Some people just aren’t ready for you or what a relationship entails. I’m not talking about some wishy-washy affair or one where it’s imbalanced due to one party sacrificing themselves to maintain the status quo. No, I’m talking about a mutual, copiloted partnership. Not perfection, not questioning the hell out of each other or yourselves, not lather, rinse, repeat cycle of chaos, but instead coming together because you know who you are and that you can survive and thrive on your own and that together, you enhance what’s already there and have a great time together, as well as dealing with not so smooth times instead of being divided by them.

Some people just aren’t ready for you or what a relationship entails. No amount of ‘pleasing’, twisting, morphing, blending, nor discussing to the nth degree, begging, pleading, cajoling, negotiating, and even guilting, is going to change that. That’s not a relationship; that’s a battle.

If you’ll give a ‘discount’ or remove what may be perceived as the cumbersome ‘options’ such as being truly intimate and committed, or just having basic care, trust, and respect, that person who you’re effectively ‘battling with’, will be ‘in’, as in, ‘in’ as long as they have the option to be half out and to do things on their terms. If you’ll discount your boundaries, needs, feelings etc, they’ll be OK with that because they’ll get to remain in their comfort zone. If you’re willing to do a little or a lot of the effort, great, and if you’ll pump them up, even better. You end up giving away so much of you that you may feel compelled to fight solely on the basis that if you were to ‘win’, you could restore your sense of self. Instead, you are likely to end up losing even more because in getting sidetracked, the battle takes you further away from who you are but also takes you further away from the very things that you may profess to want. So many people tell me that they want mutual love, care, trust, and respect along with stability and a sense of direction and yet, they’re in chaos due to fighting a prolonged and sustained battle that if only their ego wasn’t so heavily involved, they would have stepped away long before.

What are you fighting for? It may seem as if you’re fighting for love or for the relationship, but should a relationship be a battle? Where do you draw the line? It ends up being a battle for power and supremacy of terms because it really becomes about fighting and competing, which becomes about winning and losing, and ultimately this doesn’t leave room for a mutually fulfilling copiloted relationship.

When we mistake battling for loving, what we also don’t always admit is that aside from wanting to win back some credibility with ourselves, that we also continue because we’re driven to want to control the uncontrollable, hence we want to be in control of the outcome, and mistake the outcome as ‘being able to control the other party’, when actually we can change the outcome by changing our path and changing the definition of that outcome from battle conclusion to using the participation to jolt us into addressing our relationship with ourselves and our love habits.

Are you wanting to engage in a sustained and prolonged fight, or do you want to love and be loved? Choose wisely and act accordingly.

Your thoughts?

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168 Responses to Do you want to be in a battle or a relationship?

  1. Karen says:

    I don’t want to be in a battle OR a relationship right now.
    I finally got away for good from my passive aggressive, married assclown just a month ago–I need some time to make it up to myself for choosing such a loser and convincing myself that the limerance I felt was love.
    Being on my own is actually a fun relationship, once I started treating myself as I want to be treated.
    Amazing how easy going I am without being lied to or gas-lighted! Good times! :)

  2. Astrid says:

    *applauds* This is how I have been feeling for the last three months. It was a constant battle of wills with a man who was proclaimed to care about me and WANT a relationship with me, for Godssake. He was a hugely passive aggressive person underneath the shiny, thoughtful facade, and if something didn’t suit, it was silent treatment or disappearing acts. Finally, it became too much. No amount of talking, talking talking about it or the fact he acknowledged changes needed to be made for the sake of communication did a damn thing. It was a huge waste of my time, and at the end of everything after all the effort I made being patient, clear and honest, I got less than NOTHING but heartache in return. Relationships (especially brand new ones) should not be like that, filled with childish and selfish behavior. So discouraged right now. Sometimes it’s so difficult to step away and realize whether a relationship is worth it while it’s all going on. I think we assign so much more importance to the men in our lives then we experience back. They simply don’t become invested as easily as we do.

  3. Firefly says:

    Great post. Haven’t thought about relationships in this way. Thanks again, Natalie!

  4. Kat says:

    My God, did you write this just for me? This is and has been ME for so long I’ve completely lost myself. The ego…I don’t want to let go…I don’t want to lose. I want to “win” but why and what will it get me?

    In my rational state, I know that I don’t really want what I’m fighting for (a reconciliation and the love of someone I thought I’d spend my life with) but I can’t seem to stop myself from obsessing.

    Please, give me something concrete that I can do to stop this train of thought. I think I’m losing my mind!

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Kat, Get NML’s Curbing Your Obsession Guide. Hugs to you! You will be ok! Been there and now, I have been NC for over a year. Not sure how long, lost track…Lol, But I do know, I thought the same you did, the assclown actually told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He future faked me. I totally get where you’re coming from. “Winning” isn’t an option. Making sure you take care of you, is you’re priority. This too shall pass.

    • Nigella says:


      Only you can set yourself free from the illusions that are making you cling to someone not really worth your time. One of those illusions is – I suspect – the belief that convincing someone to “pick” you & stay with you is a form of “winning”.

      Perhaps you need to change the words – metaphors – that are shaping your thoughts which are then informing and underlying your actions. Trust me, change begins with changing our language. Right now, you are working with the metaphor of a “battle” or a “contest”. But perhaps you can look at your desire to be with a reluctant person in a different manner. Even if you were to succeed in salvaging the relationship for some time by persuading that person to say, you will not be a “winner”. You will be a “beggar” – someone who had to beg for attention, support, company, respect, affection, and respect. Someone who had to beg the other person to empathize with you & see the error of their ways.

      Ultimately, whatever satisfaction you might derive from winning the interest & agreement of that person is unlikely to last for long. If someone really wants to be with you, then you don’t have to convince them to be with you or fight with them to recognize your worth. Having a discussion – sharing our true feelings in a transparent manner – is one thing. But one person imposing his or her ideas on another, and one person submitting to another is an entirely different thing – it does not make for a good partnership.

      In mutually fulfilling relationships, both people try to create win-win situations for one another. If people are pressured into staying with someone, their resentment is not going to disappear even if they choose to stay in the relationship.

      If you do want to fight for something, I suggest with all my care and respect for you that you fight for your own freedom. Free yourself from illusions about this person and about yourself – you can survive and thrive without this person. Free yourself from your current dependence on this person.

      Focus on yourself. Envision a better future for yourself without them. Stop idealizing the relationship.

      In my demanding job as a consultant, I have to spend hours each day convincing people what is going to benefit them in different scenarios. Before dating Mr. Liar, I had told myself I am never going to stoop to convincing someone to be with me. Through my actions and words, I will show them my interest and care. I fully subscribe to the truism that “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they are all yours. If they do not, they never were”. Let them go – or else you risk humiliating yourself and getting into a on-again off-again destructive dating pattern.

      It is this absolute belief of mine that prevented me from getting in touch with the ex after he e-dumped me. His sudden disappearance from my life and decision to discard me hurt me a lot. But I saw no point in trying to guilt-trip or browbeat him to reconsider his decision. Technically, I was dumped. Some might say I “lost”. I may have lost him, lost a relationship. But not my self-respect. That is all that matters at the end of the day: self-respect.

      Pick you, Kat. Fight for yourself.

      • Stephanie says:

        Nigella, excellent advice and very well said. I’ve been where Kat is and I’m glad I sat on my hands and kept my self respect and did not chase him after he abruptly disappeared even though I really wanted to. However, I obsessed for months and nearly went crazy.

        • Nigella says:

          Stephanie and Nel,

          Thanks for your kind words. Here is a quote I read that is helping me maintain my resolve not to compromise my self-respect ever for anyone: “Cutting people out of my life does not mean I hate them, it simply means I RESPECT me.” I could not have put it better.

          Last year, I kept up with my job projects, hobbies, friends and family members, and still found the time to prepare fresh meals for Mr. Liar in the evenings. Keeping his favorite cuisine in mind, I treated him to a rather thoughtfully-prepared Birthday dinner at my place during this time. I did not see this as me trying too hard to win his approval, because cooking is one of my many passions, and because back then he had not started to show his true colors.

          However, I tripped when the tables were turned: when it was his turn to welcome me into his house, he was actually struggling to figure out what he could cook for me. Jokingly, he even suggested that he could perhaps serve me chickpeas out of a can, sprinkled them with some salt-n-pepper. In the big scheme of things, this might seem to be a minor thing but now I see it as an orange-flag. His comment did not reflect his wit or humor, it pointed to his limited capacity to reciprocate the care and support I offered him.

          Mea culpa: I did not see then what I see now. Because I can take care of myself – and, for instance, do not need anyone to cook or to clean for me – I forget that this does not mean that others need not put in equal effort in the relationship to show me care and support. I did not expect a Michelin-star gourmet meal from him, but a bit more effort than a store-bought bean-salad and a sampling of baked spuds.

          My goodness! Exactly where had I left my thinking cap? Simple answer: the substantial sex, following the insubstantial meal, clouded my judgement of him temporarily.

          Lessons learned. Temporarily, I was overvaluing sex and overlooking the importance of a mutually nurturing relationship. Once his actions started to show me that he could not care for me as much as I could for him, I should have reined in my giving nature, reminded myself that I can do better on my own, and opted out of the relationship without making him feel inadequate. Since then, maintaining a give-get ratio in all relationships has become a top priority for me.

          It makes more sense for me to invest my time, effort, and money into making meals for orphan children or poor people than cooking for an underdeveloped, financially privileged brat spoiled by his mommy and daddy.

          • LovefromNel says:

            Dear Nigella,

            What a wonderful quote. I have saved that to my phone. Although it is pertinent to the EUM, it also applies to so-called friends who have also shown their true colours in this past year. Life is short, and I don’t have time for people that don’t respect me. Self-respect must prevail. I have readers like you, and many others, and BR and Natalie to thank for that.

            Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it? Don’t be too hard on yourself for what you didn’t see back then. Because the lessons we learn from these situations are priceless. We know now what we want, and what we deserve. And we know it with enormous clarity, that we won’t ever settle for anything less.

            Like you, I too was overwhelmed by terrific sex and as such, I ignored what my instincts told me were red flags. The control that he tried to exert, his critical nature, his black/white view of the world – good/bad, right/wrong. There were no shades of grey, and he was always right. He knew everything.

            What a horrid story about chickpeas out of a can, sprinkled with salt and pepper! I have some funny dinner stories too. Although the EUM often cooked me meals, I was always in there helping (which I was happy to do!) and always there cleaning up (which is the polite thing to do!). When he was at my house, though, he did neither of these things. If I was cooking, his controlling nature peeked through. “Did you put salt in that water, Nel?” “Is that how you peel potatoes, Nel?” Often he didn’t even stay in the kitchen to talk to me. I remember bringing the plate to him once, and he was just sitting on my lounge watching TV (which, in this house, is nowhere near the kitchen). I knew things were wrong, I knew it wasn’t meant to feel that way, but there were positive things which kept me going. The sex, the emotional/intellectual connection, our walks. And it was nice to be with someone.

            Hugs to you Nigella. You sound amazingly strong and intelligent! Perhaps it is my eternal optimism, and although I am not religious in any sense, I do have the belief that these EUMs are thrown our way so that we can learn from them, and appreciate a good man if and when he crosses our path.

            Love Nel

            • Nigella says:


              I feel sick reading about the way Mr. Ingrate tried to micro-manage you and make you second-guess yourself. Far from expressing his gratitude or feeling grateful to have someone cook for him, he was trying to criticize and control you. Good riddance. Surely, you know that you do *not* need to collect trash like him. From what you said, I guess that you were sucked in by the interests you two shared. Such interests can be starting points of a relationship but not the pillars on which it is built. It is ridiculous the range of things Mr. Liar and I had in common. But none of those mattered because he chose not to give me his care and commitment.

              I cannot speak for you but I know that I will not be giving anything to someone in the future if it is not reciprocated in some way – and especially not if I am subtly criticized or devalued for making an effort to comfort & support them. Here is a quote that helps me put things in perspective: “Don’t give everything to people who give you nothing”.

              Nel, you deserve much better than potshots & crumbs. Even if you do something differently, imperfectly, or poorly – like peeling potatoes in some odd manner – a caring & accepting partner need not latch onto what they see as strange or subpar in you. If they cannot accept you, they should politely opt out. More importantly, if they are magnifying or dwelling on what they see as your imperfections, then *you* have every right & reason to opt out. Better not to waste your time trying to please the unpleasable. Delete the ingrate fool from your mind.

              I see that he disappeared on you without any explanation. To find closure and move on, you need to forget him and focus on learning to respect yourself more. Here is another quote that reminds me to face the truth: “Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t”.

              There is no need to smile at him or acknowledge his presence if you bump into him. Given that he failed to extend you the courtesy of a “Goodbye”, you have good reason to think of him as nothing but *invisible*. His actions show that he thinks that he owes you nothing – not a relationship and not a farewell chat or note. You too owe him nothing.

              Back then I made the mistake of sending a polite reply to Mr. Liar in acknowledgement of his break-up email. I woefully regret doing so. Now I know that I owed him nothing. My silence would have said much more about my self-respect. Like me, all you need to remember is that you were *not* the one who gave up. If someone cooked for me, gave me great sex, went on walks with me, and shared intellectual interests with me, I would treat that person nothing less than gold. Mr. Ingrate is such an idiot.

              You deserve better, Nel. Here is a concluding quote: “Destiny determines who enters your life but *you* decide who stays”.

              • LovefromNel says:

                Lovely Nigella,

                I read your reply with a tear in my eye but also with an enormous grin on my face. You have hit the nail on the head. I honestly cannot thank you enough, for taking the time to write such wise advice. All I can say in response is – what an enormous mistake Mr Liar has made, and what a substantial loss. What an absolute fool!

                I love the EUM’s new title. Mr Ingrate is his new name OK! Yes, it makes me feel sick to think how someone treated me the way he did, but I’m also a little bit sick to the core at how I allowed it. Never, ever again. Like you said, it is time to work on me.

                After the potatoes comment, I think I did respond with something along the lines of ‘just because I do something differently, does not mean it is wrong.’ I don’t think he’d even considered this concept. His way, or the highway, in every sense.

                I have saved a bundle of Nigella quotes on my phone, including:

                “Behaviour never lies.”

                “Cutting people out of my life does not mean I hate them, it simply means I respect me.”

                “Don’t give everything to people who give you nothing.”

                “Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t.”

                And, “Destiny determines who enters your life but you decide who stays.”

                I have also saved this beautiful post from you!

                Armed with this knowledge and wisdom, I feel like a bit of an inconquerable Nel! And I do feel like I now have the strength to walk past Mr Ingrate and give nothing, because I owe nothing.

                The ending was a disappearing act of sorts, but it also wasn’t. I’d had the feeling for a little while that he was doing a slow-fade, but he also came around to mow my lawn in the midst of this fade, so it threw me a little. He had said, at the time, ‘I wanted to do something that showed you I cared.’ It meant a lot, at the time. But it was hot and cold; I got ignored a few times afterwards, and I called him on this behaviour and simply said – I wish he had the decency to be honest with me and tell me how he really feels. He responded defensively, saying that he’d just been busy with work but I was making him feel like he’d done something wrong. I apologised quite profusely, and sent two further text messages (the next mistakes) and have been ignored ever since.

                A good friend said that I gave him an out, and he took it. What made me feel awful was that I wore the blame for the ending for a long while, until I discovered BR and the maxim ‘it’s not all about you, they just aren’t emotionally available.’ He clearly just took a very cowardly, spineless way out, but wanted to plant the decision at my feet? I’m not sure. And I can only assume that he’s avoided me ever since is because he’s quite ashamed of his actions (indeed I hope that he is!).

                Like you have said in another post, I do wonder whether I’ll meet someone who can show me the core relationship foundations of love, care, trust and respect. But if I don’t, then so be it. I can choose to focus on other things that I heartily enjoy – kind, loving family and friends, my gorgeous dog, a career in nursing, and doing my own baking and cooking and yogurt making!

                I can only hope that we do find that person that treats us nothing less than gold. Because that is truly what you are.

                Thanks so much again for your kind response. It really means the world.

                Love Nel

                • Nigella says:


                  Thanks for your kind words. I saved a copy of the Tess quote you sent. Yes, the Liar is non-existent to me – nothing more than dust and ashes. I just need to ensure I never allow another avatar of his kind to toy with my feelings. I want the same for you.

                  My methodical approach to life is a blessing and a curse – a blessing if it helps me take firm decisions, and a curse if it stays disconnected from my emotions. Thanks to the thoughtful and timely responses I received from BR posters last year, I recognized the necessity of getting in touch with my emotions. They were right: *my* emotions do hold the power to tell me if something is not quite right. To do something about my emotions, I still need to reflect and act. Thinking is still necessary but it is not sufficient to take action to get past a confusing or troubling situation.

                  Compared to last year, I am more in touch with my gut because I (a) make a conscious effort to put words to whatever I may be observing, sensing, and feeling and (b) focus less on what others might think or need or expect from me.

                  In other words, I stopped prioritizing the feelings & demands of others over my own needs & goals. Only time will tell if in response to boundary-busting behavior in the dating context I will be able to apply the lessons I have learned from BR. For now, sharing my thoughts here is helping me heal. For some reason, writing helps me dissolve doubts regarding my abilities & negative emotions regarding the mistakes I made last year.

                  For the next two months, I have a lot on my job plate. I am sure your words will help me stay positive. Thanks again. Take good care of yourself.

                  • LovefromNel says:

                    Dear Nigella,

                    Thank you again for your response. I hope we both continue to heal on BR. It is a wonderful resource that I’m ever-grateful for chancing upon!

                    I will be thinking of you, and your methodical mind, and I shall try to channel some of your advice! I’ve printed all of it to refer back to when I’m feeling a bit low or doubtful.

                    Take good care of yourself too, enjoy the next few busy months. If you have the time to write them, I will be looking forward to your next enlightening posts immensely, and devouring the words immediately!

                    Love Nel

            • Nigella says:


              I must respond to one more section of your comment in which you mentioned the all-or-nothing mindset of Mr. Ingrate and the fact that he always had to be right. This resonates with what I was beginning to note in Mr. Liar as well.

              Often, I found him processing things in binaries: Either X or Y is good. Either X or Y is right. Either X or Y is possible. Either X or Y can be done. Thinking in dichotomies is not necessarily a bad thing especially if one has to make tough decisions by choosing between competing options or alternatives. The problem is with someone (1) refusing to think beyond either-or options, (2) failing to respect differences, (3) insisting on always being right about the option that speaks to them, and (4) expecting others to bend to their will.

              In his own words, Mr. Liar claimed that he decided to become a lawyer because he “always won all the arguments he had with his family members”. From what I gathered, his well-intentioned mother had raised him to think that his “winning any argument” makes him special. Even then I was less than impressed by his reason for becoming a lawyer – his reason is not only a hackneyed one but also a misguided one for choosing that profession.

              Unfortunately, I ignored my instincts and thus failed to realize that Mr. Liar is bent on “winning arguments”, having everything on his terms, and changing the terms & conditions of a relationship as long as it suits his ego and satisfies his whims. Since I stood my ground on things while making room for his thoughts, I think it was not easy for him to impose no-win situations on me. But this is not to say that he did not try to elevate himself by trying to prove me wrong or put me down. I started to realize that even in the personal realm Mr. Liar approaches discussions as a litigator rather than a partner because of which *winning* is more important to him to boost his own ego than *caring* about the thoughts of the person he might be dating. The good thing is that thrice when he tried to get under my skin, I immediately expressed my displeasure & requested him not to repeat whatever he said or did. In response, he feigned remorse, offered a lousy explanation for what he said or did, or tried to defend & cloak his unkind comment as a joke.

              During the last few interactions with him, I could see that he was trying to pick fights with me by passing snide comments. Fortunately, I did not allow him to provoke me. In fact at one point he confessed that he wants to “intimidate” me. I found this dimly disconcerting but brushed it aside. I shudder to think of the way this power-hungry tool must be treating others – men or women – who do not have a strong core.

              Since he could not intimidate me, manipulate me to turn a blind eye to the tactics he uses to excuse his bad behavior, make me feel insecure, or manage down my expectations, I guess he decided to pump himself up by withholding his affection, ditching me for his friends, disappearing, and then dropping me a break-up email. The only type of relationship Mr. Liar can offer to someone is one scripted entirely by him. But in a mutually fulfilling relationship the terms and conditions need to be co-authored.

              I am glad I lost him sooner than later. One is better off without controlling, overly critical, cynical, and combative men like Mr. Liar and Mr. Ingrate.

            • Nigella says:


              I had soup at a Chinese restaurant near my work. This is what my fortune-cooking says: “They cannot take away our self-respect if we don’t give it to them”. I had to share this with you. Hold onto your self-respect and try not to flog yourself for tolerating the mean and immature comments of Mr. Ingrate. I have realized that recognizing the part I played in making a fool of myself is important. This self-critical recognition is productive up to a certain point. But further self-flagellation is going to be counter-productive: I do not want my past to steal my present or future. Must train my mind to feel less & less anger and shame. Must not worry or feel sorry for myself for choosing to stay single for the next year or more. There is a lot to achieve – acting like a maid, mommy, or mentor to an ungrateful, unavailable fool is not on my list of things to accomplish.

              Based on the brief description you gave of your non-romantic interests, you sound rather adorable. Keeping your interests in mind, I can think of plenty of things that an affectionate and attentive partner could do for you. In the future, do not lower your standards or minimize your expectations in order to attract or accommodate a man. It is nice that the idiot often cooked for you & mowed your lawn but it is not as significant a gesture of care as he made it out to be. Even if someone over-values what they do for you, *you* need not inflate the worth of their actions. This is not to say that you should be thankless like the slow-fading fool – only that you need not be so easily tricked into thinking that someone is doing a lot for you. In assessing a person, you and I should not just be making a note of what they are doing for us but also assigning an appropriate value to their deeds. I made the mistake of overvaluing our shared interests, his looks, words, credentials, achievements, and skills in bed. None of these count as positives if the person fails to treat one consistently with care and respect.

              Had Mr. Ingrate been mature and caring, he would have honestly told you what was on his mind and bid you farewell if he could not foresee a future with you. But he chose not to do so despite you giving him opportunities to come clean. Like you, I have wondered whether the ex feels any shame, embarrassment, or regret for the way he treated me. It does not matter and I doubt that he is going to put in the effort required to fix his destructive habits. If he does, good for him. But I no longer give a toss about the wanker. Perhaps you cannot feel anger the way I do and perhaps that is a good thing. But do liberate yourself from any illusions about Mr. Ingrate.

              Thanks for sharing your experience of him slow-fading on you. It confirms my belief that even if one may recognize an odd shift in the person & initiate talk on their changed or confusing behavior, the EUP can lie through his teeth and later on – as the Liar did – defensively claim in an email that he has not “deliberately deceived” me. Such people are irresponsible, immature, and unstable. The chase is more exciting to them than the catch or companionship. No point expecting integrity from them: “Honesty is an expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people,” as the saying goes.

              It really does not matter who dumps who at the end of the day. But what matters is the amount of time and effort that goes into each relationship. Be honest with yourself: if – after noting gaps in their words and actions – you feel confused, scared, disrespected, and frustrated, then opt out.

              In case it was not obvious already, I have a methodical mind that helps me navigate chaotic or challenging situations. Overall, I boil things down to these points in order of importance:

              (1) figure out exactly what you want & need from a partner. Be clear about your deal-breakers.
              (2) take your time in getting to know someone and note gaps in their words & actions. Be accountable to yourself about what you are accepting from them.
              (3) ask the other person calmly if something is bothering them if their behavior changes. Be prepared to hear the truth. Be prepared not to trust them blindly. Continue to focus on their actions if the relationship continues. Do not buy or make excuses for them.
              (4) continue taking good care of yourself and decide whether you want to opt out or give more time to the relationship. Be sure not to settle for subpar treatment of you. Be mindful of your emotions. If negative emotions persist, maturely opt out.
              (5) avoid manipulating or pleasing the other person in an attempt to prolong the relationship. If they dump you, do not doubt, pity, punish yourself for the end of the relationship. Do not take sole responsibility for it not lasting. Reflect on the lessons you need to learn. Pat yourself on the back for not chasing them. Count your blessings and pursue your dreams.

              Most importantly, put a time cap on how long you are willing to make things last. In my case, I cannot see myself giving more than three months for an issue to be resolved. If I see no or poor signs of improvement, I will pull the plug. If the other person pulls the plug before me – by blindsiding me, cheating on me, lying to me – that is fine as well. To quote the great Gloria Gaynor song: “I will survive”. I know I won’t “lay down and die”.

              I am rooting for you, unconquerable Nel.

              • LovefromNel says:

                Dearest Nigella,

                Thank you again – times one hundred – for the two replies above. You are an enormous wealth of knowledge with a huge amount of emotional nous! And you have a wonderful eloquent way of articulating it.

                Yes – processing in binaries! This was Mr Ingrate entirely, who would partake in all four of the problems you highlighted.

                In my humble opinion, there are some Mums who have a lot to answer for in raising their sons by marking them as something ‘special’, someone wholly unique. I mean, we are all special and all unique. This may seem not quite comparable, but I did think of it when you mentioned Mr Liar’s reasoning to become a lawyer. My sister’s boyfriend, who is an only child, hates eating potatoes. Now, I’m not sure how anyone can hate potatoes but that’s another matter. When it comes to crunchy fries or crispy potato chips, he’s quite happy to hoe in. But not when his Mum is around, who treats this potato-dislike as quite a unique Tom-fact. “Tom just can’t stand potatoes, isn’t he a funny boy,” she says to anyone who will listen. My sister and I think it’s his Mum’s way of marking him as so very special and unique. In fact, she’s so obsessed with him that she’s on a bit of a Tom planetary orbit. But I digress. That’s what that story reminded me of though!

                I am in absolute admiration of how you stood your ground when he acted more as a litigator and less as a partner. What an absolute nutcase to confess he was trying to ‘intimidate’ you. It seems as though he was in some ways threatened by you, your strength and your intelligence. It seems like he wasn’t sure how to “win” in these situations (which he just had to do), so had to resort to questionable means (intimidation). He sounds totally lacking in integrity, although I’m sure he claims otherwise.

                Now, that fortune cookie. Can you guess what I’ve done with that quote! Tucked away in my Nigella note of wisdom on my phone, for future use/reminding! I feel I am getting better, through BR, at less self blame and shame. Perhaps it’s the passage of time, or just the slow dawning of the simple realisation that I did nothing wrong. We were hoodwinked by them, and we can’t be so hard on ourselves for not seeing their true colours immediately. To continue with this analogy, the wool was effectively pulled over our eyes and we were blind to such colours.

                The rest of your comment is just such pure wisdom, Nigella, that I can’t even respond! Needless to say, I have printed it. Your methodical mind has expressed with such clarity what my (sometimes haphazard) emotional mind has trouble articulating! Your five key points at the end are truly priceless.

                All I can say is I feel even more of an unconquerable Nel (I realised I wrote inconquerable in the last post – duh, spellcheck time Nel!). And do you know what quote sprung to my mind after reading all of your wonderful advice? It is from the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. The quote is not from the novel, but from the BBC mini-series of it. Tess says, “You are just dust and ashes to me now.” And that is how I feel about Mr Ingrate and I suspect how you are feeling about Mr Liar. I do feel anger at him, but I also held illusions that perhaps his behaviour could be explained. I now see with surety that it can’t. He is, quite simply, just dust and ashes to me now.

                I really cannot thank you enough for your beautiful replies. To say they have been a small lifesaver/lifechanger is no exaggeration. So thank you.

                Love Nel

      • LovefromNel says:

        Nigella, I really enjoy reading your wise words; I learn a lot from them even though they are not directed to me.

        As someone who was also disappeared on, I really related to the last paragraph you’ve written here.

        It’s time to pick me!

        Thanks again.

    • oregon girl says:

      A few tricks to help get through the “obsessing” phase:
      –make a list of all the crappy things he did to you, and read it all the time.
      –draw a picture of him that is not at all flattering. Make it cartooney with his mean sayings coming out of his mouth.
      –if a radio song comes on that makes you sad, turn it to another channel immediately
      –if he is texting/calling you, change your number
      –if you are tempted to snoop his facebook, etc. take a break from your computer.
      –instead of checking your email, come here and read the posts, including all the back posts. it will keep you strong
      –hang out with family and friends
      –exercise and eat right
      –take anti dep. or stress meds if you need them
      –go to counseling
      –be nice to yourself and tell yourself every day that you love you and will take care of you.

      These things helped me. Good luck!

  5. melondie says:

    Wow, Natalie! This entry is a perfect analogy for what you would call such a relationship. To describe such a relationship the way that you had written here brings tears to my eyes; it melts my heart to see you empathize and put into words how I feel the way I do in the relationship I am in.

  6. GC says:

    I cannot Thank Natalie enough for the timing of her most recent posts – they have been spot on and exceptionally pertinent.
    I choose to LOVE whole heartedly and be LOVED in that manner and in doing this I have to regain the credibility with myself.
    Respect yourself to be respected.

  7. Lorraine says:

    Interesting post. After much thinking about this and my relationship with the EUM AC. I’m beginning to understand that I was mostly fighting with my own ego. I wanted to win. I wanted to be the “one” who changed him. You know, the only one who could tame him. The only one who could fix him.

    Since he could hardly ever deal with confrontations and deep discussions about “us”, we never really battled about our relationship. I was managed down when those conversations were started. I never wanted to ask the really scary questions because my ego couldn’t handle the answers. (not that he would have been honest or open with me)

    But it was me. I battled myself. I should have ended this “thing” years ago, but I was in a major battle with my own ego not wanting to lose. Wanting to prove to all that knew him, that I was the one! Such BS! There is no “one” for him. What a waste of time, but I’ve learned a lot. I want peace. I’m ready for the last relationship of my life now. Well, soon…

    • M. J. B says:

      Good for you Lorraine. I am sorry you wasted so much time on this guy. My AC was also very flawed and it tweaked my maternal instincts as well. I quickly realized that after learning about the string of women that had completely cut him off before me that he was bad news. After a month of adoring me and countless nights of intense sex he calmly ,coldly told me that he”couldn’t do this any more” and that he was still think about his ex. We broke up then,early in Feb.he wanted to see me again,more rolling around in the sheets followed immediately by more whining about the ex. I’d had enough. I saw the pattern loud and clear. I hope he has reunited with the love of his life and is in bliss. But ,unfortunately,for this young man,I don’t believe his restless soul will ever settle down to one woman. His psychological problems are too deep seated.He is never at peace with himself. You did the right thing Lorraine. Wishing you courage,healing and a beautiful new life with someone who can give back the love you offer.

  8. GC says:

    KAT I felt exactly the same way!!!

  9. Nic says:

    Well blow me down with a feather !
    No wonder I have been so grumpy, I’ve been spoiling for a fight, sparring with myself for months in preparation and now you tell me there is no fight to be had ?

    “You end up giving away so much of you that you may feel compelled to fight solely on the basis that if you were to ‘win’, you could restore your sense of self.” This is going to give me a lot of food for thought, thanks Natalie

  10. While I can relate to this post, I must hasten a warning…every relationship is different. Sometimes it feels like my relationship is a battle and sometimes it feels like a warm, hot bath! lol
    We are going through some issues at present, and if he wasn’t making a sincere and concerted effort to sort himself out by seeking therapy, my attitude would be different. But, I see his commitment to improving himself and by extension our relationship as an act of love on his part. I will see how this pans out. I think we are worth it, at this point.
    Knowing when to throw in the towel or when to keep fighting…tricky. Best of luck to everyone not in a perfect relationship!
    Ironically, this morning I posted about just the opposite, not giving up on love…
    You are welcome to comment. Just a different take on things.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      I know what you mean. IT IS very tricky to know when you should give up and move on. However, you know the integrity of the person, whether or not you want to be honest with yourself. If he has proven repeatedly to be an honest, respectfully kind and loving man, I’d give it more time. Just remember that while you’re giving time, you are not getting any younger.

  11. Cindy says:

    So true. I was fighting a battle I was never going to win. I thought if i tried my hardest, the relationship will prevail. But in the end, it takes two and he wasn’t willing to “fight” for us. In the end, it’s hard to let go but I know it’s for the best. 2 years is better than wasting another 2 weeks on this boy.. i call him a boy like Peter Pan;never wanting to grow up and be a man. I read a saying “it’s not the breaking up that is hard to do, it’s the starting over”. Guess that’s why it’s easier going back to an ex, because it’s comfortable. To start from nothing and hope to build a life with someone can be scary. But after some time of healing I will tackly that challenge once again in hopes to find love. But I wonder, would I be settling if I find someone who loves me more than I love them? My mom always told me to find someone to love me more but I always feel that is unfair. I guess it doesn’t hurt since I always seem to be the one loving more in the relationship anyways.. good luck everyone.. no one deserves to be in a half arse relationship. We deserve better!

  12. AngelFace says:

    Ok maybe I’m in a mood but my first true response is: Getting paid for ‘it’ makes most sense. Even when the relationship is good and is balanced, men are still lusting for and/ or having sex secretly outside the relationship. I’m not in a relationship now and if I get another GOOD relationship – fine. If I were younger I’d be in the business. Not kidding.

    • Mymble says:

      Many men are faithful and many women cheat. Some men aren’t interested in sex at all. I have been doing the online dating thing, and some of the men I’ve met have had very direct, sexual approaches from women that were not at all appreciated. I actually haven’t had anything like that and not one man has laid a finger on me. I think I’m a little scary. Or maybe I make careful choices; slightest hint of sleaze and I’m done. It doesn’t help to generalize.

  13. Kleo says:

    Kat… try the Serenity prayer…over and over and over again… it really worked for me … and try to be kind to yourself…be gentle with yourself… I read somewhere, and it’s probably Nat, that obsessing is a form of trying to find blame inside … you’re sure it’s your fault somehow… but it’s not. Natalie has written it more than once – the “loss” is not about you… but it is indeed a GIFT of an opportunity to learn about you, to really get right with you. A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it … but I look back at how far I’ve come, it’s amazing. The Serenity prayer and ACA group meeting helped a lot …and just focusing on ME, on what I like, even if it was just simple things like what candy I liked, what color I liked … some days just noticing “that stop sign is red”. You will heal.
    It takes time … and focus … on you. Really get good and solid with YOU.

    Then watch the magic happen. :)

  14. Peanut says:

    I’m getting ready for healthy.

    But damn it’s a struggle. Someone who has been very important to me in regard to my journey once expressed how when something happens, I keep getting back up and back at it. I let those words play like a record in my mind when I get knocked down.

    I have fallen so far behind in school via external circumstances, and I’m working so hard to catch up, I near collapse on the daily. I shake from fatigue. I know this is not good, I’m just trying so hard to pull myself from the bottom.

    I recently made small talk with a handsome man my age. He was warm and friendly.

    I remember thinking how in the world do people get to a place like that. I felt like a rodent in his presence — so disgustingly rough around the edges.

    I thought a man like that would never want a mess like me, and I couldn’t help think how nice it’d be to have a man like that.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      I read your story on the last post, and all of the many supportive responses. All the while I was wondering how you could go through all the sh*t with your family and still maintain your grades and concentration on your school work. So proud of your strength and tenacity. Continue on the path you’re on and you WILL achieve all you’re dreaming of. I know because I’ve been through HELL also, but not just in love, but during severe illness. It is a huge asset to be a very strong willed person because you can get through stuff a weaker person would not be able to handle. Your family and esp, your grandparents have behaved horribly. I tell you, like my therapist reminded me yesterday. “You are your own best parent.” Give to yourself the love and care you would want from your parents who you do not have any longer. I hope you can get back on track despite the huge setback. CONGRATS, on your new apartment.

  15. Nikki says:

    Jackpot! This is soooo true and gives an added meaning to being “equally yoked”. Great perspective. Thank you.

  16. HappyJoyousFree says:

    ……..! I copy pretty much EVERY word of every response to this post — especially those feeling like it was written just for them because guess what? It was written for me too! I refuse to waste another second or keystroke about the Peter Pan Assclown Selfishly Childish Jerk Boy I have been battling with for months because the entire lot of us following dear Natalie and especially this thread knows with NO uncertainty what so ever better than that. DONE!

  17. Peanut says:


    I’m doing the usual crawl/fall in bed at 3:00 a.m. after working on projects only to wake in a few hours. I’ve never gone stronger at anything, not even the ex.

    I’ve put in ten times more work in my art career and standing up to my family than I did with the ex. I’m excited to see where the work takes me.

    Thank you for your words. I needed them.

  18. NoMo Drama says:

    Maybe it’s a good thing that lately the unsuitables have a tendency in my relationships to try to grab power almost immediately, or some kind of upper hand. Easier to avoid getting caught up in their crap.

    It’s always some variation on trying to invite himself over, or try to get me back to his place right away. Once I realized that a huge part of my resistance to this tactic is about staying SAFE with people I don’t know very well, I started flushing them the instant they started down that road. No further discussion.

    It starts to feel like I’m just dumping the same guy over and over again, and I’m really sick of it.

  19. Noquay says:

    Relationships should make life enjoyable for both parties. If one is doing all the work, running the hoysehold, paying the bills, giving up things important to you while he/she gives up nothing for you, tis time to bail and bail quickly. We are not maids/mommies/therapists/caretakers/meal tickets we are women/men looking for and deserving of a good, mutual relationship. The new harsher, less trusting Noquay is not willing to tolerate slough off behavior, folks not keeping their word, not practicing good self care, not being able to be 100% present. May die alone (given this year, probably in an avalanche) but tolerating someone who is willing/able to only be half there at best still keeps one alone, just with more laundry and cooking to do.

    • Nigella says:


      Thanks you for sharing this comment. It perfectly sums up what one must remember in their quest for a mutually fulfilling relationship.

      I am saving a copy of this on my iPhone.
      No more assuming the best in people or expecting them to be fair to me. Must take full responsibility for my own physical, financial, and emotional health – no room for unstable, unsuccessful, unreliable, unavailable people in life.

      Keeping it simple.

    • Cyrano says:

      I think you are 100% right Noquay. And the feeling of being used makes it feel just as bad once/if you get out of it. It seems better spending your time and money with friends or on yourself, and taking at least that level of control back.

    • Peanut says:


      You stay strong woman. I love your ideas. It is better to die alone and integrally sound than cleaning some silly man’s dirty drawers.

  20. Noquay says:

    You’re awesome girl!!!

  21. Lorraine says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I know this is off topic of this latest article, but I needed to share what just happened with you guys. I finally did it!

    The last time there was any interaction with the AC was January 31st. Today, I was walking down to the water where I go running and he pulled up to a red light (I could tell he was on his way to the same place) He rolled down the window, I never stopped, never walked near the car, just put my hand up in a waving position and kept moving.

    While on the run, we came upon each other, I never slowed down, I again raised my hand to wave, half smile and kept moving.

    I know this may seem stupid, but you have no idea how huge this is for me. I felt so empowered and in control for like the first time ever with that AC. He was about to stop. I know it must have totally taken him off guard, that the sweet little option didn’t give him the time of day, twice within 30 minutes!

    I felt like I sent him a message, that there are new rules now and I have nothing to say to him.

    Yay me. Had to share.

    • JOANNE N. says:

      Lorraine, the fates were with you and this moment was meant to be!! I can just feel your empowerment right now. That AC’s head must be just spinning! If only we could all get this chance. I only dream about something like this happening. Awesome!

      • Lorraine says:

        What is so awesome is that before BR, I never in a million years would have run by him with a wave. I would have stopped and had a conversation and started the disappointment cycle. This site and Natalie has really taught me so much about self esteem and how to handle these jerks.

        I could see the look on his face when he realized I wasn’t stopping (or slowing down). Being an AC though, I’m sure he will twist it for his own benefit and write me off as a bitch!
        But thats why I smiled and waved. A bitch would have just run by without a glance. LOL

        The funny thing is though, I really don’t have anything to say to him. I’m done.

    • Pauline says:


      That is a huge step, being able to blow off the AC for the first time, and hey, the world didn’t fall apart, you’re still standing and it gets easier & easier from here on.

      He really isn’t that special is he?

      You’re so much happier & really getting a grip back on your life, good for you.

      • Lorraine says:

        It was a huge step. I smile every time I think about it. He really isn’t special at all, a complete lowlife.

        I feel like he should get the message that “this is where and when I run, so run here at a different time or run somewhere else”.

        Thanks for your support.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      Good for you. I had essentially the same experience with the MM. I’d lent him a CD and he reached up to his dashboard and leaned across the seat to hand it to me, (months later because I had him on NC) I felt so victorious to be able to tell him, “Keep it. I bought another one.” And then, “Well I gotta go.” He was stunned. Waited a few months and called. I’d had him blocked but the 3 months time limit had expired and he was able to get through again. We never spoke because when I saw his number had come up on my phone, I headed straight to the phone company to have him blocked again on both phones. Revenge is oh so sweet. But, I didn’t even care enough about him any longer to even consider it revenge. It was just OVER and never to be repeated. Lesson was well learned.

      • Lorraine says:

        I’m looking forward to the day that I don’t consider it revenge too. I have to admit, as I ran past him I gave myself a high five, and said “YES”! It wasn’t like revenge but I was definitely sending him a message that I’m no longer the sweet lady who would do anything for a crumb. (Have to admit, I looked damn good this morning too)

        You are so right, it is a victory when we get to “stun” them, right. Now I know that the next time will be even easier to run past him. Each day, though, I care less. Its so great when you realize that you really don’t have anything to say.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Yes. You start feeling like a different person and wonder what you saw in him and why you were soooo caught up. Almost as if some wicked spell overtook you and now you’re FREE. I cannot understand how anyone goes back on NC because it takes so much emotionally to reach to that point of wanting nothing to do with them.

          Btw, you’re not NC if you’re still waving back. There should be no acknowledgement, whatsoever. And, it doesn’t mean you’re carrying a pissed off grudge. YOU have found out who he really is and YOU are not the same person he once screwed over. Therefore, IT is a stranger. I’m hard, but it was a hard lesson to learn. I hope you get there sooner rather than later. You don’t want him thinking there are any subtle invitations coming from you, right now.

    • LovefromNel says:

      I’m really proud of you, Lorraine. Go you good thing! You have come so far. Thank goodness for Natalie and BR, eh! Keep up the strong powerful work. You must feel like you’re floating on clouds! Here’s a big cyber hug as congratulations *squish*.

      Incidentally, I also walk where my ex does. In fact, it’s how we met. He did the disappearing act on me, and as such, also stopped walking the mountain – I suspect out of fear of bumping into me, and me calling him out on his pathetic cowardly behaviour.

      In any case, for a few months I thought I’d ‘won the mountain’ so to speak. I continued my routine, happily, although I had a niggling fear (later validated) that he kept tabs on when I was there – watching to avoid, I guess.

      However, I’ve changed walking spots a little bit lately, I’ve also been away a little bit, and I haven’t done the mountain as much as I used to. This afternoon, I drove to park in the carpark and the EUM’s ute was there. He knows that I would go at this time, on this day, and I can’t help but feel it’s a little bit of a test. A little bit of: “well are you going to walk, Nel, or aren’t you?”

      I know I’m probably over-thinking things, typical Nel style. But this event (and it happened a few weeks ago, too) makes me wonder – does he actually want me to bump into him? Is he too bloody stubborn to make the effort to ‘bump’ into me, but it’s OK in this circumstance because he’s got there first and I’m the one ‘chasing’ him?

      Oh I feel like a doofus typing all of this and I know I shouldn’t even care because his treatment of me has been appalling anyway, but at the same time, there is a small part of Nel that just wishes he’d get in touch, apologise, and explain the whole shermozzle.

      Sorry for rambling and hijacking your post, Lorraine!

      (And, if anyone is interested, when I saw his ute, I went to a different spot to walk with my dog. I wish I could have done what you did, though, Lorraine!).

      • Lorraine says:

        Thanks for your support. I know, I remember you telling me about how the AC would see you at the place you walk and drive away. I know how easy it is for us to overthink and analyze these ACs. I also felt like I “won” the place I run or at least the time slot, but I know him soooo well and when he wants to run into me he does, so I finally prepared myself for this moment. Being able to “diss” him twice in 30 minutes was a total bonus.

        Your AC also knows when and where you walk and there is no other reason but to either keep tabs on you or intending to walk as well but too cowardly to face you. The thing we need to focus on is why do we care? Believe me there is still a part of me that still wants the “explanation” and “apology” and when they show up in our life in any way, I think, we as good decent women, expect them to do the decent thing and explain… They won’t though.

        I used to think the exact same thing about if he’s down there running first, if I still run, does it appear that I want to see him or chasing him? Now I realize this, HELLS NO! We are running/walking for us, its about us and they are in our space. It doesn’t matter who got there first that day. We are the strong, fabulous women who stay active. We won’t hide from these AC’s or let them dictate our running routine. You walk when you want to and let him deal with it!

        I’m going to download Natalie’s ebook Curbing your Obsession because I want to stop wondering anything about this guy anymore. The book can only help us.

        I hope next time you see his Ute, pretend you didn’t, walk your dog right past him, smile, wave, don’t stop. Tell your dog to bite him in the ass! LOL
        Have a great day Nel!

        • Tinkerbell says:

          I still don’t agree with going to that same spot to walk. Guys don’t accept rejection. They will test you and test you endlessly. Why put yourself through that when you can just disappear. There are other places to seek out. After at least a year of STRICT NC-no smiling and waving to him, you can go back but not when the separation is still “fresh”. No matter how much you may think you are sticking it to them(the smile and wave and moving on) they don’t interpret it that way. The male ego won’t allow it. They see it as you’re still hoping they’ll pursue harder than ever before.

          • LovefromNel says:

            Hi Tink, thanks for your reply. I tend to agree. I do feel it’s a test. And it’s a test to make him feel good, in his mind proving that I still want him. I know he obsesses over things (like I do), and a lot of things he does are ‘little games’ – horrible really. Red flag right there Nel! It’s taken me a little while to actually get to the disappearing point, but I think I am at it now. I shall be avoiding the mountain on the days he definitely walks (Tues and Thurs!) and avoiding other times when his car indicates that he is there. There is no point playing his games, marching to his beat. After all, that’s what I did when we were together. Thanks again Tink. Nel

          • Lorraine says:

            Tinker bell,
            Ugh!! This is so hard. I’m whining now! I’m hoping he got the point that I have nothing to say to him and won’t run when I run anymore.

            I can’t imagine he would think I want him to pursue me harder now. These AC egos are the worst!

            I’ll think about running somewhere else for a while but damn, that’s where I run and it’s beautiful and motivating and I feel like I shouldn’t have to give that up. I’d rather run by and totally ignore him once every three weeks when he rears his ugly face!

            Thanks for slapping me with a dose of reality, I know I need it!

        • LovefromNel says:

          Thanks so much for your reply Lorraine!

          This event, putting it into words, making it a coherent comment on BR, and yours and Tink’s reply has actually really got me thinking.

          The EUM’s personality was one which was incredibly self-centred, self-absorbed, the whole world revolved around him, everyone owed him something, and he deserved everything. Probably a typical narcissist really. Anyone that had wronged him was in for some mind-f*ckery, and a piece of revenge. This extended to his own sister, family members, friends, neighbours, ex-girlfriends. Don’t even get me started on the problems he had with two of his neighbours, both of which were planned some revenge (shooting a hole in a water-tank amongst the plan!). No jokes.

          I worried a little for my safety after things ended. I live on my own, with my dog, and the EUM knows that. Anyway, things have shown to be fine and I thought I was being a bit over-the-top worrying about something like that.

          But a piece of me still worries that perhaps he is biding his time.

          I do worry that now he’s walking when he knows I would have, is actually all part of his trickery, a bit of ‘I’ll mess with Nel’s mind for a bit now’. I do think that. And it worries me that this is a part of that.

          Anyone rational would think ‘yes, of course Lorraine and Nel are running/walking for them, no-one else. Why would they run/walk in order to bump into that loser who has wronged them so?’. Anyone with clear, reasonable thinking would understand that we just want to exercise where we always have, like we always have. A clear-thinking person would understand that we are doing it for us!

          However, I think the personality of some of these EUMs twist it into something else. Because it is ALL ABOUT THEM. They don’t consider that we walk/run for us, Lorraine. Because they, the EUM, is at the forefront of our mind, of course.

          Although a big part of me wishes I went yesterday, pretending not to notice his ute, and I wish I could have done what you did with a no-stopping, nonchalant wave. But, even if I had, I don’t think my EUM would have seen a Nel that couldn’t have cared less. He would have seen a Nel that still wants to see him, bump into him, talk to him. The Nel that is still chasing, six months down the track after his disappearing act.

          They are too narcissistic to consider beyond themselves. I am fairly certain, now, that he would think I was walking FOR HIM. He is the only one that exists in his little world; he cannot see beyond himself.

          Anyway, sorry, I have turned this into a big rabble. I am incredibly sorry for hijacking your post even more.

          I do think what you have done is a huge huge huge step, and I think perhaps your EUM is a little different, and your reaction to him would have really thrown him!

          However I acted with the EUM, had I walked yesterday, would not have mattered. It’s more the fact that I’ve walked in the first place, just to see the ‘elusive, disappearing him’.

          My GOSH I am sorry I am still going on. I will stop. Best wishes to you. Keep running where you do and continue to act as you’ve done. I will disappear from my mountain. I think it speaks louder to the EUM’s games.

          Massive hugs,

          • Lorraine says:

            Oh Nel, I’m so sorry. It sounds like your ex EUM could be out for revenge at worst, mind games at best. Please stay far away from him. If its just Tuesdays and Thursdays that he walks there, thats easy enough. At least you know when you can expect to see him and stay away.

            The EUM AC I was involved with is nothing more than a scared little boy who cannot handle rejection whatsoever and twists it into something else. Thats why I believe when I ran by with a smile and a wave, he just took it as a rejection and will twist into me being a bitch and won’t pursue me at all.

            Either way, we should forget these guys and move on regardless of whether or not we run into them while doing our own thing. Let’s just take steps toward focusing on how fabulous we are and be done with these ACs once and for all.
            Big Hugs to you!

            • Tinkerbell says:


              If you must walk there, be sure to do so when he is not normally there. But, these devils will change up on you. If he does, then you really need to to find another location even if you have to drive a few miles. It’s worth the PIECE OF MIND. So what! He won’t know about the lengths you’re going to avoid him. All he knows is he’s not seeing you. It’s bad enough that he already lives on your street? That’s enough of a chance of an unintentioned meeting. Don’t you think? I know how you feel – “why should I have to give up my spot because of him?” I fully understand that feeling which is the basis for your stubbornness. But, you are taking care of YOU. Eff him! Always do what is BEST FOR YOU, and don’t worry about what he is thinking because he is thinking of only HIMSELF.


              I’m sooo glad you “got it.” They don’t think like the average normal person. It would never occur to him that you are taking care of YOU without a thought about him. No, it’s gotta be that you want to accidentally run into him. Disappear, Nel. Everyone’s situation is not the same but I can’t see putting yourself too near the flame when you could get burned.

              • LovefromNel says:

                Thanks so much for your replies, Lorraine and Tink. I really appreciate your wonderful advice. I shall go at times when I definitely know he won’t be there, and he won’t be able to see my car. This means early morning walks, and Monday and Wednesday walks when I know he’s at boxing. I’m not good at early mornings, but I’m just going to have to do it. Time to focus on me, and not give him any opportunity to test me, trick me, or concoct fanciful stories in his head about how I probably desperately want to see him. I’m past that now. Thanks to all of you. Love Nel xoxo

  22. Stephanie says:

    I’ve experienced the dark place of losing myself in order to try and keep someone that probably never had any intention of having a committed relationship with me. It’s not a nice place, I literally didn’t know who I was, I forgot my interests and how I lived my life before I met him. I put him on such a high pedestal that when the red flags were flying and I tried to gently broach the subject of where the relationship was going he gave me a passive aggressive reply faded me out then disappeared.

    I didn’t enforce any boundaries or question his future faking I just enjoyed the attention. when he disappeared my ego couldnt handle it and I spent months and months wondering what I had said or done wrong. Towards the end I was battling him and myself.

    I know it’s a cliche but its made me stronger and definitely wiser.

  23. Tinkerbell says:

    Hi Noquay,

    I think you mean LESS laundry and cooking to do. That certainly is a benefit of solitude.

    • noquay says:

      actually I meant that when one is with someone who’s not doing their part, being present in a relationship; you are still basically alone, with the added non-benefit of having someone else to cook for and clean up after.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        That’s absolutely true, Noquay. As much as I care, I don’t want to live together. We’re both too old and “set in our ways”. When I’m there, he won’t even allow me to wash the dishes. His philosophy is that I cooked (extensively) and I should be able to sit and relax while he cleans up. Even at my place he does the same. When you’re living together, that goes out the window.

  24. AMMarion says:


    I have been an avid reader of your posts for a while now. I only wish your brand of wisdom would have been available when I was younger (I am now in my late 50s) – I might have saved myself decades of suffering and struggle.

    The thing about the battle/relationship distinction is that relationships never start off as “battles”. It appears that, for the first 2 or 3 years, you are copiloting, healthy dialogue is happening, and you have a nurturing, sharing and fun relationship.

    Then it starts – the confusion; the “what the hell just happened?” scenarios, which become more and more frequent; the gradual uneasiness that something isn’t quite right, but you start doubting yourself, thinking that you are the one being difficult. (After all, you are the common thread with all your other failed relationships, right? So it must be your fault, you think.)

    Then, years later, when you have so much invested, you’re neck-deep in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship, desperately trying to take your rightful place, trying to reach out and let him know how hurt you are by his behaviour (news flash: he’s not paying attention! Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in this mess).

    Then you try couples’ counselling for a year or two. Then, your therapist gives up on you and says you need individual counselling (he would be right) to deal with the deep, festering wounds, and so you do that for another year or two (but he doesn’t because you’re the screw-up, he’s fine thank you very much).

    I would say to all women out there: If you feel that something isn’t quite right, listen to your instinct – it is rarely wrong. And to the men out there: if you think she deserves the crap that you are dishing out, and that she’s nothing but a “whiner”, cut her loose and allow both of you to get on with your lives.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      I love what you’ve written. Right on point. I’m older, too. If only we’d had the wisdom at a much younger age that we’ve developed after years of “less than” treatment. But, we should appreciate getting here now because some people never do. Now, that’s really sad.

  25. Goldie says:

    Thank you, I needed that. After analyzing, reliving, rethinking etc. my last relationship, this is the conclusion I came to. I am a good person who means well, and a good partner. My ex is a good person who means well; he might be a good partner, just not to me. We are very different people and he and I would not have worked as a couple in a million years. I was too tired, stressed out, and sleep-deprived when he and I were together to notice any of it. I am so thankful to him for ending it; I would’ve stayed the course, and “remained loyal” and “worked on the relationship” till I’d have dropped from exhaustion or died in a car accident. Yes, when he left, it hurt like hell. But we both needed for our relationship to end. I needed it more than he did, because I was the one putting all of my energy into it. Not because he was slacking off, he wasn’t… but because the kind of relationship that he needs, happened to also be the kind that drained me of all my energy. I wish I had realized it on my own earlier, before I’d rearranged all my life around him, and lost touch with my friends in the process. But better late than never. I like him as a person, I respect him, but I can never give him what he needs and I’m not about to die trying. This realization really helped me move on and shed the remains of what I was still feeling for him.

    I went back into contact a few days ago, because I don’t want to think of him as an enemy going forward – he’s not my enemy. We still have common interests to talk and exchange info about. He just isn’t my partner and can never be, and I feel relieved about it, rather than sad like I used to. It will be very scarce, very occasional contact, it’ll probably be a year or two before we see each other in person. This time, unlike it was in our relationship, the 70 mile distance is my friend.

    My 18 year old marriage was like that too. Except both my ex-husband and I believed in being loyal, sticking it out, and working things out. And for a while, it kept us afloat. We even had some good years here and there. But we were fundamentally incompatible, and finally I ended it. He was shocked. He’d planned to stick it out till the end. Four years later I am confident that we’re both better off for having separated.

    It is hard though, to learn to draw the line. To distinguish a relationship that can be saved, from the one that can’t be. Especially if you’re in the midst of it and are emotionally attached to your partner, like I was to my recent ex. It clouded my judgement completely. I didn’t even know that something was wrong. I was having panic attacks every night, where I’d wake up struggling to breathe, and attributed it to “gas” and “old age”. After he left, as depressed as I was, I never had a single attack like that again, they just stopped. I was completely worn out from this relationship, and in total denial about it. I wonder, going forward, how do I learn to even recognize that something’s wrong? I tend not to, when I’m in love with the man. And it takes a lot of outrageous behavior on his part to kill that love.

    • AMMarion says:

      “And it takes a lot of outrageous behavior on his part to kill that love.”
      I hear you on that one, Goldie…
      I have been described as a loyal, patient, forgiving and kind person (which I am!).
      This is why my challenging relationships last well past their “best before” date.

      • Pauline says:

        Why do we stay in relationships way past their “use by” dates?
        I’ve been in a few and they have always ended badly. I’ve done all the work and heavy lifting to keep the relationship going and in hindsight, if I had paid attention to all the red flags and addressed them when they initially came up, I would have bailed out a lot sooner and there would have been two much happier people who wouldn’t have gone through that battle ground of blaming, finger pointing and arguing for years until the bitter end.
        For me this is the crux of the matter, ignoring any elephants in the room and not addressing any issues that are really disturbing me. Towards the end of my marriage with the alcoholic I was having regular asthma attacks (or panic attacks) and would park around the corner from the house on the way home from work so I could talk myself into going inside. I finally hit that wall and left but it took me a good 5 years to leave and truth be told I should have left long before that when I realised he had a drinking problem that he was never going to address. Yep, stuck around 10 years after the expiry date and I ended up a bigger mess than he was at the end.
        I sound exactly like you AMMarion, loyal, loving, patient, kind, forgiving, just like so many women on BR.
        Is that our Achilles heel?

        • AMMarion says:

          Hello Pauline,

          Our Achilles’ heel is, I believe, taking on way more of the share of responsibility for the ills in our relationships. God knows we all have our flaws, but unless the woman is an addicted, narcissistic sociopath, or is abusive, she is rarely 100% at fault.

          One of the huge elephants in the room for me was this: when he needs to address the issues that bother him, he has the floor – he talks (more like rants), tells me everything that is “wrong” with the relationship and with me, and if I wasn’t so (fill in the blank), we wouldn’t be in this mess.

          And, as I had learned in our 2 years of couples’ therapy, I listen attentively, do not interrupt and validate his feelings (without agreeing, disagreeing or getting into a debate). And I take mental notes. And I try, and try, and try, to adjust my “despicable” behaviour to see if it makes any difference. Until the next blow-up.

          This kind of “monologue” happens frequently.

          Guess what invariably happened when, on other occasions (never right after the monologues, but a few days later, as our therapist suggested), I would try to express my feelings? You got it – the responses I got were, and I’m citing word-for-word here (take your pick):
          - Who gives a shit how you feel?
          - I don’t give a rat’s ass how you feel.
          - Now you’re just whining.
          - Quit your bitching.
          - I don’t have time to listen to this bullshit.
          - You’d better shut the f**k up right now, or else this is going to turn into a huge battle. Is this what you want?
          - I SAID shut the f**k up!!!

          So after a few of these episodes, I gave up, completely. I am done trying to get through.

          I came to the painful realization that:
          a) there is no space for me in this relationship;
          b) he has lost all empathy for how I feel (for whatever reason);
          c)He is so resentful and angry that nothing I say or do will make an iota of a difference.

          It was a journey of mourning – mourning what we once had, mourning the loss (because oddly enough, I still love him), and letting go of the dreams and aspirations that I had for us. That took another 2 years.

          Now I’m focusing on my own healing, and I know that very soon, I will be ready to follow the path that is laid out for me.

          As one of my friends said (she was married to an alcoholic for years): “I went to Al-Anon to help myself and to learn how to deal with living with an alcoholic. Then I realized – I don’t want to learn to deal with it. I want to get him out of my life!” And she did.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            It is so important to weigh and consider from the START. We spend a lot of time trying to figure him out when we should be spending as much or more time assessing our won needs. We concentrate on meeting his, but do we think enough about his meeting ours? After, all I’ve been through with men (not many of them, but vastly different types), I can’t see myself being with someone who does not give me the love care, trust and respect that Natalie talks about. And that is just a sound basis on which to build something deeper. There are so many other aspects to consider. If you cannot feel totally comfortable with the person, there’s a reason. You shouldn’t be with him. Our gut, instincts, sixth sense, whatever you want to call it tells us when where on the wrong path. We get hurt when we don’t tune into ourselves, pay attention and act accordingly.

          • Tinkerbell says:


            What abuse you endured! My first husband was verbally, mentally and physically abusive. It was so bad, that to this day I can’t say which abuse was the worst. He would curse at me, beat me down mentally until I felt less than the dog poo on his shoe, and then the physical began. He was soooo good looking, like a model, but he was just as evil. I was 21 when I married him and by age 23 I’d left him with our 18month old daughter and never went back. Even then I knew I was worth so much more. But over the years, I lost my fierce independence with my second husband who was over-protective. He insisted on doing and taking care of everything and then he died after 25 years. I was lost. But that was 7years ago. After 5 years of loneliness I fell for the MM. I only put up with that BS for 7 months. I know now that I’m just not made for tolerating a lot of crap from men. If it doesn’t feel right in all the aspects that are important, it’s not for me. It’s taken years after my second husband’s death to get back to the “no BS girl” I was at 23. Been through my own personal hell, but NO MORE.

          • Pauline says:


            Like your friend I went to al-anon & it helped me so much. Like her I also realised that I didn’t want to deal with him in any way shape or form and I had to get away from him for my own sanity.

            What also did it for me was when he said after one particular discussion we had, “if you don’t like it, you can get f**cked.”
            That pretty much said everything I needed to know about how he felt about me and our marriage.

            So, later on, when he tried to get me back, pressing the reset button, future faking by promising to do something about his drinking (ha!) etc, guess what I said back to him?
            Yep, “NO thanks and if you don’t like it, YOU can get f**cked”.

            I was angry that he had taken our future away, all our plans up in smoke because of his drinking. Al-anon helped me get a lot of things back in perspective and I stopped hating him and being angry.
            But, I’ll never get involved with a heavy drinker again.

            • Tinkerbell says:


              I know what you mean. IT IS very tricky to know when you should give up and move on. However, you know the integrity of the person, whether or not you want to be honest with yourself. If he has proven repeatedly to be an honest, respectfully kind and loving man, I’d give it more time. Just remember that while you’re giving time, you are not getting any younger.

  26. Sparkle says:

    Love this topic! I spent about 10 months in a very lopsided relationship with an AC Narc. Should have shut it down within the first 3. Once I got to the point where I was sacrificing too much of my own self respect, I just let it go. Even my most basic expectations weren’t being met and just lowering my standards. Was I supposed to be the perfect option and wait on the sidelines until he was ready to step up? In his warped mind, YES. AND he was major shocked when I bailed. But, that’s a Narc for you!

  27. ThreeDLife says:

    The part of this article that struck home with me is:
    “We also continue because we’re driven to want to control the uncontrollable, hence we want to be in control of the outcome”

    I didn’t realize at the time, but now see that lots of my pain and suffering in my relationship with the AC was caused by me trying to control the outcome of our relationship. I thought we would be great together, so I tried to make it happen. But since he didn’t want the same outcome, it would never have happened no matter what I did. I just kept beating my head against a wall.

    We never really battled outwardly, though. He was never one to confront or discuss anything, so everything just got swept under the rug until it was so high it became the proverbial “elephant in the living room.” At the end, the elephant trampled all over everything and made a huge mess.

    Since then, I have been working very hard to accept people as they are, not as I want them to be or wish they were. I now know it is not healthy to continuously try to control outcomes, especially when the other person is unwilling or unable to commit to a mutually fulfilling relationship. It is very freeing and a huge relief to be off the rollercoaster.

  28. HappyAgain says:

    Why do I feel like the problem is with me not wanting to be cheated on and having standards because that is important to me? I feel pressure from society and people like all men do it so you should just keep forgiving them and giving them chance after chance and just say oh but I love them so much oh but my kids. My child went through alot w me being mistreated. It affected him. It makes me feel bad so I dont want to be used and hurt like that. Apparently I live in the twilight zone though. I dont understand it and im tired of questioning myself over it. I want to believe there is hope for a man who will respect me. Am I missing something in crazy world?

    • noquay says:

      Nope, the world has indeed gone crazy and there a few of us scratching our heads wondering what the heck happened to things such as honesty, integrity, accountability.

  29. Wendy says:

    Oh dear, I just thought back at some scenarios in my relationship and it seems so trivial now! I acted so silly trying to plead and reason with him. I looked like a desperate marionette, strings all tangled, looking and acting like an IDIOT!

    Lorraine, you rock! My ex EUM and I live very close to one another and I’ve played it over and over what I’ll do when we see each other (which sooner or later will happen) and I actually thought of doing the whole ignore thing, but would know he would twist that into me being rude…the smile and keep moving move is perfect! Happy for you! :)

    • Lorraine says:

      I know what you mean, this AC would twist anything that wasn’t on his terms into a crazy drama. I felt if I smiled as I ran by, there would be less ability for him to twist it, however, I’m sure he called me a bitch to himself. But, who cares? He knows deep inside that I’m not a bitch.

      Since you live so close to your AC too, prepare the scenario in your head and do it should you cross paths. It is so worth the look on their face.

      Since we broke up in October, he hasn’t allowed more than three weeks to go by without some form of contact. It had been just shy of three weeks yesterday so I knew it was coming. So predictable… First time in five years that I didn’t cave in to him. It felt good.

  30. Unlike says:

    I’m not even in the relationship anymore and I’m STILL engaging in the battle ALL BY MYSELF, fighting to be right, to be validated, to get my needs met, to get my point across, to feel justified, to be given the credit I deserve, with the long lost ex and yet the battle continues IN MY HEAD, pretend conversations and arguments etc

    I’m starting to see that I, myself, have been EU and unaware of it in pretty much all of my relationships and was with someone recently for 3 years who was also an AC and EU (and I think a narc) who used me as a cushion after his wife of nine years told him to GET OUT and divorced him (I was his “love at first sight”, had been “waiting for me his whole entire life”, said “I love you will u marry me?” right away, girl) but I am so bitter at times at how much I gave to him and how little I ever got back in return…mostly my energy, encouragement, support and ideas that he used to HIS benefit(it was ALWAYS about HIM)and I’m still pissed about it and it’s getting worse as I see him continue to prosper and take credit for MY IDEAS.

    OH, I propped him up and seriously helped him figure out his mess of a life, I was a shoulder to lean on, gave him sex, good advice,listened to him talk ENDLESSLY, spent time with him only when HE had the time, and participated in accepting the future faking and being told I had to be “patient” NOTHING ever happened or came to fruition. He was ALL empty promises and would change his mind and take things back at the drop of a hat constantly. It was SO frustrating, draining, maddening…ugh AND I let him break up with me and went back to him when he would change his mind over and over while I listened to him repeatedly tell me that he didn’t deserve me, that he “gets it”, he’s going to change etc

    In the end, out of sheer anger and frustration, I broke up with him and went NC, however, I did it thinking he would realize he was going to lose me for good so I waited and wouldn’t respond to his fishing e-mails, texts, calls (this guy had no impulse control)…I was waiting for a GRAND gesture not some bull… to get me back. We had one meeting and he told me he had changed, he still loved me, he was still planning a future with me in mind etc and asked would I just come in for a cup of tea or go for a walk or…and I said no, that I wasn’t ready to just jump back in. I left. He txted me with more promises about his love and our future. I replied saying we could talk again soon thinking we were on a path to change and getting back together, but I wasn’t going to jump like I had before

    We didn’t talk again and then his Mom passed away.
    She was a huge and dysfunctional part of his and my life. Trust me I spent most of my time coaching him on how to handle EVERYTHING, including all the drama with his mama. It was ridiculous.

    I was the first person he called, he came over, he cried, we talked. We were now engaging on the daily and seeing each other (nothing physical happened, just emotional) I went to the viewing with him, saw his family, participated in a very intimate occasion, was planning to go to her funeral when I asked him if any of his other friends were going to attend he mentioned his “new friend” who was a hospital worker where his Mom had been before she passed…

    He told me they had been on one date. The next week she moved in with him (we lived next door to each other), then they moved into his deceased mother’s house barely after she had been buried. The whole thing was so fast and so disturbing and he was a total prick to me when I questioned and reacted to what was happening. I was basically told to mind my own business and get out of his way, and that he was “finally” happy. He had ZERO consideration for my feelings. It was truly the most awful thing I have ever endured, watching him on a daily basis with someone else who’s morals and ethics I seriously question.(she got involved with her dying patient’s son and then moved with him into her deceased patients house)

    All that being said, the relationship was always a BATTLE, mostly me fighting, begging, pleading, explaining my needs, my disappointments,etc It was awful, but I just couldn’t let go of those promises he made that I felt entitled to, dammit. If it was the last thing I did I was going to make him come through. Sounds beautiful and loving, doesn’t it? It was horrible.

    The problem now is that I keep letting myself look at their FB pages and she is planning a wedding on pinterest and I battle constantly to NOT look or to look because I think I can handle it and it will show me some clue and help me move forward or I’ll see something that will help me solve this failed relationship, or maybe see that they’re relationship isn’t wrkng etc. But they seem brilliantly happy together unlike we were.

    I know this a long post and my first. I really appreciate BR. I swear it seems like every post I’ve read(and I’ve read A LOT over the last several months) is written for me,to me,about me etc. It is mind blowing how you are able to write so accurately about the relationships I’ve been having, seriously, I have almost fallen off my chair while reading with my jaw hanging open, saying NO WAY…she is describing my failed relationship!

    Thank You Natalie. This blog has taught me more about myself and propelled me further than I ever thought I could go…but I’m still not all the way out of the woods. Sometimes I think I’m still not willing to leave the woods. Why, Why, Why do I want to stay in these woods?

    Actually I’ve read some of your reasons for why I’m probably staying in the woods, but I still feel unable to make the final break. It’s hard.

    • Chutzpelady says:

      Dear Unlike – try unsent letters. You can download the guide on BR. They do help. You get a chance to express your anger and remain NC.

      Natalies Books are also a tremendous help to get back your dignity and set boundaries.

    • shattered says:

      Unlike- I feel for you. I’ve been there too. I’ve maintained NC and from a distance I can see what an unreliable tosser he was. But it still rankles that after 3 years, I was just tossed aside and treated with disdain when someone else came along (although I’m pretty certain there were others along the way too) – no apology or explanation, just total silence. The one time we met at a social event, the ex AC asked if I’d like to spend the night with him – which made me feel even worse – just there to be used when it suited him. I’d advise you to stay NC. I don’t think my anger, humiliation and regret will ever go away, but I’m working on it.

    • Stacey says:

      unlike – my shoulders just dropped reading your story. The dude is messed up. People who move so fast after any type of breakup like he has are just doomed. I know of ONE couple who the husband totally rebounded and they got married right away but they had been best friends for a long time. Its working but that is very rare. You need to BLOCK them on facebook. its not worth the pain and you will stall your healing. You can also block on Pinterest. You have to realize that you deserve better and that they will blow up eventually and you will be thankful that it wasn’t you eventually.

      • Stacey says:

        unkind – one more thing – I’ve been NC for almost 5 months – with brief communication with him prompted mostly by him. I still have conversations where I am sticking up for myself during situations that come into my head from the past with him. I still feel rejected and my ego gets in the way. I wanted to be the chosen one, the exception of this EUM. Not gonna happen. I sometimes wish he would show up at my door and tell me he made a mistake. Not that I would take him back – but I realize it has to do with me feeling chosen…even if he did choose me, it would be for all the wrong reasons on his end as he is not emotionally healthy.

        • Unlike says:

          Thank you Stacey. It feels really great to have others understand as I will still try to take ALL the blame (he put it all on me too in a cold-hearted way after his mother passed, who I was also close to) even though I know I shouldn’t. You know what’s funny…I’ve had the same thought of him showing up at my door or confessing that he made a huge mistake or wanting to be the “chosen” one, but guess what? they did “choose” us and with pretty good reason I believe because it became clear to them that we would take their crap, fall for their bull, keep letting them cross our boundaries and believing in their baloney promises. I think they have to leave when they realize they have been completely found out and I just refused to buy into it anymore. Funny too in the end when I called him a “fraud” he went off the wall, had a very strong reaction to it and was gushing all over about why I thought that of him…like that was his huge, ultimate fear, that he had been found out as a faker, user and a fraud. That’s when I really knew that I had HIT the nail on THE HEAD!!!
          What a joke. What was I doing?

          Also, I HAVE to find some resolve to STOP tracking their lives together. It is pure torture. It’s that thing where all that he promised me but NEVER came through on, even the littlest of plans… he is now delivering on in a BIG way with somebody else

          It sucks.

          • Hina says:

            unlike – block them both, I promise it will make your life easier. I would fb stalk Mr. UK when he started seeing the new girl but he was so “savvy” with fb privacy I never saw any of his pics or posts he didn’t want me to. Until one day I saw on a mutual friend’s page a pic of him and new girl. It made me ill. So I blocked him and unfriended the mutual friend. Then I really went NC and let me tell you it has just gotten easier and easier to gain perspective. At one point I felt, wow, this is why everyone says to go NC… (duh! hahaa)

            I relate to so much you wrote about. He was always telling me to be “patient.” I called MR. UK an asshole in our fight that led to the breakup. Because he was being an asshole! Omg, you would’ve thought I told him he was Hitler. He was so insulted and went on and on about being labeled an “asshole” It was as if no one had ever said an unkind word to him before and he was astounded! (I doubt very much that is true…)

            I, too, would fantasize about the grand gesture. But of course it never happened. They don’t have it in them. It will never happen. The best thing to do is truly let it go. The freedom of not thinking about him on a daily basis has been such a relief for me.

            And another way to look at things is – you would not want to be her. In order for him to want to marry you, you’d have to be an immoral, questionable, unethical and strange person (which she is). You are NOT those things, so that is why he is not with you. You want to be with someone who values the things you do. And he obviously doesn’t.

            Please get off their FB and pintrest. Those are such fake “look at how wonderful my life is” venues. It is never as wonderful as it looks. My post below tells of how the new girl has left a message on my answering machine!?? So now I know, it is not wonderful for her, is it? For her to reach out to his ex girlfriend, well that says a lot doesn’t it?

            NC, BLOCK and stay strong! <3

          • Stacey says:

            unlike – I know that it looks like he is delivering in a big way – but its all fake. He can keep doing that for awhile but pretty soon his true colors will re-emerge again. These guys are all about the chase. THe other thing about fb, is that its not real. Everyone posts the good moments – and if you haven’t, you need to block him. I blocked mine a few days after I asked for NC and I haven’t unblocked him since. (he doesn’t believe in securing his page, so anyone can see what is on there)

            My ex-eum, we never really fought. There were 3 big fights that I can think of…and the thing I learned about him is he likes to make you feel small during those fights. I learned to walk away – and then we would talk it through awhile later. He was NEVER mean to me per se, but manipulative in a BS sometimes sneaky way. He was a huge part of my life for 2.5 years. I am not even sure he realizes the extent of his issues and emotional unavailability. When he contacted me a month ago, he had suggested something that ticked me off and when I confronted him on it he was like ‘I was teasing, how could you ever think that about me?’ Roll my eyes. anyway – hang in there. Its been 5 months tomorrow for me….this takes time and as much as it drives me crazy I am glad that I am dealing with it head on.

            • Unlike says:

              Thank you Hina and Stacey, not sure if you realize HOW MUCH i appreciate your responses.I’ve been feeling isolated with this lately (don’t want to bring it up anymore to friend or family) which makes me mad at myself for ever getting involved in the first place and now STILL hanging on.

              Looking back, I knew he was an ass clown from the start (well, soon after the start) but he really laid it on thick and I felt like I really needed someone to care about me at the time. I had been alone and guarded for a # of yrs and after friendship only with him(but NOT long enough…he was BARELY divorced when I met him and I did address this, he assured me he was OK) I thought I could trust him even though I knew my feelings really didn’t match his yet and I knew he was coming on WAY too strong, it was cringe worthy, cheesy even, and pretty quickly his actions didn’t match his words. But I let myself go thinking why can’t I have a relationship with someone who is telling me they will love and support me and help me reach my goals and how smart,pretty, funny etc I was and I was like, hey, it’s my time now…
              and oh what a time (A BATTLE!) it turned out to be HA!HA! I was the woman who could NOT admit she had made a mistake, my age had to do with it too (40′s)
              Stacie, my ex also would unleash when we argued. I have never had anyone rip me to shreds like he did with his words and hit your most vulnerable points. I would feel shell shocked and humiliated after. And he always told me I was the only one he was ever that awful or mean to and he didn’t know why he was like that with me (I doubt it)
              And yes, I know FB is stupid and so is pintrest. I have forced myself to stop before and then I go back just “to see” UGH, lame! And I end up hurting all over again. Thanks for telling me to STOP. It helps A LOT!

              AND I won’t give up on love…

  31. Jennifer says:

    Hi everyone, I haven’t been on here in quite some time but really wanted to recommend the novel “Marjorie Morningstar” by Herman Wouk to all of you. I discovered it recently and it is a story of a lengthy “relationship” between a young woman and an unavailable man. I think it contains a lot of valuable insight about emotionally unavailable people and how much is at risk (happiness, peace of mind, time) to those who seek to be with them.

    I just wanted to mention this here because I think the novel explores a lot of the issues that BR does and that readers of this site would connect with it.


  32. getagrip says:

    I used to think it was a virtue holding on when “a lesser woman” would have given up…. but now i see there is no virtue in what I was/am fighting for, just false pride and not wanting a failed relationship & the loneliness that comes with that.
    I have read a bit about loving yourself, but i’m 3 months post break up (with MANY a slip off the wagon) & I’m still acting like a prisoner- running straight home from work as fast as possible like I used to (Cos he was there waiting for me to drop him at his job), getting myself all made up whether I’m taking the kids to park or doing the washing- just in case he calls by…
    So, I have a question…How do you start this ‘being good to yourself’? Is it something you do in your head, or something you actually do? I have literally NO money & not much time for treats.. Any advice?

    • AMMarion says:

      To Getagrip,

      You start taking care of yourself, both in your head, and in the things you do. If I may offer suggestions:

      - Spend quality time with the people you love and who value you for who you are (it can be over a cup of coffee at your house or theirs with a home-baked treat!). Gently set aside the ones who drain your energy.
      - Go out, by yourself, at your own pace, for a long walk, a bike ride if you have one, or walk your neighbour’s dog (if that nurtures your soul); enjoy your own company. Meditate on your beautiful surroundings, especially during the change of seasons.
      - If you have a bathtub, give yourself a long, uninterrupted soak at least 3 times/week, with a scented candle to light the room and some soft meditative music (does wonders for the soul). This is your time, and you are entitled to it. If the phone rings, they will call later if they need to reach you!
      - Organize potluck or cooking get-togethers with your close friends or cherished family members, where everybody pitches in. Cherish their company as you exchange stories, laughter and tears. Give yourself the permission to feel whatever you are feeling at that moment. Do this often.
      - Have a “movie night” get-together at hour place or someone else’s; share the price of renting the movie and the popcorn.
      - If you have kids, arrange for a babysitting “service swap” with other mothers. Both you and they need an occasional break!

      Good luck to you…You deserve it!

    • Tinkerbell says:


      Your head leads the way and then you DO what a sensible, objective mind tells you. You thought “a LESSER woman gives up?” On the contrary, a stronger woman says, “Eff this. I’m outta here!

      Sweet loving women get hurt. How many man-hating bitches are going around with a broken heart? I’m not proposing that we become bitches, but we definitely need to quit the fawning, adoring behavior just to keep a man. Get tough and protect yourself, always.

  33. Shawna says:

    Wow, this is a great article. this is exactly what I have been engaging in for over a year now. we fell madly in love , moved in together, got engaged and then he said he couldn’t go ahead with things. my life has been destroyed by this fellow and he continues to call, text and play the yo yo game. I keep engaging because I think I can win! or we can win or we belong together! which I think we do BUT he is not in. All he ever what’s to do is battle, right down to the choice of which take out to get when he shows up out of the blue to hopefully have dinner together. He broke things off with me and he comes back and toys with me and remains unavailable until I go into control mode and then he runs? it’s been a hellish time and I felt very ounce of Unlikes pain because my UEM ac narc just lost his only child. I was instantly called to his side and things were deep. Then all of a sudden he says just because you have been here for me does not mean we are back together. Me off the deep end, this was six months ago and all through the holidays he continues to call and want to come over which ended in the push! pull battle. I have been through hell with this fellow and have have been doing some major work on myself so finally in January after repeatedly asking him to either be in or leave me alone! I stopped answering? I stopped answering the texts, the calls. They are half hearted, they are crumbs. the last time I saw him in January he kept trying to egg me into a battle? I saw him in a whole new light. I told him he had to STOP, he needed to accept me for who I am because I had accepted him? this is what healthy people do, he is NOT healthy. I love him with all of my heart but he is killing me, so I must stop. When I read this article I couldn’t believe it. Everything I have been doing for years! even with ex husband of 24 years. All a battle, no wonder I’m exhausted, no wonder I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. Now that I have finally cut this man off, even though I adore him(my
    issue)I already know, I can feel it in my gut it will end just like Unlikes post, it’s too similar. I know he will move to someone else and do the whole thing with her and I am heartbroken, but at least the battle is over and I do have peace if nothing else? thank you all and Nat for the great words,

    • Stephanie says:


      Good for you! It is hard, but once you accept things as they are it does it better. This is all a game to these jerks and they will play it as long as you allow them to. Be proud of yourself and steps you are taking to take care of yourself. Good Luck

  34. Unlike says:

    Thank You Chutzpelady
    I hadn’t seen the unsent letter/free download before
    I’ve downloaded and started working through them
    I hope they help :)

    Thanks,Shattered. It helps to know that I am not alone with these feelings.
    If I’m being honest, at some point I knew that I didn’t really want HIM, but I did want the “relationship” and this fantasy “future” together. This is hard to accept because I have to look hard at MYSELF for the real answers.

  35. Nicole says:

    Wow. Once again you’ve opened my eyes. I used to think, “anything worth having is worth fighting for” but I’m done with that now and this article helps reinforce just how done I am. If it’s a fight early on, then pay attention and walk away.. or let him walk away and don’t look back!

  36. Elle0412 says:

    Hi Ladies, all of us have more or less the same story: giving love to EUM & ACs…and wondering why, how to get over him.
    There is a brilliant post Nat wrote about epiphany moment when you ( finally!!!) say ‘enough!’. We can’t stop thinking and loving them and thinking and hating them, on and on and on.
    The moment of truth when you realize what happened is sheer horror: I felt like someone cut me with something sharp and took my soul out.
    But the healing comes regardless of the wound.
    One of the sites i came across is The Happy Sensitive. There are some excellent insights on the realtionship btwn HSP ( highly sensitive person) and NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and it gave me a lot of answers why I believed AC can give me love (not) and why it’s not my fault. I thought I would share the site with you, along with BR it keeps me sane .Hugs to all.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear Elle0412,

      Thanks a bundle for sharing the Happy Sensitive site. What a revelation!

      And being drawn to narcissists! Wow!

      This is me, this is my world. Time to go from highly sensitive to happy sensitive.

      I have a lot of reading and learning to do.

      Thank you again!


  37. Wendy says:

    I’m at 10 days NC! I can’t believe I’ve actually made it to 10 days…I have a question though? I live in the same small town as my ex EUM and I’ve noticed that causes me A LOT of anxiety…For those of you on BR that have an ex that is close by, what did/do you do? Have you prepared yourself on what you would do if you cross paths? Me moving is out of the question, lol…I’m a single mom of two teens who are happy and well established in their own daily lives :)

    • Lorraine says:

      My ex EUM lives up the block from me. I think what makes it hard is that the close proximity keeps them in our heads longer. If I knew there was no chance of ever running into him, I wouldn’t be forced to think about him so much.

      Every time I walk out of my house, there is a possibility that he will be pulling out of his parking lot (directly across from my house). I used to be so careful and walk my dog with my head down and slink in and out.

      Now, I don’t care and surprisingly, when you’re no longer involved and on the same schedule, wavelength, etc., you don’t run into each other like when you were together.

      If I were you, I would be aware of your surroundings when you’re out and about, steer clear if you see his car and have a plan if you happen to end up face to face. A quick exit plan.

      I know it’s harder when you live so close. I think it makes the “getting over him” phase a bit longer than if they were in another town or something and you knew you would never see them again.

      Good Luck, and remember, the less you care about him and the more you care about you, it won’t matter anymore if, when, or where you happen to cross paths.

    • Hina says:

      Wendy, it will get easier. I live in the same small town as ex-EUM too. We did “run into each other” once. I was in my car and backing out of a parking space when he knocked on my window. He was on his bike and didn’t have to approach me, but of course he did. We ended up talking for quite some time and he played me with where he could get me – how are the kids? I sure miss them – Fricking liar. (They are not his kids, but still, he is the only man my kids were ever introduced to…)

      Lesson learned. Now I know if I see him anywhere to turn and walk away. No acknowledgement. I simply don’t frequent places that I think I could run into him. Well, I did that at first, but now I just go about my daily life. I can’t obsess and fret about running into him. If it happens, then I will just walk away.

      But at first, I did get anxious and freaked out about the possibility. But, aside from that time (when really we didn’t run into each other) I haven’t seen him.

      Good luck and stay strong. :)

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear Wendy (and lovely Lorraine),

      I am in a similar boat too. As Lorraine knows, the EUM lives around the corner from me too.

      I have thought about moving away, but I rent my uncle’s house and get it very cheaply, so I find it difficult to reason why I should have to move.

      EUM and I have driven past each other many times. I’ve seen him at the local shops (I was walking behind him though, and he hadn’t seen me). It was tempting to say his name, to ask what the bloody hell had happened, to call him on his spineless cowardly pathetic gutless wonder behaviour. I didn’t.

      We’ve bumped into each other once, months ago. I was walking the mountain with my mum, and we’d gone in her car, which he hadn’t noticed (as he always pays attention to my car and avoids it if he sees it! Again, pathetic. Whatever). Anyway, my mum, who had never met him, politely said hello (she was walking in front of me). He then looked at me, I assume waiting for a cue. I said hi, but didn’t smile. He said hi back, but we both kept on walking.

      It made me really quite sad, that things had eventuated the way they did. That he could walk past me so callously, after the way he behaved. I guess that is why he’s avoided the mountain ever since.

      What I am getting at though, is that it is possible to live on the same street/around the corner/in the same suburb/in the same small town, and be able to cope with it. If I can, anyone can.

      Avoid mutual places of interest, go to different shops (if possible), don’t seek out anything to do with him. Don’t turn your head when a car like his goes past.

      I continued to do all of the above, but it was because I was disappeared on. I walked in the same place because I was seeking an explanation, and an opportunity to give an absolution.

      But I should have had more self-respect and I should have just let go. It is only recently that I have discovered that – through BR, Nat, and you gorgeous readers. I am no longer walking where I once did. I’m sure he’s noticed that too – because he pays attention to my car, and like Tinkerbell said to me in an earlier post, he probably believes (in his short-circuited stupid little EUM brain) that I am walking, not for my own good, but to chase him, to accidentally bump into him.

      So just go about your business as you always would. If you do bump into him, make eye contact briefly, say hi, and continue walking. I do think it is OK to be polite. Having said that, if I saw my EUM tomorrow, he’d barely get a glance, and certainly not a greeting. But that’s because it’s less raw, and I can see him for what he was.

      Best wishes to you. Continue reading BR and you’ll come in leaps and bounds with your NC.

      Love Nel

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Hi Nel,

        My last word on the subject. It’s the “being polite” that gets us into trouble. Who the hell is he? The Pope? Nelson Mandela? Hardly. Was he polite to you? I don’t think so. It’s ok to not emote a greeting. He’s just an annoying fly to be swatted away. Due you really care if he considers you rude, or a bitch? If so, there’s still too much feelings there. Try harder to be NC!

        • LovefromNel says:

          I know, Tink! It’s that inner people pleaser in me that has to be polite. I’m working on it though, I promise. And I know that I care too much what others think of me – whether there’s feelings there or not. Again, something else I need to work on!

          Wendy, scrap that polite advice. Head held high, keep on walking. It is what I plan on doing if I bump into the EUM again.

          Thank you everyone. I am learning so much every day from this site. Thanks so much, Nat.

  38. Allison says:


    If you had ‘won’ do you really believe you would have been pleased with the prize?

    • Lorraine says:

      Thanks for making me think about that. If I had “won” I would be on a constant disappointment cycle. I would be crying a lot. I would be bending over backward giving, giving and giving some more without anything in return. I would be on a diet of crumbs.

      What’s so funny now is that I have all this knowledge and information. I could look back about what I put up with and just cringe that I allowed it.

      And when I’m feeling “why her”, I should remember that she is getting just crumbs and crying and constantly disappointed. She has to be.

      Thats a great question we all should be asking ourselves after reading this article. Thanks Allison.

  39. lo j says:

    I worked with and was a boss actually to a man I dated. We broke up because he was EU,(circumstantial), he knew it, I knew it, but he wanted to stay friends and I knew that it wouldn’t work for me. Then we sort of tried friends very briefly but again I knew I would be hurt in the process. With us working together, it meant in the same room together all day him reporting to me when necessary work together. I had to tell him, “you are my coworker. Dont touch me. Dont bring me things.”. He brought food to me every day. Very difficult. For both of us. I was very stressed out. He was as well. He eventually found a better opportunity and quit. It was terrible because I did love him. As my friend, as my coworker. I’d known him for a long time. And I’d watched him go through struggles. I’m a florencer. It was hard to not nurture him. But I know that’s what was best for him and especially for me.
    I just had to keep reminding myself of my worth. I had to let myself feel my feelings. Stay in reality and only deal with him as a coworker. (When we tried friends he held my hand, wanted to kiss me and I definitely did not feel friendish to him).
    It sucked. He still works at my job occasionally and I’ll see him in a group setting socially. Its difficult socially. I keep it minimal for sure.

  40. Noquay says:

    Since I work with theAC, I have to deal with him at least once a week and we live about 4 miles apart, neither on main roads. I know what his car looks like, and his latest conquests car, so I can avoid being in the hardware, grocery etc when either is there. In public, I actually run into her more than he because she is the one running errands. We turn away from one another. I’ve learned when she is likely to be in town and avoid places at that time. We used to have after work get togethers and eat lunch together; those things no longer happen; I still have get togethers , but they’re at my home, include folks from work and community, and the invite list is under my control. Both of us have circles of friends from outside the area. Although we are both avid outdoorspeople, we’ve never run into one another in the backcountry, but that encompasses a lot of country and since I am the more active of us, running into him on popular trails is unlikely. The big issue is at work; I’ve been told that he is actively looking for other jobs and I truly wish he’d get one but it’s unlikely. There are a couple of committees that I chair; one he has to be at and I try and ignore him, the other, I have removed his name from the mailing list as he wasn’t showing up anyway. We had once worked together on a multimillion dollar center, I am now the only full time person on it and will be pretty much running the show. In short, learn their schedules, what businesses they patronize. In a small town, it’s impossible to avoid them 100%. In the future, especially in a small place, avoid entanglements with anyone that will be a problem if things go south. Ever since the AC, I only seek men that are far enough away that I need never see them again if there are problems.

  41. Wendy says:


    You sure we weren’t dating the same guy? LOL…I remember one night we were getting together to cook dinner. He headed home quick and was going to walk back after because we were going to have a few beers and it was easier for him to walk home. I surprised him by walking over to his place and as I was calling from his parking lot he freaked out, saying, don’t just show up in my parking lot…I couldn’t understand why he got so weirded out and was so upset with me. It was a complete overexaggeration on his part and then he twisted things around saying to me,

    “What, do you think I’m seeing someone so you came over to ‘check on me’?”

    I was confused and said,

    “No, you were planning on coming over anyways…I thought I’d be sweet and walk back with you…”

    He told me I was disrespecting him and not honoring his boundaries. I was confused and of course I got upset and then he told me I was dramatic…sigh…

    Do these guys ever have “break-through” moments in life and reflect and think, “Wow, what a great girl she was…” Maybe some do…I think mine did because for a man to say an ex is an ex for a reason, seemed to “check up” on exes…

    I’m obsessed with him still, sigh…

    This is SO hard, NC day number 11 is today…

  42. Lorraine says:

    Hi Wendy,
    Believe me, sometimes I feel like most of us here were dating the same man! LOL

    I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I was told that I was dramatic! For the last two years, we pretty much lived like a married couple but in separate places. He would walk home, shower, come back and forth constantly. I would cook, bring it across the street. He would pull up to my house on his way to work to pick up his lunch… It was crazy. I told him that he had it all figured out, all the benefits of being married without any of the BS!

    I also have wondered if these guys ever sit back and say, “she was so good to me” or “I guess I messed that up” I think that they are so self absorbed that they can’t really see past their own noses. There is something about them that “good women” fall for and we were just two more of them. It’s probably the nasty bitches that they go crazy over.

    I was totally obsessed as well. He was gorgeous, had amazing “skills” and after coming out of a horrible marriage, he made me laugh. We were buddies that did silly things together. I never even suspected anything was wrong until it was pretty much over. No kidding, I left for a vacation with my mom and he drove us to the airport. He was all lovey and “what am I going to do without you for 10 days”? From the moment he picked me up from the airport, everything was different. His demeanor, attitude toward me, everything changed. He denied it, but was seeing his ex gf. I remember asking him if he was seeing her and he said, “you know I don’t speak to that bitch”. While he was talking to her again behind my back, I can’t tell you how many times he told me, you are all I want or need! I ended it as soon I realized he was with her again and that it was all a bunch of lies. He still tried to deny it even after New Years, emailing me that I was wrong!

    As I’m sure you have too, I did so much for this man and he knew he it. He knew how much I adored him. I mean what does it say about me, when after not being together and pretty much no contact for three months, he texts me and asked me to help him with his ipod? It says “DOORMAT”!!!!

    I think BR helped me the most. The books are great. I was able to see him for what he really is. When we take off the rose colored glasses, everything about them changes. Focus on you, not him. Keep busy and every day will get a little easier. Keep reminding yourself of what a huge AC he is. I turned the corner when I finally realized he was nothing more than a piece of shit who would put his own mother out into the street. There is no coming back after that.

    When you find yourself obsessing or looking down the block (I know its so hard not to look), stop yourself. Say, let it go. A hundred times a day if you have to. If you keep going back its just more of your precious life you will be wasting. These EU relationships can never go anywhere or make us happy so we must, Let it Go!


  43. HappyAgain says:

    Lorraine you are right. LET IT GO has to become a mantra in our self talk to assist w moving forward. No more wasted years, months, weeks or days!!! Thanks.

    • Hina says:

      I have several self-talk sayings right next to my bed:

      “When you finally let of of the past, something better comes along”

      “Action expresses priorities (Gandhi)”

      “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”

      They have been helpful when getting over this EUM! :)

  44. Peanut says:

    Last night a friend and I went to a dive bar to hear some local bands.

    The bar is a dichotomy. It is near spotless and the bathroom is pristine, yet the smoke gets so thick you can barely see the person next to you.

    The music had a heavy punk element to it. And the men…

    Tatted musicians, sleek bearded panthers waiting to pounce and get their fill on any doe-eyed suspecting, albeit willing waif.

    Musicians have no effect on me now. What does that do for me? I could not care less.

    A young man in his early twenties took a liking to me. I thought he was kind of delightful and sweet, until… he started in on how much he loathes authority and religion and how satanism is where it’s at.

    I’m agnostic with deep respect and tolerance for the religious and spiritual practices of others. But, um…satanism?

    This young, satanic chap was a cutie in some respects, but I’m trying to carve out a professional career in the arts, and though I see its appeal, I just don’t have the time or patience for debauchery.

    What it takes to succeed in the niche I want is nothing less than complete commitment (mind and body presence necessary). Plus, legal troubles are what I take care NOT to involve myself in.

    I also saw a man who reminded me of the ex. I got weird and nostalgic. Like my ex, this man is a huge slut. I watched him waltz around collecting attention from all the ladies as a coy, cutesy twenty-something followed him like a hungry puppy. He’s physically beautiful, but wreaks of sex addict.

    I cried a bit to myself missing the nice things about the ex. Yes, he was better than these men and many, but, no, he was never enough. Just more than I had ever had.

    This morning I awoke to a friend request from police hating satan worshiper.

    I haven’t responded. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, yet I don’t want to go down that road. Our values couldn’t be more blatantly contrasted. But I want friends; I’m so lonely.

    • EllyB says:

      @Peanut: No wonder you’re feeling sad and lonely, considering what you’ve been through! Being exposed to people who abuse you, don’t respect you and even punish you for enforcing boundaries (all of which, sadly, seems to be the case with your family) makes you feel utterly alone. Trust me, you are better off on your own (even if it doesn’t feel that way at present) than with your abusive family or with guys who resemble them!

      I think you are also grieving your losses at the moment. That’s quite normal and even healthy (even if – again – it might not feel that way).

      Down the road you’ll meet more and more people who have your best interest at heart and who are empathetic. You simply need to be patient and not rush into anything.

  45. Tinkerbell says:

    When I want to remind myself of something important or remember something I write out index cards and tape them all over my apartment. I’m a shopaholic. I’ve taped the word “STOP” on my charge card with duck tape. The width of the tape is almost the width of the card. My signs say things like “You have everything you NEED. If you’re not in need, don’t buy!”, and different variations of the same message. I can’t go a few feet without seeing one of these messages to myself. I’ve only done this days ago and I’m broke anyway. The true test will be when I have money to spend on what I want.

    This comment make go off topic a little but in an effort to give a suggestion that might help, especially for Lorraine and Wendy. So here goes.

    When you use your imagination you can be creative about helping yourself break bad habits. The results won’t be instantaneous but at least you’re making the effort. Did the same thing with New Year’s resolutions and found at the end of the year I did very well. But, for 2014, I don’t believe in making them anymore. I’m trying to be in control without so many little crutches. The spending, is a serious addiction so I have to make an exception in that respect.

  46. Peanut says:

    On another note, I talked to another female art student who I thought maybe I’d have closer values with.

    She was worse than satan worshiper.

    She smugly sat here and told me in her beyond fancy get up that she’s not afraid of being poor to pursue the arts. She’s white, middle class, and snooty as fuck.

    I told her frankly that I was terrified of that, as it’s hell to not have your basic needs met.

    She went on to discuss some shitty art project involving old tea bags.

    Things are not always what they seem in any realm.
    You really do have to get to know and screen people. Dating and in friendships.

    I have one female friend with whom I don’t share a lot (if any) interests in, yet we are getting closer and closer.

    We spend time doing those normal things humans need to do — eating, social, etc…

    It’s about time I started questioning all people on a deeper level.

    • Peanut says:

      Note: This female art student and I do not go to the same college.

      Mine is less (much less) expensive but known for being progressive and having arduous standards.

      God, I never want to be a snooty asshole in the art world. She’s so beautiful to look at (creamy skin, green eyes and freckles), but her attitude make me wanna vomit.

      • Mymble says:

        Try not to be too angry with her. She hasn’t had your experience of life and she doesn’t understand what hardship is.
        I cringe when I think of pronouncements I made in the past, on subjects I basically knew nothing about. (Such as how children should be brought up)
        It isn’t fair that you’ve experienced what you have, but neither is it her fault.
        She may or may not be an okay person but neither her appearance nor her callow pronouncements mean that she is satan.
        If you’re not comfortable around her then you don’t have to be friends.

        • EllyB says:

          Well, I think lack of empathy for less fortunate people IS a serious flaw (even if, admittedly, it is very common). In the past I used to bend over backwards for such people, trying to be empathetic and compassionate with THEM. That was crazy, because it was me who would have needed some empathetic and compassionate people in my life.

          Peanut, please stay strong! And please keep looking for friends who love and cherish you for who YOU are!

        • Hina says:

          Hi Peanut, Mymble is right. I cringe to think of myself in my early 20′s…

          Plus, nowadays, some young people get this privileged and entitled thinking from how they are helicopter parented. Maybe it would be a good life lesson for her to suffer a bit like she is fantasizing about, so she experiences the reality of something for herself. That might help her character formation.

          Or maybe she’s just an asshole. Either way, just be yourself and don’t be around her if it makes you feel bad.

    • Pauline says:


      As far as art works are concerned, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Here in Australia we have the Archibald prize for portraiture, not a huge amount of money but lots of prestige if you win. We went along to a gallery that was showing most of the entries including the winning entry which was actually very good. Some of the entries were absolute garbage to my eyes, cut them up to line the kitty litter tray would be my best use for them but, lots of people standing there looking thought they were good.
      Yeah, used tea bags need to go into the compost but this girl wants to find a different use and in her eyes she thinks she can do something better with them.
      Hey, each to their own, don’t wipe her off because she different to you and her art expression sucks in your opinion. You’re bringing out what’s creative and beautiful from inside you, other people will do the same and in their own way. Don’t become your own snooty art critic!
      As far as satan boy is concerned, meh! Who gives a sh*t, he’s going through a phase that he’ll grow out of soon enough until the next weird idea comes along and the next and the next … Just let them all flow by, you have your own beliefs and lots of hard work ahead of you. You have a goal so don’t get sidetracked and bogged down with other peoples issues. Their issues don’t belong to you.
      Keep focused on yourself and where you want to be in the future, get this very clear in your mind and you will get there in the end.
      You really are one great girl.

  47. Wendy says:


    Your last comment made me LOL! Makes me think of my ex EUM. Handsome to look at (strong, beautiful blue eyes, full head of hair), but thinking back on his attitude…

    Oh, that’s another thing that irked me with my ex. He would be the sweetest man to a perfect stranger, yet out of nowhere treat me poorly and then have the gall to say I should be honored he has chosen to spend his time with me. I remember he would say, I’m the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet. At the end of our relationship I’d just laugh and say, no, I’m the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet…

  48. Nigella says:

    Enough. I am finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that I fell for such an unreliable person. The one main thing – apart from the support of near-&-dear-ones and focus on my work – that has kept me afloat is not stalking him online. Immediately after chucking me out of his life, Mr. Liar left no stone unturned to flaunt online the fact that he had moved on to an array of old and new activities. Each thing that he had led me to think that he wants to experience with me, he went on to do either on his own or with his messed-up “friends”. Ehew.

    If there is one advice I can give with full confidence to anyone struggling to let go of a negative person, do not follow their social media updates. It is a sham, a masquerade that allows narcissists like him to create the illusion of happiness and success to themselves and to others. Rationally speaking, even if I were to find out that he is miserable that is not going to make me happy.

    I still need to figure out how to re-build my trust and accept the possibility that I might never meet someone capable of appreciating and loving me. I just do not see myself getting into a relationship or dating anyone. It might take me years to be ready to trust again. I just want to give support and love to those who have always stood by me and I want to grow my net worth, because I just do not want to ever depend on a man for anything. Better to work hard, earn money, and invest in causes & businesses that can help deserving people realize their dreams. I cannot believe the extent to which I helped Mr. Liar progress in his career – all for what? To be spat out like a chewing gum?

    It nauseates me to think back on the ease with which Mr. Liar fooled me and slipped away unscathed. I cannot allow myself to be an unsuspecting, nurturing Nightingale again. This is not to say that I plan on treating people disdainfully like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Not at all. I can ever be as “nice” as I was last year. More aptly, I do not want to be that way, but I fear I will be misled again. I just hope I can sniff the bullshit and bail & bounce back quickly if I am misled or disrespected. I do not give a hoot anymore – only care for those who consistently show me care and respect & happily choose to be with me.

    I am not being able to get over my feelings of shame for being such a gullible & needlessly generous fool last year. I feel jilted, used, discarded, fooled. To cope with these feelings, I think I need to go into overdrive mode in my job but not forget to connect with my true well-wishers. I want to see what I can achieve if I do not allow anyone to stand in my way. I will never fight for the attention and care of an unavailable person. Never again.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Nigella,

      You just didn’t know who he really was. Please don’t beat yourself up about having been a fool. This is what AC’s do. Make fools out of us, to say the least. I doubt you will be as naive again between having experienced Mr. Liar’s BS and avidly reading BR, you can’t remain the same person. It isn’t possible unless you’re really dense and/or in deep, deep denial about the world and some of the people in it. Try to be more positive about your future. I never thought there were any good guys left and not for me to be able to attract. But, it happened. Just keep your BR antennae sharp. Good luck, hon.

      • Nigella says:


        Thanks for your response. Even if I tried I can’t overestimate the strength & insight into relationships I’ve gained from reading books & posts by Natalie and from the responses of thoughtful posters like you. BR has taught me a lot about myself and about what I can do to deal with shady people.

        Last year, this is the month when my attraction to the Liar was at its peak. Perhaps that is why I am flogging myself more than usual for treating him nothing less than royalty. Oh well, I won’t make the same mistakes again. Unless a man consistently & happily reciprocates my care, I won’t cater to his needs. Rather, I’ll *acknowledge* and *accept* his limited capacity to care for me and walk away. I just hope I don’t take months or years to figure out the person.

        I dread ending up with someone who has both his feet in the relationship for the first few months or years and then starts to do all or any of the following: (1) drip-feeding, (2) under-delivering or backpedaling on promises, (3) devaluing my efforts and qualities, (4) cheating emotionally or sexually or both, (5) competing with me & trying to stem my successes, (6) resenting me for doing well in my career and having caring people in all facets of my life, (7) refusing to resolve issues by stone-walling me or acting in passive aggressive ways, (8) withholding emotional and physical affection from me, (9) taking poor care of his own financial, emotional, physical health, (10) showing me limited – if any – respect and care, (11) trying to control, intimidate, and manipulate me, (12) criticizing me unnecessarily in an attempt to erode my self-confidence, (13) disturbing my peace of mind & distracting me from my goals, (14) using me by pretending to care for me, (15) discouraging me & judging me negatively for my individual interests and dreams for which I work hard.

        Given that I feel so fearful of all of the above happening to me, I want to stay away from dating for as long as needed. Until I fully trust myself to have the ability to recognize any of the above deal-breakers and then to kick the fool to the curb, I refuse to date. I prefer to die a spinster with her self-respect and self-dependence in tact rather than serve myself up to a wolf dressed as a sheep. In any case, the chances of me meeting someone compatible are quite slim: I don’t drink or go to bars. I can’t see myself giving online dating a try. I also don’t want to jeopardize my career growth by dating someone in the same field. So I’m not sure where or how I’ll find someone I might consider dating.

        This is who I am. Perhaps the price I’ll pay for making the above choices is being single for the rest of my life. For now, I need to get through some more time until I can stop ruminating about Mr. Liar and stop berating myself for giving him a chance.

        “Behavior never lies” – as long as I remember to apply the wisdom of this quote into my life, everything should be fine, if not fantastic.

        • Tinkerbell says:


          I think anyone will agree that the one year mark after a breakup is a very emotional time. But, just be very glad and very proud of yourself that you’re no longer with him. There isn’t a damn thing you can do about the past, so you have to make up your mind to put it behind you. Really. As far as eventually meeting someone new, you need to have utmost self respect, even to the point of considering yourself a queen, and they (men) are the court jesters. Inotherwords, date but don’t take seriously anything they say. HOWEVER, be sure to LISTEN very carefully and question anything you don’t understand about him or what he has said. I think we oftentimes set ourselves up because we allow way too much to blow by us as if we’re in LaLa land. We’ve got to ASSESS the person. The discovery phase is longer than 3 months. It’s as long as it takes for you to feel comfortable and confident with that person. Keep your feet on the ground. Regardless of your personal habits which may not be that popular in the dating world (not drinking), don’t sell yourself short. There is someone for everyone. Just keep making yourself happy and cultivate interests so that you’ll always be a fascinating conversationalist. Loving kindness aside, the biggest thing I love about my Mr. Special is that we never stop TALKING, making jokes and laughing. And yet we handle the bumps in the road smoothly without any grudges held. You gotta know what YOU most want and need and you’ve got to really know yourself, first. Don’t settle if you cannot be happy. When we’re older we may be a little more willing to make adjustments because we’ve had plenty of life experience and challenges with all sorts of people. But, you cannot throw out who you are, ever. And, when there’s strife you MUST stand up for yourself, diplomatically. I used to keep stuff in and not use my voice. Not anymore, Ironically, that’s one of the things he appreciates most about me. There are no guessing games. I hope and pray that it will happen for you eventually as you give such wise and kind advice to us all. You are a beautiful and very deserving woman. ((Hugs)), Tink.

          • Nigella says:


            I am grateful for your reply. If I consider dating someone in a year or two, I will make sure to draw on your helpful response. In the meantime, I have decided to challenge myself more in my career and figure out what I can do to achieve more in less time. To be able to pay for the dream house I envision, I need to push myself more. I have no intention of relying on anyone to co-own a house.

            I also want to say that it makes me so happy to hear that Mr. Special and you are doing well together. It is draining to be with conflict-avoidant or uncommunicative people who expect others to pick up on hints or guess what is on their your mind. So it delights me to hear that Mr. Special appreciates you for speaking your mind and resolves conflict without holding grudges against you.

            Sending both of you my warmest wishes.

        • Used says:

          did you date a consultant? or was he a salesperson? i see mr. liar as one (or both) of these.

          salespeople SELL. always remember this! they want to seal the deal, whatever the “deal” is (in their heads). they need to sell you to get their needs/deal met.

          you need to get away. 6 weeks, minimum. and/or start a new routine. take a piece out of each day and make it just for you by doing something completely new and/or going somewhere completely different.

          also, you need to reach out to the good people around you to introduce you to good men. this is the best way ANYONE, young or old, will meet someone great.

          good luck!

  49. Brenda says:

    These days I simply assume all men are possessed by Satan and have to prove they are not with time and “actions”, Not words OR lack of words..becasue Satan is a trickster and would love for me to be in the dark and or in some battle where I do not even have a chance anyhow.

    • Used says:

      yes! yes! yes!

      we women assume that we are the manipulative ones. b/c we are competitively battling each other & sabotaging each other for the same prize (a good guy), we don’t see how the target/prize uses their power–and abuses their power; w/lies, deceit, power-struggles, etc.

      they love to play us against each other. hard to find one who doesn’t!

  50. Hina says:

    I haven’t posted in a while and I changed my name on here, so I had to search my brain for the new name (which took a while, haha!) Between work, school and kids I have little time to unwind.

    Anyway, I have been 4 1/2 months of NC! yay!! Well on February 13th I sat down for minute after work before I had to take my child to activity #44… I dozed off for a minute and the phone rang. Usually just bill collectors on my land line, but I looked up and saw MR UK’s name on the caller ID. Shocked, I didn’t answer and of course no message left. Of course I obsessed for days. Why would he call the day before Valentine’s day? We broke up the week before last Valentine’s day so he was on my mind anyway. Then I couldn’t remember if I blocked him on my cell or not but is that why he called from his land line? It put me in a funk for a few days to say the least.

    Then as that faded, a week later I get a call from an unrecognizable name and number in the morning. I don’t answer and no message. I blow it off to yet another bill collector. But then later after work, around the same time as the previous week I get a call from the same unrecognized name and number from that morning. This time, the person leaves a message. It is a woman claiming to be a “friend of a friend” and would I please call her back. Well, Mr UK never told me new girl’s name but I am sure it is her. He did tell me she is a doctor and when I googled this girl’s name from the message there is a DR. new girl in the city near me.

    Ok, so of course a million thoughts race through my mind! Do I call her back? What does she want to say to me or ask me? I mean it is weird to say “a friend of a friend” why not just say MR uk’s name? We are not in middle school. Unless she thinks I won’t figure out who she is and she can “attack” me. But what’s the point? I haven’t seen nor talked to him in 4 1/2 months. As I talked to some friends about it, I realize she must be feeling pretty desperate. I mean I have never reached out to a former girlfriend of anyone to get answers about them. If she can’t communicate directly with him and needs to try to get answers from me… well it shows me he is exactly the same with her as he was with me. Which at first made me feel relieved and satisfied (evil? maybe. sorry.) Then made me feel sad for her. It made me, for a minute, consider calling her. But why? I don’t know what she wants to talk about. What if it is a complete attack on me? If he has some disease and she wants to warn me for my health (she is a doctor) then that would be the only reason I feel I should contact her. (But if that were the case I think her message may have been more clear, like ‘I need to tell you some information that could affect your health…’ or something). So anyway I look at it, talking to her really doesn’t benefit me in any way. I feel badly for her, but I am not responsible for her. She needs to figure it out – whatever it is – and I do not need to be dragged into the drama. Because no matter what, if it is to attack me, if it is question me, if it is to tell me a bunch of bad stuff about Mr. UK, then it just dregs up feelings and thoughts that I am working hard to move beyond. I don’t need a fresh dose of that drama.

    Another friend suggested I call him up and tell him to tell his creepy girlfriend to stop harassing me. I did consider that for a moment, but no. I won’t do that either. Again, I don’t need any dose of his drama no matter how small or large. It is HIS drama and HER drama. Not mine anymore. No more drama for this mama.

    I feel pretty proud that I am not reacting or falling into it. I do feel a battle with myself. Like another poster had written earlier. As, even though I am not responding, I still get affected by it. But honestly, I think it is a great lesson for me. As the former me, I would have responded, but now as I am growing and wiser, I can look to see that it does me no good.

    I would like to know what any of you feel… or if anyone else has had a situation like this?

    • Gina says:

      Hina, you have done absolutely the right thing and kept yourself out. He is no longer in your life so pretty ludicrous the trying to pull you back in stunt. I really do admire women like you so keep your wits about and remain lost to the drama. No more drama mama for you like you say…lol. I am so proud of you too :)

    • Gina says:

      Hina P.S. please quit the attacking of yourself with all the questions re the calls. Blow it off like you do the bill collectors, this is about your health and healing with no more dramas from unappreciative and unknown people (let her figure it out for herself like you did).

      • Hina says:

        Thanks Gina :) All the questions are just my way of processing, and fortunately the processing is taking a shorter and shorter amount of time. It helps to talk to friends and post on here. But yeah, I am blowing it off… Thanks!

    • Mymble says:

      You could get a health screening yourself for STDs. Just to eliminate any lingering anxieties.

      • Hina says:

        Hi Mymble. I have gotten a STD screening a couple months ago. And yes he did expose me to something. But nothing I have to deal with on a daily, just have to get a follow up pap in a year. I was just saying that to myself that if it was something that was going to affect me, that would be the only reason I would talk to her. Her problems with him don’t affect me and have nothing to do with me :/

        Thanks for the advice though!

    • JustHer says:


      If the risk of a disease is big – go get yourself checked! The doctor’s would then be able to find out anything without the need for you to contact him.

      Also, in my experience, most people DO tell you which friend of a friend they are friend’s with! This person, whoever she may be, is obviously keeping info from you. And you have every right to think she is an alien from outer space intend on abducting you. Ignore it.

      I’ve had opportunities to tell the many many OW about what a jerk the AC was, but in the end I chose not to because as you say – I am not responsible for them and I refuse to be involved in the drama.

      • Hina says:

        JustHer, LOL, yes she may be an alien. Why the mystery?? Thank you, I will ignore it. I guess maybe she is perfect for him, they are both drip feeders…

        I love getting responses on here from you lovely women. It helps keeps me positive <3

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Hi Hina,

          I’m a natural born detective so I’d have to find out why she called. But, if you’re not curious, fuggedaboutit. I seriously doubt she’s calling you to launch an attack. That’s stupid and there’s no reason for her to be doing that at this late date when you haven’t been seeing him. Sometimes friends give terrible advice. The last thing you should do is call him. Hell,no! Like the others said, you could get your own STD screening. You don’t need her advice if that’s what it is. My take on this is that he is taking her around the bend and she wants to call you and compare notes. If it were me I’d just tell her in a soothing but ultimately business-like manner, “Look, you are in the situation with him. I am not. I’m sure an intelligent woman such as yourself can read the signs and make her own decisions without my input.” Then make sure they are BOTH blocked from any contact with you, both phones, etc.

          • LovefromNel says:

            Hi Hina and Tink,

            Tink, funny you should say that you’re a natural born detective, because I was going to reply to Hina last night and say ‘curiosity would get the better of me in this situation’!

            And then I said to myself ‘oh Nel, don’t, Hina has done so well to ignore it.’ So I didn’t respond.

            But I am so glad to see that you are of the same view! Yes, curiosity killed this cat, too. I would LOVE to know the reason behind this phone call, purely because it is such a strange thing to do! I have neither done it, nor been the subject of such a call. So I am just intrigued as to why she’d do such a thing.

            Hina, once you found out what on Earth prompted her audacity to call you, I would politely just say ‘I can’t offer you any advice, this is not my problem anymore, so please do not call me again.’ End of story. But your curiosity would be sated.

            Just my two cents – and I know it’s not what the majority have suggested, which is why I held back on replying in the first place. Tink, with her wealth of knowledge here, prompted me through her response. So I’m glad I am not the only one where curiosity gets the better of me! An ex-boyfriend years ago, who was Iranian, used to call me ‘foozle’ as a nickname. This translates to ‘nosey’ in Persian. Haha!

            Best wishes, Hina.

          • Hina says:

            Oh but Tink, I am dying of curiosity! Ack…

            I am guessing you may have it right. But I don’t know if I can really expose myself to details of their relationship. I’ve come a long ways but know it wouldn’t take much to put me in a deep funk about him. I don’t think i’m strong enough yet…

            • Tinkerbell says:


              If your emotional fragility outweighs your curiosity, that’s fine. Would you actually be sad to hear he was treating some else badly? That should fortify your decision to disengage, although of course you’d feel badly for the woman. When I quit the MM I didn’t want any news about him or him to have any about me. But if a woman called me to talk about him I’d have to know what she wanted. But’s that’s just me. Plus, I’m not carrying any feelings about him at all. Do what is best for you.


              Yeah, I almost held back from advising Hina, also. The curiosity would be too much for me. But, yes, curiosity killed the cat and there are some things we don’t need to know. Glad to know I’m not the only detective. LOL!

    • lizzp says:

      Well done Hina, the way I look at it is this way: You received a voice message from a stranger who refuses to be upfront about who she is and what she wants. Instead she drip feeds you this whole ‘friend of a friend’ crap. You might possibly return the call of a person who is up front and clear about what it is she wants. At least that is what you would first consider. Howver, even if you were graced with direct communication from the caller, you must then consider whether it is in your own best interests (aka respecting yourself, your needs, boundaries, values, emotional state etc)to return the call. That point is moot though. Ditto for Mr UK PATHETICO’s (I remember your story) call, with no message left from the week before.

      You can speculate about the connection between these calls, as with Tinkerbell and Nell (?) I am drawn to detective work but for me there is nothing healthy in it so I keep away, but the bottom line is that neither Mr UK Pathetico or MS Lady Dripfeed have shown much respect for you in their manner of calling and message leaving, or non message leaving in the case of Mr UK Pathetico.

      Keep keeping him and his life, away from you and your life. Well done.

      • lizzp says:

        Hina, calling you and leaving a cryptic message means that you are not really being given the chance to return the call if you *choose to* because you have not been given the info you need to make that choice. If it is the new gf, then she is only thinking about herself otherwise she would be upfront and say “..this is x, I am the gf of y (Mr UK Pathetico), I would like to talk to you about something if you don’t mind, it’s to do with z, please call me back if you’re ok with that…”. Just to keep this short, I’ll assume that you wouldn’t expect to receive such a message for work related matters? And think about how you would respond if you got a message like this “Hello, this is x, I once worked with a (unnamed) staff member where you work now, please me back”. Professional ? No. Respectful of another’s need for information? No.

        Withholding information and drip feeding is manipulative and the person who does this is either deliberately or unconsciously trying to make you feel or act a certain way for their own benefit (for eg. to manipulate you into giving info by putting you on the spot).

      • Hina says:

        Thank you so much lizzp. I really needed to read your words right now. It’s like I’m having some crazy delayed fucked up emotional reaction right now. I still have no desire to call Mr uk (I love how you added pathetico)or Ms drip feed but I am just feeling so SAD. I was feeling so strong about not responding and here I am now crying like a fucking idiot, thinking about him. I have no idea really why I am crying. I just am. Thank you thank you. I will read your words a few times before I go to sleep. xo

        • lizzp says:

          Hina, I think I understand. This is one of the reasons why the actions of Mr UK Pathetico, Ms Dripfeed and obfuscation, withholding and drip feeding in general are such selfish, self absorbed and thoughtless ways of communicating. It is horrible to be reminded of all the times Mr UK Pathetico refused to listen and refused to approach you as a real other person with your own needs. Give all that horrible crap, all the hopeless and helpless feelings, back to him again. Give them back in your mind and heart. None of that belongs to you or with you. You have that strong round boundary around you. You will feel better tomorrow. xo

  51. k. says:

    after four years, and then some, i realize that what i brought to the “relationship” was all i could possibly bring.
    met him during his ‘depression’ and stood by his side.
    i started to lop off my needs one by one.
    after 3 years, right after i graduated, i found out he was lying. of course, he made it my fault.
    if i could take that time back i would.
    he’s ‘better’ now. a spendaholic, still not working, calls checking out women “awareness” (never heard that one before).
    when i’ve been sick in bed, he doesn’t come rushing.
    wait, there’s more.
    with my mind’s eyes,i am trying to erase the good times we had. the ones where i thought i found my forever partner. he disappears now for hours at a time. he criticizes me in subtle painful remarks.
    he runs out of money at the most convenient times.
    i wish i’ve been dead many times. i feel i gave this person my joy. he got in and got to know my vulnerabilities and has been using them against me.
    i feel that he has manipulated the whole relationship to get me to leave. this is the hardest thought to bear. i thought he was true, he said he was true, but his actions continually lead me to confusion, lack of affection, and not feeling good.
    when i read one of the other posts about letting it go, i obviously have struggled. because i am in denial. when i speak my needs, he hears that i am criticizing him. nothing is ever resolved.
    he says ‘have it your way’. this is a man who will never leave his apartment, his life. no commitment, no talk of the future. when i asked for consistency, he made sure i didn’t get it. when i asked for more affection, he created chaos, seldom sex or sleeping together.
    and yet, he professes his caring.
    to me, love is a verb.
    this website, reading your comments and stories~ has been an anchor for me when i felt like i was losing my mind.
    it does occur to me that maybe i should lose my mind about him. and find myself again.
    step by small step.
    thank you.

    • Kristin Dunn says:

      Thank you for your honest comments. One thing I think is important for you to see here is that this relationship is feeding you in some way. Can you recall the first time in your life you felt as if you were “giving it all” and getting nothing in return?? I think this is key for you. I believe there is some truth in your need to be in this space of depletion and disappointment. Huge hugs. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      Are you living together? How do you stand it? Make plans NOW to leave, unless it’s your apartment where you can kick him out and change the locks. I had that experience. My first husband learned that I was doing real well, financially and he wanted a piece of the pie. Stupid me, after a DIVORCE of 11 years duration, I let him move in with me. Not even a month passed and I had to kick him out. The only thing I worried about was that he would damage my car but he didn’t. It’s safer if YOU move and remain NC and never let him find out where you are.

      I realize you may not be ready to do this right now, but you should be planning, anyway, because I guarantee you’ll be ready soon. You deserve better.

  52. JustHer says:

    Wendy and Noquay,

    I worked with the AC too, although then I ended up getting fired. But losing the job was the best thing that could have happened because in the year after our break-up I kept running into him and I could never recover.

    I am strong enough now to look back and think that maybe that job just wasn’t meant to be.

    But I can sympathise with anyone who has to put up with this half-NC because they have no where else to go.

    I used to ignore him, but he would almost always come up to me if he saw me and bring up something meaningful from our time together, like an inside joke or a dream we both shared and it hurt like hell.

    I suggest you look at him, look away and then carry on walking. If he tries to talk to you simply say you are busy and no interested in any communication with him and just leave.

    The AC will only get as far as you let them. You need to control what happens!

  53. Wendy says:


    I dated a man about 5 years ago that turned out to be a player and I dumped him so fast, he didn’t know what hit him. Just after we broke up, he was fired from his job and he told everyone it was my fault (we worked at the same place). I ignored the comments, his calls…about six months after we broke up, I received a random email from a woman I didn’t know. Turns out it was “one” of his new girlfriends. She told me that he had told her I was a crazy bitch and caused a lot of grief in his life, but she realizes that he’s the crazy one and she has just discovered his cheating ways. I never responded to the email and honestly I wish I never read it because hearing him spread lies about me and telling people I’m a crazy bitch, hurt…

    You are doing awesome! You are 4 1/2 months no contact, that’s commendable! I hope to be there myself one day!

    • Hina says:

      Thanks Wendy. I was feeling so strong this weekend when I wrote about this. But for some reason now I am just feeling so sad. Not because she called me, but I don’t know really. I guess it just brought fresh thoughts to me about him in the present tense. I have had a few slumps here and there over the past few months. Maybe this is just another, but there was little wondering about ‘what is he doing right now?’ But this seems to be bringing those thoughts to me – dammit. When will I just stop feeling sad over this? over him? He isn’t feeling sad over me. Why does it affect me so? Thanks for your kind words, but I just don’t feel so awesome right now. :(

  54. Kristin Dunn says:

    FIRST of all, huge hugs to you for acknowledging this unbelievable struggle we experience in relationships. I work with a lot of women who cannot find happiness in their relationships. What I have found to be true in these situations is this; if you are unclear on what you want, you have little to no chance of getting it. You cannot build a “solid” relationship on a shaky foundation and expect it to stand strong. Ultimately, the answer is knowing, really know who you are, what you want and beginning there. This is beautifully written and thought provoking. Thank you. Visit my site or read my blog.

  55. Joy says:

    Big hug to all the ladies here sharing their experiences and trying to helo one another. In advance I apologise for any grammar mistakes I will possibly make here since English is not my first language. I have been reading this blog for days, and cannot explain how much light did it shine on ALL of the questions and guilty feelings or doubts I had about a decision I made a few days ago, for the second time but this time for the last time.

    My story is no different than most I have read here. Last year around September I started to see Mr.A. after he was so determined to even get 5 minutes with me alone, to meet me and spend some time together. We knew eachother from way back (13 years ago) but we lost all contact and were young at the time (me being younger than him not that it makes any huge difference). After seeing how persisent he was in trying to get me to go out with him I finally did. We immediatly clicked, a very strong connection, mutual atracttion was born but I wouldn’t give in. He was very very persisent trying to win me over, doing all the nicest things, talking about how I am something special, how with me ‘it is different’, how other women bore him, how he is amased by me and etc etc, all the manipulative BS we hear all the time. I didin’t really care in the begining, I kept my space, dignity and time for myself allowing him bits to come close which just made him put more and more effort in to out situation. As being human, as I am, I started to give in, thinking that the effort is sincere, analyzing him for his actions and not his words, I begin to feel really respected and loved from his side. And then after one very intimite night I asked where was all of this going and then came THE relevation. He told me he doesn’t want to rush in to things, to go into anything with me because he might hurt me, that he doesn’t want to start a relationship and then realize he is not capable of one, and that he would rather ‘ take things slow’ since we both are ‘enjoying so much’.

    I know now that was the time that H should have said goodbye to him, but I fell into the trap of my emotions, my desires, illusion however you want to call it, I made an excuse of ‘maybe it is to early for him to know, maybe we need more time together, to get to know eachother, maybe he is scared yada yada..’ and I stayed saying that ‘taking it slowly’ is ok with me as there is honesty and mutual respect. So we continued to see eachother, he was the one making contact with me always, I have never ever been the one to contact him first, which bothered him, but I was making sure not to be always available for him or to make THAT much effort when he doesn’t even know if he wants to be with me in a normal healthy way or not. I kept hoping that in time, we will get much closer and things will gradualy move to us being in a normal healthy relationship. But everytime I would bring out that subject, he would kind of blame for trying to ‘ put a definition ‘ on the two us, asking me what would be different if we actually were in a relationship, telling me over and over how good we make eachother feel, how the energy beetwen us is mutualy pleasing, convincing me that he has not done this in years with any other woman, sharing so much time withsome like he does with me etc etc. I knew I wasn’t happy and I could feel the anxiety the whole thing started to bring out in me. But still I stayed there, trying to be happy with the miserable things I was getting making a milion excuses for his behavior. He kept calling me regulary, and it wasn’t ever about sex, which suprised me, I was the one who actually wanted sex many times, but he has some problems in that department too so we basiclly lacked the sex although everything else was just full of fire and desire between us. But ofc I knew that wasn’t enough. And one night I drank too much, and as we were going home, I broke down, and told him I have feelings toward him and that I cannot stand this type of relationship anymore. He was left confused and couldn’t even speak suprised to see me cry. I left the car, told him its over and went home trying to spare some dignity there.

    He called me the whole night and 2 other days, sending me mssgs, calling and calling beggin me to answer. I wouldn’t. I finally gave in the third day, and he came to see me. He seemed very nervous, almost stuttering as he spoke, telling me that he also has feelings for me but is scared. He told me everyting he does comes from heart, and the respect he has for me is huge and that he would never ever do anything to hurt me or to think that I am some woman who would allow to be treated poorly. He sounded so sincere and as I had all those emotions we made up there and I was oh so happy thinking we finally are going somewhere. But only after 2 days I brought up the subject of the ‘relationship’ again only to hear from he that:

    1. He can’t be in a relationship since he KNOWS he will hurt me.

    2. He can’t and doesn’t have the srtenght to change the was he is, his lifestyle (a musician) and his ways

    3. He ‘knows’ how the female brain works and that no female could ever be with him and understand the things he does even though he doesn’t do anything wrong we as females percive it as wrong (whatever the hell this ment?!?)

    4. He does want a family and children but NOT NOW since he does not have the energy NOW to change the way he is ( I understood what it ment I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE BECAUSE I LIKE IT THIS WAY ! NOT FOR YOU ESP.)

    And finally telling me that the 2 daz ago when he came to find me and when we talked and made up he realised that he maybe shouldn’t have done that beacuse he realised that in one month there will be another problem and things won’t work out.

    Ofc, I felt like shit, totally broken I started to cry which again upset him very much and I left telling him that I don’t want anz contact from him ever again, all in a polite manner ofc, with dignity I left.

    I kept No contact and refused his calls which came a few days later, messages and so on, telling me he doesn’t even understand why I deleted and blocked him out of my life!? Acting like nothing happened, or that he did nothing wrong, playing stupid.

    I ignored as much as I could untill one night I was so deseprate to see him, when he kept calling I finally answered, he came to pick me up, we talked, he said that he doesn’t understand my actions, that he never ever wanted to hurt me, and that I had the right to feel bad and mad at him but that he doesn’t and can’t except the fact that I want him out of mz life, he kept talking about how much we enjoy eachother (as if that is enough), and that all the other future men I will meet will be boring after him (oh please?!), that he was so suprised by the diplayed emotions I showed towards him, that he cannot bear the fact to lose me from his life, that he enjoys so much being with me etc etc etc.

    We ended up kissing and I went home knowing in my gut how big of a mistake I was making. He kept calling everyday again, being super nice as he was always from the start, that is the truth, I can’t say he ever ever was mean to me, raised his voice, said even one bad word or anything towards me, always being a gentleman, polite, but he is overly nice towards anyone, so it doesn’t say much. So we saw eachother again the other night, we had an amazing time, had much fun but nothing seemed different, I knew I am the fool again letting myself be used for his needs and that nothing will ever change, ever no matter what I do. Things were the same, he would call, message, but still we would go 5 days without seeing eachother, we talked one night and I told him things are all the same, I don’t want this, and that I know he is using me and maniplulating me bcs of my emotions toward him and because he in the core of his personality is very much spoiled and needs ego strokes from people to get by, which he all denied ofc telling me it’s all lies, and that he is ‘ trying and makinf effort in all of this to make it good for me and him ‘ (what the hell does this even mean?!?

    and then came friday night he is who knows where, I thought we would go out especially after that talk but we did not, we went out who knows where, and 10 hours not even thinking about where I was or contacting me, that night at home I realised what a fool I am and I decided to put no contact again, to just kick him out, this time for good without any warning or explanations and I did.

    And I know he saw I blocked and deleted him, but he ofc made no contact towards me after that. It’s been 3 days but I am not even expecting that or hoping for anything I am just mad at myself for being weak to give in for that second time. I realise all the illusion I had from the start I am just trying to rationalize all of this and drown my emotions that I feel toward him for good. I know he will never change, not for me not for any other women out there. I know I have made the right mistake. I know I am worth so much more than this and I don’t care if he knows that or not! I am proud of myself for doing this step, and no matter how hard it feels at times I keep practising my thoughts and reminding myself of all of the things I know are wrong about him and this situation that sometimes my emotions try to set aside. I know I will get through this and things will all fall in to place, one way or another!

  56. Peanut says:


    I’ve never seen such nice green eyes, but her soul was probably nothing more than those old wrinkly tea bags she was using for a project.

    I’ve never met someone more smug or out of touch with reality–except perhaps my ex.

    Outward beauty can be captivating, but it means nothing.

  57. Lesson Learned says:

    Thank you for this post Nat! I was the OW for eight years (I thought it was four but recently discovered otherwise). After fighting for this man to treat me as if he really loved me I discovered the “Big Lie”. The only reason this man kept me in his life had nothing to due with loving me as a person, he “loved” all that I had to offer. Deep inside I knew this as I would often tell him he was just using me and his girlfriend. But I had to hear it and once I did I was able to leave but not after telling his girlfriend. She was happy that I called but thats when she spilled the truth. I found out they were only separated once for two months and the apt he had was a front, they lived together. He has been cheating on her their entire relationship. All the female “friends” he told me about were women he had cheated with (I was not the first woman to call her) His job he stated he went to every morning, he lost three years ago and she has been pulling the weight. She tried to kick him out but he wouldn’t leave and honestly I feel she doesn’t want him to. When we spoke she seemed to be a sweet woman and prided herself in taking care of him even though he had nothing but I pity this woman. I’m not sure what her intentions were in telling me every hidden detail of this man and their relationship but I was thankful for it. Even while I’m feeling completely liberated and free from this manipulator, I have regrets about calling I feel as if I took away this woman’s happiness even though it was built on a lie.

  58. Wendy says:

    So, I saw the ex running this morning. I was driving, so I didn’t need to say anything. I feel bad though. I was acting like I was getting something out of my glove box and didn’t wave. I could see him waving and after I passed he looked deflated, he was just walking. I’m so emotional now. It’s hard to let go of someone you love. I told my therapist he’s so emotionally unavailable and my therapist said, he’s not unavailable, he’s shown you that. He’s emotionally afraid…

    • LovefromNel says:

      Wendy, I feel for you honey. After bumping into my ex, I felt awful too. I waited and waited and waited for him to get in contact afterwards. He didn’t. It’s an emotional – and in some ways, physical – blow, but you handled this like a true star. Don’t second guess pretending to fumble for something in the glovebox. It was instinctual, and, I’ve come to learn, probably the right thing to do. We can ruminate on the could haves, would haves, should haves, but they are pointless, and only serve to beat ourselves up. I said hello to my EUM, when it was the last thing he deserved. I’ve come to learn (by being on here and the lovely comments you gorgeous ladies take the time to write) that I owed him nothing. Not a hello, not a smile, not any form of recognition. You did the right thing. Take care of you.

    • Janiqua says:

      Wendy, I know you felt so emotional after seeing him, but I truly think you did the right thing by not acknowledging him! I don’t know if I could have been as strong as you were. It is so hard to let go of someone you love. I still feel this way, but after six weeks, I am finally starting to feel so much better. I still think of him and miss him, but he is fading from my thoughts a bit more.

  59. Peanut says:


    This past week I learned you cannot judge a person’s character via superficial appearances or who and where they hang out.

    Dressed nicely pretty art student=pompous and awful. Counter culture drummer=sweet and kind soul.

    I did run into this young man and told him we weren’t compatible. He was completely nice and understanding.

    I have type casted people based on what they believe minus depth. I used to gauge people on clothes or religious beliefs. It doesn’t matter what you wear or who you worship (erm, uh…even if it is the dark lord) you still deserve respect and to be treated and regarded as a human being.

    I see far, far too many people assume things by clothes, music, and hobby preferences. Theses things don’t matter. At all. They just don’t.

    • Joy says:

      I compleatly agree with you Peanut. It’s when you scratch beneath all those things what matters, but in my case I always end up feeling dissapointed about what I find underneath. Although at first I get my emphaty coat on and try to understand each person I meet, their struggle and why are they the way they are, but mostly in the end I feel drained from all the energy that I put in to seeing both sides of every story and I mostly get nothing back in return.

      Today is a hard day for me, as i wrote my story before, not mentioning many things, like my health problems, anxiety battle I carry for 3 years, it’s all gone up now, since this whole situation affected me so badly in terms of my health. I guess I was hoping that is would be a part of the cure I am looking for, altho I know the cure is primarly in loving and respecting myself, we all feel lonlely and we can’t escape that need for someone, but we can escape the wrong someones. Oh and Wendy, I heard the same thing over and over again from friends, his friends, even his family members, that HE is not unavailable but emotinally afraid. But even that doesn’t offer much relief, since it all goes down to, in my opinion, to the amount of responsabilty you are willing to accept in your life, and being ‘emotinally scared’ doesn’t justify in in my eyes, it just shows you are not ready for any kind od responsabilty, esp towards other poeple and their emotions and needs.

  60. Peanut says:


    You will get the worst dating advice from your friends and family.

    Most women haven’t been exposed to information like BR. Culture teaches us to act like nice, silly girls in the dating world, when really it takes nothing less than a secure, assertive woman to navigate the sometimes murky waters of modern dating.

    Don’t listen to them.

  61. SandyBeach says:

    Great post!

    I have been NC with my ex for 5 months now. I was doing really well. Thinking about him but definitely moving on with my life, happily. This morning I sent an innocent two line text to a friend, when I looked later I realized I dialed the ex’s number by mistake! (their numbers are similar) Don’t know why I did this and I feel like such an idiot! He didn’t respond, and I didn’t apologize or anything. I do feel set back a little, and upset. I was doing so well and feel like I gave this person an undeserved ego boost. I’m sure he thinks it was intentional and that just makes me cringe! Hope time will get me back on track…:(

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi SandyBeach,

      I can imagine how displeased you are with yourself for making that mistake. Remember two things: You can’t go back and change what has already been done, and you can’t control his thought processes. He may think you weakened and intentionally called him, but just show him he’s wrong by maintaining STRICT NC.

      • SandyBeach says:

        You are so right Tinkerbell. I can’t change it, and I really shouldn’t care what he thinks. I’m definitely staying STRICT NC moving on and blocking his number so that mistake never happens again. Thank you for the comment…:)

  62. Wendy says:


    I totally understand! You start to feel stronger, than wham! A phone call, a text, you see the car they drive, or if you’re close in proximity like me, you see the ex running down the street, sigh…I will sometimes find myself just “out of the blue” start crying. I could be standing in my kitchen or driving my car and then I’m so emotional, it physically hurts…

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!