imageMany of us put a lot of emphasis on the first couple of months of the year by inadvertently believing that if we’re going to have the year we want, we’ve got to get things right up front. We start the year all perky and full of gusto: This year’s going to be different. It’s a new year and a new me. I’m going to be optimistic and attract a different life. Next thing, as life tends to do, something goes awry, or… life doesn’t look the way we pictured it.

Maybe we have a dream about our ex and we attach the meaning that we’re not over him/her and that we’ve carted what we thought were our forgotten feelings for them into 2014. In our minds, we pictured that if we were going to get off on the right footing, we wouldn’t think of our ex and we wouldn’t have to make efforts to not chase after thoughts.

Maybe we experience a trauma or have a series of stresses and unfortunate incidences and decide that there’s no point in gradually dealing with these and recovering because we decide that there’s no point.

Why should I bother changing unhealthy beliefs? I tried to think positive and I still ended up stressed / hurt / disappointed etc.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing that because we’re trying to project a sunny attitude or are making changes, that we have the power to control the uncontrollable.

I’m trying to think happy thoughts and squash down negativity – why are things still happening to piss me off? 

Maybe we feel tempted to go back to an unhealthy relationship and even if we don’t act upon it, we shame ourselves over having even thought of it, forgetting that we’re only human and that it would be more useful to look at what the trigger was for feeling this way.

Or maybe, despite having started 2014 resolving to do better by us, a week in and we’ve fallen off the wagon. Now we’re thinking, Well I’ve started so I may as well finish, as if to suggest that a wobble or a fall makes for a waste of time. Sometimes we’re so busy berating ourselves for not having handled something or for slipping into an old habit that we continue on a poor course of thinking and behaviour in the hopes that maybe we can make something good come out of it. It becomes about making a return on investment when we actually stand to make more from folding.

Don’t write off the year over a bad day, week or choice in the early part of the year. Hell, don’t do it at any point in the year. You do it and you end up growing weeds instead of nurturing and growing seeds.

Many people judge themselves so harshly over these, colouring their perception of their options and distorting their self-image. It’s as if they believe that it’s wrong to hit inevitable bumps in the road and that they have to get things right first time because in their minds, they’re all out of chances. It causes them to predict that the past will be the future and if they don’t get perspective, it has a domino effect on their subsequent thinking and choices.

Writing off time that hasn’t happened is a trap anyway. No matter what the time of year is (beginning, middle or end), thinking this way means you’re going to do the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bath water. It’s a disproportionate response that clouds learning, growth and ultimately your recovery.

It’s not a bad day, rough week, or a dodgy choice that makes the year a write-off – it’s your mentality and actions that decide this and these can be changed. It’s too much to expect that there won’t be eff up’s or that life will occur according to the predetermined picture and plan in your head. You will get back up. You’ve successfully managed to do this on every day of your life so far so keep your eyes on what matters – you and this on the job training experience that is life. Aiming to have a perfect grade year is a futile pursuit!

Your thoughts?

I just wanted to give a shout out to all of you who are affected by adverse weather conditions. Talk about extreme weather! Stay safe! Big squeezy extra-warm hugs!

 

 

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213 Responses to Don’t write off the year if it doesn’t start how you pictured it

  1. Lacy says:

    Hey I haven’t read this post yet, but I just was thinking about how I wanted my yr to be and it hasn’t quite started off that way.So I said to myself this is still going to be my yr of change.

  2. JustHer says:

    This is really helpful.

    At the end of 2013, I was feeling immensely better and 2014 also started off well. I had finally stopped thinking about the AC every second of the day, and though I thought about him every day – it was only for a few moments.

    I stopped missing him desperately and stopped waiting for him to contact me.

    But then today on Facebook I saw that the same friend who went behind my back posted a photo of him and her cuddling on the sofa in her new apartment (I still haven’t been invited) with the lines “Having so much fun with the best guy ever”.

    I had wished her Happy New Year earlier this week.

    Suddenly, it all came back and I felt defeated. As if none of my past progress meant anything because I still felt weak looking at his photo and jealous of her. I also felt very much betrayed.

    I felt stupid for thinking that a new year could change everything!

    But after reading this post, I now realise this was just a bump in the road. I don’t want to delete her (too many mutual friends and all will think I’m overreacting over one photo) so I have simply un-followed her status/updates. This way I won’t see any other posts.

    I also understand that it is about not only recovering, but being strong enough to overcome these small barriers. After all, in the words of Henry Ford, obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

    • CC says:

      doesn’t sound like friend to me. I would de-friend her. She is not your friend if she betrayed you.

      • JustHer says:

        CC,

        Yes, I feel like that too, but to be fair, I cannot just get rid of all my friends because they are friends with him too? AND ALL my friends are mutual friends with him. One or two of the others also upload photos with him when they are together etc.

        • CC says:

          Justher – hi, you said something about the friend going behind your back, that is why I suggested de-friending her. Your other mutual friends aren’t going behind your back (are they?). Maybe I misunderstood, but that’s what i got from what you wrote. Good luck!

          • JustHer says:

            CC,

            Thanks for replying!

            Yes, she did go behind my back and get with him, but I didn’t know if I was overreacting because me and him have been over for over a year, so in all fairness, who am I to say who she dates.

            I also suspect (strong evidence, no proof) that she lied to me once when I asked her to go out with me to spend time with him instead, while telling me it was another guy she was seeing.

            I honestly just don’t want to be a drama queen and make a big deal out of nothing.

            By other friends also sometimes upload photos with him or include him in their statuses, because all our friends were mutual friends.

            I guess it is hard to know where to draw the line in terms of who I stay friends with..

            • Sanntay says:

              JustHer: Just my two cents here…I think you care too much about what others think. You should delete this ‘friend’ because she is clearly anything but. There is such a thing as “girl code” and she has totally violated it. Regardless of how long it’s been since you were involved with that guy, if she was really a true friend, she’d know that all exes are off limits. She’s only looking out for herself, without any regard for how that makes you feel. If your other mutual friends can’t understand that, well, that’s their problem. You should not be made to feel so uncertain about the next move when someone has hurt you. The best thing is just to remove yourself from the situation, and/or cut contact with those who have shown themselves to be untrustworthy and uncaring. Drop them and move on with your life.

              • JustHer says:

                Sanntay,

                You’re right. As much as I tell myself otherwise, I actually do care what people will think.

                I don’t want to seem foolish, but I refuse to be made a fool of, which I think she is, unconsciously, doing.

                She’s never been the kind to empathise (she never asked me why me and him split up – hence why she doesn’t know), so I just feel like she’s naive. So she get’s one more chance and then gets dropped.

                She invited me to go to a theatre show with her, because the friend she planned to go with couldn’t come. This was a few months ago and I was very flattered, though in the end I couldn’t make it.

                I guess mine and her’s past friendship deserves one more chance, but only one more it is.

                Thank you so much for your advice, I feel like you can understand my uncertainty more than I am at the moment. I just want to forgive her, but I know I should not put up with being hurt, yet uncertain.

                Thanks for your insight, honey.

                Hugs,

                JustHer

              • Bethd says:

                I totally agree …exes off limits. Girlfriend code 101. Especially exes that messed with us. It’s called loyalty!

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear JustHer,

      I’m so sorry to hear of what you discovered on Facebook, and through no fault of your own, because I remember in Natalie’s post before last, you had the willpower to just stop the stalking one day (I wish I could tell you I’ve reached that point, but I haven’t yet).

      The AC sounds like an absolute awful clown, but your supposed friend, in my opinion, sounds actually worse? Did she not think you would see the picture she posted? And its comment? Did she not think that that might hurt your feelings?

      In fact, it reminds me of a recent article I read in the Sydney Morning Herald about this generation (and I speak as part of this generation!) that is so ‘me, me, me’ focussed. We (although I doubt a lot of us at BR fall into this category) see ourselves first and foremost. Things become ‘me and my (fast) car’, ‘me and my (huge) house’, ‘me and my (great) boyfriend’. We only see ourselves as individuals, not as individuals in relation to others.

      And this is exactly what your friend has done. She’s not thought about herself in relation to anyone else. It’s all about her, and the (probably not so) great guy she’s spending NYE with.

      She hasn’t thought about anyone else whatsoever, and the implications for her actions. To me, they both sound like self-asborbed clowns and probably deserve each other.

      You, on the other hand, have handled it like a supreme Queen with a huge amount of dignity and integrity. To not even delete her? Go you good thing! I am incredibly proud, and your response is really quite inspiring. You’ve seen it for what it was (a bump in the road) and have been able to move on from it with absolute class.

      And you’re back on the high-road that you began 2014 on! Just one teensy detour at a shitty little town that wasn’t worthy of your company, presence, and thoughts.

      I hope I have helped in some way.

      Love Nel

      • LovefromNel says:

        Sorry, I misread your original post. Didn’t realise it wasn’t actually a NYE picture, but just a random photo in her new apartment (after you had wished her a Happy New Year!). I conflated the two, so my apologies, but I rest my case! Makes it even worse, in a way. What is she really trying to prove? Deary me! Hugs to you, Just Her. x

        • JustHer says:

          Ahh, I don’t have a clue what she is trying/not trying to prove. I don’t even know if she did this on purpose, or it was just an innocent photo upload.

          Underneath someone now asked her “when are you sending out the wedding invites?” and she said “they’ll be in the post soon!” which was worse. But I haven’t seen the photo since to see what else she said.

          • LovefromNel says:

            Oh that is an awful comment to read. I feel for you, JustHer. I can only imagine how much your heart would hurt reading that, and mine aches for you too. Dear oh dear. While a lot of ladies on here have advocated deleting the friend, and I would be absolutely tempted to do so too (in fact, I did it to two lousy friends last year), I do think you’ve taken the high-road by simply unfollowing. It shows you’re much above their petty games (whatever those games may be, as I really can’t think why someone would post that picture and write those things, without thinking who may see it and be affected by it). Even if she doesn’t know the whole story, she surely has seen your pain and anguish over this EUM in the past? Her naivety of the whole story may explain her behaviour (I don’t think it does, though), and it certainly isn’t enough to excuse it. If it helps, I would consider deactivating Facebook for a short period of time. I’ve found when I’ve done that in the past, I’m less focussed on others and more focussed on me. It is a win-win situation. One day I’ll deactivate permanently I hope. By deactivating (even for just a short period), it may send the message to your friend that her behaviour is really not OK, but you’re also not going so far as deleting (because you’ll be Missing In Action with all of the other mutual friends too!). But do the deactivate for you, because that’s the only person you need to worry about in this situation. Hugs, JustHer. You will be OK. One day you will post a fabulous picture on a couch with the best guy ever, and you’ll do it with the knowledge that there’s no mutual friends who may be hurting over him, that you could offend by posting it. Be consoled by (and proud of) your grace in this situation, and how you would do things so much differently if you were in her shoes. I hope that makes some sense. I’m a bit zonky tired this morning and probably rambling as usual! xo

            • LovefromNel says:

              PS, JustHer, in the spirit of around the world BR camaraderie, I have deactivated my Facebook account for the timebeing. I find I spend too much time on there, comparing myself to other people and their fabulous lives (probably all in my imagination of course). I vaguely recall a commenter on here, perhaps years ago, writing ‘I need to do more and be more’. I think Facebook for me is a hindrance to that. So off I go! Feel free to join me! Hugs, Nel x

              • Stephanie says:

                Lovefromnel

                Just to add to your comment I deactivated my Facebook account in early 2012 for the same reason and haven’t been back on there since. It was the only thing left to do to stop me from checking up on the AC. I looked at his Facebook page and his family and friends pages every single day to try and get a glimpse into his life. It nearly ruined me. I do still think about him occasionally but I don’t have the desire to look him up on Facebook.

                • LovefromNel says:

                  Hi Stephanie, go you good thing! I did that too! I found myself looking up his page on a daily basis, and seeing who his new friends were and concoting stories from that. Bizarrely enough, the ex-EUM got Facebook two months after we broke up? After resisting the craze for five years? Of course, my overactive imagination was like ‘Oh, he got it to find you, Nel!’. Hahaha, I know, I know, I am RIDICULOUS. He got Facebook even though he knows where I live, work, and walk! But back when I discovered his presence on Facebook, I did contemplate sending a friend request but a rational Nel weaved her way into my brain and said ‘now, really, don’t be ridiculous.’ Haha. And FYI everyone – he only has male friends. Yup! True story! Clearly doesn’t trust us females. (He had massive trust issues with his ex and I should have ran the other way when my instincts told me that such anger and aggression is really not OK). Red flag/s or what?! Nel.

              • JustHer says:

                And you’re right!

                I noticed that Facebook was one of my ‘triggers’ as in, I always felt much worse after spending time on there, no matter how I felt before, unless people talked to me a lot etc.

                I hope one day to eventually deactivate it as well! But right now it seems to be the only way of keeping in regular contact with friends and family around the globe.

                Good luck to you though, and hats off for taking such a massive step! x

              • oregongirl says:

                Yes! Good job! Get off Face Book, in fact get off your computer! Get out there and DO some great things with yourself and your time and energy. Trust me you will feel so much better about doing something for yourself and for others.

                She is trying to poke you. She knows you will see it and she wants to hurt you, make you jealous, and “back away” from a man she thinks she wants. To hell with her! You are so much better.

                –start exercising
                –lose five pounds
                –start budgeting your money
                –give your house a good deep cleaning
                –listen to new music
                –make some new friends
                –volunteer for a cause you care about
                –hang out more with your family
                –read good books about relationships and self-improvement
                –take a class at your community college
                –reward yourself with a latte each day that you stay off Facebook
                –hang in there and let us know how you’re doing!!

                Love and hugs,
                Oregon Girl

                • JustHer says:

                  Oregon Girl,

                  Thank you so much for your advice.

                  Facebook is definitely the worst possible thing for me right now, I’m sure! I intend to deactivate it asap.

                  I love the list! I knew I should ‘get out’ more, but never really considered some of the things you suggest! That latte rewarding will definitely be the best one.

                  I have decided that she gets one more chance and I will delete her if she puts up anything else that has anything to do with him. However, if I find myself wanting to stalk her, I shall delete her straightaway. I’ve promised this to myself and shall follow through.

                  Thanks again, and all the very best to you too! :)

                  JustHer

            • JustHer says:

              Aww, Nel. This was a lovely message.

              She actually hasn’t seen how it affected me at all. She is not a close friend. All she knows is that we broke up and I never spoke to him or kept in touch with him.

              He used to always bitch about her when he was with me (which she obviously never knew), and now suddenly they are closer than ever!

              I am in the middle or organising some events on Facebook, but after that, I think I really should take time out.

              Love,
              JustHer

      • JustHer says:

        Nel,

        Honey, if you haven’t reached that point yet, maybe you’re not mentally ready to. I could only do it when I hit a complete rock bottom.

        But, I would say that you should try not to let it go as far as it did for me. I lost contact with all my friends, lost my job, my apartment, was barely surviving from day to day, diagnosed with severe depression.

        Stop now before it gets worse.

        My ‘friend’ is one of the few who doesn’t know the whole story about what happened between me and the AC. I don’t know what he has told her. So I forgive her for that.

        I don’t believe she meant it spitefully. I also suspect that maybe he told her to upload a photo of them, so I would see it (he is blocked on Facebook), but maybe I am reading too much into it.

        You have helped with your kind words and advice. Honestly, without ladies like you and others on BR, honey, I don’t think I would have ever made it this far.

        JustHer x

    • Sandy says:

      JustHer,

      so what if the mutual friends think you are over reacting if you delete her, you do not have to justify or explain yourself to them, this is about you and how you are feeling…let them conjecture as much as they like, delete her if it makes you feel better.
      Sorry but I also can’t understand why you would have even bothered to wish this so called “friend” a Happy New Year…some people you just have to flush.

      • JustHer says:

        I wished many many people a Happy New Year (basically everyone I talk to) because I do this every year to spread the new year magic etc.

        She replied too.

        But now, I am having doubts. My closest friend says not to overreact and that it doesn’t mean anything.

        I’m actually thinking about just deleting Facebook completely as I cannot handle the stress of avoiding all the posts from a range of mutual friends which relate to him.

    • Gina says:

      Hey JustHEr, what is one less (lousy) friend. So what if people see you as overreacting, the betrayer deserves to be apprehended and told clearly that she is not deserving of your friendship. Delete rather than unfollow, it will clearly let her know that what she did was so callous and wrong….if you are brave enough to that is.

      • JustHer says:

        Gina,

        I’m just not sure how badly I will come across. I want to know for sure that it would be a wise thing to do before I do it, as there is no ‘undo’ button.

        I feel like maybe I should tell her (before I delete her) that I just don’t want to know anything about him and it has nothing to do with her, which it doesn’t.

    • amicrazy says:

      De-friend!!

      • There says:

        I agree. Defriend!

        Do you know what I hear when you act so polite and classy with that friend?
        That you are a super nice and super sweet friend – and too hard with yourself.
        I really need good friends like you, why do you waste your energies being classy and nice with people that OBVIOUSLY don´t deserve it?

        What happened to me was that when I was in a relationship with my EUM (what is called a relationship for EUMs) one of his best friends came and asked me if we were going out – after 6 months not even his closest friends knew. OK, well, this friend was a girl and she said: “Oh, I knew it! I knew that you were together!” and just after that she said: “I had sex with him, too.”
        I was shocked and she said: “Well, I don´t know who started it, I don´t know if I started to kiss him or it was him. And she was still with his exgirlfriend.” You could say that she was warning me about him but she said: “And I slept with his friend, too. We didn´t actually date, it was just chemistry” and she followed explaining me all her “affairs”. Well, she IS MARRIED.
        I did as you are doing: acting with so care and respect for a supposedly friend that you don´t have care and respect FOR YOURSELF and let that pass, as if she was just telling me her stuff, that she was under a lot of personal troubles, etc.

        The thing is, she, of course, went on not thinking about anyone else but her and treated me with no respect so many times that I just couldn´t forgive her anymore.

        When I entered NC, after a nightmare month (NIGHTMARE), I realized that I had to enter NC with friends and relatives that were treating me with no respect. I realized that I had let a lot of people behave like that.

        For me, the action of “de-friend” her it´s a symbol of you taking your choices. It should make you feel strong. If the rest of your friends don´t like that, well, you have your reasons, it´s your choice. They´ll respect you, at least, even if they don´t like it, because they´ll see that you are not going to suffer or bear any games.

        In my case, I had to rewrite my relationship with my own family. I have cried a lot but it was necessary.

        • JustHer says:

          There,

          Your first paragraph almost brought me to tears! I wish I could be friends with you and others who value my friendship more.

          Wow. Your so-called ex-friend sounds like a total, stuck-up cow. Since she was repeatedly emotionally abusive it sounds like you had no choice, but I want to give my ‘friend’ one more.

          I have promised myself that she gets one more strike and is then out of my life.

          Thanks for sharing your story, it helped me decide that I will never let it get that far with her. She either understands that I cannot stand it, and hopefully, unfollowing her on Facebook will help as I won’t see updates.

          Hugs,

          JustHer

  3. JGP says:

    “Maybe we have a dream about our ex and we attach the meaning that it means that we’re not over him/her and that we’ve carted what we thought were our forgotten feelings for them into 2014.”

    Incredible how this incidence has been highlighted when it is exactly what I’m dealing with. I had been feeling a sense of calm recently over last year’s break-up – anxiety, self-doubt, self-blame and regret had begun to retreat and I could see my life’s entire wood for the trees.

    But then the dream, and it infiltrated and deposited a new train of thoughts and cycles of ruminations. I immediately started associating it with back-peddling (which made me beat myself up), then I believed that the only reason for such an occurrence could be validity to the thoughts, then I started questioning previous decisions to opt out and re-evaluating my long scrutinized values (was I too sensitive, am I being realistic, maybe his way is actually better for me etc.)

    I have been no contact 6 months since the break up with no signs of contact from him. We truly have separated, yet something in my mind has not yet detached. I found myself writing a draft text on my phone and retrieving his number from my safe that I had stowed away for ‘just in case’. I need to stop paying these dreams so much attention, forgive myself for my own subconscious still catching up, and not keep comparing 2014 to 2013 to 2012 etc. and wanting things to be ‘back to the way they were’. That’s the definition of chasing down and reliving old mistakes.

    I do sort of wish to re-establish contact at this point however. I have been true to my wishes of how long I wanted to carry it out and I have felt remarkably different than when I went through the break-up. I feel as though contact may help me to deconstruct the idealized, pumped-up, pedestal ex that drifts through my fantasies and give me a short sharp dose of reality. A controlled ‘suck it and see’ approach. I would love some advice on people’s opinion regarding this, but feel that the answer will probably be ‘if you have to think about it then don’t do it – you are still invested’.

    • A says:

      JGP,

      Don’t do it.

      The only time it’s “safe” to break NC is if you’re totally over it and feel nothing….though if that day comes, you would have no desire to contact him in the first place.

    • CC says:

      JGP- when I broke up with my ex it took a long time to get over him (I broke up with him in July 2011). After that, I had another relationship and still didn’t get over him, then I was friends with him for 6 months in 2012 and fell for him again and we ended up in bed last new years (2013). I wanted to try again, he didn;t (well debatable if I really wanted to try, but I realized I was in love with him and couldn’t be his friend) . I spent part of 2013 trying to be his friend, then finally ended it, meaning telling him he can;t contact me anymore, that was in July. Now, 6 months after that I feel I am finally over him, or I feel free of him. However, I know that if I see him again, or he starts contacting me, I could easily fall again. I will truly be over him when I can be in a new relationship that I accept and not compare to him. So, I see the absolute importance of no contact, for a long time. I also had a male friend who was interested in me, but was a AC, to help me get over the guy. I do not want to have to do that anymore, so NC is a must for me with this guy. What I’m saying to you is that 6 months is not enough time to get over someone that you were really attached to. It took me from 2011 to now and I still am not 100% over him, I know this becasue I got a group email he sent out about an event and I felt a pang, but I was able to let it go quickly and not get too down about it. I tell you the last 6 months have been hard emotionally on me after the July final ending. I spiralled down and am just now feeling back to myself in that regard, but I will really know where I’m at when I try getting into another relationship. I am working on myself more and not hurrying that process, partly becasue I’m afraid of finding out I’m still not over him. I don’t see that as too bad as it is allowing me to work on my relationship with myself. As you will see in my other post, I am also between contracts now, so I have way too much time on my hands. Last time I was going through this, my ex was there for me and I had that support, now I don;t. But, I am feeling stronger now and at the end of the day we have to deal with ourselves. Anyways, good luck with it.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear JGP

      I have admired your writing and wisdom on the previous few posts! Really eloquently-put insightful comments.

      I am really interested to hear what the girls say about possibly re-establishing contact. I am in a similar boat, I guess, with NC for about four months and he has not tried to contact me at all. In fact, he’s really gone out of his way to avoid mutual places.

      It’s his birthday on the 19th of January, and mine four days later, and I am so tempted to send a text. I’ve even gone as far as drafting the wording. Except, I think deepdown I know that, he really doesn’t want any contact with me, otherwise he would have made contact, right?

      Or wrong? Is he just a stubborn clown who’s waiting for me to re-establish contact? If I messaged on his birthday, I’d be somewhat disappointed if he didn’t message on mine.

      And there is my answer, I guess. It’s not worth the risk, is it? I don’t know!

      Love to hear what the other girls on here say.

      Best wishes to you, JGP.

      Nel x

      • Tulipa says:

        Nel,

        I think it a step to healing to not wish an ex a happy birthday.

        If you are no contact then it must be for a good reason.

        For the first time last September I ignored the ex ACs birthday and felt proud. It was another small step in the right direction.
        Last week was my birthday and he ignored it no text nothing. I cried that night but again it is a step in healing. If he had texted me what would it have meant anyway? Not much really, except maybe I crossed his mind for a minute or so.

        I wouldn’t do it I think you end up far more disappointed texting than if you leave it alone.

        • LovefromNel says:

          Dear Tulipa

          Thanks so much for your kind response. I really appreciate your advice! (also, not sure if you saw my reply in the previous post but I LOVED the quote you had written to Rocket, about no one having the right to tell you how long choose to grieve). That was really pertinent to me and it was a beauty of a quote! Saved to my phone!

          In any case, I agree about the birthday texting, and I think I know that I shouldn’t (and probably won’t) – well, actually, I definitely won’t after your response.

          I guess my doubt about what to do (to text, or not to text – that is the question!) stems from my uncertainty about whether he’s a true AC or just an EUM. I guess, either way, it actually doesn’t matter what he is because he’s still treated me appallingly, and hasn’t made contact with me, neither of which are good enough really.

          But every day I get stronger, some little niggling gremlin in my mind keeps on saying ‘but Nel, maybe he’s just ashamed of how he behaved, maybe he just needs a sign from you that you still like him, maybe he’s just …” (cue maybes til the sun goes down!).

          Anyway, sorry for rambling. I promise I won’t text him on the 19th, you lovely ladies!

          Thanks again for your reply, Tulipa.

          Love Nel

          • Tulipa says:

            Nel,

            I wouldn’t have said anything about birthday texting if I had not experienced it both ways.
            In 2010 the ex AC dumped me about a month before his birthday and I sent the text it achieved nothing except to tell him I was still invested still the fall back girl still waiting… and yes in 2012 when I didn’t text I had a hard time not texting but once the day had passed I felt 100 x better not having sent the text.

            Natalie has a great post on ACs and how to know if they are an AC or just EUM.

            http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/how-to-spot-an-assclown/

            took me a while too to work out that he was AC and not just EUM.

            Yes, I like that quote too I figure as long as I am working on myself and not sitting idly around doing nothing then it doesn’t matter how long it takes for me to heal and I have taken the pressure off myself to hurry up. I’m glad it helped you too.

            • Tulipa says:

              oops got it wrong I meant I didn’t text him happy birthday in 2013 ashamed to say we were on again for his bday in 2012 but funnily enough it was the start of a very dark time from which I am only just emerging.
              AC behaviour was committed by him he decided it was okay to have sex with another woman on his b’day in 2012. Sigh that I had to repeat the same lesson twice.

      • Poppy says:

        Dear Nel,

        I can relate to yours, CC’s and JGP’s post in the most incredibly similar ways.

        In my opinion, I would not contact him, I know it is hard but you could be opening yourself up to a lot of pain and disappointment. You will make your own decision on this in the end but what if he doesn’t acknowledge your text and then doesn’t contact you on your birthday? More wounds for you when others have not healed I would say.

        Read this post it may help with your decision……
        http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/dealing-with-happy-birthdays-and-big-occasions-to-send-a-card-or-text-or-not-to-send/

        I feel your pain and understand why you are confused. This is a good time to think of the analogy that Grizelda wrote that we discussed on the last post about putting your hand back in the fire. That is exactly what you and the repercussions of doing so could be if you send a text etc. You said yourself he has gone out of his way to avoid mutual places so hang in there and be strong if you can. Your question about the risk….. No, it’s not worth it. Don’t give your mind more to obsess over.

        Hugs

        • LovefromNel says:

          Dearest Poppy!

          Thanks so much again for your response. I absolutely agree. And that was my thought too – he could not reply to the first happy birthday text, and then not text me on mine. Talk about a double whammy! I’d be hysterical for weeks. And that would undo how far I’ve come (even though, as you know, we’ve got the bad days in between).

          It is absolutely Grizelda’s analogy isn’t it. Although my reasoning (in my overactive imagination!) was that I was maybe at the point where I could pull out that hairy-arsed clown figurine from the fire, once everything had cooled down, and see if it had changed into something more beautiful. Ha! I’m dreaming, aren’t I? And I’m kidding myself thinking that my wounds have healed. They haven’t.

          I promise I won’t text and I’ll do something nice for me on his birthday and on mine. Now there’s a double splurge instead of my double whammy.

          More importantly, how are you going by the way? Are you feeling better? I hope you are well Poppy :) Love Nel

          • Poppy says:

            Lovely Nel,

            Your thought process is so similar to mine as we have discussed before. Nothing ever happens how we think it will and this will be a prime example. Have you ever planned a conversation with someone before the actual conversation? What you are going to say, how your stance/facial expressions will be, what they will say (how we think we can do this I will never know but we do), how they will look, the outcome etc etc……. It never happens as planned and this won’t match the picture you have you have of a happy ever after. I do understand your hope though – I live in hope every day of something to turn my life around. I know that’s me who can do that but still I have hope.

            Is this a different guy to who you were with on NYE that caused you to take a step back? If so, by getting in tough with the other guy on his birthday do you think subconsciously it is to right the wrongs of NYE?

            Thank you Nel, a bit of a bad day today, mixed emotions, annoyed but I’m being realistic as much as possible and that’s the main thing. This post is written just at the right time.

            Stay well and throw your phone away.

            XX

            • LovefromNel says:

              Dear Poppy,

              I really can’t thank you enough for your replies. And when you are feeling down yourself, it really means so much more that you’ve taken the time to write. So thank you, times one hundred!

              I always imagine situations, what I think will happen, what someone will say, what I will say. And of course it never eventuates that way! I get nervous and flustered and confused and can’t get my words out properly! Haha! Crazy Nel.

              I will try to explain a little bit about the two EUMs and I am sorry for causing confusion. I’m feeling a little vague and tired this morning, despite a coffee and a tea already, and I hope I don’t bore anyone to sleep with this story!

              The NYE EUM was an old acquaintance from 2009. When I met him then, he was interested in something casual and I told him I didn’t want that. We were friends on Facebook, but until NYE, I hadn’t seen him for years, although he has noticed me on a mountain where I walked with…drumroll…the proper ex-EUM! This is actually how I met the proper EUM. I know I have a massive tendency romanticise things, but it was all very ‘this is JUST meant to be, Nel.’ Just like the movies, of course. (I know, feel free to vomit y’all!). I’m feeling a bit nauseous myself! Deary me! I hope I’ve garnered some laughs of incredulity anyway.

              NYE EUM actually means very little to me. (And I think that is where the regret stems from, if you get my drift). We’ve texted a few times, but he is not the guy I’m contemplating (or rather, no longer contemplating) sending the birthday text to. That is proper ex-EUM.

              I wish I could tell you the whole sorry shermozzle about proper ex-EUM, and have a good sob in the middle, but I don’t think there would be any point to it. It’s just rehashing what I already know to be true. He is just not emotionally available (and mix in a bit of hairy arsed clown in that cloggy cake mixture too).

              At the moment, I only wish a lightbulb drops on his head and he becomes emotionally available. I think that was probably where my notion of texting comes in. “Nel, send a text, why don’t you. See what he says. See if he replies. See if he still cares.” Blah blah blah! (And see how my mind is all about him, too, not – Nel, see how you feel when he DOESN’T reply. How about they, eh? Did you think of that, you crazy girl?)

              Anyway, ENOUGH of me! Sorry ladies!

              I am saddened and sorry to hear you are feeling a bit down today Poppy. Please feel free to share some of your story, too. Although the stories may not be similar (I recall reading somewhere that you presently work with your EUM, which I can’t begin to imagine how difficult that would be), our reactions and feelings and responses certainly are. It takes time to get your sparkle back, but perhaps today (or tomorrow, in the Northern Hemisphere) might just be the day?

              Hugs to you dear girl!

              Love Nel

              • Poppy says:

                Hi Nel,

                Apologies for the delayed reply, I’ve not managed to get back to you till now.

                I understand everything you are going through and hoping he will miraculously become available. It’s so sad that we waste such precious energy on all these thoughts.

                My story is no different to anybody else’s really. It was a relationship full of highs and lows, fun and laughter followed by sadness and tears, excitement and heart racing to anxiety and heart racing of a different type. You know the kind…… It was a big period of my life full of promises that never happened, full of hope that remained as hope, full of dreams that are exactly that – dreams. He was also very abusive, emotionally and physically but as a silly little girl I held onto the good times and hoping I could change him when all the time it was me that needed to look at me and change. Ahhhh hindsight etc.

                The sad thing is I still miss him, I still think of him every single day, I still laugh at certain things and yet he treated me so very badly from start to finish. He left me several times when I needed him most and oh it’s not even worth mentioning anymore as I’m sure you get the picture. There was minimal good times in honesty.

                The good thing is I’m healing every day, the hope has gone and any hope I have is in a different direction now. I still believe in a happy future even if it is on my own for a while. I go through a mixture of emotions every day, anger, sadness etc etc but I’m still at work, I’m still holding my head high and I’m still going even if inside its hurting like hell. It takes time, i accept that. Not only that I’m getting to know myself more than ever, the realisations I’ve had have been enlightening although frightening and I’m working on me as much as i can. I’ve been asked out and I’ve been out but nothing more and I won’t until I’m ready which leads onto the most recent post which I must read again.

                I’ve not heard from him in months and this is the longest time and I know deep down I won’t hear from him again. He will never hear from me either, he knows that. I suppose it’s a comfort to him I stay away, his life is none of my business and mine none of his. I never ask about him, I never look for him, I pretend he never existed to the outside world and thats how I handle it. I don’t want to know as it would hurt too much. There are a lot of unanswered questions that will remain that way and I accept that too.

                I hate and I mean hate to admit this but I was totally in love with him, I couldn’t get enough of him, I held into his every word, when I was with him I just wanted to be as close as possible and yet he was as cold as ice most of the time. I was the only one invested. That says as much about me as it does him and that’s what I’m also working on.

                One thing I know is that this type of situation in any area of my life will never happen again. I have already proved that on many occasions as Im growing stronger, albeit slowly, whether it be at work, family friends etc. I will not be walked all over and I cannot lower myself to act in such a way ever again. Their may be bad days but its getting easier, much easier.

                Anyway that’s my story in a nutshell.

                Stay strong Nel, that’s part of the healing too xx

                • LovefromNel says:

                  Dear Poppy,

                  Thanks so much for replying and sharing your story. Please don’t worry about the slow reply. I have a good idea now where you’re at and the horrible-ness you’ve endured. You wrote your story so poetically, despite its sadness. I was a bit teary.

                  I think I’ve mentioned (somewhere!) that I keep a document where I save all the BR pearls of wisdom, and someone has written (and if you’re reading this, thank you!) something that really applied to what you’ve written above. And I am copying this verbatim, so whoever wrote this, sorry, I’m not plagiarising your wisdom, just re-sharing it because it’s such a winner! I really need to take note of who says things, these days, now that Baggage Reclaim is such an important part of my life.

                  “It’s really hard, and sometimes it’s lonely and I feel like giving up, but I have to say, that by deciding to put me first and look after my own needs and keep with my own values, I am learning to believe that I am good enough as I am, that I deserve to be loved, that I already am loved and that I have to tend to my own needs first before I can really let anyone in.

                  I can be hurt by others, and by myself, but I choose to suffer in situations. And at the moment, I choose not to suffer but to learn from these situations,and to give myself the compassion that I give wholeheartedly to others. In short, I choose to love myself in the way that I have always wanted a man to love me, accepting my flaws alongside cherishing my lovely qualities.”

                  That’s what we’re doing, Poppy. It just takes time. We’re getting there.

                  Hugs to you, special one.

                  Love nel
                  x

      • Stacey says:

        LovefromNel – DON”T DO IT! Its just one day! My ex EUM sent me a text on my birthday about 10 days after going NC and it made me happy at first but then sad because we couldn’t celebrate together. And I didn’t particularly like what he wrote. He said something like I wasn’t sure I should but I had a feeling you hoped I would so Happy Birthday. That made me feel good at first but then I felt desperate, like he thought I was sitting around all day waiting for his text. Who knows his real intention….but just don’t do it. I NEVER thought I could go NC more then a month as the past indicated, but I have NOT contacted him in 3 months. He has contacted me twice closer to the beginning of NC. He’s fully engulfed in a new person which is good for me but also hurts at the same time. We both were attached to each other probably unhealthily for two years and I never could fully walk away when I should have. Now that you have established NC for 4 months its just not worth it. Some days I still want his attention – but he’s the same guy he was 3 months ago. The same for yours.

        • LovefromNel says:

          Dear Stacey,

          Thanks for taking the time to reply. And for sharing your situation of the dreaded birthday text.

          To me, your ex-EUM was a bit sneaky in sending a text without tagging any of his own responsibility/initiative to it by saying ‘I thought you hoped I would’. How … I can’t think of the right word? Just very clever in a little bit of a manipulative way? Do you agree? Little bugger.

          I am so pleased to hear you’re NC for three months now. I think it’s pretty much exactly the point of no return isn’t it? After reading all of your beautiful responses, I can’t imagine why I ever did contemplate messaging.

          Thanks again, Stacey.

          Hugs,
          Nel

          • Stacey says:

            HI Nel – Anytime! You are right…it was sneaky and manipulative but that is how he rolls. The last thing he said to me right before starting NC was ‘I need you to get better so we can hang out’ Selfish right? It should have been ‘I understand you are hurting, take all the time you need’. We were friends first and both at least 3 months ago wanted to try to remain friends after I took a long breather from him and us. I am/was addicted. I realized this morning that hearing anything from in the last 2 years was like a drug. I can visualize myself sitting on my couch and when his name would pop up on my phone I would immediately start to smile and my endorphins would rush. He’s a drug and I have to stop it. I haven’t fully accepted everything nor moved on…but that will come in time I think. Thanks for your reply! And keep coming back here when you have moments where you want to contact your ex etc. It has helped me a lot.

            • LovefromNel says:

              Hi Stacey, thanks for your support. Being on BR is really a lifesaver.

              Ohmy, what a manipulative arse! Even his other comment ‘I need you to get better so we can hang out’ made me want to give him a whack over the head with a blunt object! What a doofus! Errr, how about ‘I need you to eff off so I can get better, you red-nosed clown.’ Argh!

              Yes, my ex-EUM was a drug too. I would do the same thing – sit on my couch and watch TV (but not really watch it, because my mind was far away elsewhere, waiting for the text) – and when I finally got it – well, what a relief! I would, like you did, smile at the message and be a billion times happier. A weight was off my shoulders (til the next day, of course). At the other end of the spectrum, when he began ignoring me, I am not sure I could have felt worse. My whole world began crumbling.

              I am at your stage too, I think. I haven’t accepted it all, or moved on, but I will. One day. I feel I still need some form of closure, but I think I need to accept that I won’t get that.

              All the best to you, and keep healing. You sound like you’re doing brilliantly.

              Love Nel

              • Stacey says:

                thanks Nel! I don’t feel brilliantly as you described. Everyday is different. We were attached at the hip for 2 years and there is a huge loss there no matter how manipulative and selfish he is. I think that is what’s hardest for us – its not them that we miss its the hopes, the attachment, the addiction and rejection. We as women are have so many emotional facets it frustrates me sometimes. haha anyway – we will heal and be in a much better place then our ex EUM’s who don’t work on themselves ever.

    • JustHer says:

      JGP,

      Honey, you’re smart enough to already know the answer.

      If you think and think and then rethink about whether or not now is a good time to try again, I would say not. You should be expending this much brain power into continuing improving and developing into loving you.

      It sounds like you are only newly healed (6 months isn’t all that long) so approaching a reconciliation now may be dangerous to the progress you have made thus far.

      I know that every time I ‘sucked-it-and-saw’ I had to start again from scratch with the healing process. Sometimes it was so bad, that I ended up even further back than I was earlier.

      I say give it 6 more months and see how it feels. If he is definitely the right guy for you, he’ll be willing to wait, whether it is now, or next year.

    • HappyAgain says:

      I would say encourage yourself through the urge to contact and keep going forward. You’ve been successful making it this far which is wonderful. Whatever you choose to do though have your own back first. Best wishes.

    • SLJ says:

      JGP – have you thought about what it might feel like to contact him and he tell you he has a new girlfriend he met 2 months after you went NC? Or, the conversation you expect to have, really just hurts you and disappoints you? If you still know that you have him on a pedestal, take him off. I am not sure if its worth it to contact him. My ex EUM and I discussed a 6 month NC so we could try to be friends again…but I am now not sure I want too. I do still have illusions of him, but I also see him for who he really is. He didn’t bring anything to the table. ANyway, just some thoughts.

      • Gina says:

        SLJ that is the very reason why lengthy period of no contact works, you get to really see what is more purposeful and beneficial for you! And you get to see the ‘pedestal guy’ for what he is really like, plus your description is fitting of him i.e. bringing nothing to the table (yes, it’s never good dining alone right).

    • DunrobINE says:

      JGP – I think you gave yourself good advice. Trust your gut, you are still invested. Steer clear :)

    • DunrobINE says:

      JGP – Natalie also gives advice in this very article that goes a bit deeper than steering clear….and it’s a really really important step in our journey (I think). She says, “Maybe we feel tempted to go back to an unhealthy relationship and even if we don’t act upon it, we shame ourselves over having even thought of it, forgetting that we’re only human and that it would be more useful to look at what the trigger was for feeling this way”.

      Key point – look at what the trigger was for even wanting to make contact.

      • DunrobINE says:

        I just want to add to this….about looking for the trigger. If we compare ourselves to an alcoholic who wants a drink….step one is to avoid the drink. Step two is to discover the trigger, which develops more self awareness, and gives you the power to make different and healthier choices for yourself. Often the triggers to reconnect are things like boredom, loneliness, not wanting to address what we need to address in our own lives, horny, etc. Sometimes it’s even a hidden desire for a bit of drama….because let’s face it, being involved with an AC provides lots of drama. If that’s what you’re used to, the desire to reconnect may stem from boredom and having no drama. Healing from these relationships is quite the journey….we know all about how the AC operates…..when we disconnect, we get to see how we operate better and get a chance to do something different. Afterall, if you keep doing what you were doing, you will keep getting what you were getting. Good luck :)

        • Stacey says:

          DunrobINE – thanks for your words! I really needed to read that. You are right…I know one of my triggers is being horny. I would always contact him for some physical fun in and out a relationship and it always would happen. I haven’t had anything physical for 3 months out of 2 years! And honestly – I don’t really miss it. There are aspects of it but its not the most important thing in a relationship I think. I miss more cuddling, watching movies, someone to share everything with. Feeling safe and comfortable.

        • rewind says:

          I love your analogy, DunrobINE. I think I am so used to the drama and the occasional crumbs, that I feel like my left arm has been cut off when I don’t hear from him. I progressing very nicely. It is amazing that I am operating better and seeing that there is life without constant drama.

    • Rosie says:

      JGP-

      “‘if you have to think about it then don’t do it – you are still invested’.”

      Yes. Also, it’s a dangerous time just when you’re feeling better and he’s barely becoming a memory. We overestimate ourselves a wee bit at this point. Please, please do not contact him! You’re in shark-infested waters! Yes. As much as you want that shark to be a dolphin, reality is it is a shark, sorry.

    • Gina says:

      You really have talked yourself into such a state, why don’t you ease your pain and make contact because that pretty much is where your head is heading. You know already the answer that BR readers are most likely to give so give in to your dreams and take that ‘controlled approach’….you are going to be devasted for sure :/

      • Poppy says:

        There is sound advice for you from your post JGP. Don’t hurt yourself more by making contact.

      • JGP says:

        Hi everyone, thank you so much for the words of advice and support. I only recently started commenting here and to know there’s a great community of people looking out for each other is an enormous source of strength in itself!

        I didn’t text him anything. I know rationally I’m still projecting parts of myself and my wishes onto him, I’m still struggling to process us as separate entities and put myself first, and I’m still under the illusion that his values will tend towards and one day follow my own (when he decides to wake up and smell the perfect relationship). It’s as though I’ve put him on a finite, narrow trajectory of realising his mistakes, realising how utterly irreplaceable I am, and correcting all of the above in a way I can forgive. Me contacting him would be like getting a status update on his journey. When in reality they might not be his mistakes at all and they might actually be what’s right for him.

        Thats where the light shines through and I can see what folly, and selfish folly at that, it is for me to suggest I know what he wants or will want from life (I’m not even fully sure I know EXACTLY what I want). Such dreams of an easy perfect relationship to fall into place from such an unlikely source is illusion at it’s finest, driven by a powerful engine of insecurities and fear. It’s probably the sign of my own unavailability that if he did have a personality transplant to make us more compatible that I might suddenly see less worth in the prize.

        I don’t want to dwell on the circumstances of our relationship or what he did or said, or implied or lied about, because often getting lost in the details is irrelevant and a distraction from you. He wasn’t a bad guy and I’ve heard many worse tales since we split, but I need to keep him evaluated according to me rather than helping to fuel the idea that they already hold themselves that ‘I’m not that bad’ or ‘I could be worse’.

        In reply to Gina, I don’t think you should assume the same of everyone. I appreciate what you are saying in that it seems like me contacting him is inevitable and I should mitigate that damage, but I know many friends who have successfully flushed and kept flushed bad partners before, even after intense ‘what if’ worries. I can’t say whether or not I’ll never contact him again, I would like to think I can forgive first and eventually speak to him again. He was a large part of my life and something tells me there’s something else to learn from each other in follow up to the break up, but it’s correct that I’m not strong enough yet. I’m 23 and have been out living and loving my life lately and should let thay continue, not berate myself when I think of him. Thanks again everyone.

    • Bethd says:

      No no no….I went on the roller coaster mind fuckery of all break ups…3 years of hell post break up. Worse than the original break up. All because I would get that same thought. I would feel over him. He of course would keep trying cause he is a narc and hates I kicked his sorry ass to the curb b4 he could do final discard. It’s just like Natalie said. I put my hand in the fire and got burnt!…twice after 6 months no contact. what would it accomplish? Gave him a chance to hoover, mind fuck, charm, whatever…it all stunk and set me back. Mind you I had a great guy who I moved on to and almost ruined things. So dangerous. Mine tried again these holidays. No response from me. Never again

  4. Stephanie says:

    Over the past couple days I have been berating myself for falling off the wagon and going back to negative thinking. I had quite a crap Xmas this year as there was a family dispute that turnt a bit ugly which really upset me as it involved my 20 year old daughter. I started off optimistic and positive then got pissed off and spiraled into the negative thinking and ruminating about the failed relationship with the AC. This post is like a gentle kick up the bottom to remind me to not write off the year and continue to act and think positive.

  5. Freddy says:

    Amazing article. Thank you.

  6. Mimsey says:

    My year has started off predictably shitty BUT I’m feeling more ready than I have in a long time, thanks to your positive energy, and words of wisdom, experience, intuition, call it what you will. It makes sense to me….for the first time in years someone who isn’t full of it…talking down to people but just “putting it out there” and it’s working for me. Not in an immediate Omg my life is so great kind of way, but I can work with this and build on it and learn from it, kind of way. I’m waaaaaaay too complicated to “fix” in one off or even several hits. But I firmly believe for the first time, I can and I will improve. It’s down go me how much or how little. It hurts like hell at the moment on and off. The no contact rule definitely needs to be applied to certain areas of my life and that’s perhaps where I’m not quite up to speed right now. I will buy the book, read it and then get my proverbial in gear.. Thank you, for everything. this is just the beginning of my journey.

    • Sofia says:

      You are definitely NOT alone, Mimsey. I feel exactly the same way. Sending you love and positive energy.

  7. amicrazy says:

    An update from my crazy situation. Some of you may remember…Tinkerbell, afrok, and some others were very helpful and kind with their words and advice…

    Recap: Was involved w/ MM (ex boss) who had divulged he’d never been faithful to his wife of 18 years…over 40 partners….etc. Wanted the month of December to decide if he was going to stay or go….

    On Dec 12th he tells me he’s made his decision – he wants a divorce from his wife. I say ok but that’s on you, not me. As the next few weeks unfolded I could sense trepidation. Things were said such as, I don’t want my daughter raised by a step-dad (my response was…you’re just now thinking about this?!), I will need to get an attorney and fight for shared custody, etc. But still…no ACTION. Just words. The day after Christmas we spent together. I told him I was at the end of my emotional rope. He said he knew that I needed to see action.

    Fast forward to Friday, January 3rd. I said why don’t you just meet with an attorney and get some free advice? He blows up on me. Screams I DONT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT (WIFE’S FIRST NAME, WIFE’S LAST NAME) OR YOU FOR THAT MATTER. ALL I CARE ABOUT IS (DAUGHTER’S NAME) AND I’M NOT GOING TO RIP THAT YOUNGINS HEART OUT AND I’M NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD MEAN SHE RAISED BY A STEP DADDY! At that moment I said, this our break up conversation. I don’t know where it came from, but I meant it. He said can we please meet tonight to talk? I said fine.

    That night we met up and talked for 3 hours. Here is a snippet of things that were said by him: The divorce has to me on my terms, it has to be for me and not for you, do I have your permission to keep dreaming that we’ll end up together?, can we keep working on side business projects together?, I’ll never be as happy with my wife as I am with you, any ending where we don’t end up together is a bad one, I’m truly sorry I never thought it would end this way, I really believed we’d be together, etc etc. I could go on ladies, but I won’t. I stood firm. I told him that this AFFAIR had taken me so far outside of who I was as a person, and that I was no longer going to live my life in one huge lie. The emotional torment and guilt were too much, and I deserved better and so did his wife. I said I wanted NO CONTACT from him whatsoever. I blocked his number so he cannot call or text me. I deleted our old joint email account where we would write to each other. I blocked him in Gmail and had his emails forwarded to the Trash folder automatically.

    He has been asking some mutual friends about me this entire time. I told them to say nothing one way or the other. I am no longer his concern and never will be again.

    I had one small slip up but I recovered quickly. I looked in that joint account one more time before I deleted it. He had written a ‘journal entry’ style draft email. Saying how much he missed me, how he thought of me every second of the day, that there had to be a way for he and I, that maybe this pain was his punishment for all of the bad things he’d done in his life, etc. It shook me at first but instead of taking the bait, I deleted the account.

    Even though I feel strong and resolute in my decision, I still feel an intense amount of heart ache and pain. My very good friend helped me realize that it wasn’t HIM that I was missing, it was the way that I FELT when I was with him. I have read soooo many of Natalie’s posts over the past 4 days. Each one brings me more power and clarity.

    He is a man of low moral character. He said he would never have another mistress because he would feel like he was cheating…get this… ON ME! Ladies, why do I ‘miss’ and ‘love’ such an EU AC???

    I just put one foot in front of the other and know that there will be another side to this. I have been speaking to my therapist about the situation and it has helped tremendously.

    Still I have thoughts such as, does he still love me? Did he ever? Is he hurting the way I am? Will he suddenly become this amazing man? *sigh*

    • Better Off says:

      This MM sounds like a classic narcissist. Rid your self of him once and for all, or he will bring you down further. They do say how you get them is how you lose them, so it’s expected he’d cheat on you … as you said, he wasn’t faithful to his wife of 18 years.

      Best of luck to you in the New Year! Chin up!!

      • amicrazy says:

        Better Off –

        I am SO done. I turned a corner today with my therapist. Thanks for your kind words. 2014 – onward and upward!

      • Bethd says:

        I know tons stories just like that. How can a relationship that started based on dishonesty and lies become something beautiful. He’s a Narc. And yes he will cheat on whoever gets with him. I feel your pain…his poor wife too. He is an ass! You have to move on for your sanity.

    • Stacey says:

      amicrazy – when someone is a cheater, I am skeptical that they won’t do it again. That is my first thought reading this AND you have to have actions to follow up those words. My ex EUM was great with words….but hardly any action. Now words mean nothing to me. I think you deserve much much more then anything he could ever give you. He needs to figure himself out before he could truly give you want you want. I don’t think he’s going to walk away from his marriage anytime soon and you deserve someone who can give you their full heart and attention. I know how much it hurts. I am 3 months NC. Never thought I could do it. The ex EUM was my great friend then boyfriend. I still hurt, I still get angry, I still cry but it has gotten better. Check out the website and book getting past your breakup. Susan Elliott has alot of wisdom as well. Start focusing on you. And when you start ruminating about him say STOP! It doesn’t matter, It doesn’t mater, It doesn’t matter. He needs to learn how to be alone too. It sounds like he never has…and since he’s a cheater, LOVES being on that risk high….hang in there!

      • amicrazy says:

        Thank you Stacey.

        All the best to you on your journey! It sounds like you are really taking care of yourself and I will follow in those footsteps.

        I have a lot of work to do internally but I believe there is another side and I will come out happier than I can possibly imagine right now. That is because I’m willing to do this internal work. It is HARD. But, I will not live in fear of being alone and sure as hell will not wait or settle on/for someone who cannot love me the way I will eventually learn to love myself.

        How much of a difference have you noticed in your internal thought process in the past 3 months?

        • Peanut says:

          definitelynotcrazy,

          God, you sound like such a stand up person. Please do not go back to this man. You deserve better. Plain and simple.

          • amicrazy says:

            Thank you. I will not go back. I already feel a million times better in my soul and it’s been less than a week. I’m not saying the process has been easy BUT the decision was easy and once I made it I knew I had turned a major corner!

        • Stacey says:

          amicrazy – my internal thought process probably just took a turn for the better a week ago. I’m starting to see what I should have seen all along and if I can keep myself on the logical side then I am glad he isn’t in my life anymore. But if I teeter over to the emotional side (My therapist told me about the wise and emotional mind sequence or whatever it is) then all bets are off. I still feel rejected even though I know he couldn’t love me the way I deserve, I still get sad, I do miss my friend but I have much better friends in my life then he ever was. I thought with him I would/could be the exception from the other women. That I could ‘break’ the EU act if that makes sense. But he’s already with someone else who I might add is only separated. I don’t understand that either…lets jump from a marriage into another relationship with someone who shouldn’t be in one either. sigh so I can say that my internal thought process is better BUT its no where near where it will be. I am trying to journal every night and do a daily devotion. Some things that have helped me is I started watching tv shows I’ve always wanted to watch on netflix. I start at Season 1 and move through the seasons. Its a great way to keep my mind busy when its so cold out. Also, you may want to check out the book women who love too much. I started it and can already see myself in it. I thought that my love would encourage him to be a better version of himself and like I said make me the exception. hang in there!

          • Stacey says:

            I just saw that you are seperated. Hope my comment about being separated you take no offense. I just feel that the girl he’s seeing should at least take a year off of anything to do with men to work on herself. I am just learning how much people rebound and they really need to have time alone with themselves.

            • amicrazy says:

              No I do not take offense and quite frankly I agree with you. I think it shows that both parties are emotionally unavailable. I remember a BR post about two birds and one is waiting for the other to jump first but neither does. It was SO good and truthfully, I’m not emotionally available at this point in time…at least not in the way I would need to be to recognize and appreciate a really healthy relationship. So no, I take no offense. :)

              I, too, thought I would be the difference maker. The one that would make him See The Light and turn his entire life around for ME. I know exactly where you are coming from. I also considered him a friend before the affair (which by the way only lasted a bit over 5 months THANK GOD), but looking back I see that it was actually a very one-sided “friendship”. He was a user then, and he’s a user now. Are you finding the same in hindsight?

              One more disgusting thing he’s done lately…he’s having his brother call me to go phishing for information. He’ll tell his brother all of the awful and stressful things he’s dealing with, then the brother will call me and tell me everything, then say things like ‘maybe if he hears your voice through mine he will feel better’ or ‘is there anything you want me to tell him?’. Then the brother will proceed to tell me that the AC says I miss her, I miss her over and over and that he’s crying about missing me, etc.

              I am 100% sure he is coaching his brother to do this, whom I might add, is a HEROIN addict (recovering) and has told me how intimidated he is by the AC. He (the brother) is a fragile person and I think it is SHAMEFUL that he is using his brother in this way. Last night I firmly but gently said, “I’m not going to speak with you about [AC’s name] on any level or in any way”. He said ok ok I know.

              I like your idea of journaling, I should definitely do that. I’ve been praying a lot too and just trying to stay very busy. It’s when my mind is idle that I really struggle with “missing him”, which really isn’t about him at all but I haven’t completely made that mind/heart connection yet. After all, it’s only been 1 week! However, I cannot begin to express how much better I feel about myself already because I am not longer lying to everyone’s face. I am free from that burden and will never go back to that hellacious roller coaster!

              • Stacey says:

                amicrazy – yes, it was a very one sided friendship on my end too. Yea, he did nice things here and there, but it was always about him. I see now how he would use words to make me think something was for my benefit but really its what he wanted. I was smitten so I was blind. I have a fear that when things blow up with this new girl, that is when he will contact me to ask if I am ready to be friends. The whole premise of NC was for me to move on so we could return to our friendship. But right now I have no intentions of contacting him again. I don’t like how I feel right now, but its better then sitting next to him on a couch watching a movie, wondering who he’s texting, wishing we could cuddle and then him confusing me with words. You are doing great! Just keep focusing on yourself and reading articles here and getting past your breakup.com. You will love that website too. Great stuff!

                • Stacey says:

                  one more thing – why are you still talking to his brother?

                  • amicrazy says:

                    My dear friend asked me the same question. I guess because I was a huge part of the brother’s recovery process, and honestly, the healing of the relationship between the two of them. The brother and I became good friends. I would stay at his house on the weekends and that’s mostly where the AC would come meet me – sometimes overnight. All under the guise of hanging out with his brother.

                    But, like I told my friend today, I feel like staying in close contact with the brother is setting me back. He is telling me about arguments the AC is having with his wife. He is also telling me how sad and depressed the AC is without me. I can’t hear that kind of stuff and move on with my life.

                    I woke up feeling sad and depressed today. I miss “him”. I know that this feeling will pass but right now, it just freaking HURTS. And honestly, I’m ANGRY. Natalie says if you’re still angry after ending an affair then your moral compass hasn’t caught up with you yet. I am just so f***ing angry that he lied to me by saying he’d decided he wanted a divorce. He strung me along for his own benefit and used my unwavering devotion for ONLY his own benefit. But, how the heck can I be mad? I knew exactly what this man’s character was the entire time – he never kept his rotten misdeeds from me. Maybe the real person I’m angry with is myself.

                    Stay strong in your NC. It sounds like you’ve got a strong head on your shoulders. I hope that you stick with your intention of never contacting him again. BR says we shouldn’t break NC until we truly care no longer – but by that time we won’t even want to or think about it! We’ll just be living our lives in the present and looking forward to our bright future. That day will come, we just have to put one foot in front of the other and believe in ourselves and the process.

                    Stay strong my sister!

                    • Stacey says:

                      My guess is you are mad at yourself. I knew who he was too but of course when we think we are the exception we think they will show us new colors but we really can’t repaint anyone. Also, I was friends wit his ex-wife on facebook. We both decided to remain in contact after him and I went NC because we really liked each other and it was a good way for me to see pics of his two kids. I finally realized a month ago that it was hindering my progress and when I would see pics of his kids it would make me miss them, him and the life I thought we would have together. I was honest with her and defriended her on fb but we still message each other every now and then.

                      I got on here to tell you that he contacted me last night. I guess his relationship has ended and wanted to check to see if I was ready to be friends again. I told him no, that I needed more time. Not sure I told you but we were friends first and our intention was to try to get back to that after I took a nice chunk of time away from him. He said something like ‘I thought we stopped talking because I was seeing someone and you weren’t handling it well so I thought I would check in’. There’s a lot of gray in there buddy but you don’t see it.

    • Selkie says:

      Amicrazy,
      You’re married too….if I remember this correctly? Sorry if I have it mixed up with another commenter, but if I am right, do you see the serious unhealthiness in ALL of this, not just the MM’s end of it? Are you lying to your husband when you meet up with the lying MM who isn’t being fair to HIS wife, or are you separated and this isn’t an issue? I bet this isn’t the reality you want to hear, but in all honesty, I can’t give supportive advice that omits the obvious. Deal with your own marriage first, be fair to your husband, act morally and then consider if the MM is someone who is amazing and moral (he’s not), once you can walk the walk too. Being in an unhappy marriage takes it’s toll, I understand that, and sometimes good people get caught up in things that are unfair and out of character, but be honest with yourself about the way you go about finding your own happiness. It’s like your husband just morphed out of the whole situation and the focus is on you and how this other MM should be a better person. Your current husband may be an ass for all I know, but it’s better for you to fix your own life before you try to insist that someone else does the same. I don’t want to be mean, but I don’t know how else to say it without it seeming harsh. I apologize if I mixed you up with someone else. If I got it wrong, let me have it.

      • amicrazy says:

        Hi Selkie –

        Technically yes, I am married…but we are separated and do not live together. We are amicable towards each other but are living separate lives. I still appreciate your insights though. The affair started the week before my husband and I separated, still not something I’m proud of BUT at least I did not live a continual lie of coming home to him every night and pretending like everything was business as usual. Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better but I do believe that I acted with some integrity by pulling the trigger on the inevitable, even though yes I will be the first to admit I should have had the courage to do so before an affair – whether it was one day, one week, or any amount of time in. Our marriage had been broken for a very long time.

        All the best to you,
        a.i.c.

        • Selkie says:

          Like I mentioned, good people get involved in unplanned situations that don’t reflect their true nature, we are not perfect, any of us. We can have momentary ( or longer) lapses in reason and judgment. If we make things right, straighten our path and learn from it then their is no reason to continually beat oneself up. It isn’t a life sentence. You’ve already proven that you’re better than this MM. He’s had multiple partners while he was married, this is not a lapse in judgment, this is him showing his true nature and a lifestyle. Chin up Amicrazy. This man will only bring you down to his level, which is pretty low. He has already hurt his daughter, all his rants about how he never wants to hurt her is BS. If she knew what kind of man he is she’d be disgusted. He continues to take the chance of hurting her ( 40 more partners while married to HER mother), which is selfish and not in her best interest at all. He’s full of it and playing the good guy card to make himself look less like the creep he is. Flush him and his porn star penis.

          • amicrazy says:

            Selkie – your response was really great to read and extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to post it. It has brought me comfort in this moment knowing that I did the right thing and should never, ever look back.

            I will move forward with the knowledge that I have righted my wrong and am now on the right path. Again, thank you so much for your post.

    • Furry White Dogs says:

      Hi Ami,

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve walked away from a man and situation that would have only brought you absolute unmitigated heartbreak.

      Your very good friend is absolutely correct that you are missing your own feelings. Your heartache is to do with issues within yourself; being alone, uncertainty, knowing you have work to do for yourself. Yes there will be pain but trust me when I say that what you are doing for yourself now is pain minimisation.

      A phrase that jumped out at me from your post is “I’M NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD MEAN SHE RAISED BY A STEP DADDY!” Oh my is this a flashing neon bright red flag! I feel so sorry for his daughter. Basically he sees her as his exclusive property to own and control. He can’t consider a step dad (SD) in her life because if SD was a decent person then SD will show him up as the heel he is and if SD wasn’t decent then SD’s bad for her and if he looks in a mirror he can see clearly how bad.

      Both Arsefaces I have been involved with expressed overprotective sentiments about daughters or young female relatives because they know what arsefaces men can be because they are those arsefaces. They also don’t want to give those girls the tools to look after themselves because that would naturally expose them as arsefaces. They know what they are and anything they say to you that is different is just self serving to them. It’s become a major red flag to me. (For the record women can display the same give away opinions, being an arseface is gender neutral).

      Congratulations on having the good sense to find help early and dodge this cannonball. You’ll be so much better in the long run.

      All the best :-)

      • amicrazy says:

        Furry White Dogs –

        Holy light bulb moment! I have never, ever thought of it that way. You are soooo correct. Wow. That was so great to read and only strengthened my resolve.

        He is very controlling. He hacked into my iCloud account and would track where I was on Find My iPhone. At first I was mad, then I found it “flattering” that he “cared so much”. Good Lord I’m embarrassed just typing that now. He also hacked into his wife’s account and would track where she was but she has no idea that he is doing it. Very very controlling. Even “little” things like when I would be the one driving and he would tell me every single move to make in the car…when to move over, when to put on my turn signal, etc. He would say “I like to call the shots so you have to be ok with that”. I remember hearing alarm bells in my head BUT my insecurity and fears would override them. NO MORE!

        I blocked his calls and texts on my iPhone (great feature!!) but unbeknownst to me the texts still come through on my iPad. I haven’t figured out how to block them yet, but I’m sure there is a way. He text me last night at 11:18pm. I saw it this morning. All it said was “?”. Of course, I ignored it.

        Thank you for the words of encouragement and the insight. I love BR!!

        • Furry White Dogs says:

          Hello again :)

          I’m glad you appreciate the insight. I struggle with feeling that the horrid outcomes and heartache from being in relationships with the arsefaces was a complete waste of a good 10 years of my life so it’s nice to know that at least I learned something useful and can pass it on.

          You can block on your iPad if you’ve updated to the latest iOS. It’s in the setting under messages.

          The tracking and controlling and hacking is downright alarming behaviour. I second Peanut’s sentiments below.

          It’s funny how since you made your first post about this guy he has been gradually revealed in your subsequent posts and each time people read what’s revealed and post their insight it’s put the jigsaw together to form a picture of him that says ‘don’t just run, SPRINT the effing other way!’ BR and experience really changes the way you look at behaviours. (Anyone seen American Hustle and thought ‘BR would have a field day with this’?)

          I really appreciate you sharing what you and your therapist discussed about your shame and guilt. It’s something that still weighs on me heavily and I’ll be bringing it up with my counsellor next time I see him. I wish I had had BR and your sense when I got involved with the first arseface. It would have saved me and those around me so much grief.

          • amicrazy says:

            Thank you for the tip about my iPad! I hadn’t updated to the latest iOS yet and that did the trick. Thank you thank you!

            Today I was thinking about how he was just EXPLODE in anger towards his brother when he would lie about using drugs. One time he beat the crap out of him. Another time when I was there he broke his coffee table and smashed things with a golf club. His temper would just ERUPT. It didn’t happen often but when it did it was crazy – very scary.

            I’m trying to think of all the shitty and bad behavior so that I will remember why I am NC. It has been hard yesterday and today. I just want my “hit”. I want this pain to stop and I want to feel relief. But I know taking the short term approach would only lead to greater suffering and pain for me. I hope he is suffering. God forgive me, but I do!

    • Peanut says:

      yourenotcrazyjustinaverybadsituationthisguyisfuckingnutsgetout,

      Um. Um. Whoah. The thing I am having a most astounding time understanding is how NOT crazy you sound. You are coherent and honest about who this guy is except…”Will he suddenly become this amazing man?” NO. HELL NO. NOT NOW NOT EVER.

      I’ve dated a meth dealer and this guy gives the inmate ex a run for his money. Get away. Stay away. This guy is so far from having any morals or decency, I wouldn’t put it past him to be all kinds of dangerous. He sounds balls out fucking nuts.

      He really sounds mentally ill, or disordered, or a super control crazed sex addict. I’m sure you are great (I have no doubt or you wouldn’t be here), but it’ll take a hell of a lot more to punish this character than you walking away from him.

      Let him destroy his own life from within, stop partaking in this brutal assault on any potential joy in your life.

      You know, I’ve made some bad choices (none as bad as the men I’ve chosen in the past), but nothing like this feller and it STILL took years and a whole heap load of therapy for me to change. This guy ain’t changin’ ever.

      • amicrazy says:

        Hi Peanut –

        You are so right. His life is a house of cards and I’m sure it will crash down around him one day. Luckily, I will not be around to see it or be a part of it. I already feel like I’ve dodged the biggest bullet (or cannonball like FWD said) in the entire world. I don’t know if this guy is a narcissist, sex addict, sociopath….probably ALL OF THE ABOVE.

        I told my therapist yesterday that I felt so much SHAME in choosing to be involved with such a despicable character. She kindly reminded me that I’d been through my own trauma (separation from husband) and that my judgment hadn’t been sound but now it was and I had a chance to really work on myself and have a beautiful life. I also talked to her about the GUILT that I feel from participating in an affair and she said something really nice. She said feeling a healthy amount of guilt is like a seatbelt for the soul, and it will protect you for the rest of your life from making the same mistake again. We then talked about ways to forgive myself for what I’ve done and truly let go. That will be a process, but I know I will get there.

        Thank you Peanut…your straight forward response was really great to read and reminded me of exactly WHY I had that moment of clarity to RUN in the other direction.

    • JustHer says:

      amicrazy,

      No you’re not! This guy sounds like a foul good-for-nothing player who is just looking for excuses to make you host his pity party and thus stay in the picture.

      I have no doubt that you are amazing enough to deserve something so much more!

      • amicrazy says:

        JustHer,

        Thank you so much. I needed to read this so badly today. Having a pity party of sorts right now myself and I’m sitting here “missing him”. Most of our conversations revolved around him and his life (shocker). I was always the comforting ear, always the rock of support, never wavering, 24/7. He could reach me any time he wanted. But, of course I could not. I hope he is getting even just a small taste of it now. I know that it shouldn’t be about him, but I can’t help but hope that is he suffering.

        I will stand strong in my decision though. I want and need more than this! Thank you again.

  8. Charlie says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. My perspective on the new year has been positive until I had a dream with my assclown and started to doubt everything as to the relationship ending, should I reach out & try to make it work and then I realized it was a momentary lapse and it was only a dream and this new year has new possibilities. But I can move forward if I’m always looking back. I never would have been this strong had it not been for your teachings. Thank you so much for your inspiration!!! :)

  9. CC says:

    Happy New Year all! I made no new years resolutions for 2014, still waiting for resolutions from decades ago, so figure they have been carried forward without a need for my signature on them! My New Years eve was fun, becasue I had no expectations. I feel the same way about this year. I got laid off from work before Xmas, so have no idea what the future will look like. Happy to say I am finally over my ex EU. Have been doing some online dating and trying to be light with it. Not with the guys, they are still get the grilling, but inside myself. I get a lot of information from men, and so much of it keeps me from wanting to move forward with them. I’ve heard about unresolved traumas that they didn’t address professionally, one fellow enabled a gambler (partner) for over a decade that made him lose everything he had. They sound nice talking to them, but with so many big concerns, hard to want to move forward with any of them.

  10. Marie says:

    Just going through a break-up, I’ve taken up reading your blog every day. It’s such a big help! Yesterday I had the first day I saw light at the end of the tunnel, today I fell back into the pit. But reading this cheered me up. 2014 will be the year where I stop punishing myself with toxic guys! It might not have started well but I will make sure it will end with me being in a different place. Thank you so much for writing all your inspiring and enlightening entires. Happy New Year to you!

  11. Marie says:

    Oh, JGP, I just read your entry. I completely understand the notion of wanting to contact your ex. You feel stronger and it might help you get rid of your romantisised picture. I’m no expert in what’s right (hell, I’m an expert in the opposite!) but I wonder if you’re over him, if you still feel like you want to have contact. Of course I don’t know the whole story. But you still analyse and write long comments about him. Is that not a sign that you’re still not over him? I think the no contact rule is best never broken at all unless you happen to bump into him by accident. And you’ve done do well!!! There’s this really good blog on here about wanting to stay friends with the ex. I’m guilty of that. But there are good points to be made for not being friendly with someone who treated you badly. I think be careful and maybe give it some more time.

  12. Claire says:

    JGP – I’d advise keep NC. What do you think you’ll get out of getting in touch? if you’re looking back how will you move forward? I’d agree, sounds like you’re invested. Hope everything is okay with your daughter x

  13. Claire says:

    Oooos, excuse the daughter comment! See that was the next poster! X

  14. happy b says:

    I think you read my mind! I seriously berated myself today when I felt like a crush had got out of control and I was in my old ways of thinking. Over a few days since we last spoke, I was picturing a future with him and had the very uncomfortable feeling that I could lose myself/humiliate myself/mess our growing friendship up, then got filled with anxiety. All with so little to go by. I told myself I was hopeless and would never learn relationship sanity.

    But I read Nat’s excellent ‘slow your roll’ post and calmed down. I told myself I was just human and developing feelings for people is part of living, but I have to wait and see and keep nurturing the other parts of my life. I’m not ‘hopeless’ like I’d told myself because I know that as carried away as I got, I would now take disappointment well and not let it mean I wasn’t good enough. More importantly, thanks to my BR journey, I now know when to quit and have proved this a few times without stress. And while I used to picture crushes comforting me and making everything alright and taking control (no wonder it was so f’ed up!), I now imagine mutual warmth and enjoyment, that’s got to be a massive step forwards.

    Despite these comforting thoughts, it’s left me feeling disjointed after getting to a place of strength and optimism. It’s unsettling that despite progress, I’m still having childish crushes. It’s such early days, and what I’m working on up to the next time we meet is to reel it in and pause my trust in him until I know more, without letting my anxiety estrange us.

  15. noquay says:

    Time is a continuum. Whether its December or January is a matter of days having different labels. It would be easy to write off the year, or even the next six until I retire, then hopefully go to a place where I could be loved and accepted. On the other hand, life is a one shot deal and none of it should be wasted. Although starting tomorrow its the same ole s@#$ having to see and tomorrow at least, interact with the AC, I am always optimistic this time of year; the days ARE getting longer and the seed catalogs are showing up in my mailbox. I spent a truly crappy weather weekend getting fix it jobs done and am starting to seriously write, beginning with a highly fictionalised account of my experience with the AC, names changed to protect the guilty. I also have to decide whether to do the on line thing at all come Spring or put the money used for gas, dating sites, good clothes, etc into something perhaps more practical such as upgrading this house. I often feel that I am running up against the uncontrollable; the very unfavorable demographics of this part of the country at least from the standpoint of an older, educated woman which was what got me into trouble with the AC in the first place. Since then, thanks to BR, I have really learned to spot problem children; the on line liars, fellow racers with hidden girlfriends, deadbeats of all stripes which is good; lesson learned. Now I probably am better off running more ultramarathons, laying tile, building a greenhouse. Not defeatist so much as accepting an unfortunate reality.

  16. HappyAgain says:

    This was a good post for me. I do this at times and have to be mindful about it. I will keep learning and working on a more positive and compassionate relationship w me. 2014 here I am.

  17. oregongirl says:

    I am 14 days NC, this is the LONGEST time I have ever gone without talking to my AC MM since the day I met him 3 years ago. Please send me some strength to make it 7 more days. I need strength but I can do it!

    • LovefromNel says:

      oregongirl, you can do it! You only need to tell yourself you can, so that you end up believing it, and living the reality of doing it. When I was little, my mum used to read me ‘The Little Red Engine that Could’. Ever since then, whenever I’ve been lacking confidence (ie doing speeches in high school, writing essays at university), my mum has always said, Nel, do you remember that book. If you have no idea what I’m rambling about, one of the key phrases in it is ‘I think I can, I think I can’ (when the little red engine is struggling to get up the hill). You’re on the hill, oregongirl, you just need to convince yourself to get to the top. Say it with me – I think I can I think you can. Because you really can! If I can, anyone can (even though I’ve written a post above about the temptation to text on his upcoming birthday). Practice what you preach, Nel. hugs x

    • HappyAgain says:

      Oregongirl
      you can do it. Take it one day at a time and focus on giving yourself the love, care and attention you gave him. It can keep getting better if you do. Being in contact will keep you trapped.

    • Better Off says:

      Thanks for sharing your story with us.

      Worry about yourself. What does this guy bring to the table? Nothing. He “belongs” to someone else. Think about how you’d feel if you were his wife. Do the both of you a favor and steer clear of the MM.

      Whenever you feel as if you’re going to reach out, you should come back and reread the comments pertaining to your post, or read any post here, and on Facebook.

      You CAN do it!

    • Stacey says:

      oregongirl – YOU CAN DO IT! Over the past 2.5 years the longest I could do NC was a month. Then one of us would contact the other…its a long story of friendship and relationship blah blah blah. haha Anyway – keep at it. The first two months of NC were miserable for me as I wanted to contact him EVERYDAY. But I relied on friends…who talked me through it and I came to this site and posted during those moments. I still do want to contact him every now and then (its been 3 months NC) but I now ask myself ‘has he really changed?’ ‘what kind of response are you looking for?’ ‘he’s in another relationship so nothing he will say will make you feel better.’ That usually helps … and I know that he hasn’t changed…he never changed the 2.5 years I knew him. Also venture over to getting past your breakup.com. Great articles and book there too. I can’t recommend Natalie and Susan Elliott enough.

      • Bethd says:

        Hardest part for me was 6 month mark…I broke twice at that point. I felt bad and he would say things in a message like we meant so much to each other…I miss the friendship more than the sex as good as the sex was…they attack thru the heart! When you are a caring person it gets to you. I learned my lesson the last time when he employed the worst kind of mind fuckery via trying to make me jealous bla bla. Not worth going thru story but I was so mad at myself.

    • amicrazy says:

      oregongirl –

      I’m in the same boat. Only one week in but still. You can do this. You’ve got this. One day at a time and honestly sometimes it is one hour at a time when we feel low and down. But you can do it – sending strength your way!!

  18. Lacy says:

    Omg Stephanie I had the same thing happen the other day.I had a dispute with my Daughter got really upset and yelled, which I said this yr I wouldn’t be doing, got my car stuck in the snow for days, and now I sit and say wow what if the c would’ve been here to help?

    Well really because the last episode of me breaking Nc he blew extremely hot since jun then on Christmas he disappeared called a few times but didn’t show up til the next day with no gift and I had gave him his on Christmas eve.I changed my locks and this feeling I have now is that I’m done.I have been such a fool and I am embarrassed but I will tell the truth I haven’t been able to let go because I haven’t tried hard enough.

    I thought because he came over everyday, he spent the whole day with me on my bday, started taking me out, started staying over 4 to 5 times a night that things were going in a different direction we even spent his bday together but none of that meant anything. He said he was with his kids amd he got tired and fell asleep.

    My mind has shifted and I feel different not sad or forcing Nc or wanting to break Nc, but I had a thought today basically the feeling of wishing I had someone to have my back but………He never really had my back.I have been solely responsible for me and I haven’t been doing a good job so now I plan on making that my goal and priority for this day forward for not just the new yr throughout my whole life.

  19. Sandy says:

    Ha I had a dream about my ex Ac but am pleased to report that even in the dream I was refusing to go back to him!! I woke up feeling extremely proud of myself :-) mind you it’s been a year long haul to get to this stage..I know that 2014 will have it’s trials and tribulations (that’s life) but to not have the stess, anxiety, depression or anger that went along with being with him makes it feel like the best New Year in a long, long time!

  20. Deion says:

    I am very new to this site and have been lurking and this is my first time commenting. I recently got out of an almost 3 year on/off relationship with an EUM. I am over it. Trust me. I am done with him. My issue is not wanting him back. It is being worried I cannot love again. I cannot care about anyone else like that again. Before him I had many men who loved me and I was too emotionally unavailable to see the love these people had for me and pushed them away. I am worried that I don’t know how to love mutually. I don’t know how to change this. I’ve spent a lot of time reading the post on this site and I don’t see one that specifically speaks to my issue. I assume that the answer is taking things slow, vetting, and considering my boundaries. I am guessing the answer is not actually looking to “love like that again” but to find a more balance approach that is sustainable and mutual. I know all these things but I am so afraid I don’t know how. Is the answer truly to just try or do I need to keep “healing’ from this relationship? I want to be able to give that much again but in a healthy way. Sorry for the rambling but any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • dove says:

      Deion, the only thing I can say is you need to love yourself first. All else follows from there. Once you can treat yourself with love care trust and respect, you see how to extend that to those around you.
      I have yet to find a man to treat me well, I have a whole lifetime of bad choices behind me. And yet I still feel that I can love and be loved. I’m not sitting in the corner waiting quietly mind; I am doing the things that make me happy-learning, growing, traveling when I can. I don’t make a ton of money, I don’t have family support, but I do have an optimistic outlook. We all have dark days, times when things look like they will never get better…and then they do; work on what makes you happy first and foremost.

    • Stephanie says:

      Deion,

      Go to the section that says “List of Post” and you will find alot of info on self-esteem and establishing loving relationships. One thing I can tell you for sure is take a break from dating. The last thing you want to do is start a relationship with someone and you are wounded and not healthy. Believe me, all people should give themselves a break between relationships so they assess what when wrong and try not to make the same mistake again. Hope this helps!

  21. Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for the positive affirmations. My year started on a bad footing…I tasted the flames and got burned. I am back to no contact.

  22. Petafly says:

    Interesting regarding the dreams about an ex! I had two back to back with the same theme. Basically they show up and want to talk or hang. But the minute I want to talk to them they disappear! I can’t find them anymore. And I remember feeling frustrated that I couldn’t speak my peace.

    I thought about the pattern of these two back to back dreams. One point I can think of is my parents often made me feel the same way. I wasn’t allowed to speak my peace and if I made a point I was often ignored. So definitely a connection there.

    I also learned a lesson. In the dream I wanted to speak my peace to be validated and needed them to listen. However, I remind myself now that the only validation I need is my own. I felt mistreated and that’s enough. They will never acknowledge the poor behavior and that’s ok. What I think and feel is enough and going no contact last year with all my exes has really given me the opportunity to reflect back and see through the BS and grow. Honestly learning to validate myself has made it SO much easier to keep no contact.

    Even though I was originally disturbed that I was starting off the New Year with dreams of exes, I see it now as starting off the New Year with reminders of lessons and markers of growth.

    Happy New Year! Cheers!

  23. Starbelly says:

    Dear all,

    A few weeks ago I decided to send this message to Nat to thank her for her blog, which gave me knowledge and insight I’ve never got before and which was enough for me to kick my Mr Unavailable and Self-Loathing habit. I am not sure if she has read it, so I thought it would be a good idea to share this message with you all. I hope this will make you believe that EVERYTHING can change even if you don’t believe it (I didn’t…for a very long time).

    I am 26 years old and it’s been 2 years since I discovered BR. I remember myself posting a comment on BR in which I confessed that if I hadn’t found at, I would have probably blown my brains off. And you know what? Even though I’m not a drama queen anymore, I guess that my dramatic confession wasn’t that far away from truth. 2,5 years ago, after 13 months of humiliation, excuses, and desperate clinging to the breadcrumbs of attention, I finally broke up with the most typical example of Mr Unavailable you can imagine. I guess never in my life have I hit the rock bottom like that- an intelligent, ambitious, likeable , world-loving girl that I was (and thank God, still am!) let herself get almost ruined by an emotionally crippled, selfish man with absolutely no ability to care, trust and respect (using the famous phrase). Today, as I look back at my then ideas about love and relationships, as well as my “patience” for the behaviour which was absolutely unacceptable, I can’t believe that was really me. And yes, I was sure that my case was special, and that nobody else could understand the ordeal I was going through.

    BR was the biggest eye-opener to me: no candy coating, no illusion-feeding or promising miraculous tricks “to get your ex back”. The perspective that Nat offers, the way she makes the readers realise that they can control more than they think, that happiness is often a matter of choice, and most importantly that “we get the same lessons until we heed them” was groundbreaking to me. That was the first time in my life when I truly looked at myself and analysed my beliefs and my love habits; It was also the first time in my life when I realised that my “love life” was based upon the same toxic pattern. This awareness, in turn, brought me to the analysis of my own attitudes and the relationships I have with other people in my life, most notably, with my mother. So many eye-opening moments! I printed most of the blogs from, BR, bought myself all Nat’s books and downloaded all the worksheets- I was literally devouring Nat’s words, each day becoming more and more aware of myself and my actions. You can’t even imagine how many times I nodded my head while reading “Mr Unavailable..” and how many times I felt this huge embarrassment when I was recognizing myself in what Nat wrote.

    Reading BR was a big part of my own therapy, but obviously not the only one. I spent 2 years analysing my behaviour and habits, but I also used that time for socialising, spending time with my incredible friends, travelling, working, learning. I can honestly say that I learned how to take care of myself. I did date- but without any desperation. I was so exhausted with my previous love affairs, that I simply decided to have fun and meet people just for the hell of it. As a result, I met many interesting guys and experienced many great and funny moments..yeah, losers were there, too, but they just assured me that I was simply too good to waste my time on them. I started my own company, began Ph.D. studies and even started training sports- a thing I have always hated! This also gave me a lot of confidence and helped me believe in my attractiveness. One day, as I looked at myself in the mirror and saw this confident, brave woman, I started thinking “How could I think that the latest assclown was my last-chance saloon? How could I think nobody else would stir such emotions in me? How could I think I would never be happy and never fall in love again? How could I think that there was nothing and nobody waiting for me and that the best option for me would be to hang myself on my doorknob? (yes, that was what I truly thought). Little was I to know then, that breaking up with that assclown ( who didn’t even react to my disappearance), was the best decision I could make and a chance for me to start enjoying myself and life in general.

    I remember one moment very well- last year, I was on a trip in Morocco with my friends. One day, when we stopped in some village to have some rest, I went to the beach, just to look at the sea. That was when I thought: “Thank you God that I can be here now, that I can enjoy this moment. It doesn’t matter how much I was hurt, I am grateful for what I am doing now”. Now I say it to myself, each time I stop somewhere and admire the view, or each time I meet a good, or just interesting person. When I was in Finland, a few months ago, I thought to myself: “I really love my life now, I don’t need anyone to make me happier. I really don’t”. I didn’t say that because I wanted to console myself; I said it because that was what I really felt. 2 weeks later I met my now boyfriend.

    Now when I am in a true relationship with mutual care, trust and respect, I can see it very clearly how poor my previous “pseudo relationships” were. Natalie was right again. When your man respects you and takes care of you, you don’t waste your time finding excuses and analysing; you are too busy living your life and loving . Yes, I was a bit scared and anxious at the beginning- I couldn’t imagine myself getting hurt again, but I was careful and reasonable enough to see things for what they really were. And I was lucky enough not to have to run away again with an alarm bell ringing in my head. Yes, my old dramatic tendencies reared its ugly head at some point, prompting me to walk away and not risk another heartbreak that I associated ALL relationships with. But again, Nat was right- if someone cares about you, he won’t let you walk away that easily. I don’t mean that a decent guy is an obsessive stalker; I mean that if he truly appreciates you, he will make sure that you are his woman. And that the whole world knows about it:)
    Since a loving relationship is something new to me, I also need to learn things and learn how to act in a new role: that of a partner. And I know, I wouldn’t even have the chance to do it, if it hadn’t been for Nat’s wisdom . I want you all to believe that no matter how hopeless you feel, someday you will be happier than ever, if you just stick to your guns and give yourself s a chance.

    Words cannot express how grateful I am to Nat, and to all the BR readers who have also shared their opinions and feelings with me.I keep my fingers crossed for you all.

    • Lorraine says:

      starbelly,
      You’ve given me hope today that I will move on eventually and feel better. Thank you for your post. Congratulations on how far you’ve come.
      Hugs,
      Lorraine

    • amicrazy says:

      Starbelly,

      I teared up reading your story. What a beautiful journey! And yes, thank God for BR and Nat!

      • LovefromNel says:

        Starbelly, I am also a bit teary and goosebumpy reading your words. Goodness me, what an inspiration you are! A role-model BR success story! This line meant so much to me: “But again, Nat was right- if someone cares about you, he won’t let you walk away that easily. I don’t mean that a decent guy is an obsessive stalker; I mean that if he truly appreciates you, he will make sure that you are his woman. And that the whole world knows about it:)”. You sound like you are a walking tower of wisdom, both to yourself and to others. Best wishes for the new relationship! To use a running or swimming analogy, you’re off the block and are miles ahead of the field, simply by the rational headspace and wisdom that you’re in. I can only hope that one day I may catch up to you. Nel xo

      • Liz says:

        I just printed out your post. :)

        The day does come when you realize how ridiculous they are, how ridiculous you have been, and it doesn’t hurt anymore. You build a good life based on you.

        Everyone- keep reading BR & sharing. It helps. It teaches you to love yourself and get that PhD in you! Once you truly care about yourself you won’t be interested in crumbs. You will be too busy being happy.

        • Starbelly says:

          Thank you so much ladies for your kind words…still, I don’t consider myself an inspiration or anything, just wanted to give you some New Year Hope… ;) I’ve been reading your comments and I can tell you that I know almost everything you write about from experience. And since so much in my life has changed, what you are going through will change as well, if you get angry and tired enough to decide that you frickin’ deserve a happy life in which nobody is in control of your self-esteem!

          You can’t even imagine how desperate and ridiculous my behaviour was at times: I for instance imagined and even rehearsed what I will say to my Unavailable Joker once he reappears. I fantasised about his grand comeback and a mind-blowing change which would make it possible for us to get back together and live happily ever after. In fact, such fantasies were my free-time activity. LOL. Of course, he never reappeared and I DON”T GIVE A DAMN. I only sometimes hear other people say he’s still the same old player” hunting” for younger and younger (and more naive) girls, which makes me feel only sorry for him and serves as the best confirmation of Nat’s theory “someday you will change enough not to want the joker anymore”. Generally, however, I don’t think about him at all, which shows you that no matter how heartbroken you may feel now, and no matter how irreplaceable and “magical” he seems to be to you know, someday he won’t be anymore. If somebody had told me that 2,5 years ago, I wouldn’t believe that of course, but THIS WILL ALL PASS. Of course, sometimes I was angry at myself that my healing process took me so long (“1,5 year has gone by and I still think about him? Am I insane?”), but now I know that some people heal faster, some people heal slower, and the slower option seems to be profitable to some extent; you learn to gradually prioritise you, appreciate the non-romantic relationships in your life, you have much time to think and to rebuild your worldview/self-esteem instead of desperate clinging to a new guy hoping he will make you forget the pain. As Nat said: feel the pain. You will go through it and there will be so much waiting for you- I am sure that someday you will all sit down and think “it was worth it”. Kisses!

    • Bethd says:

      Star belly. Beautiful and insightful post. I feel exactly the same way. I just want to say as Natalie says NC is hard work. You have to do it like your life depends on it. Your happiness does. I too thank Natalie because she helped me tremendously especially when I fell off the wagon. Life’s way too short to have toxicity and negativity pervade it. Stay the course ladies. Happiness is within your reach! I wish you all the best for 2014.

  24. Peanut says:

    “The baby out with the bath water” I’m sure that happened to me a few times.

    If there is a God, he is surely an abstract painter. It’s like he said, “Fuck it. Imma gonna do away with harmony and fairness and pretty and make the world really messy and difficult to figure out.” I guess it would be pretty boring otherwise.

    You know it’s funny, when I was with the ex, I constantly thought, “Oh God, I can’t break up with him. I’m going to be depressed for at least two weeks. I caaan’t spend my Spring Break that way.” And here I am still aching and crying over it two years later.

    But you know I’m grateful for the pain, every ounce of it. It taught me that dicking around with peoples’ emotions (mine or otherwise) is a sad game better left unplayed. Honesty outright is the way to go. And don’t lie to yourself because that is the worst.

    BR and Natalie have helped me so much and this article is right on time. Of course ;)

    • happy b says:

      Peanut, I can relate to that. I used to say to myself, ‘what’s another time after so many already?’ I’d choose a fun weekend in his arms rather than one spent alone and missing him, while ignoring the slow destruction of my soul. It’s been 2 years for me too and only now going through my first crush of any intensity, not just ‘he might be acceptable to go out with’.

      2013 for me was the year of delayed gratification, where I finally started to see my investments in myself, my career, my friends and life paying off. Thinking positive/ being optimistic doesn’t being instant concrete results, and great things won’t come about just because you decide to do it from January 1st onwards but it does lead to great change over time if that positivity is truthful and deep. Like you say, ‘honesty outright is the way to go’, this combined with being good to yourself and forgiving to others (through my low self-esteem lens, I often felt victimised for minor reasons).

    • Chrysalis says:

      “But you know I’m grateful for the pain, every ounce of it. It taught me that dicking around with peoples’ emotions (mine or otherwise) is a sad game better left unplayed. Honesty outright is the way to go. And don’t lie to yourself because that is the worst.”

      Well said Peanut. My ex cheated on me with a woman who is a premier league game player. She even went to the bother of PHONING me to tell me he was ‘a convenience she played games with.’ He truly got what he deserved. Funnily enough in a strange way I too feel grateful for the pain – it made me realise I was focusing in all the wrong places and trying to instill the ex with qualities he just did not possess. It still hurts, but | have totally disengaged from their toxic drama’s and started to focus on ME. Yes I have slip ups, but as Noquay says time is a continuum, we just have to live each day as best we can.

      • Peanut says:

        Chrysalis,

        Forge onward with No Contact always! (I’m a firm believer). When I want to contact the most, is when I need not to the most. Onwards xx.

  25. noquay says:

    Amicrazy
    This dude doesn’t have a bad moral character, he has NO moral character. Right now he is using his poor daughter as an excuse not to commit to you, resolve his marriage problems. He is a pig, and that’s insulting pigs which can be pretty smart critters.

    • amicrazy says:

      noquay –

      Your comment made me laugh – in a good way! Poor pigs get the bad rap when we compare these ACs to them.

  26. Peanut says:

    I think I’ve realized what my trigger was in causing me to feel all these heart griping and painful emotions about the ex again:

    I sort a recently left a few sources of emotional support that I had relied upon after the breakup. I felt I was becoming too dependent on them. And so now I’m experiencing all the hurt again in a way that I can fully tolerate so I can fully be over this and 100% stand solidly on my own two feet.

  27. noquay says:

    Just her
    This person isn’t a friend, unfriend her. True friends think about the feelings of others BEFORE they post stuff like this. Kinda like a now former friend, one of the few that knew my situation, was talking about how beautiful the ACs latest was, right across the table from me, on my goddam birthday! She had also suggested, numerous times, that I settle for the first unattractive man that will have me. We have enough to do in our healing journey without dealing with this kind of crap.

    • JustHer says:

      Noquay,

      Your friend sounds awful and I’m sorry you had to put up with such foul-mouthed insults! The cheek of her.

      But my ‘friend’ doesn’t know anything that has happened between me and him. I don’t know what he has told her though. So, it doesn’t mean she is necessarily to blame. I think it may be best if I bow out of Facebook as a whole, honestly.

      • noquay says:

        Good idea to bail out of Faceplant entirely. It seems like that network is real source of annoyance/hurt and takes away time where we should be meeting real people in real life.

  28. New beginnings says:

    Happy new year Nat and ladies! (and men :) In the spirit of the new year I want to try out change and went out with a guy who is not my normal ‘type’. It went smoothly, he was nice and gentlemanly but there was no spark. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for an ex eum attractor (!) but since then he’s been texting me lots sometimes not waiting for me to reply, and has asked me to watch an expensive play in London next week. As I’m not sure whether I like him yet, is it fair to think this is too much too quickly? Or am I not giving a ‘good’ guy a chance? I feel a bit overwhelmed and perhaps even claustrophobic. I have been eum free for nearly 18 months and would like to stay that way. Any advice would be appreciated! I always find Nat’s post and these comments so helpful :)

    • happy b says:

      New beginnings, it’s fair for you to flush if he’s being overbearing. I think I understand how you feel. I know that we have to step out of our comfort zone if we’re to move on from EUMs, and I feel I might struggle with this because I used to seek out unavailable relationships partly for fear of being hemmed in – so I might get naturally claustrophobic even when a man is being perfectly respectful. And this creates the pressure to persevere, or stay alone for good. But even from your short message, I got an empathic horrible feeling in my gut. I think I’d dread sitting close to him in the theatre. I hope it’s not hopelessly romantic to say that with the right person, there might be nerves and uncertainty but there shouldn’t be that feeling of being too overwhelmed, it should feel somewhat positive, and not just because he’s been ‘good’ for a few hours. He doesn’t sound like such a gentleman to me if he’s texting you without waiting for a reply, sounds pushy and like he’s happy to overstep boundaries.

  29. Peanut says:

    And not only did I cut contact with the ex and what was a very toxic relationship for me, seven months ago I left and began No Contact with a job that was very toxic for me. All this takes time to heal from. Wow. I just haven’t been giving myself enough credit for all that I’ve done in the past couple of years. I’m proud of me.

  30. Learningtoloveme says:

    I am on day 3 on no contact with my ex EUM/FF. It has been really hard as I know he won’t try and contact me. I have literally sat on my hands so I don’t relent. I believe it will get easier with time and just have to take each day at a time

  31. Better Off says:

    Wow, I really needed this today. I had a dream about my ex, and it terrified me! I truly thought I was on the path to getting over him but I now wonder if my “gut” was really my insecurities in disguise. I wonder if I worried my way out of the relationship. However, I do come back to reality and remember it takes two. He pulled the plug. I haven’t heard from him, and while I feel as if I should have had enough time to mourn, moving on has been difficult. I do want a 2014 where this guy doesn’t take up space in my head; I know I don’t take up space in his head in the least.

  32. I always remind myself that no matter how bad it gets, tomorrow is a new day, a new beginning, a new chance to start over. That mindset has gotten me very far in life and others have started to use it as well to keep moving forward everyday.

  33. Lorraine says:

    I was so hopeful for 2014. I ended the year feeling strong and in control. Looking forward to really moving on. He had texted me on Xmas Day, wishing me a Merry Xmas and sending God’s blessings and he asked me to let him know if I would like goodies from this bakery that was special to us and he always took me there for the holidays. I totally ignored his text. It felt good, but then it felt bad because I’m not the type of person who would ignore someone wishing me a Merry Xmas. I felt better when his Mom called a few days later and I told her about it. She said he never went to the bakery so I must have shut him down. I felt good again.

    New Year’s Day came and I knew I wouldn’t hear from him after ignoring his Xmas text. I sent him an email. Yes, I know… Basically, I told him that I wanted a fresh start to the New Year and that I needed to clear the air and just move on with my life. I let him know that I was aware of the fact that he went back to his ex. I told him that it was unfair of him to send me I love you and I miss you texts sporadically over the past few months. It wasn’t a mean spirited email at all, I didn’t tell him off, just felt like I needed to to it for me, so I could move on. I have no regrets about sending it and I didn’t send it expecting a response. I knew there would be none.

    His Mom made her weekly call to me a few days after the New Year, she said she didn’t know what’s going on in his life, but he’s been having a pity party for days, so miserable. I then told her about the email and she thought maybe that was why. My initial reaction was, great, he deserves to be in the pits, now I can move on once and for all.

    With each passing day, I’ve fallen deeper into depression. Maybe its the cold weather and being in the house with nothing to do but feel lonely and sorry for myself. So much for the “New Year and starting over”. I cry all the time. Just doing the bare minimum to get through the day so that I can go to bed.

    I realize his mother being in my life isn’t helping either. However, I am like family to her. He takes care of her but they haven’t had a great relationship in the past two years and he doesn’t really talk to her about things. The last time we spoke and she started saying how sad and miserable he’s been, I stopped her and told her that I’m moving on and don’t want to know anything about him anymore.

    I’m reading Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl again, hoping it will give me the knowledge I need to stop loving him. Falling out of love takes time I guess. As far as the New Year, I guess it can only get better, right?

    PS Just Her: You’re ability to stay positive after seeing pics of your ex and his new gf on fb is amazing. You gave me inspiration. That friend isn’t a friend though, so insensitive! Hugs to you.

    • JustHer says:

      Lorraine,

      Thanks honey, but it was no easy ride and I’m sure you’re heading for a strong recovery if you do right by you.

      I can’t stress enough how important it is to cut the ties and not want to know anything about the AC. I would say that perhaps you should cut contact with his mother – after all she is going to want to talk about her son!

      Good luck to you, honey! I know you can do it <3

  34. Rachel says:

    This article couldn’t have come at a better time! I started this year feeling positive and full of good intentions. Started eating healthier, working out, quit smoking, stopped drinking and signed up for an online dating website for the first time ever.

    However, in the last 2 weeks it seems as if bombshell after bombshell is being dropped and my inner voice (the one which tells me repeatedly how useless I am and how hopeless life is) has started up again.

    My best friend (and only remaining single/childless friend I had) announced she is pregnant for a Navy officer who she’s been seeing for 2 months and is moving to the US to live with him after she gives birth.

    Then my cousin anounced her engagement out of the blue to some guy she’s been seeing for 2 min and I’m sitting here thinking why the hell does everyone else get to move on in life whilst I’m stuck in this perpetual cycle of singledom! The jealousy I’ve been feeling of late is overwhelming and that’s not like me at all. I’ve always been the supportive and caring friend, but I’m struggling to stay positive when I’m feeling like I’m being left behind.

    This article just reminded me that I have time and I don’t need to panic or stress about the fact that it’s not MY time just yet. I know deep down that it will come… Soon I hope!

    Happy New Year!

    • Stacey says:

      Rachel – do you really think your best friend and cousin are in healthy relationships? Don’t compare yourself to them. Pregnancy is a huge life changer…and as for your cousin….not sure that will last. I’ve been learning how much people rebound. I’ve also been learning that the first few months of any relationship kinda is fake. Its driven by hormones and the honeymoon phase which isn’t real. Its a front….but this is the phase where most people make big decisions – living together, getting engaged etc when they really don’t know each other. Hang in there and stop comparing!

      • Rachel says:

        I know that both of their situations isn’t ideal, but they both seem really happy and content in spite of it – which is something I’ve never experienced in any of my previous ‘relationships’. But I wish them both the best and hope they can make it work even though it all seems a bit rushed.

        And yes Stacey – no more comparing myself to others this year! I’m done with feeling crappy about my existence!
        Thanks

        • Poly says:

          I know this is hard, Rachel, and perhaps it wouldn’t be possible for you: but you have two people dear to you who are about to go through exciting times in their lives. If it doesn’t hurt you too much to be around, you have an opportunity to share in their joy. When one of my friends got pregnant a few years ago, I feared I would lose her to new motherhood – that she would be preoccupied with the baby, and hang out only with other new mothers. But in fact we are even closer now, and I have her, her partner and their now toddler as wonderful parts of my life. It brings me so much happiness.

          • Stephanie says:

            Rachel – I kind of know how you feel my best friend got married in December 2011 after a whirlwind romance with someone she had initially wanted to set me up with. I was a bridesmaid at the wedding. This all happened whilst I was so unhappy because the AC EUM had very insensitively disappeared on me without explanation and I was hurting terribly. My point is that this was a happy time for my friend and she really wanted me to share it with her. Emotionally I just wasn’t present at the wedding or during that time. It may not be jealousy as we traditionally know it that you are feeling, however my advice is to just enjoy their happiness with them and try not to compare or judge yourself. It’s difficult I do know, but if you compare yourself to their situation you may regret it when you find your own happiness and you want them to be happy for you. Also other people’s situations are never as perfect as we think. Keep your chin up xx

    • LovefromNel says:

      Hi Rachel,

      I hope you are feeling a little better? I recall you commenting just before Christmas and I wanted to say then how familiar it sounded. I think you made a comment about turning 30? I am 28 in two weeks’ time and it scares the life out of me. Because it only seems like yesterday that I turned 18, and I remember feeling like I had the world at my feet then. I’d keep all of my lovely friends from school, go to university, meet an amazing man, travel the world, get married, and have little babies etc etc. That dream that is drummed into us, I guess, from an early age – that those are things that you are just ‘meant’ to do.

      And I think we get really disappointed when those dreams don’t match reality, which is often a little out of our control. Sure, there’s things that are, of course, within our control, and I am realising that even more after finding BR. My thoughts are within my control, the men I choose are within my control (and obviously I am choosing the wrong ones, through some misguided thought process). But there are many things that aren’t within our control too. And we can feel a little overwhelmed and helpless by that. I know I do.

      I don’t think what you’re feeling is actual jealousy, to be honest. I think you’re just a bit sad that those things aren’t happening to you. And why not? We are good people, we are kind and loving and deserve the happiness that others around us, at our age, seem to be quite easily achieving. I do it all the time, but I do think there’s a slight difference between jealousy and just that ‘oh why not me!’ type of sadness!

      Maybe I’m not making any sense, and I apologise if that’s the case. But I just want to (in a round-about kind of way) assure you that although those happy life-changing events are happening all around us, there are many girls out there like us too that are just plodding along, on our own, and there is absolutely NOTHING WHATSOEVER wrong with us, just because it isn’t happening to us! It will. Like you said, your time will come. In the meantime, I’ve found it helpful to work on me (hellloooo Baggage Reclaim), focus on me (I’m doing crazy exercise at the moment, but it helps keep me sane!) and do something I’ve always wanted to do (I’ve just applied for graduate entry into nursing, in another state in Australia). So there’s all lots happening. It’s just perhaps not the way I envisioned it ten years ago.

      And that’s OK too.

      Hugs to you!

      Love Nel

      • Rachel says:

        Thank you so much Nel – you really hit the nail on the head for me! It’s comforting to know that I’m not a jealous ogre and you’re right, I do feel sadness and disappointment about the fact that things haven’t quite worked out the way I’d planned.

        I have also realised that I need to work on ME in the meantime (and pray I’m not too old when I meet Mr Right to start a family). I have already made some huge changes so far this year (quit smoking, drinking, eating well and exercising – lost 7lbs already) and can honestly say I feel so much better already.

        I think I tend to panic with every year that passes because I didn’t expect to still be on my own at 29. I have major anxieties about starting a family too late owing to the fact that I have Lupus and this could adversely affect my ability to conceive and/or carry a child to term.

        I love my cousin and my best friend dearly and no matter how sad I may feel about being “left behind” whilst they embark on their life changing journeys, I will always be there for them to love and support them as best as I can. I mean, I adore children (proud aunty of 5 boys) so it’s a blessing as far as I’m concerned.

        I’ve recently started talking to a lovely guy who I met on a dating site and we seem to be hitting it off really well so far. However, instead of getting hyper excited, planning our wedding/future together and rushing from point A to Z in my haste to be coupled,(which the old me would’ve done without batting an eyelid), I’m taking my time to get to know him properly and will not be committing to a 1st date or meeting until I feel confident that he is as genuine and nice as he seems. And if it doesn’t go anywhere, oh well. It’s not the end of the world either!

        I’m just so grateful to BR and all the ladies/men who share their stories here! I have learnt a lot about myself and its forced me to change old habits that were causing me so much harm by allowing assclowns and EUM to enter my life.

        Good luck with the nursing course Nell and please keep me posted with your progress.

        Big hugs to you too!
        Rachel

        • Stacey says:

          rachel – props to you for slowing down and not getting hyper excited and already planning your wedding. So many people do that…when I start dating again I will be doing the same. I never have been one to rush into anything but I do have the future faker mentality sometimes. :)

        • LovefromNel says:

          Dear Rachel

          Of course you aren’t a jealous ogre honey! I associate jealously with bitterness, resentment, vindictiveness and that’s why I thought – hang on, there’s a difference here. This is just the “oh it’s happening to everyone else, why not me, what is wrong with me?” type of wallow that I find myself in!

          So pleased you’re focussing on you. And please keep us updated about the guy! It sounds promising! Like you, I also have the habit of imagining the rest of my life with them, without them proving themselves in the slightest! My imagination is a 1000 page novel, I tell you!

          In fact, my NYE EUM sent me a “hi how are you?” text this morning. Although I’m still pining my real ex EUM, and I know that NYE EUM only wants something casual, I was still slightly excited about the text. Why? Because he was bored and picked me instead of ten other girls? Good one Nel! That’s really something to be excited about. Crumbs! I did reply though, but instead of hoping for more when there is none, I just humoured him. I think he was a bit taken aback when I said “I’m so flattered you messaged me out of hungover boredom.”

          So I’ve learnt a bit but there is still a very long way to go!

          We will both keep each other updated on our journey OK?

          Love Nel

  35. Lynne says:

    Thank you for this article. I am still recovering from a break up last year. I am still moving forward but feelings etc are surfacing and I didn’t want to bring it into this new year. I appreciate the gentleness of just allowing it to run thru me and accept that each day is a new day. I wont give up on my dreams and great year. Thank you so much for the permission to just be where I am at! Lynne

  36. heather says:

    perfect timing yet again for me. Im about 6 weeks away from being divorced to a very controlling, unhealthy man that has made my life hell for a year. I stupidly broke no contact in a raw moment because my father was killed on Christmas in a fire. I just let a bunch of people know cause I really dont have family and I told him to not come over. he did. int he next 5 days he berated me, accused me, beat me down and blackmailed me to get back together with him. so my world crashed. I was doing wonderfully till then.
    then one night, I got up off my knees and said no more. he will have power if I give it to him today, next month or next yr. it will not matter.
    Its been 5 days since no contact again. too short. we had a very close agreement to have the divorce uncontested in all aspects but since I wont be with him and be his kicking post, he wants to fight. therefore, I will go back to asking all Im entitled to.
    my first week of the new year has been nothing short of hell. but I have decided to not let it kill me. I want my life back. I want to laugh and live on for my dad. I need to be strong for me and not be afraid of all the threats, even if my ex stalks, threatens or attempts to maliciously hurt me cause somehow he thinks that shows love and I would want him back. delusional is what it is.

    I wish I would have ended it 6 months ago cause he would not be living in my state right now. he is only staying now to cause me issues.
    I dont have control over him calling police for no reason, calling my lawyer, calling all my ex’s and hanging out at my kids fathers home. its sick.
    I wish he would disappear. I need to grieve for my dad. the moving on from him was easy. SO easy. I just need this to be over.

    • Magnolia says:

      Heather, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. You must still be in shock. You WILL be free of this guy – I look forward to hearing that the divorce is finalized and that you can begin to live and to grieve.

    • noquay says:

      This guy is an utter f@#$wit! Can you get a restraining order against him? You need to be able to grieve in peace.

      • heather says:

        i just got work from lawyer that he is asking another judge to redo the last hearing where I won all. he lied in court and she didnt like that.
        so is there a way to make him go away quicker? I guess not! he is trying to possess me. I cant get a restraining order unless he tries to come in my home or shows up I guess. he just threatens to fight with me, which he is doing. alot of. I see now, he is truly insane. Manic or bipolar is what his ex wife said. she said he stalked her. he doesnt have anyone here so I am not sure why he stays in this state. his child lives in another. he should go there. but instead Im too important to harrass and cause more stress with. my father said take care of my child to him. ex stated that over and over. so this is what he does? psycho.

  37. Roberto says:

    “Maybe we feel tempted to go back to an unhealthy relationship and even if we don’t act upon it, we shame ourselves over having even thought of it”

    This happened to me on Jan2. The trigger was that I saw ex-wife and she waved, smiled, and said Happy New Year. I smiled and waved back.

    I was driving my son to his job. On the way there we stopped by his mom’s house to drop off clean clothes and pick up his dirty clothes. Son does his laundry at my place but he lives with his mom. He’s going to college and will be moving out on his own soon. While I,m in the car waiting for him, ex-wife keeps coming in and out of her home making loud noises with fence and moving stuff, finally – she gets my attention and I turn my head and that’s when I saw her.

    I took my son to his work and after that I cried in my car and was a mess and couldn’t drive, so I just waited and went to get groceries to get my mind off thinking “Why is she nice to me now?!” and “Why couldn’t she have been nice to me during the marriage?!”

    I got married young at 19 because I got her pregnant. I stuck it out and raised our son and put up with her mistreatment till son was old enough to drive, then I left her. I left her because she was abusive towards me. (There was no cheating that I know of.)

    Seperated over 2 years ago and divorce has been final for just over 1 year now. I’ve been NC for 8 months with the exception of seeing her one time when our adult son was in the ER (emergency room). A couple months ago, he got hurt at work and they took him to hospital and I met ex-wife in the ER waiting room. Other than that, it’s been 100% NC.

    Should I stay NC for 2014?

    She still calls texts and emails me but I her blocked her. I only get emails and never respond but I keep the email address incase she needs to say something about our son. I got a voicemail from her asking me to verify if I still use that email address because I’m not responding to her. She is emailing me about our relationship, not about our son – so I don’t respond.

    • Selkie says:

      It’s easy for her to be nice for the whole 5 minutes she saw you. I bet she was nice for five minutes here and there during your marriage too. It doesn’t change anything Roberto. Being nice for five minutes takes NO EFFORT. You spend a few days with her and you’ll most likely see the abusive woman you left. Being civil is better for your son, of course, but not involved. Stay on course. You’ve come a long way.

      • Sandy says:

        Roberto I agree with Selkie, maybe she is only being nice because she realised that you finally mean business by maintaining no contact…it’s possibly an ego thing with her, where she is wanting to see if you crack and that she still has you hooked on her little fishing line.

        • Roberto says:

          When I first left her I was able to stay NC for 7 months, but I gave in and we were having sex again for another 5 months. During this time we settled our divorce, but we still kept going at it like teenagers. It’s like we were kids again and going at it like rabbits.

          That’s about as long as she can keep up the good behavior. Then the bad stuff started coming out of her and I went into my current phase of NC.

          Actually, there are mini cycles in her behavior that are manageable by giving her sex, but i can’t handle the big cycles of her depression and drug use.

          Even during my current 8 months of NC, she has tried all sorts of tactics to get me to respond, such as offering sex.

          • Sandy says:

            Sorry it sounds like you are her fall back man! She is stopping you moving on…don’t you realise you deserve so much better? Actually both of you don’t seem to be moving on from each other, you had problems and you got divorced..hello..you both either decide to stop playing silly little games and move on from each other or you decide that there is something still there and try again.
            Either way it really is decision time don’t you think?

    • noquay says:

      You need to stay NC permanently. Soon as your son is in college, you visit him there or have him spend breaks at your home if he chooses. Talk to you son, he’s an adult, tell him the truth. Chances are he already knows what’s up.

  38. Einstien says:

    Well….I’m all for being positive, but I can tell you that being stood up on New Years Eve only to catch the scum-sucking EMB in bed with some skank he met online at 7am New Years morning, will lead to exactly 3 years bad luck. And I mean bad, bad luck — identity theft, fraud, a child diagnosed with a chronic illness, 3 layoff scares, the tree on the house and the car…..geez…..I mean BAD LUCK.

    But the curse ran out in 2013, the devil is gone and forgotten and all things are possible again.

  39. Angelus says:

    Mine started off terribly with my mum severely busting my boundaries on New Years Day, and I literally had the lightbulb epiphany effect. I don’t need to put myself through another year of hell. I’ve distanced myself, and am allowing myself to mourn the death of the idea of my perfect mum, and sparing myself further emotional abuse. It’s fucking hard and painful, but please realise that it is never too late (or early in my case) to realise that NY day’s experiences needn’t shape the rest of your year xx

  40. Magnolia says:

    Hi all,

    I don’t think I’d assume that the year to come is going to hold more of the same: I just got a card from a woman who was on the hiring committee who is a friend, that says that she “did and does support” me and that she thinks I “still have a lot to offer.”

    So I guess I didn’t get the job. My head has been putting off giving me the news; I was supposed to hear some time ago, so I guess this is why.

    I had a meeting with my colleagues who basically were the ones to make that decision against me less than ten minutes after I read the card. I had to collect myself and be civil as we talked about planning the year ahead. There is one mofo in particular, who has always been bitchy and condescending to me (but suddenly was all nice!! wonder why?!) whose face I’d like to put in a wood chipper.

    I’m still reeling. My mom is all like: something better will come along. Well. Trying not to think about the fact I left a guy 10 years ago thinking I’d find a good relationship and that still hasn’t happened. Trying not to think about how I still have the fibroids and had ridiculous bleed-through-my-pants-in-front-of-male-work-colleagues moments this past Xmas and how nothing is going to suddenly come along and make THAT not be there. There is no guarantee that once I finish this contract that I will find my way back into the academy at all.

    On the sort-of upside, you all know that I have never liked the idea of staying in this town long-term. Even when I thought I would for sure get an offer, I was doing a lot of work to reconvince myself of why I would take it. I think about noquay a lot and really felt like to say yes to the job here would mean choosing a situation a lot like hers, and we all are very aware of how no magic fairy has come along to magic noquay’s Duck Dynasty dating pool into fit, ecoconscious male specimens. I can head back to my hometown, and try to rebuild.

    I really am qualified, I really did do an amazing job while I’ve been here, and honestly think that except for not liking the area and not being buddies with the bully in my program, that I was the best person for the job. Anyway, I’m bummed and now have to wait it out while my colleagues think I haven’t heard yet and that I’m still happily working away doing my best for them.

    • Lizzy says:

      I’m very sorry that (/if?) you didn’t get the job, Magnolia. Easy for me to say, but it will work out for the best in the end. Thinking of you xxx

  41. Elgie R. says:

    Stacey, I liked what you said about both persons being unhealthily attached. When ACMM lazy contacts me, I am certain it is out of his own need to divert himself from problems in HIS life. (off topic-but during my time with AC, I’ve wondered if AC is hiding his true sexuality from himself)

    DunrobINE, I enjoyed your terrific synopsis of AC Syndrome.

    ACMM sent me a Happy New Year email, 3 days later a “thinking of you” email, then a “Hi” email at work followed by a same day 4PM work call (I did not answer) and an immediate cell phone call and voice message and THEN I got it. There must be a sporting event tonight. It is his get out of jail (the house) free card, he was prepping me for a booty call. When I got home I checked the TV guide and yep! That’s one of the standard ACMM “tells” – they build in legitimate sounding reasons to be out of the house – going to the gym, going to watch the game with their crew, taking kids to the rec center……

    Six months of not seeing him at all, only contact from him being lazy texts, no broaching any desire to talk or resolve any issues…….just a strong desire from him to press reset.

    He hasn’t changed. But I have.

    This is the beginning of month 7 of NC (ish) for me and AC is just starting to slip off the pedestal. Hang in with the NC, JGP.

    One thing I am making sure I do this year is diverting myself with a positive activity whenever I find myself slipping into feeling bad over AC. I want to keep looking forward, not backward. I want to reach for a different way of being.

    Noquay – WTF? kind of friend is that??? OMG. I hope you triple flushed that crap friend!! But again, I know how that is. In my 20’s I had two BFFs who I knew would be with me until the end of time. Over the next 10 years, both of them went after men I was actively involved with. Just another depiction of my boundary-less living. Currently, I have no close friends of any gender and am not sure I ever will, but I am learning to accept that.

  42. Peanut says:

    happy b,

    With my ex it was all about the feeling good on the weekend versus patiently cultivating something with someone that I could experience longevity with.

    The ex lavished the right kind of attention on me as to make me swoon and forget all my woes. It was like being in a make believe land of fairy tales, kisses, and cuddles. That is until he went cold. Then it was like being thrust under freezing water out of a sauna.

    This man put on such a show for me I forgot about my dead end job at the time, the needs of my aging grandparents whom I still live with, my dog’s health issues, my health issues, family tensions, money probs, etc.

    He made me forget myself and that is exactly the problem. All those conflicts needing to be dealt with were still there lurking behind the excitement of new love and lavish, albeit unfulfilled promises. I said I just wanted this man to love me back, when really I just wanted a man to distract me.

    Now I’m dealing with those problems head on and it’s way freaky. I just spent a night defending myself (verbally) against some family who still seem to think I operate out of push over mode. Not so.

    The ex was only a foil for what was hiding beneath: a heap of problems to be solved.

    I don’t know who I’ll be able to have a relationship with in the future, but I know it won’t be with distracting, distressing types. I’m too much a fighter to give up on adherence to self respect now.

    Take care. I hope your path finds you fulfillment and much satisfaction xx

    • happy b says:

      Peanut, we could be talking about the same person. The end of it for me was catching him red-handed in a blatant resetting – after a weekend of sweetness and light, being swept off my feet, got a voicemail that said ‘see you around’ and something made me decide it was no longer ok. It’s like eating a huge bag of sweets, then having that empty sick feeling afterwards.
      It was very difficult to accept how superficial it all was, then to realise how empty my life really was.
      But it’s wonderful that we face our problems head-on, some people never do, like lots in my family who bury themselves in alcohol, shopping and other things. It’s hard to deal with family who lock us into the people we were and don’t seem to support our growth.
      But it’s all worth it. If we can face ourselves and reality, we’re so much stronger.
      You take care too x

  43. Peanut says:

    Whoah Whoah Whoah.

    I think I have cracked another code.

    When I get the ex itch and the bad bad cravings for him, it almost always precedes a family feud. I guess my subconscious felt it comin’ on because I had been in bed weepy and crying for the ex. Then it happened:

    Today I came in contact with two family members who behaved in a way that merited my standing up for myself. I NEVER caved. One was so aggressive, I had to stare straight in her eyes and have firm resolve that I would not allow her to intimidate or bully me again (she tortured me as a child). My voice was steady and strong. I shut her down pretty quick. And if she comes at me again, I’ve got whole heapins more of where that came from.

    Shortly after my family retreated I was starting to get back to normal. And a funny thing happened: When I recalled the ex, I recoiled in disgust. Disgust for the contempt he had treated me with all along just as my family does.

    Now my thoughts are as follows: “I don’t want him. Why would I want someone in my life who treats me bad? Hell no.” This is interesting.

    Very interesting indeed. The spell is broke. For now. I’ll have to wait, watch, and see.xx

  44. Peanut says:

    WHOLLY MOLEY

    Snark Guy just got blocked via Facebook. Listen to what this creep did.

    He messaged me a slightly warm message via Facebook about how my holidays were and such shit, only to hours later plaster Facebook photos of his new girlfriend.

    I unfriended and blocked his ass fast. We have mutual friends so I thought I’d play nice before and make a squeaky clean exit. Fuck that. I’m playin’ fair. GOOD RIDDENS. (I know that’s so not the way it’s spelled, but I’m Texan y’all.) On here is pretty much the only time I act like I’m from Texas. Ah sheesh.

    • amicrazy says:

      Go Peanut! Fuck that indeed. Blocking on Facebook is so necessary. Screw manners when it comes to creeps like that!

  45. noquay says:

    Mags
    Damn! I was so hoping you’d get the job if only as a stepping stone to winding up somewhere you want to be. You seem really talented and dedicated. But yep, there is the D.D. factor to think about. I assume that there are more jobs for younger up and coming faculty such as yourself in Canada like there is in the US. Having looked myself, I know thats what the vast majority of the academic job postings are for here. Would you want to work in the US? I am really sad that you’ve had to deal with this bully; that really ruins the workplace for a person. Will most likely be facing my own job rejection as I am putting my hat in the ring for the headship here. Have many doubts, worries, but at my age and academic level, admin is really the only place I can go from here. Have some strong supporters and some equally strong detractors who say “who do you think you are”? President material, dammit.

  46. Hope says:

    Good morning all:
    I promised myself that I wouldn’t take my ex and her narcissistic personality into 2014 but of course I went back on my New Years resolution. I made the mistake of missing her and then telling her so. I don’t know what I thought would happen. I don’t know why I thought she would some how become a different person. I keep hoping that she will. That she will one day be attracted to me. One day want to make love to me after a year of no sex, but she never will. I’m only good for taking care of her. Waiting on her, and I do it because I’m still under the impression that if I do everything I can maybe just maybe She will see me the way that I want her to.
    I like me and I like who I am. It took me a long time, and a new haircut to realize that. After having someone constantly tell me for a year that I wasn’t their type but still continued to be around me just to use the love that I had for her to her advantage. So I ask myself is this love or am I a sadist?
    I’m an affectionate person. I love to be kissed and touched and for a year I’ve allowed those feelings to die inside of me because of a person that doesn’t see me as an attractive woman. I have guys who are interested in me, but I ignore them because what I want I can’t get. At least not from the person I want it from.
    I’m just so tired of having this roller coaster, but I know I have the power to control the ride. Just get off. Easier said than done.

  47. Sunny says:

    Hello all,
    I am new to this site and very relieved to find it. Last year ended badly and I am still struggling with anger, hurt, and disappointment. I don’t know what to do and am hoping for advice.

    I had a casual relationship with a man in May in another country and thought it was just a wonderful 3 days and I would never see him again because he was working there under a 2-year contract and I was finished with my project and returning home to the states. It would have been a very nice memory and that is all I thought it was going to be. However, he re-established contact via email after I returned home and we have been texting, emailing, and sometimes face-timing ever since. We connected on Linked in as well. It was never a serious relationship…most of our communication was humor, travel experiences, photos (no dirty ones) and some sexting. I really liked him and thought he was a friend. He had told me he was single when I met him (in front of one of his work colleagues no less!) and I believed him. I found out he was married just before Christmas. I was googling him to go to his Linked in page and accidentally clicked Images and found wedding photos. I knew he was married twice before so maybe? Nope! I investigated, found his wife’s facebook page and recent photos of them together.

    I have ended the relationship. I sent him a text with a screen shot of his wife’s facebook page, disconnected him from my linked in, deleted everything and I never want to see or talk to that lying, cheating scum again.

    I have never cheated anyone or been with a married man before. It’s against my personal values because of the risk of hurting other people outside of the two people involved in the relationship. Now I don’t know what to do. Should I tell his wife? I don’t want to be in this position and I don’t want to tell her. I would like to forget all about it but am really disturbed by this. And, I miss the fun person I though I was friends with who actually never existed.

    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    • Chrysalis says:

      Hi Sunny, I am sorry to hear how you were deceived and lied to. It really is a horrible experience when it comes home how someone we thought we were having a ‘real’ relationship with turns out to be a liar and a fake.

      Regarding telling his wife, if she had suspicions that he was carrying on with someone else and made contact with you to verify this I would honestly tell her the situation. That you had no inkling that he was married and now that you know the truth you have cut all ties. You have done nothing wrong. However I do not feel it is your moral duty to involve her by approaching her. It is his responsibility to come clean if he wants to be honest in his marriage, and by what you have written in your post that’s probably as likely as a frog growing feathers. But that’s not your problem, Sunny you have done the right thing by cutting contact.

      A man with these character flaws who deceives, manipulates lies and cheats will only bring heartache to the women he uses to meet his own needs. Because that’s what these type of people do, they use people to meet their own needs without a second thought for anyone else or for the consequences of their actions. As you rightly say you miss a friend who never actually existed. Unfortunately, these characters are ten a penny (just read all the comments on this blog!) Keep your head held high Sunny, he is just not worth worrying about. Please don’t waste your energy feeling a smidgen of guilt, yes it’s horrible that his wife was deceived, but HE was the one that deceived her, you are just as much an innocent victim as she is.

  48. LovefromNel says:

    Hi again beautiful BR souls,

    I hope I’m not clogging up the comments too much (sorry Nat!), and my apologies if you’re sick of seeing the Nel name (sorry again!), but I found a quote today that I love to bits, and thought I should share. I think it really is what Nat and BR are all about.

    It’s from Anais Nin, an author of some amazing novels. She said:

    “My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.”

    I love it!

    • Stacey says:

      love it Nel! I am writing it down. thank you!

    • Hope says:

      Hi Love From Nel:
      I agree with you on your search for inner peace. I too am on that journey. Its a work in a progress. One that I continue to delay because I allow my ex back in. Knowing that the results will always be the same.

      I wish you Good luck in your discovery.

      • LovefromNel says:

        Dear Hope

        Don’t be too hard on yourself for letting the ex back in. We’ve all done it too. As optimistic people, we expect the best. And when people say they’ve changed, we have no reason not to believe them. I’m slowly (and finally) getting my head around the fact that not everyone is good, kind, respectful – as we ourselves are. I often expect people to behave as I would in the same situation which is both ridiculous and unfair. They aren’t me!

        Once we are strong enough within (and I think that’s where the Anais quote comes in) you’ll have the strength to shut the door on the ex forever.

        Keep working on you. That’s the most important thing!

        Big huge
        Nel

        (PS glad you and Stacey liked the quote!). Xo

  49. Learningtoloveme says:

    Hi sunny

    There is a great post on here about married men and whether you should tell the Wife. Personally speaking unless I knew her I wouldn’t tell her and just stay NC. I am glad you find out sooner rather than later..

  50. ReadyForChange says:

    The year has started with a feeling that everything is crumbling around me.
    I have disengaged from all aspects of life due partly to a brief involvement with a guy in the summer, who came back in Novemeber (after I had managed successfully 3 months of NC) just to discard me again from one day to the next and without any explanation. I had left my teaching job for a year to try to dedicate myself to finishing my docotrate… but in the last two months I haven’t been able to concentrate or produce anything. I went to talk to my supervisor yesterday and apologized for having nothing to show and added that I was going to give myself a deadline, that if I did not produce anything within 2 months I would quit. He answered, ‘Then you should not waste any more time and quit now. Maybe you just do not have enough motivation’. I told him that I did not want to take that decision when I’m at my lowest. I also added that my lack of motivation at the moment affects every aspect of my life, I’m barely functional. I went to the university counsellor afterwards, and he told me that this is the worst he’s seen me at in the three years I’ve been going to him. I don’t have a job, nobody around me, I’m still very much affected by my involvement with that guy, and now the mirage of the doctorate is gone too… There is almost a morbid sense of liberation, since I feel I have nothing left to lose… I have a tough time seeing any light at the other end, I feel like a failure. Maybe this could be a watershed. But I need to find the right path, and I don’t know how.

    • Stacey says:

      readyforchange – I have a friend who is finishing her doctorate and she has been beaten down and had a heck of time…she is on zoloft now and its helping her focus to finish her dissertation. Maybe you should get some chemical help to get you through this rough patch?

      • ReadyForChange says:

        Thank you Stacey,
        I am open to anything at this stage. I know that if i don’t do something, things are going to turn really ugly.

    • Magnolia says:

      RFC,

      I got into something with an AC in my second year of PhD studies and it cost me a lot of time; I was at the counsellor every week; I was sure that if people didn’t check in on me that I would check myself out.

      Recovered from that and went on to AC#2, but at least learned from AC#1 that I never wanted to let anyone drag me down that much and had more tools to keep myself going emotionally.

      Fortunately I had supportive supervisors who were always just like, keep going, you’ll pull through, etc. They never gave off a judgmental vibe. (Well, I did have one bad supervisor who did – I went through three supervisors, good, bad, good – but I had to dump that bad one and change my prospectus.)

      I have been where you are. You are right not to decide to leave when you’re at your lowest. You’ll pull out of this and you may then be like, and let me back at that PhD!

      I graduated this year and I look back at how low I was – in a new town, no family or long-term friends around, the AC seeming like he was super connected and popular, and we lived in the same residential college, and I got panic attacks just running into him in the dining room – and now I’m so glad I kept going.

      A four-month delay is a chunk of time but in the grand scheme of things is not a big deal when you come out having achieved your goal. Power to you!

      • ReadyForChange says:

        Dear Magnolia,
        thank you for sharing your experience.
        Knowing that others have been in a similar situation and have managed to pull through gives me some hope. I hope I can be as strong and determined as you are at some stage.

    • Ellie says:

      Aw sh** this sounds like my situation. I am currently studying teaching at college ..or was. I have no motivation at the moment to Carry on although i know I need to ..ever since the AC I was involved with dumped me over Xmas for someone else his so called best friend… Thing is, we attend the same college and used to meet there. Going there hurts me just reminds me of him. I am gonna have to transfer. I sympathise with you Hun, truly. It must be real hard. I wish we could instantly stop letting these Assclowns affect us and our lifestyles, but it is very hard to train our thoughts away from them and how they make us feel. Be strong x Ellie

  51. A_newme says:

    Hi

    I have been reading blog , posts and of course I read the trilogy starting with mr unavailable and the fallback girl . Thanks to all this literature I realised that actually I didn’t expect too much , that I wasn’t the weird one, that I didn’t need to changes myself to be finally someone that all these waste of time people that I had relationships with would appreciate. Anyway I learned where I went wrong , I allowed people into my life who were not worthy of my time and as a result I wasted my time that would have been better used on going for a jog, planning career move, or just spending quality time with my son and be happy rather than forever concerned about what the hell was I doing wrong.

    What I wanted to actually add to this blog is that I have noticed that whilst Christmas is hard for people like myself and others on here it is hard for all these useless mr unavialables.

    So many of them that were just in and out of my life in some shape or form (mainly text that I only just learnt was the laziest form of communications and I deserve more) suddenly appeared for an Instant ego stroke , validation by reaching to their fallback girl ( Yes that me Or… sorry? Hello ?! That’s the “Used to be” me not me anymore ). And whilst at the beginning of the end of last year I was a bit weak and wasn’t sure how to stay nc etc I now thoroughly enjoy that they are all in contact as I can practice on them! And ok it’s nice to be the in charge :) not
    Letting some sad and damaged people get what they want from me.

    Happy new year !

    • Karen says:

      I had so many great expectations of this new year.
      Then my partner the assclown managed to ruin week one with broken promises, flimsy excuses and tons of future faking.
      I still have great expectations of this new year, now that I have cut and discarded all the deadwood (the assclown got dumped)then, as if by miracle, all the plans I’d made to ensure a great new year fell back into place and I am on track and confident of all the plans I’ve made, knowing I can make them happen now that the assclown is no longer cluttering up my heart and mind.
      Sometimes we have to subtract in order to add.
      Even my self esteem has improved once I stopped loving that loser and started loving and taking care of myself once again.
      I’d rather live alone the rest of my life than get stuck with another assclown.
      They are like happiness vampires–they suck. ;)
      Happy New Year!!

  52. espresso says:

    Magnolia…I am so sorry you didn’t get the job – I know how talented, hard-working and committed to your students you are – I feel badly that you have to put on a brave face around certain kinds of people you are in touch with. You have made the best of staying where you are and I respect that but I hope you can put in place some other paths out of there that will nourish you in your career and personally. Do you expect some kind of formal letter? Maybe I missed that.

    Starbelly…I loved your post about having gratitude for the freedom to be by yourself. I am going to try to put that into practice more in my own life.

    I have had a really hard, painful and crazy making year as I continued to process my long term relationship and saw more and more how destructive this has been for me…how much my self esteem got eaten away. So many times I felt that my life was crumbling all around me and there were times that I felt I could not emotionally get through it. But in the past year, despite this, I tried to put all sorts of plans and hopes in motion and have worked hard to keep them going without knowing if they would materialize OR how I would feel when they did…given that I was feeling awful most of the time anyway. I think all I could do in my little bubble of pain was trying to keep understanding more (thank you BR!) and moving forward with the FAITH that this was good and that at least some of the seeds I planted would bear fruit. It was also exhausting because in usual style I had to do a lot of the marriage wind-up stuff that I knew my ex would simply delay on. I now know it is useless to talk but that I just have to act….so that chapter is almost wound up. Anyway, just wanted to say that it is important to keep making decisions to move forward with the life you want to have even if you feel it will do no good and you feel like hell. There were days when I told myself to only do ONE thing to help me move on.

    My process is not over but I have changed a LOT in the past year. I cringe when I think of the energy I spent trying to get my ex to understand and give me the respect, consideration, engagement and collaboration I wanted in the relationship and that I deserved as a matter of course. My bags are packed and I take BR with me…which is a very nice thought.

  53. plumies says:

    Hi I understand I made a decision and I regret it and it feel very heavy specially starting the year.

  54. danielle says:

    the first two weeks of this year ive had the father of my children refuse mediaton ,even though girlfriend beat him up on Christmas day and he had to pick the boys up boxing day with a black eye and broken nose again, my brother stealing from my house (not the first time) and my 14 year old son come out as bisexual so this post is timely.all a
    matter of perspective though as we are all alive and well and tomorrow is a new day!

  55. Eileen says:

    Hello Natalie,
    I’m writting to say thank you for running this wonderful blog. I’m learning a lot about relationships, since I’m curious about the dinamics of all relationships and not only the romantic ones I’m taking note of your advice to understand and choose more wisely the people around me.

    Happy new year
    Best regards
    :)

  56. Peanut says:

    It’s funny, you never hear people say, “Yeah, they were 1 in 7.1 billion.”

  57. Lucie says:

    I fell off the wagon once again over Christmas. My Mr Unavailable who has been in and out of my life for two and a half years got in contact yet again to ‘check in’ and I was too weak to ignore it. I am suffering from a bout of depression and have been trying to get my life back on track after becoming extremely low and once again his radar seems to pick up when I’m at my most vulnerable.
    He did his usual of blowing hot, saying he wants to see me in the New Year to ‘catch up’ etc- then a week later he texts me (of course) to tell me he has met someone new and he thinks it might be going somewhere and hopes it won’t be weird between us now. It completely crushed me, especially since the last time I saw him he yet again told me he didn’t want a relationship or any kind of commitment- clearly at least not with me. I have since found out he has known this girl for months, including during the time we were together. Perhaps he has been seeing her all along. She is a few years younger than him (he is thirty) and lives no where near him which is perfect for him as he avoids intimacy. He has dumped me in the past to pursue relationships with girls he admits he ‘has no real feelings for’ but seems to find it easier to make a faux “commitment” to than he does to make a real commitment to me. Even when he is with these other girls, he still checks in with me. I have tried no contact so many times I feel ashamed at how weak I am to always concede in the end.
    As I am unwell at the moment as it is, it has made this even harder to deal with and I’m doing all the usual ruminating of “why her and not me, why was I never enough, how could I be so stupid as to keep falling for him over and over?”
    I rarely talk to anyone about him because I am embarrassed at how stupid I have been to keep going back to someone who treats me so badly. As mentioned I am suffering from depression which I am receiving treatment for but I would really appreciate some advice on how to get this toxic person out of my brain once and for all. I know he treated me badly, I know he will never make me happy yet I can’t stop thinking about him or obsessing over why he never saw me as good enough for him. Any words of advice would be really appreciated, I could really do with some reassurance from people who understand how difficult this whole thing is x

    • happy b says:

      Lucie, I’m sorry for this. I was shocked when I saw the ex-AC’s pattern of behaviour to blow hot on women at their most vulnerable, be they ill, depressed, bereaved, broke or whatever. It wasn’t as sick as it sounds, doubtful that it was premeditated, but he just got a huge ego boost from rescuing a damsel in distress and would move on from them once he got that boost. But I still label him an AC because he’s old and experienced enough to know the consequences and see the trail of destruction but doesn’t seem to address it, he just finds someone new or returns to someone who can blow smoke up his ass and can join him in dismissing the damsel as too needy.

      I doubt I can bring much comfort, but I will just say that you must not for a second think that you are less worthy than the other women he’s involved with and more committed to (until he’s got their devotion and they’re no longer new, that is), it’s simply that he knows you will accept less – and if you have accepted less already, he will never give any more than that in any substantial way. He will always undercut your expectations in the end. You know he’s toxic and the pain of hearing or wondering about other women is really too much to bear, it’s the worst and you will be so happy when you don’t have to feel it any more. You can only achieve this by foregoing the short term gains of his attention.

      • happy b says:

        Let me just add that I of course was one of those damsels and the closest I ever got to a breakdown was over ‘why her and not me’. Now if I saw her in the street, I would throw her some solidarity as he ended up causing her even more damage than me. I also think he deliberately played me off against other women, I didnt realise this until much later.
        I hope my words didn’t sound harsh, I’m just trying to show what I think is his MO because when we understand this, we can see the futility of thinking we’re not ‘good enough’, remember you said he didn’t have feelings for the women he was going after and still ‘checked in’ with you. it’s throwing your love into a bottomless pit when it should be directed at you.
        Things are about to get so much better for you x

        • Lucie says:

          Thank you for your kind words Happy B and no, your words don’t sound harsh at all. I think that the cold, hard facts of the matter are the only way to look at the situation as difficult as it can be. I am trying to focus on moving forward and not keep dwelling on him and her. I still wouldn’t be surprised if he contacts me when he gets bored/feels he’s being put under too much pressure from this latest girl/she gets wise to his behaviour. But I hope by the time that happens I will be stronger and have moved on enough for it to not even touch the surface. Thank you again for your supportive reply x

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear Lucie, I’ve just noticed your post. It sounds eerily similar to my own situation. I have also suffered crippling depression, compounded as well by the treatment of EUMs. I know how hard it must be, and my heart aches for what I know you must be going through. I wish I could give you a bit squishy hug, but here’s a cyber hug in any case! *HUG*.

      Also, I save words that really mean a lot to me, which I come across on Baggage Reclaim. When you say “I know he will never make me happy yet I can’t stop thinking about him or obsessing over why he never saw me as good enough for him”, I instantly thought of something I’d come across here, and I will copy it below in a second. But I also wanted to say how much I recognised myself in these lines too. I’m not sure a day has passed where I haven’t obsessed over my ex, how he could treat me the way he did, how he could ignore me, and why I wasn’t good enough. I think it just takes time. You need to allow yourself that, and don’t let anyone tell you that you are taking too long. You aren’t. You’re just processing it all. And as I said, these issues are all the more compounded by our fragile mental health. Be kind to yourself. Do something special for you.

      At the end of the day, Lucie, no-one is ‘good enough’ for someone who is emotionally unavailable. This is the quote I was referring to above: “You can be the most wonderful woman in the world. But you will never be good enough for someone who is unavailable, narcissistic, not ready.” I really do have to start writing down who says what so I can give credit where it’s due, and I really am not plagiarising, just reinforcing wisdom which has hit a nerve for me too. Actually, I think (helllooo memory, you’ve come back!) it may have been a conversation between Sparkle and Nigella (hello lovely ladies, I’m plagiarising your wisdom here, and it may be from years ago!). Anyway, that quote meant a lot (thanks girls) and I wanted to re-share it with Lucie, because you have to remember that you are good enough. I promise you that you are! It’s not you, it’s him. And it’s certainly his loss (as is it my EUM’s loss, too). We could be the best person to walk this earth, and it will never be good enough (that line was Yogurt’s – I remember that one).

      Anyway, I am rambling. I hope you are feeling better soon, Lucie.

      xoxo Nel

      • Lucie says:

        Hi Nel

        Thank you so much for your response, it’s so difficult. Depression is hard enough as it is without the added upset of an EUM messing with your thoughts and emotions. I wish there was a switch I could flip in my brain to stop me from thinking about him every day. And I appreciate your words about no one ever being good enough for an EUM- not me, not her, not anyone. I guess she’s just someone new to start his games from scratch with. One day at a time. Thanks again for your support x

        • LovefromNel says:

          Lucie, don’t worry too much that you’re thinking of him often. That’s normal, and it’s a normal part of grieving. Don’t beat yourself up over it, because you’re being too unkind to you, and you’ll end up feeling worse. Everytime a thought pops into your head (about him), say to yourself, ‘get out of there, you arseclown’ and then quickly do something else to refocus your attention, make a cup of tea, bake, read a chapter of a book, go for a quick walk. I know these can seem like a giant’s effort when we’re depressed, but they will help, and they will act as a temporary distraction. Best wishes Lucie xo.

  58. Stacey says:

    I am just posting this here as I am not sure where else to post. My ex EUM contacted me at midnight saturday night to let me know that he was no longer in a relationship and to see if I was ready to try to be friends. Just for some background info, we broke up in may of last year, but I only took one month off of hanging out with him after he kept on me about seeing a movie with him. I went. We started hanging out all the time, fell into friends iwth benefits and of course I still had hope he would change his mind about us and was lying to myself all summer. He then sprung it on me that he was talking to someone new nad this just made me flip out. I told him that I needed a break, I’ve never moved on etc. And I told him that if we were goign to try to get back to being friends like we were before we ever had feelings with each other that I needed at least six months. Its been 3. So he contacts me asking me if I am ready and then says I know that we stopped talking because you couldn’t handle me seeing someone else. Really? I am pissed off. You really think thats the only reason? I responded and told him I am not ready. But now I want to know why they broke up…I mean I knew it wouldn’t last because he is very emotionally unavialable but now I am curious. Anyway I just needed to vent. For the first time in 2.5 years, I am not his fallback girl.

    • amicrazy says:

      Stacey,

      Please stop trying to find a way to be “friends” with this man. He does not respect you or your feelings. You deserve much more than this whether from a friend or from a lover. Remember, curiosity killed the cat.

  59. Sanntay says:

    Stacey:
    Why do you want to be friends with someone who treats you this way? I don’t see how you can regain the friendship you had before feelings were involved. Once you sleep with someone, the relationship is changed forever. He will not meet your expectations, and there will be no long term commitment from him. He only wants you to be his friend so that he can get the “benefits”. Don’t let him use you this way. He will not change his mind about you. He sees you as a casual thing, nothing more. If you allow him to mistreat you, he will continue to do so. The best thing you can do for yourself is to MOVE ON. Cut all contact and block him from every means of contacting you. It doesn’t matter why he broke up with the other person. It has nothing to do with you. He has already shown you who he is – believe him, or you will suffer as a result of his boomerang behavior. Sorry if I sound harsh, but I have been there and it is not a good place to be. I would much rather be happy and alone than have someone in my life causing me stress and heartache. My heart is already being held together with duct tape and sutures, so until it heals completely, I will continue to maintain the iron gates around it.

    Value your worth. Keep your head up and press forward. IGNORE HIM. There is someone out there for you who will treat you with the love, care, and respect you deserve. Leave this guy alone. He means you no good.

  60. LovefromNel says:

    Dear Stacey,

    Here’s my two cents, because we have spoken of this EUM very recently when you encouraged me not to contact mine. You gave a bit of background to some of the things your EUM has said/done and I wanted to give him a whack over the head with a blunt object. I want to do so even more now.

    The nerve of him texting! WHACK.

    Please don’t fall back into his web. Why did he text on Saturday at midnight – that would be my question? Not 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon? I’d hazard a guess he’s a bit lonely, and although he’s only asked for friendship, I’d say he probably wants the added benefits as Sanntay says above (loved your advice, too, Sanntay). Combine this with the fact he’s just recently broken up with his girlfriend.

    How convenient. THWACK.

    Even from his text, it’s still quite a manipulative form of power play (ie – are YOU ready yet?). Surely if you were ready, you could contact him (if you wanted to, which I’m not sure you would).

    Don’t concern yourself too much with why they broke up. It probably is the simple fact that he’s just not available.

    You deserve more than his crummy friendship, Stacey. You deserve more than his midnight Saturday text. You deserve more than what he can offer (crumbs). There is someone out there, darling, who can offer you EXACTLY what you need.

    Because, as you said, you are not the fallback girl.

    Stay strong. I’d hazard a guess there’ll be more texts to come.

    Big big hugs!

    Nel
    xo

  61. LovefromNel says:

    Stace, I also forgot that it was you who referred to the EUM as a drug. Sitting on the couch, waiting for the text. And then, once received, the absolute bliss pulsing through your veins! In keeping with this analogy, don’t go back to this addiction, honey. Despite the sporadic good feelings, it’s not worth the come-downs! Even in friendship form, it’s just not worth your heart.

    • Stacey says:

      you both are right. Its just hard. Its frustrating. I know why he sent it that late on saturday – because he is very into routine and he was getting ready for bed. And thought oh, I should check in with Stacey. I have no idea when they broke up, I didn’t ask any questions. I know he’s not available…I just need to keep moving forward! Thanks for your words! And yes, he’s a drug…need to remember that!

      • Stacey says:

        I guess I’ve always thought that we would get back to the place we were 2 years ago when we first met. Nothing became serious until last year in november. I don’t even think I want to be with him anymore….it really is like a drug. grrr…

  62. Tabbycat says:

    Hello Ladies,

    I have been reading the posts now for a few weeks. Its great to have find an online support group so to speak LOL. Let me share my case so that I can bounce it off you guys. To make a long story short. I meet my ex almost two years ago. He was recently divorced. His ex left him for another man. He also cheated although he was not sure if she ever knew. He has cheated in almost all previous relationships. From what he told me he seems to exhibit signs of sexual addiction. I believe that it may stem from being sexualzed/raped beginning at the age of six by girls in group homes etc…Anyway we clicked and moved in WAY too soon together. Soon therafter he revealed he was feeling “empty” following his divorce. He also had mood swings (I think perhaps undiagnosed Bipolar). Against my better judgement we tried to continue the relationship. He refused to attend counseling at that time. Fast forward a year and I told him I couldn’t take it anymore. He eventaully moved out and we continued to see one another. I know I allowed myself to be demoted from girlfriend to bootycall lol. Soon he started saying he was trying to make friends with females online etc…I stupidly believed he was being honest. I woke up and smelled the coffee in November. I told him that was BS and I wanted more from a relationship. I left and had no contact. Two weeks later he starts calling. I broke contact for a week. I started again when he began to act an ass. There was no contact for a month until he showed up a my place three nights ago(he had been calling and texting). He had been in contact with my sister(who he knows I don’t talk to so he feels talking to her)he said missed me. That in his heart he knows that I am “THE ONE.” He showed up too talk Thursday. He says he feels he needs counseling. He was supposed to come back Thursday. I hung the phone up on him when seemed to be trying to ease into wanting to call/text again. I was open to seriously talking about his getting help. Of course with no promises that I can trust again. I told him I’m not feeling love or trust now. If he contacts again do you all think it would be ok to say that the only way to EVEN talk to me is go see a therapist. Or should he have to do it all on his own?

    • LovefromNel says:

      Hi Tabbycat,

      Welcome to Baggage Reclaim! I am also relatively new and read many articles and comments before having the courage to comment myself. It is such a blessing, being able to help others, and having support too when you need it. I feel like I’ve got a beautiful bunch of girlfriends (albeit online!) – sometimes better than ‘real-life’ friends to be honest! I guess it’s because we’re from around the world, but are quite like-minded, kind, generous people. Often people-pleasers, which is not necessarily a good thing.

      Anyhoo, back to you! I can relate to your story, because I think my ex was also undiagnosed bipolar too and I think that contributed to a lot of the problems. All I can say, honey, is that it is up to THEM to sort themselves out. We can’t control others, we can’t control their thoughts, their minds, their actions. But we can choose how we respond. And we can choose what boundaries WE set, and what you’re willing to accept. Staying on here will help with self-esteem, and learning not to settle for crumbs.

      So it would be my advice that you establish some boundaries for yourself and what you are willing to accept in terms of his behaviour. Let him PROVE to you that he can be ‘the one’ (and I use that term loosely, but it was what he said to you). Don’t give him an ultimatum that he needs to seek counselling. He can work that out for himself.

      So I would let his actions speak louder than his words. Let him SHOW you what he is. But judging from his past behaviour, I wouldn’t hold the candle too high.

      I would go No Contact now for a little while – to gather your strength and to work out what you want, too.

      I hope that has helped in some way.

      Hugs,
      Nel
      x

      • Tabbycat says:

        Lol Nel no he didn’t tell ME that I’m “the one.” He texted to my sister that I don’t have a relationship with. I suppose he feels he can confess his feelings to her but not me. Anyway thanks for the advice. What you say is just what I have determined to do. If we talk I will ask if he has made any decisions yet since he brought it up. I have started casually dating again. I won’t make the mistake of stopping no matter what at this time. I won’t be a fool and cut of all other options for a mate again. Nor will I be participating in hot/cold cycles :-)

        • LovefromNel says:

          My apologies, Tabbycat, I misread that bit! I hope my advice was not harsh at all. Good on you for beginning dating again. Just remember your boundaries, and watch out for red flags, and you can’t go wrong! Don’t be suprised if Mr Unavailable shows up though. Sometimes they can’t have us, but they don’t want anyone else to either. Best wishes.

          • Tabbycat says:

            Oh no you weren’t harsh at all. I just wanted to clarify that this is what he told my sister that I don’t have a relationship with instead of telling me. And he showed up already.

            Since he mentioned counseling since when he came around the last time he said he thought he may need to sit down and talk to someone-I figured put up or shut up. I asked was he willing to do so. He hemmed and hawwed and I rose put on my coat and said ok then I’m ready to go please take me home. I won’t be able to see you under these conditions. He asks so we can’t hang out as friends and grab lunch and dinner-with no sex. I said no I’m not willing to start having the same feelings all over again if your not willing to get it together. Why should I give you what you want when I’m not getting what I want. Since then one call to check one me during bad weather tonight. I was brief and got off the phone and begin calling my other prospects LOL.

  63. Tabbycat says:

    P.S. I left out some crazy details but will discuss them more in replies. Thanks in advance :-)

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!
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