Remembering isn't he same as holding a grudge.

When I talk to people who struggle with walking away and staying away and who keep getting their fingers burned, there can often be this fear of appearing to hold a grudge. They don’t want to look like a ‘bad’ or ‘unforgiving’ person and their show of faith that they’re not carrying around resentment, hurt or hostility is to squash down their feelings, opinions, needs, expectations, and wishes, as well as excessive use of the Reset Buttonerasing the past and conveniently ‘resetting’ your recollection of things to a point in the past that allows you to pretend as if what followed never happened.

What we fail to realise in these situations is that remembering the past or certainly having an awareness of the the types of situations and behaviours that ping our boundaries and are at conflict with our values isn’t the same as holding a grudge.

We can remember without ill will. We can gradually learn to let go of the hurt, anger and resentment, and hold on to the positive insights we have the opportunity to gain each time.

We also mistake the fact that we may recognise what does and doesn’t work for us and that we may actually be feeling relatively at peace about something that’s happened, as an automatic precursor to going for another round or even treat it as a court order from our inner critic. Our gut, our minds, and even our hearts may be signalling that we should leave things alone and apply what we’ve learned into moving forward but then our inner critic pipes up with, ‘Don’t be a heartless beep beep! You’re mean to not want to go there. You’re holding a grudge! Good people should allow a person to have as many chances as they ask for’ and when our typical mode is people pleaser who worries too much about what everyone else thinks and silences their true self to follow ‘shoulds’ laid down by the inner critic, we go against ourselves.

The trouble is that when we mistake being cognizant of the past and what another person may have said or done as ‘bearing grudges’ we lose a vital opportunity to acknowledge our feelings, our own path, and any lessons we’ve stood to gain from our experiences in general or with a particular person. We also stand to lose an opportunity to learn from who we’ve been at different points in our life because we keep squashing down truths out of fear of looking ‘bad’ and even a sense of guilt that we remember something. We also end up deeply compromised in toxic situations due to our sense of duty to not make anybody feel ‘bad’ and it gradually takes its toll.

In the end, when we continue to ‘go back’, the hardest thing will actually be to stop bearing a grudge against ourselves. When the anger, blame, shame and resentment dictates and we can’t shake it off because we’re caught between a rock and a hard place that on one hand says, ‘For fecks sake! Why do you keep pretending that all of this stuff didn’t happen in the past when it’s happening in your present?’ and on the other hand says, ‘A better person would have been able to move past that. What are you bearing grudges for? Sure, aren’t you making a meal out of this whole thing? Is it you that’s the problem?’ It then becomes that we’re running around ‘forgiving’ everyone else but that we can’t forgive ourselves and so we keep going back to pain sources to gain that forgiveness through validation, which only leads to more pain. If we keep listening to the ‘shoulds’, we just end up stuck in a cycle of lather, rinse, repeat.

The strange thing is that we actually feel better when we stop pretending that we don’t feel the way that we do or that we don’t have needs, wants, and expectations. If we take a good hard look at where we have even reasonably decent relationships with people, romantic or otherwise, they’re not with people who rely on us having selective amnesia, who don’t bear the responsibility for making right on something that they’ve said they’ll do after they’ve erred, who don’t keep trying to push the Reset Button, and who don’t keep using the past as a weapon on us. We don’t need to do any of these things for others or to ourselves. The irony is that people who don’t want you to remember are the most likely to use their own recollection of things to their advantage…

I used to believe that remembering the past only had anger and hurt in it but by remembering and processing it with a perspective that’s been increasingly informed by self-care, I’m at peace with me and because I’m not carrying a load of blame and resentment, I can choose what types of interactions I want to have with a person based on a healthier perspective and manage myself accordingly, safe in the knowledge that I’m doing my best to respect each of us in reality instead of being mired in BS.

If we keep acting like we just fell out of the sky into today or that we have to blank out the past, not only do we end up missing out on lots of valuable information and lessons that can help us to increase self-knowledge that helps us better navigate our journey through life, but we also end up having to forget the good too.

Ultimately, don’t let anybody make you feel bad about the fact that you have knowledge or awareness of something and are being responsible enough to ensure that your values and boundaries reflect this.

Your thoughts?

 

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180 Responses to Don’t mistake awareness of the past with holding a grudge or a necessity to press the Reset Button

  1. Tangerine says:

    I am definitely tempted to do this! This is an amazing light shed on what could become a problem for me. My ex EUM and I broke up a week ago and were emailing and he didn’t email me all weekend and I was happy. He emailed last night and it didn’t make me feel better. Note to self: I don’t want him in my life and that’s okay. I won’t feel guilty about admiring the sociability and sweet openness of a guy at the party I went to. It is OKAY to like someone’s personality better than my ex’s. I don’t have to try to convince myself that the EUM will eventually come around just to indirectly, silently protect his ego. He can protect his own ego by staying away from me and working on improving himself as I move on. I am going to be me and be in this true reality that I have found post-relationship.

    • JustHer says:

      Somehow it feels less amazing than we thought it would once we are over someone and they contact us, I think (I’m not there yet, but so I have heard).

      I think it’s important to do what YOU want for once, rather than letting the guilt stop you from moving on.

  2. Michelle says:

    Your last two posts have come at exactly the right moment. Last night my ex tried to convince me yet again that it is my insecurities and jealousies that are getting in the way of our relationship, because I told him that I would be crushed if he spent the holidays with his ex wife. This was a constant fight when we were a couple and one of the reasons I kept breaking it off with him. Fortunately, I am was emotionally sober enough to realize that he was just trying to manipulate me into letting him do whatever he wants despite the torture it puts me through. I have tried to be the bigger person, tried to put it behind me, but finally I have accepted my feelings and love myself for having the strength to protect what is important to me rather than contorting myself to please him.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Are you two still together or have you broken up? If the later, though I completely understand how you would feel, he’s free to do as he pleases. Why he would want to is another question you don’t have to worry about unless you’re still with him.

  3. soledad says:

    This has been my biggest weakness! Thank you so much for putting it into words. I did the right thing at first by going no contact for a year. Then I decided that the bigger person would forgive except forgiveness wasn’t really in my agenda. In hindsight, I was trying to show the ex that I was a bigger, better person ( since he always mentioned that’s how he was and only remembers the good in his relationships (how conveninent for him)). And when the topic of our relationship came up I was always telling my side of the story HOPING he would give me an apology, a crumb, anything to make me feel like it REALLY WASN’T ME. Of course I didn’t get it because he knew he could control just from the promise of a crumb. In the end (8 yrs later), after numerous talks, etc I was left just bitter and resentment. I finally learned the lesson that I should of learned then. I only need to validate me. How he acted towards me said more about him than it did about me. And I had parental issues I was trying to solve through him. Better late than never!

  4. Mary says:

    So need this. I definately would be easily tempted to still be nice, and have a selective memory. If you read any if my posts from last weeks blog, I was just broken up with last week and was blindsided and feel sure it’s because his ex (who is a narcissist) has ventured back into the picture and he’s apparently not done being hurt by her. Well…. He left me a voicemail last sat that just stunned me. First he was sssoooo happy and chipper sounding I couldn’t believe it. This the man I’ve “been there” for who has been very depressed. Here is his message ” hi!! Long time no talk. I hope you’re doing great!! Wanted to see what’s going on. Talk to you soon”. Holy cow he just broke up with me 4 days prior– you hope I’m doing great???? Wtf. So insensitive I just can’t believe it. Is he so deleriously happy to have HER again he has no clue he’s invalidated how I feel–EXACTLY the way she does him?????? Going back to the ex I guess isn’t a total surprise ( though almost)—- but never in a million years did I think he just would treat me like this. Up until very very recently I would have sung his praises about being a caring good man—-I’m blown away. Hurt on top of more hurt……

    • courtney says:

      Mary, I would suggest not responding. You shouldn’t have to put yourself through the extra pain of knowing he’s with his ex (or not). Either way, you really don’t need to know how “well” he’s doing (it could also just be an act. If he’s so happy with her why bother calling you?)

      I think in Natalie’s earlier blog posts she talks about how we are usually attracted to people that somehow fulfill our beliefs about relationships/or qualities that we ourselves have or things we value. If this guy is attracted to a narcissistic sadist, good riddance. It means there’s a part of him that’s unhealthy and drawn to her for that reason. You don’t need anyone like that in your life. Allow him to be in his honeymoon period for a while. Don’t allow yourself to be his emotional sponge while things work or don’t work out between him and his ex. Block him from all social networking sites and anything that allows you to see into his life. And go No Contact for as long as you possibly can.

      Remember, your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you. Keep telling yourself that. Write it on the bathroom mirror if you have to. Install a Number-Blocking application on your phone to filter his calls. These are practical things you can do to get out of his crazy head and into your own for some serious soul-searching (which is far more productive).

      sending hugs and love your way :)

  5. Getting it! says:

    Funny – this applies to a decision I made in relation to a recent school reunion I was invited to. I wouldn’t say that I was a misfit at school but I didn’t fit in. The flow on from that was years of self inflicted low self esteem because, although part of me could see how silly and unintelligent the people I went to school with were (are!), I still wanted to be accepted by them and every time in later life when I felt like an outsider it sort of tied back in to how I felt all of the time in high school.

    In the end, I didn’t go to the reunion. I realized I’d only be going because I felt obligated to attend and not really because I wanted to see any of these people. I accepted that I have always been different to this group of people (and I can say that nothing has changed given the connections to old school chums through Facebook). But, I wasn’t judging them or holding a grudge – I just don’t really like this group of people and can’t see the point in revisiting anything with them at all. So, instead of braving the nasty weather to spend hours with people that I don’t really want to get to know, I stayed in – with a glass of red and watched a movie – and had a lovely time!

    • Rosie says:

      Getting It!- I haven’t gone to any of my high school reunions as I don’t remember high school as being a happy time, haven’t kept in contact with anyone from high school so what would be the point? However, when taking the subway, a man recognized me from high school, someone who I knew of from a mutual friend in school but that’s it. He had nothing but kind thingsthings to say about me, my sibling, & others we knew from that time. I left the train feeling blessed to have run ok nto him & thinking that I wish I had known him better back in the day.

      • Rosie says:

        Getting It!–Sorry for all typos in above post & this one, doing this by phone. As much as I felt blessed to have run into man from high school and as much as I wish I had known him better then, I’m still content to say no to high school reunions. I’m a grown up now and have just moved on.

  6. NCincanada says:

    This msg came right on time, yesterday church sermon was based on managing relationships in general and the pastor challenged the entire congregation to reach out and correct a relationship my mind went to my ex now let me say he was up front about his incertitude and I should have ended it but I have learnt from this situation. Anyways my first thought was to text him and tell him I forgive you and there are no hard feeling since our last interaction 7 wks ago me telling him to stop calling, it made me feel super guilty and I felt bad for him. He has respected my wishes however I feel like I lost a friendship entirely different convo. I spoke to my male bestfriend and the consensus was it puts you in a situation where a gesture of kindness could be misinterpreted or make myself vulnerable I decided not to send a truce msg and I think forgiveness from a distance works. I pray he finds what he wants in this life but I realise his divorce messed him up bigtime but it is not my responsibility to fix anyone we make decisions in life and we deal with the consequences. Peace

    • grace says:

      NC
      Nice idea but no one can correct a relationship on their own.
      Many people who grew up “churched” have no idea of what’s out there. They may have seen it, heard about it, read about it, but they haven’t experienced it for themselves. I would take such advice with a grain of salt.
      Even if that doesn’t apply to your pastor, I doubt he meant ex boyfriends.

      • NCincanada says:

        LOL Very true.Truth be told I do miss him but after reflecting on it, I really havent done anything wrong and further more the question is ..Is this Good for me? I know it isnt so I will not be reaching out to him. I cannot be held responsible for a guy not having a backbone :-)!

    • JustHer says:

      NCincanada,

      I’ve been there. And had my attempts at making “everything better” by telling him I forgive him or I’m over what happened were ALWAYS (not once, but at least 67 times) interpreted as me wanting to get back together.

      The 68th time, I learnt this is just going to keep happening. Don’t take your first attempt.

      He doesn’t need to know that you forgive him, you do.

      • NCincanada says:

        Precisely! I forgive him and have prayed about it. We cant please everyone but the Lord sees my heart so Im good with it !

  7. Revolution says:

    Miss Natalie,

    This is yet another occurrence where you put something into words that I haven’t seen anywhere before. And it’s SPOT ON. There usually seems to be some very black and white ideas that people have about forgiveness and what it entails. Even the Bible says that we should freely forgive, but ONLY those who are repentant (i.e., are sorry for what they’ve done and who DON’T repeat the offending action). Even then, people have to deal with the natural consequences of their actions, even when they are forgiven.

    There’s NOTHING wrong (and in fact everything RIGHT) with pulling away from someone who is repeatedly hurting you without letup (especially after they’ve been made aware of it!). It doesn’t mean you need to have hateful feelings towards them, but it’s just sheer survival instinct on your end to step away from the nonsense. And then, remembering their past actions, not out of anger or vengefulness, allows you to stop and say to yourself before engaging, “Hmmm…is this likely to happen again with this person? Probably. Well then, yes, I have decided that I won’t ride that Ferris Wheel again.”

    • NCincanada says:

      YESSSSSSS!!!! The last paragraph of your post is extremely accurate.Everything happens for a reason but when we are hurting it is easy to forget, learn for your mistakes and release :)!

    • dcd568 says:

      EXACTLY. Even when it’s your mother.

    • Rosie says:

      Revolution– Christianity teaches that we DO need to forgive our enemies. The Bible says to bless those who curse us. Jesus told us to love one another as He has loved us. Did we do anything to earn His forgiveness? No. Yet, He forgives. We, too, forgive one another even if the other person didn’t earn it. Maybe a working definition of forgiveness would help? Forgiveness isn’t about pretending the person didn’t do anything wrong. It isn’t rationalizing it all away by thinking the person’s bad childhood is the reason the person is a bad person. Let’s call sin by its name, shall we? Forgiveness is letting go. The person isn’t going to (maybe can’t) repay his debt to us so trying to collect the debt is futile. We forgive the debt and move on (without the person and without payment). The Lord’s prayer is helpful in learning how to do that because of the line “forgive us our debts AS we forgive our debtors”…See? There’s a contingency there. If we expect the Lord to forgive us for debts we can’t pay, yet we expect other sinners to repay theirs to us…it’s…well…kinda hypocritical.

      As you know, being a Christian is hard, Revolution! I read a quote by G.K. Chesterton, “Christianity hasn’t been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” If it were easy, everyone would be one, ya know? ;)

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Rosie,

        Thank you so much. Right now, it’s my faith that is getting me a bit balled up in what I think and do. He and I both are, I wanna say, more devout than not. We’re not holy rollers or bible thumpers but we do believe and we do attend church every Sunday. My thing now is, I feel I have to leave this relationship but I don’t want to do anything to him that I would not want done to me. The Golden Rule. I forgive him for being the way he is, for how he feels and for how he behaves. Actually, there’s nothing to forgive because he never tried to hurt me and he has always been honest, even painfully so. There’s nothing for me to be angry about, but because I’m so hung up in being a good Christian I don’t want to hurt him. Yet, I can’t go on hurting myself. I know I have to make a 100% break because it’s painful to laugh and joke or get into stimulating convos over the phone when I know that he doesn’t want to see me because he’s avoiding physical intimacy. I will not hold a grudge and I will not press the reset button. He can’t give me what I want, need and deserve as a woman so it’s futile for me to stick around. It’s true that I want to leave with him thinking of me as a good person. There’s no reason for him to think otherwise, anyway, because I’ve been a stellar companion. He’s not stupid, and he knows I’m protecting my heart. It would be great if his knowing that fact would change his heart, but it doesn’t. I’m praying for the strength to take my leave, but at the same time be kind. He really doesn’t deserve a harsh, bitter unforgiving attitude from me. If he could correct his situation he would and I know he feels worse about it than I do.

        • grace says:

          Tinkerbell
          The biblical standard is that a man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to one woman. We are not designed for serial monogamy or it wouldn’t hurt so much when we break up. The recent comments from those of us who’ve given up (for now)aren’t because we’re pessimistic or bitter or whatever. We just can’t take anymore!
          This serial monogamy is a fairly recent phenomenon and the bible is silent on how to handle it. It’s also not a dating handbook. As such, you can follow your conscience and what you think is wise. I believe that any credible christian teacher would say it’s absolutely fine for you to draw a line under this and cut contact. Maybe not forever, but for a “season”.
          It’s a broken world and there is no perfect answer to this messy situation, but a clean break is not more “wrong” than him messing with your head when there is no future.
          I am extremely not saying he’s a bad guy or he shoulda, woulda, coulda. He did make you genuinely happy for a time, I remember that.
          You need to handle this with as much clarity and dignity as you can muster, and you know what’s best.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Thanks Grace,

            It’s so elementary but I hadn’t thought of what you said, at least not in that way. You’re right. A clean break is no more than him messing with my head when there is no future. I guess, I’ve been so unwilling to accept that there’s no future. He told me this as tactfully and honestly as he could and I’m still thinking, “Oh, he doesn’t really mean it.” Glad you wrote me, so I can get “real” again. . I’ve been having insomnia looking for ways to go back to him. That would be a mistake. I need to leave it alone, and stop feeling like I have to DO SOMETHING.

            • Rosie says:

              Tinkerbell- I read your post yesterday, unsure how to reply as I haven’t been in your shoes. Grace answered beautifully. My prayers for you continue. I can’t imagine the devastation your heart must be in right now.

              • Tinkerbell says:

                I understand, Rosie, and I find soothing your willingness to comment. You’ve already been supportive to me and I really appreciate it from you and all the others.

      • Revolution says:

        I agree with everything you wrote, Rosie. :) And I don’t think that my post said differently. I am well aware of the working definition of forgiveness and what it means and doesn’t mean, especially in Biblical terms. Yes, we have to forgive (“up to 77 times” which wasn’t literal, but denoted the extremity of extending forgiveness) everyone, including our enemies, in the sense that we hold no hatred for them, (“letting go” as you mentioned), realizing that, if there is to be “vengeance” it is not ours, but God’s. However, we are not, as Christians, required to extend this forgiveness to unrepentant people, who in effect (and according to the Bible) become God’s enemies. So, in that case, we would “forgive them” by letting go of resentment and vengeful thoughts, but we would also get away from them so as to protect ourselves and our OWN spirituality (lest their bad attitudes/behaviors rub off on us). These people are practicing these things willfully and maliciously. Anyway, sorry to get all Biblical on ya’ll (came from an unlikely source, eh ladies and fellas? ;)).

        Bottom line: God loves us all and wants us to love each other and get along. But he didn’t make chumps.

        • Rosie says:

          Revolution-

          “Yes, we have to forgive (“up to 77 times” which wasn’t literal, but denoted the extremity of extending forgiveness) everyone, including our enemies, in the sense that we hold no hatred for them, (“letting go” as you mentioned), realizing that, if there is to be “vengeance” it is not ours, but God’s. However, we are not, as Christians, required to extend this forgiveness to unrepentant people, who in effect (and according to the Bible) become God’s enemies.”

          I’m confused. What is the difference between forgiving our enemies and forgiving unrepentant people? Define your terms? I don’t want to debate, only to understand what you mean. I agree that we probably agree more than I’m realizing because…well…I’m confused about what you mean. :p Do you mean the difference between letting go of sin but not the sinner (as we would a friend who sincerely apologizes) and letting go of both the sin and the sinner (as we would an abuser who shows no remorse)?

          You are right that God didn’t say were are to be chumps and Jesus isn’t one, either. He also said woe to the person who harms one of these little ones. It would be better for him if he had a millstone tied around his neck and was cast into the sea than to face God for what he did to this child!

          • Revolution says:

            Hi Rosie! :) I realized after I posted my comment that, while trying to keep the off-topic meanderings to a minimum, I left out some thoughts that might clarify what I meant. My bad! :) And don’t worry–I clearly read the well-intentioned and accurate tones of both your comments! :)

            What I meant was that, no matter whether the person is repentant (and thus deserving forgiveness) or non-repentant (willfully sinning without remorse or change of action, in which case they are constituting themselves an enemy of God and we would be enabling them and condoning their behavior as well as siding with them against God by forgiving them), we have the responsibility for OUR side of the street, which is that we never “pay back evil for evil” towards them by our own thoughts, words, or actions. And not in a self-righteous, “look I’m better than you because I’ve forgiven you, you lowlife” way, but in a genuine, humble way. From our hearts. You know–basically the opposite attitude of what I’ve expressed in a lot of the comments I’ve made about people who’ve wronged me in my past. ;) Hey, I’m working on it. :) Anyway, hope that helps, Rosie. Thanks for being patient with me!

            Okay, Nat. Last off-topic ramble, I promise!!!!!! Just wanted to clarify. :)

            • Rosie says:

              Revolution- Thanks for your understanding and patience with me as well. Now I get what you mean and you are right that we agree! :)

              ““look I’m better than you because I’ve forgiven you, you lowlife””

              Lol!

              Not one time have I read any meanness or self-righteousness in any of your posts. You speak your mind and I appreciate this about your posts.

          • grace says:

            Ooh a theological debate. We get it all here.
            I used to think it was 77 times, but it’s in fact 70 times 7. And the question was, how many times should I forgive MY BROTHER, suggesting a close current relationship, not exes. I take it to mean all the people in church who wind me up because, you know, I’m spending eternity with them.
            The bible also says to flee sexual immorality. That means different things to different folks but if he’s trying to touch you up for a bit on the side or fun at your expense, feel free to flee away! Fleeing is moving rapidly in the opposite direction, not dithering about to tell someone who doesnt even care that you forgive them.
            Of course you can forgive them, but there’s no need to find them as the relationship is over.

            • yoghurt says:

              See (jumping in as someone who got themselves messed up over church teachings on religion), my 2ps-worth:

              Forgiving people is an action, feelings are just feelings (although if you entertain vengeful manky feelings you’re being unloving towards yourself, and should stop).

              Ergo, to forgive someone, you behave in the most loving way you can towards them, whether you feel like it or not. That means behaving in their ultimate best interests.

              In some cases, this involves NOT letting them damage their soul and screw up their chances of learning to be healthy and happy by enabling their evil behaviour towards you.

              So forgiving someone = loving them = ACTING on what’s best for them = steering well clear so that they can’t behave in a way that is bad for their soul.

              Simples :)

              I had to wrestle and wrestle with forgiveness for a few years there and in the end I just came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to feel okay if I thought about it, so the best thing was to probably not think about it more than I could help (although, in keeping with the religious theme, I found that God helped with this when I asked).

              Getting my head down and Trying To Do The Right Thing wasn’t a lot of fun (not that I always did), but looking back over it it was probably the quickest and cleanest way through.

              Mind, I have no idea how that applies to my situation now, so it’s probably best not read in the light of that…

              • yoghurt says:

                Sorry, meant to add that it’s neither here nor there whether they’re repetent or not. But if they’re not, there’s probably nothing to be gained from letting them carry on reaping the rewards of being unrepetent on you.

                • Rosie says:

                  Yoghurt- Thank you. I like this definition of forgiveness. I don’t know if I’m struggling with the definition of forgiveness (which is why I prefer a working definition as there’s room for development) or if it’s the “how”. For example, I’ve begun to pray for my enemies, including childhood abusers. How does forgiveness work when one is no longer in contact with them? I’m not a helpless, vulnerable child any more, yet can’t bring myself to name them individually when I pray. I just sort of lump them altogether as ‘enemies’. Have I forgiven them? I don’t know if I have if I can’t even say their names when I pray. I don’t wish them damnation as their salvation really is the best “revenge”.

                  • yoghurt says:

                    Hiya Rosie :)

                    I’ve never had to forgive anyone as horrible as a child abuser, so I’m a forgiveness novice in comparison. Hugs xx

                    I have found, though, that it was easier when I took my feelings out of the equation. You’ve only got a limited amount of control over those – you can ‘choose which waves to ride’ (thanks, BR meme!) but a lot of whether or not you feel ‘forgiving’ comes down to what’s happened that day, what you’ve eaten, your hormones and all manner of things that you can’t do a lot about.

                    If you’re praying for them, even in general terms, you’re ACTING forgiveness and that’s what’s important. It’s funny – if you were feeding homeless people at 4am you wouldn’t beat yourself up about the fact that you didn’t much enjoy getting out of bed to do it. And yet, when it comes to forgiveness, we don’t think that it means anything unless we can hoodwink ourselves into liking it. I’m not sure we can.

                    In practical terms, though, I found that when I was getting tied up in knots about it in prayer and so on, it helped to say “Please forgive them on my behalf, because I can’t” and then leave it. That worked.

                    • Rosie says:

                      Thank you, Yoghurt- Your post makes 100% sense. Yes, I have served our homeless community and haven’t always liked it but did it anyway, didn’t think of comparing it to forgiveness but you are absolutely right.

                      Thank you so very much!!! :) :) :)

            • Rosie says:

              Lol, Grace! :) – No, no theological debate going on, just seeking understanding of what the other person means. A theological debate would be fun, though, especially with Revolution as she’s smart, a writer, has a feisty personality and a beautiful heart and probably knows her stuff.

              Ok, back to topic…

  8. Sandy says:

    I haven’t posted for a while as I am doing pretty damn good, finally told him that I would not tolerate any more contact after he had said I was his friend and always would be….ahem I said, I am an ex who you cheated on, who you then asked to be the bit on the side to your new woman and who you then bullshitted about wanting to get back together with…that every word out of his mouth was a lie and I did not need or want someone in my life like that, not even as a friend and that there had come a time in my life where I had to say no to being crapped on and I was doing it now….so yep nothing heard from him in the last 7 days, long may it last but even if it doesn’t I finally feel for the first time in 9 long months that I have the backbone to just ignore him now and I will no longer bury things deep like I was asked to everytime he had a bit of assclown behaviour.
    I don’t hold a grudge but by god I will no longer hit the reset button with this total dick head who I spent 5 years with, who has made this the most painful, long drawn out break up I have ever experienced in my life. It took me a long time to finally break up with him and I don’t think he likes that I have gone from strength to strength and that I am finally finding that woman I used to be and not the one I let him turn me into and I am really quite proud of myself for that :-)

    • dcd568 says:

      Sandy, I am proud of you, too. When I knew someone was treating me with disrespect and disregard, it helped me to think about myself as being my own daughter. I would never ever let someone treat my child with disrespect or disregard. So when I experienced that behavior towards myself, I would ask myself, what would you do if someone were treating your daughter that way. Then I would take whatever my answer was and apply it to my situation. I was taking care of my daughter, who was really myself. As time went on, it just became my way of being to be able to “take up for” or care of myself when someone was treating me badly.

      • Sandy says:

        Thanks dcd, yes it was my daughter and son seeing how he treated me that finally made me make the final break…their dad is not like this man at all so they have never experienced someone like this before and the day my daughter faced my ex AC clown and told him that she wished I would tell him to f–k off was when I realised that while I was trying to keep my two lives separate it was impacting on my lovely daughter, who never swears let alone had ever hated somebody (and hate him she did). I do look back and think what the hell was I thinking but I no longer beat myself up over it, it it as it is and my daughter now sees her independant mum back.

    • Allison says:

      Sandy,

      Good for you and your new found strength!

      • Sandy says:

        Thank you Allison :-) it does feel good, I feel like I had lost a part of me but I am feeling contented and so much happier that I know I am finally getting there..thanks to BR and all the lovely posters who show so much support on here it just makes you so aware that you aren’t alone in what you are going through and it gives you the strength to deal with what the ex AC is trying to throw at you.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sandy,

      I know how good it feels when you finally take that step and don’t look back. I’m especially proud of you for considering your daughter’s feelings. Unfortunately, there are too many single women involved with AC’s that behave as if their kids are deaf and dumb. Your behavior as a mother is scrutinized by your children so you should want to always set a good example for them to follow. Kudos to You!

      • Sandy says:

        Thanks Tinkerbell! It was an amazing feeling finally saying how I really felt, Natalie is right I always felt that when I heard from him that I wouldn’t have the strength to ever really say no, but I found out I actually did have, that deep down I was done with it all, it just took me a while to realise it…my daughter really dislikes him because of how he treated me and I didn’t want her to ever look down on me for not being able to stand up for myself.

    • JustHer says:

      Sandy, congrats honey!

      My ex told me to stop treating him like a stranger and that we should just be nice to each other – erm, you cheated on me and abused me physically and emotionally – HELLOOO!??

      Great that you saw the light and are moving onwards and upwards! x

      • Sandy says:

        Hi JustHer and thanks, isn’t it funny that this is how they think, that they have such selective memories in how they treated us…everything he did was how Natalie has said it would go so instead of being blindsided it was like an aha moment…I refused to be his bit on the side so out came the friend card lol onwards and upwards for all of us!!! :-)

  9. Kit-Kat says:

    Nat… This post was interesting to read as I am 2yrs out of a break-up & happy to be single most of the time but there are times when the past relationship or should I say the EX-EUM still haunts my thoughts. I go long periods of him not crossing my mind then bam, it hits,& I know I still have anger & disappointment towards him. I know I didn’t deserve the hand I was dealt. I see so clearly now he was a narcissists w/a harem. I have no plans 2 ever be in contact w/him and I know I have 2 let it go. I feel frustrated at times because its in the past, gone, done & I want the recycling to stop but not sure how to make it stop.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Kit,

      There’s a saying, “What you resist persists”,and it’s true. The more you try to chase those feelings away, the more they remain. You can’t kill the memory, but you’ve ended the BS once and for all. The painful memories have to gradually recede on their own. Keep strong, don’t rethink anything. You made the right decision.

    • JustHer says:

      Kit-Kat,

      I’m the same. It’s been over a year, and I’m getting better and then suddenly something will hit me and I will crash emotionally.

      I am still angry and annoyed and want revenge, but that’s just not going to happen or help.

      I think what helps is just seeing it through, dealing with the down moments because everyone has those and I think maybe we always will, but it’s about focusing on the good times and sticking to the things that are great for you.

    • courtney says:

      Kit-Kat, I suffer from the same problem. I’ve dated many abusers and narcissists in the past who have said awful things to me and I recycle them in my head all the time regardless of how long ago it was. It’s bordering on the OCD side which can be so frustrating. Finally I am single and learning to be alone regardless of how much I resisted this in the past.

      There are some tips I’ve learned which may or may not work for you but I hope they’ll lead to a better understanding of how we can refocus our thoughts.

      *Get a journal. Whenever you have a thought, track it. Write a “reverse” thought that sends the power back to you (for example, if you’re focusing on your ex’s harem, write about how there is nobody who is exactly like you in the world. you are special. pull the focus back on you.)
      *Wear a rubber band and whenever you think of your ex, snap it on your wrist. It helps to train the mind and associate pain with the thought so hopefully you have less thoughts in the future.
      *Whenever you think of your ex, write a “To-Do” list of pleasurable things you want to do for yourself to take care of yourself. This again pulls the focus back on you and makes you look forward to the future.
      *Meditate if you don’t already. Meditation really helps you to learn to be in the present moment and enjoy it. Also supplement this with yoga to connect the relaxation of body and mind.

      I hope these help. Sending love and hugs your way. =)

      • Kit-Kat says:

        Tink,JustHer & Courtney. Thank-you all 4 your replies. Your words give me validation that I will get past this, I am headed in the right direction & yes Tink, I ended the BS, forever. I can be a little OCD about stuff but I am determined 2 never let him close enough 2 hurt me again so I am NC for life w/him. After 9yrs u think you know someone then it all comes crashing down around you and it makes you wonder why you were vulnerable, naïve and caught up with them. Yes, I ignored huge red flags and was probably a little EU on my end but it sill doesn’t excuse what went down. Lessons were learned & I am working on me & my EU tendencies which have been there since childhood I am guessing. Absent father ect… The support & encouragement on this site is priceless :)

      • Lisa says:

        That is great advice. I am only 3 weeks into NC with my 2 year relationship. I am beyond crushed that he sent just 2 lame text messages after he said he had no time for a relationship. He’s done this before. I am feeling very weak like I just want to contact him to let him know how hurtful his behavior was but am trying to maintain my dignity. Lisa

  10. FX says:

    “Ultimately, don’t let anybody make you feel bad about the fact that you have knowledge or awareness of something and are being responsible enough to ensure that your values and boundaries reflect this.”

    This post is great and so timely for me. After 14 months NC, including resisting “polite” invitations and “helpful” referrals (all phrased as though everything was honky dory between us), I broke NC via text randomly last month due to a clusterfuck practical circumstance. At first, I tried to play it cool. His reset button approach was oh, so, polite and made me crazy, though. He tried to get me to meet him and called but I just texted and escalated after some wine. I sent a couple of texts telling him in effect what he did and that it was still not ok or forgotten…

    I think part of me has always wanted to have some sort of exit conversation and I let him know somewhat indirectly in my text that I was interested in an apology. He just kept saying we could get together and talk. I really do think he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Therefore, I will never get an apology and there really is nothing he can say to make what he did alright with me. I have suffered with obsessive thoughts and cognitive dissonance for years with this AC! The last time I saw him was a few hours after he left my bed and he had an actual girlfriend in his… We had a several year long r/s, including living together that had been dialed back to living separately and “dating.” I screamed obscenities at him on his doorstep and went NC and remained that way until this recent contact.

    I was/am angry for giving him the ego stroke that he can still have an effect on me and that what he did is still a source of anger for me. Then, I thought, “Why the hell should he think I am now or will ever by ok with what went down?” It bugs me that I give a hoot what he thinks.

    He married that gf (maybe, already fiance?) and she appears to be lovely woman. I’m sure she doesn’t know he overlapped us for many months at the least. I do not think he knows that I know this or that he is married. I believe his overtures to get together and willingness to have a conversation are just another attempt to hit the reset button as I allowed him to do after varying lengths of attempted NC in the past.

    I’ve been struggling with what I would want out of an encounter. Closure? Remorse? Validation? Vindication? None of these are likely.

    I am paralyzed even after all this time with a feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. After spending years with someone to have no last words at all is bizarre. Obviously, it hasn’t slowed his stride as he romanced and married a blissfully ignorant woman. I know that getting over this has to be an inside job for me and I’m frustrated that I still feel stuck going on a year and a half. I am not beating myself up as much for breaking NC as I may have, though. I think it is fine that he knows that I do not think he’s a good guy deserving of me letting bygones be bygones.

    I do still have thoughts of having a final dinner with him someday, though… What is wrong with me?!!

    I also have a revenge fantasy of accepting his invitation and allowing him to seduce me one last time so I can leave him naked and stranded while I deliver his clothes and personal effects to his wife so she’ll know who he really is and mess up his cheater lifestyle. LOL

    Seriously, I know I just have to continue my resumed NC as that is the adult way to demonstrate my values and boundaries.

    • dcd568 says:

      I’ve been struggling with what I would want out of an encounter. Closure? Remorse? Validation? Vindication? None of these are likely

      You will not get it. The only reason he wants to contact you is to make HIMSELF feel better. He wants your forgiveness, which he probably interprets as you being okay with what he did.

      He does not deserve the relief he thinks he will get from having a conversation with you wherein he manipulates you to be a kind and loving person forgiving him of all his transgressions, allowing him to move into the future without a guilty conscience.

      He deserves a guilty conscience. Let him live with that.

    • Rosie says:

      FX-

      “I also have a revenge fantasy of accepting his invitation and allowing him to seduce me one last time so I can leave him naked and stranded while I deliver his clothes and personal effects to his wife”

      LOL!!! I want to be a grown up too but, dang, your inner little girl is fun!!! :)

  11. Gillian says:

    This is great! Why is it I always worry about hurting other peoples’ feelings and not my own. Having gone through 30 days of NC with my neighbour who literally lives eight feet away from me, across the hall, I kept falling back into how much I must have hurt him by rejecting him. I certainly do have amnesia when I conveniently forget about all the hurt that he has caused me and continued to cause me before I went NC and could get a clearer perspective. I feel mean standing in my boundaries and yet I also feel empowered – that’s a new feeling for me. I’m ususally the one trying to drag things out by conveniently forgetting that he was the one who used to nearly ignore me in the hallway, not call for days and then expect a hot night of sex,only to be gone the next day and not call again. He also conveniently forget to tell me that his “old friend” was coming to visit and the relationship is not platonic – his words!!! If I don’t keep reading the blogs and referring back to the No Contact Rule book that I downloaded, I can easily go back to my amnesia, not only about this relationship but also the ones in my past!! It makes me sick to think how easily I fall into thinking he’s a nice guy and that I am not as nice person for thinking unkind (true) thoughts. He’s not a nice guy and I allowed him to treat me like shit and get away with it.Infact, I’m not even polite when I see him now I respond with a “Hey” because that’s all he gives me and I am getting over thinking I am being a bitch for acting this way. Hey, he’s acting that way, why do I think it’s OK for him and it’s not OK for me??? NC is brilliant. I have gotten two jerks out of my life this year and now I have my own concerns more at heart.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Gillian,

      Please be more discriminating in the future. Across, the hall, down the street, around the corner is just too close for comfort. It’s bound to be awkward when you break up because avoidance is more difficult. Many years ago, I was seeing a guy who lived across the street. He had told me he and his very long time gf had broken up. I used to watch his house so that I would know when he went out, or who visited. One night the devil made me do it. I followed him. I knew beforehand where the so-called “ex gf” lived. Don’t you know that’s where he was going. I felt so stupid and violated. And, of course I couldn’t tell him I followed him and what I had discovered. Ever since then I never got involved with anyone who lived too close to me. I knew it was not a good situation for my snoopy nature. And furthermore I think you look too “easy”, you appear non-discriminating and you’re too available for them.

      • grace says:

        Tinkerbell
        People date those they work with, who go to the same church, the same college, friends of friends, and neighbours. That’s how people meet. It may not work out but I know MANY instances where it did. If we issue a blanket ban on meeting that way, you’re left with online dating and randoms.
        I still think the work one is tricky but when I lived on a small island people met at work all the time, got married, had children and continued to work in the same office. There were only two or three large employers so it was almost inevitable.
        I understand the need not to repeat bad experiences. “No MMs” is a good one but “no-one who knows people I know” (for instance)is too limiting. It focuses on the wrong thing. The problem isn’t dating a neighbour, it’s the stalking. I FB-stalked someone who lived miles away.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Grace,

          I was speaking from my own personal experience and making it a carte blanche rule for everyone. For me, I don’t want anyone too physically close. Too awkward whether it’s going well or going down the tubes. But that’s just me.

  12. Demke says:

    So strange how these posts come out when Im in a situation where I can relate. I see like this… Its as if two people (friends/lovers), have been heavily into drugs for years. You feel great in the beginning (that high), then slowly, but surely… You begin to feel the toll it takes on you, and those closest to you. You know you need to stop. So you do. You go through pain, you cry, you obsess (withdrawl), some time goes by without. You get tempted to go for that ‘fix’, but you stay away. Sooner or later, your drug dealer comes around again… You remember how you felt, and know it did you no good, only harm. But. ‘This time. It will be different. You can control how much, you get to say when and how much. Then you think you can trust yourself, this time. But, same thing happens, again and again. Until you may not have a choice but to stop. Drug dealer left town, found another client whose willing to lose even more than you. So you painfully move on…. Go to re-hab, start seeing a light at tbe end of the tunnel. You begin to realize… Although you think about it sometimes, you can live w/o it, and you feel better. Until one day, after months, or years, that dealer comes back. But now they seem different, ‘rebilitated’. …You do not want to go back to that way of life for nothing, because you know the damage it caused. But. You think. Well, dealer ‘seems’ different, maybe he never wants to live that way of life either. Hmmm…. ‘What if’? ….What if they have changed? The thing is, And what I’ve learned… I dont want any part of a negative past back in my life. I dont want to ‘risk’, the consequences and possible damage that comes w that drug. Cause, really… To me, its no different than drugs or alcohol. To keep going back to someone, or anything that has proven not to be good for you, why keep going back? Sure, maybe they’ve changed, in small, little ways (like… Maybe they pay for the entire dinner instead of paying half, lol). Maybe they say i love you, 5x’s a day, instead of once a week. But, are you really compatible? …Back to re-hab analogy… Would you? Could you start up a relationship w someone who you did drugs w for years… Finally get clean, and after all that damage and pain, try to be w them again? Dont they usually tell recovering addicts to not associate w people they knew, or certain places? Why should it be any different w people? In my situation, we both have grown. Same people. A lot less drama. But. I dont forget. And I feel like I am going backwards if I were to stay. So I couldnt. He tried like hell to convince me to be ‘present’ to now. Not the past. But when someone does harm to you (emotionally, mentally), and you finally overcome that, and they try to convince you things will be positive if ‘you’ want it to be. Its unfair. It feels hard to not want to be that ‘people pleaser’ and try. But you (I), know damn well, to your very core… You cant trust it. Listen to it. And dont feel bad, and stop making yourself wrong to please someone who f’d up, even if it was the past. When I thought of it like an ‘addiction’, it really put it into perspective for me, and that so-called ‘love’ feeling/connection, was out of the equation. Because love and connection doesnt make sense in a situation like that. Its not there. Its more lime an addiction. I know this was ridiculously LONG, but through a lot of growing pains and perspective, thats what made sense to me. Thought I’d share it. :)

    • Deepend says:

      Demke,

      Thanks for your well thought out post. I’ve been 1 year out of an unhealthy 3.5 year relationship, and I’m struggling with thoughts about breaking 6 months no contact with her. I’ve taken this year to get happy on my own, and for the most part i am, except I’m having major lack of confidence in moving forward and dating again. She moved in with a new guy within a couple months of our breakup, and it is an effective deterrent to me reconciling anything with her. I’ve thoughtnto myself that maybe i was too critical and expected too much from her, and that if i was more accepting it could work out, but the fact is she’s with someone else. What i also know is that I’ve come to this place where i am willing to compromise many times, but it never made the outcome any different. A year of being single and not dating has changed my perspective of myself and what i am capable of. Guess I’m not as awesome as i originally thought. My point is Thanks for putting it to me in light of drug addiction. I’m trying to bresk free of a habit, and sometimes think it could be different, and though it might be marginally different, the same basic ingredients exist and would have their same affect if i let them.

  13. Demke says:

    ….and, I believe forgiveness starts with us, first. We’re always so ready to call/txt the ex when we hear that word. But we really need to forgive ourselves. Forgive yourself for going back, or staying in something that you knew wasnt right, for you. For putting the people who actually do care about you, to the side while w whats his/her face. Stop praying/wishing for the ex to ‘be happy’, for the best… Blah. Pray for you, wish tbe best for YOU. And dont feel guilty about it. Jeez! Lol

    • Susanna says:

      Great analogy….thanks for posting this.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Thanks Demke,

      Yes, a relationship that is inherently bad for you is like an addiction. I was addicted for 6 months with the MM. Something about the sordidness and secrecy kept pulling me toward him. I hated myself, but there was a thrill and fascination I’d never experienced before. I couldn’t seem to break free. But I did. Thank God, today I can chalk it up to experience. Whether the experience is a good one or a very bad one, hopefully you learn and come out a better person.

  14. dramaseeker says:

    Just a few days ago I got in touch with someone from a few months past who had many, many red flags I did not really want to see. I broke it off after a few weeks because the emotional rollercoaster was too painful but then spent the last 4 months wondering what could have been, would have been, should have been, and so on. I have come a long way since then but I needed to finally put the fantasy in my head to rest once and for all so I texted him to ask if he wanted to catch up. After a few texts back and forth, much along the same lines as before, I realised that this time around the short and non committal texts were neither exciting nor interesting. I got bored and stopped replying. I feel much better for having gone ahead and done this because it needed closure in my own head and only I could give that to me, by taking action and hoping to christ that I was enough of a different and stronger person not to fall into the same trap again. And I didn’t. It’s finally over.

  15. Tenneil says:

    This is just what I needed to read today, so thank you so much, Natalie. Things ended with my ex-EUM almost eight months ago, but I still remember everything and that’s been the hardest part. I know you can’t just switch off your memory and forget all the pain that was brought upon you, and as frustrating as that is, it’s a friendly reminder that I needed the pain in order to grow. My life had literally come to standstill and wasn’t going anywhere, but it was only until things ended with him that I started building up my self-esteem and confidence to set myself goals and actually achieve them.

    He’s made a couple of crumby attempts to contact me since he broke up with me and while initially I thought that would make me feel better, it didn’t. At all. I realised that I don’t need him to validate my feelings and that I don’t need him in my life to feel happy. My life has become SO much better since he left. It did occur to me that being in no contact with him for good may seem a bit harsh and like I’m holding a grudge against the past, but then it also occurred to me, “Who cares?” Why does it matter what someone who clearly didn’t care about me thinks? If this person being in my life only brought me pain, why would I go back when I can move forward?

    It’s a matter of being able to forgive, but not forgetting. I’m not angry and I forgive him not only for the mistakes he made, but also mine. The difference is that I’ve chosen to use this painful experience to grow as a person and that usually means letting go of the past and never looking back. It used to be incredibly hard, but when I think about all the hurt I felt, it’s easy, because I don’t ever want to feel the way I felt when I was with him ever again.

  16. Little Star says:

    Dear Nat, thanks again for the great post! I used to give to both ACs too many chances, did they change, did I change?! No, I couldn’t be “lady in waiting” and hoping to change my status from booty call to GF, so finally I decided to break unhealthy pattern…I miss them from time to time, but keep reminding myself what I actually gained from these experiences?! NOTHING, time to live in present and learn/forget my painful past!

  17. Maeve says:

    I’ve tended to do this on a more superficial level with friendships than with more intimate relationships. Once I sense a romantic partner is bad news, something changes inside and I can’t be with them. I’ve even noticed a pattern of late where I can even have a civil, superficially friendly rapport with a EU/AC romantic prospect but keep them at arm’s length (where they definitely feel the boundary), and that’s probably because I called the shots in ending things.

    However, I have a pattern of putting up with snarky, toxic, hostile behavior from acquaintances. I keep trying to fix it and I act like a good sport where I ignore the reality of how they act. Yeah, people pleasing.

    Lately however, I’ve given myself permission not to like people for their behavior. I have no idea why I had such a high threshold for this in the past. Somehow I found it preferable to have this idealized harmony than to exercise my stronger, more realistic side (which is most decidely alive and well).

    People are so complex. That’s the tricky part. We can have good boundaries on one thing and ridiculous ones on something closely related. So we fool ourselves unless we pay 100% attention to our thoughts and actions. Frustrating!

    • doormat says:

      Its amazing how familiar that sounds, Maeve. This post is really something to think about.

      My story in short: Met my AC 3 years ago, and over the course of our on-off relationship what I found the hardest to handle was that he was cozying up to all my close friends, and appropriating my family of friends as his own. I at first could not believe what was happening and thought something must be terribly wrong with me if I feel possessive/territorial about my friends. But I realized that there was good reason, and that he was snatching my safety net from under my feet – pushing me away, while pulling my closest friends towards him. I could not bear to watch the dynamic as we all used to hang out together. My friends of fifteen years became his friends too, and I did not know how to handle it when he would decide that the relationship was off. The final straw was that when I left town out of desperation to do something else,and hang out with other people I returned to find that he was crashing out on my close grilfriends bed – saying that he felt his bind with me was stronger if he hung out with my close friends. i know I am a jackass. But it took that, and a revelation of a year old affair that he confessed to that finally made me step away.But I did it with emails seeking validation to which he replied saying sorry, but did not stop keeping in touch and hanging out everyday with 2 of my friends, one of them a woman. I am now 20 days in NC and have stepped away from these friends as well. There are other friends who understand but two who don’t I feel so much better and less grudging, now that I am starting to appreciate the distance and time I have claimed for myself. But I fear that I can slip anyday, and become trusting/gullible or a people pleaser – and this post reminds me not to. Thank you Natalie.

      • Bubble says:

        This happened to me or similar. Read about the narcissist smear campaign. Text book I tell you. Friends, work colleagues whom he had no reason to get involved with only to act the victim. I trusted them whilst in then depths of the on off emotional roller coaster ride of a relationship and it seems now that I was fabricating everything and the reason he treated me so badly was because it was my fault. He didn’t even know them before. Since the break up months ago I have remained silent (of course they want you to do this) but I just can’t be bothered to state my case anymore. I’ve kept my head held high, hid behind a smile and time has made it easier but boy has he spread some lies about me. I would love you to write a post on this Nat.

        • doormat says:

          Thanks Bubble – I tried explaining to the AC, and to my old friend that or friendship would get affected with this new dynamic and I felt hurt. AC promptly said he would do what he can, but did nothing – just invited my friends over to more lunches and dinners.. keep All my friends getting sweet messages/gifts every other day from him, and I feel like he is trying to win them over. I have told all my friends that I wanted to hear none of it, and would not be able to participate in common friendships- since I don’t see him as my friend. Clearly this made me out to seem ‘bitter’/’sour’ whatever to some..and I am bearing the brunt of it as far people who I thought were loyal friends were concerned. What is interesting is that those who really love you and care for you, do understand and support your decision, respect your need for NC and don’t do stuff like inviting him to parties where you are coming. Its a good time to find out who your friends are – and who are not – for some people certainly make you out to be the grudge-bearing sourpuss- which does affect me – so I try not to think about it…Yes, would love Nat to post on this.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Doormat.

            I love what you said about real friends would support you, see your reason for NC and not have him showing up ay parties you will be coming to. You’re seeing the forest beyond the trees. Not that you’re planning to be persuaded by him, but remember his wanting to be “friends” is code for sex.

      • Maeve says:

        Doormat–what a lousy situation. I think it’s hard for us to believe that people would do such disrespectful hurtful things, so we go into denial. I know I do!

        Also, I think it’s hard to strike a balance between giving people the benefit of the doubt and being on the lookout for crap behavior. They can seem like two different states of mind. It takes skill and practice to get good at that, I believe. And awareness.

        I hope you stick to your guns about distancing anyone who disrespected you. You deserve better than that.

        • doormat says:

          Maeve, thank you.
          20 days into NC and now he write me an apologetic mail – saying he is ready to do anything to try and repair the damage he has done. He just wants us to be friends thats all.
          I have to say thanks to Natalie’s posts, and all your comments and support, I feel a whole lot stronger. I feel right about not replying to him. This is the first time ever -that I have felt that way. Merci.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Yes Maeve,

      Human beings are quite complex and the situations which evolve with them are usually even more complex. What you said struck a chord with me, that you can engage superficially with an EU romantic prospect but keep them at arm’s length. That ability would really come in handy for me right now, but I can’t do that. I am and will always be a person of extremes. I’m either totally into a man with all of my being, or I’m totally out. I guess this is why I ruminate so long about what to do because once I reach the final decision it’s iretrieveable. With all of my relationships I’m the same way. Perhaps that’s wrong and I’m inflexible or maybe too flexible with maintaining my borders, I don’t know. But that’s the way it is. I’ve never in my life had a problem being undecided or being able to keep a friendly distance with someone who I don’t have much feelings for. It’s as though I either like you or I don’t even see you. Once it’s over, be it a romance or a friendship, I don’t want to be bothered anymore. I guess that sounds awful but it’s just me.

      • Maeve says:

        Tinkerbell–if I had been in your situation where I gave my heart, I’d have to go NC. 100%. I can’t turn off deep, authentic feelings. The difference in these recent EUM situations I was in, is that I never got emotionally invested. That’s just circumstantial.

  18. dcd568 says:

    My mother has always been narcissistic, verbally and emotionally abusive and neglectful. Needless to say, my brother, sister and I had far from an ideal childhood. This behavior continued into adulthood. She finally married her fourth husband and moved away and didn’t contact us as often as she had.

    We were never “enough” of anything for her. When I got older I realized I didn’t have to take her crap anymore. I am an adult now, not a child who depends on her for whatever scraps she felt obligated to dole out.

    My grandmother whom I was very close to died recently. My mother, who is in poor health and very demanding and lazy, expected me to step into my grandmother’s role of basically being her punching bag.

    She left me a voice mail message one day when I didnt’ do something for her fast enough. Something she could have easily done herself. The message she left was so hurtful. It brought back every bad feeling I ever had when I was a little girl. I was a sobbing mess…at work…because she left the message at 9:00 a.m. on a work day…knowing I would listen to the message at work. Needless to say, I did not return her call and haven’t spoken to her since.

    Weeks later she sent my son to my house with a dress she bought me. I did not acknowledge it. She left another message very late at night asking me if I got it and if I liked it. I did not respond.

    She told my sister she hasn’t heard from me. My sister said well, call her…She said, I did. I’m not calling her again.

    She did not mention the message she had left me. But I had let my sister listen to it. So she knows what’s really going on.

    I will never contact my mother again. I will never allow her to the chance to make me feel like I am “NOTHING”…and that is a direct quote…ever again.

    Good riddance “Mother”

    • Allison says:

      DCD,

      That’s very sad when we have to protect ourselves from a parent.

      You have to do what’s necessary to protect you!

      • dcd568 says:

        Allison, very sad and very painful.

        • Maeve says:

          dcd568–so sorry for your pain. the biggest betrayal of all is when a parent can’t really love. It sounds like you did your research on learning about Narcs. In my experience, knowing what makes them tick and knowing they’re mentally ill and can’t help it makes the whole thing more comprehensible (though certainly not less painful).

          In any case, I can sympathize with the trauma you must have gone through with such a parent. Have you gone for therapy with someone who is trained to deal with people who grew up in narcissist homes? If you haven’t, it may be something helpful in the healing process.

          I was having a real rough time in my life a couple of years ago and attracted about 5 different personality disorder types into my life(including NPD). I had to go into therapy just for that…even relatively short term impact can be hell!

    • Su says:

      dcd

      I have a mother like that too! It is very challenging and even breaking off all contact isn’t always the answer. I tired NC and then realized I was still being affected by her, especailly when I got into relationships. so sad. I have learned to protect myself, and deal with her effectively. I coach clients on this issue as well. today I can say I have learned how to communincate with her and how to communicate with myself to not fall into feeling like nothing as you pointed out. Not an easy road, but doable. Good luck. .

      • dcd568 says:

        Thank you for your reply. At certain points I have gone NC with her for extended periods of time because she hurts not only me, but EVERYONE I care about with her words. I would not have been in contact with her this time, except that she was getting a hip replacement and my sister begged me to go to the hospital so she wouldn’t have to be with “mother” alone. So I relented. That lasted three months, until my Grandmother died. Each time I had to be around her she would say, what’s wrong? Is something wrong with you and your boyfriend? No “mother” it’s you. I don’t like to be around you. I don’t want to be around YOU. I was actually relieved when she showed her true feelings on that voice mail message because now I can let everyone who wants to know why I don’t have anything to do with her listen to the incredible, unbelievable message she left her “daughter”. I would kill myself before I would let ONE day go by with my sons wondering if I loved them. If anything ever went wrong in our relationship, I would do ANYTHING to make it better. That’s what MOTHERS do. Mothers who REALLY love their children, anyway.

        I have not been to therapy, but I have researched her behavior thoroughly. I comprehend her disorders, but I also know that she is very intelligent. She has been told over and over that she cannot treat people the way she treats them and not have consequences. Right before she died, my Grandmother experienced another one of her frustrated, disgusted out of patience with your stupidity rants….she told her “Bonnie, the way you spoke to me just then is why you will never have a relationship with your daughter. You cannot treat people that way.” Yet she did it anyway.

        I really have no feelings towards her at all. Even with her hip replacement and all the other physical and health issues she has, I don’t even feel sorry for her. The only emotion I have when I think of her is pity. She is pathetic.

      • dcd568 says:

        I’m sorry for you too. I don’t really need my “mother”. I learned to do without her when I was about 8. What makes me sad is that I wish I had a mother daughter relationship with someone…not her, just someone.

  19. noquay says:

    Though I am far from being Christian, the Biblical reference to forgiving if and when the person shows true remorse and doesn’t do the same thing over is appropriate. The AC is not worthy of forgiveness, he never understood he did wrong and is pulling the same shite all over again with someone else. I have to learn to forgive me for not being beautiful, desirable enough to get a high quality dude to actually want to live here with me. I am to a point responsible for my looks, my lefties opinions but I am not responsible for this town though I truly wish to change it to something that functions. I was told yesterday to be content with teaching the same classes, over and over, and to accept that our campus will cut the one program I enjoy teaching in that is congruent with my values and who I am. Instead, I am putting on a program highlighting the students in this program, their work, and invited the administrator who wants to cut this program to the event so he can actually meet the very students he wants to disposess. May get me fired but someone has to take a stand not be a mindless, obedient doormat. Yep, if he cuts our program, I don’t have to forgive him either.

    • Lisa says:

      After a 2 year relationship I recently ended the relationshiip and am trying no contact. The last contact was from him via text and a general birthday card. I did not respond. He was beyond hurtful and I just kept hoping and waiting and hoping he would make room in his life for me. It didn’t start out this way but 3 months into the relationship something changed. Recently, before I broke up he wanted to see me less and less and definitely displayed other narcissistic and hurtful behaviors. I am thinking he cheated on me and still has someone in his life and that is why he is not contacting me. I am struggling with breaking no contact to let him know that I am aware that he was dishonest and may have been cheating. Its been 2 weeks and I’ve not responded. Should I break the no contact?

      • Rosie says:

        Lisa- No, do not break NC. He didn’t care about you before, so why would he care now? It’ll be wasted emotion on your end. Are you sure it wouldn’t be an excuse to stay connected? Cut your losses, beautiful lady, and remain NC.

        • Lisa says:

          Hi Rosie,

          Thank you. Yes, you are correct-breaking the no contact would be a way in which to stay connected and see if yet there is a chance he will commit and to communicate my hurt and anger. I neglected to include that he waited until I was already deeply involved with him to tell me he was married 4 times. I am an intelligent professional woman-why can’t I just forget this an move on. Bless you for your response.

      • Bubble says:

        In a word. NO! If he is a narcissist then you are feeding him. For your own emotional health at such an early stage of a break up don’t do it. You will be taking two steps backwards and questioning everything you may say in the text, email etc. And then……if he doesn’t reply more questions. NC works, it really does.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Lisa,

        Hell, no! For some reason young women feel they have to tell the jerk how hurt they are by what he did. He knows. I doubt he’s a moron. Realize this. NC is your most powerful action. It is far more powerful than breaking it to talk to him. DON’T. Stay away. You maintain your dignity with silence.

        • Lisa says:

          Tinkerbell,

          Thank you. Your response is keeping me strong. I have my dignity and that I did not have while I was with him. It is just getting through the days, not checking phone, email etc. Wondering if I meant anything as he sent a few lame text messages and that was it. No more contact. My Mother believes if he really and truly had serious intentions, his ego and my not responding to him would not prevent him from reaching out to me. I have my dignity-you are correct. Thanks again!

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Good for you Noquay. Stand up for what you believe in.

      I’m sure even though you may not be Christian, if you practice or still value the Native American doctrines there are bound to be some similar beliefs. My feeling is that it really doesn’t matter what race, color, or creed we are. Are you a good person? Are you worthy of the air you breathe?

      Sorry to go off topic, Natalie.

  20. Sparkle says:

    Someone told me recently that we all seem to have a cross to bear in this lifetime. For me, it’s BAD men. When I reflect, I have forgiven the assclowns from my past for their bad behavior. That’s indifference. That just comes with time and distance. Did I learn lessons along the way? In all honesty, only a few. Probably just enough self respect to pull me away from 9+ months with a sociopath. Had to get to a point where I picked the most rotten man around and risk my life. Having to go somewhat underground, watching my back, getting legal involved and emotionally bottoming out. Behaving just like a drug addict, withdrawing from the fix.

    But, it’s OK. They say, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I finally get it now. Oddly enough, I’m grateful for the monster teacher, because the experience is what I needed to break the cycle, face my demons and begin healing. My therapist said, I didn’t have good role models growing up. As a result, choosing men with different faces, names, but always recreating patterns of familiar childhood abuse. Absolutely true! And I cannot protect nor enable them from their shameful behaviour past and present.

    There is a silver lining to everything. I will not let this experience defeat me. Right now, I only have the energy to forgive myself. Recovery is exhausting. I am so proud that I went NC and remain focused on therapy to learn self love, self respect. Being a work in progress. Creating healthier boundaries in all aspects of my life. When all is said and done, the best revenge is your own happiness and success.

    • Rosie says:

      Thank you, Sparkle- for your post. I needed it today.

    • Bubble says:

      The best revenge is your own happiness and success! What a beautiful sentence.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sparkle,

      That’s a strong, beautifully empowering thought. Thank you.

    • courtney says:

      Beautiful, Sparkle! I am in the same position – bad men are definitely my cross to bear in life. And yes, it is very much like an addiction. The best revenge is indeed moving on and being happy. I hope we all reach this state and continue NC (and if we fall off, get right back on).

  21. teachable says:

    Interesting post & timing of it. Mummy’s boy I had 9 mo r.ship w b4 ex now deceased AC re-entered my life, sent me a facebook friend request y.day. I’ve chosen to ignore it. Twice previously, I’ve tried to b a platonic friend w this twit post ending the r.ship w him (my call both times) & twice he acted poorly, leading me to withdraw & move on. The last time was b.c despite him not once accompanying me to a single medical appoint, specialist, hospital rehab etc OR ever visiting me AT ALL to see for himself my condition, he had the audacity to say, he ‘didn’t believe I was as sick as I said I was’. I was in the waiting room of my specialist when tht little gem arrived by text, & cut him cold. Unbelievable he now sends me s friend request. What a douche! No forgive & forget from me thts for sure!

  22. ReadyForChange says:

    I’m writing for some feedback/advice, if you may be so kind.

    I have been NC for 9 weeks, and instead of getting easier it is getting more difficult by the day.

    He contacted me online in May, we got to talk on skype quite a lot and made phone calls. We met a few times. I was totally mesmerized. It lasted only three months, yet I got really deep into it (still am). He told me quite a lot about himself and his ‘issues’. Quite early on he said he wasn’t ready for another relationship (the last one was a year ago, and he feels suffocated in relationships), but that he wanted to try with me. He blew hot and cold, he made promises, he cancelled dates… all the red flags that Natalie has alerted us to. But he was so so charming, funny, intelligent, etc. In the end he told me that all he could offer me was a friend with benefits scenario (we did not have sex during the time we were in contact), and that he knew I could not accept that, that I would find it diminishing. Then he asked me to think about it and decide what to do (whether to try to stay friends or cut contact, etc.). We were supposed to discuss this on a Tuesday morning, but on the Monday night, I received this text message, ‘I know I said that we would talk in the morning but I won’t be able to do that. I feel awful at the moment and I don’t want you or anyone else to even try to understand why. I am genuinely sorry if I have upset you by my behaviour. I was selfish.’ I replied just saying ‘It’s ok. I hope you feel better soon. If one day you wish to talk to me again, do so. Until then, goodbye and goodluck.’ He did not reply (I wasn’t expecting him to) and I haven’t heard from him since. He then proceeded to delete me from his skype contacts 10 days later, and he went back (he had deleted his account when he was with me) on the dating website where we had originally met (I have cancelled my own account there). I have gone through all the possible explanations, mostly that he is a narcissist, certainly emotionally damaged, that he was playing with me, that he got scared, etc. But I don’t seem to find peace. Normally, when things do not work out, I just endure the pain but try to move on. I have always adopted NC as my natural response, even before reading about it. Yet, this time, I’m finding it so hard. I guess it is because I cannot make sense of what happened. The urge remains to call him and ask, ‘Can you help me make sense of what happened? So that I may gain some insight which could help me in the future’. I guess Natalie would say let it go. You do not need to get ‘closure’ from him, there is nothing he can say which may help… but I’m not sure. Any thoughts? Thanks

    • grace says:

      Ready
      If you had a proper relationship and he was basically a good egg i might say go ahead and have a talk. But it was FWB even if you wanted more. he’s let you down a few times and it doesn’t sound like he wants to talk. You can’t squeeze blood out of a stone.

    • Sparkle says:

      There is no sense. He will tell you a bunch of shitty lies anyway. Probably a Narc, with more baggage than an airport. Just stay NC. Be grateful he is gone and you dodged a bullet. On to a better candidate. Focus on self care and the respectful boundaries you deserve. :)

      • Bethd says:

        Perfect explanation Sparkle! Narc with more baggage than an airport. You hit the nail on the head. Ready you should be celebrating! What a bullet you dodged. You can’t make sense out of insanity and crazymaking. They don’t even know why they do what they do but keep far far away from this toxic narc.

      • Bethd says:

        Perfect explanation Sparkle! Narc with more baggage than an airport. You hit the nail on the head. Probably has a harem and a significant other to boot. You were probably not fitting into the fallback position he intended you to be. Ready you should be celebrating! What a bullet you dodged. You can’t make sense out of insanity and crazymaking. They don’t even know why they do what they do but keep far far away from this toxic narc.

    • courtney says:

      ReadyforChange, I would advise you not to break NC. A person who says he’s not ready for a relationship then goes back to the dating website does not know what he wants, but it’s sure to be an emotional buffer…he wants a woman who he can use as a sponge to absorb all of his pain and issues. Someone he doesn’t have to fully invest in or commit to, regardless of the title he may give her.

      I have had an experience with a narcissist similar to what you described (charmed me completely, was successful, I felt we were compatible) and when I stuck to my boundaries and ended it, breaking NC afterwards was one of my biggest regrets. I ended up finding out things that still haunt me today. You do not need the extra burden and pain on your shoulders. You have to accept that sometimes ignorance is indeed bliss.

      • ReadyForChange says:

        Thank you, Courtney.

        I hear you, and I know you are right. In fact, I have had a feeling for a while that there may be a lot there that I’d better not know. I’m struggling a lot with my self worth at the moment (even if rationally I know that it does not depend on him). It is taking its toll, I’m not looking after myself they way I should, etc., but I hope that with time and strength things will change for the better. Thanks again

      • Lisa says:

        Courtney,

        This happened to me second time he broke up with me. He didn’t have time for a relationship with me but within 2 weeks went back on the dating site we met on. When we met he said he wanted a life partner a serious relationship! We got back together after the second break up and now he doesn’t want a committed relationship and we broke up again-this time I with him as his behavior was so HURTFUL. I am 3 weeks into no contact-he sent me a few lame text messages and it is killing me. So many things I still want to say to him. But I am trying to maintain my dignity. Lisa

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Ready. My gut says he is married or in a relationship. They run rampant on dating sites. When it gets to close 4 comfort they disappear into the night. It’s not about you or anything you may have said or done. He got the ego stroke or attention he was after. Flush this man from your life.

    • Elgie R. says:

      Dear ReadyForChange, your reply to the AC was SO self-possessed that he had to escalate his “make her feel rejected” plan. I can hear him thinking ‘How dare she be able to say goodbye, farewell! I didn’t break her yet?’

      He does not mean you well. He has all the lingo down to “seem” caring – stating FWB is not what you want as it is “diminishing”………oh how sensitive he seems – NOT! Then he offers you that diminishing relationship, proceeds to say “we’ll talk”, then pulls away. It’s a set up! Designed to make you chase him for the carrot of a FWB relationship.

      He’s playing with your heart. That’s “what happened”. FLUSH.

    • Mymble says:

      RFC
      I think you already have the information you need, he said he feels suffocated in a relationship and he wanted FWB.
      I gather OLD has a lot of people who have that agenda. Good for you for not going along with that plan, because the outcome would have ultimately been much the same but you would feel worse.
      Unfortunately this is a case of “When they tell you who they are, believe them”.
      I don’t know if this helps but when you feel the urge to contact bear in mind that he’s probably doing the same with other women too, and was all along.
      It does get better with NC, really it does.
      Make a list of 10 things that you enjoy and make you feel good and do them.
      These feelings fester in a vacuum, squeeze them out by filling your time and attention with other things.

      • ReadyForChange says:

        Dear Grace, Sparkle, courtney, Kit-Kat, Elgie R., and Mymble

        I wrote that post last night in a moment of particular discomfort, and I was blown away this morning when I found your thoughtful replies. It has helped a lot, they make perfect sense, and confirm what I already believed. Your kind words will stay with me and give me extra strength to keep NC. I love this site, and you rock, ladies!

    • shattered says:

      I didn’t get closure – the AC just disappeared after 2 years.I’ve run into him at social events (we live in the same town) where he’s made a point of coming and talking to me – even introduced me to his new girlfriend as ‘a good friend’. I’ve maintained NC but I’m seething inside that he thinks its OK to just drop me and dismiss me as if I was nothing. I think I’ve been too polite and nice with all this. I’m due to see him at another social event this week and I’ve decided to tell him in no uncertain terms that I’m not OK with pretending to people that we’re friends and that he’s superficial and shallow- and a coward for not having the gumption to tell me that he’d moved on. I think that once I get this off my chest I’LL be able to move on and not seethe with anger silently at how I was treated. I’ll let you know how it goes. I don’t expect a reaction – he never gets angry – or shows any emotion at all in fact. But I will feel better!

      • grace says:

        shattered
        you don’t need anyone’s permission but do be prepared for a big let down or, worse, to be insulted. and not actually to feel any better.

        • used says:

          she should just walk away whenever he approaches. h’ll get the message!

        • shattered says:

          Thanks for the advice. Grace, you were right – it was big let down. He came over to chat like an old friend and I introduced him to my friend. I was calm and polite as always. But when he was on his own I told him (calmly!) that I was not OK with acting like ‘friends’ and that he should have had the guts to tell me it was over instead of disappearing. He replied’ we’re not over’. When I reminded him that he’d been with another woman at a previous event he said she was ‘just a friend’. I said – ‘that’s just what you say about me’. He had no answer to that so I walked away. he went off to chat to a young woman (no surprise there!). I asked my friend what she thought of him – ‘very pleasant and charming but with an eye for young women.’ Spot on! I thought I’d feel better for telling him how I felt, but I don’t- the sting of rejection and being discarded still burns. The trouble is we live in a small town and I’m due to see him at another event next week. I would rather keep complete NC and not see him at all, rather than the ‘nice and polite’ act. But why should I stop going to events and meeting people just because of the AC. I’d be cutting my nose off to spite my face. Ironically it was me who introduced him to most of the people we know. I’ll just have to get past this, but yes it hurts.

      • Anon says:

        Just meet some one else fast. A speech will be ineffective, or worse, an ego boost for him. Guys don’t like being replaced either, even if it was his choice and a while ago.

    • Allison says:

      Ready,

      This guy is a complete waste of time!

      He did you a favor by telling you, he couldn’t do relationships, but you didn’t listen – when they give you this gem of info. Believe them.

      He has not been dependable, or offered you much of anything, except a bit of charm. Ask yourself, is charm enough to sustain you?

      Block this idiot. This is drama and will go nowhere!

      • ReadyForChange says:

        Allison,

        I appreciate your imput. I already walked away more than two months ago. That is not the issue. I’m just searching for some truth.

        He is no idiot, otherwise I would not need to give him a second thought. And things are not black and white, people are complex, situations are complex (and a lot of information and detail is missing from my post, otherwise it would just be too long).

        • Allison says:

          Ready,

          He gave you the truth: he’s incapable of any responsibility or emotional attachment. He is capable of seeking attention and some uncommitted sex.

          Do yourself a huge favor: don’t try to make him more than he is. I don’t think he is complex, and in time, you will recognize the same. he’s a carbon copy of many of the people discussed on this site; not so special or unique!

  23. CC says:

    Hard to be alone. I work alone and am not in a relationship. There is a guy interested, but I can see inspite of his efforts, emotionally disconnected and I feel fragmented after spending too much time with him, at least I don’t feel emotionally nourished. I think he may have acondition of sorts, he reminds me of the guys on Big Bang theory. anyways, i still miss my ex and his daughter. I tried to be friends with him again this year. We were friends last year and then ended up in bed on new years eve and I was willing to try the relationship again, but he said he didn;t want to, that I destroyed his soul the last time we were in relationship, becasue I was honest with him about his behaviours. Yet he wanted to to be friends with me and kept emailing calling after we broke up. I did fall for him and did feel an emotional connection even though he is EUM so we became friends then my feelings grew and i thought his did too and we got along much better, until he said he wasn’t interested in relationship but kept emailing calling. i saw him in the summer and we talked about what happened, I also found out he was dating a lot since out hook up. then i realized i had to end everything with him becasue I still had feelings and told him not to contact me anymore. It’s been several months and I still miss him and his daughter. i even had a realtionship between and had to break up with the guy becasue I kept missing the other one, which was when I decided to be friends with the ex I have feelings for. Today, I am still grieving, suffereing, felt tricked by him in the friendship last year, You would think after all the hardship we went through that now we would be more ready to make it work, but no, he said his feelings switched off long time ago, yet he kept wanting me around. i feel so upset, becasue i am lonely and frustrated without intimacy in my life, and it’s hard to move forward. I’m also afraid of my friendship with the new guy becasue i am vulnerable (although I have never not been vulnerable) and I don’t want to get myself in another situation like with the ex and I feel by being with him it makes me more frustrated since he’s not the right guy but i could trick myself into being with him. It’s driving me a bit crazy!

    • courtney says:

      CC, I laughed when you said he reminded you of the guys on Big Bang Theory. Yesterday I had watched this ridiculous episode where the girl was trying sooo hard to get one of the nerds to sleep with him, and I just kept thinking, “WHY? You can do so much better.” And then I realized, all BR readers should be telling themselves that. It’s natural to miss your ex but you have to believe you can do so much better than someone who does not want a relationship. You can do so much better than a rebound that doesn’t give you what you need, too.

      Always follow your instincts. It is very hard to be alone, I am facing the same struggle. But hopefully it’s a struggle worth winning. You don’t have to settle just to not be alone. Enjoy your own company and when there’s a relationship worth risking the hurt, you’ll know it. Your instincts will tell you when you’re ready to move forward and when you’ve unloaded your baggage.

      • courtney says:

        also, sending hugs and love your way. you deserve the best!

      • lizzp says:

        Courtney,If I read CC right, big bang nerdy guy is not the ‘bad’ guy here. If I read you right, this has to be said: PLEASE do not forget that the Big Bang ‘nerdy’ new guy also has feelings and doesn’t ‘deserve’ to be strung along by a non-committed, emotionally unavailable, broken hearted (young?) woman on the rebound who knows he is “…not the right guy but…could trick…[herself]…into being with him.”. The new rebound guy isn’t the ‘bad guy’ in CC’s scenario (as presented). He has feelings we assume and is a person and shouldn’t, in my view, be so blatantly and thoughtlessly disregarded as an ‘object’ of no significance in the context of CC’s painful situation or within the context of subsequent responses. Please…we need to remember not to treat men we are dating and potentially hurt them in precisely the same ways which have brought so many of us to places of terrible pain, regret and confusion. AAAArrrrggggg!!

        • courtney says:

          Oh lizzp, never intended to say the new guy doesn’t have feelings! Not at all. My point is that we have instincts we must follow – whether it is about the guy or about our ability to be within the relationship or both. You’re right, sometimes these rebounds are objectified but I did not mean to do so. I simply remembered that episode because the nerdy guy was acting totally EUM and I felt the girl could do so much better – just like us BR readers who chase after EUMS. I wanted to emphasize that our instincts often tell us what we need to know about the guys we tend to date, and if CC feels that way towards any guy, whether it’s about the guy or about herself, she needs to pay attention and trust herself. I too agree we should avoid hurting others the way we’ve been hurt. Thanks for reminding us of that :)

          • CC says:

            Thank you Courtney and Lizzie. I obviously made it sound like I was intending a relationship with the man, and I assure you I am not, we are friends, but not even sure that will work for me as the chemistry is off for me even for friends. Lizzie, sad to say, but i am anything but young, in fact I am quite old. Very tired of relationships not working out and tired of being alone, having said that, as coutney pointed out, I do need to trust my instincts, too old not to and been around th eblock too many times to get involvled with nother man who is not right fo rme. I am very up front with him too. I think he likes me becasue of my emotional nature, and he is learning from me, if you read my new post in the latest BR, I talk about tha too. Thanks a lot for your insights, they are always appreciated.

    • lizzp says:

      CC, I just read your comment. I think it’s most important for starters that you stop with the new guy, explain that you cannot continue because you are not over your ex and then stop dating for the time being. It takes time and effort and SPACE (emotional space) to look at our relationship patterns so as to eventually be able and willing to have an honest conversation with ourselves. I believe moving onto the next guy is a way to avoid this and has the potential to keep you stuck, not to mention that it is not respectful to new guy when you are essentially emotionally unavailable to him. I know this may be hard to read, all I can say is that from my own past experience when I was young (you sound quite young but I am making an assumption) when I felt overwhelmed with emotional pain I sometimes acted out from a place of fear, confusion and unwillingness to feel the pain of rejection. I could at times become quite narcissistic,’using’ (ie disregarding/not considering) other’s feelings and disregarding the effect of my actions on them emotionally. Your comment as presented reads to me that you are not really considering how all this may affect new guy. You don’t have the reserves necessary to consider other people at this stage and this is understandable given what you are dealing with emotionally. The responsible thing to do is therefore to withdraw from new guy and other dating prospects. In the end,although support of ‘safe’ others can help, there is nothing for it but to go through your pain. No-one else can do it for you or feel what you feel. I am deeply sorry for what you are going through,and although you don’t know it now you can survive and pop out the other end of the dark tunnel into a new and better light.

      • Allison says:

        CC,

        I agree with Lizz!

        It’s not fair to use another as a buffer – to get over the ex – as you will become a user and an AC.

        Take some time out from dating, so that you can move on from the ex in a healthy way.

  24. floating says:

    I kinda believe they dont want the nc so they can just check we have forgiven them so they feel validated to carry on their merry way.my ex doesn’t even bother texting me but will reply to me if I text him. But when he comes to get our son by the time he drops him off later in the day he hovers asking how im doing acting all caring. Im polite he feels validated and off he goes. Feeling assured he aint a bad man assclown who messed me up.because im plesant to him. Then we hear nothing off him till the next week after having his son for the day the guilt gets to him again.so I then have to endure the pleastries til off he goes validated yet again. Not ringing or checking on his son all week is busting my boundries but I wont tell him how awful I think this is, because they wont and dont see anything but themselves.

  25. LadyL says:

    Amen. I deal with this a lot. I agree 100%!

  26. selkie says:

    I forgive my ex who was abusive. It’s been three years since we parted and I no longer feel pain over what happened. I see him now and again in passing and we are polite but quick, and he knows what he did. I can see it in his eyes. I was strict NC with him for a really long time but even that became a non issue as time went on. He never asked for my forgiveness and it’s a private gesture on my end, but it’s helped me measure my own progress.

    I’m not sure I forgive by socio path father yet. He has no remorse for screwing up his kids childhoods. I’ve come to terms with it rather. I no longer feel he is even my father. My dilemma with him is will I go to is funeral when he dies. Sad but true.

  27. Demke says:

    Sandy- my daughter felt the same w my ex AC. She would actually get mad at me, my relationship w her was at stake. Thats when it becomes a real wake up call, when your kids know better than you do. It made me feel weak and pathetic. That matured my arse up real quick. Because really, what can you feel guilty about or worried what ‘they’ (AC’s) think? When u end it. What better reason can anyone need? My kid(s) see right through you. They hate you, good bye. Lol.

    • Sandy says:

      Hi Demke, so did my daughter, in the end I wasn’t allowed to even mention his name to her lol she really hated how angry he was, and when I said that I got angry as well she said yes but yours is a sad angry…such a wise soul.
      My family disliked him as well, the brother I am closest to disliked him instantly and the ex AC always tried to stop me seeing him because of this.

  28. Mommy says:

    Can this still apply if you have children with your ex? I’m told I need to forgive him and speak to him for the sake of our son, but if he hurt me so terribly and he shows minimal interest in parenting, then why should I continue to beat my head against the wall? Where’s the line between self-preservation and good parenting?

    • Mymble says:

      Mommy
      I don’t believe that you “need” to forgive him, that’s something only you can decide.
      You might need to deal with him in relation to your child but you can do that in a business like pragmatic way.
      Your child may not see him in the same way as you and children (especially boys) do have a strong need to be around their male parent.

  29. ResJudicata says:

    I had both forgiven and forgotten. After 20 months, the XBF recontacted me when he was in town. One thing led to another, and 3.5 months later we got together for a romantic weekend in his country. The weekend was stunningly beautiful, romantic, and had me thinking that all of the demons had left him. Six weeks later…he reappeared in my city on his way to a job in a neighboring state. All of the progress…romance…beauty…magic was gone when he decided to undo everything by taking some heavy-duty drugs, and denying same while tremors beset his face and hands, and while perseverating while rocking in his seat. All of this led to a fight and unremitting denials about his perceived drug use before he drove off. How does one get past this with any modicum of “forgetting” and “forgiving”? I know…time heals all wounds. In retrospect, I sure wish that I had maintained NC when he wrote me again after 20 months.

  30. I typed the website address into the search bar just now while chanting to myself “Please let it say something about NOT seeking reassurance and approval and caring from someone who has demonstrated a lack of those things.” I was trying to rationalize texting exfriend for support because it’s the anniversary of my surgery to remove the cancer, and I’m feeling vulnerable. He has since ended things with gf, though he continues to “be friends” with her, and is trying to ‘reconcile’ our friendship. There have been many dramatic scenes during which I talked too much and he apologized, mostly sincerely. It was really tempting to seek him out tonight.

    I did a thing where I didn’t make a scene about my anniversary, hoping people close to me would gather around without a script. That doesn’t work, and so I was pouty. Phone call would have made me more pouty, I am sure.

    Thanks for your prescience, again!

  31. Magnolia says:

    On forgiveness:

    My aunt is a full-on proselytizing Catholic and it was on a bus full of Christian ladies headed to the casino that she hit me, which led me to decide to cut my visit short and take up in a hotel. This after calling me Satan’s spawn at one point for me not being as infuriated as she was at a woman who suggested that my aunt’s 5$ haircut wasn’t the most stylish thing she’d ever seen.

    When I said I wouldn’t be staying with her anymore, she laid it on thick about how I should forgive, that I wasn’t Christian, that families forgive, etc. I told her she was already forgiven but that I still was leaving and wouldn’t stay as a guest of someone who thinks that them being annoyed means they can slap me. To her forgiveness meant her saying sorry (actually shouting at me, I’m sorry, okay? I said I’m sorry!) and then me saying, okay, fine, and then forgetting it all, never bringing it up, and acting like it never happened.

    To me forgiveness is not making some epic thing about how she wronged me and making her somehow see that. This for my own sake.

    On remembering:

    I’ve now had a couple months with the MM at work having gotten the message and having backed completely off. I’ve seen him twice, at events, each time with his wife. He must have said something to her because she is now very reserved with me. I miss all the warmth that was “within bounds” in my interaction with them and wish I could have a bit of it back without all the creepy stuff. But to “forgive” in a way that would be about reintroducing more contact btw them and me into my life would mean forgetting why I had to push back in the first place. I wish I didn’t have to keep the distance up, and I think if there is forgiveness that ever needed to happen, I do forgive. But I don’t forget, so I just suck up the awkward icy cordial thing when I see his wife now.

    On another unrelated note:

    My friend’s husband just asked me out! And not to take me out either, but asking if I would take him out. He friended me on FB in Sept (seemed innocent enough – I’ve been to his house a few times), and just messaged me to suggest we go out. This of course prompts me to ask WTF and he tells me my friend and their son moved out in Sept. I haven’t caught up with my friend since August, and now I know why. I’m gobsmacked – I declined, of course.

    I know it’s very common, people looking to connect when the corpse of their marriage is not yet cold – heck, the marriage likely isn’t even a corpse, more like on life support – but the thought of stepping into that muck is so unappealing I just shake my head. Well, ladies, that’s male interest candidate #2 in cow-town. Can’t say I get no bites at all, now!

  32. Bubble says:

    You see Magnolia, this is what I was saying before. What your friends ex is probably trying to do is blacken her name, hurt her if you become friends with him etc etc. you won’t because you’re wise and loyal to your friend but I wonder how many others of her friends he has managed to do this too. What a shame!

  33. Lavendar says:

    I’m interested in using the past and holding a grudge and how that affects how you interact with people today. For example, I was involved with a real AC and got some really amazing help on BR that helped me to go no contact and get over him.

    I am now interested in another guy and I thought he was a nice guy (just a friend right now), but I overheard him talking to another friend on the phone and saying that he loved our city because there were so many “loose” women and “sluts” so he could go out and “get some” every single night. I was appalled by this. He saw my face when he said this and then he laughed and said “I can’t help it, I’m an ass,” and laughed again.

    Do you think I am using the past bad situation to colour my impressions of this guy? Maybe he was just showing off to his friends, I don’t know. I really like this guy.

    • grace says:

      Lavendar
      Er, no, don’t pursue this one.

    • Maeve says:

      Lavendar–Check in with your feelings and tell us what you think the answer is. It’s important that you listen to your gut. How did that statement make you feel?

      Does it inspire trust? Respect?

      • Lavendar says:

        When I heard him say that it made me really question him, also I was thinking that maybe he was saying it to brag to his friend and didn’t really mean it. It just seems so crazy and inappropriate I don’t know how it could be a genuine view.

        Though part of me thinks, even if he didn’t mean it, it’s a horrible thing to even say.

        For some reason even though he said this and some other things that I found questionable, I am really drawn to him. He also told me that he has at least six “booty call women” he calls up when he needs them. I don’t know if he’s being serious or if he’s trying to seem masculine.

        It’s like my old AC all over again. Except I was thinking that maybe I am just seeing bad things in this new guy because of the old one being so bad.

        • grace says:

          Lavendar
          what’s the attraction?

        • selkie says:

          Lavender,

          I don’t think he sounds like a good catch. He refers to women as sluts and has six on dial a lay. This doesn’t seem very respectful of women, and then he laughs about it. You may be drawn to him, but ask yourself why at this point.
          I like cheeseburgers, but I no longer eat them because they’re not good for me. It’s a choice.

        • dcd568 says:

          Lavendar, when people tell you who they are….believe them.

          “I can’t help it, I’m an ass,”

        • Sunyata says:

          Oh, eww, this guy sounds awful.
          What the heck is likable about talking about women in a degrading way and being sure you know he has a host of booty calls lined up?

          Like a moth to a flame, I know exactly what it’s like to feel drawn to this type and if you can, find the strength…fly away fly away! It’s fire, not the moon! Otherwise, it will burn. Even knowing that wasn’t enough for me, I apparently needed a hefty dose of agonizing pain before I finally had my fill and got burned so bad I’ll never want to be in that pit again.

          If you can find the strength, run, don’t walk. I wouldn’t friend zone this guy either, he doesn’t sound like good friend material, he sounds like exactly what he says he is, an ass.

        • Mymble says:

          Lavender,
          If you’re struggling, try thinking of the STDs he may be carrying around with him. Asses don’t tend to use protection.
          I also don’t think asses make good friend material.

        • Rosie says:

          Lavendar-

          “It’s like my old AC all over again. Except I was thinking that maybe I am just seeing bad things in this new guy because of the old one being so bad.”

          It sounds like you’re dismissing the red flags because you are attracted to him. “Well, I don’t know if his red flags are as red as my ex’s so maybe I’m not really seeing red…” Oh, you are seeing red and he even told you very directly that he has red flags. He’s an ass. He said so.

    • Allison says:

      Lavender,

      Don’t waste your time with him. He disrespects women!

      He has shown you who he is, now act on it! Don’t make excuses for this idiot!

      • Allison says:

        Also, key into the pattern of the types of men you’re attracted to, and why you’re choosing to ignore and excuse all these red flags.

        He sounds awful!

    • Sparkle says:

      Friend Zone at best with this guy. They always tell you who they are. You just gotta listen and watch. Remember your boundaries.

  34. Maeve says:

    Lavendar–How many adult men do you know who brag about bedding sluts and loose women but in reality respect/like women and are monogamous and faithful?

    Also, which guy was he trying to impress when he told YOU that he had 6 booty calls lined up for whenever he wants?

    Also, if he were just bragging (I think 15 year old boys do this but grow out of it), what is your assessment of someone who needs to brag like that? Is your opinion of that behavior good or bad?

    Do you think it’s healthy behavior? Or unhealthy? Why?
    Do you think it’s mature behavior? Or immature? Why?

    On some level what he did made you cringe, yet you are second guessing yourself. You need to ask yourself why.

    • Lavendar says:

      Thanks everyone for your really helpful advice. I really love BR.

      I guess the attraction is that he’s intelligent and I thought he was a nice guy. He’s very good at what he does and I admire that, so I figured he was a good guy, which I know isn’t always true.

      I felt a strong attraction to him from day one mentally and physically and it’s hard to forget about it even though he’s been saying these offensive things.

      I keep thinking that the stuff he says and does seems so crazy and offensive that I have to wonder if it’s all just an act and he’s just doing this because he’s trying to seem cool or something like that.

      In my mind I think that how he’s acting is immature and offensive, but for some reason I truly can’t get myself to believe that he is being genuine with this crazy stuff.

      Though whenever we are together he is constantly receiving text messages and laughing the entire time. He keeps telling me that all these women texting him think he’s an “ass” and laughs about it again. I feel like he’s pushing it in my face to get a reaction from me.

      When we walk down the street he’s always constantly commenting about how hot every woman we pass is and even runs up to some of them and gives them his number and asks them to meet up later (he does this at LEAST once every time we meet up) and then he looks at me and my shocked face and then laughs. It breaks my heart a bit.

      • SoulFull says:

        Oh Lavender,

        I’m in similar boat to you here, will explain in a mo, but from what you write, this guy is disrespecting YOU not just all these apparent booty-women.

        Running upto women and then checking them out, the slurs, even in ‘jest’….dont you remember how many times many of us are told “oh lighten up its just a JOKE” ?

        Its not a joke. A truly, kind, genuine man, would not refer to women as loose and sluts, or joke about having many on the go. His ‘niceness’ is just a front to get laid, unfortunately. Trust your gut on this one, and bail, then RUN!

        Now if I were to ask you, your advice, on a friend who is funny, nice, who takes me out biking (best positive activity i have done for eons) BUT who goes on about women as if they are meat, who talks to me in one glance, but then is always looking at other women or scantily clad women on the tv, with another glance, who i catch checking my body parts out regularly, and unashamedly, who makes his ‘hugs’ last a lil too long (yak) who is now using his biking knowledge and lending me a very decent bike as his control lever to keep going out with him (I am saving for my own fucking bike thanks, ‘mate’) and that I just have this uneasy, queasy feeling of being leched upon, and that I just want to untangle myself from him, and his unfolding ‘character’ ….would you tell me Im just making it a bigger deal than what it is, and to stay and just reaffirm my boundries of friendship only? Or would you advise me to run as fast as I can, nevermind hang around to go cycling??

        (I KNOW what I must do btw, simply because I do not want to/or should have to feel nauseus around a so called friend who makes constant referals to women looking hot or staring at my arse at every opportunity)

        If you feel uncomfortable, dont stick around. Dont have to make a big scene, just not be ‘free’ to meet up as often. Sorta-slow-fade.

      • Ciembi says:

        Hi Lavendar,

        I used to have a male best friend who was very, very similar to this man you describe. Smart, intelligent, attractive – constantly seducing women. He couldn’t even buy a coffee without being all charming and seductive with the girl behind the counter. At first I thought he just couldn’t help himself, it was just his way of relating to people, and he was so sweet and warm that it was no wonder he was universally well-liked, especially by women. But it was so OTT at times, that I began making funny faces and blushing when I was with him, especially since he made no exception with me in applying his charming/seductive behavior.

        I felt wrongly “safe” in that I saw the way he was with women, and – like you – I found it was so excessive and crazy that it couldn’t be serious, that it was an act to draw attention, that he was just being playful and enjoyed seeing my shocked/blushing faces, etc. I was so wrong. It was not a playful act, it’s who he was. Once he understood he was going nowhere with the playful sexual innuendo in my case as I was not taking him seriously, he became the intense, serious friend who wants to sleep with you but not lose the friendship. Yeah, right. I was so surprised with his sudden change of behavior toward me, that I mistook it for his dropping his “act”. Again, I was so wrong! He was not dropping it, he was taking it to a new height and I fell for it. I am still hurting from this user, one year after he got what he wanted and just disappeared. Never saw my “best friend” again.

        I know that this need not happen to you, and I hope it never does play out like this for you. But please be careful! I am glad that you seem to understand what’s going on, I hope you can use your knowledge much more cleverly than I did.

        • Maeve says:

          Ciembi–that truly sucks. I can see myself also potentially being fooled into thinking new intensity means dropping the “act.” Your post was educational. I’ll definitely remember that. Thank you.

      • Maeve says:

        ugh! What a schmoe. This reminds me of the dance AC whom I recently brushed off as having a flirting fetish and who my mother insisted liked me (so I let my guard down an inch).

        I just didn’t see myself living with the b.s. so I dropped him. I also observed undercurrents of hostile, disrespectful behavior. In my opinion it’s ALL there when you look behind the curtain.

        It’s such desperate and insecure behavior (which I don’t find sexually appealing at all) that I’ve tended to step back and observe it almost scientifically. What makes someone do that? The frenetic-ness of it seems almost like anxiety.

        Lavendar, the fact that you’re taking this all in means that on some level you have self-preservation. Please trust yourself.

        P.S. my weakness is intelligence too, but remember…intelligent people can be some of the most effed up folks on the planet. Intelligent doesn’t automatically mean healthy.

  35. Sue says:

    Hi Ladies and gents. I want to report I have gone over 3 months no contact, although I occasionally ask my mutual friend how the ex is doing, in general. I have no specific information about if he is dating, etc. I’m doing pretty well. I still get upset, but less frequently. I want to contact him less frequently. I am able to focus on the crap he did and realize I do not want another helping. I could not have made it without Natalie’s site and books and you all’s posts! I’m painting and doing some things that had gone by the wayside, getting my life back on track. I am dating a new guy, very casual and early stages. It is boring and lacks any excitement. That’s a good sign for me. :) Carry on!!

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sue,

      Wonderful. It’s always uplifting for us all to hear stories of victory and healing.
      All the best.

  36. espresso says:

    Although not of a religious bent I overdid the “turn the other cheek and forgive and give the benefit of the doubt” thing. It was one of the factors that kept me trying to believe in my ex’s good intentions so earnestly expressed while he just kept on doing the same old thing and treating me in the same old way. I like to be a generous, supportive and caring person and this was exploited because I actually never got the care, respect, affection, appreciation and cooperation/teamwork I wanted and worked so hard for in the relationship. I was misguided and blind. MY goal now is to toughen up and understand that I have my own needs – they are completely VALID and that I deserve to have them met …either by myself or in the relationships I have at whatever level. That means an awful lot of retraining. I AM afraid of being told (again) either implicitly or explicitly that I am selfish – I know my ex has set me up for that and is oh so careful to always appear the “good guy” especially to our kids. I still am having to work on that.

    Bottom line…we usually “know” (in our gut at least) if we are not being treated right or if something isn’t right for US – we need to trust our instincts on this and not put up with crap. It just isn’t worth it and it only leads to more frustration, unhappiness and anger in the long run.

  37. Mymble says:

    I have finally, finally made the break from my husband, after years of disrespectful and sometimes abusive behaviour. I second guessed myself, I felt guilty and ashamed and I believed him when he said that I was inadequate and wouldn’t be able to cope as a mother to my children. I didn’t even stand up to him the times he hit me, and told me it was my fault that he did it. This happened a few times several years ago. I couldn’t really forgive him but I could not let it go either. He never apologised. I forced myself to have sex with him when I hated it, and it made me want to cry. Everyone thinks he is an absolutely fantastic husband, and I was lucky to have a man who was taking his kids here and there, putting out the bins, growing loads of his own veg, always smiling. I was frightened of what people might say and looking like the bad one.
    He told me i would fall to pieces if he left, and I feared that he might be right.
    But at last he has left and …I am fine! And the kids seem fine too. (I was afraid they would turn against me). I intend to have an amicable relationship with him, for their sake, but in my heart I do not forgive him for how he treated me. He will always make my skin crawl, a little. I thought I had had the complete menopause a year ago, but two days after he left, it seemed that my body went back to normal.
    He told me that he might get full residence of the kids as I was a crap mum and he did 90% of their care. (he said) In fact, he is already complaining about the amount of time he will have them (3 days a week) and says he doesn’t want them so much.
    I hate having to tell people about the split, and
    expose myself to their judgements but I try not to worry about it, after all they were not married to him.

    • Mymble says:

      I wrote this before I read some of the other posts about forgiveness. They also gave me pause for thought.
      Sometimes I feel I do, but mostly I feel I don’t. It’s still very difficult and my feelings are fluctuating a lot.
      I also still feel a lot of responsibility for him, which was the other thing that kept me tied.
      I still feel I’ve done the right thing, and I am relieved, but in other ways I don’t know that I’ll ever be really free of him.

  38. grace says:

    Aw mymble, I didn’t know it was so bad.
    People are too concerned with their own stuff to give anyone else’s relationship more than a few minutes head space, don’t worry about that.

    • Mymble says:

      Grace
      Thank you.
      The weird thing is that I didn’t myself realise how bad it had been, until he was gone. Like carrying a heavy bag for a long time, you stop really noticing until you put it down, then oh, the relief!

      • grace says:

        Mymble
        Exactly how I felt when I left the abusive ex, like a stone had been lifted from my heart. I hadn’t even realised it was there.
        Oddly, I have forgiven him and wish him no ill will. Took a few years mind. It didn’t try to forgive him, I got on with life and it just happened.

    • Lilly says:

      Mymble,

      You have helped me in the past and I wish I could say something wise to support you. All I can do is send you and your children a great big hug and I know you are all going to be just fine, xxxx.

  39. Revolution says:

    Grace,

    Great addition, and true! Also, misspoke about 77–it is 70×7, as you said. No theological debates on here, God forbid. Just clarifying my thoughts! :)

  40. Sparkle says:

    A bit OTT, but saw this on Pinterest today and made me think of all of us:

    “You may have convinced yourself that you are too broken for love, but there is someone who will prove to you that true love can heal the shattered of hearts. Even if you think you are not good enough for love or that you don’t deserve love, know that the moment true love is revealed to you will be the very moment you could live in for eternity. Love made you and love freed you, so never think that it is not meant for you.”

    Oh, and a terrific story:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave.html?quote=2020

    • JustHer says:

      Sparkle that video is really emotional to watch for me, having been where that woman was too. Sometimes I honestly think that there is a “type” of person who gets abused and I was just one of those – but she showed us that there is no such thing, anyone can be a victim.

      It also shows that we shouldn’t judge those who keep saying “Why can’t you just leave him?!” Because it really isn’t as easy as that.

      Mymble,

      I would definitely encourage you to watch this.

  41. Mansu says:

    I had issues we’re I would let things go, but still have resentment through my silence and it took me quite awhile to move beyond passive aggressive behavior and to just confront people about how I felt about the situation or their behavior. Natalie, this post is food for thought. Appreciate you writing this.

  42. espresso says:

    Mymble …I am so glad to hear how you are feeling. It gives me hope that when I leave this house physically I will have the same sense of relief. I still get triggered and I still walk around on eggshells. I am filled with anger although we have very limited contact. I don’t like all the negative nasty thoughts I have pretty much all the time. It is hard to imagine being free and clear someday. And my ex is sort of like yours…smiley and nice, genial and willing to help.
    But manipulative and controlling and trying to use the reset button. THANK YOU!

  43. espresso says:

    PS Mymble
    I think being in this kind of relationship where we began to doubt ourselves, where we were with these “nice” passive aggressive guys is crazy making in very very sutble ways- I understand more of that now. My ex never took drugs, lazed around drinking beer in his undershirt and never even hit me. But he actually destroyed my confidence by denying me affection, respect, and appreciation and was deaf to me….completely stone deaf. I worked SO hard trying to make the relationship work while he either withdrew emotionally while he attacked and blamed me. He made sure that I never got what I wanted and needed. So this is really really traumatizing and I think made worse because in our other lives we are totally competent together, strong and intelligent women. It feels so awful not to handle things well and to lose so much confidence. It will take time for me to recover and I think for you too….so be patient with yourself.. :-)
    And it is unfortunately that you have to see him but I understand that you do and I know I will have to do that too…from time to time but I just hope I will be able to be less triggered as time passes so he won’t affect me anymore. I am VERY happy for you.

  44. teachable says:

    I’m still confused tho Nat. Is it ok to remember a person who has caused us terrible harm w anger? Like my mother for example? B.c I have to admit I am ropable & I’m DONE with trying to b the ‘bigger person’ re someone with the audacity to accuse me of lying abt being physically abused by HER & covertly sexually abused by not one but TWO of her sicko boyfriends as a child! Where does this nasty piece of work get off I wonder? It beggars belief! Seriously!

  45. teachable says:

    thts it. crawling under bed of the genie bottle. not coming out. life sucks. I dont care if im feeling sorry for myself. dont care, dont care, dont care. these are the effs I do not give. there is so much more to my current world of pain. re my son esp. my ‘mother’ has a massive part in enormous damage there too. she is at the core of my estrangemnt frm my son (iniated by my son as much he doesnt know & I cannot tell him or will only taumatise him). surprise surprise. I feel murderous rage toward my egg donor. exceedingly fortunate I do NOT suffer mental illness. if I did I would seriously push tht waste of space over the nearest cliff!!

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!