Don’t forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September (I can’t believe that it’s been 4 weeks already) so I’ll mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the archives.

Today’s post is a new one and an excerpt from The No Contact Rule (2nd edition). I chose this excerpt because post-breakup and regardless of whether you’re NC or not, the way in which you handle occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries can end up inviting a great deal of unnecessary pain into your life.


cake with 'call me' birthday candles

Birthdays, Easter, Valentines, Thanksgiving, Christmas/The Holidays, National Curry Day, the FA Cup Final, the birth of a baby, bereavements, anniversaries and the list goes on; there are clearly a lot of reasons we can find to get in touch with an ex.

These occasions can catch us off guard because they mark a passage of time that may highlight and even accentuate the differences between the present and where you were at that time the previous year. Sometimes it’s not that you’re remembering, more that you’re experiencing the grief that comes with the hopes you had for being with them for this occasion (it might have been the first) not being realised.

The disappointment is understandable but part of grieving the loss of a relationship and respecting boundaries – both theirs and your own – is recognising that you can’t pick up the relationship or restart contact for occasions. You’ve got to know where to draw the line.

Birthdays and various other occasions in the calendar don’t change. Start as you mean to go on because where does it all end with saluting them on each occasion?  What are you going to do in year 2 or year 10?


No Contact means… No Contact and if you choose to make contact for any of these reasons, there must be no underlying motive, which there rarely isn’t. Feeling compelled to reach out on big occasions is code for looking for reasons to be in contact aka smoke signals. Some of these ‘occasions’ are symbols of aspects of your ex that form part of your connection which in turn you attach a meaning to. So, for example, when their team wins in a big sporting event, that can set off the temptation to reach out.

These occasions become opportunities to ensure that you haven’t been forgotten and to place yourself front and centre in their mind. Really, is a card or a message going to make this person change or regret missing you, race back into your life and sweep you off your feet?

Occasions can also represent waiting for an excuse or a bad situation to befall them that you can exploit. Hard to hear but if you could see my inbox! Really, you shouldn’t be waiting for the perfect excuse to try and get your agenda on the table. I get it and understand that you’re grieving and that you miss them, but this all goes back to validating the original reasons for doing NC and getting behind your decision. It’s a totally normal part of the breakup to be reminded of your ex by certain things – this dissipates over time as long as you don’t use these memories to inflate meaning or your hurt.

Take a bereavement for instance – I totally understand why you might want to reach out at this time but there a couple of things that reveal where you’re really at: your method of expressing your condolences and what you expect or do after these condolences have been expressed. Best way to express your condolences? Send a card and flowers, pick up the phone, or go around and pay your respects if there is an open house or a set time to do so. Sending a text or posting something on their Facebook page? Come on now!

Equally, if all you’re doing is a genuine expression of your condolences, there shouldn’t be any thinking about getting back together, sleeping with them, or feeling that you have to stick around to get them through this time because you’re not in their life anymore and you’re not the only person capable of providing support, especially because you’re supposed to be NC. If they try it on with you, don’t tell them all about themselves but do just say, “I’m sorry for your loss and that you’re hurting. I wanted to let you know this but it doesn’t mean that I want to restart anything with you. Take care”… and… move it along. With this in mind, here are some more tips for navigating these situations:

1. Don’t hijack the occasion. I’ve heard enough painful stories of exes that suddenly got back in touch around a bereavement, birthday etc, swooped in with a whole load of big promises and showboating, acted like they were The Most Supportive Partner Ever™… and then vanished off the face of the earth. There are too many people who associate the painful loss of their parent or a milestone birthday with an ex. You’re supposed to be NC so you shouldn’t be hijacking anyway.

2. When it’s their birthday, it’s not your birthday. If you’re mostly thinking about your own internal drama, you’re not really thinking about him/her and you are in fact projecting. It being their birthday is not a valid reason for breaking NC because it’s like trying to give yourself some sort of birthday present in the form of validation and possibly attempting to rekindle the relationship. Birthdays only last for one day but the effects of misplaced expectations and unhealthy habits last far longer.

3. Avoid starting NC within a few days to a couple of weeks of their (or your) birthday because the likelihood is, you’ll reach out. In fact, this really applies to most occasions but birthdays in particular because they’re personal. If it’s your birthday and you start NC and they don’t get in touch and it’s only been a short time since starting NC, you may feel compelled to tell them all about themselves or go attention seeking. If it’s their birthday, you may feel “bad” about not being in touch. Have an honest conversation with yourself – if you think that you’re highly likely to knee-jerk into contact if you start NC and then a birthday happens later in the week, wait until afterwards and spare yourself (and them) the drama.

4. Be careful of feeling compelled to reach out on anniversaries. I understand it, believe me, especially if you were together through something difficult like a bereavement, but working through this anniversary without them and possibly with the support of others, is grief work that you need to focus on. Yes they may understand you and you them and yes, you may feel bonded over this difficult situation, but it’s not enough to cancel out the reasons why you’re doing NC. You have to find a way to start dealing with this.

5. You don’t need to send a card. Whether it’s for a birthday, Christmas or whatever, the fact that you’re even thinking about sending a card demonstrates that you are still too concerned with how you look and so-called ‘protocol’ instead of putting your energies into NC.

6. Remember that sending messages to their friends and family on big occasions may be perceived as you sending a smoke signal to your ex. I appreciate that you may like their family for instance, but be careful of not only crossing your ex’s boundaries, but also of inadvertently maintaining a connection between you both.

7. Your message, whatever guise it takes, may be disruptive. It’s bad enough when they mess with your head, but actually, being NC and then reaching out sends mixed messages. There is also the not-so-small matter of the possibility that they may be involved with someone else and that you sending messages as if you have some sort of claim on them even though ironically, you’re NC, may create friction and cross boundaries.

8. Don’t send a gift. ‘Nuff said.

9. If you’re thinking about sending a text, email or tippy tapping out a Facebook message, you’re just not that serious about sending a message. Yes I’m sure these feel ‘easier’ but again, if you’re that worried about avoiding conflict and not opening yourself up to hurt, stick to NC.

10. Think ahead. NC is very much about getting conscious, thinking ahead and planning for success instead of planning for failure. Each year has occasions in the calendar – how are you going to deal with these? They’re inevitable so there’s no point in being surprised by them. Put a message in your diary or calendar to remind you to stick to NC and if you know that you get card angst, put reminders in your phone in the days running up to the date to keep you on the right track, like “Remember! It’s not my birthday” or  “Make plans on _______ so that I don’t feel lonely and vulnerable”.

Your thoughts?

You can find out more about how to navigate your breakup with your self-esteem in tow in my book, The No Contact Rule (2nd edition).

Holiday Update

  • I’m back from a whirlwind couple of days up t’north in Hull with one of my ‘bezzy mates’ and godmother Nikki Nac. Oddly, I woke up ridiculously early each day (around 5.30am) but I also slept like a log too. We ‘birthed’ her new baby, Blanket Row, which is her new business designing handcrafted leather bags and iPad accessories). We had one near panic session and I could tell she was going to meltdown so I had to get tough while at the same time worrying the big drama was about to go down. The reality, which unfolded within an hour, was significantly different, so I’m relieved we stayed calm and didn’t do anything silly. The trip was also a really good opportunity for us to catch up about some really deep stuff as we had quite similar childhoods and she was with me through the ‘dark years’. We’ve come a long way!
  • I slept for nearly 90 minutes on the train back to London this morning. It would have been so easy to be on my laptop or phone but instead I unplugged, read magazines for a while and next thing you know, I woke up with my head lolling backwards and forwards. Thank goodness I wasn’t drooling!
  • We’re off to a festival on Sunday at the Olympic park. Four energetic kids plus two ‘big kid’ grandmas, two partners who get on our nerves within minutes because they get all ‘bromancy’ plus myself and crackerjack mate Tash, and it’s bound to be eventful.
  • I need a dress for this wedding that we’re driving to Italy for. I’m getting a bit excited about our holiday via France, especially as it’s not me that’s driving… haha! Lots to organise though – must write those lists!

Have a great weekend and thanks for all of the well wishes and congrats! xxx

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143 Responses to Excerpt from The No Contact Rule: Dealing with ‘occasions’ like birthdays post-breakup

  1. Ellen says:

    Yes, yes, and yes. Last year, about 4-5 months post-breakup, my brother died and I emailed the ex. Somewhere I think I figured it was enough of a special situation. Nothing, no response. I was engaged to this guy, lived with this guy, this guy said to me 20 thousand times how much he loved me, how lucky he felt to have met me. Nothing. Was recently tempted again when I had to put my beloved dog down. I almost told someone else to tell him. Didn’t. Yay.

  2. Lara says:

    My narc AC ex broke up with me 2 days after our 1 year anniversary, so in a way it is good, because I wouldn’t feel nostalgic about that particular time of the year — I always remember the fact that he dumped me 2 days after our anniversary (and no mention of our anniversary of course — and he disappeared on the anniversary day and was acting like a douchebag for the 2 weeks prior to that). It fills me up with anger, and definitely doesn’t make me miss him at all. I mean, at this point, even if he hadn’t dumped me so close to our anniversary, I wouldn’t have wanted to contact him on our anniversary or anything of the sort. What’s the point? I don’t EVER want to get back with him. I am completely turned off by the person that he turned out to be. I realize how I was wasting my time with a childish person and not a real man who knew what he wanted, and respected the woman he was with. His birthday was 3 days ago, actually. I didn’t contact him. I know he was probably expecting me to contact him. Probably why he contacted me on July 24, to remind me that he was still alive, and maybe as a reminder that his birthday was coming up — fishing for attention. Anyway, totally didn’t even think of him 3 days ago or feel like contacting him. If anything, I hope he had the most miserable birthday (well deserved), so why would I even wish him a “happy” one? It was a bit of a sore point, though, because last year on his birthday, I had gotten him a $150 present, and he hadn’t even gotten me anything on my birthday. In fact, he barely wished me a happy birthday via text, and only after he saw people post on my facebook to tell me happy birthday. He wouldn’t have remembered otherwise. I remember his (even now), without needing to be on facebook and see others’ birthday greetings. My attention, love, energy, and money were all wasted on him.

    • Colorado sweet pea says:

      “I am completely turned off by the
      Reason he turned out to be…” Perfect words. Match so many of the men we women fall for….they’re never the same in a few months time, are they? They’re will be no tippy tapping out a text to my now NC ex ….none.

  3. Sals says:

    My lovely mum died suddenly last Saturday :-(. I broke up with my ex in May. I have been NC since then. He heard about my loss and sent a short text and a card. He hurt me a great deal but I oh so wanted to contact him today and let him console me. Staying strong though……

    • Lilia says:

      I´m so sorry. Sending you a big virtual hug!
      And stay strong, you don´t need him to console you, that´s why you have us BR ladies.

    • Colorado sweet pea says:

      Do NOT do that. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Lean on a friend , a faith , ANY thing….not him….

    • beth d says:

      So sorry to hear about your mum. (hugs) Glad you are staying strong. I know how hard it is when they are doing the right thing. My ex left me a beautiful message on my birthday a few weeks ago. It was so hard not to call him because the message sounded so sincere. It was really hard to stay strong but I just think of all the pain and how I don’t want to get back to the insanity that defined our relationship….

    • Sue S. says:

      Dear Sal, I’m so sorry for your loss. You are doing a great job taking care of yourself by staying away from the ex. Your lovely Mum would be so proud of you. Much love from your BR sister! Sue

    • Peanut says:


      I’m incredibly sorry for what you’re going through with the loss of your mother. It is incredibly painful, I know.

      Going to the ex to sort out this pain will just compound it. You really deserve so much better than that in your time of hurt.

      • susanna says:

        I’m so very sorry for the loss of your mum. I agree with everyone who said turn to someone else to get loving support during this painful time in your life. This man will only cause more pain and it will take you that much longer to fully grieve your mother. Leave him in the past where he belongs. With love and a virtual hug.

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Sals… Here is a big hug for you. I am very sad to hear about the loss of your Mom. It was decent of your ex to send the card, but please let it end there. You don’t need to reach out to him. You are vulnerable right now and that could very well spell disaster for you. You have us here to talk to. Let one of your girlfriends console you. That’s what they’re for.

    • Allison says:


      I am so sorry for your loss.

      You are going through so much, please do not contact this man. as it will make things much worse.

      When my brother passed, three years back, I had to deal with a few people that made the most difficult period of my life, even worse- if that’s possible. Trust me, if this person was not dependable or a drama maker, you cannot bring that kind of presence around, only, loving supportive friends and family.

      This is one of the most painful events you will deal with, don’t make it more painful with this man. If he wasn’t a friend in the past, he won’t be now.

    • micheyl says:

      Sals, so sorry about your mother! Stay strong! It is times when you are vulnerable that those with ill intent take the most advantage. <<<333

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Sals. I second the advice of others that you should only invite the dependable into your life now. You need people who will really take care of you now.


  4. Mr. Able says:

    Timely, thanks.
    I’m looking at an anniversary of sorts today. It was a year ago when things went from “friends” to fwb, or whatever it was. I’m not breaking NC over it, but still feel down about it. I’ve been invited to a going away party tonight, but I don’t feel like going. I’m going to go anyway just for the welcome distraction.

    But I’ll be honest, in some ways I’ d like to think she’s thinking about me and is sad, or feels bad, or regrets how things didn’t work out, and maybe she’ll contact me. But I doubt it.

    The other extreme irrational thought is she’s already got a new fwb (or there was some overlap) and I’m the furthest thing from her mind.

    Just a few more hours and this day will be history.
    Tomorrow is a new day and this anniversary will be behind me. It’ll also be two weeks NC. Feeling good about that.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Hey, Mr. Able, Congratulations on 2 weeks into a new drama free life. I remember how it felt and I also had the same thoughts and feelings as you.
      You are very raw now, so give yourself a break.
      I just passed 9 months and all though I still have my moments, I am grateful the time has passed. I also turned into an FWB, although I didn’t figure that out until I realized I had been future faked. My hat is off to you for being brave enough to get out. I was no way ready for that so I admire your courage. Know that these feelings will become weaker and weaker, so will the power of your ex. Be strong and stay NC. If I can do it, you can too!

    • lizzp says:

      Anniversaries, Late July/early August was when I and ex began romantically. I’ve been finding the past couple of weeks quite painful and flooded with memories. Have been weepy most of this weekend. I know it will pass and though it hurts and I feel lonely it’s nothing compared to how I felt when we called it quits last year. There’s not a chance that I will contact him so at least I’m safe in that regard…just weepy.

      • MaryW says:

        Mr.Able – cheers to the end of today and to two weeks of NC. Yes it’s very sad, but please be grateful if she doesn’t contact you – it really won’t make it any easier. I guarantee you.

        Dear Lizzp,
        Thinking of you. Sending tissues. x

        • lizzp says:

          Hey Mary W, I got the tissues, thank you. I did realise at one point that premenstrual hormones had added to the intensity (the damn has broken so to speak today), but sadly much of the last couple of days has had me returning to that old battle with my self esteem. It was more than a simple bit of grieving for a loss, at times I have been deep in abandonment pain – small, weak, helpless without him, shamed and desperate and alone, not alive in the present and losing the time (being in fantasy) having no compassion for myself. It’s such a deep wound in me still. I have to take better care of myself next time because this wound is part of me. Maybe that’s a new insight, maybe I’ve had it before. Either way I feel right now that next time I have to be so firmly grounded in reality,for someone like me there is just no place for fantasy when it comes to men because over time if he’s the right one for me then he’s going to have to see me for who I am wound and all. That means I have to find a way to accept it too and wash it gently, no more salt on it.

          • MaryW says:

            Lizzp, I get you on both fronts. The hormomes over the past weekend for me also.. and the deep wound(s).

            I had 2 very dark days, after Mr.M. sent me a message and then the next day my EU mother’s birthday. Does her birthday count as an upsetting anniversary? I sent the most cursory card you can imagine, something I found in my desk at work and I wrote the minimal amount, just so I didn’t have to feel bad about sending nothing. I do feel bad.

            I’m not sure whether you are also referring to your ‘inner child’/ parental wound(s) or solely to your wound about your ex; I find they overlap, the lines get fuzzy, and sometimes I am not sure what I am upset about. Though I know you have improved your relationship with your mother, you mentioned less-resolved father issues in another post.

            I know what you mean about there being no room for fantasy, and I agree, but sadly I can’t see any time in the near future anyway where I don’t fall into fantasy mode (hence I am keeping myself to myself). Hell, last night I even slipped in to a brief fantasy about Mr. Messiah of all people. It was comforting for about one minute before I became a bit (a lot) disgusted and had lots of negative flashbacks which stopped me sleeping.

            I try to fight the hormones with evening primrose oil, no idea if it helps. I wish there was a supplement for our other problems/ wounds (barring antidepressants).

            Yes, go light on the salt, and take it easy on yourself. Thinking of you.


          • Andee says:

            Struggle with this too. A lot of the time I feel strong. I think about it more than I would like still, but the emotional weeping times have lessened. Last night an acquaintance messaged me on facebook to ask “Who is so-and-so?” and gave a girl’s name I didn’t know. I said I had no idea. She said that they ex had on his facebook page that they were in a relationship. I told her we broke up and I haven’t spoken to him. I also told her that I didn’t want to hear anything about him or talk about him at all.

            Then I burst into tears and had to call my best friend. I didn’t want to know her name! I don’t delude myself into thinking that he is doing anything different with her or happier, but I don’t want to hear details. Then this morning I remembered that I’M the awesome one. That if he tried to convince our mutual friends that I was clingy or co-dependent or crazy, they would laugh in his face. Everyone we know does however, believe he’s an idiot for letting me go.

            No one is feeling sorry for me, because I was the rock star. He’s the emotionally stunted loser that can’t get it together and everyone recognizes that. Maybe that shouldn’t make me feel better..ideally I would like to not give a rat’s ass about that, but it does make me feel better and remember that I dumped him. I didn’t take his shitty reset button deal. I know it’s not a contest, but I’m totally winning.

            • MaryW says:

              “I know it’s not a contest, but I’m totally winning” – I love that, Andee!

              Sorry the Facebook acquaintance felt the need to ask her disengenuous question. It must have been obvious that you’re no longer with him. Some people just go fishing for gossip without considering the effects of their actions. It’s your life, not a soap opera.

              Andee, I’m glad the crying jag and the pain have been replaced by positive thoughts. Three cheers to us for dumping the emotionally stunted losers :)

  5. Kaz says:

    This is such an interesting article, because in my case the ex AC who dumped me is the one who – without fail – reaches out to me on every “occasion” he can possibly think of. He makes any excuse for an occasion up if it’s been a while since his last contact. Of course I am staying NC, and trying to move on. Well at one stage I did tell him to go away and stop contacting me (not in such polite language, mind you). After all, he is the one who chose to end our relationship and move on with someone else. But I realise now that he won’t go away (when I told him to go away, he probably thought it was great that I gave him the ToD to even contact him for that), so I just don’t reply to any of his contacts. It’s only been 18 months, so hopefully he’ll fade away with time.

    • MaryW says:

      Kaz, 18 months of him breaking NC is a hell of a long time. Each time he contacts you, surely it’s hindering you from moving on? Even if you don’t respond.
      I got a message the other day from AC/EUM and it got me all het up, made me start analysing him. Basically it got under my skin (and I’m annoyed with myself about that).
      18 months worth of that, I can’t imagine. I am considering changing my phone number if I get any more messages. Have you ever considered that?

      • Peanut says:

        Kaz and MaryW,

        I changed my phone number after initiating no contact. Well, actually I just turned my phone off for a month, then changed the number when I was ready to turn it on again.

        I was so lonely and had managed to let him use and toy with me via the phone. He was a heavy texter.

        And I was just so sick of being so available to everyone, yet not to myself.

        One of the best things I’ve ever done.

        I fully understand if it doesn’t make sense to just up and turn off your phone, but I really did experience great things by changing my number, though I’m not sure I wanted to resist if I had gotten a text from him. So I really needed to not know if he texted or called (I really don’t think he bothered with the latter).

        • MaryW says:

          Peanut, I can’t turn off my phone for a month, but sometimes I wish mobile phones had never been invented. Really. Sometimes I feel like throwing mine in the river.

          It would be a complete pain in the neck for me to change my number but I’ll do it if I have to.

          And I’m going to be very selective about who I give my number out to in the future.

  6. noquay says:

    I don’t think men are as “memory oriented” as women, so and attempt to reach out to commemorate an occasion is going to be met with confusion and possibly resentment. I would commemorate the anniversary of my humiliating break up with the at work AC, by symbolically taking back the town where it happened which is one of my “escape” towns. I’d put down tobacco on the very spot where he showed up with another woman I knew nothing about and vow “never again”. After this last year, I no longer feel the need to do so although his latest lives in that town. Not worth the energy nor the fuel. Dread having to deal with AC again come Monday, but he will face a stronger, tougher Noquay this year.
    Sals, I am really sorry for the loss of your mom, keep strong.

  7. Pauline says:

    I have an old boyfriend that I let go of about 4 years ago and he sends me a text on my birthday every year. I thanked him the first time as my birthday was a few months after we split up but I haven’t responded since then. It’s kind of creepy why he keeps doing it.
    The ex AC/EUM also sends me texts about his interests if anything newsworthy has happened, why would he think I would be interested in whether his football or cricket team is doing well when I wasn’t interested before. I don’t answer him and also don’t answer any of his ‘fishing’ around for information on what I’m doing texts, do i have a new boyfriend etc either. He used to demand answers when I didn’t text back, which I also ignored and he’s gradually getting the message … None of his business. It’s taking a while though.
    Nat’s right, people who do this kind of stuff are just messing with your head.
    It is kind of weird when you are on the receiving end of some dubious communications from someone who hasn’t treated you well. I always think what do they want, we’re not family or friends, not in a mutual relationship and there is only one conclusion I come to … They are after something, money (as in the case of a so called girlfriend who spent several months pretending to be my BFF until she got a no, can’t help you with a loan – as if!), sex or whatever other agenda they have.
    Every now and again I get an urge to contact the ex AC but that would just open up a new world of verbal abuse and disrespect so I don’t go there. I like myself so much better now and my boundaries are in place. Life is sooooo much better.

  8. Sanntay says:

    Sals: So sorry for your loss. Sending warm hugs your way and wishing you continued strength.

  9. Peanut says:


    You’re speakin’ my language Nat, though, yes, none of the aforementioned are adequate reasons to break no contact.

    There is not an adequate reason to break no contact (assuming no contact begins after breakup issues are promptly squared away and if the unavailable drags it out; leave and let ’em work out the tangles on their own seemingly endless time).

    That all sounds like a lovely group for a festival!

  10. Peanut says:

    Mr. Able,

    We’ll never know what they’re thinking.

    Even if we try to cajole (I’ve done this) it out of them, they lie.

    The best we can hope for is to get to a point where we plum don’t care. It is possible.

  11. Liz says:

    Sals so sorry about your mum. Stay strong with the NC but do make sure you have other people around you.
    Its been just over 3 weeks NC for me and this week the ex has been in my street to give my little boy a gift (my son is one of my ‘hooks’ he uses). On previous occasions I have called or at least text to say thanks, thereby starting the whole sorry charade again. But not this time. My son told me he said thank you so I need do no more.

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Oh Liz, that is really a low-down dirty ploy your ex uses. He uses your son to get to you. I’m just speechless. Good for you resisting the “bait.”

      That makes me VIKING mad! Where is my horned hat, breastplate and broadsword???? I feel a need to create some mayhem for this AC!

      • Rosie says:

        LaPinturaBella- I love all your characters in your posts! I loved your reference to the queen in Alice in Wonderland, your description of a Viking here…I can see your emotions through your choice of characters. I appreciate this in your posts.

        • LaPinturaBella says:

          Rosie, thank you! That really is very sweet, and I do appreciate it! I think it helps remind me that I AM strong when I channel these strong “inner” women. And I’m an artist so I tend to “think” visually. LOL

  12. Mr. Able says:

    Sals, your post appeared same time as mine. Sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is also a time to re-examine who you are. I made some big changes when my dad died. It was a positive catalyst for me. But I still miss him, six years later.

    In the reading of everyone’s posts, I’m getting the sense that I should be grateful i recognized my ex was not the most supportive person in the midst of stressful situations. Glad to realize that. How disappointed , no, hurt and let down, I would have felt if I did go to lean on her for some support. It would not be there. Another reason why I don’t think we could ever be “friends.”

  13. Peanut says:


    That was another thing I had to learn: Be selective in who gets the digits.

    I’ve actually told people “no” when it came to giving my number when I wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t make a big deal about it either. I think I’ve said something along the lines of, “No thank you; I pass, and I’m not giving my number out.”

    The funny thing is I’m usually met with an upbeat “huh, okay, sure” and then they go about their way.

    I used to revel in the attention from any ‘ol straggler; now I can’t be bothered.

    Also, I get on average four texts a month, and it is so MARVELOUS. Clutter free all the way.

    I get the not shutting the phone off. I was an angry wreck of a woman that really needed some complete me time, though I never want to be in a place where I was then when I took such measures to gain grieving time.

    • MaryW says:


      I often turn my phone off now, or put it in a drawer, or leave it in another room for a few hours. Most of the time, no one has contacted me in that time anyway, but it’s essential to have some quiet ‘me time’.

      I remember going on a date with a guy who was being odd about giving out his mobile phone number beforehand (I didn’t insist; I knew I could reach him via the dating website app if I was running late for the date), and maybe he doesn’t give out his number because he’s come across a few cuckoos…. who knows.

      I am not thinking of any more internet dating at the moment, but I’m on and I am even thinking I don’t want to give out my number to those people (men/ women/ martians). No more giving my number out to strangers. In the past two weeks, I have had no less than FIVE men from my past contact me, including one guy from a dating site at least 4-5 years ago who I never even met. He was just trawling through his ‘little black book’.

      Peanut, sorry for you were ever in such a state to take those measures. I was at the point where my friends wanted to take my phone off me towards the end of and after the last ‘relationship’ because I was so bloody frantic. :( But I use it for my diary, my alarm clock, email… candy crush saga 😉

      • Peanut says:


        It’s funny how it doesn’t even make sense to give out our numbers to strangers when you think about it! I always thought I had to as not to be impolite or awkward. Oh, noooo! It’s really a safety issue, as well.

        Oh, goodness, with the ex before last, I’d call him frantically begging for him to give ME another chance. He was a rage-filled addict! And to think, I thought I’d just die without him. When we are unaware and live without mindfulness, the mind will surely play tricks on us.

  14. koko says:

    Hi guys!Occassions… hmm thats a bummer .. close to 6 months no contact..i almost succumbed to wishing him a happy bday in June but thanks to you guys i didn’t. I was all worked up the whole week before. Kept myself occupied and let the day pass. I was glad i didn’t text him and that the opportunity passed for me to have an excuse to reach out.

    Anyway last week was an occasion for me (not bday or anything) and all of a sudden he texted me. Wow was i surprised. I wasn’t expecting that, i thought i have been completely forgotten. Part of me, the ego bit was smirking wasn’t me who break contact. I replied and we exchanged few messages. I am not reading anything into them though he shared some info that i really didnt need to know about his fam etc.

    I was friendly but you know what ?…I realised i am not bothered about what he writes, if he replies, how long it took him to reply and all that stuff. I am not oversnalysing the stuff he says etc. My gosh i almost can’ believe it but this guy does not have the effect he use to have on me. I thought that i would still be v much affected. I know i am not completely out of the woods yet but i am trilled and i just wanted to shere this. :)

    There is light at the end of the tunnel :)

    • Enough says:

      Hey Koko,

      Just starting this NC “again” its still pretty fresh with me and I really can’t change my number at this time. I can’t wait for the day that i feel nothing when he texts or call or just pops up at my home. I have plenty of reasons to feel nothing trust me but 9+ years has thrown me for a doozy!!!! Up Down Hot Cold Every thing but the kitchen sick which was physical abuse. I just wish he would leave me alone!!! All these one word texts Really!!!! WYD, HEY, MY NAME, HELLO. I broke NC can you believe it I did and why a family cookout. I have a real close family that love to throw cookouts and just sit in the backyard and have fun. Thats one the things I love about my family. I guess i was feeling lonely that all the family was around with there bfs and gfs and hubbys and wifeys. And it hit me I was alone and i sent a short one word text. Mind you i didn’t get a reply back until two hours later. I went off and sent some choice words and finally broke down at how did all this just happen to me “again” I was doing so well being apart from him and one night it all came crashing down. I alone brought this on myself. But I knew this was going to happen for a split second (and i do mean split) I thought i would be different. Yea Right!!!! If it wasn’t for BR i wouldn’t have smarts to realize I am hurting myself and that I have to learn to love me and Heal!!! One day at a time. Sorry for the long ramble I just wanted to let you know how I so needed to be where you are feeling the way that you do about him. But i could not help it. I guess i needed to get some things input(hint) lol

      • micheyl says:

        Enough, I hear you. I keep going back and forth. I think this time I am able to not contact him. It feels like I am the one always breaking NC, but I really feel I am ready to let it die down. I realized last night that he really can say some mean things. Maybe he is not as “nice” as I think he is. Well obviously he is not, but I have had him on this pedestal. I need to get him off.

      • koko says:

        Hi Ya,

        Sorry to hear about your breaking NC :(, hang in there. And if you have the urge to break NC again write in BR. These ladies in here will remind you exactly why you shouldn’t. They will tell you things you don’t want to but so need to hear. It really helped me.

        As for me , i am not totally out of the woods yet. Just that the urge to reach out is so much less and like i said earlier i was just a lil surprised that contact from him didn’t wound me up like it used to. However i would be lying if i said that i didn’t feel anything at all :(.

        Hang in there!

    • susanna says:

      I know from experience that where you are is where I’ve been and I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but please be careful. It is so easy to get sucked back in, especially after only 6 months. You may think you have “control” but sometimes just when you feel you are over them, they pop right back up in your life again and the cycle starts all over again. These guys–depending on the circumstance–just want an ego boost to be sure you haven’t forgotten about them. NC really means NC for a LONG time–not after 6 months. I just say this with love–don’t let him pull you back. If you do, you will lose your power and he will win. Don’t let him.

      • koko says:

        hi susana

        thanks for your advice :) needed to hear what you had to say. you are right, in his own way its like trying to check if he is forgotten or not. Just like i wonder too. i am trying not to read anything into his reason for contact just that it is out of sheer ‘goodwill’ or courtesy. i know i am not out of the woods yet thats why still writing in here for some feedback.

  15. Boots says:


    So sorry to hear about your Mother. I wish you strength. Treat yourself gently and be careful as this is a vulnerable time.

    On the subject of no contact…well…a relationship that nearly brought me down….but not quite! After eight years have finally come to my senses. I never knew such pain but have managed to claw back some self esteem and respect and boy, does that help me in those difficult times. My birthday was in April. He rang me four times but I did not respond. So hard! In June I suddenly get an invite to join him on a social network called ‘Path’!? I had never heard of this but discovered it is a smaller set up for ‘close friends and family’. I must be on the way to recovery as I knew this would eventually be just another opportunity for him to electronically ‘hang me out to dry’. Will never give him another chance to hurt me in any way, shape or form. Did not respond. Am done!

  16. Mr. Able says:

    Today’s the day I’m putting stuff into a box and into storage. It’s hard to not sit and read everything.

    I did go through my day planner from last year and saw a few things I forgot about. I actually jotted down the times I thought things weren’t going so well– in other words: Red Flags! And there were alot of them!

    So I knew things weren’t great from the very beginning but I settled for some moments of fun, and invested a whole lot in something that wasn’t balanced.

    Trying not to give myself shit for not heeding my own awareness back when it was happening. I think it’s good I did jot it down to read today. A good reminder that it wasn’t all daisies and sunshine.

    Does anyone else write, journal, etc.? Besides here, I mean.

    • Peanut says:

      Mr. Able,

      Does anyone journal?! YES SIR. I fill notebooks with my thoughts. Then I shred them.

      It is cathartic, detoxifying and sends a message to my subconscious that I am moving on via shredding.

      I have heard that some people like to keep them and look back. I don’t find this particularly useful, as I am usually met with an event or obstacle that shows a measure of my growth, thus canceling out the need to keep journal entries.

      I write in a feelings and food journal each day. Really 99 cent ones will do.

      Nothing fancy needed for this. Just go with what feels right for you.

      Anytime I’m feeling strong, unbearable emotions, I write. I write what I’m experiencing and any connections to triggers and the like.

      It helps in the formation of thoughts, expressing of emotions, decluttering the mind, and connecting beliefs to thoughts and behaviors.

      Which ever way you choose, good luck!

      • Lucky_Charms says:

        Hey Peanut, If I remember correctly, you an artist, as am I. I am a fierce journaler and doodler. I have been looking at where I was last year at this time. 9 months of NC is such progress. When I read back on the crumbs I was kneading into a giant loaf. I have to wonder what the hell I was on? Journaling is a great tool and def helped save my sanity. Still does.

  17. Peanut says:


    Yes super jelly! The color of that bag is yummy. And you are ADORBS.

    I guess I’ve been lucky in a sense that on certain anniversaries (Fridays were really hard because we’d hang out on weekends. I guess Fridays were our days) I haven’t had a desire to contact him, but I do grieve and cry.

    In fact, other than snoop online and show up where he “might” be, I really haven’t had a desire to reach out to him.

    I now feel I don’t ever want to see him. I’m beginning to associate him with pain, which is good because it’s true.

    I was just happy to have someone around to connect with other than my family whom I don’t connect with, but he was just as bad if not worse (that might be a stretch) than my dysfunctional family.

    In a way it’s easier to distract yourself with a bad boyfriend than get real about your bad family. I guess it’s less painful that way. You can change your boyfriends, but you can’t change your family.

    But you can set boundaries with family, stand your ground, stand up for yourself, say no, call the cops on them if need be, leave them in the dust, move, etc.

    Family ties happen via procreation but no where is it set in stone (and even if it is, so what?) that we have to stick by them through abuse in the name of ‘family.’ Family is just a word.

    Real, worthwhile bonds take love, care, honesty, respect, and boundaries blood relation or not. Anything less is not worth it.

  18. Lilia says:

    I wanted to comment on this post sooner but the last few days have been extremely stressful with my neighbours´kid footballing his ball into my bedroom window (sleeping with a broken window now), the water boiler breaking down and at the same time me trying to impose boundaries on my ex husband who – after 4 years – still insists on behaving as if he´s part of my household.

    But anyway.

    I just wanted to mention that I did follow the NC rule very conciously when the EUM´s birthday came up this year. After he sent me a lame birthday greeting a few months before, I was determined not to do the same. Because, after all, he was always wishy-washy with me, even after I told him “you´re either with me or you aren´t”.

    So I´ll share with you all that it wasn´t easy at all to ignore his birthday. First, there were the silly doubts that show up: shouldn´t I be polite? Wasn´t I too harsh? Would he feel ignored? Would he care? Would he even notice? How will I look if I act this way?
    And afterwards, after I maintained NC, it was like an anticlímax. Here I had been empowering myself to ignore him, feeling strong and able, and doing the right thing, and and… nothing happened.
    I didn´t get any congratulation for my brave behaviour. If he noticed, I never knew.
    Rationally, I knew that it was the right thing to do for myself, but then what? NC meant that I had no new topics to speculate about him, to feel angry at him or disappointed or whatever. It was boring, to be honest. And I guess that was the most difficult thing to deal with – that it was boring. I would´ve loved to know that he was fretting over the fact that I ignored him, but I didn´t. He had disappeared. And that hurt my ego.

    • micheyl says:

      Lilia, it won’t be the same, but congratulations :) I know how you feel though. I thought it was “easy” to keep NC with my EUM on his bday because he was about to take his new girlfriend on a trip out of the country. But what I did do is sleep with someone that night so I could get my mind off the EUM. Ok, not the best strategy but it’s what I did. Yeah, so it didn’t seem to bother him that I didn’t contact him on his birthday. In fact we stayed NC for about 3 weeks, and like you said it seemed he had “disappeared” and that he didn’t care. So, of course I reached out to him, because I needed to know that he did care. And he assured me that he did. But really? No not really. He really could give a shit about me. I am just too into my own ego to accept this. He could go for ages without contacting me because he has his life, his new girlfriend… and only when he wants sex with me does he reach out. But honestly it is usually me to reach out.

      Stay strong Lilia, and don’t reach out to him. It will hurt you more than him “disappearing.” It is probably better that way. It is hard on the ego, but eventually you will see that it’s for the best. I hope I am like that this time ’round.

      take care xoxo

      • Sue says:

        Micheyl, If I could find anybody (vaguely acceptable) that wanted to sleep with me I would do it. I’ve been on Match for 3 weeks and have only had one date. I don’t even know any men that are not married, etc. that I would sleep with. Count yourself extremely lucky.

        • micheyl says:


          I have been there believe me! During the 7 years between my divorce and the EUM exboyfriend I only slept with ONE guy ONCE. And that was at my HS reunion (UGH! Don’t even want to think about it!) Anyway, I guess I am falling back into my old patterns of sleeping with anyone who shows any interest in me (I did this after my first divorce in my early 20’s before I had kids). But, even though it can be nice in the moment, I realize I have to change. I look to sexual intimacy like it is real loving intimacy and it is NOT. I like to think I am sexually liberated, but it is not even that.

          I am really finally ready to accept that I need to wait to have sex with a man. My pattern is to sleep with them asap (because I am pretty sexual, so it is easy for me…)
          but obviously, it has not worked for me. I think if I wait, and really get to know them like Nat says, then the relationship can start off normally, not from 0 to 100 because we had sex.

          But, if you are just referring to plain old sexual action, then I know it can be frustrating when it is not looking like it is in the near future. I used to quote the movie “Baby Boom” during my dry spell (geez, nearly dry decade!) when Diane Keaton says she was never really into sex, but when you’re not having it and there is no prospect of it in the near future then it becomes very important!!!

          Hang in there Sue <3

          • Sue says:

            Thanks Micheyl, I have this new plan where I’m gonig to proceed as foolows. Meet a guy. If he is relationship material, wait to have sex with him and try to build a relationship the BR way. If he is not relationship material, but is acceptable, have sex with him once or twice and then disappear. I am implementing this plan because it is what I have come to realize is how men operate in the dating world. Anyway, the fault in the plan is at step 1; i.e., meet a guy. Sigh.

            • FX says:

              Sue, There are enough ACs in the world without you joining the ranks! “If he is not relationship material, but is acceptable, have sex with him once or twice and then disappear. I am implementing this plan because it is what I have come to realize is how men operate in the dating world.”

              How about employing some of what you have learned on BR and behaving with integrity? It is not all or nothing. You can still have sex even if you don’t see a future with someone without being an AC. Just let the man know you that having sex doesn’t mean you are looking for a committed r/s with him if you don’t think he is on the same page. Let him make his own choice. If you like him enough to have sex with him, you can be a decent human being for your own sake as well as his.

              • lizzp says:

                Yeah, agreed FX. It’s simply unfair. You see, that man that maybe gets hurt by the EU behaviour of a woman may then find himself set back in his own self development, theoretically making it harder for me or someone else to try and establish a co-piloted mutual relationship based on trust, respect care and love with him. The ripples on a pond effect.

                Ladies, please be careful not to spread mistrust out there..if we talk the talk, we need to walk the walk. And I am not saying I am perfect. I have damaged and hurt good men in the past through my own emotional dishonesty but I made a conscious effort to cease this as soon as I became aware of what it meant and it’s effects on myself and others. It’s called taking responsibility and was something that took great pains for me to learn. It doesn’t matter that I come into contact with people who don’t take ‘response(ability)’as long as I am doing so. It’s good for my self esteem that I honour my own and others’ feelings and put into practice what I profess to value – honesty, non game playing etc.

                • Sue says:

                  Point taken. I’m a bit bitter. I will be honest with the person about what I am doing. You guys are right. :)

                • Lilia says:

                  I have to confess I implemented Sue´s strategy when I was just NC-ing the EUM. And sure enough, if you go on a dating site you soon find ACs willing to have a booty call once or twice. The thing is to discern their intentions: there was this handsome divorced guy who didn´t ask much about me and started flirty talk right away. He had been single for 8 years (I asked him why, he said “It just happened. But you know, who knows what could happen now” implying that if I was looking for something serious I should pursue him). I figured handsome + single for so long = player and decided to accept what was on offer (aka casual sex).

                  On the other hand, I also met a nice and polite but extremely unattractive guy who was recently single and insecure about it. That was the one I felt I had to be decent to and not behave like an AC myself. So I honestly told him I was still hurting from my previous relationshit with the EUM and didn´t see myself embarking on anything stable soon.

                  I only had sex with the player guy ONCE and I decided never again. It did work physically but there was no emotional connection whatsoever. It was like doing an errand. I closed my account on the dating site soon afterwards. I haven´t had sex since (this was about a year ago). I´ve come to value the peace of not being involved with anyone for a while. And I like myself better now that I know I won´t settle for crumbs.

  19. susanna says:

    Yes, I kept a journal when I started to see him again and after I reviewed it one last time, I destroyed it. Like you, I found red flags from the very beginning–something was “off” and I could compare it to when things were good with him 20 years ago. Of course, I chalked it up to him “grieving” his wife’s death and gave him pass-after-pass-after-pass when I should have been watching out for myself instead. I was too nice & understanding.

    I think journaling can be cathartic, but it can also help us to see patterns and learn from them for the next time. These relationships that don’t work out are meant to teach us and then we can move on wiser and stronger. It’s all a process and we all get there eventually:)

  20. Tulipa says:

    I have also kept journals now they are just an embarrassment sitting on a shelf. They are full of angst and stress and how difficult I found no contact and how if he got back in touch I had a fleeting high going to crashing disappointment when it led to nothing. I have planned a bonfire to burn them all. I would really dread for someone to find them and see how one man who is not that special could bring me so low.

    His birthday is soon and just by pure coincidence we maybe in the same place on that day just hoping we completely miss seeing each other which is more likely than actually seeing each other phew.
    This is a big test for me I have never been no contact on his birthday before.

  21. I can’t quite go full NC for work reasons, but I did finally manage to draw a line at professionalism this past week with both ex-friend and his special friend. (Teacher Pre-week for school) Social media contacts are gone, so I can’t peek in at their personal lives, nor they into mine.

    I realized when I cried a few times the first few days, after a fairly non-tearful summer, that I had to take care of myself. I also realized how much further my career has come this past year than the years prior. In other words, since I stopped spending several days a week helping my friend without getting credit for it, ever, and concentrated on my own work.

    (My new British co-worker says that American schools are completely weird to anyone from anywhere else because we have middle management, and a caste of thoroughly useless folks in levels of upper management. So, I am still a teacher, and useful, but I am now in a position of limited leadership in the school. Not quite as high as ex-friend yet, but I worked on his career for four years, and only worked on mine for one.)

  22. Sandy says:

    He won’t get a birthday greeting from me!

    I read a book I purchsed from Amazon over the weekend, Men who Can’t Love, my god he is the epitome of the men they described. But the upsetting part for me after reading this was realising that I had no chance, absolutley no chance at all to be in a relationship that would have ever worked out with him because of how he is, I gave him chance after chance after bloody chance but if I had read this book before meeting him I would have walked away right at the start.

    I feel kind of defeated today knowing that I could have saved myself alot of years of bullshit and that no matter how I was, no matter how much I gave him, no matter how much freedom he had it just wouldn’t have mattered, it was and has been a waste of time, because he can’t be and will never be a man who will give a committment.

    • Sue says:

      Sandy, I read that book, too. It was really helpful in understanding what the F&*! just happened to me?! We have lived and we have learned. We are here, now. We don’t make the same mistakes again. Don’t beat yourself up, you can’t know something till you learn it.

      Trying to stay strong today. I am lonely and work is making it so that I can’t just go do what I want like hang out with girl friends. Stuck in the office. Bleh!

      • Sandy says:


        Stuck at work also, sometimes it’s just so tiring trying to be strong when you know they are just going their little merry way, I get lonelyto and think what if but when that happens I come onto BR and get my daily dose of reality.

  23. kookie says:

    i always knew things would never work out with the EUM. most of all because i was/am still incredibly EU myself so instead of genuinely occupying myself with myself and my issues, i noticed that i carefully tended to a well-constructed fantasy for my own ego and for his. since i wasn’t really worried about building a real connection (neither of us was capable of that) i built a series of memories/experiences that i am sure would make me unforgettable. i didn’t want to be his gf i wanted to be the flash of his youth that he thinks about when he is 90 and thinking “man, that was a magical moment in time, wonder what could have been” and i in turn can also look back on it and think ” man, that was some passion, what if we both weren’t so messed up?”

    so i didn’t talk to him for months and he didn’t talk to me , but we’d send the smoke signals with birthday msgs or whatever in and bam , crazy magical short bursts of passion and amazingness then we’d both retreat back to our decrepit caves of half-living. we were never together long enough or in any real way to actually fight so each meet up was perfect, preserved intact for rainy days when i feeling glum or unattractive.

    opening these boxes of memories always feels good, so i thought maybe i actually didn’t want love. love is too real. now i think it’s so pathetic. i knew i was never gonna get/give anything of substance so i didn’t want to walk away with nothing. i wanted to always feel good about the empty, shallow thing by sprinkling crazy amounts of bullshit glitter on it and it really could have worked. it’s almost easier for my mind to just remember the glitter version we created fondly and make a movie one day about that one time..but all this energy i put into creating this fake experience i could be putting into learning how to really and truly connect with people in a sustained and honest fashion. that’s what i’m working on now. i don’t have any false hope, never had any , of us suddenly falling in love but i’m also going to let go of wanting to have some magical memory of this nothingness for the future, cos my NOW is passing me by.

    so no smoke signal from me on his birthday this year and ignoring any on mine. thanks for the crumb memories off to make real ones.

  24. Marie83 says:

    I haven’t had any direct contact with my ex for 3 weeks. However I can’t stop talking about him to my friends – I know i’m not doing myself any favours but I can’t seem to stop! Does/has anyone else struggled with this and did anything help?

    • Sandy says:

      It’s only been three weeks so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself, even after 7 months I still talk about him, but it has got sporadic and it’s not constant so even though you can’t see it at the moment, it does get easier.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Marie, yep I did that too. I was lucky my friends just let me go at it. It took me about a month of self editing. I finally got sick of it and realized there’s no use beating a dead assclown. Believe me, the obsession will get old. You will find new things to discuss. I asked myself, “Do you think that assclown is talking about me to all his friends? Wondering how it could have gone so wrong?” Er no. He’s not, he’s onto the next shiny thing that catches his eye, while we build strong boundaries and self esteem.
      Keep going, don’t look back. You can do it!
      My birthday is Thursday and it’s gonna be the best. Since my friends have planned something, unlike the assclown who couldn’t plan anything because “he didn’t know what would happen tomorrow.” True story. LOL I know what happens tomorrow. We leave them choking on our dust, buh bye!

      • Marie83 says:

        Thanks Lucky Charms – yes I think that is what I find so frustrating/upsetting that he is getting on with his life whilst still trying to keep minimal contact so he can keep me in his back pocket and I guess I still give him too much power. I know he will contact me again at some point and I usually struggle not to respond as he gets angry and I guess part of me must still want him around – it’s bizarre

        • Lucky_Charms says:

          Believe me Marie, he may be getting on with his life but it’s a BS life. Remember, you are on a BS diet. You are living in REALITY, with strong boundaries and self esteem. These assclowns never end up well. Don’t think that anywhere he’s going is going to be different. He’s just using someone, lying to someone. You have evolved, they never will. Congratulate yourself. Change means courage. I bet you have it in spades.

      • Lara says:

        Amazing that my ex used the same exact phrase: “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.” Just amazing and crazy and bizarre that they all have the same mentality/excuses, etc. It’s like they picked up their assclownery from a self-help book, or something.

        • Sue says:

          Ditto on the “I don’t know what might happen tomorrow.” Sheesh.

        • Lucky_Charms says:

          Lara, I think I saw that and answered you in another post. It TRULY is freaky that our assclowns were channeling each other, using the same excuse. It is beyond bizarre. But I am grateful he said it to me. If someone actually thinks that you are going to buy into the fact that they can’t predict the future, so they don’t make plans or carry out the ones they faked you with.. That goes back to Nat’s “Outrageous Principle” Once they finally let on that that’s their philosophy, who the hell sticks around for that? It’s like Auntie Griz posted to me once, “who the hell behaves like that?”

          • LaPinturaBella says:

            I think it’s validation that THEY REALLY AREN’T THAT SPECIAL. Sheesh, they all use the same tactics, spew the same lines. Totally unoriginal, uncreative, unimaginative. It’s like they’re clones of one another.

            “Stepford AC” anyone?

  25. Sally-Stress-Head says:

    I’m not going to break NC–of this I’m sure, but the feelings that I feel right now are driving me up the wall. I don’t even want this guy, but the attachment just feels so pulling, pulling my mind to thoughts of him, and I don’t want to think about him, but I still feel this yearning for him, and it’s annoying the hell out of me because it won’t go away. I get the intellectual stuff, but the feelings are still just there, and the science of it doesn’t relieve any of that. It sucks. I’m trying to move on. I’m committed, but my mind won’t cooperate. It’s my mind, but it isn’t operating in my best interest, and I don’t know what is behind this attachment because I see and feel no reason for it. Yes, I’ve sat through it…leaned into it, but it still keeps coming back. I just think our minds are flawed, somebody up in heaven just made a mistake. …left the cap off of the bottle, or maybe I just need to get laid.

    • Sandy says:

      Yes strange isn’t it, my mind also does that. Can go for days not thinking about him, feeling that finally, finally I am free and bam it’s back again…but the way I see it, if I am strong enough to not break contact then I am strong enough to get through this, getting laid isn’t the answer, just causes more problems when you are still struggling with the biggest one.

    • Peanut says:


      Magnetic isn’t it?

      Our minds are flawed. (However we humans came about has surely resulted in some whacky mis-wiring in the dating realm). You are not alone.

      For whatever reason childhood, biology, who knows for sure, you are heavily attracted to someone not good for you.

      The thing about leaning in is it gets us through to the self-esteem side. But here is the kicker: The need for it never stops.

      I’m not saying you will always desire this man. If you stick to no contact, the desire will fade in totality. And the speed depends on how much you lean into the wanting while abstaining. Ha! I sound like a youth pastor.

      But really, that’s what it’s about. The thoughts about and longings in regard to my ex are fading faster and faster.

      But here’s the catch perhaps blessing maybe: in the end you will be a contextually more aware person.

      Case in point: I have been taking my dog to the same vet for years. Today we had an appointment and before being seen, I left. I couldn’t take my eyes off how filthy the place was. And, yes, there were a few other reasons.

      I won’t eat at a place I used to love because though they had the best masala, the whole place including the waitress needed a scrub down.

      My point is that once you hold out on something that isn’t overall good for you, your standards will raise. This causes more conflict, but leads to a much better and healthier life in the medium and long run.

  26. Mr. Able says:

    So, if the ex emails, does the NC clock start all over again?

    It’s uncanny, I was thinking how, despite everything, and finding yet another journal entry to support my decision to end things, I really missed her today.

    Then, email appears. I am having a problem with this. I want to respond but instead I’m going to hand write everything out. That way no chance of hitting send.

    • Rosie says:

      Mr. Able- Contact starts over when you hit “send”. It isn’t about what she chooses to do; it’s about what you choose to do and how you respond. By refusing to return her E-mail, you are maintaining NC even if she E-mails 20 times a day.

    • Sandy says:

      Mr Able

      The clock only starts over if you reply.

      Stay strong :-)

    • MaryW says:

      Mr. Able,

      If the ex emails/ texts, it doesn’t restart the clock at all. But going by my experience, it might well send you in to a funk; let that pass. In a few days or a week you will be SO glad you didn’t break NC by replying.

      I hope she doesn’t keep emailing you, I must admit that just one little text from ex EUM set me back. Nearly a week later I am so happy I didn’t respond.

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      No contact from you = no NEW pain!

      • Lucky_Charms says:

        Great equation SearchFor, Mr. Able, you may have one of those that like to break contact. My assclown has done that and the last time he showed up at my house. I never answered any texts or emails, I blocked what I could and then he came to my door and I got the pleasure of yelling at him. It is unreal after all the BS they keep breaking NC. It’s really hard, I know. Take Peanuts advice and get a cheap journal and write it all out. Then look at it in 6 months and you will see that you are a different person. You aren’t that man anymore. Good Luck, stay strong. You will be glad you did.

    • Furry White Dogs says:

      Use the technology to support your NC.

      When I ditched contact with the arseface I blocked him and his family/connections on FaceBook, set up my work Outlook and Hotmail to automatically delete any emails from any of his email addresses, named his contact details in my phone to ZLiarCheatArseface, set a silent ringtone to his number (I wasn’t going to the trouble of changing my phone number) and told him that I was moving house (he moved overseas).The only regular reminder’s I get now are letters from the banks which I cheerfully write on ‘Return to Sender’.

      11 months since he ended our marriage and 5 months NC and I’m so much happier, more myself, more positive and optimistic. Chatting to a friend last week I realised that our wedding anniversary had gone by two weeks earlier and I hadn’t even noticed it! I still have blah days but they’re just ordinary blah that everyone gets and more about me and stuff going on in my life.

      Honestly, maintain NC, focus on you, read here and gradually things really do get better and better. Even more importantly you’ll have learnt skills and attitudes that help you to have a healthy relationship with yourself and others. .

  27. amen sally stress-head. I know your struggle. my mind goes in circles. still wanting the unavailable AC who dumped me 2 years ago. I have been NC for 2 months. (I have done NC before, let him back in as a friend when I saw he was sad…needed to learn more lessons) just heard today that a girl moved in with him. into the house he bought for us. it hurts. just re-read the post on from nat on “why her not me?” it was good to be reminded that its not about me, its about him and his choices. its also still so sad to me that I haven’t moved on. it would be nice to have someone new to love…would be even better to have him out of my mind. it is getting better. it definitely doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. I definitely see how bad ou relationship was for both of us. I still hold on to the failure and rejection. Am I doing this to make myself the victim? I own the fact that I was angry and had a lot of unresolved daddy issues, poor self esteem. I allowed him to take advantage of my time, my body. why couldn’t I walk away. I am angry at myself that there is a small part of me that still would take him back. I should be grateful that we never married and had kids, that I don’t suffer his put downs and disloyalty… and I am angry at him for the lies and jealous that he has moved on. when will I believe this is they way it is supposed to be?

  28. Peanut says:

    Mr. Able,

    I wish I could be there like in that episode of Flight of The Conchords where Germaine keeps showing up in Bret’s dreams as David Bowie. Except I wouldn’t tell you to wear makeup and be freaky, I’d say “DON’T DO IT. DON’T RESPOND.”

    You will be tested with these types of things right around the times you’re most sensitive. This won’t be the last time you’ll need to resist in the name of your self-esteem.

    You’re not going to get what you want. She’s never going to change for you.

    Excellent idea: Write unsent letters when you have the urge to contact or respond and NEVER send them.

    Godspeed and may the force be with you.

  29. Peanut says:


    Yep, I am an art student and journaling is what keeps my crazy at bay 😉

    It’s funny you mention that you doodle! When I was going to school for something that had nothing to do with art, I’d frantically doodle the entire time, as I could not keep my hands still. I’d also get angry and mean while arguing with other students and complained constantly. Geez, was I out of my element.

    Then I switched paths and I am closer to home.

    Keep on keepin’ on fellow doodler!

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Oh geeze, I found my soul sister! All because of an assclown! Lol. It’s probably a good thing we can’t doodle on our comments. I would do the same thing with the doodles especially when bored, I also doodled various vignettes with me and the assclown, with a cig hanging out of his mouth and a balloon over his head, going blah, blah, blah, with the incessant talking. Good Times, NOT! Lolz

  30. M says:

    I’ve managed to keep very good post-breakup relationships with both of my ex-wives. I did have a ex-girlfriend with whom our relationship was exactly like BR is describing and it hurt her. I think the reason my ex-wives and I like each other is because we enriched each others’ lives and our relationships lasted years. We cared for each other a lot and still do even though we no longer are romantically together. The ex-gf I was describing was not as important to me from the beginning possibly because I met her after second marriage break-up and just like BR describes “timing was wrong”. However, I met my second wife shortly after break up with the first and was in love with her for real. She was completely emotionally available and we built a true relationship. The ex-gf like the fantasy of love and I can see that I never took her seriously even though she is a wonderful person, but a bit naive in how she views relationships. We were FWB, then after I found BR I told her about it, she’s been learning and finally went no contact and asked me not to call her. It hurt my ego a little but also I felt good that she is learning. She broke NC a few days ago texting about some self-help book she liked. I thanked her. I am in transition and BR made me think a lot. I was dating a wonderful woman for 5 month and felt like I am not developing felling for her. I talked to her and we decided to stay friends. I am sure she was hurt, however this is the first time in my life I broke up with someone gracefully and let them go honestly. I felt she deserves much better. At the same time I kept thinking about BR articles describing one of AC break-up tactics: “I am not good for you, you deserve better, blah,blah” Don’t know, sometimes I think that BR is a bit too harsh on people’s behaviors. There is never a good way to break up with someone. Anyway, I am not calling her since the break up and have no intention of having any FWB with her, but I do like her as a person and told her so, that we have become more like friends, and if she’d be ok with it I would like to keep the friendship. She said she’d be there. I was there for her through tough times when her grandmother was dying and she told me she was thankful.

    • Sandy says:

      Kind of wondering why you keep on saying that in your second marriage she was emotionally available…were you?

    • Tanzanite says:

      Hi M

      It’s nice to see a man’s point of view.

      I too,have a good relationship with my ex husband for the reasons you describe.( It wasn’t always that way )

      It does make me feel sad when you mentioned your girlfriend was not important from the beginning and wasn’t taken seriously. I wonder if you had given her same love and respect as your ex wives whether she might have been a different person altogether?

      I agree with you that sometimes the timing is all wrong which is why we need space and time to reflect before we jump into relationships.We need to respect our feelings and the feelings of others.Do you mind me asking why your marriages broke down ? They seem to have been good ones.

      If anyone ever asked me to be FWB I know my answer would be no.( Although ,I probably was with the AC I was seeing )

      There is no easy way to end a relationship and if the person loves you it is going to hurt a lot.I would rather someone was honest like you though.I have a friend who did say he didn’t want to be in a committed relationship but would be more than happy with a FWB arrangement.Amazingly,we are still friends and because of his honesty I never formed a romantic attachment to him.

      One AC in a lifetime is enough for any man/woman.

      I don’t want you to think I haven’t made any mistakes because I have but I could only really be friends with a man if I don’t love him or have never loved him.

  31. Anyone out there with success? Needing to hold on to hope. Oh yeah- nat is a success story. Anyone else got good results? How’d you get there? I’m having a rough spell.

    • Peanut says:

      Getting there,

      If by success you mean not being attracted to the most vile men on the planet? Then yes; I am your lady.

      The times you feel the shittiest leave you with the most opportunity to grow. That doesn’t mean seek shit. I’ve done that for decades. Until now (For the most part. Food is a different story/different blog).

      Abstain from what is obviously not good for you overall(certain types of men, food, romance novels, etc.), choose to endure the withdraw, and come out on the other side with self-esteem.

      When you are feeling down it is important to be honest with yourself, journal, write here, and make it through the doldrums without writhing to escape. Feel your pain; do not seek unnecessary pain.

      If by success you mean securing a decent man. Nope. Haven’t done that, yet. It would be nice to be married to a lovely man, sure, but at the moment I am working toward getting everything I can from being singe and enjoying time with myself.

      I must add, I read every one of Natalie’s books, journaled like mad, and allowed myself to cry a lot in safe places.

      Hope this helps! Good luck (though, funny enough, luck ain’t got nothin’ to do with it). XX

    • Sandy says:

      Having a rough spell as well, damn dreams (literally) woke up out of a really nice one about him this morning and just felt so down when I know the reality isn’t like that at all….I think people do get there but sometimes I do wonder how long this thinking of him is going to last!

      • Sally-Stress-Head says:

        hang in there Sandy and Getting There.
        I’m feeling much better today. I’ve no idea why; the bad spell just lifted, and I don’t have that yearning feeling for him. Like you said Sandy, we are strong enough to maintain NC, so we are strong enough to endure the bad spells.
        Idk when I’ll stop thinking of him, but I know I’ll stop thinking of him.

    • Tanzanite says:

      Getting there

      I have found peace of mind but there is no man involved.

  32. Revolution says:

    I remember when I was about 20 (many moons ago) and I broke it off with a douchebag I was dating (not an AC, but just a young punk who may have grown into a responsible dude by now, who knows?). Anyway, months later I found out that his mother died, and I knew that he was very close to her. I sent him a card, though I wasn’t looking for any “recourse” on our relationship. Even though I didn’t have the conscious expectation of hearing from him after sending the card, when I ended up NOT hearing from him, I remember thinking, “That motherf***er.” So yeah, sometimes we can create the unconscious need to hear from them when we break NC, even if breaking NC in the first place seemed “innocent” enough and we had no feelings for them at the time. The feelings can be created, though, even from those innocent moments. I don’t regret sending the card, but it did teach me to be more cautious with my heart in the future.

    • Peanut says:


      I really got a lot out of reading your comment.

      Yes, we can create feeling and try to revive the cycle without consciously knowing what we are doing.

      I left some earrings at the ex’s that he said he’d return but never did. Sometimes I get the itch to contact him in the name of getting them back, but I don’t trust it. I don’t trust him either. I wouldn’t put it past him to have given them out to another female.

      I just remind myself that they are just material possessions and the world is full of pearl earrings. No biggie.

      • MaryW says:

        Peanut, in this situation you should save up some pennies and go and treat yourself to a lovely, prettier pair of earrings as a reward to yourself and a reminder of how far you’ve come. Treat yourself! You deserve it.

        I left some earplugs at ex EUMs (he snored like a drunkard with sleep apnoea). I expect he saved them to give to his next unsuspecting victim….

  33. Goldie says:

    Is it normal to end a 2-year, seemingly normal and healthy, relationship, without any warning or explanation and immediately go completely NC on the other person? because that is what my ex-bf did to me a week ago and I’m not sure if that’s proper use of NC. Is what he’s doing a normal thing to do, that I should respect, or is he messing with my head? I won’t contact him anymore no matter what (though quite frankly I would love to get some of my stuff back that is still at his apartment), but would like to know others’ opinion on how I am being treated here. I still have no idea what made him end things, I asked and he said he didn’t know. Everything was fine until the last minute.

    TBH I am glad that he went total NC, as that allowed me to step back and evaluate the last two years of my life and my relationship with him. I can see now that the relationship was far more toxic and negative for me than I’d originally thought it was when I was actually *in* that relationship. I now have no desire of getting together with this man again, neither do I miss him anymore. I wouldn’t have been able to realize all these things if he hadn’t given me space (even though I didn’t ask for that space).

    Re the topic of this post, no I do not plan to wish him a happy birthday when it rolls around in a few more months. Being on the planet for 40+ – 50+ years isn’t reason enough to break NC so you can congratulate the other person on it, in my opinion. If something major happens in his life, I’ll never find out, and vice versa, as we live too far apart and move in different circles. Which is definitely a good thing for us both.

  34. Bebesgal says:

    After future faking and fast forwarding, my seven month relationship ended abruptly over the course of a weekend – that was about three months ago. On Friday night he told me that he is in the relationship for good and he isn’t going anywhere. On Saturday I spent the entire day with him and his kids on the beach, talking about future plans. Then on Monday,he decides to tell me that he could not imagine getting married again after what his ex wife put him through that day. And although he still loved me, he knew that marriage was something I wanted and a deal breaker for me, and because of his change of heart, obviously he recognized we could no longer continue the relationship. I wished him well, and immediately started no contact – I was in pain. At school he tried to reach out to me, but I would always rebuff his attempts, until towards the end, where he told me that his feelings for me hadn’t changed. School ended, and after three months, a new job, a new place, and short-lived romance, I reached out to the ex on his birthday. One thing led to another, we went back to our old habits, even though we no longer lived in the same state any more. Constantly texting, emailing, calling each other love, honey, baby, telling each other how much we miss each other, sending each other “thinking of you” texts, etc. Back in my mind, I knew this wasn’t sustainable but I felt trapped and momentarily happy. So I asked him to stop in my state on his way back from his vacation, which he gently thanked me for the invitation, but decline because he did not have extra travel time for I suppose are valid reasons. He needed to get his kids ready for the start of school. Naturally my feelings were hurt. So, the next day he emailed to tell me how much he has missed me and our friendship, and that he wants me to be in his life forever – everything was always on his terms. I replied by saying that I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s when I decided it was best to just implement the no contact rule without telling him. He has no idea – until now I suppose. I’ve blocked all communication with him, as I don’t want to sit around and wonder when and if he’ll contact me. I know for a fact when he doesn’t hear back from me after once, he’ll never try to reach out again. That’s fair. However, now I have complete guilt issues. Should I have told him that I need NC? That it’s not fair to me, and that as long as he is going to be in my life, I will never have the ability to move on to a healthier relationship. Apart of me is also angry, because I refuse to be part of his ex girlfriend harem. When we were dating, he had this one particular ex-girlfriend who was always texting him, being needy, asking him to do things and accepting boundaries. I have no issues staying in touch with exes, but this was excessive. I am not going to be one of those girls. My question is this, it’s been seven whole days since I blocked all communication with him, and I feel like crap. Knowing that I will probably never speak to him again makes me so sad. As if we just broke up last week – the feelings are so raw, I find myself obsessively thinking of him, ruminating about the relationship, and missing him. Please tell me it gets better. Getting in touch with him was the unwisest decision ever…I’ve taken so many steps backwards, I’m beating myself over this fact…

    • Allison says:


      He really screwed with your head – his change of feelings, re. the future over one weekend. He then demonstrated with action – or lack of – by not having any free time to se the woman he cared for so deeply.

      Girl, this man has shown and told you repeatedly that there is no future. The electronic communication and phone calls mean nothing, there is no future, hell, you’re not even living in the same state.

      This man is a waste of time! Keep up the block, and do not contact him. He will figure it out. Time to move on with your life!

      Sorry to be so harsh, just trying to spare you more pain, by being drawn back into this situation.

      • Bebesgal says:

        Thank you Allison. You aren’t being harsh, just honest. Still feeling the pain, but this is for the best. I normally never look back after a break-up, but this one really messed with my head. He was so good with his kids and taught them to be respectful and kind to others, so I just never thought he would be so unkind to me in such a manner, especially when only three weeks prior to that we declared our love for each other. This too shall pass, and there is something better out there for me. That’s what I keep telling myself at least.

  35. 30Love says:

    Getting there,
    I would say that, with time and the help of BR (I read almost daily, but very rarely comment), I have had success ridding myself of some pretty intense feelings I had related to a failed 10 month relationship I had with an EUM at work in another state. Thank goodness, I did not have to see him on a regular basis, though I have experienced some pretty tense monuments when he was in the home office or I had to visit his location. He was not an AC, and I was the one to end things, because I was not happy with his level of involvement in the relationship. But I spent more time than I’d like to admit in the depths of dispair. I would have to say that my recovery is based almost solely on the realization that I had to work on myself and develop other aspects of my life that provide satisfaction and a sense of well-being. I realized my mistake was getting involved with someone too soon after my divorce. I had not yet reconciled my feelings related to the breakup of that 15 year relationship before jumping back into another, and much of the angst I experienced was a carryover from my failed marriage. Several months later, I met a completely EA man while participating in a long time hobby. I am now in a very happy 12+ month relationship with him. It’s not perfect, but our struggles are the garden variety type, and we work on them together. I still see the exEUM sometimes, and after a long period of personal NC (we still had to communicate for work occasionally), I am able to deal with him in a relatively relaxed manner. It is clear he still has feelings for me, but his situation has not changed at all. If the conversation turns the least but personal, I politely cut it short. He attributes the change to my new relationship, but honestly, boy friend or not, I am not willing to trade my hard-earned peace of mind for what little he might have to offer. It doesn’t happen overnight, but keep making small steps in the right direction, and it happens eventually. Best wishes to you.

  36. Elle0412 says:

    Kookie, I’ve read your post holding my breath. I couldn’t believe my eyes! There is somebody in this world who did the same thing as I did: going for the fantasy that he would remember ‘the moments’ we had together when 90. Going in & out of boxes gets tiring. I now value my own quiet mind and am content he is in my past. Strangely enough he sent text today which I deleted. NC for 3 months now.

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Ack, I sometimes tell myself this same fantasy… not during the relationSHIT but when I went NC (I chose to pursue a ‘quiet mind’ over him 10 weeks ago)… someday when he’s 80 he’ll realize I was THE woman who truly loved him. In reality, he will likely have a harem in the old folks’ home… if his liver makes it another 35 years…

  37. Enough says:


    Its been three days so far and this time i think this is it (crosses fingers). Right now I am going threw the breadcrumb stage. Im looking for him to contact me a text, call or just show up at my home so I can tell him to piss off. I know him so well its crazy first he will text and will get no response from me. Next its the calls (reject) maybe a few voice mails. Last but not least a visit. I am so tired of this cycle it has me drained but like a bad addiction of mine. I know how it all plays out but the catch is the end result will be different!!!! 9+ years has really put me threw the ringer. A new number is in the works but i really can’t bear to change it at the moment for other reasons. I know it has to be done and I am preparing myself for it. This man has treated me so badly why am i even wanting him to even contact me? (help). I see and i know the answer but what is holding me back? fear!!!!! pure and simple not of him. Just fear of closing the door on 9 years up down hot cold good bad. Mostly Bad i made a list. Some days are better then most. BR has helped me so much and will continue to help me on this road to recovery!!!!

    • micheyl says:

      Enough, Bread crumbs suck don’t they?? Stay strong girl. 9 years is a long time, but seriously your life will be so much better. I look to my parents and see how my mom has stayed with an abusive AC for 50 years! It can’t get much worse than that. When I was younger I would PRAY for her to leave him. Her life could have been so much better… Don’t repeat a mistake like that. LET GO. Change is scary, but holding on to something bad is scarier. Picture yourself close to 80 with this AC by your side… NO GOOD.

      I have been 2 days NC with my EUM. He sends me crumbs in texts. I feel like I am how old? I don’t want to play these fucking games anymore. If you have something significant to say, then say it, but I am done. He knows what I want a real relationship and if he is not able to go there, then what the fuck is he doing? What is the point? I think my sadness is turning to anger/tiredness. Tired of all these WTF crumbs. I want SUBSTANCE.

      Love to you Enough. I hope you realize the YOU yourself ARE Enough. xoxo

  38. Mr. Able says:

    Today was bad. I immersed myself in working on non-stop number crunching, barely lifting my head. Trying to exhaust myself so all I can do is crash when I get home. I don’t want to think about it, her, any of it any more.

    In the morning, I had re-read journals from last August. FFS, I thought I was too cool to get mired in BS. The sad thing is she was pretty much up front with me but I just ignored it thinking she’ll come around.

    Reading it is a good reminder and helps me stay resolved not to try again. But it also makes me feel shitty. really not good. Very down. No more reading.

    I’m trying to not talk about her or any of this with anyone. My good friends tell me it’s good I figured this out now,she’s crazy, etc. but it’s not very helpful.

    They also want me to get back out there. Not ready for that and I think my sad/angry/back-off vibe is taking care of any possibility of a love connection any time soon.

    I appreciate the support here. Thank you. I’m glad I found this place. Learning alot from all of you.

    • Tulipa says:

      Mr. Able,

      “But it also makes me feel shitty. really not good. Very down. No more reading.”

      That is precisely why I am burning mine all of the information I needed to know was there in the beginning, but I chose to ignore it all. Even on here not so long ago I came across a comment of mine from 2008 which I could copy and paste nothing had changed except the year to 2013.

      Today was fun I was planting trees and hammering in stakes which I pretended was his head I called him several names with each bang and felt like finally I was releasing some pent up anger.

      I hope you keep going forward and remain no contact.

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Mr. Able,

      It is still early days for you. Remembering and piecing it together is part of grieving. Be gentle with you.

      My experience was that I worked on it/me for several months and thought i was ready to get back out there… But I was not attracting the the quality of person I would like to engage with, and I was not being who I wanted to be within those engagements.

      I think my energy was ‘off’ too, so I am taking more time for myself. I figure I’ll know when I’m ready. I’ll know when I’m sparkling again. Remember, it takes as long as it takes. Give yourself that gift.

      • SearchingForSatori says:

        Also, with not-positive dating experiences post-AC/EUM, I could feel myself starting to become EU myself. I won’t let AC take my open-heartedness along with everything else he took. Better to wait until I’m really ready to date than risk that.

  39. Lacy says:

    I feel like I may as well not exist.This guy has sent a message to me thru a mutual friend of ours on facebook that he wants his card table and says its impotant mail he left here mths ago he said his friend would pick it up and that I was a drama queen helped me before the best he could, I’m unappreciative drama queen and a bitter old ass bitch.

    • Marie83 says:

      Give this friend a date and time to collect said table then I would block all mutual friends on facebook who are passing messages onto you – if they were true friends they would not be doing this

    • Rosie says:

      Lacy–If this mail is so important, why didn’t he pick it up when it arrived? Maybe you could have a co-worker or a neighbor hand over the card table, mail, and anything else of his to the friend to give to him?

      I’m scared for you. Based on what you’ve posted in the past, this monster will be hiding and when you come out with table and mail, the monster will come out of hiding. Lacy, he’s dangerous! Find somebody else to give him his stuff. Also, remember B.I.T.C.H. is a compliment! 😉

      • lizzp says:

        Lacy, this is the guy who was banging on your door last week? Or am I mixing you up with someone else? Lacy, if he is that guy, PLEASE try to take what Rosie says SERIOUSLY. Please. I would move his stuff and mail to another location, can you drop it off at a relative’s of his or do you have a BIG STRONG male relative of your own you could leave the stuff with. You could drop his stuff off elsewhere and ONLY AFTER that’s done have a trusted friend (not one of your so called ‘mutual friends’)inform him he can pick up until x date, then your friend/BIG STRONG male relative throws this stuff out. Lacy, can you go away for a while? It may help you clear your head space of this dangerously unstable and manipulative man. You mentioned something about being/having been pregnant. I don’t want to pry but if you have a baby /young child is there a way the both of you can just take some time out…either with a trusted friend/relation who will provide an emotionally safe/nurturing environment or by yourselves (little holiday) if there is an absence of such people in your life right now. Lacy, you’re in a toxic environment it seems to me with all this facebook message BS from these ‘mutual friends’. Get out of that environment, please.

  40. Lacy says:

    I feel guilty and sad maybe he is right I am bitter, but I’m trying to change my ways. He left while I was pregnant, took my rent money twice amoungst standing me up on valentines day when he agreed for us to be together.

    What did I do?kick him out a bunch of times but took him back a bunch more.Took his clothes yo his mothers house at 3 am when he was gone all day when I was sad and depressed about my brother dying. I whad been off work for family leave it was sat and I was sad he left at 2 pm.We talked on the phone I asked him if we could go out I needed air because I was thinking about my brother he said ok.He never showed up, so I took his clothes to his mom’s house.He said I was disrespectful.

    Also it was a time that I did play a game on him.He would on many times say that he was on his way and not show up when I’d ask him to do something so last winter he needed help paying his truck note so he asked me.I said yes but when it was time to meet him with the money I never showed up.

    Maybe I’m being punished for something.Because now I feel like if I don’t be the friend he wants I’m an asshole, or wrong, or maybe the way I treated him I deserved everything that went down.

    Maybe I am not good enough to be loved the way I want to by him.I messed up if I would’ve been quite he said things wouldve been a lot better between us.I naggaged and complained.

    But my mind says he is with someone and the thought of him being good to someone else and not me it tears me up.I don’t know what to feel or do today is very bad for me.

    • Sandy says:


      He’s just playing bloody games, you deserve so much more then this total, total ass clown and deep down you know this!!He knows that the things he says has an impact on you, please don’t let him see this, stay strong and push him to the kerb..and honestly if he is with someone else do you really think he is treating her any better…no he bloody well isn’t!!

      You deserve love and respect, nagging and complaining isn’t a reason to be treated badly and you should be able to speak up and not worry that he will get upset about it, the guy isn’t worth your worry or your love.

      Sorry to seem so harsh, big hugs to you.

      • LaPinturaBella says:

        Lacy…repeat this to yourself. “Everything the man says is a lie.”

        He IS a little, insecure, egotistical boy inside a man’s body. HE is the one who is bitter. HE is the one who is a drama-seeker. HE is the one who is completely and utterly out of control!!!!

        HE is trying to control YOU by calling you names and chopping YOU down. Do you see how childish, immature and utter crazy he is???

        Ignore him. If his mail was that damn important, HE wouldn’t have left it at your place months ago. If his damn card table, was THAT important, he would have taken it. THESE ARE EXCUSES SO HE CAN CONTINUE TO CONTROL YOU.

        You, dear girl, hold the power and the keys. IGNORE him. Don’t respond. Don’t listen to him.

        And as I’ve said before bitch IS a compliment. It mean Babe In Total Control of Herself.

        You don’t need him. Go NC, take care of yourself and let the slug slither back into the hole he slithered out of in the first place. IT’S YOUR CHOICE HOW YOU REACT TO HIM AND HIS BS.

  41. Marie83 says:

    I am noticing that my desire to contact my ex is heightened if there are other stresses going on – I have had lots of stresses the past fortnight relating to my job and the desire to reach out to the ex is palpable. I have resisted but I am started to realise that the ex is like my go to place – my ‘uncomfortable comfort zone’

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      They’re the drug we think will make us feel better… except they don’t. I read somewhere that in AA they try to be aware that alcohol beckons when they are hungry, angry, lonely, tired (HALT)…

      • Sandy says:


        Totally agree, when I am lonely and wanting someone to talk to I struggle to maintain no contact, the talking bit is quite weird really as he didn’t listen to me and would interrupt to tell me about his day instead, I think it’s just knowing that someone was there, although that is also a contradiction as I could never rely on him…lol I give up, what the hell is it then??!! Is it just the loneliness?

  42. Sunyata says:

    I suck it and saw with my ex of on-and-off-again of 11 years.
    I felt emotionally raped, after yet another episode of me feeling vulnerable and open and him suddenly throwing out accusations, blame and just nonsense that really had nothing to do with me or even the conversation at hand.

    I noticed the very next day he called and left a voicemail, all nonchalant and casual, as if he hadn’t said very ugly things to me the night before.
    I realized, this is NORMAL for him.
    It used to be for me, too! When I believed everything was my fault and I didn’t deserve any better.

    I called in all of my learning from the past 3 years.
    I feel emotionally raped…do I tell him? NO. I don’t go to the pain source for comfort anymore. I abort mission. There is no benefit in telling him, as he has a string of exes and friends who have felt the same way and told him, and he cannot or will not see what his part is in that dynamic and I don’t need to be That Special Person who makes the difference, I don’t need to stick around for another dose. Done, done and DONE.

    Flush! I went NC.

    This was about 10 days before his birthday, (2 weeks ago) and I totally forgot about it until after the fact and seeing this post. So I suppose when we are really done, we are DONE. Wishing him a happy birthday doesn’t even seem like an option, much less desirable.

    For the first 3 days, it felt so challenging. My heart ached and burned. The horrid “raped” feelings came up and passed. Instead of beating myself up, I loved myself for keeping my heart open, for being courageous, for being human. I told myself, millions and MILLIONS of women have been through this, it is SO common, SO human, SO perfect.

    I felt scared I was throwing away something precious and valuable and making a Big Mistake. All that history!!! If only I could have been more compassionate, if only this and only that…then, THEN I could have that magical relationship that’s been eluding me for more than a decade.

    Once the emotions passed, I could finally see, in amazing technicolor, how I was trying to “be good” enough, how being with this man was exactly like my relationship with my father when he was drinking – horrid name-calling and abuse at night, hit the reset button in the morning. Saying all the right things to make me feel good and relaxed and trusting, then BAM, out of nowhere with The Crazy. Over and over again.

    Once I saw THAT, I felt so disinterested.
    There was a lot more that I noticed, finally, that was just like….ewww. No.

    Amazing….11 years of push/pull just done in no time. Yuck.

    I kept affirming, I trust myself, I trust my choices and for the first time ever for as long as I can remember, I’m not hung up on anyone.

    I feel clear and complete.

    • Bethd says:

      Glad you are done sunyata! I had 10 yrs of the same nonsense. Opposite situation for me. It was my bday a few weeks ago. My ex left a heartfelt message saying the nicest things abt me. For a second I felt like talking to him and of course missed the good side. But I trusted my instincts which were to ignore. I will never fool myself into thinking we could be friends. I played that game way too many times and got burnt bad. Trust your gut and choices describes it well! Glad for us both!

  43. 2Fearce says:


    I don’t know anybody who leaves important mail somewhere for months. He’s up to old tricks again. As for the card table, let his friend (not yours clearly) know that u will set it out on ur porch for a week. After that date week has passed. Put it out w the trash.

  44. Feeling Lack says:

    I was tending to his feelings, but I should have been tending to my own feelings, but I didn’t have the self-awareness back then to understand…and I wasn’t putting myself first, and he was supposed to tend to my feelings… codependency….

    It’s the codependency.

  45. M says:

    Sandy,Tanzanite, good that you asked those questions. I now realize that no, I was not completely available and the reason the marriage broke down was because I did AC things to push her over the edge and fall out of love with me even though because of me she was able to achieve many of her goals in life except one: have stable family and children. The AC behavior had to do with job dissatisfaction and escapists fantasies in which we were to go travel and live a romantic life in a beach paradise. I did well in my job, yet for many years wanted to escape the reality of hard work, life responsibilities, getting older,etc. I have to say the first marriage broke down for the same reasons. I said the second wife was completely available because she met another man also available and they now have a wonderful daughter, he moved countries for her, so their long distance relationship worked out because they both wanted the same thing. Their life is tough, she works a lot at a bank, and he too works full time European hours from home taking care of the baby at the same time. Their family is only getting stronger and I feel kind of happy for her. I loved her and cared a lot. When we see each other we talk about our lives, and kind of give some support by not rejecting each other because of what happened. Same with the first wife who did not find anyone better. I think there is another way beyond No Contact advocated here when people truly care for each other. As far as my ex-girlfriend, I liked her a lot. However, from the beginning I knew she was not for me (perhaps I am wrong, she was really into me). But it did not matter. Ladies, we, men, KNOW if we are into you or not, just like you do. I have to agree with Natalie on this one: if you act with disrespect to yourself, many men cannot resist to take whatever they can because we may not even be conscious about what it going on. Some are true hunters but most, like me are just ignorant ACs, so protect yourselves by first talking to them and getting some clarity about their true intentions. When I love a woman I will tell her so, I will make a commitment, I will move in, etc. I still may act in childish ways because this is what I am used to. I want to change it, I will do better next time, I hope.
    I let this last amazing woman go after 4 months honestly because I felt I was not that interested romantically after all (Thanks to BR). Today she called to wish me happy birthday, we chatted normally, we will be friends, nobody was hurt.
    However, the woman I was in love with after my second wife, to who I committed and lived with a little will not call. She got hurt by my AC behavior, asked to break up nicely, I just could not let her go and made it difficult. She cut contact, took me almost a year to accept and stop bothering her (thanks to BR). I wish she would stay in my life as friend. I know she was reading BR, I saw it on her computer once. She applied all the knowledge to me. It hurt, but I only have myself to blame. I really hope she is happy now, I loved her. Well, at lest my ex-wives still like me 😉
    Ladies, this site is great, but don’t be too harsh on guys either. Many just don’t know. I started reading this site every day a year ago and got depressed and angry at myself. Perhaps this is why I did not keep my last girlfriend I broke up with nicely: I no longer like myself enough to be with a woman as cool as she. Who knows when that will change.

    • Selkie says:

      Thanks M. It helps to hear the male perspective. If a man is not putting in the effort or stops putting in effort and my gut says he is not really that interested in me…..I should listen to my gut. I did that recently, even though new guy seemed interested at first, he blew cold pretty quickly so I walked away and left it alone. He didn’t come after me. So, now he is an acquaintance, nothing more. He doesn’t owe me more just because I wanted it. He flirted with me, texted me a flurry, and hinted at physical closeness yes, but that is not a promise or a commitment, or even a fair assessment of interest. It was just flirting. I get it now. Sure it hurt my ego a little and I was disappointed but I can move on without making a fool of myself by chasing someone who isn’t interested. It’s because I respect myself more than I need validation. It involves believing the information in front of me instead of inserting what I think he means colored by my hopes and fantasy.
      It’s nice that men read BR and contribute to the comments. I’m glad you are learning here too.

    • Rosie says:

      M–So…we should tolerate bad behavior because the guy doesn’t know he’s behaving badly? What do you consider harsh? I’m confused here. By enabling bad behavior all in the name of love, being understanding or whatever, I’m helping him stay ignorant, which means his bad behavior will only continue and I will be the one to pay the consequences if I’m involved with him. No thank you. I don’t want to wait around and be patient for some guy to finally get enlightened and start treating me respectfully. By doing this, I’m not treating myself respectfully. He’ll know it, and I won’t ever get his respect. Ew.

      I don’t know…I used to belong to a dating site and there were men 50+ who had never been married and can’t seem to find anybody, ANYBODY in their entire states (USA) to date. Seriously? There are no women in his entire state that he’s really into? Wow.

    • Tanzanite says:

      Hi M

      I appreciate your honest response.

      It seems you really are EU and it will always give way to AC behavior in a desperate attempt to regain your freedom.Although you did end these relationships you can’t actually let go of them either. The first wife of yours wanted a stable family and children and you were EU (That is a deal breaker )The second wife of yours will find it easy to be friends with you because she now has the love of a good man and a child too( she is happy).The one who you hurt and doesn’t speak to you simply can’t get over the way she was treated.She over invested emotionally and will have to build herself back up again.If she can’t speak to you, she is either still in love with you or can’t forgive you.( she is unhappy )

      Do you think you deserve to be forgiven by this woman ?

      Does it matter if she forgives you ?

      Will you then have a clear conscience ?

      Will you be so sorry that you never mess
      anyone about again because you now know the pain it causes ?

      Are you willing to change?

      In these three situations you had the upper hand.When faced with being dumped by the girl you really liked it hurt a lot.You didn’t let go for twelve months. You were bothering her for a long time.You no longer had the upper hand-She did.

      Are us men and women really that different?

      Why is it when some men realise they want out of a relationship they behave appallingly and make the woman who hasn’t done anything wrong feel like its her fault?

      Is it so difficult to say- ” I’m sorry.I know this is going to hurt you but I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore and if it continues I will only end up treating you badly and you don’t deserve that .”

      She wont like it, but she will like it a lot more than being used until you have done with her.

      It’s as if you men can’t own up to your own mistakes and take responsibility.

      No contact is the only answer to an AC who has destroyed your self esteem and seems to have had no conscience in doing it.

      You also infer us women can’t blame men for taking advantage us if we don’t respect ourselves.I say a decent man wouldn’t take advantage under any circumstances .

      I know it might seem like I have had a bit of a go at you but I have seen it from the other side.

      Men and women both have the same responsibilities to make a relationship work.It an equal partnership and just as us women have had to learn from our mistakes and not allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, the men need to learn from their mistakes and stop taking advantage simply because they can.

      • LaPinturaBella says:

        M: I totally agree with Tanzanite.

        I appreciate your perspective but it really does boil down to BOTH parties participating, being respectful and open and not trying to manipulate or control. Too many ACs manipulate, control, disrespect, devalue, are emotionally abusive and, frankly, total creeps who are into and get off on the power they feel in a relationship. They could give a rat’s rear about what they are doing to another human being.

        So no, I don’t think Nat’s being too harsh in what she writes. To be clear, being an AC is NOT gender specific. There are male AND female ACs.

  46. Sandy says:


    Sorry I had to laugh at your comment “Some are true hunters but most, like me are just ignorant ACs, so protect yourselves by first talking to them and getting some clarity about their true intentions” believe me when I say that most of us have talked to them and asked for clarity until we are blue in the face, the trouble is the answers they usually give are the ones that come from the feelings they are having in the “now” moment, which I am sorry to say change as quickly as their moods do.

    It’s good that you realise that your behaviour has caused trouble in the past and hey if you can see that and deal with it then your future is looking bright don’t you think? BUT most men just don’t see it, most of the women come on here (like myself) because they want to understand what the hell happened and why, it’s the why that gets to me I must admit, I know he will never change because he cannot see that his actions hurt and destroy but at least I know better to ignore red flags now, it’s a harsh lesson but I have learned it.

  47. Lacy says:

    Rosie,marie,sandy,2fearce,the friend came and picked ip his card table and the mail.The friend instructed me to sit it outside my back door.The friend and I had a lil friction on facebook because whatever he told him was as though I was holding his card table and mail hostage.So he went on to say omg women and I got irritated by his statement he doesn’t know the situation, and I didn’t bother to explain I just want

    • lizzp says:

      Lacy, still assuming you’re talking about the man who unashamedly tried to manipulate you last week\week before last into having contact with him – saying in the same breath something like ‘I like you\want friendship\contact’ and when you courageously stood your ground and said no (because he had treated you like crap in the relationship. I was so impressed when I read this)he went and sat in his car after calling you a bitch and verbally abusing you in other selfish, self centred and arrogant ways. Is that right? Hope I’m not thinking of another poster (don’t feel sure but limited time to troll through comments to confirm).

      What you now describe is simply more clear evidence of his manipulative nature. None too impressed with this pathetic ‘mutual’ friend – this person is your enemy not your friend.

      Hope you can get out of this toxic emotional environment and continue to stand your ground against this weak and pathetic manipulator. Block the appropriate people on effing FB (even better – if upon reflection there is no real support for you in using FB why don’t you just delete your profile?). Lacy, can you get away for awhile? Is there anyone you can stay with out of town who has your best interests in mind and no connections with him? He and his cohorts are wrong about you Lacy…they are bad people and their narcissism is affronted because you have dared to stand your ground. Your ex is searching for your weakness to exploit it…do you see how he’s sort of succeeding and has (though it’s great you haven’t communicated this to him via his horrible cohort) made you feel bad about yourself by sending cohort to collect mail etc? That was a deliberate tactic to make you feel bad, take the bait and he wants you to tell him you have been a bitch and you have been wrong. Stay strong, don’t take the bait…I just so hope you can get away from all this and give yourself a break and get away from the poison. You have great strength.

  48. thanks 30love, sandy, tanzanite, peanut. I appreciate hearing you messages of success and hope. staying NC and holding on to hope for a better and stronger me, a man who will be a good partner, and that I will know how to love and protect myself when I meet him.

  49. Gigi says:

    I Regret contacting him last week after a year of NC to let him know he infected me with high risk HPV and that as a result I would be having surgery due to a precancerous cervical condition. I made sure I told him I was letting him know so that he could be aware he carries the virus as I dont wish anyone else this horrible experience. His reply was to say he gets checked for STDS every year and is always clean, that I probably was infected by someone else before him (in more than 8 years he is the only person I have been with). Little does he know that HPV is not detectable in men. Now I feel bad I broke NC for this reason and another problem is that we work together and he is now dating another coworker that is 15 years younger than him. All this is so uncomfortable. YOUR INPUT WILL BE APPRECIATED!!!!!

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Have you doctor or the Health Department (through your doctor) contact him and explain that HPV cannot be detected in men and that anyone he is currently with or has been with needs to be contacted for testing. That IS their job. You needn’t have been the one to inform him. And from now on, maintain strict NC. Forget about the fact that the new girl is 15 years younger, just means she’s more gullible and easily manipulated. Woe to her for being involved with this gem of a man. You can’t do anything about that, and it’s not your concern. Healing yourself and keeping this jerk out of your life IS your concern. Sorry you have to deal with his. I hope it turns out well for you and wish you a speedy recovery.

    • Allison says:


      You did the right thing!

      I can relate. I too, had to contact my ex after a break, to notify of an amoebic parasitic infection from travel to Asia- I was advised to pass on the info as it was contagious. I hated having to make contact, but knew it had to be done.

      Mine was as big an idiot as yours, and probably did nothing, but you know what, they’re going to do what they’re going to do. You did your best.

      Take care of your health, and a speedy recovery.

  50. Gigi says:

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words LaPinturaBella. I appreciate it.

  51. LaPinturaBella says:

    You’re welcome Gigi. :)

  52. Gigi says:

    Thank you Allison :)

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.