Wolf reading the wanted ads for daddy and mama replacements

“Some relationships have to and should end. If you keep seeing your relationships not working out as abandonment, aside from each person having what is closer to a parental role in your life, you’re too busy trying to hold onto them at all costs and make them fulfil what you feel is their obligation to take care of you and never leave, that you miss some very obvious reasons as to why the relationship isn’t healthy and shouldn’t be forced to continue.” The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship, from the chapter Letting Go Of Abandonment.

When we’re willing to hold onto a person at all costs, even if that means losing ourselves, we’d rather have them on some terms, even if they’re crummy terms, rather than not at all. We decide that they’re the only way that we can be happy and we act as if they’re our oxygen supply. The very person who is actually contributing to our deep unhappiness is at the same time regarded as the primary or even sole source of our happiness. It’s the whole ‘crumbs is better than no crumbs at all…’ and unfortunately when we don’t treat ourselves with love, care, trust, and respect, and in fact starve ourselves of these, any ‘ole person can come along and pretty much say and do very little, and it will still look like more than anything that we’re doing. Of course it’s out of context because a crumb only looks like a lot when we’re used to little or don’t believe that we deserve more. It’s still crumbs though.

Whether a person is shady or not, it’s never good or healthy for us to expect that they will come along and parent us. It’s our job to be our primary carer.  The fact that a parent may have inadequately parented us isn’t a reflection of our worth, our right to be here on this planet, or our future options. We deserve to be nurtured, loved, cared, respected, and trusted. We deserve to have a healthy, happy start in life, it’s just that this doesn’t always happen. Of course parents should stay and take care of us when we’re children because it’s what they’re supposed to do but, as I can attest to, this is far from being the case. It broke my heart as a child and I carried the burden of what I perceived to be my failure and fault well into my adulthood. I missed and yearned for what I could have been and what I thought my childhood could have been but the passage of time and some big lessons have shown me that actually, even if I’d had my father around, it doesn’t mean that my life would have been entirely different. Whatever has been, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have a damn good go at doing things differently for the remainder of our lives. At least we have a life to make our mark on – some children don’t make it.

Even if our parents are still around, trying to make them parent us, fix our adult lives, provide all of our security and give us our identity and purpose is unhealthy. Hell, they may be struggling to do these things for themselves! It’s not that they’re not our parents and it’s not that they couldn’t do with making some changes but there comes a time when we have to ask why we’re putting so much energy in trying to have Childhood Mark:2, when we could be getting on with the business of living our own lives. It’s not that they’re not our parents but it’s no longer their job to parent us because we’re grown-ups and we can do this ourselves.

We can use adulthood to unlearn all of the unproductive stuff and to figure out how to live our lives happily and authentically as us.

It’s our job to create personal security. We have to reclaim who we are, live our values, and make ‘mistakes’ (read: have experiences) along the way to gain clarity about what does and doesn’t work for us, as well as pay attention to where we’re making strides. We just don’t get much of an opportunity to do this when we nestle ourselves into someone who we’re effectively trying to get them to shelter us from ourselves and life.

It’s too much to expect that romantic partners will do for us what we’re not prepared to do for ourselves and it’s most definitely too much to expect them to fill up voids created by our parents. We want an external solution to our internal issues. We want to be directed and told who we are when that’s our role. We assign these people too much power. In deferring to them as being critically important to our survival, we end creating helplessness and taking up a child role in our very adult relationships. This is particularly scary when we don’t know them and/or they’re abusive.

When they leave or they don’t meet our hopes and expectations, it feels excruciating, especially because it confirms our worst fears and beliefs. We may do things in our quest to hold on that greatly diminish our sense of selves because we keep trying to please in the hopes that they’ll fill our voids and in turn, meet our needs, expectations, and wishes.

When we look for people to parent us, we invariably end up with a hotchpotch of one or both our parents who we’re trying to right the wrongs of the past with. We end up living in the past and playing out our child role in an adult setting with disastrous or certainly very painful results. 

We cannot assign romantic partners (or indeed anyone else for that matter), what amounts to parental obligations. Each and every time we do, it makes us excessively emotionally reliant on these people and we abandon ourselves while being blinded to how toxic the involvement and our expectations are. We have an obligation and even if someone comes along, we still have that obligation to represent regardless. When we stop stepping up for us and behave like someone handing over the keys and saying ‘Here. They’re yours. Do what you like, make whatever changes you need but just don’t leave’, we’re giving people the blueprints to screw us over. The shady ones will grab ‘em with both hands.

It’s you who has an obligation to you to look out for you, to be you, to represent and meet your needs, expectations, desires, feelings, and opinions. Whatever you expect of others must be what you’re already being and doing for yourself. Once you do this, you approach relationships from a healthy place of desire, not a matter of needing a saviour for your survival. A person will add to your life not be your life or your surrogate parent .

Your thoughts?

 

Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .

Natalie (NML) – who has written posts on Baggage Reclaim by Natalie Lue.


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162 Responses to Don’t try to get romantic partners to step in as parental replacements – it will only lead to pain

  1. JustHer says:

    It’s funny how I read such posts and think about all the things I did wrong, and see exactly how I basically helped myself into disastrous pain and hurt.

    The AC had some qualities of my father (a man who loves me very much, but can be quite blunt without meaning to) which I liked. He said things which reminded me of my dad and I felt ‘safe’. I thought he had the same principles my father had too (he is morally perfect in my eyes).

    However, I had given him so much of my love and projected so much of my ‘father’ into him that I forgot to notice that he was shady in his behaviour and that actually, he did not have a moral compass.

    I expected him to take care of me and treat me like my dad had treated me. I expected him to love me and protect me. But he did none of these things.

    I can see now where it all went wrong and I can see how very very stupid I was. But I guess it serves to answer that I actually need to NOT need someone to protect me and look after me and treasure me. Maybe I just need companionship now.

    If it didn’t hurt so goddamn much, I would go out and find it.

    • Shelby says:

      Great article. I projected so much of my father onto the AC that I sometimes did not recognize myself, I spoke like a little girl and always said ( happily) , What would I ever do without you?
      I lost myself, compromised my values and dumbed myself down while constantly stroking the ego of the AC.
      I am out of the relationship, trying to heal and work on overcoming fears, like being abandoned.
      I wanted and worked hard to be the perfect girlfriend ( good girl) and almost lost myself completely to a shady, shameless man who has no empathy or concern for others. I thought I was safe and cared for and never was. Now I am examining why I stayed in this toxic relationship so long, and healing, as not to repeat this with another.

      • H. says:

        Your self awareness is inspiring. I truly believe that because you have gained so much clarity and are seeking to improve things internally that you will find the answers and happiness that you deserve.

      • JustHer says:

        Shelby,

        I think it is extremely easy to find yourself in a situation where the more you give up control, the safer you feel, deceptively.

        I used to also tell him that I liked the qualities he shared with my dad. And I also told him that I needed him to look after me and protect me.

        More like I needed to be protected FROM him!

        Ahh and the good girl trap. Aww honey, we’ve all been there. And I’m sure that if we keep our heads straight and get to the bottom on the reasons which keep us stuck on these useless ACs, we can truly find the love we deserve.

    • Pauline says:

      JustHer

      This is exactly what happened with me and the AC when I met him. My father had been dead for 10 years and he loved me very much as well.
      I saw a lot of the qualities in the AC that my father had and I really got the two of them mixed up in my mind and didn’t see the shady behaviour and lack of moral values that my father did have.
      About 18 months ago I said to a girlfriend that he reminds me in many ways of my father and she looked at me and said ‘did you hear what you just said, your FATHER!!!
      That’s when a lot of things started to come together in my mind and I realised that I’d projected onto the AC all my love for my Dad. He was nothing like my Father and I have a feeling that the AC had picked up on this (when I recall some of the comments he made at times, ah! hindsight) and really started messing with my head.
      I have the two of them totally seperated now and the AC is long gone, almost a year now, thank BR and Nat for that.

      • JustHer says:

        Pauline,

        I thought it was uncommon for people to project the love of their parents to ACs! I thought it was mostly the character flaw that people looked for in their relationships instead, so thank you for showing me I’m not alone in this.

        I’ve never had a man care for me or love me as much as my father who would literally do anything to see me happy, and I felt that the AC did that too. So like you say, I got them mixed up in my mind.

        Congrats for making it so far, honey! Keep going :)

        • Pauline says:

          JustHer,

          Perhaps not as uncommon as you think. Like you, having had a wonderful father who loved me and whom I loved very much, I’m sure I have been unconsciously looking for him in every man I meet.

          I think this may also be true for a lot of women who are really getting their love for their fathers mixed up with AC’s as superficially they seem to have the same qualities.

          It was a bit freaky when I realised how much love I was transferring onto the assclown, makes me shudder to think I thought he was anything like my Dad.

          I finally feel like I’m coming out the other side at long last. What a relief.

          • Wiser says:

            Pauline, this makes real sense to me too. My dad was a wonderful man who embodied many virtues: he was honorable, trustworthy, utterly dependable, gentle, patient, loyal, dignified, and his word was his bond. He was the epitome of someone with character and integrity.

            He was also very private and never talked about himself or his feelings, or shared anything intimate with his kids. I know now that he had chronic depression and felt defeated for most of his life. I was a real daddy’s girl as a kid and adored him, but he withdrew from me when I entered my teens. He withdrew emotionally from everyone really, including my mom which made her crazy. He was a real old-school gentleman, kind but very distant. And weak in his own way. Highly EU. I saw him, and therefore all men, as complete mysteries, and so I naturally gravitated to men who were “mysterious and deep.” Of course this usually means highly EU, but I was going to be the exception that could penetrate that shell and find real intimacy and the “great guy” within. What I usually found were depressed men who didn’t like themselves, had a lot of emotional problems and had very little of my dad’s integrity.

  2. Mrs.Prisoner says:

    I am from the Philippines. I am married to a man 12 years older than me. He controls everything in my life. He even make his siblings spy on me. Having him as a husband reminds me of my childhood. My mother used to control my life as a result I married him because I want to break free of my mother not knowing that he is also a control-freak. I feel useless, emotionally numb and stupid. I tried several times to leave him, but my mother kept on telling me that it’s better for me to be with him because he can give better future for my kids. I do not have a job, no money, anything. He only give me monthly allowance enough to pay the bills and for daily meals and children school needs. I am sorry to make this long comment, This is the only way I can express myself. The internet is the only place I am free.

    • L says:

      Oh my God. I really, really hope you will find the strength and courage to break free and start a new life. An allowance? For God’s sake, what you need is a job, independence, to get back the life you never had – yours.

      All the best. Hope you’ll find the way to get out as soon as possible.

    • Maeve says:

      Mrs. Prisoner, it sounds like you’re in a terrible situation and it’s sad that your own mother won’t even support you. If you were to leave this situation, you would need lots of support, both financial and emotional. It’s hard to know what to say, especially as I don’t know the Philippines too well. Are there community resources there that help women out?

      I’m so sorry you’re in such pain. I think it’s good that you took a step forward and said something. Knowing others hear you is how change begins.

    • noquay says:

      Here you are Ms. Free. Yep, when all you know is cntrol, it seems normal. How old are these kids? Maybe now is the time to plan for your escape when the kids are out of school. You do realize that your mother is also toxic, she taught you to accept this behavior in the first place so you need to escape from her too when the time comes. Harsh words but thit sounds like this is what needs to happen.

      • Lilly says:

        Mrs.Prisoner,

        I’d like to join in the support for you here. I really hope you find the courage, means and support to leave this man because controlling you in this way is abuse. You’ve already made the first step which is to recognize that you’re being controlled, but you need to prepare and make a plan before leaving. A good first step might be to contact some agencies or community support services that can help you and I hope there are such places where you live. Don’t listen to your mother as Noquay says she is also toxic. You are not useless or stupid you have been made to feel this way by the actions of your abusive husband and mother. I can imagine the stress and anxiety you are experiencing. Sending you and your children much love and support.

    • lizzp says:

      Mrs Prisoner, I’m so sorry for your situation and the pain you are in. It sounds like you are indeed a prisoner of a very controlling man. Are you living in the Philippines? I was just wondering, when you say you married to escape your controlling mother, that perhaps it was to a man from another country? You see, I don’t know about the Philippines but in countries such as US, UK, Aust or NZ for e.g you may be able to access some services to get help. However, you need to understand and honestly assess how dangerous your husband is and if there is a chance of him harming yourself and your children then you need a solid plan to escape. I get that this will probably beyond difficult if he is monitoring you via his siblings and possibly other methods.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Mrs. Prisoner,

        I pray for you to find the ability to free yourself mentally and physically. There’s nothing like PEACE OF MIND. All the best in your struggle to redefine YOU and your life.

  3. melissa says:

    I definitely agree with this. I think of myself as a very independent and strong woman. I am a single mother to two kids and have been very successful in my life. And yet…when it comes to relationships, I tend to lose myself in them. This is a good reminder of how both women and men (but especially women…hahhaha) need to rely on themselves for value.

    I have to believe I am beautiful or else I will seek it out from others to validate that part of me. I have to believe that I am valuable or else I will end up devaluing myself while I seek it from others.

    Thanks for the reminder. Comes at a great time.

    • LovefromNel says:

      @Melissa, I absolutely agree and am very similar myself. I also tend to lose myself, and most importantly, my voice. I don’t stand up for things I believe in. I tend to go along with things to keep the peace. And it’s not me! The positive thing, though, is being able to recognise this and value you from now onwards. Hugs!

  4. noquay says:

    Ironically some men in my past and present seem to think my job is to parent them. Be therapist, physician, nurse, chief cook and bottlewasher, keeper of home,et al. I suppose it is because I come off as being very strong. My upbringing was extremely abusive and from the teens onward, I did everything possible to avoid my parents lifestyle (got an education, avoided having kids, did not strive to pass as middle class and White, rejection of Christianity, of Capitalism, and never, ever killed my soul in order to “fit in”) and avoid dealing with folks, particularly men, similar to them. Kinda harsh, I know, but necessary. My step and biological siblings got sucked into that cycle of abuse, alcoholism. Now I find colleagues, community, etc telling me to settle for men like my Dad (anti education, divorced 3x, now recovering alcoholic)and accept the values and lifestyle I worked hard to escape. I love my Dad but learned early on that men like him are not for me. No thanks.

  5. DunrobINE says:

    Great post!

    Mrs. Prisoner – maybe you could get some professional input and help. Your mother is part of the system of dysfunction….the system needs some fresh air to guide you. The internet can’t set you free. Only you can do that. But I think you need some support and help figuring out how to take care of yourself. Just a suggestion.

    I think a lot of this stuff is very unconscious for many people and if they haven’t done any family of origin work, they might think a post like this is ridiculous. Denial and other defence mechanisms can be really strong. I’m thinking about what Natalie says about healing from previous relationships before moving on to the next…it’s obvious that starting with our first relationships (our parents), and healing some of that stuff is so important. But so many people don’t want to do the work…the good old “my family wasn’t so bad” attitude. Patterns patterns patterns. It’s fascinating stuff.

  6. Magnolia says:

    This is SO my whole old story that I am thrilled to say that tonight I don’t have an iota of desire to get into that narrative! That’s the past. This week I am in the nation’s capital, doing arts admin work with other adults. That’s what I thought as we sat there, bringing our individual expertises to the table, in a respectful collaborative discussion. Man. made it. Not to the “top,” not into the marriage with Mr. Big, but to a sense of community with other adults. I know I can bring these lessons and good vibes into my personal life.

    I don’t look at any guys any more like they’re Big Boys, whether in a romantic or professional context. I can look at the peers who are doing ‘better’ than me and feel the competitiveness of the world and the jealousy in me and normalize it, not let it worry me or make me curl up into a defeated-Mary-Poppins foetal ball. The hunt for an attentive daddy is over. I look at myself and govern myself. Guess I’m a grown-up!

  7. Lilly says:

    I think I might still be looking for my absent father. He left when I was five and like Nat experienced it broke my heart. I’m convinced it was this ‘daddy seeking’ that got me into trouble with the exAC/MM/thesis supervisor in the first place. A few weeks ago I met a really nice man at a party (the first one I’d been too for a very long time). I haven’t seen him since as he returned to the US (I live in Australia), but we’ve been emailing and he’s phoned me a couple of times. He seems really nice, compassionate, empathic, kind. Everything opposite to the exAC/MM except there are some similarities. Both are slightly older than me (12 and 14 years), both are well-established in similar careers, and alarmingly both trigger my fantasies and childlike neediness to be cared for. I can recognise my own neediness now and it makes me very uncomfortable. I would like to remain in touch with this man as I’m enjoying the conversations and I’ve finally made a tentative move out into the world. This post has come at just the right time; time to re-read Nat’s Dreamer and Fantasy Relationship book. I need to stay grounded and relate to him as the adult I am.

    • Mymble says:

      Hi Lilly
      A good idea to re read the book because email/telephone/LDR relationships are the natural habitat and breeding ground for projection, fantasy, illusion and escapism. It sounds as though you’ve already got this New Guy right up there on a massive big pedestal.
      I know what you mean about feeling needy :(
      Feeling some of that myself. I recently caught up with a long ago ex- not the one who was making a pass, this one did not. However I felt a great surge of attraction and affection for him, this is NOT GOOD as he is NOT AVAILABLE and stems a lot from my own issues. I kept thinking how could I have let this guy go? But I did, and a long time ago so that moment is long past and now he is happily married.
      And before I get a big talking to, no I am not going to pursue this and am not going to see or chat to him again till I’ve got myself a bit more balanced.

      • Lilly says:

        Mymble,

        What is it with me and pedestals! At least I’m aware now so I can do something about it. As for you feeling a bit needy right now it’s completely understandable and I’m not surprised. I hope you don’t mind me saying, but what a selfish man your ex was/is. I just read your post further down and I’m furious that he treated you so badly after just giving birth. You are so much better off without the parasite. As for me I’d better get back to Nat’s book to try and make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Mymble

        Hahahaha! You know I was going to say something. So now I won’t. You’ve already said you’re not going to pursue that. When I read about women involved with a MM or thinking of doing so, I just go bananas. It is the absolute worst, ungratifying experience a woman can VOLUNTARILY continue tolerating other than DV. When I recall the horrible low I was at and how I sunk even lower during that time, I don’t want to know of anyone else experiencing the same.

    • Allison says:

      Lilly,

      Glad you’re getting out :)

      Hon, you may want to rethink the long distance thing – wasn’t the ex long distance – as it can lead to a lot of fantasy and disappointment.

      I know that in my past, I gravitated to LDR, as I never really had to be completely available. Please see if this also applies.

      • Lilly says:

        Allison!

        You are so right I think I’m trying to reconnect to life, but at a safe distance!

        • Tinkerbell says:

          And I certainly maligned dogs. They’re such sweet loyal creatures. This man is clearly not those things. I have to agree with Mymble that if there is such a thing as a sex addict, he’s it. I was thinking of the word nymphomaniac but didn’t know if that term applies only to women.

          Wiser and FWD, thank you for advising Ami more eloquently than I have. When I post my words match my emotions.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Yes, Lilly. Please reread “The Dreamer”. If you establish a connection with this man you must know that it can never be serious or fulfilling for you because of the distance between you. You will be fantasizing about all kinds of possibilites before you know it. I clearly understand you’re wanting to feel appreciated, adored and “loved” and that your EUness as a result of the ACMM has left you needy and feeling a pervasive void. I’ve been there, done that. After my affair I went online because I wanted the admiration (LOL!) but did not want to get too close because of fear. You’re still afraid Lilly and you will be for a long time, yet, with good reason. So please tread very carefully with all your wits about you, because it’s WAAAYYY TOO SOON for another possible disappointment.(((Hugs))) Tink.

      • Lilly says:

        Tink,

        I’m planning to reread the whole book this weekend. I do need to stay grounded or I will run away with myself. Truth be told I have caught myself out a couple of times, but I’ve quickly pulled myself up. He has made me feel good about myself and I don’t think about the AC when I’m talking with him. It feels like a reprieve from all the sadness. Interestingly though I received an email from him this morning that got my back up a little. It was only a small thing, but he actually corrected my grammar. I’d ended a sentence using a preposition and he didn’t like it! The admonishment made me feel like I was back in school. Maybe I’m overreacting but I thought it was a little weird. Thanks for the hug Tink. I have no idea why, but that thought has just brought tears to my eyes. What an emotional mess I am still!

        • Rosie says:

          Lilly- Awesome that you’re picking up on the subtle clues! Way to go! :) There’s this one man I keep running into on the subway. It’s been going on for more than a year. When I first met him, he seemed normal and I gave him my phone number. After one conversation, it was a no-go. Long story short, after the last phone conversation, I told him to stop contacting me. He contacted me the next day to apologize for calling me on Easter. Ok…it’s an apology, but what did he do there? He busted my boundary by contacting me. Whenever I run into him, he still tries to chat me up, asks me out, asks if he can call me…I say “no” every time. He even included me in a group text on Thanksgiving. It isn’t flattering; it’s disrespectful and, frankly, I’m getting a little nervous as it’s been going on for more than a year. Do I need to bring pepper spray with me to the subway station?

          So…I say listen to yourself regarding the subtle clues. What’s that saying, “The devil’s in the details”?

          • Rosie says:

            Lilly- I apologize for turning my response into “all about me”. What I meant is that, by picking up on the grammar correction, you’re learning to pay attention to the more subtle flags.

        • Pauline says:

          Lilly,

          Be careful, big orange to red flag there if he’s correcting your grammar as he may be a CONTROL freak.
          These guys start with small things to see what they can get away with and then start to ramp up when you start accepting the criticism.
          He got your back up with his comment and made you feel like a child again, enough said!
          You’re not over reacting and your instincts are spot on.
          Do you think you may be rebounding from the AC onto this man because he’s been kind and makes you feel good despite the fact that he is thousands of miles away? I know that any crumb of kindness or interest after being being mangled flat by an AC is such a relief, give yourself time to heal from the AC and you will find lots more kindness and interest from lots more people that you can be real friends with – and tell him where to stick his grammar corrections (politely of course!)

          • Tinkerbell says:

            My dad was a wonderful man. Unfortunately he was an alcoholic but he was kind, gentle, loving, highly emotional, intelligent and spent as much time in conversations with me as he could. I’m only realizing now as I write this that most of my boyfriends were much older than me. My father passed when I was 23. I guess I always looked to replace him because I would have bf’s 10-20 years older than myself. My husband that died was 9 years older and Petie is 8 years older. The only exception and it was a huge one was the MM who was 12yrs my junior. Except for that affair, I’ve been looking for my dad all these years. He was incredibly caring and protective .I’ve always been drawn to those qualities.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Lilly,

            I have to agree with Pauline. Why would he feel the need to do that? You’re hundreds of miles away from each other. What’s your grammar got to do with anything. I end sentences with prepositions all the time. I’m always aware of it but I don’t bother to correct myself because I’m writing the way I speak, not turning in a thesis.

          • Lilly says:

            Pauline,

            Being mangled flat describes the experience perfectly! I know I’m not over the AC yet and you’re right I am on the rebound. Just dipping my toes in the water I suppose and it feels so nice having someone so interested in me. Kindness is a funny thing. I’m not sure why, but if anyone shows me any sort of kindness these days I’m usually reduced to tears. Perhaps when that stops I’ll be ready for new friends.

            • Wiser says:

              Lilly, yes, please be careful with this guy. If he is a controlling sort, a vulnerable woman like you who feels the deep need at the moment for someone to take care of her – well, this will be catnip to him.

              I’ve noticed that there is often a fine line between a man’s desire to “take care of” and the desire to “take over.”

            • Allison says:

              Lilly,

              Perhaps you should give it more time – a year. The rebound will not help you – other than avoid issues – and it is not fair to the other party – I do not include the English professor in this.

          • Camillah says:

            Pauline,

            I agree with you. Sorry Lilly, but this guy sounds like a pedantic, arrogant, controlling, pompous, pretentious a$$. You can end a sentence with a preposition as long as the meaning is clear. Besides, who cares? He’s being rude and disrespecting your right to write however the heck you want to. I would have told this boundary-buster to f-off. How rude!

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Lilly,

          I thought I’d already learned a lot by now, but I found Nat’s book very helpful, with excellent reminders of the important factors you don’t want to forget. STOP DREAMING!! The habit is very difficult to break even when you realize you’re doing it.

          • Lilly says:

            Tink,

            It is difficulty to break the fantasy habit, but I’m determined. Still reading the book. I can recognise myself on almost every page!

        • Allison says:

          Lily,

          Oh goodness! Who corrects another’s grammar, other than a pompous ass!

          Flush!

    • Magnolia says:

      Lilly, it’s amazing to read your comments now compared to when you first got here. You show a lot of self-awareness.

      • Lilly says:

        Hi Mags,

        Your comment made my day. I AM improving! xx

        • LovefromNel says:

          Hi Lilly,
          Your post about the grammar correction made me think of my EUM (as well as Pauline’s comment about being a control freak). I got comments like – is that how you peel potatoes? Did you put salt in that water? I couldn’t even leave bobby pins at his house! I should have seen these amber/red flags but it is only after the fact, when I’ve discovered NML and BR, that I even know what these are. xo

  8. Camille says:

    I’ve never expected a man to “take care of me” – I’ve always assumed that meant that I expected not to have to work and he would provide a house and home and access to his credit cards – like the wives of some of the men I work with. But I’ve always expected a certain basic level of care and concern. I care for my friends if they are in need. Am I wrong to expect care back? Am I wrong to expect my boyfriend to care for me and show understanding and concern if I’m not well?

    I’m currently going through the menopause and I’m on HRT,and have discovered I’m hypersensitive to progestogen. I was probably hypersensitive to my own natural progesterone as I always suffered terrible PMS. At these times of the month my life is hell. But because I’m exhausted and have negative self-deprecating thoughts, and because I can’t get warm, am constantly in pain and have no sex drive during the days I take the progestogen tablets, I need some understanding and care, some gentleness, and some giving from my boyfriend.

    Instead, I get hardcore aggression because I’m not “sweet” or “delighted to see him” or because I get fussy wanting the duvet tightly wrapped round me to keep the cold out, while he wants to trap the duvet under his arm leaving gaps and draughts that means I cannot physically or mentally relax. I ask him over and over again but he refused to do what I want. He gets stroppy and leaves in the middle of the night and two days ago he spent the entire day screaming at me for being such a horrible person. I said I was sorry, then said it again, then again more and more and each time he re-hashed the scenario, each time making out I was an even more horrible person for not being sweet and making him feel welcome (I didn’t say anything nasty to him, but I was definitely “up tight”). I ended up crying so much I wanted to die. I was really scared at how his whole view of me was so dark and how it didn’t matter how many times I apologised he wouldn’t accept it and accused me of faking the apology and being “totally selfish” and how everything was “all about me”.

    Actually I thought he was being selfish because I really did hope and expect him to be more caring. I’ve told him over and over again about the problem with the progestogen tablets, my hypersensitivity to it, the fact that I have little choice but to take them (I’ve experimented with loads of different versions to try and find the best one) but unless I have a full hysterectomy and have my ovaries removed as well, I’m going to need the progestogen tablets. He doesn’t take any of it on board. He seems to lack so much empathy it is chilling.

    But I wonder if I’m being unreasonable and if I cannot realistically expect to have a boyfriend or partner until after I have gone through the menopause completely. I did expect to be “taken care of” by my partner in the sense of compassion and empathy and respect at these difficult times. I’m not young any more (I’m 50) and boy is it tough at the moment to keep on top of things trying to deal with the menopause.

    Sorry for this rather long post. Maybe some other readers of the excellent BR can relate to it.

    • Sandy says:

      Camille,

      Good god we all have bad days and cannot be sweetness and light every bloody hour of the day! Can I ask how long you have been seeing this man?!

      Believe me when I say most of us on here have been there and done that with these ass clowns, my ex had no empathy at all if I was sick or not well, got called a c..t for keeping him waiting at the doctors one night with a badly infected finger (had to have intravenous antibiotics) and yet when he was sick I had to be there for him!

      This man is not going to be someone who you can rely on to be there for you, he is projecting his own selfish actions onto you and you need to realise that, being part of a loving relationship means that you can expect care and consideration when you are not well just as you would be there for them if they needed it, being made to cry and apologise over and over for something that you didn’t even do is not a good sign!

    • Mymble says:

      Camille
      I am so sorry you are going through this, I hope things improve for you. I too am menopausal but have had little or no unpleasant symptoms. Yet. But my mother had a terrible time so that may lie ahead for me. Anyway, I also feel that a little support and tenderness should not be too much to ask. I think some men find it very threatening when their partner is unwell because they feel that their prop, their carer and their support is weakening. In short they feel that they are the ones who should be cared for and not have to do the caring. This was one of the things that hurt me most about my ex-husband. If I was ill he was resentful. I’d have to beg for a cup of tea, he would offer nothing. I should also add that I enjoy good health and was rarely ill. He made no allowances for childbirth either and scolded me for uncouth behaviour during my 18 hour labour with my second child. I should add that the behaviour was an involuntary physical process. Two weeks after giving birth he slapped me across the face in front of my older child, then two.
      I used to worry what if I ever get really ill, he would never call a doctor for me. I honestly think he would have let me die.
      I was the money earner, the organiser, the planner, the bill payer, the looker afterer. I was mum, to my kids and to him. He simply couldn’t cope with Mum being poorly, needy, sad or weak.
      One of the reasons I am out, now.

    • NoMo Drama says:

      Separate duvets? I mean there are other issues, but this one can be addressed without all the screaming.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Camille, dear. I hate to make you feel worse, but you don’t need a selfish, uncaring man like that. It sounds as if he doesn’t even believe your symptoms. That you are putting on a performance for attention. That’s just plain mean. He does not deserve you. If you have to go through these scenes every month, better to be alone and have peace and quiet, meeting your needs without scolding or criticism.

  9. amicrazy says:

    I have been reading this site for a couple of months now, but have never commented. This post seemed like the perfect place since I’m wondering if daddy issues are playing into my “situation”, and I hope someone out there sees this. I only have one real life friend that knows my situation, so I’m looking for objective input from those who have been in similar situations to mine.

    I will spare most of the details of what all has been said between the two of us because this tale really boils down to some basic information.

    Four months ago, I left my job. The night I resigned, I slept with my (former boss). We were (are) both married. I knew there were feelings there but they’d never been talked about or acted on until then. Realizing that I was able to do something like this was the nail in my (already failing) marriage’s coffin, and a few weeks later I told my husband I thought we should separate. He agreed, kindly, because like I said the issues had been there for years. I also feel he deserves so much more than a cheat like me. We are both in individual counseling currently.

    The affair continued on, casual at first yet very intense (aren’t they all). I broke it off once out of frustration and guilt, but went back. That was October 1st. I told him that I wouldn’t do this forever, that I deserved a starring role, and it was “all or nothing”. He is in an unhappy marriage (truly, not just saying that) but has stayed because he feels (felt) that it was the right thing for his daughter. I don’t 100% buy that that is the only reason, but whatever. However, he has said this entire time that for the first time ever he was truly considering leaving his wife, but felt very torn about his daughter. I realize this is a typical “excuse”

    After the first break up, I set a deadline for ending this situation in my mind. He talked about the future, says he sees me as a part of his future, doesn’t know what he’d do without me, etc. Words mean nothing to me. Action means everything. I don’t believe in ultimatums, but I had internally decided on a date when I would no longer continue this emotional roller coaster and I would then walk away and initiate NC. Right before Thanksgiving, while on a video chat, *HE* said that “we couldn’t keep going on like this” and that “I deserved more” and he wanted 30 days to make a decision on what he was going to do once and for all. He does know that if he chooses to stay with his wife that I am gone…and he knows I’m serious (or at least says he knows I’m serious).

    I truly believe that he loves and cares about me deeply. I also think that despite the lies and shadiness that he is, at the core, a good man because he knows that I am *GONE* if he decides to stay and he is willing to “give me up” and let me move on with my life even though I am a great benefit to him…not just for the obvious reasons, but I am his sounding board for business and life decisions. In short, he invests emotionally in me the way he SHOULD be with his wife (yes, I have told him that). He says he has no interest in working on / improving his marriage and if he stays it is only for his daughter. I said you must love your wife on some level if you have stayed for this long and he said he did love her in that he felt an obligation to provide for her and the daughter but did not feel any genuine emotional attachment to her. Again, not saying I buy all of this, just telling you all what was said.

    So, the 30 days started Dec 1st. The “rules” are no in person visits, no discussions or declarations about how we feel about each other, and certainly NO SEX. The point of this time is for him to have the mental space and physical distance from me to think clearly about his situation and what he wants to do. I realize that in this time I also have the power to walk away. To be honest, I do not think I will do that until and if I hear him say he is not leaving his wife. But, I am 100% prepared to do that even though it will hurt like HELL because I simply cannot keep going on like I have been for the last 4 months. And even if that is the outcome I will be grateful that I *only* spent 5 total months of my life like this. I can’t believe some women are able to do this for years. I would have a mental breakdown.

    He did sort of break one of the rules for December today. He said that he is taking the Jan 1st deadline seriously and knows how serious I am about it and “for lack of better terms” is weighing the pros and cons of both sides. That sounded so awful to me but in my next breath he said, not literally like pros and cons…much deeper than that but I don’t know what else to call it. I didn’t say much, just that I was glad to hear he took his self-imposed deadline seriously.

    So, that’s the gist of my tale. I would really love to here some honest, no bullshit commentary. Thank you in advance.

    • Rosie says:

      amicrazy– Well, if you want honesty, you came to the right place. ;) First, the “tough love” part: You said that you deserve to be the “starring role” and I don’t get it. What makes you so special that you deserve the starring role and his innocent wife and child need to take a backseat to you?? This is selfish and narcissistic. Newsflash: You’re not that special. Get over yourself.

      Ok, now for the softer part of this response: The fact that you’re hanging on for a married man to decide for you your fate sounds very much like an inner little girl longing for her father’s attention, a little girl who DOES deserve to be a “starring role” in her father’s life. I’m no therapist, however. Have you shared all this with your counselor?

      • Allison says:

        “amicrazy– Well, if you want honesty, you came to the right place. First, the “tough love” part: You said that you deserve to be the “starring role” and I don’t get it. What makes you so special that you deserve the starring role and his innocent wife and child need to take a backseat to you?? This is selfish and narcissistic. Newsflash: You’re not that special. Get over yourself.”

        Agreed! I know that I would not want someone to do this to me! Certainly, there must be some single men in your area????

      • amicrazy says:

        Rosie,

        Ouch :) The “starring role” part didn’t necessarily apply to him – more so in general. That I know deep down that I deserve to be more than someone’s secret and that I’m selling myself short by being involved in this ugly situation. I should have been more clear about that.

        I have shared some of this with my counselor. I haven’t outright said that I’m involved with a married man, but I have spoken to her about desperately wanting attention from a particular person that couldn’t or wouldn’t give it to me the way I wanted or needed. We have also talked about my abandonment issues with my father…but not in too much detail just yet. I’m very slowly opening up to her. She is really wonderful to talk to but I am ashamed and embarrassed about not only this affair but other things as well. The fact that I’m talking to someone at all is a huge break through for me.

        Thank you for your response. I really do appreciate it and will think about what you’ve said…particularly the second part.

        • Rosie says:

          amicrazy-

          “The “starring role” part didn’t necessarily apply to him – more so in general. That I know deep down that I deserve to be more than someone’s secret”

          Ah. Thank you for clarifying. :) Yes, you do deserve to be way, way more than somebody’s secret.

          Congratulations on your courage to talk with someone. Whatever the outcome, you’ll need that strong, objective support. ;)

    • Allison says:

      Ami,

      Good men do not cheat on their children and wife.

      • amicrazy says:

        I don’t know if I see it that black and white. I don’t believe that every single person (man or woman) that cheats on their spouse is inherently bad. Yes, they have made a bad decision, but it’s what happens after that that shows more of their character. Also, is there not a difference between having one affair vs. repeatedly cheating over the course of an entire marriage/relationship? Some people would say there is no difference…but I’m not so sure. I think it’s very important to look at the reasons why the affair occurred and figuring out a solution or path from there. That’s my take on it. I’m not talking about the MM in my case necessarily, just more generally.

        • Allison says:

          How do you truly know if he’s cheated in the past?

          If he were so unhappy, he would have left. It is certainly better for the child not to be in a home where there is no relationship between the parents.

          I wonder if his wife is aware that they have an unhappy marriage? Probably not.

          I wouldn’t count on him leaving his family, and I’m certain he will do this again. This is his character.

          • amicrazy says:

            Hi Allison,

            Again, I was not speaking specifically about the MM in *my* situation in my first response to you. My comments were more general things that I was pondering.

            The truth is, I know that the specific MM in my story has cheated on his wife in the past…even before they were married. He even told me that when he got back from his honeymoon that there was a note left for him at work that said ‘come see me when you get back’. I asked him if he went and he said yes. Then he said, would a happily married man do something like that? I said no of course not but why the **** did you get married?! He has estimated that he has had about 30 sexual partners since he got married – most while working overseas. He claimed that he ‘stopped’ cheating but when pressed he confessed that he had slept with 2 women since he claimed to have ‘stopped’ cheating about 7 years ago. I said, that isn’t STOPPING anything. You’re gonna love this line. He said that “if I ‘leave’ him, he will never have another affair because it will be like cheating on ME”. I said, what?! The only person you are cheating on is your wife.

            This is the first time in my life I have had an affair, and even though I know it was wrong I did TRY to do the right thing ultimately by my husband by asking for a separation (which has been amicable) because I truly feel he deserves more and we haven’t been really happy together for a while. One thing I’ve learned is that I will NEVER, EVER let myself get even close to a situation like this ever again.

            The night we first slept together, I was pretty drunk. I still knew what I was doing, but my judgment was definitely impaired. Now, that doesn’t excuse the fact that it continued after that…and I’m not trying to make excuses. It just spiraled out of control and clearly I have my own issues not to speak anything of HIS issues. I think I have been hoping that he would ‘choose’ me so that my horrible decisions would somehow be justified and ‘worth’ something in the end. I have started to come to this conclusion by reading Natalie’s posts as well as the comments.

            I started posting and asking for input not to be treated badly, but for anonymous strangers to reflect the things back to me that I think I already know. Sometimes saying something out loud, or in this case, typing it can really help you see something for what it is.

            • Mymble says:

              Amicrazy
              If he has had 30+ partners then he isn’t just a good man in a bad marriage who has fallen in love. He’s just a pig. Why on earth would you think he would be anything other than a pig with you?
              I would agree with what FWD says below, I also got I involved with a MM and it did not end well.
              But you already have all the information about him, from the horses mouth. You don’t seem to have really processed this at all or understood what it actually means, for you.
              You should get a full range of STD tests, it is frightening to think what he may have picked up along the way.

              • Mymble says:

                Amicrazy
                There is something wrong with this man. It is beyond AC, it is a whole other territory. I don’t know if I accept that there is such a thing as a sex addict, but if there was hes it. I am struggling to understand how this is okay with you and you would ever allow a man like that within 10 feet of you, never mind be pursuing a relationship with him. You are literally putting your life at risk. Never mind that he has shown himself to be a selfish persistent liar and cheat who is unable to empathise and who has no loyalty whatsoever. Do you actually think you have magical powers to change and
                redeem him?
                No-one, not even you, is that special.
                Pig is too good for him, pigs are fine animals. He’s a turd.

              • sushi says:

                Amicrazy,

                I agree with Mymble. The bottom line info here is that he is a serial cheat and a serial liar. If he was going to change he would have already done it for one of the 30+ women he slept with during his marriage.
                As far as his 30 day thinking sabatical, I would not believe one word that comes out of his mouth. With his history, he is probably prepping the next victim. Run! And get that STD check.

        • Wiser says:

          Ami,

          Yes, things are often MUCH more complicated than the simple black and white explanation, and you can’t paint all situations with the same brush. I’m sure it’s possible for a good man to be torn between his love for two women (just watch Dr. Zhivago again) and is genuinely struggling about what to do. I can also imagine a scenario where an honorable man is in a loveless or toxic marriage and he doesn’t even realize how awful it is until he meets someone with whom he truly falls in love. Yes, I’m sure it happens. Could the guy you’re involved with be basically good and honest, agonizing over hurting his wife and kids, but unwilling to live the rest of his life in a loveless marriage? Perhaps. I know I wasn’t willing to stay in a loveless marriage, and I got a divorce. I don’t judge people for that.

          However.

          A man who cheats on his wife, even if his feelings for the other woman are true and honest, has crossed a line and can’t ever go back. It often begins the slippery slope of eroding his integrity and self-respect. Lies, sneaking around, pretending to be something he is not… all of that has a huge impact on him as a person. A dent has been made in his character “armor” and now it remains to be seen if rust will get in and rot it from inside. Usually – in fact, I would say most of the time – the whole situation is rotten. Life is not like the movie “Brief Encounter” and the great majority of affairs are ultimately cheap, sordid and soul-destroying. I know – I’ve been involved with two married men in my life and it certainly was NOT like the iconic Tracy and Hepburn romance. Will you be the exception? Maybe, although I think these exceptions are very rare. Sorry to say, it’s most unlikely. Everything depends on what he does now and how he handles himself and the feelings of others. You need to be watching VERY closely with your eyes absolutely wide open and your BS meter intact. It really isn’t too hard to tell the actions of a good man with integrity from the ego-stroking selfishness of the average cheater. You sound pretty level-headed at this point, so please pay attention with as much clarity as you can.

          • Wiser says:

            I wrote the above before I knew more about the situation. The 30+ partners clinches it. As Mymble says, the man is a pig.

    • Lilly says:

      Amicrazy,

      He IS literally weighing up the pros and cons. Most MM who cheat are selfish and self-serving. He says he’s concerned about his daughter, and he probably is, but ‘she’ isn’t his primary concern; ‘he’ is his primary concern. He’s working out where his bread is best buttered make no mistake. I was in an ugly relationship with a MM and trust me when I say things can get worse. You are already hurting I hope you’re not headed for more.

    • Furry White Dogs says:

      Hello Amicrazy.

      I’ve been there, done that, and I’m afraid I have to tell you that it doesn’t work out. There is NO HAPPY ENDING in this situation regardless of how you feel about each other or your respective partners or even if he does leave his wife and try to start a new relationship with you. I’m honestly not judging you or the chap in this situation, marriages fail, people are human and make mistakes. I’m sharing my experience because heck I’d like someone to get a chance not to make the same massive mistake.

      The relationship before my marriage to the Arseface husband that brought me to BR had some similarities to yours. Mine was long distance at the beginning and we were both married. We both said/told ourselves that our marriages were unhappy and had been failing for a long time and we’d tried to work it out yada yada.

      We actually did leave and divorce our respective spouses and for the next four years went back and forth between each other’s countries trying to make the relationship work and finally be properly together. I got to know and love his young daughter and he my late teens daughter. We lived together and spent time with our respective families and friends who accepted us despite the circumstances in which our relationship began. There were a lot of legal and general interaction issues with his ex wife, the divorce was very messy and his daughter was a pawn for her mother.

      It was a very intense passionate ‘all for love’ relationship. We thought that what we were doing was justified because we loved each other so much and it was a big out of the ordinary deep connection soul mate love. I now, with really good counselling and understanding of my parent relationships, recognise that relationship and kind of love as incredibly unhealthy and ultimately doomed to failure. With the benefit of hindsight I recognise that the marriage I left wasn’t that bad but I couldn’t see that because of my unrecognised and unaddressed beliefs about love and relationships learned from my parent interactions. I had hooks that made me very vulnerable to a charming controlling man. Hooks created in childhood by a controlling mother and good but emotionally distant father. I too carry abandonment issues, mostly from my mother.

      It’s not hard to guess how it ended. After all the trying and sacrifice and at the point of him permanently moving to my country he met someone else, popped her name instead of mine on the fiancé visa paperwork, started the next ‘all for love’ relationship, and ended it with me. He effectively left his daughter when he moved country.

      After it ended I jumped into the next relationship, this time marriage with my lying cheating Arseface ex husband. I still had the same hooks and issues from my childhood, the same unaddressed issues from previous relationships plus the ones from the one just ended, the same lack of boundaries and self love and care. I had however learned my lesson about cheating and leaving relationships for drama and passion but unfortunately without boundaries and deeper self awareness it set me up for even more pain and disempowerment in my marriage.

      So effectively that ‘all for love’ relationship harmed his daughter and my daughter, hurt his and my families, cost me more than ten years in total of highs and lows and pain and financial and career insecurity. I can’t begin to explain how much I regret ever meeting that man and making the choice that I did. At least regret has given me strong motivation to work through my issues, self reflect, learn my lessons, and make much better choices for myself and those who truly deserve my love.

      Your current situation has its own nuances and aspects and you sound a darn sight more level headed than I was going into an affair/relationship with a married man. However at the end of the day relationships that begin in infidelity overwhelmingly end in infidelity. Even if he leaves his wife and starts a relationship with you he will still be enmeshed with her and his daughter, you will not have a starring role and even though you won’t be a secret any longer you will still carry the burden of how your relationship began.

      Neither of you have had any time to self reflect and process or address why your current marriages haven’t worked out and what within each of you hooked you into those marriages and now into this affair.

      I strongly encourage you to continue counselling, to let go of this relationship and take time to discover and love yourself. You ALL deserve better than what this relationship can bring you.

      It’s been hard writing all this but I offer it to you from the heart.

      *hugs*

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Ami,

        Get out of it. You’ve given yourself reasons not to continue but you’re ignoring them. You know you should not have gotten involved in the first place. He actually told you he’s had 30 partners since he’s been married? How do you continue to get in bed with such a despicable person? How can you feel that you are behaving like a respectable woman? He will NEVER want you for a wife. Men will judge you by the company you keep and he knows he’s a dog. Why have you not told your counselor the entire story that this man is MARRIED! You’re ashamed. So why are you with him? Your counselor needs to know the whole story in order to be effective in helping you. He may very well be having sex with other women while he’s with you and you’re risking getting an std. You are ignoring the fact that regardless of what he tells you, he is still living with his wife and you’ve accepted that situation so far, so why should he leave? And YOU! Look what you are doing to your husband. It is so wrong on so many levels. You can talk until the cows come home but you cannot convince yourself or anyone else that what you’re doing is right. You need to learn how to love yourself so that you will not get involved in anything like this ever again.

        • Mymble says:

          There is a saying something like “the worst punishment is getting what you want”. “Getting” this man would truly be a curse.
          I truly hope you don’t get him, Amicrazy. However, I am also hoping that his marriage ends. No woman deserves to have a guy like that in her life.
          Is there some rock in the South Atlantic he could be marooned on?

          • Chrysalis says:

            Is there some rock in the South Atlantic he could be marooned on?

            No, sorry Mymble, my ex is already on it…and the ironic part is he is the one who put himself there :)

  10. Mymble says:

    Love the drawing!

  11. Stephanie says:

    I had more abandonment issues when it came to my AC. I really didn’t put the two together until I did some soul searching and realized why I continued letting the AC/EUM treat me the way that I did. I always felt like I didn’t belong and when the AC rejected me it brought back feelings of why my father doesn’t he want me. I never met my father, but the loss was always there. Thank God I worked through those issues and that’s why I was able to walk away from the AC because I knew just like my father I accepted the loss and moved on.

  12. NK says:

    This is exactly what I did with my ex narcissist bf. I actually routinely said to him, tell me what todo with myself, take Over my life! What was strange was that he fought for this type of relationship but as soon as I submitted he rejected it. It was a horrible time of back and forth. I also felt completely shattered and fake when I did submit to it. I would want to run far far away but then after a few days I’d think maybe I’m being a p”say and run back! Thank god I got out!

  13. Heather says:

    perfect. and great timing for me to read :) i love when you put a spin on our parents cause alot of us can relate

  14. NK says:

    Hi amicrazy

    It sounds to me that you are quite self aware and already getting a handle on what is a messy situation, you know already that for you and this guy to have a future he needs to leave his wife. So continue to stay away from him and don’t entertain anything. As you said it will be hard but he sounds a bit wishy washy to me and you dont want to pressure him because he may resent you later down the line. Not fair, but likely. Your in counselling so perhaps you can if yor not already explore the terms with them.

    • amicrazy says:

      Thank you NK. He either needs to decide to get his affairs in order and leave the marriage, or not. And if not, I’m out!

      • FAITH says:

        amicrazy

        That’s right. He needs to get his “affairs” in order.
        Wonder how many there are.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Ami,

        You just don’t get it. HE’S NOT WORTH your waiting until he is free. If you did miraculously get him, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s addicted to sex and it won’t ever be you alone to satisfy him. I don’t understand why you can’t see this. You are playing around with your HEALTH!!! Love is not THAT blind. Tell your therapist the whole truth so you can get the help you need.

      • Pauline says:

        Ami,

        Sweetie, he’s had 30+ sexual partners that he’s ADMITTING to while he has been married and with these types of guys that is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
        You honestly don’t know what else he gets up to and with whom.
        A bit further down the track he may want to involve you in some shady sexual games with other people as I found out with a guy that I was going out with for 6 months. One night we were having a lovely dinner and he casually asked me if I wanted to have sex with other couples he knew who like to ‘play’ around. Threesomes, foursomes and anything else that took my fancy.
        I absolutely froze and this big lump of ice settled in my chest. I stayed calm and said NO. He took me home and I shut the door in his face and never spoke to him again.
        Is this the sort of relationship you are looking for? You don’t really know this man and I can guarantee he is a liar and will continue to lie and he will continue to cheat as this is who he is. He’s telling you but you’re not listening.
        Get out while you still can and ask yourself what it is that you THINK is so special about this man.

  15. Revolution says:

    Yep, Natalie.

    I’ve been Mommy, Aunt Flo, Cousin Eunice, you name it. I’ve also looked for Daddy in many men in the past. The last EU, who is 10 years older than me, would even say when we went out that people probably thought he was a father out with his daughter. It always baffled me, as that was nearly impossible given our age difference, even if I do look younger than my age (36).

    No more daddies: Disneyland, Deadbeat or otherwise. I’m taking responsibility for my part in “daddyhunting” these past years. But no more. I want a man who can respect me (and vice versa). I don’t need a frickin’ juicebox.

  16. Leadbellie says:

    Hi amicrazy!

    Omg – Lol run for your life – you are a wickedly smart girl behaving duhhh dumb!!!! I got involved with my married boss – and I went in with low self esteem and came out of it with even lower self esteem. Your ‘affair’ is only special to you – the variations and outcome are so typical it’s funny – remember there are 7 billion people right now fu&$! Around with their precious lives not to mention the gazillions who have gone before us – the outcome will be predictable and painful. Please pass some smelling salts under your nose to wake up and get out there and get laid by at least someone who is available !!!! :-)

  17. Einstien says:

    This post reminds me of a documentary I was watching, where a psychologist was talking about why this kid had done some of the things she had. He talked about her disfunctional childhood, and how the girl had spent her whole life making the best out of a bad situation.

    I wasn’t dumb, I recognized shady behavior, I just never quite understood why I was willing to beat my head against the wall so much longer than anybody else would have.

    Hmmmm…..cause when I was a child trapped in some serious hell, I made the best of it. That mind set didn’t disappear when I turned 18. I wasn’t powerless, ‘hoping tomorrow would be different’ was my only coping skill.

    I think understanding how our childhood influenced our adulthood helps us let ourselves off the hook for our more ridiculous decisions. I’m good, happy, alive, thankful, grateful….and no longer tolerating BS from anywhere.

  18. Peanut says:

    Desire… yes, desire. Though I must admit I am not willing to get involved with someone unless it is a healing experience.

    Allow me to elaborate: I want someone affectionate, warm, honest, strong and loving. None of my family were so much like this. If and when I enter a romantic relationship with a man like this it will be healing. For both of us. I want someone with whom I can share all this love and affection with.

    A good man will invariably contribute to healing the wounds of the past. If I pick the right one. Or if I choose wisely I should say.

    Many of us (I have been there) seek shitty lovers to heal wounds of the past. All this does is open wounds (not necessarily bad, as it gives us the opportunity as adults to have the painful, then cathartic experience of cleaning the wounds out ourselves, which is the way it should be). When we are emotionally self-cleansed enough, we’re ready for a loving relationship which is very healing and can mend many wounds. We have to be wise about it and ready for it. And above all we must must love ourselves first and foremost.

    • Peanut says:

      I guess what I’m trying to say is if you’re trying to heal the wounds of the past, at least pick a good man and be ready for him so you don’t treat him badly, but please don’t pick monsters and expect them to do this bidding.

  19. Rebuilding in Brooklyn says:

    Amicrazy,
    The arrogance of your responses angered me into responding because you are so blind to what is going on with yourself.
    My ex left our marriage and children, running to the arms of another woman, whom he eventually married. He left me struggling emotionally and financially with two babies while he needed to play out his bachelor fantasies. I watch him from the sidelines act out as an emotionally stunted/unavailable man. It is not my place to judge him, he is not an inherently bad person to use your words, but he is full of red flags and has not learned how to resolve conflicts or deal with problems in a mature way. He did not want to pursue therapy to end the marriage in a healthy way and instead just helped cause a great deal of havoc and instability in the lives of my children.
    If there is an issue in your friend’s marriage, running to you is not going to resolve it. You need to be out either way and work out your own issues. This relationship is a temporary relief.
    The fact that you have not disclosed your affair to your therapist yet is also telling though I do understand that you need to overcome your feelings of shame and embarrassment. I am also a therapist and watch people make this mistake over and over again.
    Read the articles on this blog. Read the responses from these wonderful women and men. Understand that the relationship your are pursuing with a married man is not going to sustain you emotionally in the long run. Read about what affairs tend to indicate about a person, whether it is one or many, as you had one yourself. Getting to the bottom of ourselves is painful, but the work is so worth it. I am so grateful to have found this site. I have come a long way emotionally and still have so much work to do on myself. But reading how many of these men and women have prevailed is inspiring, Noquay, Tinkerbell, Espresso, Lilly, Rosie among others.
    Keep reading this blog, Amicrazy. If you continue to pursue this man (whatever time off you give yourself), the answer to your moniker is “yes,you are crazy”.

    • Lilly says:

      Rebuilding,

      When I finally took off the rose coloured glasses the true reality of my affair hit me straight in the face. I’m deeply ashamed that I didn’t give enough thought to the impact that the affair may have had on his wife and reading about your experience only deepens it. I’m truly sorry for what and your children have had to endure. I plan on never being so selfish again and I am deeply moved that you mentioned my name.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Rebuilding in Brooklyn,

        Brooklyn is where I grew up. Your post is comprehensive and shows how you’ve learned from experience. I hope you will stay on this blog, reading and posting. Thank you for mentioning my name as one who inspires.

    • Rosie says:

      Rebuilding in Brooklyn- Your post makes perfect sense. Thank you for mentioning my name as one of the inspirational stories and I’m honored to be mentioned in the same list as Noquay, Tinkerbell, Espresso, and Lilly. Wow!

      • Rebuilding in Brooklyn says:

        Thanks to you all for your thoughtful replies time and again on this blog. I am not without my own issues and also don’t mean to portray that I was a victim. It takes two to tango. While I abhor his adultery, perhaps I could have done more to support my ex. Though I do think the end was coming anyway, affair or not. I realize that the my ex was a parental replacement figure for me and I for him. I have my own shame about how much I lost myself in my marriage and other relationships (friendships & otherwise)that were not in my best interest. I handed over my my keys, in Natalie’s words and became emotionally reliant on people who were not good for me. In that respect, my divorce and discovery of BR have been a blessing. I envision a better, more secure self and have been flushing left and right. I definitely plan to keep reading and doing the work.

  20. SITBP says:

    I loved my dad. He didn’t love me. So what do I do as a full grown woman? I had an affair with a co-worker who is just as much an AC as my dad was. I am also am AC, but working to breaking the cycle and help make this world a better place for LOVE.

    This man was the worst relationship ever!

    And all I heard in my head was “you know him, this is familiar, trust him”.

    Well I ended up crying and CRYING more then I ever did in my entire life. Know why? because this !@#$ was not my daddy, but he was as mean and !@#$ up as my dad and he pushed all the right buttons and treated me like S@#$. I kept going back for more.

    Anyway. He is my past and I am glad that I can express the terrible feelings that I lived trough that still haunt me in a safe place like this.

  21. Lochy says:

    ‘Amicrazy’ – you’re spending waaaaaay too much time focussing on this guy and what he wants. How about, every time you catch yourself doing this you stop, take a moment and then ask yourself what you want. Your decision to be with him should not be dependent on whether he decides he’ll ‘have you’. Who the hell does he think he is?! Doesn’t sound to me like you understand why your marriage failed and perhaps you don’t want to go there. Too painful perhaps? This MM is a distraction my love, you’re distracting yourself from having to go to places in yourself that you don’t want to go, maybe not just related to your marriage. But you’ve got yourself into therapy so, on some level, you know there is work to be done. Good on you for taking such good care of yourself. I have been in therapy for several years and can tell you, you are wasting your time and money if you are not honest in that room. You are only short-changing yourself.
    BTW this man has no capacity for honesty and if it is important to you that your partner is faithful, then you really need to read your own comments about his history of fidelity and then…be honest with yourself! Forget about his dishonesty to all the women in his life and focus on being honest with yourself. Start in the therapy room. And do it now.
    All the best :)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Lochy.

      I must disagree. Ami is NOT taking good care of herself as long as she is involved with this MM. An illicit affair is one of the most self-demeaning, soul-destroying, inconsiderate (to others) and shameful behaviors a woman can engage in. To defend doing so and to make excuses for continuing especially when she knows it’s a fruitless endeavor is quite sad. Taking good care of herself would be to come clean with her therapist and accept help to get out of the relationshit. Just KNOWING what doesn’t work and what she should do without ACTING to make the necessary changes is not enough.

  22. Lochy says:

    Great article Natalie. It’s a tough moment when you realise that a lot of the pain experienced in your relationships have been down to unmet childhood needs. Accepting the reality of the fact that I didn’t receive the care I should have is still very difficult because it feels like this is proof positive of my lack of worth. If I were lovable, then I would have been loved right? I know on an intellectual level that other people’s choices and behaviour are not my responsibility but the child in me is still holding another belief. But I am starting to accept that it’s my job to change this belief rather than looking for a boyfriend who will to right someone else’s wrongs…so I’m getting somewhere!

  23. Camille says:

    Sandy and Mymble

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and words of wisdom. And thanks for sharing your own experiences too. You gave me the courage I needed to end my relationship with him. I read a tonne of Natalie’s posts too and realised that I couldn’t carry on with this man. He’s fun and attentive when the going is good, but when I have any needs of my own or expectations of him he changes into a very aggressive, self-righteous, and dare I say it, narcissistic man. He refuses to discuss anything with me, refuses to answer any questions I have, is hugely avoidant, and just blames me for everything. He takes offence so easily at any perceived slight and then launches into his tornado destruction of me. Hugely damaging to my self-esteem and my health as my adrenaline levels have gone through the roof so many times. I persevered for two and a half years with him, hoping he would change (ha ha)and take more care of me – but I’ve now completely given up and turned my back on him. I don’t know to what extent I expected him to “parent” me, but I did expect a reciprocal arrangement with basic care and consideration, empathy and respect. The red flags were there from the start but I didn’t stumble upon Baggage Reclaim until earlier this year, and so now I have finally started to put all I’ve learnt into effect. I tried NC earlier in the year but it didn’t work. This time I’m determined to take care of myself totally.

    Thanks for your support. I definitely came to the right place :-) I hope things are working out well for you too now.

    • Mymble says:

      Camille
      I am glad for you.
      It really is better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t care. I know that my dear children would do more for me, if I ever needed it, than he ever would and they’re only 9 and 12. They wouldn’t begrudge it either.

  24. Allison says:

    Ami,

    It’s probably 50+ partners. What makes you believe you will be the exception to the rule?

    This guy has shown and told you that he has no self control, respect for others, is a serial cheat and no value system. Why is this enticing?

    I really feel sorry for his wife and kid!

  25. Genki says:

    Amicrazy, I have to echo some of the posts on here, my husband had a affair told the other woman that we were finished…which was news to me. The we moved state biit it was never going to work for me to go back to him….I saw such an uncaring lying & mean side to him that I just wondered when it would arise again. We ate separated now going on 4 months & I cannot describe the relief I feel not having him as a partner he was a mean person no empathy & now all he wants is to be back together with me & our daughter & I do believe that’s what he wants but he is such a fake person. He does not have a genuine bone in his body & now I’ve seen that side of him I can’t go back. Affairs in my opinion are very weak & really show a certain character, if he was unhappy then finished current relationship & move on after u have seperated. It seems to be that these people do not like to be alone. I sometimes wonder about the other woman, I would never have done what she did but at the same time he was lying to her too probably telling her that he was leaving just waiting for right time. Amicrazy…I would suggest walking away these guys are not worth it.

  26. amicrazy says:

    I just wanted to come back here and let everyone know that I have read every single comment. I feel sick to my stomach inside. I know there are so many issues…with me. At this point I don’t really care too much what his issues are. This can’t be about him anymore, and he is so far ‘gone’ and beyond ‘repair’ that it probably doesn’t matter anyway. We are supposed to talk today. I hope I can find the dignity and courage to slam the proverbial door in his face. I am terrified of being alone. I am scared that no one will ever love me the way I want and need to be loved. But, these aren’t good reason for doing something so despicable. I promise that I am trying to see everything for what it is. I will speak to my therapist further. My husband sees her also, and I’m scared she will tell him. I know she can’t legally, but I’m still scared. And I’m scared of being judged by her. She has given me no reason to believe she would do that, but I’m scared of it. Probably because I deserve it.

    I don’t know. I’m typing without thinking too much about what I’m trying to say here. I do feel awful for my role in this horrible situation, and I feel awful for his wife knowing that she is married to someone who has probably never been honest to her for one single day. I used to think I was special because he would tell me everything about himself…all the bad things he’s done, all of the affairs, etc. He would say that no one knew the things about him that I did and that I had the power to destroy his life. Well, I think he’s done a fine job of that on his own.

    Someone mentioned that he might be a sex addict…that struck me because my mom once told me that my biological father was a sex addict and that she ultimately forgave him (well after their divorce) because of his very deep issues.

    Right now I am just praying for strength. I want to thank all of you for your comments.

    • grace says:

      Ami
      Is it a good idea to see the same therapist? Maybe you should have a different one, it would remove that anxiety anyway.

    • Mymble says:

      Amicrazy
      I would agree with Grace, get a different therapist. Perhaps there are some issues to do with your father that made you choose this man.
      Try to get past the feeling awful thing. I got involved with a MM also. I don’t feel awful about it now. There’s no point in it whatsoever. I cannot change the past. And no, I don’t have “anyone to love me” but actually that’s okay. I enjoy my life, my family, my friends, hobbies and work. I remember that fear but it does pass, and actually getting through it without flinging yourself into another destructive relationship to avoid it makes you stronger. You can and will be okay, but only if you face up to it and kick this tube out of your life.
      Those kind of men can be very charming and seductive , after all he has been practising for years.

    • Allison says:

      Ami,

      If you really want to feel bad and alone, stick with this dude, I can guarantee he will make you feel completely devalued. Why do you think you will forever be alone, where you would have to settle for the bottom of the barrel? Why couldn’t you consider having a relationship with an honest and respectful man? Why the extreme? Is your husband also of this low caliber?

      If you have to live a life or lies – can’t even tell your therapist – how could you expect this to progress to a healthy place.

    • Anon says:

      hmmm. Sounds more like sociopath; w/the chronic deceit (of multiple people) lying, promiscuity, cheating, love-bombing, and subsequent discarding are the lynchpins of the disorder. They can read their targets really well, he knows you are co-dependent & let his mask slip when he revealed who he is (his high number), and he was correct in knowing you wouldn’t walk away.

  27. noquay says:

    Lilly
    Yep, you need to stay grounded and also realize that that you’re still healing. Maybe since this dude is so far away, he could be a good friend. We can meet decent men but not have a relationship with them. I used to correspond with a dude in New Zealand that I met on line. Wasn’t attracted to him, and his trip to the US fell through for which I was somewhat relieved. Nope, there was never gonna be a relationship but now this dude is a lot better informed opp n organic gardening and permaculture. Although one’s sense of value should come solely fromwithin, when are in a situsituation where theoonly messages from your community invalidate you, just knowing that others value who you are is heartening. I never expect that a real relationship will ever be able to develop while here and given my age and general choosiness, maybe never, but having one’s insights, advice, opinions being valued by others far away isn’t all bad. Baby steps, eh? I do worry about correcting your grammar, though, sounds a tad controlling.

    • Lilly says:

      noquay,

      Baby steps is good advice. I am enjoying his interest, but must remember that the AC was like this at first, the usual “you are so beautiful, intelligent, special, blah, blah, blah….”. Made me feel amazing at first; little did I know what was coming! As for your community noquay, they sound awful and I agree don’t settle and keep being choosy. Don’t give up hope though and age is not a barrier to love. Remember your best years are ahead of you not behind you, xx.

  28. noquay says:

    Sorry all about the typos, wish there were a way to get more than two lines of type on this thing. I am literate, really. How big is that rock in the Atlantic? I know some folks that need to go there. Can you imagine? A remote island, chock full of ACs. None of them would take responsibility for their overall survival, care for the others, would probably kill one another rather than share resources. I am envisioning a “Lord of the Flies” scenario here.

    • Mymble says:

      Noquay
      Hahaha! I’d like to nominate a couple of my own personal ACs for the rock!
      I’d feel sorry for the penguins though. Male penguins are excellent birds and take a full share of co-parenting the young. Who says it’s natural for men to be ACs and treat females and offspring like crap?

    • Pauline says:

      I always think that assclowns could be dropped into a cave under the great Nullabor plain (I’m in Australia), and if they did manage get out, unlikely, they would find a thousand miles of desert, burning heat, no water, flies and the odd lizard before they hit civilisation.
      Very “Lord of the Flies”.

      • Revolution says:

        “My” ACs wouldn’t make it past the first wave of sacrifices on “Lord of the Flies” island. They’re pansies.

        • Used says:

          Exactly–the kids in “Lord” are wayyyy braver & more true to themselves than any ANY AC out there.

  29. Angry Snowball says:

    I didn’t realize how much my ex and my abusive mom have been controlling ME; they are really good at giving me what I need, and then they use that need against me.

    They exploit me; they know my hooks.

    I’m really angry right now.

    ~~~
    I love you; you aren’t shit; you’re the best; you’re fucked up; let me help you; let me hurt you.
    ~~~

    I tried to re-connect with my mom, but she abused me again, so I’m done. Stick a fork in her.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    good mom; bad mom; good mom; bad mom; good ex; bad ex

    bad mom
    bad ex

  30. amicrazy says:

    We started in couples therapy until she recommended that we seek individual counseling. That’s how we came to have the same one. You’re probably right! I have thought of that too. I really like her but I’d probably find someone else because he has been put on medication and I think it’d be more disruptive for him vs me.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Ami,

      Just want to say that, imo, you should stick with a woman therapist. If your husband is on meds prescribed by her, she is a psychiatrist as opposed to a psychologist or social worker. Why doesn’t he change and see a man? I just think a same sex therapist can relate better, but, of course that’s my opinion. I really don’t think your therapist will reveal what you tell her to your husband, but if you’re really afraid of that happening then, yes, make a change. it’s probably best that you see separate ones anyway unless you’re in couples therapy to work out your marriage?

      • amicrazy says:

        Hi Tinkerbell,

        I never thought about the same sex counselor thing. I will talk to him about that. We are not in couples counseling anymore. I don’t believe that our marriage can or should be saved. We have a tremendous amount of love and respect for each other, but as of now it seems we are better off as friends. He’s a really great man and the furthest thing from an AC but when we first started dating (we were already casual friends) there were red flags everywhere. He had a drug problem (coke) and a drinking problem. I believed I could save him. And the truth is, I did! He put down the drugs immediately but the drinking problem persisted for a while…and in my opinion still does. I just can’t get down with binge drinking on the weekends. He spent all day yesterday in bed recovering from a hangover. I’m like hello, you’re 35! Anyway, that’s just not something I’m into and he wants me to be…meaning he wants us to go out drinking together and have this big parties at the house and that’s just not me. There were many red flags before we got married. Plus, we just RUSHED. Three months in we were living together. Four months after that we bought a ring. Four months after that we were engaged and then the train was rolling so fast….

        We’ve been able to be very honest with each other about all of this which has certainly helped the separation. There are times when I cry my eyes out because I wish I could feel differently towards him. He really is a wonderful, wonderful man who is very open and honest with his feelings and is respectful towards me. I just have no feelings of desire for him and haven’t for years.

        • Rosie says:

          amicrazy- I can relate somewhat. Years (feels more like centuries) ago, I was pseudo-engaged to a drug addict. We were “engaged” after three months of knowing each other. We were living together in less than a month of knowing each other. I was so naïve and immature (sigh)…When I met him he said that he quit drugs. What he didn’t say was that *I* became his new “drug”. Like you, I “saved” him. Like your husband, he continued drinking, however.

          Fortunately, I had enough sense (where was this sense when I met him? Oh, yes, hiding somewhere in my vagina) to break up before we made it down the aisle. In fact, I broke up with him the same month we became “engaged”.

          There’s so much more to this story as this guy was definitely not a nice guy! My point in telling it is that a spouse/partner will always be the OW/OM to addicts as their main relationship is with their addiction.

          Hmm…I wonder if that could be a pattern…choosing men who are already in relationship, whether it’s drugs, marriage, and then doing the “pick me! dance”? I don’t know…

          • amicrazy says:

            Wow your comments really struck home! I did in fact become the new addiction…in fact, a lot of the time I was treated as a “prize”. Something he was proud of and wanted to show off as a record of how much he had changed and how his life was better. I felt like an object more than a person. I’m glad that you were wise enough to see it for what it was before you made it legal!

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Hi Ami,

          Thank you for your response. I have a female therapist who is VERY helpful for me. It takes a little time, but if the person is a good fit, it can be a lifesaver. A woman knows how another woman feels and can really understand when it comes to relationships with men, family members in particular. A woman sees more nuances of a relationship than a man does, generally speaking.

          I’m glad to learn that you see your relationship as not a healthy one. His addiction is a serious impediment because you’re not on the same page. He sees life one way and you another. I can understand how despite his need to be medicated in order to get through life that he is a wonderful person. My father was the kindest, deeply caring parent, but he had an alcohol addiction. So a person’s habits don’t make them bad. What makes him bad for you is trying to influence you to join him. If he wants to be drugged up, that’s on him. But, he has no right to influence you to do the same. That is not love when he is inviting the person he loves to engage in physically harmful and illegal activities so that he has company and subsequently you cannot judge him if you’re doing it also. Not good. Not good at all. Do you see where he has a totally different mindset than yours to even think that’s ok?

          I sincerely hope that your close connection with him will not result in his ability to wear you down. Are you still living together? One of you needs to leave. Really. Were you not told this by your current therapist?
          When you said you have to talk to “him” about changing therapists you were referring to him right? Not your boyfriend? Your boyfriend should not play a part in YOUR DECISION. This is something you are doing for YOU and I wouldn’t look for help from him in this situation.

          I’m so glad you came to BR. As you can see, we are a group of very caring, supportive women. Occasionally, men post but mostly women. I never would have expected all this additional information to come out, Ami, but I’m glad you’ve ‘fessed up because this way our input will be more meaningful and helpful for you when you’ve told the whole story. You have a lot of work to do. Please know that you have support here and no one is putting you down. We don’t know you and we’ve got stories of our own that are not good ones. I particularly want to know when you start see the new woman. Tell her everything and be patient with her attempts to see your situation and help you get straightened out.

          I admire your strength in resisting the temptation of drugs. Just remember, your strength can wither and your love take over. Please don’t allow that to happen. That’s why you two need to separate.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Also, Ami. Your husband is doing a dangerous thing if he is taking meds prescribed by a psychiatrist and the alcohol binging on weekends. He’s probably drinking more often. I’m afraid, he’s in serious trouble. Am I getting your husband and your lover mixed up, because if he (your husband) is so wonderful why are you cheating with the 30+ partners guy?

            • amicrazy says:

              Hi Tinkerbell,

              I’m so glad that you’ve engaged me, because I really enjoy reading your replies to other people. Let me just say right off the bat that the “him” I’m referring to in reference to the therapist situation is definitely my husband. I don’t seek my bf’s advice or input on that issue at all.

              While my husband did stop doing drugs when I told him it was a deal breaker, the alcohol use continued. On our honeymoon, he got so drunk that he tried to drown me in the pool at the resort. Well, he was ‘goofing off’ and held me under the water. I was terrified. He doesn’t remember any of it. I called my mother hysterical. It was truly the most awful thing ever. She told me to get on the next plane and leave and we would take care of everything but obviously I didn’t do that. I was so confused. I was supposed to be beyond happy, it was my HONEYMOON. He showed remorse, but the hard truth is that I never forgave him for that…not to mention the other times of binge drinking when he would scream at me at the top of his lungs for changing the radio station (yes really) or how about the time he got so drunk that he pissed all over my parents new carpet in the guest bedroom because he thought he was in the bathroom? There are so many lovely memories to choose from. Eventually, I just began to feel so much resentment. I felt like I was dealing with a little boy with major issues instead of a grown husband.

              Eventually I found out that he had been sexually abused as a child at an overnight camp. I begged him to seek counseling. He would never do it. He mostly brought it up when he was drunk. I was very relieved when he told me that he’d finally told not only the therapist about what happened, but his brothers as well. Releasing the shame was a big burden off of him…however just this past weekend he went out drinking for 5-6 hours downtown and spent all day Sunday in the bed recovering from a hangover. Same ole behavior. I told him earlier this year that I couldn’t imagine having a family with someone that behaved that way. I might be skipping around and telling this tale in an erratic way but I’m just purging all of this crap.

              The reason I say my husband is a good man is because he has a good HEART. He is very loving and loyal and kind (when not drunk off his ass). He is intelligent and driven and is on track to finish his college degree next year with honors as well as get a big promotion at work in the next couple years. It’s sort of a Jekyll and Hyde situation. I guess because he is so functioning, I would tell myself that I was overreacting to his bad behavior. But the truth is, so much resentment built up and eventually we just stopped having sex and I had no interest in that whatsoever with him which created even MORE issues and yeah….7 years later here we are.

              So how did I end up with my bf? Well, our professional relationship was very strong. Never ever inappropriate, and we worked well together as a team. However, there was always a sort of ‘energy’ (god that sounds stupid but I don’t know how else to say it) between us. I always thought so much of him, and never had any inkling that he was so unhappy underneath it all. Nor did he, because we never talked about our personal lives (with the exception of him bragging on his daughter). When I put in my notice I realized how much I was going to miss him…and I didn’t want to face the shit storm that I knew was coming at home. It started as an escape from everything (poor decision making, I recognize that) but turned into a lot more.

              Not that you asked, but an update on the bf: He called me this past weekend and said that he’s decided to leave his wife regardless of what happens with us. That he’s not happy and hasn’t been for a very long time and he wants out. He thanked me for helping him to see that and that he has a lot of issues that he’s got to work on. He also said he was looking for a therapist and I told him that was a good idea, that he clearly had a lot of issues to sort out but I was glad he was focusing on what was best for him and that I felt his wife deserved more as well. I don’t know what will happen with us nor do I care too much right now. I’m really focusing on me and trying to figure out why I’ve behaved the way I have and why I didn’t love myself enough to either stop that marriage before it happened or get out and annul it after the honeymoon situation. I think part of coming from a divorced family is that I told myself that would never be me, under any circumstances. Well, that’s just not realistic or fair. Anyway, I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg with all of this.

              Thank you Tinkerbell for your kind and helpful ear. It means so much to me!

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Hi Ami,

                One thing jumps out at me in your last post. You have put both men on a pedestal. It’s pathetic that your husband is so intelligent and accomplished and yet he’s ruining it all with alcohol. He needs to go to AA, first and continue in long term therapy afterwards. His alcohol addiction is quite severe. You really have your hands full with managing what to do about your marriage. Having an affair with someone else only compounds your existing problems. I think a divorce is best, especially if you have no children. A pregnancy would not be a happy event that it should be. It would be the worst thing that could happen, especially for YOU and for the child. You are married to a DRUNK. His other qualities pale in comparison to his addiction. He needs a great deal of professional help. In the meantime, you are a victim of abuse. Do you not realize that? Take care of YOU, Ami. He is a grown man and has to make better choices. You can’t help him.

                • amicrazy says:

                  Thank you Tink. No one has ever put it in those terms for me before. He would blame his rage and drinking on me because I wouldn’t have sex with him and because we didn’t have ‘intimacy’. Yeah, ya think?!

                  One other thing I didn’t mention but is relevant. His father also had a big problem with alcohol and gave it up completely about 30 years ago and has never looked back. I wished my husband would do the same but like you said, I cannot help him. I have been holding on to all of the potential for so long, but I’m seeing now that it is completely out of my hands and I cannot and never did control this situation. It is a very hard thing to face. There were so many red flags, I wish I had listened to my gut. I’m so angry with myself for being so foolish. I don’t want this divorce to define me or ruin my life. Thank you Tinkerbell, you don’t know what your posts have meant to me. BR is a God send!

                  • Tinkerbell says:

                    So glad to have opened your eyes a little wider. Lots more to learn here. All the best. (Hugs) Tink.

  31. AfroK says:

    Mymble,

    Sorry to hear how that ex weirdo was so cruel and would treat you so inhumanely even after the birth of his own child. I am so glad you have left him as he is a selfish man and you and your children deserve better, even if that “better” means being partner-less for ever. It amazes me how women can be from different continents but our experiences when it come to ACs, are similar. My ex AC husband slapped me in the labour ward, I wasn’t doing my job properly according to him, and I was being a bitch worrying about myself while he was worried about the baby! 4 weeks and more abandonment of me and the child-before recovering from emergency caessarian later, he holds my throat pushing me down the coach screaming “now I am chocking you, now I’m chocking you, now I’m chocking you”. I know how hard it is to leave them, you are so strong to have flushed him. I hope you recover your healthy and full functioning self, as my experience left me sooo tired. Hugs:).

  32. AfroK says:

    Mrs.Prison,

    That name is heartbreaking:(. Sorry for what you are going through. That man sounds dangerous and it is a good start that you are in here seeking advice on how to free yourself. I won’t repeat my story but I’m African married to a foreigner and moved to his country. He was controlling every aspect of my life and used my being far from home to further isolate me. With counseling and support from friends and total strangers I escaped. Not easy, my self esteem was zero, and some events are still foggy, but it is possible. I believe you ca get out of it. I agree what others have said about your mom. And I know the temptation to stay because of the kids and financial security. However you and your children deserves better. That is not a good environment for your children to grow in (abusive dad and emotionally battered and scared mom). I don’t know your full story, but believe me when I say it can get very disturbing and dangerous. Safe exit plan will be important and you would need help with this from your counselor, and people you trust have your best interest at heart. In my case there was my friends, , counselor, Maternal and child Health nurse, my family GP, my child’s childcare teachers, domestic violence services. Explore what support is available for you. And keep posting here in BR for support. I wish I knew BR before marrying the weirdo. Sending my hugs and support. Stay strong. Xxx

  33. teachable says:

    In being so.determined not to have daddy issues I fear I overshot the mark by becoming ‘to independent’. apparently, men need to feel needed. except all I would like (more a preference than a need) is love in a healthy committed partnership. all other needs i have & do meet quite adequately myself. I struggle w the balance on this one.

  34. AfroK says:

    Amicrazy,

    Sorry for what you are going through.
    I’m not a veteran here but will throw in my 3 cents. You are lucky to have stumbled into BR and please stay. I know it hurts to hear the truth sometimes, hence your initial “fuck you for busting my fantasy bubble!” reaction to comments from members. The comments come from a good place and I believe sometimes we need blunt truth to “snap us” out of it. Consider a counsellor you can be totally honest with because now that the bubble has busted, time for reality check. I’m also curious about the coincidence of him being your boss, and the affair beginning on the day you quit your job. Would that be part of why you feel you need him as a reward for having heavily invested in the relationship? Reading your non-defensive comments, I get that deep down you have realised that this guy is an assclown. You have even said, you have the power to walk away. However why your “power to walk away” is dependent on what comes out of his mouth after 30 days? Why is he that special that you are giving him a jury power to pass a verdict on you, regardless of his being a selfish asclown? Natalie’s “you deserve better” post and others on “fall back girl” and everything “assclownerly” plus what others have suggested will really help. Also be glad that he is an honest AC when it comes into telling how a dishonest selfish cheater he is. Yet you are defending him that “despite the lies and shaddyness” he is a good man because he knows you’re ” GONE” and ready to “give me up” despite “the benefit” to him. I’m not a BR expert but that is not what will constitute a good man. And that is not what your self worthy comes down to. You should consider using your power to “walk out” now. Otherwise it’s the situation like in of Natalie’s posts, where he is telling you that he is a useless cheating AC, and you are like “no no nooo…I’m telling you and you and you are gonna love mmeeee!!. Please stay strong and all the best in standing up for yourself in this challenging time. Hugs:).

  35. Tinkerbell says:

    AfroK,

    Nice to have you back commenting. I like your reference to Jennifer Hudson’s emotional rendition in “Dreamgirls”. Too many women cling to that fallacy that they’re gonna MAKE the man love them. It’s great to see so many of us on BR have and are in the midst of seeing that they are not that special and we need to take all that overwhelming love and give it to ourselves, FIRST.

  36. Amanda the Panda says:

    Hi all this post has hit the nail on the head for me. My parental relationships are incredibly complex. My mother got pregnant with me at 16, in 1969..when it was still something shameful. My real father, who was older than her was told to stay away..although I only discovered that when I met him in my 20s. I was supposed to be adopted, as my mother was sent away to give birth to me, but I wasn’t..I was taken home and passed off as my mum’s sister’s baby. When I was 1, my mum met my “dad” whom she married and who stayed with her until I was in my mid teens. He was a hard, difficult man that I later came to realise was charming to everyone except me, my mother and other people that he was responsible for. They had a baby that died when I was 8 and then my brother a year later but by this time their marriage was failing. I became a scapegoat for them both..a physical and emotional punchbag. They were both vicious towards me, there was name calling and humiliation from both of them on a regular basis as well as violence and aggression. They killed our family dog by repeatedly kicking him. There were viscious fights between them.

    My dad left after an affair when I was 14, returning briefly and confusingly only to leave again after a few months. When he was gone it was more peaceful. At the same time, they decided to tell me that he wasn’t my real dad..I was confused,hurt and frightened but protected them and pretended to not be bothered.

    Then things got much much worse. My mum met and moved in a man she met in a night club. He was a paedophile. He immediately moved in on me, and tried to get me into bed constantly but when I told my mum what he was doing she blamed me, told me I was spoiling things and eventually threw me out. He abused my younger brother very badly, and she went on to have two children by him that she then abandoned when she finally had enough and met someone else. They were eventually taken into care and subsequently adopted. There’s more…lot’s more…but suffice to say I have daddy and mummy issues.

    I’ve had to parent myself all my life. often very badly. I was with my husband from 19 until 33..he was my original rescuer. A deeply codependent relationship, that I was never fully committed to. I just needed him…I cheated several times, and he, having his own issues, lied about money repeatedly and caused huge debts. I couldn’t survive without him but grew up enough to find the courage to leave eventually.

    Since then I’ve made HUGE mistakes with men. Ive had two 3 year relationships, the first with a subtly controlling sexually abusive guy who helped me financially when I had nothing. The second with a married man who DID leave his wife for me but who ping ponged between us for a year causing immense pain to us both and whom I could never trust again anyway. He was an addict..one time heroin, then alcohol and also cold, had no empathy and was selfish beyond belief. I ended that when my dad suddenly died 2 years ago and he made the comment “you didn’t even like him,why are you snivelling?”.

    Since then I’ve been lost, emotionally. I’ve become promiscuous in a desperate attempt to feel wanted, sleeping with anyone who’ll have me and then to bring it up to date have recently got involved with an EUM that I convinced myself at date 2 was “the one”. No matter he told me he was damaged, didn’t think he wanted a relationship, was an alcoholic, leered at young girls, encouraged a threesome with his mate, was still financially responsible for his ex and still her handyman and run around, was hot and cold etc etc..oh no, I made a giant sized loaf with the crumbs he gave me. It’s over, I was an insecure wreck the entire time and rather than end it myself I pushed it until he did. That was two weeks ago. I’ve been NC since, and thank goodness…I found BR. Now, the healing of a lifetime can FINALLY begin. About time….

    • LovefromNel says:

      Amanda,
      I often think things come into our lives when we so desperately need them. I’m so glad you’ve found BR (I also am a newcomer after a horrid (but not the first) EUM experience, but it was someone who I also considered ‘the one’). BR is such a blessing. You sound very objectively aware of your situation and BR will help enormously, I’m sure. I’ve also found that the comments from all the lovely ladies out there are also extremely helpful! I keep a word document to save the BR comment gems! And I go back over it when I’m feeling sad and sorry for myself and what a coward he has been. Anyway, just lending a hand of support and a cyber hug. Stay here and keep reading xo

      • LovefromNel says:

        Amanda, sorry, you aren’t actually a newcomer! I’m a doofus! I don’t know where I got that from – perhaps all the other bundles of comments I’ve been reading. Sorry if it sounded condescending in any way. My apologies! But I do mean the cyber hug and hand of support! xo

  37. Penelope-Pitt's-Thoughts says:

    I broke NC with my abusive mother; subsequently, she left several verbally/emotionally abusive messages in my voice mail on Thanksgiving because a few days before Thanksgiving I told her “no.” I hadn’t spoken to her in over a year. Yep, I pressed the reset button (because I was feeling guilty…she’s getting old, and…), and discovered she hasn’t changed her abusive behavior.

    In our initial conversation, she shared great news with me, and we shared some nice pleasantries, but she couldn’t sustain it, and one delayed response from me triggered a transference, and she verbally attacked me. Time away from her and my healing has left me sensitized where I was once desensitized, and it truly felt like being victimized for the first time. It was bizarre observing what seemed like a bad episode from my childhood abuse as I sat back and made note of the boundary busting, chopping, crazy making, hook-targeting, and …., and she hadn’t even started yelling yet. I felt the two levels of emotions in the transference; one set was for the now as an adult, and one set was coming from my child self of the past. Yep, I was back in time, but I was also in reality; it was extremely painful; I thought I was going to ‘split’–feeling as if one set of emotions would soon dominate the other, and the old childhood emotions were winning.

    I tried not to identify with the childhood feelings, but I wanted to acknowledge them, honor them, and release them, so I kept focusing on a loved one standing right in front of me, repeating his name and demanding my mind to stay in reality as the feelings passed.

    The feelings did pass, and when my mom was finished, she did what she has always done; she tried to make up for the abuse by offering to help me, or buy me something, etc. But this time, I told her I don’t need anything from you. The call went silent, and honestly, I’m not sure how it ended. I just remember being happy to have stayed in reality.

    This incident with my mother felt similar to the altercation with my ex that ended our relationship, but it was more traumatic. In both cases, it was ultimately a counter-transference, but I don’t think either of them stayed in reality–water rises to the same level–indeed.

    I felt allota rejection in both incidents, and I felt manipulated, and that I didn’t matter to them; I didn’t feel valued, understood, or accepted; both my mother and boyfriend flip between showing me support; I matter, and that they value our relationship, but then they turn right around, and de-value the relationship, treat me as if I don’t matter, and etc.

    I think my ex knew I needed external validation, and I wanted to be accepted.

    I think they both expected me to bust my own boundaries and disrespect myself in order to be with them, and get the “goods.”

    “It ain’t gonna happen!” I had enough abuse as a child.

    Recovering from childhood abuse isn’t easy, but
    I’ve decided to start validating myself MORE, and working through my hooks of rejection and acceptance.

    Take care everybody, xx

    • Rosie says:

      Penelope- It behooves me that parents think they deserve to use their children as doormats, verbal, emotional, physical punching bags, etc. just because they’re “parents” ( I use that word loosely with some of these people). Why do they deserve reward for having sex and having a baby? They did what they wanted to do so why do they deserve our undying devotion for the rest of our lives? Since when is having sex and a baby heroic? I believe the heroism is in the raising of the child, but these “parents” obviously think otherwise.

      As a Christian (not preaching, just letting you know my own processing and struggles with this one), honoring our “parents” isn’t optional–it’s a Commandment. Yet, how does that work in real life when one comes from an abusive home? Even non-religious people feel a certain guilt for not feeling all “warm fuzzy” toward their “parents”. I talked with my pastor about that and he said that the best way to honor these “parents” is to become the best that we can be. We are honoring them when we honor ourselves because our DNA is theirs (whether we like it or not ;) ). By treating our parents with kindness even when they don’t deserve it, by going NC for our own protection and to give them the opportunity to accept the consequences of their behavior is honoring them as well.

      • Penelope-Pitt's-Thoughts says:

        Hi Rosie,

        Thank you for sharing your kind words of wisdom we me. Yes, I struggle with my Faith; I am a Christian as well. I often wonder what God expects of me; though, I know he knows my heart will forgive both my mother and ex one day. And, despite my resolve, I still believe they are worthy of my compassion.

        I have found some peace in your belief(s) because it feels like a position of love.

        I hope your job search is going well. Yet, I believe God is smiling as you continue to share your gifts here on BR.

        May God continue to bless you, :)

  38. Lilia says:

    SITBP,
    I did something similar. I found an AC who made me feel as confused, manipulated, insecure and unloved as my father does. It was horrible but perhaps it was what I needed because I ended up here at BR.

    And just now, when I´m 42, I´m discovering I don´t even like my own father very much. I don´t get to see him alot because he moved abroad about 8 years ago (telling me that he was just taking a year or perhaps 18 months off and that then he´d come back – never happened). So I guess I´ve had enough NC with him to take some distance and finally be able to climb out of his web.

    I realise now that he will never love me as the father I always wished him to be. When he tries to manipulate me with his eternal lies I just think “BS” and don´t even bother answering. The thing is, I always end up being right, it was just BS. The thing that struck me last week, after one of my father´s stressful visits, was that he has absolutely no intention of being a good person. He knows he is unreliable and mean and that he lies to his daughter. But he doesn´t care!

    So yes, I think it´s time for me to flush him, somehow. At least I don´t feel sorry for myself now. Only very angry and repulsed. And I don´t ever want to fall romantically for a guy like my father again.

  39. Lilly says:

    Tink, Rosie, noquay, Pauline, and LovefromNel,

    Thank you, now I don’t feel like I was overreacting. Grammar checking is an orange/red flag and for the first time in my life I’m going to pay attention. I was going to ignore it, but decided to respond with a polite ‘I believe the rule is to leave the preposition in if it makes sense’. Thank you lovely BR ladies, xxx.

    P.S. and Rosie that subway man is creepy. Please be careful.

  40. Amanda the Panda says:

    LovefromNel..no need to apologise AT all thank you so much for your message. The support from people towards each other on here is incredible and I am overjoyed to have found it. I’ve had lots of counselling in my life but I have finally realised I’ve never really got to the CORE of the damage and that’s where I’m headed now. Hugs to you and thank you again xx

  41. AfroK says:

    Tink,

    Thanks for a warm welcome back:). How are you going? Good point about giving the overwhelming love to ourselves. I have not commented for a while, though I have been reading new and old posts and comments from members and continuing to learn. It’s amazing how sometimes I look back and realise how much I didn’t know about myself, and how I gave love a bad name by mistaking abuse and crumbs with one, whilst all the way clinging to my abusers for more.

  42. Camillah says:

    I don’t like the wolf anymore Natalie: He’s such a #%^&*…conniving creep. ;(

  43. AfroK says:

    Revolution,

    Lol @ cringing to that Dreamgirls scene! I remember back then watching it and go “wow.Now. that. is. true. love.” And girl, didn’t I practice it! duh! I ended up here.

    Congrats to you at being that BR accomplished and being too independent. Me making baby steps and I am sooo much better. Not a day goes without reading something on BR. And I have been practicing your post to do things everyday that are for my physical, emotional and mental health. I am doing at least one (not consistent!) that overlaps, with a big dose of Natalie’s articles on self esteem. At first it was extremely hard to come up with something positiveI for me. Maybe due to being used to unhappiness and finding it easier to just isolate myself and indulge in wearing myself down with negative self talk. I won’t stop saying that BR is one of the best things to ever happen to me.

    • Revolution says:

      Afro K,

      Baby, you just made my day with that comment of yours. I am SO glad that you are getting back in the saddle and using my “advice.” Though it’s YOU that’s doing the work; I just gave my two cents. You already “sound” so much happier! And I see you helping others on here too, based on your experiences, and that’s just so nice to see! Well done.

      Re: my independence. Not always a good thing. I think it’s good to stay in the middle of the pendulum swing; I think as women we are usually either on one end (too dependent) or the other (too guarded and/or fiercely independent to let a dude into the “circle of trust”). I tend to sway towards the latter, but I think it’s useful to find a balance. Having said that, the “Dreamgirls” song is OFF the table no matter what. ;)

  44. noquay says:

    Teachable
    I am in much the same boat, I quickly took charge of my alcoholic household as a very young teen, learning to cook, clean, do laundry, shop, fix stuff, garden, paint, do yardwork. Why? Because no one else in the household was functioning. So yep, now I am a fairly skilled, independent kick a$$ chick which, to most men, means I am a dyke (not meaning to diss actual womyn in a dyke role here). Men want to help us but most of the men here, including dudes from the urban metastasis down the hill, have fewer skills than I. They’re licked into some sort of stripped down convenience addicted life that requires little life skills (when the fossil fuels run out, these dudes will be in a world of s@#$). The sort of, kind of friend/not quite a relationship is about a foot taller than I, yet I am physically stronger, have more endurance. I have a disabled neighbor that asks me, or other women, with help with carpentry/heavy lifting stuff rather than the plethora of male day labor types here. Why? We show up, are not high or drunk, we do the job, on time, and we are cuter and smell better.

  45. noquay says:

    Lilly
    Yep, baby steps. Now is the time to interact with but not fall in live with, men and put those BR lessons to use, interact with men but be totally aware. I don’t think you should be stuck in some no man prison but you do have to recognize your vulnerability. I tried the former (prison) and it hasn’t done squat in helping me to get over the AC, if anything, the pain and loneliness is worse. You are doing better though, you recognised this dudes criticism of your grammar as a red flag (I would’ve eaten him for lunch!), and parallels between his complementing and the ACs. Good. As much as I despise a certain doormatty, settle-happy, relationship blogger, this person does have one good idea; meet multiple men solely for the purpose of honing your social skills and Spidey senses. You had been hit with some of the worse s@#$ that can happen to a woman. You need to relearn a lot, especially in a society where most men have little integrity (feelings, thoughts, words, actions, all disconnected). Talk to men in coffeehouses, social events but do not attach. I have been doing this a lot lately. Talking to guys, finding out their stories, their issues but having zero emotional investment in them. I find that an action that in me, shows I am interested, in them, means absolutely nothing. We women, and I assuming a good manyof women here on BR are very caring, high integrity folks in a world that is disconnected from themselves; that’s why we get hurt so badly. We assume others behave like ourselves. You are doing great, Lilly, a bit of attention, of having some shred of hope (I no longer have any, you don’t wanna be there), no matter how strong, we all need some positive interaction, but keep your eyes open and senses on high alert.

  46. Camillah says:

    EMINEM LYRICS

    “Beautiful Pain”
    (feat. Sia)

    I can feel the heat rising
    Everything is on fire
    Today’s a painful reminder of why
    We can only get brighter
    The further you put it behind ya
    And right now I’m on the inside
    Looking out, cause

    I’m standing in the flames
    And it’s a beautiful kind of pain
    Setting fire to yesterday
    Find a light, find a light, find a light

    Standing in the flames
    And it’s a beautiful kind of pain
    Setting fire to yesterday
    Find a light, find a light, find a light

    …. ….

    ….

    I feel the burn, watch the smoke as I turn rising,
    A phoenix from the flames
    I have learned, from fighting fights, that weren’t mine
    Not with fists, but with wings that I will fly

    ~~:o)

  47. Revolution says:

    Lilly,

    I’m still here, still reading you. Regardless of your dealings with the grammar dude, you are finding your sealegs, I can tell. Don’t let this guy rattle you; I write and edit for a living and even *I* don’t correct people’s grammar unless they’re paying me to do so! And definitely not in a friend/love relationship scenario!

    Keep moving forward. Even when you have some steps back, chalk it up to experience and move on. You’re doing great, for real.

    • Lilly says:

      Hi Rev,

      I so appreciate your support. I like your pendulum swing idea too. If I had the choice I’d much rather be nearer the independent end. I’m pathetically way too dependent and I know it, but at least I can now say that I won’t be singing the “ Dreamgirls” song ever again! I’m taking on board all the comments here (including Camillah and Wisers, thank you ladies) and it’s the beginning of a whole different me.

  48. dancingqueen says:

    Hey Lilia
    I totally get what you say about your dad. Dont worry: you wont fall for another guy like him if you choose not to. You see things clearly and you can make good choices.You don’t need him to be a parent now: you can parent yourself.

    That was my issue: my dad. It was the big primal heartbreak underneath all the other ones that was always waiting to be scraped open again whenever I entered into a new relationship with someone who had my dads oh-so-attractive personality traits lol. The self-absorbtion, chronic sense of superiority…ugh. Plus my dad was master for the occasional effusive love moment that would just make everything confusing. For years I wanted to have someone love me like my dad should have and I kept finding cold hearted men to try to get it from them torevisit the crimes scene…or codependent men who would smother me and make me furious.

    I am in my 40s and honestly for me distance and perspective has been the big healer. My dad has dementia now so he is no longer really reachable but in moments we do have connection which has finally started to make stop questioning myself “did he ever love me? Why does he love my bro but not me?”etc. I hang up when he is being nasty and talk when he is nice. Pretty simple. However I will say that his illness has kind of opened a window into his mind/heart. The other day he got up at 2 am and told my stepmother that I was not home from school yet and that he was not going to sleep until we were home. I decided to just not overthink that and take it as a sign that he cared. He is a hard man, had some hard times in his childhood and there was not a lot of water in that well. It is not reasonable for me to take it personally.
    Good luck.

  49. Tinkerbell says:

    Ami,

    Reading back over your earlier posts I’ve realized that your husband is addicted to alcohol and the MM is addicted to sex. Is there something about addictions that fascinate you? Oh Boy! Natalie has a very good post about “Florencing”. Inotherwords, you see yourself as Florence Nightingale the nurse, and your duty is to take care of these broken men and make them whole. Other than Natalie’s writings, there are three books I recommend (there are many of them), two are by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. One is called “Boundaries” and the other is called “Safe People”. Lastly, by Dr. Joyce Meyer, “Living Beyond Your Feelings”. Good luck. Focus on YOU.

    • amicrazy says:

      Thank you Tinkerbell. I will look into these books. Maybe I am addicted to addicts? Definitely something to discuss with my therapist!!

  50. AfroK says:

    Rev,

    Thanks:). I’m much better mental health wise. I still got a lot of work to do though, especially on how not to be AC magnet.

    Give me ” too independent” anytime, rather than dependent. So please stay there and don’t come back singing the dream girls song!

    I have thought about this article and I think In my choice of men, there are hidden daddy issues. Ex husband AC was than 15 years older than me. Last AC was 9 years older than me. I’m not sure exactly how dady issue comes in but my expectation of them was that, because they are older, they will give me love, care and protection. Plus I am young, so they will feel lucky that I’m in love with them. About a couple of weeks ago I caught myself fantasizing about this good looking plumber, sent by my real estate agentbto fix my kitchen tap, but went out of his way and put 3 handles on my kitchen drawers. He started flirting, I was flattered and went along with it. Then I started imagining us together and how I won’t have to worry about little maintenance issues in the future. I swear if I wasn’t rushing to go to this important appointment it would have been more than just flirting by now.

    • Lilly says:

      AfroK,

      I can relate. I’ve also found myself running off with the pixies and fantasising about this new man! Have you read Nat’s Dreamer book? If not please do you won’t regret it. Now I’m off to practice those new BR skills…….Number one: No more fantasizing!

      • AfroK says:

        Lily,

        You go girl and make “you” proud. Keep us posted. That book sounds like a great AC proof. I will get it for a new year present.

  51. AfroK says:

    Lily,

    All the best in practice BR skills with a new man and good on you for moving on from that mm AC. I admire the grace and dignity in your response to Rebuilding (hugs Rebuilding).

    That spelling thing reminds me of my last AC. He is an ESL (England as Second Language) teacher at University. Conversations lacked flow because of correting what I say and how I say it. English is my 5th language so I don’t intend to speak with Aussie accent anytime in the future. Though I never thought of it as controlling, but attributed it to his proffession. Reading comments of members here has opened my eyes on what was happening.

    A few times he complained of using too much toilet paper when I visited him, which I thought was weird.

    Again all the best. Lol re:dream girls song! Australia 2013 xfactor winner belted it and got all 3 judges on the table cheering. I was in the middle of admiring the drama, then I remembered Natalie’s post in which she quoted the song:)

    • Lilly says:

      AfroK,

      I remember your previous posts and you sound like a different person! Makes me so happy for you. Your comment about the Dreamgirls song made me laugh because I remember (metaphorically speaking) belting out that song many times. Never again and no more AC and no more MM! He’s gone can you believe it. It’s over and he can’t hurt me again!

      I’m more than impressed that English is your 5th language! As for the Aussie accent I’m haven’t got one either as I’m originally from the UK. Lived in this wonderful place for 15 years, but people still ask me where I’m from!

      All the best to you too AfroK and I will look out for your posts, xx.

      • AfroK says:

        Lily,

        “He’s gone ..it’s over..he can’t hurt me again!” I love it:). Enjoy your new date with intact BR skills.x

  52. Alishia says:

    Thanks so much for this :’)

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!