A common thread that runs through the issues that arise from being involved in poor relationships with men is the lack of boundaries and then enforcing them.

Women are incredibly accommodating of the male species – We’re suckers for sob stories, lame excuses, big d*cks, great sex, mediocre sex, some company, smoke and mirrors, seeing the wood instead of the trees, a phonecall/text message/email, and essentially, we are happy to adjust our yardsticks in the hope that they will ‘reward’ us with their love and a relationship.

Ladies, if you have no boundaries, it is like saying to a guy ‘Please, screw me over. Do what you like – I don’t care! I am desperate! I don’t care about myself! I need you more than I need my sanity or self-esteem!’

If you don’t have any boundaries, how do you know when something feels right?

If you don’t have any boundaries, how do you know when something feels wrong?

If you don’t have boundaries, at what point do you say ENOUGH?

If you don’t have boundaries, isn’t it like putting up a sign and saying ‘I’m open for business to the waifs and strays of the dating world’?

If you don’t have boundaries, how do you know when to step back and take action?

Oh that’s right…you don’t take action!

You have to have boundaries in any relationship that you have with another individual, whether that is friends, family, or lovers.

You don’t make this up as you go along – this is about knowing your value and knowing your values.

It’s about knowing what you are and aren’t prepared to accept and sticking to it. This means that when people cross your boundaries, it is a signal to you that something big is wrong and you need to process the information and take action.

Normally that something wrong is a Red Flag . Why do I say this?

You’re not supposed to accept the crossing of boundaries because when this occurs, it’s usually a sign that something is fatally wrong with the liason – this is a red flag. It’s red alert, pay attention, step back, abort mission.

Having boundaries means that trust your gut and your instincts and respect yourself. It means you make uncomfortable decisions even when your heart and/or libido may be telling you something different to your head because you know that irrespective of how you feel, this man has done something that is inappropriate and unacceptable.

Like it or not, many of you are going to have to get familiar with having limits – trust me, you’ll thank me when you’re happier, trusting yourself, trusting others, and not losing your mind!

The big problem though is that many women that I come across through this blog have zero or very little boundaries! Far too focused on trying to get a relationship that should have been killed off long ago, and petrified of losing, being alone, and someone else getting the chump, many women I come across would rather bet on potential and live in denial and fear than actually tell someone that the relationship can’t sail because they know it can’t work.

If you have no boundaries, one day, you do realise that everyone is taking advantage of you!

But…the likelihood is that if you have no boundaries, you think you’re a kind, generous, well meaning person that’s trying to be understanding, and that is repeatedly taken advantage of by men… and you blame them rather than look at what your part to play in things is.

But…a man can only step outside boundaries that he’s allowed to step outside of. So for instance, if one of your boundaries is that you don’t share men but when you find out he’s screwing someone else, you accept it and try to get him to be with you too, or replace her, you send a signal to him that irrespective of what is coming out of your mouth, you don’t respect yourself or your boundaries, and he can do what he likes.

This is no different to when a man treats you like sh*t but you’re still chasing him to come back and be with you – where are your boundaries? At what point is crap behaviour unacceptable?

You know those times when you feel afraid, agitated, nervous, and basically negative? Your boundaries are being crossed and these feel like a violation.

The critical mistake that women are making is actually knowing that they feel like sh*t and actually often knowing why, then bemoaning the fact that the person has acted in a certain way (crossed their boundaries), and then doing nothing.

It is time to ask yourself what your boundaries are and if you don’t have any, you’d better come up with some! Need a place to start – look at all your past relationships and what didn’t work (trust me – they didn’t work) and start defining what you are not prepared to put up with. Write it down and pin it up and acclimatise yourself to a new outlook of self respectability and higher self-esteem.

Steer clear of superficial stuff and establish some values because you know what? If you have no boundaries, you don’t believe you bring enough to the table to reject someone’s behaviour. Let your boundaries and awareness of red flags act as your guiding light to getting to know that you that gets involved in relationships and use them to build your confidence.

Your thoughts?


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68 Responses to Do you have boundaries in your relationships?

  1. metsgurl says:

    Yep! Right on target. It’s nice to know that we have the power and control over our own lives (through boundaries)….yet we give it to some “a..clown” and expect him to honor all that power. Most of the time (if not all) the clown never even asked for it to begin with and we just forfeited the rights to our own lives voluntarily!!! Yikes. What a slap in the face….

  2. Rachel says:

    I realized I basically took what ever he gave because I was waiting for the crumbs. I need to really think about my boundaries for the right relationship. I know that a few of my boundaries will be to run quickly from a man who has just broken up with someone and is still trying to sort through the break up. Someone who professess to be unhappy in another relationship, Someone who has an old lover who seems to be a big part of his life etc. For me personally I do not think I will ever date someone from the internet.

  3. Anela says:

    I usually do have boundaries – this is the first experience that I’ve had like this, and I don’t plan on letting it continue. I just keep reminding myself of what I would say to any other woman in my position (and have said to them in the past).

    I’m well aware of my own responsibility in all of this.

  4. loverandfighter says:

    I really think that once you come to terms with your role in how your relationship went wrong and do everything in your power to work on yourself and get right in your head and torture yourself to be strong in your newfound perspective of your life it should be harder for the next guy to walk all over you. You will/should be one step ahead of any bullshit somebody new tries to dish out. I believe healthy souls attract healthy souls. When boundaries are put in place a healthy guy won’t test your limits.

  5. myalmostlover says:

    Having no boundries was the biggest mistake I made in my EUM relationship. I was so taken with this guy that he led me down a merry path, so I thought. I saw the red flags and there were many but the main one I remember that surfaced was that he would not always do what he said he would do. Example: He was a man that loved to keep in contact, so we would talk every day, sometimes several times a day and everything would be going swimmingly and then he would take off with his friends and not call when he said he would. The first time this happens you basically give them one PASS GO. If it happens again then that’s a deal breaker. Because right there he is showing you disrespect. Even if he calls you seventy times a day, when he starts to break his promises or not show up when he’s supposed to, it’s time to have “the talk” and set him straight on what you expect. If if happens again, after you’ve made it clear that it’s not OK…then it’s time to bounce right out of the relationship.

    I wish that I had heeded those red flags when I thought my relationship was so great. What I was doing was teaching him how to disrespect me. In the end when he cheated I’m sure he thought I would put up with anything and he was right.

    Great post NML. Boundries are everything!!

  6. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    My mum taught me about boundaries when I was in my teens, she told me to think of it as a kind of Me Club. Set the rules of the club and when people break those rules, politley ask them to leave. As I got older and the real clowns started creeping outta the wood work I added to these. I can now spot an addict at 1000 paces these are the worst kind of Mr Unavailbles known to man. Toxic Toxic Toxic!!! Avoid at all costs and reinforce those boundaries 100000 X when they are in the vercinity!!!!

  7. ivyowl says:

    Bounderies violation becomes a bad habit and relationship theme. Like someone above me indicated, the disrespect creeps up on you and more and more bounderies are stepped on, and eventually you realize you have become a doormat.

  8. Astelle says:

    ArulesGirl, why are the Mr. Unavailable’s with addictions are the worst?

  9. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    Because honey, they live in denial, they are clever, manipulative to the extreme, and the addiction will always come before you, no matter how wonderful, sassy, clever, pretty, educated, clued up you are. Addicts are never happy, nothing is ever enough,their looking for something to fill voids, and its usually not just one thing, sex, drink gambling, workaholics, drug abuse. Funnily enough NML talks about relationship crack- co-dependancy another addiction. If your dating an addict its time to start looking at yourself to!!! Addict willy truly suck the very life outta you. Because they take no responsibility for themselves, their always victims, its always someone /somethings fault. This then makes people feel sorry for them, enabling them to continue to treat you like a doormat. However an addict who’s in REAL recovery, ie N/A AA and been through re-hab, will be looking at his own behaviour and working his steps, but to be with an addict is not for the sqeamish as there are no guarantees he will stay clean or really ever be able to change the addict mentality without alot of promiting from you. ITS SO BORING.

  10. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    Stay clear, men are a funny species that need handling with asbestos gloves at the best of times, dont add to the problem. You cant fix it.

  11. loverandfighter says:

    People with addictions don’t have a clue about boundaries mostly because they don’t have them with themselves.

  12. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    Nope, in their heads your being arsey and difficult, unloving and not an understanding person. BOO HOO. Hey Im not a bad person, but leave the understanding to a trained counsellor, who will also not take their BS.

  13. loverandfighter says:

    Club Me….I think that’s a fabulous idea. Not just any yahoo will be allowed in my establishment, dammit!

  14. working on me says:

    “You know those times when you feel afraid, agitated, nervous, and basically negative? Your boundaries are being crossed and these feel like a violation.” This statement hit a chord for me, because I would get these uncomfortable, agitated, nervous feeling…I think part of the “relationship crack high” and still want to be with him. It’s something I have to think about.

    ARulesGirl2theEnd- I like what your mom taught you…I’m going to think in that way from now on…Once a guy crosses those boundaries, I have to throw him out of my ME CLUB. Only problem in the past, was the Ex EUM, I would throw him out time and time again, but then take him back wishing and hoping he would change.

  15. Isabella says:

    Rachel, why not the internet? I was going to join the dating site that is advertised alot on TV where one takes a 21 question compatiability questionnaire. I know a couple of ladies who met their “love” on this site.

  16. De says:

    Perfect post, excellent, thank you!!

    the last three or four guys in my life i have had those weird feelings in my stomach
    and after getting clear of them in which ever way I have foundd out down the road they have been ether suicidal, sex addicts, ADHD and now the one living in my house seems to be autistic…I’m really hoping I don’t have to look inside myself to find these guys are a refection of who I am :) A friend told me no, it’s because you are home to them, warm generous, open and loving without judgment of anyone. I know I was brought up in my family to be the care taker and I was but then I decided as a teenager I did not want that role so I ‘ran away’ to pursue my dreams along the way I also ‘took care’ of a lot of the dreams of my family and fed my stories back. I fel I have the career, travelling friendship thing down, I’ve fought for the right work, the right home, the right friends and I’ve kept them because they were hand picked by me for their preciousness, they meant the world to me and I hold them up in good self esteem and they hold me up. I will not stop the fight until the right man is in front of me, I will scrutinize, I will have the form for him to fil out before he gets to be in my life. All the men above wanted me but I was sane enough to say no… still I attract them and that is worrying, a couple have gotten too close and injected their sickness into my life, it’s a hell of a job getting free!!

    Karen I am free, a friend came over for dinner last night and she said, Deb this guy is a bit autistic, and believe me their will be no girlfriend coming over to stay,
    you need to take a closer look at this guy. I did and I saw an aging scared lonely man wanting me to take care of him. Oh dear!!!

  17. LovingMe says:


    All my exes I’ve met them through the Internet.

    And each one of them has been EUM.

    I think dating sites are full of EUMs because they facilitate to EUMs to keep their ongoing EUM behaviours by providing a means of communication that is very superficial (IM’s, email, etc.) in spite of the false sense of intimacy you might feel. Also Internet dating is great for EUMs because it provides with a large pool of women to men who don’t want to commit to anything, so basically they get the rush and ego strokes for a while, and then move on to the next “victim”. And if you actually end up meeting them and getting involved and in a relationship with them, they will not change. They will not become emotionally available to you, and you can bet they will still have their profiles active and will still be looking for other “options” and stay open to communicating and exchanging with other women they meet online. I agree with NML that Internet dating is heaven for EUMs, it really enables their crappy behaviour. I am staying away from it from now on. It has not worked for me and if you are a Fallback Girl I totally recommend against it. Maybe a NON Fall back girl is able to recognise crappy behaviour and red flags early on whey they start communicating with EUMs online.. but in the case of us FBG’s we are so hooked on the fairy tale and betting on the potential of this new man we met online, we think he could be the one, and we are also desperate for a relationship, that we ignore all the red flags.. even when they are there… we Fall back girls are unable to recognise red flags on real life (or we blind ourselves to them), so let alone on online dating! we just can’t!!

    i am commited to learning healtier relationship habits (even if that means staying alone for a long time) and the first decision I made was to stay away from dating sites from now on.

  18. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    Hey lets lighten the mood, I have multitude of dating diasters, but I want to share this one with you. I met a guy who chased me, I was wary about him from the start, and I went out with him a few times. I always noted that he drank an awful lot when we was out, one night we were in a bar and he had a JUG of vodka red bull to himself which I found disconcerting to say the least!!! lol. A reg flag if ever there was one!!! ladies. Anyway he was get more and more sloshed and he started to get a bit arey, so basically I told him to get a grip. He then turned around and left me in a club at 12pm alone. Now do I go after him or trip my arse home. I finshed my drink and went home. My son who was 16 at the time asked why I had come home alone. I told him, thought nomore about it went to bed. 2 days later I heard tthe front dood go, Alex, my son shouted he’d get it. I heard voices and a ‘….Yeah I’ll give em to her…’ I walked down the hall to see my son drop a box of Thorntons choccies to the floor and then stamp them into the ground and then look at the bloke who had bought them
    and say ‘I’ll give them to her in your dreams… loser… dont you ever leave my mum on her own at midnight in a club to get home alone again… Prick…’ and slammed the door in a totally shocked face. He then calmly picked up the box walked past me and threw them in the bin. I just stood there. He looked at me and smiled and said ‘dont think you’ll be getting a phone call to go out on Sat night do you…’ I just fell in hysterics. Needless to say he never showed his face again. LOL.

  19. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    The thing is ladies, its about not taking any crap, from the get go. Most importantly its about not getting emotionally attatched and pinning your hopes on the first man than gives you a flattering look, and tells you your the woman of his dreams. How the hell does he know?? Christ he’s only bought you half a lager!!! Its about taking a step back and looking with eyes wide open. Yep ok my son did the work for me in this case, but hell creeping round my house with a box of chocs does not mean I have to take shitty behaviour. PERIOD!! Theres no shame in having high values ladies, they respect you for it in the end. Stamp it out as soon as it starts, why?? cos then you dont get your heart broken. Simple. I can hear a multitude of you saying ‘…but…oh… he’s got a drink problem…dont you care..and he was sorry…’ Yeah I care and maybe he was sorry but its not my problem, you cant make it better, and there will always be another drama!! because you let them get away with just one. You cant force someone to behave, who for the most part has been allowed to treat women like that for the best part of his life. Theyve been spoilt. If we all stood our ground over a generation, men would treat us with the respect we deserve in the end. Dont take the crap ever!!! AND NEVER PICK UP THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!! if they love you enough they’ll get it. If they dont, well why would you want to be with a man who really doesnt give a toss??? and if he keeps coming back and blowing hot then cold and you keep letting it happen theres a huge problem on his part and on yours, its self mutilation and in the extreme you’ve got a co-dependacy situation goin on ie addiction!!! Come on ladies stop going over every ounce of what he did, what i did, then he did this…. its hell, he’s a loser, no matter how nice he was at the start, what your getting now is the real deal!!!!! Belive it and accept it. Then have one big laugh because the way some men behave and expect you tolerate that behaviour is in fact hilarious at times.

  20. De says:

    Excelllent story ARules!!

    hahaa great to have someone love you stick up for you that way!

    One of my EUM, after dating a few times and having a bad sexual experience, seems he was impotent! yeah, I pick em!! anyway knowing this info and me high tailing it out of that scene pretty smartly. A few weeks later we were on an over night gig (we performed together). He was flirting like crazy with this very pretty girl all night, they then disappeared, well the next day as we were getting in the cab to go to the airport someone said.. so where did you go to last night hah?
    His answer, “you know she tried to get me into her room, what a slut’. My mouth dropped, it was always his ‘game’ to say there was something wrong with the girl.
    And you know, there was.. .they picked him!!!

  21. loverandfighter says:

    I think that regardless, we need to look at ourselves and take our own inventory to really get to the heart of the matter. Why are we attracted to this kind of guy? What issues are we trying to cover up with ourselves to the point where we have to find a guy with more issues so we don’t have to deal with us. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

  22. Rachel says:

    Isabella put it perfectly about online dateing for me anyway. I have met a couple of men who really “work” the dating sites to see if they can get you hooked in. I love it when after a few superficial emails they give you their phone number ……they must have a gazillion women calling them.

  23. working on me says:

    I don’t totally agree with blaming the online dating sites. I met my ex-EUM on one, but I’ve met nice, available guys too. Many of my friends and acquaintances have met their spouses on dating sites. I think it comes down to be able to know your boundaries, what you will tolerate and not getting involved with a man with red flags. I agree that there may be more EUMs on the sites…but you can meet an EUM in a multitude of ways…it’s understanding how to love yourself and not tolerate the shitty behaviors from any man regardless of where you found him.

  24. loverandfighter says:

    Just so you guys know…my ex and his best friend joined an online dating site on a bet to see who could take the first girl to a certain restaurant. Whoever won has to take the other to a fancy steak restaurant.

  25. RES says:

    I’ll never ignore my instincts again. NEVER! I felt those “red flags” and either rationalized or forgave them. Never again.

  26. nysharon says:

    My exhusband drank too much while we were at a club in Manhattan on a romantic getaway. At 2 am I said I wanted to go home. He walked me to the door angry. I told him he could stay and and he then and there, turned and left me. I took a cab back to the hotel alone–scrary… (thanks to having a $20 in my purse). He cried the next day. Thanks for reminding me why I ended my marriage and why I need to keep up the boundries that I set that Spring when I kicked his ass out.
    BTW: I am finding Online guys to also be eternal casual daters looking for “perfect”.

  27. loverandfighter says:

    RES you go girl!!! That’s the kind of attitude you have to have! We aren’t gonna take it! No more giving in to selfish behaviour of men. These guys are laughing at us with their friends, bragging about how we will take anything they dish out. Trust me, I have listened to my ex and his friend talk about girls. It’s disgusting.

  28. Isabella says:

    I was never a real buyer of online dating, I just heard from others how they met their “loves”. Now, I met my ex-husband in college and yes, he too was an EUM as I think about it. And he thought that he was a great catch. I was so young when we got married. During our dating, he left me for another girl two years into college, he just dumped me and lied and lied. Did I walk away? yes and no. Yes, I did but went to him and explained why, I was doing it (he knew) and No, I took him back after he started crying like a b*tch. After about 7 months or so, he asked me to marry him. I said yes and yes to a future of sheer hell peppered with fun times. He blew hot with trips and gifts and cold with emotional abuse and distancing behavior. I didn’t know which way was up. My goal became to please him. Boundaries? I was a doormat. We divorced due to his affair and more than likely he had many ( I was too scared to face the facts but I suspected many times). I found out that he married OW, 2 weeks after the divorce was final. I can’t imagine being with that person again, I cringe when I think of how I was. So….online dating or in person meeting, red flags are red flags.

  29. Isabella says:

    I met my last relationship at a party briefly and then online. He read my profile without my pic being posted and liked what he read. I guess I was a challenge or something. I was very honest and direct with my profile. He emailed me and after maybe 2 emails, he gave me his home, cell, office and email addresses. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. We seem to have so much in common until I realized that he talked about his ex-wife so much, I knew more about her than I did him. He obviously wasn’t over her. The boundaries that I had after my divorce fell apart in this relationship. I thought that he was so honest but when I think about it now, I see so many holes in almost everything he told me. When he blew hot, it was a burning hot and when he blew cold, well I couldn’t find him,either his phone was being charged or he lost it or it was broken, whatever….. More than likely he was still on the dating site that he met me on and hitting up women right and left while keeping me lukewarm.

    I have had NC with that jerk for 4 months now and I am going to keep it. I cringe with this too and what I put up with and lost myself with. I decided that going forward, if I am alone for a while so be it. I will not sell myself out or short and I will work on myself. I want and deserve the real mcoy.

  30. myalmostlover says:

    I’m totally turned off to online dating as well. I find most guys to be superficial, concentrating on looks…and I’m nice looking but that really irks me. They’re always asking for pictures of you but then give you pictures of themselves that are so small you can barely see them or so far away you need a magnifying glass….lol.

    Since I’ve split with my EUM I’ve discovered two things. If you’re going to do online it should be local so that you have a chance to meet the person pretty quickly. The second thing is forget about long distance relationships. THEY DON’T WORK. It’s a total waste of time. There are just too many obstacles trying to form a relationship.

    I’m working on finding someone the tradiional way by joining an interest group or gym. I would rather find out if I have chemistry with someone by a person to person meeting. Even if you do local online dating, it usually turns into a series of disappointing one time blind dates.

    I do talk to one man from my online dating days. I’ve known him since my several breakups with the xEUM. He is long distance so I’m not really pursing anything more with him then friendship but we do have a lot in common and enjoy speaking by phone and email. It’s not moved beyond the harmless flirting stage and I doubt it ever will I don’t have the desire to attempt a long distance relationship. Finding the right person is hard enough without jumping the LDR hurdles.

    So I consider myself single. There is no drama in my life and I like it that way. I hope I will find that special person but I’ll never compromise my values or BOUNDRIES again for any man.

    I read something that really stuck with me about valuing yourself. It may have been a dating article but the point was to take a trip to Walmart and see how the store is laid out and how it feels. It’s a place where you can get bargains but in no way is it classy. Then go to an upscale department store and see how everything looks and feels. It makes you feel good just walking through it. The clothes are beautiful, there is usually a scented candle burning somewhere. You feel nice. That’s the way we should feel about ourselves. We’re not Walmart, we’re something better…somebody that values herself and thinks she’s special That’s how I think about myself now. I would never put up with bad behavior from a man again because I’m worth so much more then that. It’s not being conceited, it’s just knowing your worth.

    That’s the way we should all look at ourselves. As women that are valuable and only worthy men will get to date us, commit to us and marry us.

  31. Astelle says:

    Isabella, I am also not a fan of online dating. Are you in Texas???
    Did you meet him on one of the free websites???

    My ex EUM, player, user or whatever he was (did not meet him on a dating site) gave me his work, cell, home and e-mail addresses on the first date – means nothing, he lost a phone, lost the charger, didn’t hear the phone, forgot to hit the send button on the e-mail (I bet you have not heard that one before :) ) and bla bla bla.
    Now, I found this interesting, somebody said to me once, that “skilled” Online daters do not respond to contacts from women, they make the contact with women to avoid to be contacted by one he played in the past. Makes sense somewhat.
    I noticed that you find the same people on different sites, even with more than one profile – clever or stupid? – and you will see them years later.
    Mine used to talk about his ex a lot and I realized that he put the ex-wife and kids thru hell. Did I dump him with all these red flags, nope,
    I am “special”, he would not do that to me…puke.
    Stick with No contact with this jerk.

  32. Astelle says:

    myalmostlover, or the picture is years old. Be careful about the ones that don’t smile, something wrong with their teeth. Happened to me, nice looking guy, missing a lot of teeth, dressed nice, expensive watch, but won’t spend money to get his teeth replaced, made me wonder where his priorities are..

  33. Isabella says:

    Nope, I am in Georgia. Astelle, are you in the lone star state? I use to live in Texas, in Houston.

    Yes, I met the ex-EUM on a free site, ugh…..when I posted my profile, I am not kidding, at least 50 men sent an email, EUMs on the prowl.
    I was talking with his mother when we were dating and she said something really weird and it stuck with me but I didn’t let him go. Now mind you, she did not know me and this was 2 months into the relationship. Whenever the ex-EUM and it got into a disagreement and there were many, his mother would call me and convince me to stay with him. Bizarre. So in other words, he told her everything and nothing was between us. I told him to stop telling her everything but it went in one ear and out the other. I remember thinking that this probably happened with his ex-wife. Momma knew everything about their relationship and nothing was between husband and wife. But anyway, I remember his mother saying during one of her “stay with him talks”, that whoever got involved with him, he would put them through hell. After she said this she hung up the phone with me really fast, like she was thinking out loud or something. Well she was right.

  34. Isabella says:

    Forgot to mention, his ex-wife was on the same free site. The ex-EUM made a comment that he was going to trick her by emailing her like he was interested and this was before he met me. He wanted to play with her mind. What an ass.

  35. metsgurl says:

    myalmostlover ~ that’s great advise about placing value and worth on self. It’s something I fail to remember (hence, never seem to be working on) so it’s really easy to lose ground quickly while NC with xEUM.

    I’m still not clear what takes place in my mind when he texts and I instantly start rationalizing “oh he’s never tried this often before…I bet he’s really hurting right now…I really should try to clear this up….maybe he finally sees what a d*** he’s been…”. Does anyone have the skinny on what that is exactly and how to stop it????

  36. Astelle says:

    Isabella, I know what you mean about the free websites, you get 50 e-mails from guys that click on “Who is new” button, because these people are running out of people to contact.
    His Mom told you everything you needed to know about him. Tricking his ex wife on the website tells me that he is not over her and she was the one that divorced his stupid a**.
    Yes, I am living in the Lone Star State, being from Europe, can you say culture shock? :) Texas is not a State, it is their own “country”, I am sure you knew that. :)

    metsgurl, I can not tell you what HIS problem is, but if you have read all of NML’s post on this website and hopefully her book, than you should know to cut contact with him….or just play his game, you are the only one that can stop it, he won’t.

  37. metsgurl says:

    Astelle~ I guess I was referring more to the crap that goes through my mind. I’m a smart woman (or at least I think so =)) but not when it comes to the EUM….it’s like auto-pilot and I have this compulsion to resolve the contradictions in his actions.

  38. ph2072 says:

    Nail —-> Head. Boundaries are a MUST.

  39. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    Astelle- It seems to me you have alot of personal insight (always good) none of us are perfect. Your with a guy who is F@@@@arsing you about, hmmm, yeah been there! It was through being with such a guy, that I started on my journey of personal empowerment. It takes guts and a will to want to break the cycle, in that, in didnt matter how it turned out. I was with a bloke who was an an addict, an everything addict!!! if you get mey drift. Anyway today, thanks to me kicking his butt, I know that he was truly sorry for the way he treated me, and thankfully, me turning the tables on him he finally did something positive to save his own life physically but also importantly he was able to save his soul. He got his arse into re-hab. And today he is a truly healthy man physically and emotionally, his personal insight to his behaviour knocks spots of some of the most grounded guys I know. He works on himself everyday and as he said when he came an made his amendment to me he knows he will have to for the rest of his life. One of the most important things he did, was to stop dating/shagging women, because he realised that he wasnt being fare, he was stringing them and me along for one thing in the end!!!!, addicts are maipulative!, and he said it was me that turned him around to that fact, his life was groundhog day. How did this happen, because I finally found the guts to start taking control of my life, bit by bit. I didnt have the guts to end it full stop, but I did have the guts to slowly break the dependancy of relationship crack. I had another conversation with him once, and he told me, he didnt know how he felt, blah blah blah, but he’d txt me the next day. I went home cryed another night away feeling so hurt and worthless, but I also decided that being with an addict was having a detrimental effect on me emotionally,physically and personally. I started going out more and I dont mean bars night clubs, I mean stuff with girlfriends, walks dinners, girlie nights in, I did some voluntary work and started to use the degree that I’d worked so friggin hard to get, how I did it with his friggin antics I will never know, I spent quality time with my children and became a much stronger mother getting them revising and on track at school, good structure at home. Finally pushing him to the outskirts of my life, and slowly I didnt wait for his calls, txts anymore. It slowly began not to matter, and then one day at work a guy asked me out, not a co-worker I might add, thats a rule for me!!! and I was pulled do I go or not, didnt really want to but you know what I went, and had a nice time, I didnt feel guilty and why the hell should I. I didnt talk about my guy and then I slowly started dating other guys, nothing heavy just friendly, never sexual. I built up my self esteem, it wasnt somthing I bragged about, but if my guy asked what I’d been doing I told him, I’d been for dinner, a drink, coffee and a cake with so and so. Slowly the penny dropped he didnt have me completeley and slowly he slunk of into the distance as I unthinkingly became more and more distant and truly unavailble. His calls became less frequent and I didnt give a toss in the end. I never called him once from that night I lay in my bed crying, and It was the best decsion I ever made. No I didnt kick his arse out like that, I was to weak for that, but I slowly eased myself outta his life.

  40. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    ny-sharon- Thats a great story, however Im jealous that you where in Manhattan, it sounds so great. Im living in the UK boring as hell. Keep up the goodwork. You gotta be tough to get what you want LOVE!!! nothing less. Never settle.

  41. De says:


    i agree with you about looking ourselves to find out what it is we do. I’ve been doing that religiously for nearly fifteen years since a verry messy messy divorce, I find things out about myself everyday. Just yesterday i was talking to my Mum and I had an insight, I told her. She (my Mum, a caretaker) chose a sick man, her brother chose a sick wife, both her parents were alcoholics so the children were brought up to be care-takers. I have looked inside myself and I see the generations before me with their struggles. How do I break the cycle, I am a caretaker, but I’m tired, I want someone to come into my life as an equal. most of my relationships start off this way, we meet we connect great, we share work and development chemistry then somewhere along the line they think we can keep on working together but they can go off and shag someone else and I find they have some kind of weird illness as well.. it’s tooooo weird. Although this ss what my Dad kind of did to my Mum. Oh dear!!! How do I stop the cycle!!! I’m sick of walking into the blind spot!!


  42. nevergoingbackthereagain says:

    Great post – ive not been on here for a while and it pains me to admit why- over the festive period I broke nc with my truly horrible, messed up, narcissist eum – meaning i must be more messed myself then I first realised! – and as far as boundaries go – I obviously have none. Anyway Im back to nc now, my eum couldnt even go a whole week before reverting back to his nasty abusive behaviour, im actually more bothered about how i could kid myself into thinking it could ever be any different, we must of broke up & got back together about 25 times over the last 2years now – and guess what?? same outcome everytime, what is wrong with me??
    Astelle – your post made me smile, I am from the uk but lived in Houston Texas for one year – I too felt the culture shock – especially where men are concerned!!

  43. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    Love&fighter its not all your fault with these guys, dont be to hard on yourself. I found with myself that i was putting up with to much at the start really, letting not so great behaviour go, and it dawned on me that this then snowballed into assclown mentality. Thats why I became a bit more hard on em at the start. Thats the key, it worked for me and it seems to work for alot of my friends.

  44. ARulesGirl2theEnd says:

    nevergoingbackthereagain- At least he’s nasty, its the gentle understanding ones who are the worst, you know the ones that dont want to hurt your feelings, they want to talk, yeah about themselves. It should be alot easier with a selfish stroppy brat. Blah! you dont need it. Theres nothing wrong with you, you have a gift to give, Love and its priceless. take care of yourself.

  45. annied says:

    I know this article is about me. I know I have little to no boundaries, but how do you go about making them? it isn’t easy. I’ve read books and gone to therapy off and on for years – still I get suckered into being with men i should not be with and/or doing things i do not like to do. The EUM that I am seeing (for the moment, until he drops me again) is an addict, like mentioned before. He is addicted to video games. He honestly gets out of bed, turns on the computer and sits there all day long. That is his first love and most times, seems like his only love. I think I am addicted to him somehow. It feels like a cycle that never ends. I really dont know how to get out of it and stay out. How does one make boundaries after an entire life of none?

  46. Rachel says:

    So get this …. I actually married a man I met on the internet. 2 years in to the relationship when we really needed to put some work into our marriage because we were having some communication problems, I found that he had posted his profile on a dating site and was trying to meet other women. Of course it was all my fault and I drove him to do it…sigh…. It took me another year to calculatedly exit that marriage with a good job and a decent car so I could take care of myself. Because we met on the internet I never felt I could truly trust him on his computer.

    After that I got into a long distance relationship that nearly ripped my heart out. A total EUM who had the perfect ego stroke when ever he needed it. I would NEVER do a long distance relationship again it’s a great gig for EUM’s who like to feel they always have something on the side.

    Why do we let men rule so much of our lives? I have given years away to worthless men. What a crime!

  47. De says:

    NML..I’ve spent all day reading you book, oh my, it is so good, thank you!!
    I feel like I’ve onlny ever met these men! I wouldn’t know a good man if I tripped over him, that makes me sad but your eye openers have opened mine and helped set me free. Thank you!


  48. Isabella says:

    Going to get the book for sure. A lack of boundaries is apparent in my life in different stages in my family relationships and friendships. I am the person that folks want to spend the night with because paying one more day for a hotel room would not be cost effective for THEM. I am the person who solves the problems for everyone else (like raising adults again and searching for employment for the one sister while I am unemployed too but of course she doesn’t do that for me!) Mind you that they don’t come to see me, but come into town to attend another event and I happen to be here, so they spend a night with me and leave in the morning. This goes for my sisters and mother also. They come for an event and I happen to be here but there intention is not come see me, so they spend maybe a day with me. My family has visited me maybe once in the 8 years that I have been divorced. They are the poster children of EU. I think that this has spilled over into my relationships with men….sigh…… I guess I became use to Hot and Cold blowing so for me it was familiar when it happened with the men. Boundaries are like setting a life line for myself, cuz I was drowning in tears, pain, anger and tears again.

  49. Rachel says:

    No more tears Isabella,

    We cannot pick our family – unfortunatly – but we can pick our friends and the men in our lives. I feel for you ….. the book is hard to read about our selves but I have learned and grown from reading it. The best money I have spend on self development and my future.

    The line about dwowning in tears pain, anger and tears again is close to where I have been. You now have friends it is all going to get much better. I am here in Columbus, Ohio and it has been the grayest winter I have known as I heal my wounds in NC with my EUM experience I wish some of you were closer.

  50. Alika says:

    Thank you for article, NML!

    I’ve had enough when my EUM bought me a cheap flowers…HE never really bought me anything during 9 months, he invited me to the restaurants and cinemas…

    That day I was sick with flu, and he came to see me, it was the last time when I met him…I finally realised that he was not even bothered to spend 10 pounds to buy me a decent flowers.. That was it!

  51. Tulipa says:

    I liked what you had to say Arulesgirls2theend I too did not have the guts to just wipe him out..( I admire anyone who does and doesn’t look back) I am phasing him out and seeing that life goes on regardless.. It has been the only way I could do it because the truth is hard to swallow sometimes…

  52. Astelle says:

    Arulesgirls, no, I am not with him anymore, I am talking past tense.
    Yes, I agree, of course none of us is perfect, people will get “there” at their own pace as lon g as they get “there”..
    Tulipa, no, you are not phasing him out, you are not moving on, you are watching his actions and act based on what he does or doesn’t do, plain and simple. Like I told you on a different post, you are fooling yourself.

  53. Tulipa says:

    will have a long think about what you said Astelle..

  54. Gail says:


    Boundaries are a learned attribute, especially if you haven’t had any.
    I know, I didn’t either until approximately 2 months ago, when I started counseling with what I now call my Life Coach.
    When I was initially asked what my boundaries were, I could only come up with three and they weren’t relevant one iota as to what was acceptable or not acceptable in the get go, I didn’t know. Sad but true.
    2 months later, I am finally getting it all by looking back into my personal past, by looking at all of my past relationships and what was the common theme between them, comparing them and seeing Red Flags now that I should have known years ago but only realize now.
    I have written these down and they are starting to comprise my list of boundaries, what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior, what feels good and what doesn’t.
    This is an ongoing process and I am still learning about myself, when to jump ship and not expend my energy on an assclown, EUM, narcissitic jerk, or any combination of these.
    By setting boundaries (your Red Flags that don’t feel good from the get go) will interfere with your emotional attachment to someone before it’s too late and you’re hooked, in my opinion, I see that now.
    Read NML’s book, read the post on “How to Spot Emotionally Unavailable Men” and “Recognizing Things About Yourself In the Men You Profess to Love”, then think about whether any of this strikes a cord with you.
    This would be a good place to start….Gail

  55. Betterwithouthim says:

    Here’s the piece that I think I am finally getting into my head from reading NML’s site, and viewing the posts.

    When my relationship started with my EUM I did have boundaries, I confronted him on them and was strong. Or so I thought. That was in the beginning, but somewhere over time (2 yrs later) he just kept being the person he was, an EUM, and his behavior did not change. But I was the one who kept changing for him, and over time my self-esteem dwindled to almost nothing. I was an insecure, unhappy person, and I craved his attention but yet when I got his attn I would feel worse than I had before getting any of his attn.

    So the point here, which is the substantial piece in all this is: Set your boundaries, let the other person know about them, call them out if needed and make them clear. Then by all means stick to them, enforce them within yourself, and if the person violates them again, take the appropriate steps to keep yourself safe. Don’t let these EUM’s continue to manipulate, intimidate, lie, make up excuses, etc. If you mean what you say (re: boundaries) then act upon it, because we all know actions speak louder than words. Don’t give them 20 chances to change, don’t accept crumbs, and don’t try to change the EUM.

    I spent 2 yrs trying to be something my EUM wanted, but it didn’t change the relationship, or him. It changed me, it made me someone of whom I wasn’t too proud of, instead of holding my head high and feeling good about who I am. I looked down on myself and isolated myself from the real people who cared about me.

  56. annied says:

    Thanks Gail … I’ve been posting here for a while now and when I do read I get it – I see it – I know this relationship is all wrong for me. Then I do what Betterwithouthim does … I go back to molding myself into what he wants me to be. I have done nothing but compromise, take crumbs and feel sad for over 2 years. He has not changed at all. He stands by what he originally said to me – that this will never be what I want.

    aamof, just last week he was on the verge of ending it (again) He had nothing positive to say about us being together. He said we werent supposed to be together, it was wrong, it was unfair to me b/c he could never give me what I wanted from him – all I wanted was for him to love me back. He told me i deserved better … so when I said, well, if i deserve better, I guess this is over. then he comes back with – but I dont want to lose you – let’s calm down and I will think this over … so i waited. I did not sleep for a week

    – and you know what? he never mentioned it again. just kept on like nothing had happened. Meanwhile, wht am I doing? Nothing. I’m still where I always was – nowhere. well, this weekend i think I put the final nail in the coffin. I had a complaint – and that usually leads to a break-up. I wont even get into what it was b/c it was trivial, but it was me “demanding” attention and he just cannot handle it. soo, now he’s not speaking to me. Our main form of communication was IMing thruout the day – he hasnt been back on since he signed off on me Friday.

    My usual approach would be to ask him what was going on – then it gives him the opportunity to let me go. I dont want to do that this time. I want to be stronger than that. I’m not strong enough to end it myself, so I guess I’ll be quiet until he does it. I know I should not be upset or sad, or even suprised that this is over, but I am. I find it so hard to wrap my brain around a 40-something yo woman beating herself up over something that is obviously so wrong. How did I let myself get this low? Eh, sorry this got so long. I had to tell somebody and I know you all will understand and not judge me as being weak. Thanks for listening.

  57. Rachel says:

    Oh geeeze you just described my relationship with my EUM. You will find the strength to end this when the pain is just too much to take anymore.

    I got to the point where I could not bear to wait for one more unanswered text or one more phone call that comes on his terms, or one more email that does not come till he was ready to respond. I could not take the pain any more thats where I found my strength in not being able to handle any more stress and pain. Find it girlfriend! This guy is eating the best part of you up. I too am in my 40’s life is getting very short.

    The pain is what keeps me in NC I could not bear to respond to a text only to not have it returned. I could not write an email only for him to treat me with NC. Now I have the upper hand for once I am in control and he will go to the grave without me in his life.

  58. Gail says:


    I am sorry, I must of misunderstood your question at the end of your post…Gail

  59. annied says:

    Hey Gail, no you gave me good advice. I am just still boundary-less, or at least that is how i feel right now. I want to be strong and draw the line like he has – I have done it before, but i eventually let him walk right through.

  60. Betterwithouthim says:

    Annied- My heart is breaking for you, I wish you could see how much more you deserve for yourself, and in a relationship with someone who is available. I’ve been where you are at, but you have to start somewhere, get some strength and some courage and follow the NCR. You don’t need this EUM, he is using you – let him go – let him go!

  61. Astelle says:

    Rachel, NC wasn’t hard for me end of 2007, I was not giving him a chance anymore to ignore me or respond when HE wanted or when HE needed something. I just went POOF…
    Yes, you have the upper hand, stick with NC, you will be fine.

  62. I used to think that when you love there shouldn’t be any boundaries but then again in the process I tend to loose myself and I felt like wasn’t the way I used to be that’s the sad part. I learned a lot from my own experience and still learning a lot with the people I’m currently dating. I’m just now not forgetting to set the boundaries.

  63. annied says:

    I need advice today. If you saw my post above, I predicted that the EUM i’ve seen for over 2 years would dump me. He did, via email. I dont know if I am more sad or angry right now. What I want to know is – what now? I work with this assclown. Do I just go silent and leave him alone? Ignore him completely? Everyone knows in the office that we’ve been dating a long time. Part of me wants to crawl under a rock and die and part of me wants to beat the crap out of him. help.

  64. Rachel says:


    Honey, rise above this…. with grace and dignity. Be DONE with this ass. No scene, no confrontation, just look right through him if you have to look at him and never in the eye. Stand taller, tell your self that you have confidence to rise above. Know that you are done with this ass, don’t talk to anyone at work about it, be really really nice to everyone. Its all going to be ok take a deep breath and know that you deserve so much better than an idiot who would treat you so shabbily. The best revenge is living better, looking better, smiling more, and letting your inner beauty shine through which will be much easier without him dragging you down on an emotional roller coaster. Pull yourself together and be the queen. You are going to be ok.

  65. Rachel says:

    One last piece of advice in my opinion would be to ,,, when asked by people at work who know you both what happened… woule be to kindly say we just decided to not see each other any more. If they press you for more details you can just say “It does not work for either of us anymore for a number of reasons” and that you could go on and on about that you would just like to not discuss it at this point. Then let him trash you if he wants but it will come back to haunt him, personally and professionally I promise you! People will respect you so much more for not trashing him even though he is trash. Keep a secret smile on your face as if this is the best thing that ever happened to you… because it probably is.

  66. Brad K. says:

    annied, breaking off with a coworker is always messy. You cannot explain to anyone about your anger and hurt – it will cost you in your work with others. You have to go silent on the topic of your past relationship.

    With the bozo you need to be polite and “business professional” – and make yourself one *clear* boundary about no personal or intimate stuff at work. I would be willing to bet a donut that some colleague of friend of his will make a play for you – just in case he gets lucky and picks you up on the rebound. Over time the dust will settle, and if you are consistent, professional, polite, and discreet – it will mostly blow over.

    And, in time, it may even get more comfortable.

    Remember that “friends” and “competition” tend to trade places in the office. Don’t feel it is OK to tell anyone off. “That’s personal. Can we get back to the topic?” and “No” work well.

  67. annied says:

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. Brad, I think I’m going to have to stick to “No”, like you said and act like Rachel said and look right through him. The pattern with this guy is to break up with me, let me stew and stay away for about a month and then come creeping back in with the friend card. I honestly believe that if I try professional and curteous, he is going to try to weasle in quicker.

    I’m not talking smack about him at work. I’m just acting how I usually do (folks will notice without me saying a word) But with him … he could be a ghost for all I care. For my sanity, I feel like I have to pretend he doesnt exist.

    I cant tell you how many, many times he’s ended it and I thought it was really over for him – only to have him come back and pretend that he didnt say things that killed me (like, really annie, i need to be looking for someone to marry). This time feels the most painful yet and I think it’s because I know it is really over … for me.

    I never completely closed the door – always hoped that he would see value in me and come back. He did come back – but it was because he missed me and was lonely, NOT because he realized he wanted me for real. This time feels different. This time hurts more. I hope it’s because I am finally done, have closed the door and will move on without him in my life. You all are such a great help to me. Thank you.

  68. Rachel says:

    Hi Annied,

    I feel for you. What a nightmare to have to work with him every day. I was once involved with an ass at work as well infact he was my boss and I fell really hard for him. He ended up getting promoted to another department and started a relationship with another woman who was more his “equal” in the organization. I got to watch their entire relationship develop it was the most PAINFUL thing I have ever experienced. I ended up changing jobs to get away from the whole nightmare. He eventually married this woman now years later… but he still thows out bait to me probably once a month to see if I still think about him. What a DICK !

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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