Friends don't try to screw with you, screw with your mind, or screw you over

Sometimes I catch myself when I’m about to describe someone as a friend when they’re more of an acquaintance or near close to being a stranger and I correct myself. The mutual relationship between friends has become quite cheap in this day and age when you’ve got people who have one thousand friends on Facebook and barely two friends to rub together in real life. It’s not just the friend lists and faux friendships though; it’s the bastardizing of the term and what should be quality, valuable relationships in your life.

  • We say ‘friends’ to people as an “open sesame” for casual sex.
  • We claim that we’re ‘best friends’ with someone who we were never actually friends with in the first place but whom it makes the affair behind their partners back more palatable.
  • We throw around the term ‘friends’ after a breakup to make ourselves feel better… or to pave the way to keeping a foot in the door and having the person we’ve just dumped as a backup plan.
  • We offer ‘friendship’ to soften the blow even though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a friendship isn’t immediately possible when at least one of you has romantic feelings (and possibly keeps trying to pull your pants down).
  • We accept the offer of ‘friendship’ after a breakup because we don’t want to look ‘immature’ (we’re not) , we’re hoping to sell ‘em in on this option and then upgrade them again at a later date, or because we’re worried that people will think that there’s something ‘wrong’ with us if we haven’t got a trophy case of ‘friendships’ with our exes.
  • We allow ourselves to be influenced, persuaded and even intimidated by people we call ‘friends’ even though they’re more like bullies.
  • We refer to people who we don’t know very well as friends but then have expectations of these people as if we have known them for far longer.
  • We mistake being friends on Facebook as being the same as in real life, when all it takes is to click ‘confirm’ and then maybe click ‘like’ from time to time. It takes effort, time and experience for friendship to grow. I’m not saying that friendship cannot happen online (some of my closest friends are people I’ve met through blogging but we meet up in real life and we keep in touch and have the same depth as friendship forged ‘in real life’) but the danger comes when our expectations of these friendships outpaces the true nature of them. I get a hell of a lot of emails from people who are upset about why their Facebook friends aren’t acting like ‘friends’.
  • We say that we’re friends with people and then we keep them at a distance or spend our time jumping through people pleasing hoops and then wonder why we feel resentful – because we’re wearing a mask, we’re not being ourselves and we might even be doing things to create a tipping point which isn’t really what friendship is about.

It’s clear that we can call anything we like a ‘friendship’ but talk is cheap. Friendship like love, needs action that consistently matches up with the words. It doesn’t need to be perfect, they or you don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to be swinging out of each others pockets but it will probably be at its best if it’s organic with healthy boundaries.

  • Friends don’t try to screw you, screw with your mind or screw you over.
  • Even if you did end up sleeping with a genuine friend, if they value the friendship that much and they realise that you want more than is on offer, they don’t keep tapping you up for sex and instead pull their pants up and value your friendship. They will do for you what you might not be able to do for yourself even if it causes some initial upset. 
  • There’s no such thing as a ‘friend’ who takes advantage of or even abuses you; that’s just somebody taking the piss and dressing it up as a hug when they’re knifing you with one arm at the same time.

You should care about the people you call your friends and the quality of your friendships matter. It’s the fact that I genuinely value the people who I call friends and close friends why I don’t go racing around to put any ‘ole body in my circle of trust.

If you don’t trust somebody you call a friend, you’re not friends!

It’s also better to have one or two close friends you can really trust than a shedload of people you go around collecting like trophies as if, “Hey! Look how many friends I’ve got!” or “I must be one cool guy / chick because I’m friends with ALL of my exes. Did you hear that? I said all of my exes!”

I don’t know anybody who is in a relationship that keeps in touch with all of their exes but I know plenty of people who aren’t in one that do…

We live in a time where we seem to love to water things down (casual dating – what the hell? – and the oxymoron that is casual sex) and knock stuff out at the cheapest price possible but we’re humans. We need care, trust, respect and love. We need friendship, you know, the genuine kind that exists between people with a mutual affection. It’s hard enough to navigate romantic relationships without decimating something that’s a valuable part of our lives both in and out of a relationship. Just remember, friends don’t try to screw you, screw with your head or screw you over. Take your time, show up as an equal and be a friend to you first.

Your thoughts?

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122 Responses to Do we really need to keep screwing around with friendship?

  1. McKenzieM says:

    “There’s no such thing as a ‘friend’ who takes advantage of or even abuses you; that’s just somebody taking the piss and dressing it up as a hug when their knifing you with one arm at the same time.”

    THIS. Well said, NML. And, as is so often the case, well-timed. I have been contemplating breaking NC and being “friends” again with the EUAC or possibly even going back for more. This post was the e-slap in the face that I needed to jolt me back to reality. Thank you.

    • BethD says:

      If they couldn’t be a good friend to you when you were with them no way will they be a good friend post break up. The demotion to friend just hurts the healing process and gives them the opening to play the usual mind games. My theory now is why should I give you the benefit of my friendship? Most exes don’t deserve that and it is almost never worth it. Stay strong! Great post as usual Nat.

      • stacey allam says:

        an ex is never really a friend im completely uncool if youve ever been in love with someone theres no way they could ever be your facebook friend or whatever kind of friend the only exes that you can be friends with are the kind that you were never really in love with in the first place

    • Colby says:

      I know where you are coming from, don’t be bitter! You are better than this! Don’t let the b*st*rds grind you down!!!!

  2. amanda says:

    This is a great read. Now that I am committed to real NC (as opposed to faux NC) I have the clarity and the humility to see that the nearly 1.5 years of trying to be the exMM’s friend after he took sex off the table (which, in retrospect, was a great thing for him to have done) was my lame attempt at trying to keep my foot in the door. He left his wife and shacked right up with an OOW, and it still took me a couple of months to see the situation with clarity. I am not capable of being his friend; NC was the only way to see this, and NC is the only way to heal. Unrelated, I have just broken up with a platonic friend. He bullied and humiliated me in front of other friends when he took issue with something I said. I had the fortitude to demand an apology, and he refused. We’ve been NC for going on a month. I’ve seen how I’ve let him be the alpha-bully throughout our entire friendship. We collaborate together on artistic projects, and it “worked” because I let him think that he was superior to me. Now that I have challenged him, I am no longer the comfortable doormat he has come to expect, and he seeks me out no longer. It feels good to stand my ground. I am not sure if I will ever get the apology from him that I need, but I am glad to no longer spend evenings with him, listening to him complain about how screwed-over he is, watching him take hit after hit on the bong, listening to him talk about his messed up sex-life, while I sit and subordinately comfort him. How were my needs being met, other than getting reinforcement that I was a “nice person”? They weren’t.

    • buffalogirl says:

      OMG Amanda I can relate to what you are saying. My ex-MM who I didn’t know was married started off our “relationship” under the pretense of “I thought we could be friends and take it one day at a time and see what happens”. The thing is he has no concept of what real frienship is or means. After i told him i needed a friend and started confiding in him details of my life (God i feel so stupid and humiliated and mortified) I feel he was more or less doing the same thing to me that your ex-MM did to you-used me as a sympathiser, emotional airbag, buffer etc.Yeah we were intimate (shame on me) but he didnt treat me with love, care, and respect. It was all about him. But I was being such a good “friend” by listening to him etc. Was he there for me when i needed him? HELL NO!. After i discovered he was married he threw the “friend” card at me and after a huge blow up with him i teased him with the “friend” card only to pull the rug out from under his feet and chop him off at the knees and go full blown NC. It’s been almost 5 months now and I can honestly say going NC is the best thing I have ever done. He doesn’ deserve the privilege or benefit of being my friend, not now or ever.

      • amanda says:

        Wow, buffalogirl. I’m sorry that you were taken for such a ride. It sucks discovering that you were a sympathizer, doesn’t it? Ironically, the exMM held me closer prior to his separation than he does now that he is “free” to develop relationships of any kind he choses. Actually, it is not that ironic. Prior to his separation, he was cornered; he couldn’t continue with his MO of overt cheating if he wanted to save his marriage, but having lost the sympathy of his wife, and having kept his affairs a secret from every in his “real” life, he only had OW-turned-“friends” to complain to. Once his wife pulled out the rug from under him and threw him out, and once he selected one OW to run to, he had no more need for used-up members of his harem to hold his hand and wipe his tears. The last I heard from him, he was STILL crying about how much he misses his wife more than anything, WHILE shacked up with the OOW. I decided enough with the insanity, and I went NC.

        • Learner says:

          Amanda and buffalogirl,
          I am relating to all of this too. How can it be that a MM needs *more than one* OW at a time??? What could be their true opinion of women? I am still trying to figure that one out a year later. Here’s to the clarity, humility, and growing self-respect we have all gained since staying clear from these harem-keeping, superficial,self-absorbed exMM’s

          • amanda says:

            We talk quite a bit on BR about how fallback girls are trying to fill the person-sized hole within them with a relationship. I think that the same applies to EU-people. If we focused on married people who cheat, on the surface, they aren’t fulfilled by their marriage. The fact that they would rather escape the marriage and cheat rather than deal with the marital issues head-on reveals their cowardice and their emotional-stuntedness. They are dealing with self-hatred and a poor sense of self, just like we are, and are finding that it takes more than one Other (wo)man to fill that person-sized hole. They try to fill that hole with as many people as they can, but it will never be filled until they learn to love themselves and stop harming others. Also, there is the usual EU argument. the Cheater can avoid true intimacy in his or her affairs by juggling many, simultaneously.

      • stacey allam says:

        hes treating you the same way he treats his wife, with very little thought. Be glad your not married to him I feel sorry for her and you too

        • Buffalogirl says:

          You know that thought actually crossed my mind. I wonder what it is he (ex-MM) has done to his wife for her to cut him off? He told me he was tired of living on a one way street but that is only his side of the story? I would so love to hear her side of the story and how he treats her. Just from my short 2 months with him I picked up that he makes promises that he doesnt keep so that may be part of the problem right there. And I suspect he is a player so maybe wifeypoo got fed up with his BS and being treated like an object and let me tell you -sex with him was not all that great. I have had a lot better. And with more passion than this cold, unemotional man-boy could ever exude. In fact he wouldn’t know passion if it hit him right betwee the eyes. Oh yeah and don’t forget abou this ding-a-ling. He seems to think it’s the all and powerful OZ-hah! He never gave me the big “O” with it but I was too much of a lady to tell him. We women are soooo good at faking it. Now i wish I could throw it in his face that his ding-a-ling didnt do diddly squat for me. And watch his ego take a dive HEHEHEHHE

  3. amanda says:

    Speaking of being a “nice person”, the sporadic crumbs which the exMM sent my way in order to keep me on-call as a sympathizer was assuring me, every once in a while, that I was such a “nice person”, and that my support truly helped him as he navigated his disintegrating marriage and imminent separation. “Nice people” finish last if they don’t take their own needs into consideration. I’ve learned this the hard way, but hopefully, I will never subject myself to this lesson again.

    • ellejae says:

      I was always confused about how me & all my “nice” friends were the ones who always ended up in crappy relationships & I FINALLY figured it out!! Being “nice” equals accepting & putting up with people & b/f’s crap – we console & stand by them (thinking we are being supportive & nice) BUT that is not being “Nice” – that is being a “doormat” by allowing someone to walk all over you!! All we are doing is serving ANOTHER persons needs INSTEAD of our own!! I finally realized (thanks a great deal to Natalie) that WE NEED to set the ground rules for a guy to date US – not the other way around!! Stand up for ourselves, set the boundaries, the rules, etc. & if they don’t live up to MY rules – they are not worth having!!! I/We are the “Prize” that they have to “Earn” our friendship & Love!!!! Key factor here: Is being able to be STRONG enough to where you don’t have the fear of loosing them – by standing up & saying “this is how it’s going to be OR walk out that door & don’t ever call me again” – I’ve come along way in 3 yrs – THANKS NATALIE!!!!

      • amanda says:

        Agreed. As far as things went with my trying to be “friends” with the exMM, one day, it dawned on me that I could either love myself or “love” him. I couldn’t have it both ways, since “loving” him meant giving up my boundaries, my sense of self, and my dignity. I decided that, given this choice, I had to chose myself, and it was then that I decided, even if I still have strong feelings about him, I can chose to no longer indulge them. Its easy to say, “Love him or love myseld, obviously, I chose me,” I knew this for a long time, and this message has been reinforced here at BR, and it takes time for these directives to be internalized and practiced. But, one day, hopefully, this message will be as clear to everyone here as it has been for me. Here’s another way to look at it. How can you possibly be “nice” to others if you aren’t “nice” to yourself. If you treat yourself badly, you probably don’t have that much to offer to someone else.

        • Buffalogirl says:

          Amanda I am so happy and proud of you that you chose to love you. i know exactly where you are coming from. My ex-MM thought we were going to be friends-WTH he has no concept of what a friend is. And then he “fished” one day with an email to me insinuating I was holding a grudge. Now first of all if I am holding a grudge that’s my perogative. And second of all you are married why should you care if I hold a grudge or not or talk to you again or not? I never replied to his email. I just ignored it deleted it and let it go. I figured this-My silence speaks volumes! and I think he probably knows he is a D***.Still I fantasize about slapping the shit out of him and spitting in his face-oh well maybe one day I will get the opportunity. NOT! He’s too much of a coward to show his face around me. Even if he was scared of my retrobution which he should be a real man would own up to his shortcomings and apologize in person for his actions. It sure is funny he could make time to come by my workspace for sex but can’t seem to find his way here to give me an apology. And then he wonders why we cant be friends? Are you for real dude? Go get your ego stroke from someone else. Like Nat says – he is not that special. Stay strong Amanda I’ve got your back.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Unfortunately, to many who will use and abuse you, your being a “nice person” to them also means you’re a “sucker”.

  4. ellejae says:

    I thought I was “best friends” with my last EU boyfriend because we got along so well – BUT…after 5 yrs he told me he was never “In Love” with me – This article is what I thought at the time – knowing he could never commit but telling me I was his everything – he lied for ALL HIS SELFISH reasons!!! He was NO friend in the end & will never be!!!
    I’m a Magnet for casual relationships – wtf?
    Latest guy I met – asked me out went on 2 dates – out right asked me to be his sex buddy – (& I don’t know what I ever did to make him think I would do such a thing?) I declined even though we had a strong connection – BUT….”connection” doesn’t equal “relationship”!!! It was VERY HARD (b/c he is SO gorgeous – cutest guy who has ever asked me out)… but, I did it. He seemed stunned someone turned him down!!!

    • Little Star says:

      Ellejae, I am a magnet for casual relationships as well:( I think it is all down to self esteem, I do not think we love or respect ourselves enough, that’s we allowing these losers to use us! Good for you for refusing *the offer*, we do not need this crap in our lives!!!

  5. Ivania says:

    This is amazing!!! You are awesome!! Love your article. It reminds me of my daughter, we were walking to the car and she said, there is my friend. I said, what is his name. My daughter answered, I don’t know. I had the chance to explain the value of friendship. Im going through this right now. This has opened my eyes. Thank you!!!!

  6. RebeccadeWinter says:

    Trust me, once you are over them, the desire to even hear their take on the weather will become the most eye-rolling, tedious piece of garbage not-worthy-of-anyone-alives time. Basically, you genuinely do not care for them as people. Once the hooks and obsessions (God willling, FAST) vanish, “friendship” fizzles out as an appealing idea so fast you will find it hilarious that they even fell for that when you actually were stuck in the vampire like “relationship”.

    The assclown I was “involved” with for over two years was someone who, if not packaged the way that I found appealing back then, was a guy i would not have given the time of day to. He whined, he ate like a PIG, he couldn’t find a single thing I said funny (and I have a reputation for having a wonderful sense of humour), I couldn’t find anything HE said even HALFWAY funny, he had as much insight as a retarted squirrel, he lied about anything and everything to anyone, he was actually scared of ghosts and witches (I am honestly not joking), he loved every single movie I found it fantastic that anyone could find funny, in short: WHY would I want to be friends with someone I was puzzled by who disagreed with me on even amusing matters leave alone heavy stuff. Take the “attraction”>fear, drama, self hate and addiction< away and there is just no way in hell you would want to be friends. If you still think its possible, you aren't over them and you still have a long way to go.

    • DramaFreeIsTheWayToBE says:

      RebeccadeWinter, you are 100% correct!! I had an abusive, manipulative, addict of an a$$ clown ex (yep, I found out over a year after we broke up that he had been taking drugs for YEARS – nice). This time last year we’d been separated a few months and I would have done ANYTHING to get him back, be his friend, be part of his life. Now after lots of BR and some great therapy, I am feeling good and in a happy place (NC is hardest thing to do, but I can attest that it works!). I am bemused that for years I believed had a ‘friend’ who talked non stop about them, their drama, how I was never good enough, treated me with no respect and it ended up with me being diagnosed with a form of PTSD due to abusive behaviour (thankfully on the mend from that after NC and therapy). If ANY of my current friends treated me even 5% as badly as he did, I would run a mile.

      Those hooks and obsessions cloud our view. Now I can see it from the outside looking in, I can see that there was no friendship involved, just him finding a way to take advantage of my ‘niceness’ to try and stroke his ego and make him feel better. My circle of trust are there to support each other, build each other up and above all RESPECT each other, and our differences.

      For those still stuck with wanting to try and stay friends with an a$$ clown ex, give it a year, surround yourself with positive people and activities, and you’ll be glad you didn’t!!!

      For the record, my ex still wants to be ‘friends’, because that would still give him some foot hold to try and control/abuse me and make him feel better. Ick. RebeccaWinter said it well – I genuinely don’t care about him, his views, his life. Karma will take care of him, as long as I take care of myself :)

      • Tinkerbell says:

        And, the thing is, you don’t even hate them. It’s just total disinterest which is so much healthier for YOU. Never gave it much thought but I realize it’s true that hate is the flip side of love. When you hate a person, he/she has power and importance in your life.

        • Thinking says:

          That’s right Tinkerbell, and that’s why there isn’t any benefit to one holding on to grudges, or sitting around relishing in AC stories ten years after the fact (finding comfort in refusing to accept someone’s apology, mistaking it for power or strength is pure bullshit because the negative energy that it takes to sustain that is only hurting you, NOT some AC who never gave a shite. Sure, work through your anger, …complete your grieving process at your own pace; some situations are so horrific one may need many years to recover, but , forgiveness is the key to really moving on, and I know that forgiveness can take along time, and I am NOT encouraging anyone to just forgive an AC, so one can press the reset button; I’m saying at some point, I think it is in ones best interest to let go of the anger, etc, and move on. You don’t need to sit around ruminating about the virtues or lack thereof in apologies from AC’s, but you can forgive the AC in time, or at least “let it go” in time; thus, he or she will not have any more power in your life, end of.

  7. Shay says:

    EAXCTLY NAT!!!

    I just had to end a ‘friendship’ with someone. We weren’t really friends in the first place when I look back over all the bs that happened!

    First there was the I broke my phone lie and we were suppose to go on a night out but still able to update a facebook post. Then there was the get mad cause I couldn’t come round cause I just wanted to do the group thing we were doing then go home. Then there was the leaving and being upset in another part of England shizz, defrending me on facebook and talking bad about me to all and sundry. Her apologising and me forgiving. Her calling me jealous (chopper) cause I saw her kiss someone as I was talking to strangers and just asked. Then there was the lack of manners on my birthday. And finally the straw that broke the camels back she left me in a club at 3 am after deciding at 8 minutes to 3 she needed to go home. Because according to her text she sent when she left ‘she needed to be up at 10 and she was cramping my style’. Never said so in the first place. I went home on my own at 3:30am. She didn’t call or text the next day but on Monday asking ‘what’s wrong?’. I ignored. Then messaged again on Tuesday where there was a ping pong of messages. Claiming that I was ignoring her, bossing her around, lost in my own world. Wondering to myself and asking her how is what I do about you?! She said ‘it’s all about you isn’t it?!’. Huh?! Confused. I didn’t make it about me at all.

    It’s like your post… ‘where you think someone’s mad at you’. I just keep reading that post and what sticks with me is the assuming the worse and people (I) won’t want to be around because they’re wary! After that last incident I became wary. ‘I thought we were friends’ she said. And I said to her that people who leave me on my own in a club are not my friends and further to that you’ve busted my boundaries, principles and values and then I got the immature line because she said ‘sorry’. ‘You’re just gonna push everyone away!’. Yeap, I will if they bust my boundaries.

    Sorry to vent. But I just have to put it out there. I’m just so confused by the situation. I’m still trying to work it out in my head. I know isn’t about me but them but how did I end up in their mind-effery?!

    • Suki says:

      Ugh, she did the ‘its always about you, isnt it’. Some of these things are passive aggressive, they’re designed to be inherently meaningless yet so stinging that they drive you crazy in your desire for knowledge and interpretation. She’s full of it. And she’s hooking something in you that made you put up with it in the first place, and is now making you confused and wanting clarity. All her comments are fully game player, and she must be avoided.
      I had a sort of friend once that I also worked with. She started to take my work and present it to the boss – not as her own I dont think, but just generally so as to show progress on the project [and some other not so savory things to make herself look good and me look bad with the boss]. So I was working and she was showing off the work by scheduling meetings behind my back. When I confronted her she said ‘obviously youre not a team player’!!! Yes, I’m not a team player if being a team player involves me working for someone at my level who does nothing and then shows off my work at meetings she doesnt bother telling me about. [You might be wondering how she kept getting her hands on my work and that was me being a fool and telling her instead of letting the boss find out that she knew nothing and did nothing]. She then started crying and saying ‘how could you believe that I am not your friend etc’. Good, huh? Some people are just pros.

      • Shay says:

        I agree Suki. Passive aggressive indeed. What actually made me cut off the conversation and finally block her on the messenger was when she brought up something that happened 2 years ago. Again, another assumption on her part. But further to that an absolute different story to what actually happened. It is meaningless and it does actually mean nothing, with further thinking plus I think the alcohol does something to her cause most of this happens whens she’s had a few. I actually think she’s an alcoholic to be honest. I did have to avoid her and glad were both not in the same uni any more or in the same circle. She seemed hurt that I no longer want to be her friend but her last actions just had to make me wipe my hands of her.

        That’s frigged up… you’re trusting someone and they’re just stealing your work to then be confronted and it’s all your fault. Pro’s indeed and it’s quite insidious. The funny thing about this behavior too is that as a result of their behavior you mirror that same behavior. Sadly. So nothing really moves forward and you’re left wondering. Don’t worry about her anyway… as we say ‘every dog has their day’

  8. Victor says:

    This was one of your better posts, Natalie. Timely as well, I think. Seems to me that in the last 5-10 years or so with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media (and Christ, do I hate that term…)there’s been a kind of general cheapening of the value of REAL friendship in favor of something lazier, more expedient and self-aggrandizing. Worse, there is something that seems inherently inauthentic about putting so much time and effort into what essentially amounts to self-promotion for most people to the detriment of fostering real and authentic bonds with others. Look around at any given public venue nowadays and you’ll likely see the majority of people present with their noses jammed into their smartphones just pecking away at their keyboards. Oftentimes, you’ll see each member of a group of people doing this, oblivious to what their cohorts are doing! No real, genuine interaction at all.
    I went on the wagon last year with regards to my “social media” activity and while there was some initial discomfort, over the long haul it feels like my mind has slowed down/calmed down considerably, almost like battling an addiction. A pretty apt comparison when you consider some of the studies done re: people engaging in too much online activity who undergo anatomical/physiological changes in their brains. I guess as with any pursuit, all things in moderation. And in the interest of full disclosure, it was getting a message on Facebook from an ex I had given the boot to 3 years prior and the subsequent train wreck that ensued that led me to this site in the first place. That’s not to say that social media doesn’t have its uses but I personally think it’s WAAAY overhyped and overrated and that there’s a credible argument to be made that it contributes to the weakening of societal bonds.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Victor! That was an excellent post, not only because it resonates with me – I hate THAT word – but what you have said is so on point. It is said really a travesty how in person communication is practically becoming “dated” with the advent of texting, email, skype etc. It is so easy to ignore what someone has said when, in person, you would not be able to do so. It reduces, the personal quality of sitting down with someone and TALKING. We have become an electronic society. Send a birthday card? WHAT’S THAT? It’s really sad.

      I don’t remember your posting in the past but you are very insightful and express yourself quite well. Let us hear from you more. Thanks so much, Tink.

  9. Lilia says:

    This post is very timely because I´ve been reconsidering my attitude towards my ex husband. It suddenly dawned on me this weekend that I´ve been too friendly when being civil was enough. Since he left me for an OW about four years ago, I´ve pushed my own feelings aside so as not to make things more difficult for our children and facilitate their relationship with him, which was very damaged in the process. So I´ve treated him as a friend, letting him come over whenever he pleases, including him in family celebrations, giving him updates about our domestic life.

    It makes me feel so completely, stupidly nice!

    He has always been EU, even when we were together, always questioning his commitment to me and our family. After he finally made up his mind and left, he still treats me as an option he can recur to (though there is no chance I´d start sleeping with him again). His new partner has no idea he maintains such familiarity with me.

    At this point, my children don´t need him in their lives, they´ve adjusted pretty well to a single-parent family. And lately he´s becoming a bit too meddlesome, asking me about my romantic life, telling me I´m gaining weight and how I should decorate my home. Our children are quite indifferent to his presence and dread going to his place. Meanwhile, he is the last person on earth I should consider as my friend, after he screwed me over!

    I´m really angry at myself and I hate it that he knows so much about my life. I´ve been very business-like with him the past few days but it doesn´t seem enough. This EU guys are experts at maintaining the status quo, even when you are set on moving on and having real, significant relationships.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Unfortunately, you can’t go NC because he’s their father, even though they’re not enchanted with that fact. But, you are absolutely right. He’s boundary busting and downright rude. IMO, a person like that you have to put in their place. Who does he think he is anyway? You have taught him how to treat you and he’s taken it and run with it. Time for you to change up.
      Remind him clearly that you two are divorced, he is your EX HUSBAND. That does not mean that he has the right to meddle in your personal life. Those days are long gone? Why would you have allowed this in the first place? Is there a re of you that still wants him? Ask yourself that question. He is not contributing anything to your life. In fact, it’s on the contrary. Tell him and show him he’s delusional but that you’re no longer entertaining his delusion of self-importance in your life.

      • Lilia says:

        Tink, I know. I´ve probably allowed him to think he can treat me this way by not being too clear about boundaries in the past.

        The thing is, I don´t want him at all, but I think there is a part of me that wants the idea of a conventional family – you know, father, mother, son, daughter, picket fence. And I tend to be extremely demanding of myself when I think things have to be a certain way in my life. So perhaps I´ve been pretending a bit? Like there really isn´t an absent father in our family, because he still comes around and it SEEMS like we´re friends and I trust him and blahblah?
        (This is quite an unexpected epiphany because I´m all for unconventional family setups and gay marriage and everything.)

        Anyway, I resolved to change my attitude with him and it´s like a weight lifted from my shoulders. My gut probably knew all along that I was forcing myself into a false familiarity. Been having terrible dreams about his family and he wanting to get married with me for convenience.

        • amanda says:

          Maybe start with embargoing him from your house? Is that possible? Arrange to meet him on neutral turf when you have kid-business to deal with? If you are having a hard time breaking the holiday-habit, maybe shake things up this year by celebrating them with other family?

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Lilia. Trust me, he knows how you think. He knows how you value a traditional “family” and you put up with him for that reason. His knowing this is the reason he busts your boundaries because he thinks you’re not going to do anything about it because you want to keep the status quo at all costs. You’ve said your children don’t even value him especially now that they’re older and he hasn’t been a proper father. That’s your cue. Is he giving you plenty money? That I could see might be a hook, but even that is not enough. Believe me. I took my daughter and left my first husband after 2 years of mental and physical abuse. She was only 18months old. Years later he sent a message through y relative that he wanted to see me. Even still, at that time, I’d maintained the “traditional family” idea, telling myself he was, after all, her father. I’d divorced him and then I still let him move in with me. It was a disaster. My daughter was 11 years old by this time. Even though i made a point of never letting her know what a devil he was, she found out when he moved in with us. So, you see, I was protecting her but then I turned around and exposed her to his demonic ways and hated him then and still does. It’s sad. So all this is to say, you don’t have to put yourself through the crap that you have been. Please keep him away. Good luck, Tink.

  10. KM says:

    Good article. And I still disagree with the whole constantly keeping in touch with an ex because let’s face it–unless you have children together–there is no legitimate reason to remain “friends” with an ex for the most part. Also sex does and will completely ruin the chances of friendship after the breakup occurs or it becomes apparent that you have been assclowned.

  11. Furry White Dogs says:

    Goodness golly YES! The bastardizing of the word ‘friend’, particularly by Facebook, always prompts one of my little soapbox moments. I find it ironic that Facebook had to create a list category of ‘close friends’.

    I have very few peoplle I really call true friends but boy they really fulfil the true meaning of the word.

    I think it’s also great to have an understanding of degrees of friendship and that it’s good to have ‘circles of friendship’ in the same way that Natalie spoke about ‘circles of trust’. I’ve found through the six months since my LiarCheatArse ex left that people at different degrees of friendship, close to quite distant, have been very supportive and important at various times.

  12. Joribah says:

    Awesome post. I’ve made this mistake in the past but I’m more selective these days as God instructs us to guard our hearts, our mind and even our mouths. Guard your heart and as you said everyone can’t come inside the circle of trust!

  13. Naty says:

    Wow, Natalie, I’ve been reading your blog for some some years now and your posts are always so timely! I’ve been contemplating the idea of becoming friends with an ex-EUM and now it’s clear that we could never be friends because I cannot trust him.
    I’ll just chalk it up as a case closed. ;)

    Greetings from Brazil! (yes, we do have the same problems with men here!)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      And, Naty. Is it true that a man can beat a woman to a pulp and she has no legal backup at all? He cannot be arrested under any circumstances for assault? I heard that years ago and always wondered about the veracity of it.

  14. Karina says:

    Thank you Nat…I really needes to read this. I have been hurt so much by “friends” and then people wondered why I decided to delete them from my life for good. A great example is my former college roommate, after my severe depression bout and her ignoring me and callig me selfish she expected to come back to my life as if nothing happened and invited me to her bachelorette party and wedding. I went to neither of them as I just didn’t feel like first, I belonged there and second, that I forgot all the pain she made me feel. I value friendship deeply as I treat my friends like siblings and for her to behave the way she did and then pretend nothing happened was simply wrong. I’ve learned the hard way who my real friends are and why they deserve that title. Thanks for reminding me…keeps me focused on the people I love and who love me back genuinely. :)

  15. Revolution says:

    Nat, honey.

    Hats off on this one. This is one of the most complete definitions of what friendship IS and IS NOT.

    REPRESENT, girl.

  16. Rachel says:

    I couldn’t agree more that this was a timely post. I’m in a percarious position to do with this, pretty much of my own doing. My “friend” who is my current roommate, he and I engaged in consensual sex twice, well before we decided to move intogether. In the 2+ years that we have roommated together, neither of us have “made a move” on one another what so ever, it truely is platonic. I’ve witnessed him being with other women and how emotionally unavailable he truely is with them, but I can’t help my desire and feelings with wanting to be in a commited relationship with him. With regards to our room mating situation, at times it feels as though we are a married couple, but that’s on my end. I feel I project this desire to have this status with him that is due to the fact that I haven’t really met anyone else of interest. As for his friendship, it is pretty good, I can’t say it’s bad because he hasn’t done anything to sway me to think we are anything other than being roommates and friends, if anything, it’s my own stupid fantasies of what I truely desire and I feel bad for that. I don’t know where I could place myself in any category other than being the Dreamer and the Fantasy relationship? http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/my-books/the-dreamer-and-the-fantasy-relationship-a-reality-check-for-women-who-love-virtual-and-illusion-filled-relationships/

    • Tabitha says:

      Rachel this sounds like a living hell for you. I feel so sorry for you. You do realise you won’t ever find another suitable partner all the time you are loved up with your room mate don’t you?
      It sounds as though you are just hanging on, waiting for him to realise you are The One and then you will go waltzing off into the sunset together. When I had a pitiful conversation with the ex narc and he was begging me to be his friend, he said to me “It isn’t going to end up like in the movies Tabitha.” It struck ice into my heart but he was right. Life isn’t like “Friends” or any RomCom you care to mention.
      You know what you have to do. I know it will be painful but seriously, how much pain are you already in?

  17. Tired says:

    Tinks hit the nail on the head . These people arent your friends or best friends . If they were they would be honest up front , because they care about you to be it . I so wish i had come across this yrs ago , why was i so utterly dense and stupid not to see it !! Thats the bit im wishy washy to a tee not wanting to hurt others coz of the guilt and god will make me pay !! Its hard to break habit . And everytime i feel like breaking nc im reminded right here the truth of the situation ! I cant hide or bullshit my way around it , i got used . And that is not friendship at all !!

    Amanda good for you , i stop being a sympthiesier and i dropped out his orbit , that was my job . Lol walk away as why be a spectator to torturing yourself . Walk away to being happy . Wish u the best as i was in exactly same as you . And i know how hard it is . But you can do it girl !! X

    • amanda says:

      Thanks, Tired. It took me a long time to realize that *I* have the power (and the responsibility) to walk away from this. I’ve been reading BR for more than a year, and most of my posts have been long complaints about the latest that the exMM did. While it might have felt good to stand on my soapbox and vent about these injustices, I opened myself up to the hurt by sticking around. I can’t say that I am 100% cured of the need to vent and stew in anger, but at least I am not begging him to give me new reasons to hate him. Sticking with NC isn’t easy, especially when you and the problem-person in your life have invested much in the charade of your “harmless” friendship, but its the only way. This is harder than quitting smoking!

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Amanda. Sticking with NC is one of the hardest things you will ever do, because it all FEELINGS and operating on them. And yes, it’s harder than quitting smoking because the later is different in that it’s a matter of life or death. NC is all about YOUR SELF CONTROL. Btw I’m a former smoker. Been there, done that.

  18. Sarah says:

    Funny how the friendship is always on their terms. It is ok for them to contact you, but if you have any expectation of them returning your calls or text messages you are swiftly told that you are expecting too much because they are extremely busy…stressed out or whatever pathetic excuse they can offer. When they get a hint of you moving on, they magically turn up the charm and get your hopes up. Start demanding respect and they will condemn you and go missing, while they get their ego stroked at a more obliging doormat. Never get sucked in by tears, the subtle hints of a possible future together, the chemistry between you or by the crap that comes out of his mouth for that matter. It is all or nothing. Flush and don’t look back.

    • BethD says:

      Excellent Sarah. Yes the friendship is on their terms much like the relationship. We end up taking on the same codepenendent role we played in the relationship. Next thing you know we become their analyst, sucker, ego booster. Who needs that? They suck the life out of you and the benefits to you are minimal. The bad far outweighs the good in these types of friendships. Flush is right!!

    • Little Star says:

      Sarah I loved your comment, excellent, *all or nothing*, exactly! I was really stupid and gave a chance to AC and now I cant stop beating myself up…they do not deserve chances, never! I leaned hard way, OK…back to healing process:)

  19. TammyT says:

    It’s kinda creepy how spot on your timely posts resonate with what’s going on in my life, Natalie. :)

    Well over a month ago I removed Mr. EU from my Facebook friends, along with some other people that have lost the privilege of being in my life whether in person or online. I don’t have to walk on eggshells around friends. I don’t have to hold back my true self around friends for fear they’ll reject me or give me silent treatment if we disagree on something. I don’t have to always initiate contact with friends or even positive acquintances. Mr. EU was not my friend.

    Just this past Friday Mr. EU sent a text message, “So I see you’ve decided that us being friends is a bad idea. Fair enough…” He did not get a response which must’ve come as a complete shock. In the past, I’d have responded as soon as I noticed the text. Two days later, he disabled his account. Poor Mr. EU.

    This journey of self love and respect has opened my eyes to a whole new world. Over the past couple of months I’ve been weeding people out of my life that are not true friends or acceptable acquintances, online and off. The more I change (for the better), the less patience and tolerance I have for drama, bullshit, and fakeness. I don’t need to know or be around hundreds or thousands of people. All I need are a few folks that love me for who I am that I can trust. I’ve already got those people in my life, and that’s enough for me.

    • BethD says:

      Good for you Tammy. I have done the same with weeding out the friendships that don’t add much to my life. I have limited time and I choose to spend that time with friends who love, respect and truly care for my well being.

  20. noquay says:

    Yep, not-really-social-media has really degraded the term “friend”. Haven’t checked my Faceplant account in months as posts were little more than folks bragging about their day on the ski slopes. Used to post carefully worded stuff that I’d hoped would spur comment, debate, interaction but nooo, same ol same ventures into me me me world. A true friend is there for you, truly wants you to be happy no matter what, respects who you are. After the AC pulled his shite nearly two years ago, the stress, sadness was the trigger for me to dump a coupla toxic friends. It dawned on me that both were manipulative and controlling. It left me totally alone but also free from their demands. I choose friends a lot more carefully now, and have different circles of trust from an inner circle with only two, then colleagues, then aquaintances and students.

  21. Nancy says:

    I am thinking about this a lot lately. I haven’t gone NC but I also haven’t slept with the AC for over a month. Making progress…. But he always tells me that I am his friend forever. Really. Well he has ignored me basically since we stopped sleeping together. But I got a text last night that said “I bought a new iron and starch today. Also got a bow tie as a gift. Party time for me.” WTF?? I ignored. Then this morning I received a text that said “My mind is unbalanced and I’m not fit for man or beast. And certainly not so for so lovely a friend as you.” I am ignoring it. But ohhhhh the things I could write back. Ha! So I’m thinking even the friend thing won’t work because truly….he’s never been one.

    • soozie says:

      So there you are Nancy, now you know why he came over to your place and ironed his shirts. It wasn’t because he needed to see you, it was because his iron was broken!

      Sometimes men are much more transparent than we think, we waste a huge amount of physic energy we spent trying to figure out what they really mean or want and sometimes is it just as simple as a broken iron.

      • Tabitha says:

        Oh Soozie that says it all!!!

      • Nancy says:

        And you know soozie…their cruelty is so masked sometimes…I know he let me know that he got a new iron exactly to have me say “oh, so that’s why he came over with shirts to iron.” Yet as you say, they are truly transparent…and become more and more so as we begin to figure out the games they play. Do you know HOW MANY TIMES he has text me that I deserve someone better than him!?!?! Broken record. Well this time…I DO know I deserve better and I have not reason to even respond!

        • Free 2 be c says:

          @ nancy does this sound familiar?
          These were her parting remarks before she ran out…
          “if anyone feels unworthy, it’s me. You deserve so much more inclusive of stability and lots of happiness. I’m not that person right now.”

          She is so right, I do deserve better. So go run back to your EX and give him all of that availability that you couldn’t muster up for me. My response to her was drama free. Simply. Good luck and Good Bye. Reach out if you ever want to chat. Not that I will ever reply. 45 days no contact and thus far not a peep from her nor have I sent any smoke signals either. I’m hurt, humiliated, sad, angry, you name it, but what can I do? Just work through this and learn that just because you love someone it doesn’t mean the are your friend at the very least in kind.

          • Revolution says:

            Free,

            I’ve read your comments, and so I know how poorly this woman has treated you, especially when you needed a friend the most. But I just wanted to comment and say that she’s NOT giving the Ex her availability. She doesn’t have it to GIVE. She’s not even available to HERSELF.

            I hope you have better friends to turn to right now who can take you out for a beer and pat you on the back “man style” for comfort(the equivalent to us women and our constant hugging). :)

            • Free 2 be c says:

              @revolution
              Thank you for your reply. I’m thankful that I do have a group true friends who sadly I have yet to share the latest saga. I was just to embarrassed at this point. I’ve been avoiding social activities since I started NC. Did the whole stay in bed comatose thing. It was just all so hurtful and confusing. Just total mind Efery. Her ABSOLUTE last “text” yes broke up over text. LOL! Was Im so heartbroken right now its not fair. WTF? Im thinking are you crazy? Then said to myself ERR your breaking up with me. It’s self inflicted if your heartbroken. I was simply blind sided. A day or two prior to the break up it was all about. How No one has loved her like I have, supported her needs, how I made her feel safe, happy blah blah blah. Then in a blink she leaves and in grand fashion. Complete disappearing act. No where to be contacted. Just total mind Effery. I’m upset just thinking about it. All the emotions, esteem , personal commitment, energy the future faking… 46 NC. I can’t wait till I don’t even know how many days its been.
              Thank you again to you all and Nat for BR. Reading these post and her books daily give me to strenght to get through the day and begin to heal from the madness.

            • Free2bec says:

              @revolution

              Thank you for reading my posts. Thankfully I have a strong group of friends who sadly I have yet not shared what has happened. I admit that I’ve been at home since I started NC keeping to myself and keeping my mind busy by tackling some home improvement projects. I know have a new kitchen and almost done with my attic. Lol! I’m embarrassed to share what happened with my friends. I’m still in a fog, although I do see it lifting.

              One of her last text to me… Yes text, after all she wouldn’t be an EUW/AC if she didn’t break up over text. I mean that’s the least she could do right?

              She says: “I’m completely heartbroken please don’t text me” WTF!? I felt like saying ummm Why do you need to be heartbroken your breaking up with me. But as I mentioned in my previous post, as soon as I understood she was rejecting me and us, I didn’t go down the drama filled ending. I wished her well and told her to reach out if she ever wanted to talk. (I regret putting that option on the table now) this has been incredibly hurtful. Yes I know my situation is probrably not that unique. If BR has shown me anything its that these situations are not unique at all. The only thing that changes are the names and places. It doesn’t make it any easier. It’s funny because I understand I’m doing NC for me, knowing that she has completely disappeared, almost in hiding. Changed her number, email, and moved without a trace. I get it. She gone back to her EX she guarding herself from me. But the deception that has taken place is almost criminal. A few days before the break up we spent time and she shared how much she loved me, how no one has ever loved her like I have, I’m the best thing that has ever happened to her, blah blah blah. We were intimate made plans for the weekend, then in a matter of 24 hours it went down hill. Call the date off claiming she was sick then disappeared, when I finally reached her. She ended it with the text messages I shared above and in the previous texts. I have a headache and I just realized sharing all this is bringing back all the ugly feelings and pain. I thought it would help. I guess I need more time to heal. Thank you all however for you care, support and even laughter.

              • Revolution says:

                Hey Free,

                I totally understand the isolating from friends due to embarrassment. I did that for a while. It’s like you’re embarrassed that some common street performer conned you, or something. I know the feeling. But seriously, what helped me (other than reading Nat’s posts–especially the “why her and not me” topics) was to start engaging with the world again. Not on some grand scale, mind you. But stuff like going to the gym, making small talk with the “regulars” in my gym classes, taking walks on the beach with a trusted friend or two who didn’t salivate at the drama or judge me for my mistakes, etc. It takes time, true. But once you’re a year NC, like I am now, you’ll be like “WTF? WHY was I so stressed and hiding out in my house, afraid to see him/her? I WASTED that time!!!! He/she couldn’t give two beans about me, AND I have WAY BETTER to look forward to in my future!!”

                The mindeffery with my ex-AC really knocked down and practically obliterated my self-esteem, but I’m noticing that I’m getting it back. Sometimes I still suffer from the thinking that the AC found me “not good enough” in some way. But just the other day, a really cool, cute, laidback dude flirted with me, and I thought, “Wow, he seems so cool, and there isn’t an ounce of “shade” in his interaction with me.” It was just, well, fun and respectful. And I thought, is this what I could have had all along, and I wasted all of my time thinking I was only good enough bleeding my heart and soul out for an AC who made me feel like my best wasn’t ever going to be good enough???!!!

                So yeah, healing rocks. :) You’re getting there, I can see it.

                • Free 2 Be C says:

                  Hi Revolution,

                  Thank you for the kind words. Yes it certainly feel like a con job, like I said in a reply post to Melissa. You don’t Three Card Monty your friend, and certainly not your partner who has been there for you through any and all you have wanted and needed.

                  I guess I am just not ready to tell the story to my friends, I would hate for any of them to say “C’mon dude, grow a pair and forget her” I wish it was that easy, it’s what I am trying to do. Part of me says feeling this way is giving her even more control over me that she no longer deserves. This hold on my emotional wellness because of her? Even trading the hurt for numbness still carries pain. Im stuck on hurt and Im trying to work through the issues and I thought that 30 and certainly 45 days in would have made some progress, then again, the hurt is not as bad, I haven’t tried to contact her or at this point find out where she bolted to as I can find her through her families social profiles, but I have not tried. But being honest I haven’t because I think about the pain I will feel if I see something online that will confirm what I believe has happened with her ex or that she has just moved on with no remorse of the damage she left behind. Therfore I close my eyes and invision seeing the worst and if it hurts then that feeling deters me from trying to break NC.
                  It is a loss, in many ways, above all I “did everything I did in the relationsip based of friendship first,and those actions help solidify the progrssion and commitment I thought we were in. And it is not as she didn’t act like we were in a commited relationship it is the hidden agenda that she was able to get away with because my sense were not all there. So she took advantage of my vounerability to take what she needed from me. I love her parting words also…”You will replace me quickly and I will understand, you’ll be better off. I’am heartbroken… If that is not mindfuckery I am not sure what is.

              • Melissa says:

                I am so sorry free2bec. It really sucks what you are going through. My ex broke up with me via text. I thought only teenagers did that, not 32 year old men! Be thankful your ex did a dissapearing act as I imagine it would remove all desire to break NC, because you can’t reach her. Stay strong and be angry if you need to be. What she did was awful and it didn’t have anything to do with you. I am sure this isn’t her first dissapearing act. Please share what happened with your friends. Don’t be embarrassed. Let your friends be there for you. Please don’t isolate yourself, it isn’t healthy. Try to let out the pain you feel so that you can move on. BR is a great place to start!

        • Soozie says:

          Nancy, that is what gets me the most, the casual cruelty of it all. We are the ones left guessing, but they know exactly what they are doing, and it is not accidental. And yes, you do deserve better. We all do.

      • amanda says:

        Ha ha. This is hilarious. Not laughing at your expense, Nancy. I’m really sorry that he put you through that roller-coaster of a guessing game! Yes, more often than not, men (especially EU ones) are simple-minded beings. I hope that you, too, can laugh this one off after you recover from how exhausting it was to be jerked around like this.

        • Nancy says:

          Oh Amanda…I know you aren’t laughing at my expenses…laugh away because it truly does become comical that things they’ll do. I have hundreds of ridiculous things he has done to throw crumbs my way. I am still hurting, yes. But I’ve ignored my inner voice telling me to move on long enough.

          • Nancy says:

            Good grief…sorry my sentence structure and words are goofey. I’m thinking faster than my fingers!

          • amanda says:

            Good, I’m glad that you can begin to see the humor in the situation. I know exactly what it is like to suffer hundreds of undignified, boundary-busting moves because I was too terrified to listen to my inner voice. If the exMM wasn’t so distracted right now by his separation and his new girlfriend, and if he was still throwing crumbs my way, I might not have the peace of mind which I now enjoy. It’s hard. Each time we succumb to the temptation of their crumbs, yes, it sets us back, and yes, we shoulda known better, but let’s be loving towards ourselves and give ourselves another chance to do it right next time. I have found, that over the course of 3 years of subjecting myself to this low-grade humiliation, I finally sense, when at the crossroads, how bad it will hurt in the days following a “binge” on his crumbs. It feels fantastic to have this internal compass in place. In my almost-40 years, I have never seen it in such good focus. I do have values! I have integrity! So do you!

  22. Free 2 Be C says:

    Being NC 45 days now. I am starting to see that we were not even friends. A friend doesn’t abuse you or let you abuse yourself. Friends support you and help you along your life’s journey with (let’s all say it together) Love, Care and Respect. She took all I could give emotionally and financially, because she knew that I considered her not only as my partner, but my friend, and I helped her on her journey right into the hands of her EX. I don’t know of any friends that carry on, disappear without a trace, move, change their numbers and email without notifying you. Why… Not because I was an AC or MM or EUM… Because she went back to an EX after taking everything I had to give. I was so blinded and didn’t see the red flags as clearly as I should have as I was working through my Cancer all while trying to work full time and manage time for my son. As soon as I got better, she bolted without a trace. Friend? Friends don’t leave you mind fucked trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together and at the foot steps of therapy from all the mind EFerry

  23. Free 2 Be C says:

    @KM I can say that my EX obviously did not have solid boundaries in place. She allowed her EX to meddle in her life, cone and go as he pleased because it was good for the kids. I told her it was not a good idea as he could not be friends if he still wanted to be with her. He would little by little eat at her and her emotions. And it certainly happened. So what am I to do, once someone says “It’s about the kids not you” I have to zip it and let it play out. And play out it did. Just as I said it would.

  24. Tired says:

    I had a bit of clarity to day , chatting with one of the arseholes friends , he asked why i didnt go to see band, asked was it coz of arsehole . I explained and told him the Truth . He then said arsehole was known as bullshitter inserted name . For a moment it hurt as i realised i never really knew him but then i thought i got away from a bullshitter . What man must he be if that’s what people think of him it is no catch . His friend said i could tell what i think of new relationship he’s in. I said no thanks i dont care if he’s happy or sad I’ve washed my hands of him. I dont want that in my life . A bullshitter is no catch thank god i got away :)

  25. Gillian says:

    Thanks Natlie for drawing to our attention the whole “friend card” from MR EU. I had never experienced it before..didn’t know what it was but I took it gladly and continued to try and be the most attractive, funny, witty, supportive EVERYTHING doormat until finally he took off with a much younger woman. So many lies, so much bullshit. NC for over three months now.

    Now my 42 year old neighbour (14 years younger) is hitting on me? He wants us to get together and came over with a bottle of wine the other night and made it clear that he finds me attractive. I am lonely right now and I could use a little company…STOP!! He told me he wants to have more children (then date someone who is ovulating). He said he is an insomniac and an introvert – RED FLAGS!!! RUN! He’s lived across the hallway from me for four years and we have hardly said a word to each other!! He’s so hard to talk to. In the past I might have let my lonliness dictate the outcome of this. NO LONGER..I don’t need him as a friend and it is very hard sticking to this and not just knocking on the door for a little comfort and ego boosting.

    I’ve been letting go of people and I am lonely and I am not going to operate out of my lonliness. That “lonliness” has driven me into some really co-dependent relationships!! I’ll just deal with the lonliness and make soooo much better choices for myself. So thankful to having my eyes opened to this whole “friend” bullshit. Sweet.

    • runnergirl says:

      Good for you Gillian. I know that listening to what they say is a bit cliche. It really is important to not only listen to what they say as well as understand what they say and how it correlates with your goals and values. The short term fix of sharing a bottle of wine with the neighbor who is interested in having children doesn’t sound as though it would correlate with your situation. He’s hard to talk to??? Yeah, well you are right. Deal with the lonliness cos this father-to-be may not have your best interest in mind since you aren’t a mother-to-be. Then date somebody who is ovulating cracked me up. Congratulations on 3 months NC with the ex. Most of all congratulations on not letting the lonliness dictate your life. Nice inspirational post. Knocking on the door and answering his knocks for a little comfort and ego boosting is what kept me hooked with the ex MM. I finally had to figure out how to comfort me and boost my own ego. Not that I have figured it out. I just know he isn’t the answer. Keep making the choices for you. Let him find an ovulating woman to share a bottle of wine with.

      PS. I’m perimenopausal at friggin 53 going on 54 in two weeks. Seems like I’m never going to get there. Still buying tampax.

  26. Grizelda says:

    Ah. Phoney friend collecting. What a weird hobby some women have. And yes, it’s mainly a woman thing.

    The symptoms are always the same.

    They always feature lots of photographs of themselves… always photographs of themselves… with a ‘friend’, or a couple ‘friends’, who play the humble role of warm props in the Performance Of My Life By Royal Command. They never have photographs of just their ‘friends’, alone, without themselves in the picture too.

    In the photos they always look like they’re screaming CHEEEEEZE or just screaming. Usually wearing sunglasses and often pushing an alcoholic beverage just into the frame because, yanno, wild. Alternatively they’re making ‘sexy hot duck face’ with their mouths, either with their eyelids at half mast or their eyes popping out of their heads, presumably because they think looking mentally ill gives men erections. The walk-on ‘friend’ wears the same expression by mutual agreement. They always press one of their cheeks tightly against the ‘friend’s’ cheek so that everyone can see how very close friends they are. That’s just for the photo though. They never sit and watch films or walk around like that. That would be silly.

    All these friends? Partiers. Partiers big time. All of ‘em. Because she’s so flippin fun, see? If the photographic evidence isn’t enough for you, she’s got thousands and thousands of stories about hilarious and legendary nights out where oh my god you would not believe. Because who needs convo when you’ve got 160-decibel blastin tunes all nite. Fun fun fun. And that’s not counting the hangover stories which could fill the Library of Congress. Just ask her.

    Lives for Facebook. Just lives for Facebook. Can’t stop talking about Facebook. Can’t stop updating Facebook. With all these friends and all these parties and trips and fun, you have to wonder how she manages to update Facebook five or seventy-four times a day. She’s probably just really good at it.

    Her phone never rings but she texts constantly. Her ‘friends’ never come over but she’s always out. Her ‘friends’ apparently don’t ‘do’ birthday or Christmas cards or gifts. There’s usually little evidence of close family, but hey who has time for family when you’ve got all these ‘friends’.

    They’re not real relationships. They’re just vanities.

    • Revolution says:

      Oh, SNAPPPP Griz! GREAT comment, and so true!!!

      By the way, what’s with those frickin’ duck faces? Is it hunting season yet???

    • EllyB says:

      Griz, this made me laugh too! Except for the part about “no close family”, because this is true for me too since I’ve gone NC with the whole toxic, abusive, narcissistic, pedophile bunch my family is. Therefore I’m a bit wary of the claim that anybody who has no close family to show must themselves be “toxic” in some way.

      I wish people weren’t so prejudiced about that. Sometimes it’s not our fault at all if we aren’t getting along with our families of origin.

      Anyway, I’ve encountered a very similar definition of “friendship” when I was an exchange student. Most of my fellow exchange students started parading their crowd of new “local” friends only days or weeks after their arrival in the country! Seemed weird to me… how could you make dozens of true “friends” in a foreign country within days or weeks????

    • Anon says:

      girl, you can write- truthful/cheeky/snarky :)

  27. Confused123 says:

    This article hit me like a brick again…but then most of Natalie’s article do. (Full disclosure: Usually by the end of most articles I feel like a whole house has been dropped on me).
    I too have to catch myself from referring to an acquaintance as a ‘friend’ now a days.
    As part of the growth I am doing to better myself I have come to realize that I AM socially awkward. I have a tough time making friends. In most social situation I am cast as the outcast. But, I can only be myself and I can’t force a situation (friendship, love, respect).
    I don’t chase men, friendships, and family for affection or even acknowledgement from co-workers anymore. It does not work and I become emotionally exhausted when I try. A lot of this “chasing behavior” I think is/was associated with seeking validation. It started very young when I tried desperately to get any form of affection from my parents. It never happened. This coupled with some physically and emotional abuse (My mother thought they were appropriate discipline methods) did not leave me with much foundation to form strong bonds in adulthood. But what I’m realizing is that as long as I acknowledge it, it’s OK. It really is OK. It hurts but it’s OK. I will be OK because irrespective of what I am starting to love me, respect me and I will never ever not stop being my best friend, lover, companion, confidant, etc.

    • Naz says:

      That was so eloquently put confused123.
      The situation you describe is as if I am describing myself. I am going through the motions of cleaning up shop and whom I was calling friends are moving now into the acquaintance category and I too am exhausted by the chasing and people pleasing. It’s just too much.
      Today after I came out and told a certain acquaintance that she can’t consider herself a friend when all I ever hear from her is an occasional hi on Facebook or whatsapp. She is constantly busy, anytime wanting to chat she is too busy. Anytime I suggest to go out, nope he can’t make it, but on Facebook she’s out and about drinking and out.
      I just have given up, it felt too much like I was looking for validation and she really doesn’t want to make the effort.
      Best to just walk away…

  28. Wise ol owl says:

    Another great one Griz, and so right on. My FB is really just a waste of time. One woman in particular posts SO many pics of herself, always in a bar/club/function with sparkly tank tops on and men, men, men. She and many others are always posting quotes about being positive and letting negative people go…it’s enough to drive you nuts. I find myself actually feeling embarrassed for them. I still have an account, but rarely go on. One friend recently got off FB stating, “Im getting off for my own sanity.” We still keep in touch and these are the true friends. I regret adding a man that I am no longer in touch with and thought of deleting him, but then I thought it may make him think I feel something and I really dont, so I just leave him on there. Since i rarely post anything, and dont have anything personal on there, it’s no big deal if he or anyone else “sees” anything–it’s all quite boring. A huge time suck, waste of time too. It cuts people off from real friendships and it’s sad that we, as a society, don’t value the face to face anymore. I, for one, am trying to get more into my real life and much less into my virtual one. And Griz, what you said about constantly texting—so true! So tired of going out to dinner in a group and being the only one not in my phone…it’s wierd and lonely and aggravating. Im waiting for one girlfriend to ask to go out again, just so I can say, “only if you promise to stay off the phone”–Im just sick to death of all the phoniness. Thanks for the giggles, I really needed them!!

  29. espreSso says:

    have exhausted myself being a good friend to my ex even though most of the time he makes me miserable. Why am I doing this? Why Is It still so important to me? Perhaps it is because I really do fear my life completely alone. I just feel so screwed up by this situation. My daughter told me last night she thought he was too nice and let everyone else (like me she didn’t say that but she thinks that) make decisions. It was hard to bite my tongue. I don’t want to sow conflict but that statement made me mad. The man has not been nice to me in many ways. He has busted my boundaries and never been there for me emotioNally. He recently reminded me to call my son on his birthday which was a bit rich because all through the marriage I planned the birthdays and got the presents even for his family. I guess because I won’t talk about these things my truth can never come out. That makes me sad. I was always told he was such. A great poerson and I bought into that too. It was and is crazy making.

    I am on holidays now in the place where he had his fast forward emotional affair just after I dropped him at the airport. I am going through the motions but I am no longer feeling good about being here. It was so hurtful and in my face when I thought we had an agreement. I really don’t know how I can put enough distance between us. I have to work with him till the end of this year. I am being made powerless by my own twisted need to be nice too.

  30. AfroK says:

    Lmao @ Grizelda…haha! couldn’t stop laughing on reading your comments. My favorite, “presumably they think looking mentally ill gives men erections.”

  31. pinkpanther says:

    Wanna know how messed up I am? Sometimes when I’m attracted to someone I don’t want to go out with them because I think they might make a really great friend and if I date them I might end up losing a potential friend. Then, on the other hand, if I don’t like them as much I may date them because there is less to lose.

    Also, I’m having this problem:
    I’ve been going to lots of meetups. They have been really fun and I’m meeting lots of cool people to be with and do stuff with. There has been a few attractions, but I’m scared to pursue them because what if things go wrong and then it would be ackward to go to the meetups in the future because they might be there. It seems to me there is lots of inherent risk. I don’t want to mess up my meetups by dating, but I’m also going to meetups so that I CAN date…

    I’m mixed up

    Argh!

    • Little Star says:

      PinkPanter, I was wondering where you gone! Glad that you joined meetup group:) I had the same situation, I had two guys who asked me out, and one of them I fancied and even kissed! IT did not go anywhere even though we felt physical attraction/chemistry, but later I realized we did not have anything in common! I am going to meetup next week and I already feel a bit awkward, what I am going to say when I see him! My advice, take time to get to know someone, do not rush, who knows maybe you will meet your girlfriend there? All the best x

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hahaha! You’re funny, PP. The priority is meeting people and just having FUN. Don’t worry about whether that person will be a friend or lover. You’re getting ahead of yourself. Relax. You’ve got to learn who they are first and that takes time. You know enough to ward off anyone who presents with red flags right off the bat, right?

    • pinkpanther says:

      thanks for your comment little star… I see you are in the same position!

      hey, it’s really good to get out and meet new people, so I’ll take things nice and slow as you suggest.
      take care and good luck to you

  32. espresso says:

    So sorry for the spelling mistakes. I don’t write longer stuff on my phone.

    Just to say that my fairness doctrine with my ex and a desire to have a “trophy” situation has left me feeling isolated. I get triggered by my ex just about anytime he communicates with me and I just

    have to suck this up or feel I have to except witha couple of close friends and a counsellor. When my daughter gave me her theory that we were just so different and that my ex was being way too hard on himself because he told her he has problems he came out looking like a really super sensitive good guy. So I just said in a neutral tone that if somebody doesn’t participate in decisions then that puts a lot of unfair pressureo on others. But then I felt that I shouldn’t even say that! In my heart of hearts I can’t deal with this man at all. It bothers me that I feel so weak again when I know I have so much strength. Right now I feel I can’t tap into it because I am constantly onguard for the next wave. My real self is at war with my suck it up self and it is really painful right now. And I feel guilty too. I amstuck in pain and feel I am back in toxic anger again which I don’t like in myself. Hope these two posts have some cohherence.

    • Little Star says:

      Espresso honey, I am sorry you feeling this way, (((hugs))) IT’s ups/downs and every day we can feel differently, but please keep NC, even you feel weak/guilty…I feel anger towards myself, as I was doing SO well for three months until AC contacted me:( I am currently reading two books: Natalie’s Dreamer and “Get over your EX, NC rule” (M.James), they are both very helpful!

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Oh, Espresso. Don’t you see you are contributing to your own misery? Why on earth would you go on Holiday to the same place that has horrible memories for you? Couldn’t you have made another choice. Do you WANT TO BE UNHAPPY? Take the bull by the horns, honey. You musn’t allow yourself to be controlled by circumstances. YOU MUST CREATE better circumstances for yourself. No more pity-partying.

      A large part of my life has been hell in numerous ways I could write a book. But I will say that I have never just given up on myself and my own mental strength to triumph. You can do it, too. Hopefully when you’re finished working with him things will get MUCH BETTER FOR YOU.

      • Learner says:

        Espresso,
        If you are obligated to go to the same place on holiday, perhpas you could try a strategy I use. I call it “memory replacement”. I make new memories with real friends, at a place where I have bad memories with someone else. It may not work for you, but I find it works wonders. Hugs to you xo

        • Tabitha says:

          This is great advice from learner. I have also done this. I took my daughter to a museum and after we went to eat at the pub where I first went with ex narc. I replaced the memories I had of being there with him, to being there with her, and now the place holds no fear. I can’t rewrite all of my history with him and I know I would never go back to the place we went on holiday together. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever stop hurting.

  33. Tired says:

    Im friends with one ex only the other is my ex hubby . But that was because it was pre bloody mobile phone days and when u split u would split . You didnt see or hear each other unless ypur paths crossed ! I bumped into him years later we both moved on and his then partner became a close friend . I was there for them both when they split . She has recently passed away . She was one hell of a awesome lady and i admire here strength and humour when life was hard . Thats a lesson she leaves me . To see positive in everything and not to wallow . I sent my ex a text this morning as he has to now step up and fill her shoes to raise their great kids . He is a dear friend to . My ex hubby i get on better with all the anger has gone and we get on better now than we ever did . Maybe out of twenty yr habit who knows . I did get side swiped and away with the bullshit . Im back now in reality . I do feel a little weird today after being told his nickname yesterday and thats what others think of the ac exmm . Like i never knew him and what a fool i was . Like im incapable of sussing anyone out . To see him now to what i thought he first was can you see it makes me feel silly and sick to core in stomach . .but i’m gonna shake this feeling coz thats what it is just a feeling off

    • Learner says:

      Tired,
      I feel silly too, for being sucked in by a bullshitting MM. We were full of bs too, when we were with them. We cannot beat ourselves up for not knowing how deep their lies ran, and how much we let them use us. They are no longer in our circle of friends. Well, they never were, were they? We have seen the light, and we are working on ourselves now. Yayyyy!!!!!

  34. Melissa says:

    Great post….and timely for me as well.

    About 3 years ago, I had a 6 month affair with a MM. I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere, I was fine with that…I was just divorced. I broke it off because I started dating someone actually available.

    We’ve stayed in touch via email. He’s still married. He whines to me about his wife not treating him well…though he’s cheated on her many times and forced her to move states so he could further his career….he’s upset because she didn’t get him anything for their 10 year. That kind of stuff.

    He’s in town this week. He wanted to meet for dinner last night. I was going to…I’m not seeing anyone, no biggie. Meet as friends, right?

    Except – no. WE ARE NOT FRIENDS. We are people who had sex with each other. I don’t want to hear about his wife and job and his other friends that I could never meet. I am not a part of his life. He’s not a part of mine.

    So, I canceled on him. He pushed back a couple of times and I just ignored.

    I am so much stronger now than I was 3 years ago. I am really happy that I didn’t see him. I spent time with my real friends instead ;-)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      THANK GOD, MELISSA! You made the right decision. Listen to your gut more often.

    • Learner says:

      Melissa,
      Kudos for turning down the dinner date. Who wants to listen to someone we have been intimate with complain about their spouse, and their job, and their health, and whatever else they feel they can unload on their “friends”? Real friends are so much more rewarding to spend time with!

    • Little Star says:

      Melissa, well done you. I read recently somewhere: “I do not want to be a side dish in the plate of the bored couple”…SO right, why waste time with MM and be his temporary entertainment?!

  35. Learner says:

    Natalie,
    This is a great write-up about the differences between real and faux friends. I have been learning these lessons over the last year. In a couple of weeks, it will be the one-year anniversary of the last time I was “involved” with the exMM. He begged to be friends, literally got down on his hands and knees, told me he thought mature people could and *should* be friends with all their exes, and tried to inform me of all the benefits of staying friends with him. Yeah, right, the “benefits” would have been all his. Shoulder, ego boost, not feeling like a jerk for being such a jerk to at least 3 women. I am soooo glad I found BR, and the wonderful people here showed me that NC was the only way to go, that he was NOT my friend and never was. Ten months of NC later, and it’s all so clear now.
    My (ex)husband is a different story. Even after all our differences and separation, we remained friends. He is not perfect, but he is a true friend in that he does treat me and our daughter with love, care and respect (and the trust part is improving daily). AND, he has been to therapy and done some work on himself. Much more of a man and a decent human being than the exMM will likely ever be.

    By the way Nat, I love the artwork you have been including with your posts lately. I am embarrassed to say I am not quite sure what the picture with this entry represents. Sorry! It reminds me of two beach towels, but then when I squint,I imagine I see a penis and a vagina/uterus. Or a penis and a brain. Can you set me straight please? Thanks xo

    • simple pleasures says:

      I see it as two people (“friends”)
      standing close together. One has their fingers crossed behind their back, signifying lying, don’t trust me.

    • Revolution says:

      Ha ha, Learner! Though I hesitate to disabuse you of the “penis and brain” theory, the picture is the back of two female friends, with long hair and striped shirts. :)

      • Learner says:

        simple pleasures and Revolution,

        Thank you for setting me straight re: Nat’s artwork. I am killing myself laughing here at my silly mistake. Must have seen the word “screw” so many times in the caption that I thought a penis must be involved somehow! It’s OK Revs, you can disabuse me, lol. Dragging my mind back out of the gutter now! So sorry Natalie for my pathetic attempt at interpreting your lovely freestyle illustration.

  36. Tired says:

    Learner very true , we bull shitted them by accepting it and saying okay when we wernt . I cant feel anything for him like i did six months ago . It seems so pathetic and nonsense . As to the really upsetting things that followed . Im putting it behind me . I told his friend i dont want to know anything about him unless he falls on his arse lol

  37. Not again!! Well, Maybe says:

    I ventured into the friends role after my last “he’s just here for sex, and is unavailable afterwards” long distance relationship. He would come down every 2 weeks, stay the night and tell me that he could see himself marrying me and then take off early the next morning without a phone call for another week. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that he wasn’t that into me…..but I had known him for 7 years and wanted to believe the pre-sex fairy tale he sold me. I had a crisis and called him one night and he called me right back and I told myself that even though he wasn’t available for a committed relationship with me, we could still be friends. That kind of sucks because I had genuine feelings for him…or for the fantasy he presented. Finally I told him not to contact me because I realized our “friendship” was f”ing me up emotionally and stopping me from moving on.

  38. kookie says:

    this is a hard one for me. i have clear cut asshole exes who i don’t really even wanna make weather chat with but what about people who are amazing except for the part where they did not return your feelings. i have one such ex, we dated a few months and he said he wasn’t really ready for a gf, never did anything assclowny, was pretty honest. i was bummed but we only dated a short while so i wasn’t massively heartbroken, it’s been a while now and this year he got back in touch. we got along really well when we dated, he is always respectful but i am nervous about going the friendship route cos i keep hearing that friendship is impossible with someone you have slept with. no idea how to proceed, we are both currently single, the couple of times we have met up for dinner and stuff we had a good laugh , great convo we don’t really talk about our love lives or anything like that just fun beer and chat kinda friend not call in middle of night and talk about my sadness and fears type. we haven’t any hanky panky on.i admit i have always been attracted to him but i don’t have that same “i wanna date this guy” feeling. being around him feels natural and good and i will not be signing him up for my inner circle of friends but wondering if there is any harm in just hanging out occasionally? maybe it’s more an acquantainship than a friendship.
    there is no reason from his behaviour and character so far to not be friends but am i setting myself up for drama? i don’t know. we are both foreigners in this country and i have very few friends here , i am scared that it would be a waste to throw away a potentially good one over something potentially bad happening.

  39. Free 2 be c says:

    @melissa
    Thank you so very much for your support and reply. Well I guess it happens at any age. She is 40. I shared 7 years of my life with her 2 in which I tought were progressing and committed. But her future faking game and deception was easy for her to mask as I worked through my cancer streatments. While I laid in bed trying to heal and gather strenght to work, spend time with her and my son. She was constructing her selfish agenda all while assuring me loyalty commitment that this was only temporary. That she loved me like no other. She couldn’t wait to start a life together. No one else. Can’t wait to rid herself of her EX. Blah blah blah. Yes it seems like an act. One that she knew how to play well. You don’t three card Monty your friends. With her disappearing act you would think I was an abusive arse, or that I behaved as an AC or UM. Quite the opposite and I say that humbly but proud. Yes it was a falsehood played on me for several years, but it was very real to me. Not easy to forget. Thanks again all. I’m sorry for getting off the blog topic. I guess weekends are the toughest for me. It’s when we would see each other. A d we did so very many things that everything is a trigger.

  40. scoop says:

    I have been reading this site daily since being unceremoniously dumped by my fiance 2 months ago. It helps. The last night he got very drunk and even threw something at me in his temper. I threw him out the house, as I should have, but then waited for the apology the day after. Nothing.

    I was the one who left it 2 days and then went crawling to him, again, and expected some apology, but he said, for what? OMG. He said he had nothing left for me and we were through.

    A bit of background. I am 37 and he was 22. When we met things went so fast and we had so much fun. Although I never would have looked for a toyboy, sparks just flew when we met. I am known as a confident, fiery, funny, kind woman by my friends and since we split, I have heard nothing from my friends but how they couldn’t understand why I went for this guy. He wasn’t particularly handsome or charming or funny or anything really. My best friend even did call him a nothing when we finally stopped the pitch battle that we called a relationship. So the odds were against us to start with. He was unemployed and lived home with his mum (god, his mum haha.)I had to pay for everything, dates, groceries, bills once he moved in, even his university fees once I convinced him to do his masters degree to try and help him get a job. He was a taker…I see that now but then hindsight is a wonderful thing. He had hardly any friends which should have rung alarm bells at his age. No beer buddies but 1 who even asked me what the hell I was doing with ex. That should have told me everything. But we had amazing chemistry and the sex was incredible even though he only had 2 girls before me.

    Now 14 months later, after an engagement, him living with me and my kids, I am left broken. After 8 months I discovered he had sent rather questionable pictures to a girl he used to know.Also his mobile number. He also lied about being in touch with his ex. And lied about so many silly pointless things. The trust was trashed but I decided to try as we had not long got engaged and I felt I would look a fool in front of everyone I knew. God I wish I had walked.

    I turned into a paranoid bunny boiler sneaking around checking his phone, his fb, his email, it was horrible. I punished him for not seeing what I was doing for him and how amazing a girlfriend he had. I realise now he was far too self absorbed to see that and that he was incapable of loving me cos he didn’t even like himself.

    My self esteem and pride and confidence are at an all time low and I am fighting to recover from being so dumb as to let someone use me so badly. He still gets in touch under the guise of friends but only when he is lonely or needs an ego stroke as you all so rightly call it. So for the 3rd time of trying I am going seriously NC and it has only been 2 days but I need to. Everytime I speak to him I feel pathetic again. Why do I even want him in my life in any way shape or form?

    I need to cut him off for my own sanity and wellbeing so thankyou to everyone on this site who is helping me realise that these people really are not worth our energy.

  41. scoop says:

    I forgot to say once we moved in it became increasingly apparent that he was in some kind of battle with his alcohol consumption. When we saw each other just at the weekend and were out having fun it wasn’t totally obvious as I like to have a few when I go out too. But he liked more than a few and also liked to drink in the house. Sometimes he would just disappear back to his mums on a night out without so much as a goodbye as he got so drunk. He was a happy drunk but then after one too many he would get nasty nad spiteful and towards the end increasingly aggressive. I know I had to part with him but when you have discussed marriage and kids and all the rest it is so hard to accept being told you meant nothing. The best description I heard is that the relationship was an addiction. Addiction to the emotional rollercoaster that leaves your head destroyed. Heroin is an addiction too and even though you know it will kill you it doesn’t stop you having withdrawal and being tempted back to that place. I try to remember that when I feel weakest. He is my kryptonite and I know staying in touch will be the end of me.

  42. Free 2be C says:

    @scoop

    Stay away from this guy. The singular fact that this guy became violent throw in an addiction problem, now add living off you with no motivation to progress should be enough motivation to take the necessary steps to go NC. Think about the kind of life you are stepping into with this guy. Would you let your friends or family stay involved with someone that is a ticking time bomb. Never in my wildest dreams would I try and hurt anyone I love, emotionally let alone physically. No contact is the way to go. It will be the hardest thing you will do but it will help you get the objectivity and clarity you need to feel better and realize your worth.

    • scoop says:

      thanks for telling me what i need to hear. I really have no idea why I can’t cut out this waste of cells. He caused me so much misery and took so much more than he gave. He said all the right words but his actions told the truth. Guess I just have to pull up my big girl pants and get on with life. Sounds easy and if any of my friends or my daughters had come to me and told me they were in this relationship I would tell them to run for the hills. Amazing how things change when you find yourself in the situation :(

  43. teachable says:

    Three cheers Nat! What a brilliant post! I am surprised to report I actually seem to have found (not sure yet) maybe a new (single, divorced, 2 kids) MALE friend! No, not the computer tech guy (same description but very newly divorced so I.haven’t been out with him yet as also too busy still re medical stuff) but an online friend. Now before anyone jumps on me he wont be becoming more than a friend as he lives o.s bit & I don’t do L.D r’ships, but he seems to be interested in me (said he wished id flirt w him in a joking way & later some flattery) & we some things in common (& others quite diff). I’m not too fussed abt tht but he knows what’s been going on here with my health & $ sitch (only basics, I turned to him intially for expert advice in specialist area re health a yr bk. he is an international expert in tht area) & has just offered what at first glance seems like a genuine micro biz oport to help me stay afloat (the wheels have fallen off totally this wk here. pretty sure I stuffed up my appeal). I don’t place too much in an of this mind you but it was so nice to be told im a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit & tht he thinks im ‘awesome’. maybe universe sent me tht little compliment to keep me going as I can assure u if anyone saw what I actually looked like atm, beautiful is not quite the word tht wud come to mind (weight dropping off again & upper chest bones sticking out a little. goodness knows why I keep dropping weight all the time apparently due to depression. oh well. luxury problem I suppose… love to all. well done again nat!!

    • EllyB says:

      Teachable: I’ve already replied to your other post, but I just wanted to tell you that this story of yours sounds a bit dangerous to me and that I’m glad you’ve decided to not overshare with this guy! To me his behavior sounds a lot like fast forwarding/love bombing. Plus it is never a good idea to mix business with this kind of flirting and flattery that feels so personal. Those two things simply don’t go well together.

  44. EllyB says:

    This might be a bit off topic… but I’ve just realized that I cannot stand this common piece of advice “just let them talk” if some people around you bully you or talk sh*t about you behind your back.

    True, there is nothing you can do about their behavior, but I think “let them talk” lets them off the hook too easily. My advice would be to cut those creeps out of your life completely, including their “passive” cronies who enjoy listening to their BS.

    I think it’s necessary to be judgmental and to call a spade a spade. Talking badly about others isn’t just bad manners or maybe some kind “entertainment”. It is abusive and it HURTS. I think if we just try to “let them talk” while keeping them in our (wider) circle of acquaintances we are deceiving ourselves about the havoc such people wreak in our lifes.

  45. teachable says:

    EllyB you are right. Gossip kills. Nothing wrong with assertively confronting the source. Tends to put a stop to it. Yr also correct we are given power of judgement for a REASON. It is for being DISCERNING. :)

    • EllyB says:

      I’m also taking issue with all those “friends” and acquaintances who keep telling us “XY has talked badly about you again… but don’t bother, JUST LET THEM TALK”. One ex of mine kept delivering this kind of messages to me, making me believe I had to be super grateful to him for sticking with me even if the rest of his crowd kept bad-mouthing me.

      But this is no real love/friendship… because really, how come that they are always around when somebody is bad-mouthing us? How come they don’t put a stop to this gossip and send those people to hell???

  46. espresso says:

    Learner – late getting back on this post. The reason that I am on holiday is that I co-own a beautiful little place in a country I love and my whole visit this time has been a memory replacement. I love that term for what I have been trying to do. Last year ex initiated this emotional fast forward relationship in this country and in my town which poisoned the whole place for me cause it was in my face with my daughter visiting. But damn it is MY place as much as his – I am not giving it up unless I want to – and so this year my daughter was there with me only and that was deliberate on my part to try to erase that toxic last summer where I felt I was so screwed around. It hasn’t completely worked but I good at reaching out and finding new memories and things I care about. Today I went out to meet a new friend and will go on another event tomorrow with new people. I am almost like a trauma victim who is trying to rewrite the experiences.

    I did have a very direct convo with my daughter telling her not to talk about him to me. She is confused because she identifies with his people pleasing and doesn’t like it in herself and wants to work out stuff by talking about it with me. I can see that the ex will also be talking about me and I asked him not to …but I know he probably won’t follow through. My talk with my daughter was painful but really good and I felt much better confronting the situation.

    • Learner says:

      Espresso,
      It is wonderful to hear that you are standing up for yourself, and your property, and your relationship with your daughter. I can really relate to the desire to replace memories and actions from toxic situations with more positive ones. Your daughter seems like a very high priority, and it is great that you had the conversation with her, so that she understands that your dislike for talking about her father does not mean you are being unsupportive of her, but rather that you need this for your own healing. Perhaps she will find other people she trusts to discuss her ideas and fears. Strength to you as you continue to live your life for you, and those who are important to you xo

  47. scoop says:

    Help me guys. I need to keep my strength. I broke no contact without meaning to the other day and my world is crumbling. I was at work and answered a call on my phone in my hurry not realising who it was…it was him. He was crying. Telling me how miserable life is without me and saying all the usual words that mean nothing in reality except when he is lonely or bored. He wants me to go and visit him and i have no idea why but i even considered it…wtf? For anyone who read my story above, you will realise that not hanging up on him was a huge mistake but i find myself now back in the middle of his pity party and feeling guilty for his unhappiness. How does he do this to me? I don’t get it. He must have A levels in messing with people :( I know driving 3 hours to visit him and get hurt all over again is bordering on masochism and I would be the worlds biggest idiot to go, so WHY am I even looking at the route on the internet? Why am I such a fool when it comes to this boy? Shoot me!!!!!!!

  48. 2fearce says:

    @scoop.
    Realize that he has your playbook memorized… He knows exactly what to say to weaken your resolve. That said, you are grown– you do not fall allover yourself to give him the power to control you. UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO.

    Go back and read what you wrote… What’s tangibly changed? Personally, I’d be planning a trip…. in the opposite direction!

  49. scoop says:

    @2fearce

    I know that you are 1000% right. I know exactly what I should do. I don’t even know if it is love I am feeling, or pity, or guilt at his loneliness which is ironic. He deserves to be alone, I know that. He treats people like crap and that is why he is alone. My head knows all of this. My heart is singing from a different hymn sheet and so I am internally battling myself and I need to win this time. He is NO good for me. I read what I wrote again and again and again. I read my journal over and over. He destroyed me. The strong woman I was disappeared :( I want me back and I know I can’t go to him. But why is it so hard?
    I have had one guy who is really interested in taking me out. he is 31, very handsome, and has texted me or called me nearly every day for the last few weeks as a friend but trying to get me to go for coffee with him. I have been in no place emotionally to even try a date but I decided last night, to go for a coffee. What is the worst that can happen? At least I will be taking my mind off AC for a while and will have my eyes wide open for any red flag moments. I am not looking for a serious relationship yet or a casual fling or anything like that really but this guy knows that. I feel like I am using him a little though by going for coffee as I don’t want anything more than friends atm. I have been honest with him though. Do you think it would be a good distraction because right now AC dominates my every thought and it has been 2 months since we split (although he did come back after one month for the night…I know d’uh) AC moved 200 miles away so I know we are never having our happy ending and I just need a clean break now :(

  50. […] these modern times, we have in a relatively short period of time (less than a decade), diluted the true meaning of ‘friendship’ and ‘relationships’ with our online activity. For self-preservation, it’s critical to maintain your relationship […]

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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