Drip-feeding - when someone feeds you the truth in installments

When someone feeds us the truth about something one bit at a time, possibly because we keep catching them out, what they’re doing is drip-feeding information on a ‘need to know’ or more like, ‘I just got caught out’ basis. I’d say that they’re drip-feeding the truth, and in some instances that may be the case, but sometimes a person can end up drip-feeding more lies, and it ends up being like a lies version of the film Inception – a lie within another lie within another lie.

If you’re being drip-fed the truth, consider it a code red alert that something is seriously wrong and you most definitely shouldn’t proceed until you’re absolutely certain of the facts and the trust issue has been addressed and resolved. Obviously this can pose an issue because while people make mistakes and do lie (and regret it and seek to make amends), drip-feeding is just a continuation of a lie, only this time, you’re being led to believe that you’re both on a truth level when you’re not.  That person is unwilling to be upfront and is feeding you information on a need-to-know-basis and re-deceiving you time and again. It’s very difficult to feel comfortable in an atmosphere of lies and half-truths. It’s destabilising, especially when you keep taking each ‘installment’ at face value, only to discover that there’s more to come.

You start out believing that you’ve been told the truth. Let’s call it 100%. Then you receive a ‘drip’, possibly because you’ve caught them out in something. This automatically means that your 100% or whatever percentage of truth that you believed that you had at the start, was not that amount – it was less.

Now let’s imagine that on making this discovery and confronting them, they admit it but they tell you that they didn’t tell you because they didn’t want to hurt you or because they thought you’d be mad, or even because they didn’t think it was relevant.

At that point, you may be tempted to roll their arse out of here, but it’s very possible that depending on how healthy the relationship was before or how healthy your own self-esteem and self-trust is, that you’re willing to continue, albeit that things are strained for some time.

Now at that point, you might think that you’re back up to 100% or whatever you previously were but you might forget to consider what else they’re not telling you to ‘spare your feelings’, or what else they’re holding back out of fear of conflict (supposedly), or what else they’ve deemed as relevant.

For a start, telling you a lie, telling you that they’re now telling you the truth, and then having to revisit that lie, hurts far more than if they’d just been upfront. Being hurt, angry, sad, frustrated and a myriad of emotions, are all natural responses to discovering that you’ve been lied to. They may not realise that they’re trying to control your feelings and reactions by holding back.

If it’s about you being angry, aside from the fact that you have a right to go through that emotion (remember that anger and rage are two very different things), it’s a catch twenty-two situation because they will have this drip-feeding habit because they reason that it’s the best way to ‘manage’ people’s responses and their own culpability – passive aggression. When you do get angry, particularly as you’ve been deceived again, they’re simmering away and going, Ha, see, this is why I don’t tell the truth because look at how he/she reacts! In the meantime, you may unconsciously roll back your reactions in an effort to make it ‘safe’ for them to be truthful and so end up ignoring your ow n feelings including any misgivings about the situation.

If it’s on relevance, if what they withheld is relevant and even puts the original version of events in a different light, it begs the question of, How did they determine relevance?

Whatever you do, don’t ever blame you for the fact that somebody is lying to you. That’s on them. Own your own and let others own theirs and when you do this, you will not deceive you into being and doing things that assume that you have the power to influence and control other people’s feelings and behaviour. One of the things I’ve learned the hard way is that when a person wants to tell you the truth because it’s who they are, they’ll tell you the truth not keep drip, drip, dripping away. People can and do make mistakes but once you know a second or even third drip exists, do not proceed

When we ask someone to tell us the truth about something, unless we have existing reasons to distrust them, we take their answer as the truth; we place our faith in that person that we’re getting all of the truth and are no longer being deceived in any way. If we have misgivings, we might seek clarity on certain points, which is to be expected. It’s too much for a person who has lied to us, to expect us to automatically accept that what we’re now getting, is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In some instances though, a person may insist and in fact be adamant that they’re being truthful and possibly make such a kerfuffle about winning us over or moving past things, that we quickly accept that we are in possession of the truth, that is until at some point down the line when we are made aware that the truth is in fact a lie.

Whatever you’re getting in installments, whether it’s the truth or just lies upon lies, it’s just not conducive to a mutually respectful, loving, caring, trustworthy relationship, romantic or otherwise. It’s also bloody exhausting!

Being truthful with somebody isn’t something that we can just decide to take out an installment plan option and what a person forgets when they’re drip-feeding, is that it’s unfair and actually quite manipulative to hold a person by deception. Sure, sometimes the truth hurts and potentially leads to consequences but it doesn’t mean that we’re any less entitled to the truth plus, we can get on with recovering and moving forward when we have the truth, whereas the pain of lies and deception not only hurts deeply, often affecting our sense of self due to us often doubting ourselves and inadvertently crossing our own boundaries, but drip-feeding costs the person in question their integrity, something that they’d still have, if they ostepped up and did the mature thing and were upfront with the truth instead of trying to avoid or even outright escape natural consequences.

Remember, if you’re getting what you’re taking to be the truth in installments, that person’s also lying by installment and this means in the ‘Debit and Credit Trust System’, experience is actually teaching you that your trust account with this person is in the red and no further extensions should be granted.

Your thoughts?

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92 Responses to Drip-Feeding: When you get the truth (or lies) in installments

  1. JustHer says:

    Just reading this article has made me absolutely FURIOUS about the way it happened.

    When I first suspected the AC was cheating on me, he said he had just been for a coffee with those girls. Then, when I confronted him later, he said he had kissed ONE woman, while I was on holiday.

    A few weeks later, I find out that it was SEVERAL women and that it had been happening for longer than I was on holiday.

    I thought that was the limit of everything and starting to process what he had told me, trying to forgive him and save our relationship. But then, lo and behold, I discover that it was many, many women, and it had been happening since a few weeks before we officially got into a relationship, while we were in the dating stage and it had continued since.

    Every single time I was given a little something to process, and just when I thought I had started recovering, I was thrown back into the storm.

    It’s no wonder it took me such a long time to finally put an end to it, and even now I think there are many things I never found out before I initiated NC.

    WHAT a jerk. I am so so angry about what some people think they can get away with.

    But. In the end, I remember: his loss, my gain.

    • yoshizzle says:

      they don’t THINK they can get away with it.
      They DO. Just doesn’t have to be with YOU.

      • JustHer says:

        yoshizzle,

        Too right. Hope he has a great time fooling some the other woman who knew about me and kept at it.

        She’s the idiot now. I’ve been there, hurt and never again!

    • oregongirl says:

      And don’t be surprised to find out that he was doing a heck of a lot more than just kissing them. Good for you for breaking it off!

      • JustHer says:

        oregongirl,

        I think you’ve been following me! That’s exactly what happened. Later found out that they had stayed over at his place when he was apparently spending the night with ‘family’ and couldn’t see me.

        He slept with most of them!

    • Karen says:

      Drip feeding will drive a person insane. I didn’t know what to do when I encountered it with my ratty ex.
      Trouble is, we normal, honest and trustworthy people never suspect someone we love could possibly be a chronic liar. We don’t even have antenni to routinely spot those closest to us lying their asses off.
      And the one-two punch is, these passive aggressives will get caught in a lie, and when confronted they will say they feared your angry reaction.
      They talk you into thinking you have “an explosive temper” because you confront lies, broken promises and their overt flirting with others.
      I tried to explain to my ex that anger was as healthy an emotion as any, as long as it doesn’t get violent, too disruptive, makes scenes, etc.
      Because she was taught not to display anger as a child, her go-to move was to hide her anger and get even later.
      Last time I confronted her, she wrote and said, “she was getting off the crazy train.” I nearly died laughing.
      Her life has become such a mess and a tangle of lies she can’t keep any of it straight, she’s she’s sick all the time, she’s married to a woman she can’t stand, has to answer the phone everytime because she’s paranoid that one of her secret online lovers will tell the wife, always stressed,can’t sleep due to nightmares, etc.
      etc.
      Funny thing, when she got off the crazy train, my life immediately got calmer and returned to serenity and happiness.
      People with good boundaries and self esteem don’t atract these lunatics. Once I got rid of her, I started reading all about self esteem and started getting some. Self esteem and self love is like insect repellant to these pests.
      She hasn’t bothered me since the train ran her over. ;)
      Here’s a link to an article about passive aggressiveness. It may answer all your questions. It did for me.

      http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/Pass_Agg.htm

  2. Jen says:

    Not quite sure if this was dripfeeding but I think I was dripfed about how my ex felt about my son and about how his kids felt about my son when we were together. I would think things were fine, then I’d find out about an incident where something had happened weeks before. It was usually something that was said to his quite sensitive daughter that could have been dealt with and forgotten about at the time but it was allowed to fester for them and by the time I found out about it, it was a big deal – to them.

    This sort of behaviour had me on tenterhooks a lot of the time about my son’s behaviour.

    Then when we would have a ‘discussion’ about our relationship I said that I knew he was holding stuff back from me and he’d say that he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Towards the end I’d heard it all before so I didn’t bother asking what he didn’t want to hurt my feelings about as I knew it would be the same-old about my son.

    • yoshizzle says:

      Did u live with him? Probably best to date/have a relationship for a few years , giving the family dynamic with the kids time to play itself out, before moving in. One thing I will never do is move someone in, considering my apparant attraction to EUM/AC/NARCs. My kid is autistic so there’s a special need to protect. Never move in with them! Give ‘em years to show you who they are if kids are involved. Sorry for your pain.

      • Jen says:

        No, luckily we didn’t live together. I knew it would have been a nightmare which was another indicator of state of our relationship probably.

  3. yoshizzle says:

    Weird timing i just posted the parts 1,2,and 3 of your original DRIPFEEDING articles on my facebook but this sums it up even better.
    Just came out of 4 months of a drip feed that i knew was happening but kept believing the latest installment due to this particular dude being a different character type, caught me by surprise.
    Stings but at least articles like this exist to let me know i’m not INSANE.
    Thanks Nat. Been a follower for years now. You’ve helped me tremendously. Learning a lot.

  4. Heather says:

    To be clear, I’m on the side of the listener 99% of the time, but to add insight… I eventually walked away from a friendship in which I found myself dripfeeding because I couldn’t figured out a mature or effective way to quit walking on eggshells. Minor slip ups were met with an uncontrollable rage that seemed to come out of nowhere and felt so disproportionate- I’m referring to things like the laundry taking longer than I thought it would or saying something that offended without being told what or breaking something by accident but he would never believe it was an accident… The only way I knew to stop the rage was to confess to anything, eventually leaving a mutual understanding in which it was taken for granted that I was a horrible person. Of course it wasn’t like this all the time, but it was always around the corner, and eventually the fear sort of gets to you and you no longer feel safe being your authentic self, and soon you’re omitting all over the place and, well, lying. You find yourself shutting down your own emotions because there just isn’t room for them, pretending you’re never bothered, ignoring boundaries that would be obvious in any other context, and giving advice where you’re terrified to mention that your friend’s behavior could have contributed to the outcome because the volatility is just too much, and it’s not in your head, you will become the bad guy… You hate that he’s in pain, you don’t want him to suffer, and you wonder if you’re actually helping or prolonging unhealthy patterns, his and yours, and somewhere along the line you find yourself incredibly depressed after every conversation… Dripfeeding isn’t fun. It’s not a manner in which anyone would actually want to interact given a choice or given a healthier set of tools. If I could go back in time, I would have been far more assertive and maybe things would be different. Or shorter lived. I honestly don’t know, but either is better than being the a–hole.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Heather,

      That man is just plain SICK. You can’t make sense out of nonsense, and you certainly cannot make a mental case act sane. You were in a lose, lose situation. His rage behavior was causing you to seriously modify your own for fear of repercussions. Evaluate a man carefully next time before you get in too deep.

      • EllyB says:

        @Heather: Have you googled narcissistic personality disorder and/or psychopathy? I totally agree with Tinkerbell, this man sounds sick. And the worst thing about people with such personality disorders is that they make us believe that there is something wrong with US. This is a lie though.

        There is NOTHING wrong with you! You have reacted the way you did because he manipulated you (narcissists/psychopaths are very good at that).

        I hope you have gone “no contact” with that horrible person. Take care.

    • Phoenix says:

      So well said Heather ! As I was reading your comment I felt like you had somehow read my mind. I sat here literally with my mouth hanging open as to how accurately you described my life / feelings with ex AC. Scary how many of these people are out there to mess with our emotions & self worth.

  5. visualgirl says:

    So true

  6. Rewind says:

    Mine tells me that he only tells me things that he thinks I should know so I don’t get hurt. In other words, he isn’t really telling lies… But I do catch him in lies all the time. I have learned to just turn the other cheek. He hurts women all the time, and as nice as I am to him, I m the one he hurts the most. I’ll get there eventually…to the point where I just don’t care anymore. It’s humiliating to be made a fool of…but it’s my behavior that needs to change and start making him accountable for the games he plays. Wish it was easy.

    • Lorraine says:

      Rewind,
      The exEUM did the same thing to me. To avoid having to lie, he would only tell me what I absolutely needed to know. If I confronted him about something, he would shut down and disappear and that would “manage” me to just stop asking him about touchy subjects.

      In fact, the last interaction we had, I asked about his “current gf” and he wouldn’t give me any answers and haven’t heard from him since. But it’s all good. I don’t care anymore and it sounds like you’re almost there too.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Lorraine,

        That was classic behavior of the MM I had the misfortune and lack of good judgement to get involved with. You know what’s going on because you’re not stupid. But you put up with it because you want to stay in the relationshiT. I had him figured out early on which is why NC was not difficult for me. It was once and final. When a man behaves like that (lies and dripfeeding) you can only interpret one thing. They don’t mean you any good.

    • JustHer says:

      Rewind,

      This is straight out of the ‘Guidebook for Arseholes’. Got the same line too.

      The humiliation is nothing compared to the pain of realising that I didn’t walk away the second I started to suspect something was wrong, before we even officially got into a relationship.

      You don’t need to make HIM accountable. Make YOURSELF accountable for no longer putting up with his crap. You do not deserve to be lied to – there’s no good reason.

    • Lilia says:

      Rewind
      I think not telling the whole truth and withholding info is lying too. I´ve been in that situation as well, it´s extremely damaging to your self esteem and you end up doubting yourself. Please take care of yourself and get out asap!

  7. Tinkerbell says:

    IMO, dripfeeding is deliberate and intentional. It seeks to confuse the receiver and puts him/her in the untenable position of having to dig out the truth. It’s highly disrespectful and mean-spirited and it’s not an accident. This person does not give you any credit for having any memory recall, much less intelligence. When you catch this maneuver the FIRST TIME, you should consider that they’ve worn out their welcome and you bounce. Second chances lead to more of the same because that is who they are.

    • Nigella says:

      Tinkerbell and JustHer,

      Thanks for your brilliantly worded responses. I’ll draw on your wisdom each time I intuit someone might be pulling wool over my eyes in the name of “sparing my feelings” or “avoiding conflict”.

      Drip-feeding is nothing but a self-serving exercise in misleading someone else. Like you said, no matter how much it disappoints or hurts in the short run, it is best to bid farewell to drip-feeders instead of betting on potential & praying for them to shed their habit of lying by omission or distortion of facts.

      My takeaway from your comments is this: I can’t always catch a lie or convince someone to tell me the complete truth, but once I realize that I have been drip-fed or misled then I can choose to walk away from the drip-feeder. By doing so, I am taking responsibility for my own well-being and looking out for my best interests – for I am certainly not interested in sharing my life with a drip-feeder.

      For now I am learning how to see past the mask of honesty and maturity that experienced drip-feeders can easily don.

  8. Nat Attack says:

    Tinkerbell,
    I really enjoyed your post!

    I wonder if it matters whether someone is drip-feeding me lies, the truth, or half-truths. My gut tells me that there isn’t much of a difference, that what matters is the passive-aggressive behavior they exert over me. I suppose feeling the need to judge whether their words are truth or lies is a symptom of a much larger problem. Perhaps instead of wondering about the validity of their “drips” we can take the power back by calling it all B.S.
    And perhaps it isn’t necessary to know everything, to understand everything once and for all, other than the fact that it is time to move on…

  9. mel says:

    I have just realised I have been drip fed for years in an OW relationship. Have found your website so helpful in the last few weeks and have set boundaries and a deadline for action and intend (I hope) to stick to it and move on. Thank YOU !!!

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Mel,

      The one time that really stands out where I was drip fed was with an MM. He drip fed because all the BS was so distasteful that he knew I would not stick around if it gave it all to me in one fell swoop.

      Nat Attack,

      Initially, when you’re enthralled with them it matters to you to know the TRUTH. But when you get wise to the dripfeeding pattern, it no longer matters because you no longer care. Also, the symptoms of a much larger problem are theirs, not yours. You have the right to expect honesty and respect.

  10. Finally Free says:

    Ah, the good ol’ dripfeed technique! Over the years I’ve heard things along the line of “I can’t see you tonight, my dad’s asked to see a movie so we’re going to the cinema to see , to finding a ticket stub for a different movie that day, to be told “the times weren’t good, so we saw something else”, to asking his dad if he’d enjoyed the film when I saw him that weekend, to being told “oh, dad couldn’t make it so I took a friend…” You can see where this is going. This is the same guy who booked us tickets to see my favourite band and then told me the gig had been cancelled. Shame he had a thing about keeping ticket stubs. When I waved the ticket he’d kept from the gig at him he told me that being with me was making him neglect his friends (he saw me for a couple of hours a week!) so he’d taken his best mate instead. When I asked his friend about enjoying the gig, this time my ex’d had the foresight to ‘warn’ him. Unfortunately his friend was a terrible liar, and to add insult to injury my ex couldn’t hide his smugness over his supposed ‘triumph’ at subterfuge. This guy could’ve made an Olympic sport of deception during our 3 year relationship. No wonder I had a nervous breakdown over the whole thing. I recognised the same behaviour with my latest (and last!) EUM when he had a habit of disappearing because he had no phone reception. Without fail a new female friend or two would pop up on his social media accounts over the next couple of days, and on a couple of occasions it transpired – eventually, over a number of discussions – that while he’d told me he’d simply met these girls on work nights out and had innocently chatted with them, he’d actually ended up going home with them for sex. Ugh, I feel sick just thinking about this loser. The worst thing about it is when they blame you for their appalling behaviour. Apparently I was “too nice” and “too strong” for him, and he had a problem with me expecting him to behave like the decent guy who cared about me that he kept telling me he was. Hell yeah I was too nice and too strong! I can only hope he ends up with someone as mean-spirited and weak as he is.

  11. Chutzpelady says:

    I was dripfed over two years – no wonder he ruined everything. Thanks Natalie for this great post.

  12. DeflatedLady says:

    Hi All
    This drip feeding sounds a bit like my life at the moment! Although to be honest, so do a lot of the posts on this site. I’d like to share my situation, as Im looking for advice. Before I start, I just want to say I think everyone on this site is amazing. Ive been reading these posts daily for around a month now and everyone from Nat to the readers/posters all seem to have had horrid experiences with these EUMs, but, here we are trying to help each other. This site is a god send!

    So, My EUM/AC … been together 4 years and live together. It was all the usual stuff when we met – he was loving, attentive, would literally do anything for me, im the best person he’s ever met etc. Although I felt wonderful and fell for him fast, Something always felt ‘off’ but I couldnt quite put my finger on it. In the early days when he got angry, which was a lot of the time, he would punch walls, break things, yell and call me names etc. but I never reacted. Slowly, over time as my self esteem lowered I would eventually yell back, get angry too and suddenly it would all be my fault because ‘I’m the one who’s yelling’

    fast forward 18 months and I find out the whole time we have been together he was calling & texting his ex every day, telling her he loved her, wanted her back etc (meanwhile we were living together, and he was saying the same thing to me and actually he bought a house for US!)I confronted him (having emailed her a few times, which, she was actually a nice person contrary to the ‘bitch’ he had portrayed her to be) and long story short he says it is me he’s always wanted and that he was just saying those things to her because she ‘knew too much about him’ and didnt want her ‘mouthing off’ and making him look bad! From there, eveything started to make sense for me as he would constantly accuse me of cheating on him, talking to other guys, was scared I was going to leave him etc which i just couldnt understand as I put all my time and energy and effort into him to SHOW him he was the only one for me. But he was obviously doing these things himself and projecting onto me. I should also add it was later revealed he had cheated on the ex multiple times with several women who he STILL works with.

    Anyway, he apologised profusely, saying im his soulmate bla bla and we moved in to this new bought house and he cut contact with her (im 100% sure of this). Over the next few months things went very very sour. He is a moody person in general but, his mood swings got really bad. Whenever we argued (usually because I tried to talk about our relationship) he would get very verbal and call me names, accuse me of crazy stuff and tell me that he wished he never met me, that Ive ruined his life and all that jazz. He has also sometimes (but not always) make a gesture as if he was going to hit me or go for me (he never has) and I would flinch then the argument would be over. Later, he would apologise and say he only said those things out of anger.

    Im naturally a bubbly person and like to try and ‘fix’ things in the quest of those good moments to come back (we have had some nice times)and upon seeing him (coming home from work etc) I would say ‘hey!’ and go to give him a kiss. He would literally turn his whole body away from me and stand rigid. It was like I was hugging a breeze block. Things in the bedroom seriously diminished and every time I made a move I would be rejected. It would only happen if HE wanted it. I once went to kiss him and he said no because he was ‘trying to wath the tv’.

    Socially, he never wants to go out or do anything. he works a lot (as do I), we both have 2 jobs, but I always try and make an effort. I try to have a date night but its always met with rolling eyes, or annoyance, or telling me he’s tired, ill whatever. Then, when I persist, Im told, ‘you only want to go out cause you love a good drink’. To clarify, yes I like a glass of wine or 2, but not every day and not to get absolutely plastered! I have said – no, dinner would be great, as would cinema and stuff, not just the pub, but Im lucky if we’re actually out together once every 2 or 3 months.

    Eventually, I got tired and left him and maintained NC for a few months. I blocked everything, numbers, emails etc and eventually he found a way to reach me and pleaded with me for 3 months to meet him. One day I gave in and agreed and we arranged the next day at 12pm after he finished work at 11am. The next day came and I got a text saying he couldn’t meet as he needed to get a headlight fixed on his car, its dangerous to drive without it etc. Well, what can I say. I just KNEW he was lying. So, in some weird validation seeking moment, I went to his house at 11.10 (it takes him 10 mins to get home)and sure enough there was his car outside the house. I knocked the door and he went balistic. ‘what are you doing here???’ I said – ‘thought you were getting headlight?’ He said he went to the specialist car shop and they didnt have the part so he has ordered it and ‘go and ask them if you dont believe me you f*cking idiot’… so I did. Went to the specialist car shop and the man confirmed nobody had been in at all to order enything. So i called him and told him this , he STILL continued saying ‘I was there, I was there’…. i told him to eff off and went back to NC. Why lie? he clearly didnt want to see me THAT bad even though his pursuing of me had been constant for months!!! A case of wanting what he cant have? Maybe? (in later weeks he changed the story to – he was sitting outside the car shop, and that he thought the owner would have noticed him and therefore confirmed he was actually there. WTF??)

    So, the final bit (sorry I am going on – just want to give the clearer pictuer) I had a wobble over the xmas and new year period (whats wrong with me? why does nobody else want me? maybe AC/EUM isnt bad after all)and… as of 1st Jan this year I have been back at the house. I am bending over backwards and its getting flung in my face. I clean , tidy, make sure dinner is bought and cooked. Im bubbly, giving him support and encouragement etc and…. Its as if we have never parted. He still doesnt want to make an effort, doesnt want to do anything, rejects my advances and still blows up in my face every time I try and talk about us, which he point blank tells me he has no interest and that I should just ‘get on with it’. Every time I get strong enough to leave he’ll happen to come home with flowers, or he’ll coincidentally be in one of his great moods whenever Im about to edge out the door which makes it impossible. help! :(

    • Sandy says:

      Deflated Lady,

      Were we all dating the same guy??!!!! Read back what you just wrote to yourself and then ask yourself a question…are you happy? You are putting way more effort into a crap arse relationship that you really don’t deserve, I think you know the advice that you will receive…leave, go no contact, so what if he brings flowers or has one of his “great moods” you know in your gut that it won’t last!!
      Life is way too short to live like this.

    • oregongirl says:

      Deflated Lady:
      It sounds like you answered this personal ad: I am a very immature man. I have anger problems. I need all of your attention when I can get it. But please don’t ask me to think about you or care about you. I don’t like to know how you feel. I don’t like to show you common decency and respect. Please show up at my house and cook and clean for me every day, and maybe every 2 or 3 months I will buy you dinner. Women with self respect, courage, and loving hearts need not apply!!!

      • DeflatedLady says:

        Sandy
        Im sorry to read you have dated someone like this too! You ask a good question regarding happiness. Sometimes I think I am because (hear me out!) .. he works with children and when I see him with them he’s like a different person. The kids and parents all love him and think he’s great (Oh, youre SO lucky to have him girl!) and I sometimes think – thats why I am with him! But then, when it’s just me and him and he behaves how I described in my original post, it makes me utterly miserable. Where’s the man I saw 2 hours ago teaching the kids and happy, smiley, nice to everyone? Why am I left ASKING for attention/affection (not in a needy way) Why wont he come near me even though he constantly texts/emails other girls behind my back so I know that he does have an interest in the oppostie sex! (I read an article that said sometimes men just aren’t THAT bothered about sex and one should just ‘get over it’ and ‘wait til he’s ready’) Sorry but once every 3 months, as a quick fumble doesnt float my boat…. anyway I digress
        Oregongirl
        LOL to the personal ad! Im actually giggling away here… I guess my next question is this. How do I do it? Should I just go and not even bother telling him why? Do I try and state my reasons? I feel a bit pathetic even writing this stuff, but sometimes I think you just need to hear it from other people to know you are not crazy! Thanks to you both btw for replying to me it has lifted my spirit today :) x

        • Sandy says:

          DeflatedLady,

          Ha yes I was in a relationship with exactly the same sort of man…it’s entirely up to you, do you want to tell him you are going and state your reasons in the hope that he will finally see sense? Because he won’t you know and deep down you know this. He gets to treat you like this because he knows that you take it, would a parent of one of his children take it if they saw him acting like this, you bet your arse they wouldn’t. My AC used to act totally different towards me in front of friends and family but once we left it was back to same old same old.
          After five years with him I was like you but I finally found the strength to actually stick to my word, went no contact, ended up changing my phone numbers because of him but while I admit to one slip up this year during to him actually ringing work I am getting there…I deserve more and I finally realise that and so DO YOU!!!
          Going no contact actually works and gives you the time to heal and get your strength back, it’s bloody hard but I would recommend it to anybody now.
          Good luck and my thoughts are with you.

        • Nigella says:

          Deflated Lady,

          This fellow is deflating your sense of self-worth by withholding his affection & downplaying his poor treatment of you. I understand your need to find reasons for his distant – reluctant to care for you – behavior. Honestly, at the end of the day, the reasons do not matter: your happiness matters. Be honest with yourself about how this fellow makes you feel – rejected? Undervalued? Ignored? Hurt? Confused? If yes, then the most important question to ask is “why are you tolerating this inept fool, accepting his crumbs, dining off illusions?”

          Your comment reminded of the things that temporarily kept me hooked to thoughts of Mr. Liar. Like your good-with-kids-&-parents fellow, Mr. Liar has cultivated an envy-arousing reputation among his friends and colleagues, according to whom he is “brilliant, thoughtful, responsible, caring, and so on”. Ultimately, I had to realize that others’ perceptions of him need not overwrite my own perception of him based on how he treated me. It should make no difference how amazing this man is with kids and parents – your focus should be on his treatment of you. If you continue to jump hoops for him or beg for his attention – and then berate yourself for stooping to these self-lowering tactics – then it is most likely going to take you longer to recover from this unfulfilling relationship. Trust me, no one can use you or bring you down without your permission.

          Because of what you are hearing others say about his professional persona, you seem to be needlessly putting him on a pedestal and at the same time seeing yourself as inferior to him. The point is not that “you’re lucky to have him” – this is such an insulting statement since it implies that you did not really deserve him.

          Get him as well as his circle of admirers out of your head. The admirers have limited experience with him and should not be telling you how lucky he is to have you. You deserve better. Instead of basking in the glory of a man or living in the shadows of a successful, popular man, perhaps you can focus on your strengths. The less time you expend on people like him, the more time you have to bring out the best in you and to attract more loving people into your life. Keep well.

          • DeflatedLady says:

            Nigella

            Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. I have been reading over and over what you (and sandy, oregongirl) wrote because it helps me to feel that I am not going crazy and that there are people out there who have done this and gone through it.

            From reading your other comments on other posts I am gathering a general idea of your Mr Liar too. What an AC. You make a good point of them treating us different in fron of other people, almost as if to ‘prove’ that whatever negative thing we have to say about them, the outside world is more likely not to believe us because they have ‘been around us as a couple, that one time, for 10 minutes at the supermarket’ and Mr EU & MR Liar were of course, on great behaviour. So its all in HER head shes obviously crazy.

            I keep playing this all around in my head. Why am I settling for this? I honestly dont know. I dont feel that great about myself. My second job as a singer in a local jazz club 2 nights a week is starting to be affected too. He never supports this or has been to see/hear me sing because he ‘cant stand seeing other guys talking to me/looking at me’ and also says that because of what I do I think Im gods gift, but Im nothing. This is just part of a long long list of things he’s said. Maybe because Im starting to believe the negative things he tells me about myself. Just yesterday, I asked him if he was happy with us being back together, (since Jan 1st this year) how did he feel it was going etc. He got annoyed/angry for the first 10 minutes of the conversation but I persisted.Feeling brave, I said to him he didnt treat me well which he very quickly snapped back, ‘well, what do YOU do for ME?’

            Suddenly i felt myself getting defensive annoyed and pointed out all the recent things I had done to which he responded ‘so, you do some household chores and you expect me to kiss your ass?’ I felt hurt because I spent a few hours gutting the house for him to feel relaxed as I knew he’d had a busy day that day, but he didnt appreciate it at all. He then berated me for only having his dinner ready for him 50% of the time and that, in reality, why cant I have it ready most nights, as I am the one who is home first. (He usually comes home between 8 & 9pm on weekdays) whereas I am home around 5.30pm the difference is, I start work at 8am – he doesnt go and teach until around 4pm but his argument is that, technically, I am home first so I should be organising it. He also implies Im lazy because every time he comes home im ‘just sitting there’ . What does he want me to do?!

            He says I make him feel uncomfortable in his own home because, wait for it, ‘I just want to come home from my work and just be able to NOT SPEAK to you for at least 20 mins so I can relax. You expect me to talk to you and even show you affection! Thats so much pressure on me. I cant just watch the tv but YOU want attention’ (all he does is watch tv and sometimes I’ll go for a cudddle or a kiss to which im basically told ‘no’.)

            I want to feel better about this. Its harder to go NC this time around because only a few weeks ago I was telling myself it was a bad idea but thought he’d changed, and he hasnt. so Im to blame AGAIN.

            Every time I think im ready to go, its almost like he senses it. A couple days ago out of nowehere he actually said ‘sorry for being moody lately’ and went on to tell me he’s feeling low/depressed because he’s a bit stressed at work and he is not happy with his body (he used to go to the gym every day) but he’s not been to the gym in ages and its affecting him….. so sometimes I think he’s just a lost soul and needs the love of a good woman .

            :( :(

            • Nigella says:

              DeflatedLady,

              I am shocked to read of the BS you are tolerating. For your own sake, please wake up and take responsibility for your own happiness and health. From the examples you give, there is no doubt that this man is neither going to change nor going to leave you alone.

              So please take charge of your life. It is better to deal with the short-term pain of letting go of him instead of enduring long-term abuse and rejection. The sooner you stop buying his excuses and justifications for being “moody” with you, the sooner you will set yourself free from the cycle of disappointment and disrespect.

              It is all up to you. No one can continue to devalue and disrespect you without your consent. Instead of appreciating what you do for him, he is making you feel not good enough. Kindly do not absorb his BS or allow him to blame you for his bad behavior.

              Ultimately the choice is yours: care for yourself and move on or continue to give chances to someone who does not appreciate you. Do not be complicit in your own denigration. You need not tell him that he does not respect or appreciate you – simply go NC and never look back.

              Do not be your own worst enemy by betting on potential and hoping that he will realize your worth and reciprocate the care and desire you show him. Life is short: follow your talent – excel in things for which you can get appreciation and monetary rewards. How amazing it is that you are a Jazz singer. May you bring out the best in you rather than waste time on him.

              • Sandy says:

                Come on DeFlated Lady, you are on here for a reason, because you know that the relationship shouldn’t be the way you are describing it!!!! Nigella is so right but I will put it in terms that are not so eloquent, kick his bloody arse to the kerb and get the life you deserve, one full of happiness with no anxiety, no depression, no put downs. Life is waaaaaaayyyyyyyy to short to put up with his crap.

                • Tinkerbell says:

                  Deflated Lady,

                  I’m coming in at the end of this saga. But I have to ask you something. What is it in your life that has caused you to despise yourself so much? The way you described yourself about being a “bubbly person” does not match the mental abuse you are tolerating from this jackass. You need professional counseling. I say this because not only are you putting up with unspeakable treatment, but YOU LEFT for 3 months, maintained NC (really?) AND THEN WENT BACK! WTF? He is never going to treat you any better because you’ve convinced him that you prefer to be with him instead of striking out on your own. He will never respect a woman who is a spineless doormat. I wish so much for you to get into therapy and work on YOU. You need to learn to love yourself, before you can deal with this individual who has turned your brain to mush. You’re not thinking clearly anymore which is why you believe you are helpless to remain in this situation. This is a tragedy!
                  Look, Deflated, not too many years ago I didn’t hold myself in esteem at all, but NEVER, would I EVER have put up with such abuse. My first husband was a highly abusive person, mentally and physically. Even though my mind and my heart were severely damaged I left his abusive ass even with our 18month daughter in tow. I was only 23 and had married him at 21. NOBODY, I mean NOBODY deserves what you’re lapping up like a dog without a home. Even if you are a pain-in the-
                  ass to live with, which, you apparently seem to agree with him to a certain extent, you don’t deserve abuse. You are so lucky there are no kids involved. LEAVE, LEAVE, LEAVE, FIRST. But you have to PLAN this out very carefully so that you don’t make any false moves. Don’t tell him anything, JUST GO! Have your therapist lined up ahead of time so that you can start your much needed sessions. You need the help to begin the journey to self love. This takes time and you cannot do it while you’re living with him. Forget past niceties he may have shown you once upon a time. You are living in hell. Get OUT!!!

                  • DeflatedLady says:

                    @ Nigella
                    Thank you, again, for your kind and wise words. It is especially amazing of you as, reading newer posts & comments on BR, I see you are feeling pretty rubbish about Mr Liar. I also see that you are taking positive action to focus on your career and I think that’s wonderful. I’m glad you have found the strength to begin to put your plan in place. Its great that we all have this site and all have each other to pep us up and encourage us. Hugs x

                    @ Sandy
                    I like your non eloquent terms! You are correct in that I *know* a relationship shouldnt be this way. I guess I’m just low on esteem and insecure that I need to actually hear it/read it from someone else. I also blame myself alot and thats why I always end up thinking I should just give it ‘one last chance’ . I know that this is my issue. Thanks again for the pick-me-up, all you ladies are wonderful. hugs x

                    @ Tinkerbell
                    Hello, and thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I am sorry to learn you had an abusive relationship with your first husband. It must’ve been even more difficult to endure with a young child involved, I could not imagine that. Well done for having the strength to leave him! You are right that I dont have any children in my situatuon so in a way, I am lucky. Ironically, Mr EU tells me often he wants children and sometimes I wonder if this would change him and his temprament, calm him down etc but, probably not.

                    I wouldnt say I despise myself, but I do agree my self esteem isnt up to much. There is definitely work needed to be done on myself! I am not a bad person, I work, contribute and I am the only one who tidies, cleans, suggests things to do/vacations (always met with him not wanting to) so if those things make me difficult to live with then I must be awful!
                    You are correct in that my brain is mush. I just cant help but feel maybe if I hadnt gotten mad at him for ignoring me for the 4th day in a row, or asked him how he felt about us maybe he wouldn’t have got annoyed and then it would be different. So I also see myself as part of the blame. I have been reading Nats posts on ‘guilt/blame’ and the comments and so this is helping me gain some understanding on that.

                    I just feel helpless. Like maybe it isn’t that bad and perhaps I’m making it worse than it is. maybe he is right to not want to talk and i’ve turned into one of those whiney girlfriends. Or maybe its just I’ve normalised his behaviour so I don’t bloody know whats right and wrong anymore.

                    I am going to sign up for Nat’s 8 week self esteem course and, Ladies, today is day 1 of NC. I know in a couple of days i’ll prob be a wreck and i’ll be stuck to this site like a magnet seeking confirmation/approval/validation but hopefully I will gain strength along the way.

                    Again, thanks for all of your replies. One day at a time x

                    • DeflatedLady says:

                      Me again… I am now 1.5 days NC,would have been 2 days but i had a blip.. see my reasons!

                      I’ve often asked him can we go for a few drinks? or dinner and drinks? nothing crazy as I have an 8am start etc… he ANGRILY states that he doesn’t like to go out to bars or clubs because he ‘works too hard, comes home too late to be thinking about going out again ESPECIALLY on a week night etc’. for clarity, his part time job is a doorman in a nightclub so , its not as if he hates/dislikes the nightlife etc… its his part time job 3 nights a week.

                      ANYWAY… so he doesn’t want/like to go out with me then just last night I ask him (again) do you want me or not? do u want this relationship or not? I am told… ‘I want you BUT I don’t want the BS of you giving me a hard time, I don’t want to feel bad in my home and that’s all you do’ …. (my above post explains what i do that is interpreted, by him, as a hard time) I say, look, I love you , I want it to work I’ll come over we can sort this and im told. I DONT KNOW if YOU are what I want, but come over if you want to but, IM going on a night out… all the things he says he hates – drinking, going out on a week night and hes goin with the people from the club he works. In amongst that crowd is a 19 year old (hes 29) who he has been trying to seduce (I just found out today) !!!! so that explains it. its not that he has a dislike for socialising, he just doesn’t want to do it with ME

                      I am seriously on a downward spiral. i cant take this anymore

  13. Shay says:

    Oh this is happening with my mother and she thinks she’s smart about it too. Basically instead of saying outright that this is that and I want this, she drip feeds the truth over several days and really I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her. She drip feeds lies and truths to everyone. Luckily for me, I’m cutting her off and I’m meaning it cause 27 years of abuse, constantly left to fend for myself and her narcissistic behaviour is not something I wish to drag with me any more. Getting healthy, staying healthy and keeping myself sane is a must.

  14. Princess says:

    Yep. I was drip fed and even to the very last minute he still kept trying to drip feed me. Never admiring to cheating but still acting like nothing is wrong and wanted me to stay. Before I went NC seven weeks ago he was acting like the victim because I broke up with him! Well excuse me you have someone else. Three is a crowd. I think there may have been more. One of Nats article I read made me have the guts to go NC. Basically the article said if I continued to talk to him even casually, I was sending him the message that I am ok with the way he acted. So that was it. I told him to leave me alone and went NC. Hardest thing I have ever done. It was a five year relationship and this was the first time I caught him cheating. If he had come clean maybe we could have attempted to work something out. But he was not interested in telling me the truth. It hurt b

  15. Sparkle says:

    When I found out the exAssclown was cheating, his response was “oh, I haven’t really felt secure with our relationship for a while”. Oh really? Well, that’s because he wasn’t present for a rship and very much EU. Lying and manipulating our status just to get what he wanted from me. And it was far easier to shift the blame towards me than address any concerns responsibly and respectfully. I can’t believe I stayed with him another 4 months. AARGH, turns out he was dating, sleeping with lots of girls during our 10 months together. Now that I’ve been NC for 8 months, I can reflect on all the Red Flags. I was in love, naïve and weak boundaries. But, that’s OK. The silver lining is I learned some powerful lessons and will never allow anyone to treat me like that again!

    • Wendy says:

      Hi Sparkle…

      I’ve dated guys that were cheaters and got rid of them FAST, but my last EUM…He was good…I use to think he was seeing other women because of him never checking his email/phone calls in front of me and the fact he dragged his feet about becoming exclusive…I don’t believe he ever physically cheated on me, but I just have this gut feeling he was emotionally cheating on me. Like, he would chat women up in the grocery store or gym or at work and just not tell me…I also realize he couldn’t commit to any other woman because he was committed to his mother…Yes, he is a mommy’s boy…I had NEVER dated one of those before and let me tell you, WOW! Dealing with other women is one thing, but dealing with a momma’s boy…Watch what you say, because everything I said I had to be very careful in fear I would make him “resent” something I said…And he said I’m dramatic? Wow…the man was clueless…The thing that makes me chuckle is he really believes it was me that was the dramatic one…

      I was the same as you though…I was in love, naïve and had weak boundaries. And all those red flags…whew

      Rock on with the 8 months NC! I’m striving to be there hopefully! I’m 7 days NC (we’ve done since too many times to count!), but this time I feel is different…

    • JustHer says:

      Sparkle,

      You’ve just creeped me out pretty badly.

      This is exactly what the AC-ex was like! I found out about the cheating, and he said “I didn’t feel like we were really in a relationship”. Well, cheers for letting ME know that, jerk!

      Apparently it was all my fault too – since I couldn’t give him the love he needed or some other BS.

      You sound incredibly strong and I have no doubt you have learnt the lessons to fall in love with the right person! Good luck, honey. x

  16. lesley says:

    Heather – OMG did we go out with the same guy. It’s been a year since we formally split however it’s only been 2 months since moving out of our home together. He moved out last April to be with his ex but claimed he never cheated (again another lie). Only a few weeks ago he texted to tell me he is to be a Dad in March – owch (yeh do the math!) It took him 3 months to get her pregnant and put a ring on it and didn’t bother to tell me until a mutual friend forced him to. We were together 4 years and fast forwarded me like you wouldn’t believe. At 38 you would think I would see the red flags but alas no and fell for the dream hook line and sinker! Like you I compromised myself, took the blame, tried to save him, you name it all the things we try to do when we’ve invested far too much. I know I was in denial and like you wished I had been assertive enough to set healthy boundaries. It’s been a tough road and i’ve often contemplated suicide but thanks to Natalie and this blog i’m beginning to heal. It helps that when i’m feeling low I can check into this site and feel lifted by all your wonderful and insightful comments. Keep the faith.

  17. Noquay says:

    Well put, Tinkerbell. Yep, this lil downtrodden town has been ringing with the sound of slamming emotional doors. The at work AC was a veritable master of drip feeding. Since then, I have become far less accepting, less tolerant, less likely to emotionally attach, and downright angry over any lack of integrity. The latest drip feeder kinda segued into how he misunderestimated what he needed for retirement and overestimated the lifestyle he could lead while retired. Truth: ” I didn’t wanna work anymore, became a ski bum and live a minimal life as to responsibility and commitment to others; I lived too high on the hog, am now broke and will start going to the charity meals unless you rescue me”. I looked into the ladies room mirror to see if “meal ticket” was stamped on my forehead; it ain’t. Why, pray tell, do these dudes think they’re gonna get another chance? Like I said in an earlier post, this is the fourth one of these in less than a year, plus my version of Petey, who drip fed the reasons why he can never function, emotionally and physically, in a relationship. I keep him around as a friend because his plight was not due to poor actions on his part but rather being the victim of a savage attack. The other four got there solely under their own steam. I just don’t understand why folks cannot own who they are and take the steps to either self improve or accept themselves as is rather than passing themselves off as something they are not.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hey Noquay,

      It’s not that they can’t accept who they are, it’s not beneficial to them, so they WON’T. If they don’t continue the staus quo then they won’t reap their conniving, ill intentioned goals. We just need to see the forest through the trees.

      Btw, I don’t refer to him as “Petey” any more. It’s insulting to even speak of him in the third person in that way. We are going STRONG, since I realized I can take him or leave him. But neither of us are going anywhere. He remains a great guy. There is not nor has there ever been dripfeeding. It’s a real problem for him, but we don’t focus and zero in on it, because we have so much fun just being together. After all, there are other things besides penetration that can bring satisfaction. I’ve learned that I’d rather have lesser sex with a superior human being than great sex with an AC.

      My posts have been a bit harsh, lately. But I DO REMEMBER very well where I was, not so long ago. I try to help others get smarter faster. My problems existed long before the MM. I’ve lost YEARS. So I don’t want others to go through the same. Thank God I am really happy, now.

      • noquay says:

        I do not mean any insult by referring to “my” Petey. He has been kinda friend zoned, as there is NO sex, of any sort, not ever. I am glad you are happy. My ex husband couldn’t do certain things after his prostate cancer surgery; we still loved one another as much as ever. This isn’t that way at all. Sometimes I feel like I am using him as a “passing time” candidate, someone to hike and have dinner with; but then he does seem to really cling to me in his distracted way as a sort of lifeline. I let him be as is and detach. I probably need to detach emotionally, maybe for good, given current circumstances. I too am harsh in that I wouldn’t wish what I went and every working day, go through with the AC on anyone.

      • noquay says:

        you are right, Tink. Why go through the work of change when you can stay lazy and have your needs met by someone else? Was comparing mys ituation to yours: I didn’t have problems, at least not more than normal, before the end of my marriage,having to head west. You put yourself out there, you did the personal work, things always eventually turned out well with the right person. Then it was as if the wheels fell off of my life, taking up with folks (co workers, men with zero values in common) I never, ever would have before, putting oneself out there to no avail whatsoever, apparently attracting seekers of meal tickets right and left though I am clearly very responsible, anti drug, anti lowlife. Weird.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Hi Noquay,

          Hope you see this. Actually, awhile back I was trying to think of a name to call him because I couldn’t call him “boyfriend”, but he was def more than a “friend”. Mentioned it here and a fellow BRer suggested the name “Petey”, in reference to his sexual inadequacy. I did post a lot about that situation. But now that we’ve been able to work it out to the satisfaction of both of us, I don’t want to call him that anymore. I always, wondered to what extent you were experiencing a relationship with “Tinkerbell’s version of Petey” mentioned by you several times. At the same time I was hoping that “your case” was more readily solvable. Anyway, You did not insult me. I just wanted to clarify the upgrade and let you know I don’t care for that name anymore. I’ve enjoyed all of your posts and especially enjoy one from you to me, every now and then. Please take good care of yourself. I know you won’t make any logistical changes until you retire, but just remember that the years go by so quickly. Also, it takes TIME for a relationship to “take hold” if it is meant to be in the first place. You know this already. I can’t believe that late spring will be two years for me and my “Mr. Special” (new name).The right companionship, especially at our age IS SPECIAL.

  18. JDP says:

    All I can say to this – F*CK. It’s such an insightful and completely accurate play-by-play of what happened to me. Thanks to Nat I have boiled down the following list as something that I’ve seen play out in my life, even beyond relationships.

    1. X is lying to Y, but Y is blissfully unaware.
    2. X screws up, either blatantly or subtly, disrupting Y’s level of trust.
    3. Y, now untrusting, discovers part of the lie.
    4. Y is very angry (which may present as anger, but possibly sadness and quiet devastation. Y confronts X
    5. X owns up to what has been discovered. X may be countering Y’s anger with their own (‘bugger I’ve been rumbled, time to blame them for snooping/not catching me out sooner, thinking this is relevant’)
    6. X convinces Y that they are sorry (or that there is not that much to be sorry for) and that there are no more lies. Y accepts it and believes X due to negative self-beliefs.
    7. X silently marks Y down for accepting the lie and the drip-feed.
    8. X manages down Y, still lying to them, making them live in instability. X is convinced they need to manage Y down because they are clingy and needy, and would react badly.
    9. Eventually X screws up again or Y can no longer bear the uncomfortable familiar. Y confronts X.
    10. X owns up to another bit of the truth. X apologises.
    11. Y has now managed themselves down and have already invested too much and so are even more desperate to accept and believe than before.
    12. Y downplays their reaction to the truth, trying to create whatever atmosphere they think X will be most truthful in and ignore their own feelings.
    13. X silently marks down Y even more.
    14. This can go on repeat until Y has thrown enough good money after bad X investment that they are emotionally bankrupt and must withdraw.
    15. Y has to deal with all the low self-esteem and self-rejection that have engaged in, on top of the hurt that lies and dishonesty causes.
    16. X convinces themselves that Y had pre-existing issues they can use to avoid culpability, they can suppress, they can convince themselves a better Y will make them better, and they are likely to engage in the same behaviour later on.

    This is where the points diverge and we are now in control.

    Y can process the break-up, grieve, and deal with some negative behaviour on their part, learn their patterns, why they engaged is self-destructive behaviour, what past hurts may have contributed to this, how to become more conscious and awake in future relationships, how to debit and credit with their trust, and generally have more healthy attachments. This is the short-term painful, long-term beneficial route.

    Y could also get stuck on hurt, blame themselves, put X on a pedestal and become convinced that they either caused the lies or the lies weren’t that bad, revisit the relationship with X (either in reality or in fantasy), be willing for a demotion, or suppress how they feel about the breakup and choose another unavailable guy to focus on. This is the short-term numbing but long-term repetitive route.

    I wish I knew the choices that X has and how they could change, but since this is a website for the Y’s of the world and X’s are generally less self-flagellating and therefore seek help less, I’m afraid I don’t know.

  19. Kevin says:

    This was an excellent read and happened to appear on my FB wall just as I called out an ex-girlfriend for lying. Her and I have been broken up for 5 months but since we both work together in a internship program, in the same departmennt, it proved difficult to go ‘no-contact’. Recently she began texting me out of the blue more frequently and at odd hours. It’s just small talk and nothing more and I do not discuss the past. Anyhow, four times before in our discussions, I caught her in a lie and never made any mention of it. Just 2 days ago, I caught her in another lie and finally, I simply (and quietly)asked her about this lie and without even trying to cover it up, she became defensive and aggressive about my asking her, claiming I had no right to think this way. This article appeared on my wall just hours later and it hit home.

  20. Selkie says:

    The drip feed is the worst. You feel like your living in a field of land mines, always on edge. The wound of whatever they did initially never gets a chance to heal and what may have been something you could’ve gotten past, has now become the elephant in the room. But you aren’t allowed to talk about it, because when you do, then you are blamed for being the reason they HAD to lie to you in the first place. Then you hate yourself for making them treat you so bad, if you could only just make it safe for them to be honest. Then the lie loses it’s meaning and now becomes about YOU and they are absolved for any future lies you forced them to tell. Nice little trick, huh? This post made me think about the abusive guy I was with for 4 years, and it made me angry ( can you tell?). How DARE him do that to me. I generally feel nothing about this guy anymore, but every now and then I remember how it felt when I was dying inside because of him and it makes me feel a twinge of hate. I came near to losing my mind and he watched it all with sickening indifference and a of sense of victory. How can some people be so rotten? I never will understand. It’s been at least three years of NC and I’ve forgiven him gradually in my own time and without him even knowing or caring, but it’s clear that I’ll never forget. If I get the drip feed again, by anyone, I am out like Houdini. I’d rather walk on hot coals then feel violated like that again.

    • Einstien says:

      Well said, Selkie. I’ve been disinterested in him for a year and a half, and have forgiven him and moved on to a life of peace and harmony. I really don’t care about him anymore.

      BUT, from time to time, something evil/insane thing he did or said crosses my mind, and I’m filled with hate. That HOW DARE YOU kind of hate.

      It’s a bumpy ride, isn’t it?

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Einstein,

        When you REALLY DON’T CARE ANYMORE, the ride is no longer bumpy. You don’t give a damn. They’re dead to you.

        • Einstien says:

          Yeah, Tink….being over it, which seems so impossible at the outset, is so beautiful. And it happens. I want all these wonderful people to really believe it will come.

          I have had to come to terms with those ‘moments’, when the shock-and-awe comes back at me. All those things he did, that I put up with. Moments of absolute rage. I used to think it meant I wasn’t getting over it, but I am….it’s just the lesson I learned, and I WILL NEVER do that again.

          I wish I could say some magic words and make all the pain go away for all the ‘newbies’. I can only tell you it will get better — but you have to STOP the insanity first. You have to see what you’re dealing with, and chalk it up to “ain’t gonna happen”.

          The whole thing is a bumpy ride, but the last part is a good bumpy. It makes us expect better from ourselves.

  21. Wendy says:

    My EUM use to do this to me all the time! I remember I asked him a hypothetical question once about if he started dating someone else while him and I remained close friends, would he tell his new love interest. He said, no, because it’s not relevant to our relationship. That was his favorite line…Well, if it’s not relevant to our relationship…argh…I always knew when I hit a nerve because I’d hear one of the three comments…You are on me like a cheap suit, you are so dramatic, and I’m not answering any questions, unless it’s relevant to our relationship…sigh…I think my famous line to him towards the end of our friendship was, “For someone that says he’s so tough emotionally, you sure are sensitive with everything I say.” AND…I gave it right back to him when he started inquiring about me meeting other men…I’m not answering questions, unless it’s relevant to our relationship…His face was priceless…

    It’s such a bummer things didn’t work out with us because I really truly loved him…It breaks my heart…We have been NC off and on way too many times, but this last time I feel is the ONE, you know? It’s been 7 days NC!!! and I’m reading the book, Getting Past Your Break Up by Susan Elliott and reading BR tons!!!

    A huge red flag to me now after this relationship, is watching the way a man handles phone calls and his email. My ex would NEVER check his personal email in front of me and I thought that was strange…Also, if he got a call, he would never answer it in front of me and would always leave the room/house to return calls. I told him I was fine with him picking up the phone in front of me or calling people back in front of me and his reasoning was, I don’t find that courteous, my parents raised me to be a gentleman. Part of me thought that was sweet, but then another part of me just thought that was down right weird…Maybe if I was your boss or you are at the dentist’s office, but talk all you want in front of me, I’m your gf??? Is it just me, or is that a little strange???

    Oh, while I’m at it, I have something else to share…It was back when we first started dating, we had been out 4 or 5 times, he was very clear about not wanting to be exclusive with me (another red flag) and he told me he couldn’t hang out because he had papers to grade. So, I thought I’d be sweet and I left him some beer on his porch and called him on the phone as I was leaving. He got extremely weirded out, told me that I was so weird and to do him a favor and leave him alone! My question is, was that really that wrong of me to do? That was a long time ago and I still am sad about that…He later on apologized for being a jerk about the whole thing and said he’s just not use to girls being genuine and sweet towards him.

    • Rewind says:

      My is just the opposite…he loves to let me know there are other women. Once we had gone to an event and stopped at an adult store and got some play things to take back to his house. On the way home, he took a call that started out “oh hi sweetie. I am just headed home, but will talk to you tomorrow.” Really? I spent the night with him anyway. Just call me stupid. He also used to always take a shower before we would go to bed. I found out later that it was because he had been with other women before I came over. I KNOW he lies, I know he’s a creep, but for some reason I want him to want me, so have no boundaries.

  22. Wendy says:

    You know what creeps me out? Why I sometimes feel we are all seeing the same guy…It scares me to get back out there again…There are sweet, caring, emotionally strong men out there, right?

    • Suki says:

      Wendy, yes I think there are generally decent people out there. What I wonder though is whether we are all that sweet, caring, emotionally strong while in these relationships? In a bad relationship, you are not emotionally strong or you would leave or call BS and not depend on the other person for validation. Eventually you would leave not only because of emotional strength but because you would see right through that other person and you would lose all respect for them, they would appear shallow and silly to you. Their BS would not drive you to despair, or to lengthy conversations aimed at uncovering the truth. I think sweetness and caring are reciprocal to be real. It can’t be one way – so the odds are high that in bad relationships no one is sweet or caring. The one who is more of the victim has chosen to be ‘sweet’ to an uncaring person – so that actually makes them a doormat and or they are blind to the effects that their actions have. If your sweetness is met with disdain, well… is it sweet if its tone deaf? Then you’re playing peace maker and pacifier and also doing the ‘pick me’ dance. Thats not sweet, thats desperate.
      No one should be sweet unless that sweetness is reciprocated or acknowledged and at the least is for someone who you can have a good time with. This is not about tit for tat, you can give more to others than they give you but not if what they give you is nothing or is negative.
      Anyway, drip feeding — if you continue being sweet to such a person, you are painting a target on your back saying ‘come and take my self-esteem’. Some people dont deserve our care, respect or even friendship. I think figuring out these people and then staying the bleep away is what healthy boundaries is about.

    • Einstien says:

      Wendy,

      I’ve thought that myself a thousand times, wondering if one of you gals was seeing him now.

      I don’t know if there are any good ones out there, I’m on sabbatical.

  23. Nigella says:

    Thanks for this invaluable post, Natalie!
    I expect to draw strength from it whenever I might encounter a drip-feeder – an encounter that is bound to happen sooner or later unless, of course, I end up on an unpeopled island. Unlike my past record, I hope next time I’m better at detecting & dealing with half-truths or lies.

    Since Mr. Liar succeeded in blindsiding & dumping me before I could confront him on his drip-feeding habit, I had to accept that there is nothing I managed to do to call him on his lack of integrity. Ultimately, as time revealed to me, what he was thinking, saying, and doing did not cohere. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had dodged a bullet. But I did feel stupid & ashamed for not realizing soon enough that things did not add up in his accounts & for failing to ask appropriate questions about his former relationships and current “friendships”. More or less, like a thumb-sucking infant I gobbled up his self-pitying, responsibility-shirking, blaming-others narration of his relationship. I doubted, questioned, and challenged him minimally if at all. I heard him telling lies to his family members, colleagues, and friends, but did not reflect on the negative implications of the fact that he told lies frequently and easily – at the time those lies seemed needless & harmless to me and thus prevented me from looking at him more objectively, maturely, and critically. If he could lie to so many people he claimed to care for, then no wonder he could lie to me too. Never again am I going to be so gullible.

    One more sobering fact is that Mr. Liar didn’t see himself as misleading or disrespecting me. So I doubt a confrontation could’ve altered his self-perception or actions – as far as he is concerned, he didn’t future-fake me, fail to deliver on his promises, ditch me for his friends, feed me lies about his whereabouts, tell me half-truths about his past relationships, and fool me about his intention to commit to me. Having future-faked for a few months, he terminated our relationship on the self-defensive note that he has not “deliberately deceived” me. If anything, he “silenced” himself in an attempt to avoid “disappointing” me. Such self-justifications are downright insulting. Translated in my mind, they read: “I realized you dig me more than I dig you. So I figured you’ll be disappointed if I tell you in person or over phone that I can’t date you. Since I don’t think you’re strong enough to absorb this fact rationally and calmly, I’ll tell you through email that I can’t give you what you want & deserve. I’m a good guy – at least I’m sending you this email. To keep things short, I could’ve sent a text or said nothing. I’m sorry.”

    From what I gather, spineless yet skilled charmers like him rationalize their drip-feeding by insisting that it is not done “out of malice” – it is not their “intention” to hurt or disrespect anyone. It is not their intention to deceive, disappoint, or damage the trust of another. Of course, the sudden end of our relationship hurt me. But the thing that left me smarting for months is the fact that he led me to believe that we have a future together when he was in fact feeling doubts or thinking of jumping ship. Instead of coming clean about his relationship readiness, he drip-fed me info about his past relationships at the oddest time – info suggestive of his lack of ability to connect and commit to anyone for too long. I didn’t realize this at the time, but I think it’s odd that he coughed up tidbits about his exes in rushed conversations that took place minutes before I had to catch flights for my consulting trips. Though he had plenty of opportunities to tell me about his exes, he timed his drip-feeding in contexts that made it difficult for me to process the information and ask him appropriate questions. I made the mistake of ridiculously dialing down my skeptical thinking & failed to resume the conversations that had been sprung on me before the flights. One lives and learns: I don’t see myself jeopardizing my professional responsibilities to process information haphazardly unloaded on me at odd times, but I hope I’ll be able to take better care of myself by stepping back & reflecting on things I need to question and seek more clarity. Of course, as experience showed me, once I started to seek clarity, Mr. Drip Feeder turned cold, disappeared for 10 days, and opted out of the relationship he never desired in the first place.

  24. Wendy says:

    I was listening to an online seminar recently and someone was speaking about the hormone, oxytocin. He was saying how a woman will be attracted to a man if he does/says nice things to her (oxytocin is released) and basically she will become bonded to this man. I believe that’s why women stay way too long in the wrong relationship. Charming men are good at that, doing/saying all the right things at first (or after a break) and then wham, they pull the rug right out from under us or slowly do with drip feeding techniques. And that’s another reason why I feel that women don’t necessarily have low self esteem when this man comes along. Darn hormones, lol!

    My ex EUM had a great memory, but would conveniently forget something he said if I would confront him, almost like reverse drip feeding. He would tell me everything and at different times subtract, saying he never said that or I’m making stuff up in my mind.
    I’m 8 days NC today and it’s been soooooo hard…

    • Tinkerbell says:

      I think many so called relationship experts talk a load of crap. I’ve heard about the oxytocin theory and don’t think much of it at all. A woman should be mentally stronger, respect herself more and make use of her common sense instead of believing the BS that oxytocin causes her to cling to a no-good jerk. Just another excuse handed up when there is none.

    • RP says:

      Not only are these kind of arguments bollocks, they are also dangerous. Some evolutionary PSYCHOlogists even go as far to apply such compartmentalised logic to explain human rape, sexual harassment and jealousy by males in the male quest to fertilise as many eggs as possible. I ended up having to leave this block-headed community, nowadays called science, because more realistic accounts of human nature are no longer welcome.

  25. Tinkerbell says:

    You don’t hear Natalie talking crap like that. No, because she is down to earth dealing with reality, not someone’s theories. There may be some truth to the effects of oxytocin but it’s overrated. A wise woman will put it’s importance where it belongs.

    • Lilia says:

      I agree with Tinkerbell. Social conditioning seems to have a much larger role in our sillyness than oxytocin. And I think that hormone has more to do biologically with bonding with your baby after childbirth than with being a doormat to some jerk.

    • Teddie says:

      I agree with Tink, it is this same so called relationship experts that promote the idea that women barter sex for commitment, prostitutes, in other words. As for oxytocin, it has many functions, some of them not that loving (it is also behind group bonding and the resulting xenophobia), and is certainly not women-specific: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-love-hate-relationship/

  26. ThreeDLife says:

    My ex-AC used to come up with all sorts of “reasons” for the crap he dished out to me. I am not sure if it was “drip-feeding” or just plain old lying.

    Some examples:
    - “Can’t stay another night at the beach with you because I have to take my daughter grocery shopping” (of course, they’re not open any other time LOL)
    - “Had to take the gift you gave me out of my car because it was coming unglued” (he didn’t want any reminders of me once he set his mind on seeing new people)
    - “Didn’t come pick you up and take you on that out of town trip because it was a long drive” (He knew the distance before he promised to take me. Instead, he went to 2 singles group events to try to meet other women – of course, conveniently left out that part of the story)
    - “Didn’t add you as a friend on my new facebook account (which he lied about even having) because I can talk to you on the phone anytime” (even though he only called me once a week)
    - “The new facebook site had nothing to do with our relationship” (but set the relationship status to “It’s Complicated”)
    - “You can wear the ring I gave you if you want – it’s a friendship ring” (but when he gave it to me it was a commitment ring)
    - “Nothing will change now. We can continue to see each other, it just won’t have the long term component.” (Say wha? Basically, he would continue to use me until he finds someone else. What kind of jackass says stuff like this?)

    There are so many other stories. I should have known something was drastically wrong when he told me he thought it was ok to tell what he called “white lies” (even though some were actually “whoppers”) since he didn’t like hurting feelings, and he didn’t believe in being “brutally honest” (he could have left off the “brutally” and been closer to the truth). He wasn’t man enough to have any type of confrontation or discussion with me, just lied or avoided any uncomfortable topics.

    When I finally called him on his B.S., it was rather ugly, with him denying everything. It was the last straw – more lies, more deceit, more crumbs. He never came clean on any of it, and tried to cover up with more lies. I finally had enough.

    It’s been almost 9 months of NC now and I feel so much better. I will never again accept lies and deceit in a relationship partner. If he can’t be honest with me, he can go find someone else to lie to.

    I am so thankful for this site. I never realized this was part of a pattern of behavior. I am sure my ex AC will never change. I feel sorry for whoever he gets with next.

  27. Wendy says:

    I’m having a rough day. It’s NC #8…I’m trying anything to rationalize what happened. I know I shouldn’t, but this is so hard :(

    • Suki says:

      Wendy, perhaps write down all the rationalizations and then all the conceivable counter-arguments to that? That might help. Breaking NC would be a measure of your anxiety and craving for validation from others. Dont give in!

      • ThreeDLife says:

        Wendy, Perhaps you could try making a list of all the times he let you down, lied to you or treated you poorly. Also, make a list of traits you want in a relationship partner and those you don’t. Then see how the ex EUM stacks up.

        Just from reading your post above, I started a list for you: Do you want someone who:
        - Won’t tell you things because they “aren’t relevant to your relationship?”
        - Sees other people?
        - Says “you are on me like a cheap suit”
        - Calls you dramatic?
        - Never checks his personal email or takes phone calls in front of you? (What is he hiding? It’s more than a little strange – it’s not just you.)
        - Doesn’t want to be exclusive with you?
        - Makes excuses not to hang out with you?
        - Gets upset with you for being sweet and giving him a gift?

        I am sure you can add many more. I have found keeping a journal is helpful in maintaining NC – you can go back and re-read all the reasons you DON’T want to be with someone who treats you so poorly. You deserve better. We all do.

        • Kleo says:

          Another thing you could tell yourself is … “back slowly away from the drug dealer”… because coming off this kind of thing is a lot like kicking an addiction. One day at a time … and if 24 hours is too long to count …go for the smallest component of time, and breathe and say – woohoo – I did it for 60 seconds..and then another, and then another … I have not seen my ex for 14 months … when I caught myself veering towards texting more than needed to accommodate visits for our daughters, I came up with a clever rule – use one word fewer than him with every response. That cut the contact pretty darn quickly!!!

          You can do it … you are worth it … PICTURE yourself, “drug” free, not stressed out, imagine how great it feels to be free of the crushing feelings you have right now …

          You are SO worth it!

          • getagrip says:

            Kleo

            I’m going to follow your advice about going for 60 seconds & working up from there- that’s how hooked I am!

            “You can do it … you are worth it … PICTURE yourself, “drug” free, not stressed out, imagine how great it feels to be free of the crushing feelings you have right now …”

            I sooo need to be “drug free”, I too have to keep in touch with my ex, but for the past three months have literally NEVER had my phone out of sight, day or night & I leap on it every time he calls.

            Devoured Natalie’s No Contact Rule & Mr Unavailable etc over Xmas & New Year, but even tho I recognised him, & myself, on every page it proved to be a leap too far from 5 years total devotion (on my part, natch), living together in fantasy land to strong,independent single woman & I fell at the first hurdle -Jan 2nd when I guess he’d had his fun & came round :-(

            Well, now he’s elusive again & even one of my kids has said “Why do you bother with him, he makes you sad”. Ouch.

            Yes, need to get Off The Drug & your way might be the way for me-Thanks! x

  28. Pauline says:

    The ex AC was a master drip feeder. And every time I caught him out in a lie, it miraculously turned into MY fault. Nothing to do with him at all, I must of misheard or misunderstood. I seriously doubted myself for a long time, did I really get it wrong, perhaps I did hear what I wanted to hear and on and on I went in this lather, rinse & repeat cycle of being drip fed the so called truth that was in reality, just a bunch of lies from start to finish.

    I’m not questioning why he is like this anymore, since finding BR I’ve come to understand that this AC EUM with his constant lying and controlling behaviours, are his and not mine or my responsibility, it’s not about me. It’s all about him.

    It’s been over a year since I woke up and dumped him out of my life, apart from one phone call that slipped in under my radar last year, (his number now blocked on my phone and staying that way forever) I’ve had lots of texts for my birthday, Christmas, New Year and a few general hi, how ya going texts. I’ve ignored all of them because I know they don’t mean sh*t and I couldn’t care less, I felt nothing.

    Finally indifference!

  29. Peanut says:

    I’ve held back information that was relevant to my exes from all of them.

    And, you know, lo and behold, the same was done to me. I purposely chose partners I felt I had a right to lie to as they were so beneath me.

    What happened was I ended up getting hurt in situations that were dangerous that I had allowed myself to be in.

  30. Nigella says:

    Do you find it difficult at times to dissociate from people who disregard your boundaries? Disappoint & deceive you by making empty promises? Drip-feed information to manipulate you into trusting them? I know I did in the past and still do sometimes. Here is a song that helps me resist my deeply-ingrained good-girl conditioning. Surprisingly, it gives me the extra push I need at times to call a spade a spade instead of pretending that I have not caught a lie, that my trust has not been damaged, that I have not been let down.

    Go to this link to hear the no-BS song: http://youtu.be/0qc0IcH8rLk . Or type “Oliver Jerry Ropero Ya Thang Mashup” in YouTube search & click on the first song that shows up.

    Some BR readers are understandably finding it difficult to distance themselves from their drip-feeding – practically good-for-nothing – exes. The linked song, I think, might help them tap into the indignation they might be suppressing out of habit. Even now, sometimes I catch myself denying the unkind behavior of Mr. Drip Feeder or overvaluing his kind words & crazy skills in bed. Then, after giving myself a good dose of the song, I sober up & stop myself from thinking that I lost someone indispensably special. If someone causes you to feel easily disposable or interchangeable – or second-best to their friends – they are not special.

    There is nothing special about dating a drip-feeders – their stunning looks, outstanding achievements, melt-worthy words, and ever-increasing circle of admirers do not compensate for their poor relationship habits. Period.

  31. Wendy says:

    Suki and ThreeDLife,

    What great ideas! Thank you so much! I was thinking he was this amazing guy, but by the short list you just made, ThreeDLife, I can see I have been lying to myself WAY TOO LONG! It’s like I’ve been in a fog, under a rock, smoking crack, lol…Thanks and I am going to get on that list asap! :)

  32. traveller9191 says:

    Anyone have advice for this? BF returned from 3 months away working. We had an argument on the phone because I found out he was in town and he hadn’t called me yet. He said it was “all about me” and he hadn’t even phoned his kids yet or his mother, and here I was all wrapped up in m own little world. This was after emailing me very day sometimes 7 or 8 times for 3 months, sending poems he wrote, signing “love always”. So shortly after (still hadn’t seen him!) he went out of town again and just emailed with photos of the scenery, daily inspirations, nothing personal. This continued on until the end of October (since September long weekend). I told my son I was getting tired of this non personal email stuff but I wanted to see what the bf would do. My son emailed him and told him “I was still carrying a torch for him” and that if he didn’t want to be with me he should leave me along so I could heal and get on with my life.

    Embarrassing or what??? Actually I am still humiliated. I only found this out a week or so ago and wondered why the bf had stopped emailing but felt it was probably better. However the longer it goes on the worse it gets – dreaming about him last night, kissing me, saying he missed me, etc. However, know deep down he was not a good guy – bright, gorgeous, professional, etc. but nasty temper. Anyway my question is I think I would feel better if I emailed him and told him I had no idea my son had emailed him until recently because now I am just embarrassed that he thinks I am still pining over him and he didn’t have the jam to tell me he wanted out. I am by the way NOT a young person, and he is 62. Anyone any idea what to do to get over this feeling of embarrassment?

    • Sandy says:

      I am a bit confused, you call him the BF but he didn’t come to see you after 3 months away? Did you break up with him before he went away? I don’t see the relevance to the pining for him part if you are still supposed to be seeing each other…but seeing as he stopped e-mailing you after your son questioned him, didn’t see you when he was back then I am gussing he’s moved on without telling you and he is no longer the BF.
      Why are you embarrassed…it’s his problem that he is such a coward that he didn’t even have the balls to tell you that he wanted out, you have had a lucky escape to be honest.
      Your son sounds way more mature then this 62 year old!!

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Traveller,

        First of all, he’s not your BF, behaving like that. He’s giving you signs that he’s moving on. Sometimes when guys realize they’ve gotten in too deep too quickly they will back up in no uncertain terms. it’s sleasy, but that how alot of them are. They don’t come to you with the truth and invite a discussion. That would be too human and considerate. I think you should move on yourself. Don’t try to engage with him. Even if you’re hurting you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and act as if you were playing the same game he apparently was. Life goes on and doesn’t end with him.

  33. Cindy says:

    I’ve stumbled up BR and I’m so thankful like many of you that I found this website. I recently caught my bf online dating. After confronting him after catfishing him, he still denies he did anything wrong. Says he just does it for entertainment but never actually meets up with anyone. One lie after another and the stories always change. It’s unfortunate that we have all met these kinds of men. Guess we are always hoping that things will be different. But coming on this website, makes us all realize that these men will continue doing what they do because that is who they are; not our fault. I hope the coming weeks I will learn from all of your experience and move forward from this men. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories.

  34. Tinkerbell says:

    Cindy,

    You WILL become wiser and emotionally stronger. The key is really wanting it and being willing to focus on the work ahead of you. It takes time, but you’ll start to see results. Many of us see a therapist and read self-help materials. But Natalie is your best resource ever. All of us have been through the fire and come out the other side or still working on it. You have all the support you could ever ask for. All the best. Hugs, Tink.

    • cindy says:

      Thanks Tink.
      I know I will be fine. Time heals everything and I just order Nat’s book on the Unavailable men and fallback girl so that will give me more insight.
      One step at a time.

  35. Noquay says:

    Traveller
    At this point, all you can do is try and move on. I too was humiliated, publicly, in front of a fellow colleague, by someone I’d dearly loved: all you can do is walk away with head held high. If he lives in the same town as you, you run into him, walk away, head held high. That’s all you can do. Feel lucky he doesn’t email anymore, he was never really invested in the first place. All that emailing of non personal stuff? He wanted a pen pal. It’s so much nothing. Had at lot of on line dudes do this; people who are capable of a relationship are physically there when at all possible. I have a friend, someone badly wounded, unable to emotionally invest, who travels. Still, he immediately emails me, his family, the minute the plane touches down. This is what non self-absorbed people do. The missing the physical part is normal, just like the humiliation, something to feel, hurt, and get through. I too am older and understand how hard it is to find someone who is even remotely attractive and functional. However, we deserve far, far, better than a not there person.

    • traveller9191 says:

      Thanks for the comments – To be clear we were together for only six months before he went away to work. He was “so in love”, planned our lovely future, practically lived here for the last months. Said I was his “last person”, planned trips to the Caribbean where his mother lives, blah blah blah. He even renovated my basement suite for me for free did most of the work himself, and designed it (he’s an architect). He was gone 3-1/2 months. During those months he emailed daily. It was just when he got back to town and I hadn’t heard from him for a few days and I emailed him saying Oh, you’ve been back in town for a few days??? I see. He then picked up the phone and blasted me for that. Then he asked me if I wanted to go for a drink and I said sure, call me later but he never called. A few days later he was out of town again which was when the non-personal emailing started then my son emailed him to stop so he did. The embarrassing part for me is that my son told him “I was still a carrying a torch for him”. I just don’t understand how a guy of that age who has had very long relationships (12 years, 10 years) would just drop “the love of his life” like a hot potato because I told him on the phone that I was hurt that he had been back in town and hadn’t called me. What I don’t get is if he wasn’t invested why did he email me poetry, roses, sign off love always, and then come back and ditch me? Makes no sense.

      • Sandy says:

        Sounds to be as if he is seeing someone else and you are his back up plan if it all fails, don’t be embarrassed, it’s happened to a few of us here…just be strong and don’t look back.

  36. Noquay says:

    Traveller
    Two words; assuaging guilt. Some more words; making himself look like a better person than he is. People aren’t logical and actions, words, feelings are often not in line with many. Right now, I have a severely injured arm and lifting, snow shovelling is incredibly painful. At work AC has, quite publically, numerous times volunteered, on his own behest, to help me. It means nothing; it’s some sort of sick little show to show others what a great guy he is. He never shows up, I don’t expect him to and shovel my own damned snow, lift my own heavy sacks of feed, of wood pellets, cursing my sore arm. There’s zero logic to this behavior. Traveller, you and I are probably both folks that are reasonably logical, whose actions and feelings are in line, your word, as is mine, is probably golden. We can never assume that others think the way we do because frankly, most do not. I dont know where you are from, but here in the western US, saying things one doesnt mean, never keeping your word, not returning calls when promised, is appparently normal behavior; a real shock for a far northern Midwesterner where such behavior is anathema. Strip away the words and empty gestures and what do you have. The fact that your dude hasn’t shown up is all the evidence you need.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Traveller,

      No matter how great it seems, don’t allow yourself to entertain true love until at least a year has passed. It takes that much time to begin really knowing him. It is just too painful to invest in someone and learn, too late, that he has grossly misrepresented himself. Be careful, wary and take TIME.

  37. Isabelle says:

    Thanks for this article that summarizes my situation of being betrayed, cheated on and abused financially while pregnant and in the immediate aftermath of the birth of my child one year ago. I had to go through his phone repeatedly only to find out parts of what happened and to that day he has been calling me hysterical and crazy “this is the reason why am not with you – because you looked through my phone” while the real reason why we are not together is because he had unprotected sex with several women in my bed while I was pregnant or breast feeding :) however to this day I still have been denied access to the truth… Yet he wants to be involved in his child’s life claiming that what happened between us has nothing to do with him being a good father… While I tend to differ and think that someone who has been dishonest and so disrespectful needs to prove himself or at least make amend before being trusted with his one year old child… So – anyone has advice on the way to proceed and the discourse to have in order not to look like this crazy emotional cow who doesn’t want to let go and is using the baby as a weapon?

  38. Noquay says:

    Tinkerbell
    My case with my dude is less solvable, no mention nor understanding of my needs nor any move to as accommodate my needs, no mention of his needs. I truly think he just appreciates someone who he can hang with in the mountains and who has few demands of him. This is because I have seen the situation for what it is as and am pretty much detached emotionally. Yep, we can do stuff together but I really see little more than friend zoning in our future. It does somewhat annoy me that this dude put himself out there as though he was a fully functional person when he is very wounded in many ways. I feel bad for the trauma he experienced, yet I cannot fix it.

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!