…Good luck x

  3. troubled says:

    I just found this site – and wish I found it 3+ years ago! Long story short – I have a problem with getting attached to men. I had one long relationship of about 4 years before I fell for my MM. I realized what a bad relationship I was previously in because my MM practically swept me off my feet – opening car doors, pulling out the chair to sit down, etc.. In my relationship of 4 years that NEVER happened! I ended up breaking up with that jerk to focus on my MM. Here’s the thing – because I was so head over heels for this guy from the get go – I never had time to be ‘single’ really. I ALSO DIDN’T KNOW MY MM WAS MARRIED!! I didn’t find out until weeks later when he happened to bring it up at lunch. He never wore a wedding ring, and I was new at the job where I first met him – so I didn’t know. At this point I was so attached to him I couldn’t let go. It has been on and off for about 3 years and I can’t seem to let him go. I ended the ‘physical’ part of our relationship because it was too stressful and depressing to be in this relationship. He ended up filing for divorce but now i really wonder…
    Can you still be friends with your ex – who was once a married man?
    And I mean seriously… ethically – should you still be? It is tearing me up inside because I still care for him so much and want him to be in my life – but should I still be friends with him

  4. Hummingbird says:

    Hi!I am about to break up with my married lover tonight. He will all in approximately 2 hours and we will talk. How should I go about the break up when I am not emotionally prepared? I dunno. All I know is that I have to honor myself. It is true that when you write down everything that happens in your relationship, you get to see a different perspective.And that perspective becomes more favorable for you in your decision choices. Im pretty sure it will be better but the storm that I have to wither might be very looong and very hard.

    How can I join the forum about these matters? Help…

  5. Gretchen says:

    I just dont understand MM. I am only 29 and I have been divorced twice. Both of my husbands cheated on me and chose the other women. Back in February I met a guy that I worked with. I got to know him and his family. I never thought too much about him. One night we were both working and he sat in my office and really got to know me. When he left my office he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I thought maybe he is friendly like that. That night he said he didnt have a ride home so I gave him one. He told me he didnt want to go home yet…..so we went to the park and talked. We talked until midnight. Then I took him home. He has since then been tellin me he loves me and I make him feel like a man but he doesnt want to hurt his family. He has four children. So I hang out with them alot and he sends me sweet amazing text messages, but I hurt. He recently got into it with his wife and they both took off their wedding bands. He told me he has never taken off his wedding band. I know that he is telling the truth on a lot of things cause he is not very smooth at all. He tells me he wants to run away with me….and it messes with my feelings. I have been in realtionships b4 where we were just friends with benefits and I was ok with that because it was very clear that was all that was wanted. Why would my MM tell me all these nice things…he could just tell me he wanted to b friends with benefits and I might have said ok….I then wouldnt be hurting the way that I do. I really love him becasue he has shown me so much love. But I know I am not complete….I have to go home alone…..I only get so much time with him…..it hurts…..I am not sure what I want to do because I do love him….but I also hurt….I am trying to be patient…..but I asked him what he would do if the situation was reversed and he said he couldnt picture me with another man. He said it would kill him….and then he sat down because he realized how I was feeling…..but things havent changed today…oh well…..I hope to figure it out soon..

  6. sarah says:

    He rang me three weeks ago to say he was going on holiday, all the lies he told that he would take me away. He has been back a week and he has not contacted me. I have sent him a text today to say I am very unhappy and hurt and I want to finish it and this is my decision. He has not got back to it, but I know I have to stick to it. I started to see a counsellor and she said I think he wants to finish this because he has been very indifferent to me later and I have been very emotional. I just keep thinking if I had finished it last year I would be much better now, but maybe this time next year I will x And this has been 12 years of my life

  7. DJ says:


    RUN! Especially if your not into deep, Turn and run the other direction as fast as you can. Please get out now while you still have your sanity. Trust me. I wish I would have.

  8. sarah says:

    I finished with my married guy of 12 years after he came back from his holiday. He keeps ringing me telling me he loves me and wants to see me. I have not seen him for 5 weeks. The sex with him is absolutely amazing I cant bear the thought of not having this again. I know this thing is going nowhere. Its just I have been trying internet dating for ages and have got nowhere, i have little in my life. I am in torment, should I just continue to see him for the great sex or give it up and suffer. I am in my 50s I have little chance of meeting anyone, I have to be realistic it seems the only good thing in my life and yet I am so unhappy I cannot imagine getting over him. Please help

  9. Charles says:

    I’m a man and reading this site after a friend sent me the link. I want to share my side of the story. Yes I was married. and yes I have been involved with my lover for almost two years. I met her online and we chatted for quite sometime, graduated to phone calls and as the relationship progressed i found myself dying to talk to her more and more. My career requires me to be gone for long periods of time and I travel continusouly all over the world. I live In DC she lives in San Francisco, my main residence is Chicago. our realtionship began to develop into an incredible friendship, But the really bad part is I told her for almost a year that I was not married. The very first time we met face to face was when i was in San Francisco and it was by far one of the greatest experiences I had ever has, Emotionally, spiritually and the SEX was incredible. I found myself connecting with her in the most incredible ways, and was so afraid that if i told her the truth she would break it off with me. My wife and I fought all the time, I have two children from a previous marriage that she has been pretty much thier full time Mom since we married. I know it’s chicken sh.. to admit this but for me to divorce her was going to be devasting financially, At 55 years old I could lose 1/2 of everything I have worked my a.. off for fo rthe past 30 years. My children now 1 19 and in college and the other her senior in highschool, have never been terribly close to her. looking back i feel like I was her meal ticket. great job, 6 figure income, nannies, beautiful home, she wants for nothing. Hell I even suport her parents. It has always been about “what can I do for her” and I was never unfaithful to her until I met “Carrie”. Earlier this year I came clean with Carrie, she was devastated. I broke her tender heart, and I have felt terrible about that. IT WAS NOT JUST SEX…Carrie and i could stay up all night, literally sitting on the sofa and talking till the sun came up, she made me laugh, she made me feel appreciated, she made me feel good. simple things like making me dinner, or preparing a hot bath for me after a long day of flying, what ever it was being with her made me feel complete and loved, I can honestly tell you that I never felt so much for someone out side of my children.
    After telling her that i was married she broke off all contact with me, it has been 6 months and not a day goes by that I dont miss her. I have left my wife who is a self absorbed country set type that criticizes every thing I do, no matter how hard I try nothing was ever good enough for her. I have a small condo and my daughter now lives with me and our divorce is ugly and the settlement will be a huge financial loss for me
    I know that you all think I am a liar a coward and total Sh… thank you very much I am very much aware of that. however As time has gone by I realize that Carrie was the greatest gift to me, but now I cant even reach her, her numbers have been changed, her emails everything, she has even changed jobs making it impossible for me to find her. How I wish she would talk to me, so Carrie if your out there please know that I love you, I miss you and I’d like a chance to prove that to you. My numbers are all the same I am here and I would like to have an honest realtionship with you. Charles

  10. kiki says:

    hi i really need to ask for advice and have a shoulder to cry on i know i need to end my relatioship with MM but its been going on for so long i need some help

  11. Faye says:

    Kiki, It’s really hard, the heart pain is great, I never thought I would find myself in this situalion either. get a piece of paper and make two columns, the first colum write down everything about him that you like, adore, love, the way he makes you feel , all the postives, then in the second column write down all the things about him you don’t like, the way you feel when he leaves , or doesnt call, his life, every detail, BE HONEST!!! this is for your eyes only. get very detailed, then read the negative column every day, all day if you have to , it will help you disconnect from the situation, also in my situation I confided in NO-ONE, out of shame. DON’T do that, find some one you can trust and talk to them, tell them everything …it will help you be accountable, When you have to be accountabel to soemone it will help you in your resolve. Your MM if he truly loved you would be mindful of your pain and not put you through all this, I find when i think of my MM having sex with his wife, and I mean i think of his anatomy, her anatomy coming together in every detail, It quite simply makes me sick to my stomach…I realized that even if My MM had left his wife for me, i would never had trusted him, especially when you realize what a needy frantic person he had already reduced me too. HE IS WITH HER…NOT YOU and no amount of money, children etc would keep him from you if he truly loved you and were what he wanted. GET busy…become unavailable, wear your self out doing things ,get a new life and PRAY daily for strength.

  12. Faye says:

    Charles, just read your posting…F..K Y.., tuff having to pay the price for being a lieing coward, I admire “Carrie”. at least she had the good jusgment to kick your as. to the curb. what makes you think that you can carry a realtionship on with some one for such a long time and then have her fall in live with you and then think that by finally telling her the truth that she woudl ” Understand ” and be ok with it, obvisouly she had much more self esteem then the majority of woman like me that are on this site. I found your comments interesting about your soon to be ex wife, You yourself said she mothered YOUR children and that your gone all the time, sound slike to me she stayed busy ” doing her Country Club SET” types of things to fill the void of not having an emotionally connected husband, I also found it ammusing how that you talked about all the things ” Carrie” did for you and how she made YOU feel blah blah blah, you never talked about what you did for her other than “Break her tender heart”. Sounds like you are dealing with the consequences of your actions, hopefully you will have learned something. My advice to you is leave “Carrie” alone , its obvious she has castrated you from her life.If you really care for her you will leave her alone and hope that she is happy and moving on, Be a Man, and move on in truth and quit crying in your “Stella Artois”.

  13. truthhurts says:

    Charles, you can have a bad marriage and you can fall in love with someone else but you should have handled all of that with integrity and character. You didn´t.

    “Carrie” thought she met this single great guy, honest, good character etc. But you lied, you turned out to be spineless and simply not the man you let her think you were. So not only have you hurt her by lying, more importantly she has decided that someone who behaves as a coward and who lies is not good enough for her.

    And no matter how much you regret it now, you cannot undo that. You cannot undo who you are or were. Even if you change now, this damage is done and you will have to live with the consequences.

    Before you start dating anyone or persue “Carrie” you have to really dig deep and figure out why you lost your integrity and how you can become a man. A real good man that someone like Carrie would want to be with.

  14. Charles says:

    Faye: Everything you say here is true, don’t you think I am so painfully aware of the pain I have caused. I am..Truth Hurts: Yes your right I handled everything badly, It was all such new territory for me and I did’nt have the courage to handle things responsibly. But I feel like everyone is being some what self righteous, after all your all here because some of you went at it fully knowing your guy was married some not…My realtionship with Carrie started so innocently and grew to what it became. Carrie is unlike anyone I have ever met, Kind, genuine Real! and I truly love her…I took Carrie to beautiful places, sent her flowers just because …not to get into her pants but because I loved doing things for her and she was always so appreciative of every gesture no matter how small. Her smile made my world better and I finally told her the whole truth because Carrie made me want to be a better man. I am a better MAN because of knowing her…I deal with the gulit of hurting her every day. and your right I can’t unchange things I can only do better. Let me ask you Ladies, Do you think I would ever have a chance in hell to win Carrie’s heart back? we were so in love. I still Love her

  15. sadkitty says:

    Hi Charles,

    I’m not judging you here I have been where you are, kind of. I see what Faye is getting at though by pointing out that this all seems to be about you and how you feel and what you want. I read your first post that said you met online, were you on a dating site looking for someone? If so then I would like to mention that your relationship did not start out innocently. I also want to point out that she was then actually looking for someone and looking for someone who was available. Listen I know how much it must hurt you to not have her in your life but you need to look at this from her point of view. She probably felt the same way about you that you feel about her. What if the tables were turned. What if you spent a YEAR of your precious life with carrie and then she told you she was married. Take what you have learned here which as you say that you are a better man because of carrie and hold on to it. Be the better man for the next woman that you meet. I doubt carrie will ever understand why you presented yourself as single and lied to her for a year. The best you can do is leave her alone and move on the best you can. You do owe her that.

  16. truthhurts says:

    Charles, you talk about all she means to you but consider what you brought her. I don´t think she will accept the man you are instead of the man she thought you were.
    If you take of your rosetintend glasses, have you considered if you would respect and want someone who accepts this? Or do you want someone with selfesteem who only wants an available and righteous person?
    I´d think the latter. And if so, become that men for future women you might date. But it is simply too late for Carrie, you have disqualified yourself with her.

  17. truthhurts says:

    Oh, and I am talking from experience, i´ve been in your shoes too 😉 And it is hard letting go and accepting you messed up. I loved my ex even more for having the pride to not want me back. But you learn from it and become a better person and in the end that will bear fruit.

  18. chris says:

    Charles…It is Sunday afternoon here in my neck of the woods and i googled “how to get over a married man” and found this site. GOD must really love me because i swear your name should be Jay. I met Jay on an online interracial dating site about two years ago. Like you he travels all the time, lives in DC part time and the southwest the other. for over a year we saw each other , talked almost everynight and often his voice was the first call I had in the morning. we would see each other when “HE” could squeeze me into his schedule and I fell madly in love with him, He was everything I had ever dreamed of, and we became extremely close ( or so I thought) Because of his line of work he would have to travel to the middle east for extended periods of time and we would chat online everyday. He was smart. good looking and sexually I had never experienced the way’s he made me feel. Listen to me…for OVER A YEAR we saw each other and he always told me he was divorced… This last spring for what ever reason I was sitting at my desk working and “Jay” called me, I could tell by the tone in his voice that he was very upset and soooo while I am working he informs me that he couldnt do it any longer he had to come clean with me and told me he was married, that he had been married for 12 years. I remember feeling like I had been punched in the stomach, My head began to spin and l literally felt like i was going to vomit. I sit in a large office in a cubicle with no privacy at all, and it took every ounce of strength I had to maintain my composure. He began to babble about his marriage being bad and that “she” was the most selfish person he knew, but that he couldnt leave her because his daughter was only 14 and this wife (his second) had raised her for several years ( they have no children together) that because of all the traveling and his daughters highschool activities he couldnt leave her, But that he loved me and I was his best Friend etc ( you get the picture I am sure)..To say I was devastated would be an understatement…I was gutted…..How had i been so naive so stupid so trusting….I remember hanging up on him and making it through the day, calling a friend to pick my little boy up after school and telling her that I needed an evening to myself. I left work early where I promptly went to the closest liquor store bought a bottle of booze and like a zombie dragged myself home and proceeded to get “hammered”…How could he be my best friend and lie to me in such a wretched manner. a few days went by and I called him, more so because i wanted answers as to how I could have been such a moron but more so tryign to figure out how he could be. slowly I let him talk his way back into my life, I have seen him twice since January…most recently I allowed him to come to my place while my son is away on holiday with family. Here he was in my home, my bed, my shower and you know what after he left I felt such incredible guilt and shame and anger….I have deleted all of his numbers from my phone, emails etc. blocked him everyway I know…and here today I sit….so hurt and so disgusted with myself.. It was one thing to be involved with him when i thought he wasnt married, But another thing now that I know. I feel for his wife…does she know? I’am sure I am not the first one, probably won’t be the last…I am so disappointed on so many levels..at the top of the list is the realization that this MAN was not who I thought he was, his character, integrity …everything is questionable…and I will never trust him , no matter what he says or what he does….He played with my heart, my emotions and my life…even at one time calling me Chris …. ( his last name, and saying I have that feeling about us I really do). I am a single Mom of a fantatastic little guy. and believe me when a single mom gets involved with a man it isnt something she takes lightly, Your first question is “will this guy be a suitable parent”. I thought he was great in so many ways, Not perfect but great….If Jay were to call me and tellme he was getting a divorce etc. I can honestly say as hard as it would be…I would not allow him back into my life, Quite frankly for the past 6 months I have’nt believed a word that has came out of his mouth, and I don’t see how he could ever EVER redeem himself. Sometimes we make terrible decisions and have to suffer the consequences…and somethings that get broken …NEVER can be fixed. I have wondered so many times if he has continued to pursue me because he isnt use to being told no. So you need to move on, carry the scar of your deceit and hope to God that he will bring some one in to your life. Good luck.

  19. chris says:

    oh yea I forgot to add that he is back on that dating site still looking to charm the pants off of some poor unsuspecting creature…

  20. chris says:

    GUESS WHAT….after reading the blogs here from Charles and the things I wrote I had a part today and invited “ME”. It’s 100F outside and I fired up the bar b q, drug out the margarita machine and have spent the entire afternoon, having a “Burn Party”. I have burned every picture,every letter, every email and chat (printed them out for the ceremony), burned three blouses, 2 skirts and a chest full of sexy lingerie…I may sound crazy…but ladies I can’t tell you how liberating it was…Even though I knew it was over, having such things around me seemed to weaken my resolve at times or make me feel nostaglic when i would look at them..( which I have done alot over the past few months)…I have rearranged my bedroom and ordered a new comforter and sheets for my bed …and i’m thinking about getting my long hair cut off…..(he uase to say “Don’t cut your Hair”…..as drastic as it may sound, it was hard to do all of the above but think of it like a wake…now I truly can begin to the grief process and get on the road to recovery.

  21. sadkitty says:

    Chris Dont cut your hair!!! You will regret it

  22. chris says:

    Thanks Sad Kitty, I was being dramatic :)…I won’t cut my hair off, but I would like to cut his pecker off, it’s so wierd, I have spent so much time being devastated and sad that right now I am really angry…I mean pretty damn MAD! All these months and I have’nt been mad, but Boy I am now….It is amzing what human beings are capable of, and all the lies for so long that he told me, all the sweet things all of it …He makes me sick to my stomach,,,,and worse I am so mad at myself for falling for the jack ass like I did, as I look back and think about things he had the perfect cover, traveling all the time, etc…to places unknow because of his job ( High Ranking Militayr officer) UGH!!!!! He was probably home 2/3rds of the time….Do you know the last thing he said to me was that he needed me and he needed my friendship that he could handle us just remaing close friends, Was that too soothe his concience ( assuming he has one) ?

  23. charles says:

    thanks ladies for your honesty…I really am not a horrible man, I made a horrible mistake and if i could undo the hurt and pain I have caused i would. Chris, reading your story here was a real reality facing experience. Thank you for sharing Good luck to all of you

  24. Brad K. says:


    He might be a conniving, manipulative bastard, and told you he wanted to remain friends to watch you twist in the wind.

    I suspect, though, that change is measured in pain. And he just doesn’t want any more change than has to be. If he can keep you around, it makes his life simpler – at least he doesn’t have to grieve losing you.

    He may be deluded, thinking that you would be willing to play the same roles in his life that you had been, except for the intimate part (which he understands is over . . . for now . . maybe . . . stuff happens).

    Staying friends would make life simpler for him, that is why he asked. Frankly, when you break up, what his proposition or contact means to you, is now completely your responsibility, and not his any longer.

    Don’t forgive the bozo, by any means. But eventually, for your own health, you will need to begin living for today, and not yesterday. Looking for additional reasons to separate, stay apart, or be angry with him are mostly a waste of your time. The best revenge is living well.

    When you start replacing sheets and underthings, pay close attention to fabrics and fits that feel comfortable. Then, every once in a while you can feel the flannel sheets, and think, “That feels nice.”

    As for cutting your hair – long hair on young girls has been a symbol of “I available for marriage, come talk to Daddy and settle on the bride price.” Well, in some cultures and times, anyway. For others there is a mystic or sacred meaning in their hair and style. Hair style can be ammunition in a struggle for social or cultural position. For some of us, we find a simple cut that is easy to care for, and put our energy into other things.

    Right now you are letting him control your life – burning and discarding things because of their connection to him is still partly about him and his affect on you. The hair will be a long time recovering, if ever, if you let this reaction rob you of something that you later realize you cherish for its own sake.

    I would be careful of thoughts that your hair or how you wear it have anything to do with being attractive to a good man. Any man. If a guy is attracted to your hair, chances are that he will eventually look for another with that long hair, then another and another. You want a man that sees you for who you really are, not just as someone with long hair. Wear your hair to suit your self image, be who you are inside.


    Brad K.’s last blog post..Book: Judge Judy gets tough on romance

  25. sarah says:

    Charles i dont think you are a horrible man, I think the situation is not that black and white. People who are married can fall in love with other people and it is really hard to get out of a marriage and now you are really suffering.

    I tried to finish with my MM and it is making me really ill, my blood pressure has gone sky high, I have chest pains, panic attacks and shaking. He has been in my life so long it is like cutting my right arm off. The GP told me to just stop trying to make such a hard decision and go with the flow. THe MM has been so worried about me he says just stop doing this and we can just be friends. Dont get me wrong I want to finish but I have no support no other man, even though have been internet dating, lots of creeps! It is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do, I am still hoping for a miracle to help me. I think some people do not take into account this could actually make you very ill to do!

  26. Brad K. says:


    Anytime a man (or woman) cheats, he has a failure of character. If you honor and live in your marriage vows, if your attention is satisfied with your mate, then you won’t notice other people sexually or any other way that encroaches on behavior between mates.

    There are always two sides to every story, and with a daughter and lawyers involved the truth seldom endures. You may have picked the wrong woman to marry – or you may have failed to be the honest, honorable, disciplined person that a mate needs. You may have paid too much attention you yourself, or not enough. She definitely failed to resolve problems – nagging is an enormous sign of disrespect, always. Whatever.

    You have a daughter. She has, or she will, hear every version of every story ever told about your marriage, in court or out. What she need from you is a disciplined, honorable, compassionate, honest warrior. You need to show the character of the man you want her to marry. If you do that well enough, she will likely pick a guy to marry that you can respect, even if you don’t actually like him (before the grandchildren arrive). Today is about generations, as well as relationships.

    Be the father your daughter needs, and if you run across a woman of character some three years, five years or more down the road, she will be likely to be interested in you, too. In the mean time, forget “hot” and “sexy” – and think “character” as the basic virtue you need in your life.

    It isn’t easy to get from a messy divorce to a stable and disciplined life. You will likely have to reconsider each friendship, each activity you engage in. As you are involved in a divorce, you don’t really need a reminder that change is measured in discomfort and pain. But keep that in mind as you face being a single father – and learn the father role all over again.


    Brad K.’s last blog post..BR: Commitment, a perspective

  27. sarah says:

    kikki how are you, seems we may be in the same situation, and as no one on this site seems to read or reply to my entries thought I would try you. I also have a lot of shit with family issues, my parents etc, and very little support from anyone. Have to work full time and a family to take care of, ending a long passionate relationship with someone who still wants you is something I have never done before and I get no help only critism. Gp has said am in a high anxiety state and should take it very easy, any stress is something to avoid, she does not think I can cope with this at the moment. Kikki please let me know how you are?

  28. suparsta says:


    You lack self esteem, no guy that is married is worth your tears or time!!!! believe me when i say this most MM will tell you anything you want to hear, but if they truly wanted you nothing would prevent it not finances,kids, wives…the list is endless…you cant remain friends with them either, cut all ties and try to understand why you allowed them into your life in the first instance!!!…why would you take second best? the world is full of eligible single guys that can give you what you require and not only on their terms!!!…please turn your backs let go of this fantasy world you live in and go find reality…

  29. Faye says:

    Hi Girls,It’s been exactly 6 months to he day since I dumped my MM. ( yes everyday I have counted the time off). and surprsingly enough last night MM actually called me. It had been solong I didnt even realize it was him calling when I saw his number. He was cordial and friendly wanted to get caught up , told me he sure missed me, sure missed talking to me etc…I have to tell you that hearing his voice was a little jarring but I didnt get weak inthe knee’s, Did not feel this great rush of pain or anxiety or any real strong emotions at all, “IT WAS GREAT FEELING…well…nothing actually. He asked if we could meet for lunch and catch up and I told himno , i didnt want to meet him for lunch or see him, that i was glad i he was well and it was nice to hear from him, but that i had to go. and said “Take care” Bye…. :0) so my encouraging words for all today are that “TIME” and DISTANCE will get you through this, and 6 months ago when i was crying everyday, unable to eat and feeling a miserable amount of pain, I am sooo much better today and am moving on and actually able to see my whole affair for what it was…A one sided liason that benfitted my MM greatly and left me wounded and confused…Stay strong, stay away from your MM and give your self the time and space you need to heal, only then can you take of your rose shaded glasses and see it for what it really was. God Bless you sisters in the fight.

  30. sarah says:

    ,Suparsta thanks for your entry, however I am 50 I have been dating from internet for last 6 months and believe me the guys on them are not a lot of good, maybe if I was yonger, although saying that in my 40s they were pretty crap too. Perhaps there is a place to meet decent single men, I wish you could tell me. I have a good job but work with just women, have tried evening classes, singles clubs, blind dates. I know I have been involved with MM but I do believe if someone decent came along I would give it a chance. I met someone two months ago really liked him and him more, but he just chickened out and stopped contacting me for no reason, you just feel like giving up. So after 6 weeks of hell of not seeing MM and trying to finish it, and have made myself ill, saw him for an afternoon of sex and cuddles. OK maybe not the best idea but sorry even if I dont see him again ever or for a long time it was so good for me and dont regret it, what the hell are women suppose to do. I am an attractive intelligent women, i am a widow have two older children and you need some excitement. What I am saying is I know it is wrong and in a perfect world you should meet someone and live happily ever after but this is a crazy mixed up world and maybe you need to snatch moments where you cant. I dont have low self esteem I just have no family support I have good friends who support me and actually understand and dont condemn me and the ones who are married actually say they can understand why I hold onto some kind of loving when I can find nothing else. Only guys on the internet who want to have sex with me before they have even meet me. Sure I would love to finish with MM but am sick of pain in my life. By the way I did not know he was still married when I met him, and would NEVER do this again

  31. sarah says:

    For website people – can you please delete the last entry i made about half an hour ago, thnik i did not think it through and am in denial would rather not have it printed. Sorry for this. Thanks a lot

  32. Faye says:

    Sarah, don’t apologize, you were venting your frustration…the fact is alot of us feel or have felt the same way…one of the things that you are so dead on about i sthe whole internet dating genre…it’s rediculous…a vast majority of folks on there are looking for SEX…Cyber sex to be exact…so I am not sure its the best place to meet someone of any real caliber for a long term realtionship, I could tell you some stories that would have you laughing on the floor…anyhow…I am finding the less I look for someone the better I feel, Get busy doing things for you, things you really enjoy and you will be surprised to find that just when you least expect it you will meet a really good man…sounds like to me you have way to much offer the morons that seem to fall in your path…I know this for myself as I have been a “JERK MAGNET” for most of my adult life… :0)
    In my recovery ( for thats what it really is) I am finding that I ma a really great woman with so many wonderful attributes that I never gave myself credit before and it is empowering me and also helping me to be selective about who I share my time with….Keep you chin up and know that this is the greatest time in our lives to be at our ages…We are wise and we are beautiful….bless you

  33. sarah says:

    Faye you are a darling thank you so much for your comments I felt so much better after reading them. Will continue to try to improve things in my life x

  34. suparsta says:


    i really think you should view your outlook in an entirely different way!!..you seem to come across as needy and perhaps that scares men away…this is not a critiscism just how it appears…im a 41 yr old mum of 4 kids and have been down that same path..but to be fair the men you attract dont seem to be bringing you much happiness?…i have alot of single men friends whom i chat with to get an honest male perspective, 1 guy in particular told me a story of this girl he met at work!! he fancied the pants off her and everyday looked for her in the office, she was sexy ..intelligent abitious and it seemed he had hit the jackpot!! he plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date, the had a fantastic time and the next day she made him a pack lunch at work!! from that moment on the attraction had died!! he viewed her in a light that he had never seen before..moral of the story dont appear needy its not an attractive quality..you have a great job and good friends if you stop searching for a life partner like its the end of the world maybe your meet a genuine guy that wants you for you!…your MM can only bring you heartache, build up some self esteem and live your life more positively…

  35. DJ says:

    Hey Everyone:
    I’m so happy that I found this site but I still haven’t let my MM go. I’ve been seeing him for 1 year and 7 months. I’m sure I don’t have to share how difficult it is to make the decision to let the MM’s go. I just need to know from all the ladies that have made it there, did you just snap one day and couldn’t take it anymore or what steps did you take to get to that point. HELP!

  36. caroline says:

    Hi ladies, many thanks for reading this message.

    I am a writer for Marie Claire magazine and I’m working on a feature on women whose partners left a wife/girlfriend to be with them.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re still with the man in question – a variety of experiences is expected (and welcomed!)

    The piece will be very positive and non-judgmental, and will comprise a short telephone interview. You will get the opportunity to take part in a photo shoot with of the magazine’s top photographers.

    If you, or anyone you know, has been in this situation, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at [email protected]. Thanks in advance!

  37. sarah says:

    Hi DJ, I keep trying to let go but it is to painful for me, making me ill painful I mean. I think the key might be to put more things into your life and keep really really busy. Also trying to date other men, although I would steer away from internet dating as all the blokes i meet were not worth it, and the ones I spoke to on line were worse. Anyway by trying to fill your life with as much as possible, then you can push MM further out of life and put more positive things into it!! Thats what I am trying to do it may be easier and less painful that cutting things off 100% and going cold turkey. Its ok for people to say to do this but if you have little support from family and friends its very hard and easy for outsiders to judge and expect you to do the impossible for you. Also keep hoping and praying miracles may happen, this is what I am hoping for. I hardly ever get to see my MM now and I feel really sad all the time but its maybe easier than seeing him too much. More than anything else be kind to yourself. Anyway thats my plan. Good luck x

  38. Meant to be Happy says:

    I know how difficult it is to break up with a MM. I ended my “relationship” 16 days ago, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was with him for 14 months, and what made me “finally snap” was realizing that I would never be a priority for him, that he mostly wanted me to fulfill his own physical needs, and that he could not express his feelings for me. He could not tell me ways that he valued me as a person, just physical attributes. I wrote out a list of things he’d done/characteristics that made me feel upset, and there were over 30 of them that flowed from my fingers onto the computer screen (all typical of EUM’s). I also knew he would never leave his wife and I was sick of waiting for him to call, email, chat online, or basically communicate with me so I could feel “connected”. I was stressed and miserable waiting all the time. I also felt guilty for the possible consequences for innocent people if our affair was discovered. Reading many posts on this site was also helpful. I kind of did a version of the “get out plan” instead of going NC cold turkey, and I did actually break up with him over the phone. You can always come to this site for support. The fastest way to get feedback is usually commenting on the most recent post (which is “normalized bad relationship behaviour” – or something similar – right now). Good luck with your decision.

  39. Tracey Lawson says:

    I ended my relationship with a married man in Nov 2008. It still hurts but im getting there. We were together 5 years he said he would leave but never did. In fact a lot of what he said was probably fictional i wasted five years of my life on him and caused myself untold pain and heartache. BUT YOU LIVE AND LEARN.

  40. DJ says:

    Sarah, Meant to be Happy & Tracey. Thank you sooo much for responding and all of your feedback is extremely helpful. I pray for peace, for you ladies and everyone on this site. Hopefully will see these MM’s for true worth. I wish they felt just a small piece of the pain we have gone through and continue to put ourselves through. Tracey, you’re a true inspiration and because of stories like yours, I know that I can let go and I’ll be okay. You didn’t waste time, you only learned a very hard lesson. Good luck on your journey to happiness. Thanks ladies. I will continue to post and I hope that my next post will be because of letting him go.

  41. sarah says:

    Hi DJ, nice to hear from you. I really wonder if many men do feel the pain that you have been through. Dont think its only MM other men are like this too. Some of my single friends going through pain with their single men friends say the same things. Even relatively nice man dont seem to realise sometimes what they put women through. I have been married and involved with various men in my life and have seen this. This is my first and my last MM. Anyway this MM who I have been seeing for ever, was seperated when I met him. I dont see him much now and am definately feeling better because of this. Maybe I am normalising abnormal behaviour as someone suggested, but I know its not a good situation and I know it can never be right, but you sometimes just have to get through the best way for you at the time, I know it wont be for too much longer. Good luck DJ hope you can do it but do take care of yourself which every decision you make.

  42. Faye says:

    Sarah, How are you doing? how are you holding up?

  43. miss him says:

    I have just ended it with my married boyfriend of 4.5 years. We work together and I love him so much. He has no intention of leaving his wife although I have convinced myself that if I was just “better” somehow, this would happen. I have been a nervous wreck for the past week. I am so torn and don’t know how to get through this. Please help me! I need any advice I can get. He just sent me an email today saying how amazing I am. He never says this unless I’m ending it with him. It kills me to be such a pathetic loser. I’ve missed so much of my life but yet I miss him. Please help me!!!!

  44. Brad K. says:

    @ miss him,

    Call it buyers remorse, call it the depression everyone experiences when they change jobs – I call it grief. Change is measured in pain, we always regret losing what we had before when change redirects our life.

    You are losing someone that has been important in your life; your body is adapting to his absence, and that hurts, for now. The anger, the denial, the bargaining (If I did this, or said that, I could have him back, maybe?) Don’t think of your turmoil as breaking up, think of is as a personal loss, even if you chose to break up.

    “It kills me to be such a pathetic loser.” I disagree. When you stopped waiting for him to do something honorable, to life a shared life where you enjoy the trust and respect you deserve, you acted to take control of your own life. That is not a losing kind of thing.

    But change is measured in pain and discomfort, and this will not be a happy kind of time. You will find your time and energy spent on dealing with your feelings and emotions, the depression part will sap your strength and energy (we really are hardwired to continue whatever we were doing – breaking out of a bad cycle to build a better life is still tough to do, ask anyone quitting overeating, drinking, drugs, text messaging, chasing the Grateful Dead, etc.). Keeping a daily journal can help you track your feelings, and your thoughts and plans, if you record the biggest two or three thoughts at a time.

    But one suggestion – look at NML’s No Contact Rule, and follow all the instructions. Letting him get messages to you, even if you don’t read them or reply, will hurt you and delay getting better.

    After a couple of months we feel invested in a relationship, and breaking up gets harder and harder.

    NML and others claim that it gets better with time – allow at least a month or three.

  45. DJ says:

    WOW! Brad K. Your words are very encouraging and so true. I’m going to end things with my MM and my biggest fear is the hurt that I’ll feel when I do. Thank you soooo much for commenting and even though you wrote it for Miss him, your words helped me as well. Miss Him, I’m so proud of you for having the strength to end your relationship. That took a lot of courage and I think you should be proud of the strength you have found. Your biggest revenge will be getting over him. My MM also starts to compliment me, he becomes nicer and plays up on what attracts me the most to him. But somehow this time when I was acting kind of quiet and he started the usual, I just said to myself, here we go again. I’m only sexy when he feels me pulling away. Remember that the holidays are coming up. I honestly can’t spend another holiday season with someone that won’t be there to share special memories with me. I’ve given him more than enough time and so have you. We all deserve #1. I heard a discussion on the radio about being the other woman. The woman said that when your #2, you can’t promote yourself, the man has to do it. Then if you ever get that #1 position, you will have the same thing that #1 has now. A man with another woman. Stay strong and there will be happiness soon.

  46. sarah says:

    Hi Faye, I am ok. Have been diagnosed with Angina, all a bit of a shock really, am not surprised with all of the stress I have been through with him over the last few years and also family problems probably 50/50. Am on drugs now to help it and not feeling well, am far too concerned about my kids than MM. Anyway dont think about him so much he rings me to see how i am have not seen him for a while. Funny how something like this puts it into prospective. Wonder if I had not met him would I have got sick? Have always gone after the wrong man. Am looking for a dog now. Hope you are ok and surviving it all, I think that MM and bad relationships do however damage your healthx

  47. jane says:

    Hey guys. My MM who claims to be seperated is still telling me he loves me etc after a month of breaking up and 2 months of being in a different city to him (so no physical contact). I’m not sure if I buy it, what do you think?

    however he doesnt want his wife to find out about us so has loads of typical EUM traits, but he also says his wife knows about us he just doesnt want to rub it in her face. I’m actually thinking they do still live together as I called his landline yesterday and guess who picked up?! but his reason for this was that she’s going on holiday so he wants to spend time with his son so she’s staying over… He just seems to have an explanation for everything!!!

    I hate being in this situation it’s really brought out traits in me which i did not think existed!

  48. lover says:

    has he ever came back after you caled it quits

  49. DJ says:

    Hey Jane:

    Run!!! Do what you should have done at the beggining. And everyone on this site. She answered the phone because they are still together. Ask for signed and notarized divorce or settlement papers. Trust your gut instinct on this one. I wish I would have. Don’t blow this opportunity of letting him go. Trust yourself, please.

  50. DJ says:

    Dear Sarah:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your health. I am happy to hear that you are looking at things differently. Did you break up with your MM prior to finding out about your health? I find myself stressed and emotionally drained. I don’t want to end up with health problems but at this rate, how I could I avoid it. Do you talk to your MM when he calls? I think your right about men though, not sure if there are any good one’s out there. Well please take care of yourself and goodluck on the dog search.
    .-= DJ´s last blog ..Family Picture =-.

  51. sarah says:

    Hi DJ, love the photo. Thanks for your message. I only found out 2 weeks ago about my angina I am still in shock and trying to get used to the medication. Prior to this his wife found out about us and it was all terrible, just awful, he actually did leave her and come to me but went back again. She has contacted me on facebook but I ignore her now. She was so nasty to me putting comments on the internet about me and contacting my daughter. I can understand her hating me but she has just forgiven her husband like I was 100% to blame. I still had contact with him after this, but when I actually tried to finish with him completely was when I got ill, I might have had a minor heart attack I dont know but I remember that that incident started this. This is after years of stress with him, plus family problems of my own. So I still talk to him and saw him about three weeks ago, but because she found out she watches him 24/7 he says he hates it but yet he still stays with her. Anyway I really dont want him now but continue to talk to him sometimes but feel this will fizzle out in time, but am definately not going to put myself through making major decisions again. Sometimes cutting something off like this is too painful, I dont think its always a black and white situation. I am in my 50s now and think because what has happened to me I will be on my own, guess I blew my chances staying with him so long. But I did have a great time with him, really but honestly never thought we would be together, he is a very very weak man and has not got the balls. I have never given myself an easy time with men. Have no dog yet but am still hoping for a laborador, preferably chocolate. Hope you are ok and surviving in this horrible MM situation. Yes I still love him if I am honest, but what are you going to do!X

  52. DJ says:

    Hey everyone:
    I think I got my final enough is enough. I have his password to his voicemail and there was a message from another woman saying “Hello, why are you ignoring my calls and text. I asked you to do something for me, you said you would and then you don’t. Is it because I won’t do that other thing with you? That’s not right, I won’t do that either.” I called my apartment asked them to change the lock and I’m texting him after work and telling him that I don’t want to see him anymore, can’t talk about it right now. Please respect my wishes. I know it’s crazy but I feel betrayed and there is no way that message meant anything else but sexual. I’m done!!!!

  53. sarah says:

    HI Dj, felt so bad for you, am thinking of you, the pain is awful. Take each day, or each hour at a time, and get help from family, frinends the samaritans are great in the middle of the night if you cant sleep. Keep us posted please x

  54. DJ says:

    Hey Sarah:
    Thank you soooo much. I really needed your comment this morning. I told him last night. I told him over the phone. He seemed angry at first, then apologized for hurting me. Told me he’ll love me for ever. It kills me that he wouldn’t say I love you when we we’re together but always tells me when I end it. This time is for good. The voicemail was the push I needed to end it and everytime I think about the situation, I think to myself, what a selfish person to have 2 woman and possibly a 3rd. I can’t continue to hurt everytime he walks out the door and stolen moments are no longer enough for me. For now, I’m going to steer clear of men and get myself together, so I can recognize a healthy relationship when it comes my way. I will continue to post because it’s very helpful and sarah if you ever need someone to talk to, email me on my personal email and I’ll give you my number. Don’t want to impose but thought maybe we can help eachother through the healing process. My email is [email protected]. Hope to hear from you.

  55. ta says:

    well can you guys tell me what is the best way to end it? Cold turkey, calling telling him that you “wish him the best and that I am sure you will have no problem finding another person to take my place, so good bye and good riddance?” Part of me wants to text or call my guy and tell him he is an a****** and that i wish him the best of luck and to never call me again….but I feel if i do that, he will really know that he has gotten the best of me and my heart.

  56. Brad K. says:

    @ Ta,

    A couple of years ago, I read an article about bad mouthing and harsh words. It seems the internet is a small community. Harsh words often come back to haunt you.

    There is the specter of wasted breath. If he didn’t care enough to make you happy, if he wasn’t smart enough to figure out he was making you unhappy, then the chances are that there is nothing that you can say now that he will hear and understand. Not only would telling him off be a waste of breath, but you are not his mommy, not his jailer or teacher – you have no right or responsibility to train or correct him. Launching into him, telling him off would just be disrespectful and abusive. While I don’t care whether he has earned himself a plate full of feeling the bad he has dished out, it isn’t good for you to be whacking away on anyone. Good relationships are based on respect; the time to focus on respect and the positive starts right now.

    If you are on reasonably cordial terms – tell him you wish him well. Wish him well and goodbye. You are severing a relationship – that means you no longer have any interest in what he does or feels in the next year or month or hour. You want no more ties to him; don’t patronize him, don’t say or think anything about the next person(s) in his life. The best revenge, if you feel the need, is living well. You don’t have to forgive or forget – you will likely grieve losing someone that has been important in your life, regardless of how you part or how happy you were – but you cannot do, wish, or say things about him without making new bonds tying you back to him and the relationship. That has to fade before you will be really ready to move on.

    There is a certain amount of respect to yourself and to him, in breaking it off face to face. Some things can be conveyed with body language that reinforce and emphasize the words. There are exceptions – if you fear violence, the right way to break up is a restraining order, which a battered women’s shelter can help you arrange. If there are substance abuse issues, then there usually isn’t much reason to worry about respect – or revenge.

    You break up for your own good, for security in your life. You want escape from compromises and mistakes you have made. You need to take care of yourself better than you were able to do within that relationship. From the moment you decide to break up, you no longer have a reason or right to make his life any more hurtful or happy – your first and most important goal is to get settled safely on your own.

    You break up because you made a mistake. Either you picked the wrong guy to start with, or you failed to make a lasting relationship. There is little room here for pride. You are telling him goodbye so you can take care of yourself. This is not the time to worry about whether he got the best of you. He failed to make you a happy woman. There is nothing, now, he can do to make that right. No show of one-upmanship can do you any good. This is an occasion of sadness, of loss. Your best hope right now is for relief that it is over, and maybe release of fear about him.

    You start working on your own healing and coming to grips with what went wrong and how to proceed more happily – right now. You get to choose how much drama you want to tie to this lost affair, how much more you wish to engage with him about this and that. The least damage and hurt – in either direction – the less healing you will have to overcome.

    You might read up on this site, about No Contact. Read about when No Contact is the right thing to do. NC is much stronger than cold turkey – cold turkey, just ducking out without saying anything, is rude. NC is also aggressively defensive – you disable every means he might use to contact you – filter out his emails and text messages so you never know he tried to contact you, change your phone number, move if you need to. NC is about creating a safe time and place to begin massive healing, not something that applies to ant relationship that comes apart. Only you can tell if you or he need the full brunt of NC. Barring that, though, cold turkey seems disrespectful and less than honest.


  57. ta says:

    Thanks Brad K. I thank you for all your insights. Well…I did it..I basically told him via text that I didnt want to have to say what I was going to say but that I was officially ending the relationship. That I am sure he could easily find a someone to fill what I was providing and for him to never contact me again. I wished him the best of luck in his life. He responded with “Best of luck. This is for the best. Goodbye ta”. I dont know how to take it…I didnt respond but I didnt know if he really knew it was time to end it or that he didnt care…we’ve tried ending it before but not with me saying dont ever contact me again and then a week later with him saying no it cant end yet. So I am sad…confused…but somewhat relieve…and even angry! I go through all the emotions then I sat and wasted the whole day be sad and depressed….I just think how pathetic..I hope I really will be able to get over it soon so I do not have to waste any more time and energy foolishly.

  58. Brad K. says:

    @ ta,

    I imagine several things are going on.

    One is grief. Real grief, the “I lost someone important in my life” kind. The one we really don’t have much control over. Grief that it may help to find someone experienced with grief to help recognize the distinct stages, can help you understand what you are going through.

    Grief entails several stages that many people experience – denial that the loss happened,anger at the one now gone, a stage where you believe that you can recover or bargain with the g-ds to get the loved one back, acceptance that the loss is real and forever, and finally healing and turning toward tomorrow. A few days? Hardly. A year or three? Usually not. Grief takes it’s own time, and often cycles through a couple-three times. Every person, every loss is different.

    I know that you were enamored of “getting” to him, of throwing that comment about finding another at him – but that is a tie to the future. That implies you are interested in the future, perhaps even that you will be watching. And definitely counts as “fishing”. Fishing, as in, “I am saying goodbye. Now it is your turn – tell me not to go, that you cannot go on without me, that you realize I am really the love of your life.” Fishing, as in, not completely sure you really mean “goodbye”.

    And that is another reason you are feeling a bit lost right now. Because you really, really wanted him to see the light and convince you that he will be the man you need, and that you should stay together with him.

    There are likely dozens of men that you aren’t sleeping with, for one reason or another. I think that if you decided that this guy has just become another one of them, another guy that you don’t want in your life now or ever, that you won’t care about his reaction.

    Who knows what he meant, when you text message? Did he mean that he is being polite, respectful, and accepting your goodbye, keeping his feelings to himself, since you didn’t ask? Did he mean he has been waiting for you to take yourself off of his list of problems? Did he mean he thinks he can have more fun with the time and energy that he doesn’t have to spend on you? Did he mean he was relieved that you won’t be tripping over his new girlfriend(s) or boy toys? It doesn’t matter. Did he mean that, if you didn’t care to break up face to face then the relationship apparently didn’t mean much more to you than it did to him? Who knows.

    It appears you are still unsure about whether to break things off or not. You are still counting on that week’s grace period from the past, hoping he will be back. It appears you are using this breakup as a test for him, rather than a decision to take your life and heart away from the relationship with him.

    If you want to turn that around, to choose to walk away and to create a wall between him and your heart, you need to stop worrying about what he says and does, or might say and do. Stay busy so you don’t waste *too* much time second guessing yourself. Maybe make a list of reasons you need him gone, so that you can heal and be available if someone suitable comes along, and keep that handy for times you get to wondering and worrying.

    And I might consider canceling the text messaging service. Especially between friends and family, text messages leech so much meaning out of the message. Phone is better, but face time is way best. I mean, no one ever got a hug over the phone – or texting.


30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.