natalie baggage reclaim

Wishing you all a very happy new year! I had planned to do a video and write a longer message but I’m laid up with the worst flu I’ve had for years! Em also has it although he’s soldiering on far better than me.

I can’t believe that I’m going into my eighth year of Baggage Reclaim and I’m looking forward to continuing the BR journey with you all. This year has been amazing and emotional. I’ve laughed so much and even though there has been some pain, it feels like it was an opportunity to grow as well as to change my perception of certain people and to make further sense of my past.

I hope that whatever you’re doing today, you’re doing it with self-esteem at the heart of it – don’t do something today in an attempt to revisit the past and even undo it, that’s going to leave you with a regret hangover. Whatever this year was supposed to be, it’s been. While it’s good to look back, do so to learn from the insights gained, not to beat you over the head for it and to stew in regret. These experiences – the good, bad and indifferent – pave the way to better opportunities. Believe.

Big squeeze hugs Nat x

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205 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. Chrysalis says:

    Happy New Year Nat. May you feel better soon.

  2. Cat says:

    Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you Natalie for another year of love, wisdom and support!

  3. Jo-Anne says:

    Dearest Natalie,

    Thank you for the immeasurable gift of your words. You’ve given me the gift to do what I must for myself and believe that I’m worth it.

    Love,

    Jo-Anne

  4. KarenW says:

    Happy New Year Natalie! I hope you get better really soon. I will keep reading BR in 2013; you most definitely helped me survive 2012. Onwards and upwards. All the best xo

  5. Healing One says:

    Get well, Natalie. THANK YOU for all of your wisdom this year. I don’t check in often, but you have helped me in so many ways. This year, especially.
    Seeing you married was so lovely, also. It was definitely a year of growth.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Kellie

  6. Marilyn says:

    Natalie, I hope you and Em feel better soon. Ilove this blog and don’t know where I’d be today without the lessons learned from you and those who comment.

    Here’s to a very happy and blessed 2013 for you, your family and your readers!

  7. Valley Forge Lady says:

    So glad that you are recovering in the company of people who love you!

    I admire the way you give to those who lack your arrival at a healthy relationship. You have not forgotten the pain of your past, you have worked past it, and are sharing tips to those who struggle with self imposed drama.

    I came here five years ago licking my wounds from a major Ass Clown. He dumped me for a much younger woman and married her. Before Christmas he started texting me. I was polite but when that did not work…I blocked his cell phone from texts and calls. He called me on his land line….I blocked that. He continued to send emails that went to my spam file. He wrote on Christmas eve that he wanted to see me. (Two days before his 2nd Anniversary) I told him in an email that I wanted no contact and that the police would be summoned if his contact continued.

    Today this man never comes to mind. He is someone else’s problem.

    There is healing from the Bad Boys we choose. So choose wisely! Your messages reinforce the mindset we need to have to make those choices.

    Too often I have chosen different men who were the same.

    Congratulations on your success and thank you for setting an example for my successful journey.

    I am not in a relationship with a man….but I am surrounded by people who love and admire me. Including me!

    Happy New Year! 2013 will be the best ever!

  8. skepticrina says:

    Natalie, YOU ARE THE SHIT! <—-that is a good thing!!! Your brilliance has saved me from myself, MEN who are undeserving of my time, and from society's unrealistic roles and standards! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  9. 4wardMovement says:

    Happy New Years and a heartfelt thanks for all that you have added to my life. Here’s hoping 2013 is the best year yet!

  10. La Pintura Bella says:

    Happy New Year to Nat, her beautiful family and my fellow travelers here on BR!

    May 2013 bring both physical and emotional health, fantastic self-esteem, firm boundaries and the best, authentic selves we each were always meant to be! I also declare 2013 to be full of love, caring, trust, support, success and loads of fun for each of you!!!

  11. La Pintura Bella says:

    P.S. Nat and Em, I hope you BOTH feel much better really soon!!!

  12. Juls says:

    Hi Nat, take special care of yourself and now’s the time to let others look after you. Hope you feeling better soon. Juls

  13. Maria says:

    Happy New Year Nat! Thank you for all your wise words. Hope you & Em feel better soon xxxxxx

  14. Phoenix says:

    Happy New Year Nat from Nairobi Kenya! Thanks for holding my hand in your awesome invisible way. BR has got me through my worst days and seen me beginning the New Year with my self esteem much better than it was last year. What can I say? Thank you thank you thank you- I’ve never contributed but I’m an avid reader of all the comments and ladies thanks a bunch and Wishing you blessings and the desires of your heart in the New Year.

    p.s Get Well soon NML!

  15. lo j says:

    Feel better Natalie!!! Distant hugs!

  16. Laila says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, NATALIE! Feel better and thank you for helping to steadily guide me onto a path of inner peace, self-respect, and confident optimism! Can’t wait for more posts in 2013! P.s. you still look quite pretty for someone with a killer flu!

  17. Confused123 says:

    Happy New Year, Nat! Get well soon
    Thank you for all the awesome advice and strength you’ve given me. Hugs!

  18. Spinster says:

    Happy 2013 to you (and everyone else here). Make it a good one.

  19. louise says:

    Thank you for helping me this past year its been 8 months since i found you and you have helped me through some pretty hard times..I can say that i am on the road to recovery as far as myself and my relationships..thank you for helping me gain objectivity on my extremely hard breakup and i know i can deal with whatever comes along this year good or challenging..thanks a million times over..Mwah..

  20. Kit-Kat says:

    Nat.. Hope you feeling better soon !! I came here a broken, lost, pitiful soul. You have given me hope,strength,wisdom and much more than I can tell you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to all the posters thank you for sharing this journey with me. Your words encourage me, heal me & bring a smile to my face occasionally :)…
    Happy 2013 to all of you !!!!!

  21. miskwa says:

    Nat
    Mint tea, made strong and sipped slowly will help with the GI issues, especially if you add a bit of ginger. Keep resting. Here’s to a much happier, much more whole, less broken 2013. Brought some good wine to a colleague and her husband, no parties round here that I would attend. No AC, no drama, no staying up, tending another colleagues dog instead. Will celebrate the New Year by getting out in da woods. Cheers to all.

  22. Jennifer Tiffany says:

    Baggage Reclaim was the only thing that woke me out of my stupor with the unavailable ex with whom I was involved in a shady, shady nightmare of a relationshit. BR has been a catalyst for good/necessary changes I have made since wandering here trying to figure out what I could do to make the ex want me. I was on a death spiral and though it was heartbreaking to hear the truth,it was necessary in order for me to move on and heal. Thank you Natalie and BR for all you do. Thanks from the bottom of my heart and HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Tonight I will be making kale chips, salmon and watching a movie, oh and reading :) ;) And I don’t want to be doing anything else. Much love BR readers!)

  23. tracy says:

    Having just recovered from the flu right at Christmas I feel the agony. Hope you get better soon, flu is awful, especially with small kids at home!

  24. natashya says:

    nat– get well, soon. happy new year, everyone!

  25. Sheela Nandini says:

    Natalie and Em,please please get well soon.It’s very sweet of you to care enough to send us a message of hope and cheer despite what you are going through.BIG HUGS for that!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    8 inspiring years and counting<3 Many Congratulations!!!
    God bless!
    Love
    sheela

  26. A Branch says:

    Thank you Thank you, All of you .You ladies are magnificient. Natalie, you and BR and a huge blessing. Have a glorious 2013 and I pray for a speedy recovery.

  27. Tulipa says:

    Happy New Year, Nat and all who read and contribute to BR, hope 2013 is a good year for all.

    I was trying to remember how long I have been reading BR I think it is five and a half years.(gulp)

    Thank you for everything you do and for sharing your journey.

  28. Snowboard says:

    Happy new year, Natalie!!!! I’m looking forward to another year with you and the amazing BR community!

    You and Em take care of one another :)

  29. GetSmartyr says:

    Happy New Year, people! I am all tucked up in my ugliest (and comfiest) PJs, deliberately quite solo in my great big comfy bed, ready to gather lots of energy and create space for what is bound to be a healthier, happier year, if I have anything to say about it. Amen!

  30. Lilia says:

    All the best to you too, Natalie, our wonderful Fairy Godmother – where would we be without your wisdom? I hope you and Em get well soon and have a wonderful 2013 with your girls.

    And best wishes for all the BR readers out there!

  31. maya says:

    Discovering this site was one of the good things that happened to me in 2012 :)

    Hope you get well soon, take care.

  32. Ayr says:

    Happy New Year to everyone!!! May you both have a speedy recovery.

  33. Beth D says:

    Happy New Year Natalie and the whole BR family. I pray you feel better real quick. Thanks again for all your great advice and may God Bless you in the New Year and always.

  34. Teddie says:

    I so appreciate and love Natalie’s work!
    Happy New Year, Ladies and Gents!

  35. Little Star says:

    Happy New 2013 year everyone!

    Natalie, I hope you feel better? My best wishes for you on your speedy recovery (((hugs)))

    I would like to thank you yet again Nat for your wonderful work, I don’t know what I could have done without BR and your posts, comments here, you “opened” my eyes! I used to follow your “rules” part-time and was wondering why it was not working, but yet again I realised if I decided to rid of my two ACs I have to shut my door on the faces PERMANENTLY:) That’s my another new year resolution after getting fit!

  36. Lilly says:

    What a terrible struggle 2012 has been, but what a blessing to have found you Natalie and all the wonderful ladies (& gents) on BR. BR has truly been my lifeline and it has helped me cope with the loss of my beautiful baby. I cannot believe it has almost been one year, a year of sometimes, unbearable pain and confusion. Thank you Natalie for your amazing support and to everyone who ever responded to my cries. I cannot really express how grateful I am. I’ve learned so much and am looking forward to a much less painful 2013. I wish the same for everyone here. Hugs to all and a special hug to my NC sis Learner. Get well soon Natalie and Em.

  37. Magnolia says:

    Happy new year everyone!! Natalie and fam, get better soon!

  38. Victorious says:

    Get well soon Natalie. Finding BR was the most amazing thing for me in 2012. It wasn’t my best year, what with my divorce, losing my father, horrendous problems with my mother and teenage daughter, and then finally, the death spiral relationshit with the narc/EUM that led me to your door. Words cannot adequately describe how much you have helped me to survive this and come out the other side stronger.
    Thanks too to all the contributors who have stood by my side, or that is how it felt.
    I hope we all find strength, self esteem and happiness in 2013.

  39. Lau_ra says:

    Natalie, your blog was one my biggest discoveries last year, which changed my life for good. So thank you for doing this amazing job!Get well and have an inspiring year!
    Huge thank you also goes for all the BR community for sharing their experiences and views!
    My NY resolution for all of us “Don’t look back – you’re not going there”.

  40. Suzi g says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Partially because of your writing, i believe I will have a gentle 2013 and will marry the man who has become my best friend. Bless you and your sweet little family.

  41. Grizelda says:

    What a lovely sentiment to close out the year. All the best to Natalie and everyone here on BR for a happy and healthy 2013.

  42. eponine says:

    Dear Nat,

    Thank you sooo much for everything you do.
    I was on a collision course, and walking toward the abyss in my sleep.

    For this site, your posts, the community..I am so grateful. I honestly couldn’t have come this far without you all.

    The truth was so hard to see. Starting NC felt like the end of the world. I felt that it was already too late for me. But, I kept reading, here, and it began to sink in, then, sink in more.

    I awoke this morning, full of energy and optimism, not dread or fear. The road ahead of me doesn’t seem so overwhelming and impossible. I am even a bit excited about the future, even while I am only holding NC shakily.

    Thank you so much. Thank you that I can show my daughter a better way, too.

    My dtr and I love your pictures. Your little ones are just darling! So beautiful and full of life. You are beautiful, too-even with the flu!

    We hope you and Em get better real soon-and that you all -and the wonderful ladies and gents here-have a happy, wonderful, lovely, brilliant 2013, full of new hope, strength and dreams. Shine on.

    Love and hugs,

    Eponine

    Day 8 and holding on for dear life.

    P.S. NC is my number 1 NY’s resolution.
    *note to self:
    ‘do NOT get back on that merry-go-round!
    NO NO NO!!!
    2) Learn to walk away from the things I should.
    3) give myself a break. One step at a time.
    This is a marathon, not a sprint.
    (sometimes it feels like a sackrace!)
    4) Be so grateful for my friends, health, dtr, BR…and so many wonderful gifts that life brings amen.

  43. lo j says:

    Hope 2013 finds you and Em feeling better! I was quite excited to bring in the New Year by the fire place, crocheting, enjoying hot cider knowing my children were enjoying being with friends when, as my day progressed, I felt worse with the sniffles, sneezes, and aches and although I forgot to get my firewood, I did get my ‘Nyquil’ (which is NOT the so you can rest medicine 8-0) and I tried to ring in the New Year with adorable Anderson Cooper. If I felt better, would have loved to have played the drinking game of taking a drink every time he laughed nervously at the inappropriate Kathy Griffin. Was still a wonderful night. Love a clear head and heart. *sigh*

  44. Arlena says:

    A happy, healthy and assclown-free 2013 to everyone on BR. Special thanks to Natalie, who lifted my self-esteem to new heights. We’ll meet again at school.

    Get well soon,Natalie, and best wishes to you and your family.

  45. Demke says:

    Happy New Year NML, and to all. Hope you and Em feel better real soon. 2012 was a very interesting, eye-opening year for me, indeed. I finally shed the ex for good. But I could not have done it without this site! Thank you! It was the best year I’ve had in years! Even with the growing pains :). And I believe it’s because I put myself back in the drivers seat of my life. I started treating myself with love, care, respect and trust. And the people who didn’t, are now out of my life. Hello 2013! Looking forward to another year of BR, and years to come!

  46. Olivia says:

    Thank you for the site. I’m right at the beginning of my journey; I tried NC recently and he reached out. I wasn’t strong. Hethe same party as me last night… With a date. He walked over and behaved as if we were only acquaintances. I was crushed.
    I’m not sure I have any self-esteem left but I need to find it from somewhere. In accepting that this man can damage my life so profoundly, I’m actually damaging my life. Time has been ticking while I’ve been waiting for his crumbs.
    I know all of this logically, I just don’t know how to start moving forward.

  47. Selkie says:

    Happy New Year and Cheers to Everyone! Natalie, Uuhhgg, the flu? Hope you and Em feel better soon. Thanks for another year of guidance and wise words.

  48. Espoir says:

    I wish from all my heart a healthy and blessed 2013 to everybody, Nat and her beautiful family included.
    Thanks for being here for eatchother. Ds Demke was saying 2012 was an…interesting year – VERY eye opening for me as well so in a way it was actually a good one :))
    I just celebrated the new one in joy and laughter surrounded by dear friends and I already feel like everythig else is already in the past. So here we are, January 1st 2013 – may the new beginnings be luminous, joyful and full of hope : Happy, Happy 2013 !!

  49. Revolution says:

    Natalie and Ladies,

    Bring on 2013! Yes, it’s a new year and a new mindset for all of us, eh? Natalie, thank you so much for your well wishes and good thoughts all year ’round. Please get some rest, keep your core warm, and if you guys can stomache it, cook up some garlic bulbs and eat them whole. That’ll kill any infection you might have (and any attraction for each other, momentarily! Lol!) Best of wishes to all the lovely, intelligent, FABULOUS women and men on here!!!!!

  50. BarristerBelle says:

    Natalie,
    best wishes for a happy new year to you and your loved ones. THANK YOU for your blog, your books, and continued encouragement and support. Your words are a trusted resource and I have shared them with many. 2012 has been the “Everest I didn’t intend to climb” – (1) learning my husband was cheating on me and (2) realizing he’s really NOT that special and that I’m so much better off without that AC. Whenever I need support and reinforcement to keep climbing, your site has been there like a trusted sherpa, showing me the way over the rocky paths and into safety.
    Thank you for all you do. It is wonderful to have hope and optimism again, not only to know that I do deserve far better – but to also feel confident that I will find a worthwhile relationship again.
    Wishing you a 2013 filled with love, laughter and success.

  51. Silverbee says:

    From not-so-sunny Southern California, I’m sending the happiest of New Year’s wishes to you, dearest Natalie, your family, and all the wonderful, honest, courageous souls here on BR who have shared their pain and their struggles with AC’s and the EU’s and by doing so have helped us all to know we are not alone, and we CAN MAKE IT to a better place in our lives. God bless you all – and Nat – take good care of yourself and get well soon – your hubby, too.

    • Dominic says:

      I endured 5 years of emotional distress, countless therapy sessions, doses of anti-depressants, numerous visits to cardiologist for chest pain, and bouts of great dysfunctional sex because I am a fallback guy! She called it off two days before Christmas for the up-teen time, prior to that I helped move her into her new rental and we celebrated my birthday and Thanksgiving at her new home with her family. I though it’s finally getting better, but two days before Christmas my ‘inconsistent’ behavior to not be at her home when she calls at moment’s notice sent her over the edge and it pulled me over too. I begged for forgiveness, she said I was inconsiderate and our relationship toxic. Again, I went through the steps of what I did wrong…did I not answer the call fast enough, did I bring the wrong dinner, did I upset her because my “hello” wasn’t upbeat enough, or I should have told her where I’m going to be at every minute of day so she could find me easier…It’s been a rollercoaster ride for everyone involved, children and family included. At first it seemed to be very sad and depressing to spend Christmas and New Years alone, but fortunately I found Baggage Reclaim, Natalie Lue, and Mr. Unavailable & the fallback girl and I finally realized that I didn’t want to spend another Christmas or New Years in mind f**kery! As I read through Mr. Unavailable & the fall back girl I began to find clarity and answers to my endless questions about the relationship, myself, and Ms. Unavailable.
      Blocked her in Facebook, took her out of contacts, and trashed anything that reminded of her (including her unopened Christmas gift). Haven’t spoken to her since and I actually feel good about it; a huge weight has been lifted. THANK YOU NATALIE LUE, best Christmas present ever!

      • grace says:

        Dominic
        Aw, glad to hear you finished it. Keep it up. It,s hard but worthwhile.
        This is how it should be done, trash everything, all at once. Doing it bit by bit only prolongs the torture.
        You may be tempted to check back in with her at some point. don.t. Or, if you do, don,t make a big deal out of it and just get back on the wagon.
        I once spent Christmas at a women,s shelter. Every Christmas they are full to bursting point with women and children. Alone is not so bad!
        though this time I did spend it with friends and boyfriend. Good things await.

  52. josie says:

    Oh Natalie, I tell everyone about this site and have for the whole year now. You are amazingly insightful. I did your self esteem course and it has really helped my perspective on myself and others and the world. Be well.

    Happy New Year to all.

  53. TR says:

    “Regret Hangover” is a great phrase and all too accurate! (Would love to see another article or two on Rgeret Hangovers of all kinds.) Get well soon, Natalie!

  54. Michelle says:

    Happy new year, Natalie. I hope you feel better very soon. Thank you so much for all of your words of wisdom which resonate with so many readers.
    You have helped me immensely over the years and I have moved on to a much better place for which I am so very grateful. Keep up the great work!

  55. Australia says:

    Happy New Year Natalie and everyone here on BR. I woke up this morning with a glorious feeling – no longer bound by the shackles of fear of change, I am accepting my break-up and acknowledging my past relationship for what it really was. I am a month into NC, and I see clearer now and it’s a beautiful thing. I am stronger and I am glowing – I still have lots of work to do on myself, but I am getting there. I shouldn’t say there, because progress is not a destination. I will continue to evolve into a beautiful women, full of passion and drive, firm in my boundaries, and surrounded by people who reciprocate the love and trust I give to them.
    For the first time in 5 years, I am searching for posts on “Knowing my Boundaries and Dating” on BR, as opposed to searching about “Assclowns, Bad Behaviour, Getting them to Change, BLAH BLAH”. The attention has shifted from them to me, and I look forward to discovering myself again. Thank you for the reminder that dating is a discovery phase, and not to jump into anything too quickly right now.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this website. An outlet that understands me!

    Good luck to everyone in this year. Remember – you can glow, you just need to wax out the toxicity, and allow yourself to shine!

  56. Kriss says:

    Feel better soon!

  57. Jaycee says:

    Happy New Year and thank you for helping me through 2012! Looking forward to a bright 2013. Wishing you a fabulous year for yourself x

  58. truth=freedom says:

    Happy New Year Natalie and family and get well soon.
    My Grannies flu recipe was to take one large glass, two shots of Johnnie Walker, half teaspoon of sugar and boiling water! You will sleep like a baby! Thank you for all your timely advice.

  59. dancingqueen says:

    “I hope that whatever you’re doing it today, you’re doing it with self-esteem at the heart of it – don’t do something today in an attempt to revisit the past and even undo it, that’s going to leave you with a regret hangover. Whatever this year was supposed to be, it’s been.”

    Oh this was read a bit too late, lol. I can’t beleive I can say this but I actually contacted my ex today; the one I never was in love with, the one who I was not particuarly heartbroken about ( I did not find him attractive anymore when we broke up in May last year) but who kind of did some mindf**ry with me, so I was kind of NC. We had honestly ended things amicably and I had tried to have a closure talk with him but it had all turned gross; he was just being cheesy, hitting on me, bragging about the women he was starting to date and telling me that none of them compared to me ( so basically bragging but trying to keep his toe hold in). In Oct I gave up trying to be freinds; it was really just weird and fake and I had no prob breaking up but the arrogance was just irritating. I still had him on my FB and about that time, I got a message from a woman who stated that she was dating him and she wanted to know how I would feel if they went forward into a relationship. I was so annoyed by the condescending idea of her contacting me-much more so, because he had always been poking me with little posts and such on my FB and basically 90% of our contact was him to me)- that I just told her something like “Look no offense but you are totally free to date him, we had a mutual breakup and it doesn’t hurt me at all”. I was annoyed but honestly not hurt…..anyhow, yesterday though I noticed that he had changed his profile pic to him and a woman at a beach. I know lame but I just had to look…there all over the place was pics of them madly in love with each and just falling all over each other. There had been pics since two months ago, since she emailed me that.

    I don’t why I am mad because I don’t want him back; but I am mad that he was so cheesy after we broke up, mad that she was so condescending to contact me, mad that he is in love and I have not met anyone and also, mad that he never posted any pics of us on FB and that was a BIG issue for me which I told him about, when we broke up. Ugh! She ( I know this is shallow) is at least not prettier than me and it was really weird of her to contact me, so I think I am more stable too.

    Anyhow, final takeaway; I actually wrote him a message today on FB ( not on his page) that was pretty low key; I said that I had noticed that he had changed his pics, that I wished him MC and HNY and that I felt like, being the new year, that we had had some tension after we broke up and that, although I was not sorry that we broke up, I was sorry that he and I had not been able to be freinds ( I had kind of blown him off a little before that woman contacted me). I basically very kindly and gently stated that I felt that he had been kind of jibing me in our attempts at closure conversation with all his new dates and that that, combined with his GF emailing me to ask if I was okay about things, had made me condescended too and disrespected. I told him that I wished him the best with his new relationship but I did feel like he needed to know, why I had just disappeared. I told him that, I was arrogant with an ex, I would want them to tell me and that I thought that authenticity was important and it had all been a bit uncomfortable. It was really well worded but he never got back to me and I am just worried he wont. Now I am mad. One big issue with why we broke up was his inability to cop to his behavior. I know that I am looking for validation for a guy who is frankly a bit of ass but now I am just mad at myself. I am just going to defreind him but now I feel like I blew up his ego and he will be like “Ah she is just hurt because of my hot pictures” Ugh. Really I was so stupid to try to be civil with him. I feel like an idiot and it is kind of shitty to start the NY this way; I was doing so well!:(

    • Little Star says:

      DancingQueen, honey, please do not beat yourself:( What is done, is done! Let’s not think about WHAT HE THINKS, it does NOT matter. The most important how you feel and how to MAKE you feel better. I used to do that to my EXs, and later apologized by saying that it was “drunk message” (it wasn’t)and did not mean anything! Some of us here broke NC (including me:(), but we got back and start again! I wish I was there to hug you, you are strong girl, it is a new start for all of us, remember? xxx

    • grace says:

      dancing
      block/defriend the pair of them. too much drama.
      it doesn’t matter what they think.
      You can be free of all of it!

    • Lilly says:

      Dancingqueen,

      I also broke NC (working with someone version) on Christmas night. The exAC has travelled to my state with his family for a holiday not 30 minutes from where I live. He wanted to sneak away from his wife and meet up with me. I told him no, but made the mistake of saying that I still had feelings for him and would he please stop playing with them because it hurt. Avoiding any talk about feelings he replied that he hopes to visit my state again in 2013 and that maybe we could meet up on a “purely business” basis. I did not bother to respond, however, he has now disappeared off the radar despite weeks of trying to get me to meet up with him. I can only assume that he thinks he can enjoy his family holiday then contact me as if nothing has happened when he returns home. I could kick myself for revealing my feelings. I’m in pain and angry that he is here enjoying himself knowing that I’m at home pining away and worse, I will shamefully admit that I am. Just like you I’m mad at myself and I know I’ve also blown up his ego. The best we can do is start again from today, cut them off and start the NY as we intended. Who cares what they think let them have their ego boosting moment at our expense, but let’s make sure they get no more. Hugs to you DQ, this is just a tiny blip in the big scheme of things. As Little Star says this is a new start for all of us, xxx.

      • Mymble says:

        Lilly
        Good for you for not seeing him. That whole trip sounds like it was stage managed for the purpose of hoovering you back in, but oh dear, he has failed. He will be pissed off about that, you can be sure, even though his ego will never, ever permit him to admit it. Maybe in hindsight it would have been better not to have said anything about your feelings, but the headline data from his point of view is you didn’t see him. He won’t miss that point even if you have. You’re not giving yourself enough credit.

        • Lilly says:

          Mymble,

          I did miss that point! Thank you for the different perspective. I feel quite empowered now!

      • Monica says:

        New start indeed!!

      • dancingqueen says:

        Lilly hang tough; it is so easy to give advice when it is the other person right? When I hear you complain about feeling like you blew up his ego I think “pft who cares about what he thinks, it does not matter.” But my own faux pas…..auugh!!! lol.

        You know I think that you really don’t care for him as much as you think you do. He is just blown up in your head, because of the drama of the whole thing. He toys with you and it set you on edge and you are like a mouse that was taught to push the intermittant feed lever on the food dispenser and is traumatized by it sometimes not producing food.

        We are strong and they are just big puff balls of ego. What they they really does not matter it is what we think of ourselves and I am sorry, it should have been said earlier, but I am glad now, that at least I said my piece. I wish that it had been when it happened but it doesn’t matter. It was said and nothing else needs to be now.

        Back to NC!:)

    • Espoir says:

      DQ – forgive yourself and don’t ruminate over what he might think/feel/do – you know, after seeing all the drama/pain that Facebook can bring after a breakup I’m really happy that I never had one – can you just delete it altoghether ? (FBook) You will feel free…

      • dancingqueen says:

        Thanks all for your support, I do forgive myself; it was good to go back today and get back in the swing of things at work and I am feeling more positive.

        I talked to a friend about it and she was really supportive; she mentioned that, who would I rather be, him, her or me? No contest; I am so much of more decent, stable person:)

        And in some ways I am happy that I did that; it gives me the freedom to have given that chance to him, to be cool after everything, and he blew it, so yeah, defriended today!

        On one hand I am sorry that I just did not blow him off and not comment on his pics, on the other hand, it had really bothered me, months ago, how he acted and when I re-read what I wrote what I got out of it was that, in reading it, even if you read it with a huge ego,you would have to be a bit uncomfortable with some of the things that I pointed out. I was basically so nice about it that I sound normal and concerned and just told him that the reason that I had not been in touch was not because of his new gf but because he had seemed to be shoving our breakup in my face, the few times that we tried to talk.Lets face it, anyone knows that yabbing on about new women at a closure talk is kind of lame especially when it is multiple ones. He probably will be like “Wow, she is so sad that I have a new thing” but he is a smart guy and I think a niggling little voice in his ear will feel called out on. Plus I did want him to know that his GF contacted me because it was kind of lame. I actually wrote something like “I just did not understand why you did that, maybe it was defensiveness and such, but it was a bit arrogant and unkind for lack of a better word, and it was really awkward.”

        You are all right, it does not matter what these loser men think, what matters is me and al or that odd woman who contacted me inappropriately; she has been with him 2 months; she will know soon enough what he is like. I thought that he was great too after two months…

        On the flip side, I have a new cute hairdo and I am really determined to ace my new test,get some things done this year, and really shed all that negative baggage from 2012.:)

        Thanks again for all your support; it is soooo helpful here.

        • Selkie says:

          Dancing Queen,
          It won’t even matter in a week or so when you forget about it and let it go. You sent a text, big deal. Who cares what he thinks. His opinion is not important anyway, but yours IS…..so forgive yourself and embrace yourself. It’s JUST a text, you didn’t show up at his door in flasher jacket! You said something you wanted to say, let it be at that, because explanations and analyzing are wasted on these guys, really. With the holidays over, we can all RELAX about where we are or aren’t, what we said or didn’t say, how we responded or didn’t, defriend or not. We survived, didn’t we? Sun’s still coming up, right? Now we have time to pull up our boot straps, take a deep breath and accept ourselves before the next self punish and self pressure wonky bump called Valentines day. We can all climb back on the wagon now and get on with it. Just keep looking forward and pull up the anchor called ‘the past’. lol.

    • Revolution says:

      DQ,

      God, I know how you feel. I would feel all icky too, but seriously….remember what Nat always says: These guys don’t even know they’re born. So if he’s spending time mentally collecting an ego stroke from your actions (which, after a normal *human* relationship would be reasonable, but not so with these clowns), then so be it. He’ll be chasing another bright, shiny thing after her and you *both* will be off his mind. Leave him to his Kraft mac and cheese and video games. Keep your head up, chicky.

      • Revolution says:

        Awkward sentence construction in that last comment of mine.

        “So if he’s spending time mentally collecting an ego stroke from your actions (which, after a normal *human* relationship would be reasonable, but not so with these clowns)”

        By this I mean that it would be normal to expect closure/a mature discussion as to why the relationship didn’t work. (I didn’t mean that it would be normal for them to collect ego strokes from your wanting closure. Yeesh. Even writing about these losers makes my syntax go to hell.)

        • Jule says:

          hugs Rev…I get ya! :)

          Happy New Year to you and the rest of you awesome people here. I haven’t been able to get on as much and I miss my daily dose!

          Hope you feel better soon Nat.

      • runnergirl says:

        Your syntax didn’t go to hell with the Kraft mac and cheese and video games line. That one made me hoot. Doesn’t matter their age…same story.

  60. dancingqueen says:

    I meant to say “If I was arrogant with my ex, I would want them to tell me.”

    • Bob72 says:

      Hi all, Happy New Year to Natalie and everyone else here – new start and great new things :)

      DQ and Lilly, I of all people know its easier to tell someone else the right thing to do than to actually do it yourself lol… but you both have nothing to be ashamed of and if you let it go and don’t beat yourself up about it you won’t fall back. I did it too a couple weeks ago, sent the “harmless” texts wishing her and her girls a merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and then one more text aplogizing for the blow up the last time we had any communication, that was a little more damaging to my dignity and basically giving her a get out of jail free card (“Im sorry, I hope you can forgive me”). but Im not sweating it… I said what I felt I wanted too, told her I was fine when she wrote she hopes all is well (even though I am still not – just better but not fine), and didnt pour my heart and soul out – saying I love you I miss you take me back blah blah blah… “nice seeing your smile again, keep in touch.” Better way to end it all in my eyes I guess. The point is no matter what it was, keep moving forward and just know its over and done and you are on to something better in time. People have self destructed ALOT more and are still alive to tell the tale, and are actually ok too lol…

      Please get them out of your life though, even if you think you are ok, over it, getting better, whatever… seeing his pictures or even being in a familiar situation will bring those feelings back even if you dont acknowledge it. And that makes it easier to act on it. Cut them off, bot out of spite or because you are mad at them – but because you have to to get your soul back. I know I sent my texts because I physically saw her right before that, after over two months of not seeing her at all, and I could not stop myself. If I would not have ran into her, not smiled at her and said hi and her saying hi back, I would not have ever texted her. Remove the triggers and you will be able to fight the urges, and eventually will be strong enough or not care enough to bother in the first place.

      I am back at work this week, and this is where I met her and just being here alone has ramped up my emotions ten fold from when I was off the last couple weeks. That being said I am still doing ok, light years from where I came from, but along with being here and knowing she is here somewhere, if I was still on her Facebook, or still texting her, still getting emails (even business emails) from her, still seeing her in meetings, anything, I would not be ok and would probably end up selling myself out to try to have some crumb of contact with her. And it would only be to try to get back into her life – the life of someone who clearly doesn’t want me in theirs and get a nice slap of rejection all over again. No thanks. Let it all go. I sold myself to text her before the Holidays already, and I am lucky it went ok and I didnt get crushed, even though I also didn’t get anything but a crumb. I know deep down I wasn’t trying to just be amiable or mend fences, even though that was my intention and initial thought. I was trying to get validation from her and see if she still had me in her heart – and she doesn’t. If she did she would be with me. I don’t need to have these urges and the only way to fight them is to do the best you can to pretend like they don’t exist at all. Once you are over them then you can be friends or whatever, if theyre even worth it.

      I read a book over the holiday, great line – maybe it helps someone here. “Think about it like this… Have you ever broke up with someone? Quit a job? Relocated? Ended a friendship? If you have, you know that you were “over it” long before you actually ended it. If you are on the receiving end of the break up, you HAVE to swallow the bitter pill that they were over it before you ever even knew, and sometimes even before you ever knew you were in it. It is fresh and ugly to you, but they may have been agonizing for days, weeks, months, over this decision long before you ever had a clue something was wrong. When they finally say its over, it really is over, What makes it suck even more then having to go cold turkey when they have a huge head start on healing is keeping yourself buried in the rejection and regret and not being able to move on.”

      Thats also why getting back together doesnt happen very often, or last if it does… they are “over it.” They were before you ever knew most of the time. You sit there and think they are hurting just as much, maybe tomorrow they will come running back proclaiming their love, but in actuality they are sorry they hurt you, feel guilty, but are more than anything relieved that its over because they have been fighting with it for awhile now. The odds of them coming back are slim – unless they are assclowns and then theyll try to keep you hanging as an option or safety net.

      This is what finally got me to let go… she’s gone. No hard feelings, but she is still gone and doesn’t want me back – not fair for me to stay in suspended animation for someone who is glad she is gone. Will she come back?? Probably not. Doesn’t matter that she said she might her actions say she isn’t. And if she ever does… well I wasted a crap load of living waiting for that day, and might have missed someone who thought enough not to leave me for a greener pasture in the first place. No thanks

      • Mymble says:

        Bob,
        What you say about them being over it is so true. I use that thought too, I cast my mind back to a situation many years ago when I ended a relationship. We stayed friends because we got on and interests in common and I suppose I knew that deep down he was hoping we’d get back together, but in my mind I knew we never ever would. I think he did himself no favours by sticking around and I also should have cut him loose properly, for both our sakes. So I know, from being there myself,nothing at all you can do or say will make them change their mind or care. I wish I could have got this through my thick head much sooner. If I had actually been able to read his mind and know for sure how little he actually valued me I think that would have been a bucket of ice cold reality water over me – I’d have instantly lost all desire for him!
        But there were ambiguities that allowed me to keep on kidding myself that he had really cared for me, and that his continued contact meant that he did, in some way, still care. I now think that he never did. Not really. It was a pretence. Saying that actually makes me feel better; I haven’t lost anything at all, other than 18 months of my life:(. Gah.
        2013 is starting off a whole lot better than 2012 did, at any rate!
        Went to a great NY party, met new people I took to and perhaps could become real friends, which made me very happy! And nope, they weren’t men!
        Maybe it does really happen that people get back together and have a happy, lasting relationship, but I’ve never seen it in real life. Only in the movies.

      • dancingqueen says:

        Thanks again all, most lately Selkie, Rev and Bob. Rev I understand the concept:) Selkie you are right it was just an email; I am actually glad it happened because it gives me the excuse to block him now:) Bob, hang strong; it is not that easy to let go of some of the future fakers…it is a long journey but you will be better for it. I recognized that quote it was from “Its called a breakup because its broken” right?

        You are right I feel much better; actually I am really glad he did not respond for a few days because in my mind it was so ignorant not to ( considering how respectfully and classily I handled that breakup) that it gave me the excuse to defriend him. I had been wanting that excuse for a while and it feels REALLY good; I am free! I just can’t understand why I did it though (emailed him); I swear I did not love him. Ever. I think, when I really get into it, it is the lack of validation issue; I grew up in a family where people NEVER apologized or ever admitted crappy behavior so I am a bit of a nit picker for really needing that apology, that response, that admittance. But you know I am actually glad that I said that. It had really bugged me and had I known that he would not respond I would have said a few more things but really…pfft. I need to do what he did and that is keep looking for what I really want (someone who is crazy about me and who I am crazy about) and not settle for crumbs. I settled with him.

        I even had sex with him when I did not want to, multiple times, just because I felt like I had to, in order to be a “good’ gf. I actually spent the last 6 weeks or so, dreading that moment during our time together when he would expect sex; what in the world was I thinking? A few times he could tell I think and it probably hurt his feelings but…well he hurt mine by not wanting to talk things out so I am not going to lose sleep.

        I guess that I was just so afraid to break up, because I was convinced, in my mid-forties, that maybe I was…I don’t know, frigid, unable to connect…it just seems crazy now.

        I am making a NY resolution right now: I will NEVER have sex again with someone, when I am not wanting to. I refuse to do that ever again. I am also not ever staying in a relationship due to fear of not finding something else.

        Also I am going to start meditating, going out more, and showing more love to all the people I love, or need to try to love a bit more when they are not being very easy to love ( like when some of my students who can be sassy with me.) I am going to spend the next few months making my life a little warm sanctuary of love for me and others.

        I love all you guys!!!! I am so happy that I have this wonderful website, Nat, to come to as a refuge. It is such a little holy space:) Happy New Year everyone!!!

        • Bob72 says:

          Yep :). Paraphrased all to hell but thats where it was from. Was a good read and really helpful to me when I was having a really bad day. I don’t know if I improved so much from reading it, or just because enough time has passed to get me “over the hump” so to speak, but I am glad I read it because its a great companion to this site and between the two people can make alot of huge positive changes in their own lives – which can create better relationships down the road. I know most of us are here because we are hurt from losing someone either we thought we loved or who we thought loved us – and it is always hard to get over, for people who have a freaking heart at least, but you have to know your life truly isnt over, and there are other – and better – people out there. Fix yourself and you will upgrade, because that same old crap that didn’t work the 10th time won’t seem so magnetic to you anymore.

          Just cut him out, and when you get curious about him fight those urges to poke around (it gets easier every time you stop yourself believe me – never thought I’d be able to but now it comes with ease). If you can avoid him and anything that triggers your memory or hurt except the stuff in your mind, the feeling WILL fade. It is for me and I am tellng you 3 months ago I thought I was going to DIE. I wouldve done anything to get her back.. and I tried a few times and tried to keep a rapport with her, with the premise of being friends but it was because I couldn’t let her go. Not fair to me or her. I was making myself sick, because even though she tried to be polite it wasn’t love anymore – she was cold and short to me and barely said anything, as she should have because SHE BROKE UP WITH ME lol. Yeah, she said some crap about us getting back together, she will always love me and care for me when we broke up, but once she was gone she was long long gone… they were just words said out of confusion or trying to soften the blow or feel less guilty that I turned into a castle of love for her and a flame of hope for us to reconcile – and all the while her actions said she was relieved to be out of the relationship and was moving on without me. I didn’t do anything I regret too badly, but if I wouldve cut her out immediately from day 1 I would probably be totally over it already, and would not have had to get the slap in the face that she was dating again (whether its serious or not its hard to take the thought of your ex having sex with someone else – at least for a guy and probably for a girl too) and her telling me point blank that she has moved on. I wouldve never known and still been ok. This is the biggest thing I have learned this time around, that and that it does get better if you walk through the fire and not try to dodge the flames. First time ever for me.

          Let them go, completely and utterly…

  61. Elaine says:

    Feel better, Natalie. I have been reading and learning from your articles for 3 years. Thank you for sharing your immense knowledge. It is hard to put into words my appreciation for what you do. Many well wishes to you and your beautiful family.

  62. Cindy says:

    Natalie, as this is the 1st I comment, I want to let you know how grateful I am for finding you in 2012. You have had B. reclaim for 8 years and I was putting up with some madness for 8 years. Your words have guided me and given me strength I couldn’t seem to find. I know God and my angels have sent your words. As I continue to heal I hope you continue to be there thru the process. Thank you happy new year.

  63. Tired says:

    Happy new year eveyone .
    I didnt send any texts and removed no off phone . Ive still blocked him off fb and even tho the urge to peek in on his life there i dont . I tell myself why hurt yourself more . But the one that sinks me down and im wondering if anyone can help me get my head around is this ?????. The thing that sets me off is, the feeling youve just been erased from their life like you never exsisted . Forgotten . I knew him for 6odd yrs . Do they ever think off you again , he pops into my head , the pain is receding less and less . But its that thought that kicks me down . Any way you girls deal with that thought , to help you bounce back up would help as i really want to be strong and go forward ? Thanks .

    • Snowboard says:

      Hi Tired,

      I would say, yes, he definitely still thinks about you. People tend to think about their former romantic partners for a long time afterwards, for a range of different reasons. While there are a lot of reasons why he may not choose to get in touch with you, it is not because he has forgotten. Good for you for not falling off the wagon. Hang in there. The pain subsides only through time.

    • Little Star says:

      Tired, I really want to help you:) Let me share my experience with you – before meeting my two ACs, I had the most awful break up with a EAM who I dated almost 2 years. He dumped me without closure and cut me off eventually, by saying he was sick etc. I felt so depressed I even moved to ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR 6 months in order to forget him (it was dramatic, I know!)Years past and he still “pops in into my head”, I try to a raise all good memories and concentrate on bad memories, how unhappy I was and how he dumped me without explanation!
      I bet your EX thinks about you too, 6 years is a long time to be with someone, he just trying to build his life without you, that what we need to do too! IF we stuck in our past, we cannot move on and live happily at present and future. Time is the best healer, Tired. How long since you two broke up?

      • Tulipa says:

        Tired,

        I too don’t think he has forgotten you.
        A few years ago I had a short lived fling probably three months and he popped up today via text so after six years I doubt he has forgotten you.
        You haven’t been erased from his memory, look how many stories there are here of the returning childhood sweetheart, the ex pushing the re set button, but it is never because they have changed that is why we must and I’m finally learning that is ourselves we must focus on in order to move forward.
        I’m happy you aren’t looking at his facebook, do things that make you happy.

        • Tulipa says:

          ps don’t be like me not using my time wisely and pining away till it was my turn again only to be in the same huge mess.

    • natashya says:

      tired, you might not want to hear this but i’m going to say it anyways. whether or not he still thinks about you DOES NOT MATTER. what he thinks is his business. you’re not in a relationship with him now and yes, he probably does think about you, but how does that affect your life now? it doesn’t because IT DOES NOT MATTER.

      shift your focus back to where it belongs: YOU.

    • Linda says:

      Happy New Year to Nat, her family and all on BR.

      Tired, I have struggled with this one too. My ex left just over 11 weeks ago (after a four and a half year relationship) and went straight into another relationship, which was in the pipeline if not going on before we split. I still can’t understand how it could do this to me and his toddler son. he is so cruel in any contact we have that I feel he couldn’t possible think about me. In fact, I feel I’m being treated as if I’m the one that left and jumped into bed partically the next day with someone else.

      The only contact I have with him now is over the baby but this is still so difficult.

      He has been inside my door on two occassions since he left, the first time he informed me he neither loved me or missed me and sold my engagement ring, the second time he asked me if I missed him and remarked on my low cut pyjama top – ‘is that for me’ was he question. (And it wasn’t even that low, a scruffy old thing, certainly wasn’t intended to woe anyone). I haven’t let him inside my home since.

      I try, as far as possible to deliver our son to him now, instead of him coming here and I have made arrangements to bring our son to the childminder (his mum) myself now – up to Christmas he was doing this because of my work circumstances. Basically, I am chasing my own tail but I can do without seeing his face every morning.

      Christmas morning he came for the baba and he put his lips on mine. I was in shock but pulled away immediately – and then he denied it but my daughter (from a previous relationship)saw him and said ‘Mam, he’s turned into a right player!’. Then had some horrible comments from him Boxing day, asking did Santa bring me a life for Christmas, etc.

      Tired and all, I know I am going off on a major tangent but how could anyone in their right mind (i.e. me) wonder or even care whether he thinks about me or not – and yet I do.

      I am still having good days and bad days but trying so hard. I suppose Christmas and New Year is a hard time to deal with all this. I didn’t socialise at all, for fear I’d break down, or text, or talk too much about him.

      So lets hang in there as Snowboard said. And I pray that the pain subsides but soon xx
      Love to all x

    • Teddie says:

      Tired, didn’t you write recently that he wanted to see you for Christmas? And you declined? Or am I mistaken?
      He does think about you, but may be not in the terms you like to think he does. Just like when you think about him, these are hardly very positive and flattering thoughts.
      My advice is this: pay closer attention to exactly what kinds of thoughts you are having, make up your mind as to what it is exactly that you want from this man, because, frankly, it is not very clear from your posts.
      Also, you know, this is a peculiarity of the human mind: 90% of the thoughts we have are all the same; what you thought yesterday will be more or less what you’ll be thinking tomorrow, unless you make a conscious choice to counteract this. So yes, he is most probably thinking of you, but how does this affect you? And if you want to have different thoughts tomorrow, spend your mental energy on your own mind/life/health/etc. rather than on his.

    • grace says:

      tired
      it doesn’t matter what he thinks. when he was with you, he was probably thinking of you more than he does now and yet you weren’t happy, so it hardly matters now what he is doing.
      this is the no.1 thing that we have to do, realise that they are entirely separate people from us, free to do and think what they want. which does not reflect on us. we do not morph according to their needs and wants. we don’t want them to do the same for us either.our moods do not depend on what they do or don’t do.
      and, blessedly, that will help you when you DO meet someone worthwhile. this big merger of the heart and mind that we are keen on and gets pushed by dodgy films, novels etc is rubbish. it’s not a relationship it’s fantasy escapism to avoid dealing with real life and real choices.
      yes, of course you are allowed to grieve, hurt and mourn. but that doesn’t include stalking them, wondering what they are doing, obsessing about them, and trying to live your life through them. they are not that special.
      still, he hasn’t forgotten you if that helps at all. Do not let him back into your life in any way, shape or form so that you can satisfy yourself as to what he is thinking. I did that and ended up married. The fallout of that took years to resolve.
      Great, I got the satisfaction of a) knowing he still desired me and b) finding out he was still completely unsuitable. Save yourself a lot of grief and take that on trust from all of us.

    • K says:

      Tired,

      I could sit here and tell you, “it doesn’t matter what he thinks!” and blah blah blah….but what’s important here is that YOU think it matters what he thinks. It really isn’t about that anyway. It’s a bit deeper than that, re: the fact that he could easily erase you from his existence, life and thoughts. Most of these men move on pretty quickly with others and if you are in a position to know or see it, it’s a HUGE cluster*uck.

      I know mine DOES NOT think of me. If he were to think of me, it would ONLY be to push the reset button or that he needed SUPPLY, if he was short. But he’s not, therefore, out of site out of mind.
      It’s really not about him anyway, it’s about you. It seems an abandonment issue, so instead of wondering if he thinks of you, might I suggest that you examine the underlying cause of these thoughts? Because it never ends up about them, really. Ultimately, it’s about us, or something that needs to heal. Those thoughts are only distractions that prevent us from looking at ourselves and instead looking at them.

      He would WANT you to feel this way too. It’s part of their projected slime. Everything they can’t feel, YOU will wind up feeling for them, when it’s over. Can you imagine the misery? ICK!

      Try to examine your thoughts. Ask yourself questions, write them down. When you do, you’ll begin to connect dots and they won’t lead to him.

      • Sm says:

        K you are so right about it all. They only think of you when pushing the reset button because their supply is low, everything they can’t feel they will make sure you feel it, having a front row seat to these men’s shenanigans is like watching a train wreck, I had that front row seat this past year. Whew, now I think back and wonder who had the front row seat when I was getting run over by one of these azzclowns. The good thing is I could care less now, also it is all about us, I’m a huge fan of Sandra Brown, did a workshop on her Dangerous Man book and already connected the dots. I love Nat’s site because she makes us see that we are accountable for our own behaviors and have the power to fight our urges and overcome all this.

        • Lilly says:

          SM, I related to your comment that we are accountable for our own hehaviors and have the power to fight our urges and overcome all this.

          I’m trying to get real with myself and focus on what’s behind my thoughts and behaviours and not his. When he told me he was coming to my state for a holiday he briefly pulled me in. I thought that he must really want to see me, that I do mean something to him and even maybe he’d remembered that it was the first anniversary of losing the baby and he wanted to be here this time. Yes, I know this was pathetic, but I wanted to believe it for a short while. Then I read the part where he said he was bringing his, in his words, “little family” but that he could manage to “get away” for a few hours. This is where I started fighting my desire to see him. A big jolt of reality hit me, but not enough to stop me trying to reach out to him. I said no, but told him I still had feelings for him and I think it was because I was hoping that he would throw me more than this crumb. That is, I think I was hoping he would do more to try and persuade me! This is a horrible thing to own up to. It makes me cringe, but I’m sure if he’d mentioned the baby I would have been there in a flash, but he didn’t. He just said that maybe we could meet up later in 2013 for business and then promptly disappeared. I’ve spent the last 10 days anxious and depressed, sometimes crying, but nowhere near as bad as this time last year. I’ve re-read Natalie’s books and feel better today. I’m looking at my motives so I can move on from all this. I’m desperately trying to take responsibility and let go, but for some reason I’m not quite there yet. I am, however, so happy that I said no; as Grizelda says to Tired I will not allow him to continue to use me before throwing me away like a dirty rag again.

          • Sm says:

            Lilly, your situation explains the whole reason why nc is for us not them. This guy came and dumped his garbage (cheater, ego stroke seeker, cares less about others feelings) on you. Now you are having to dig yourself out. The good thing is you are one step closer to healing and seeing this situation for what it is.

    • Grizelda says:

      Tired, it sounds like your heart still has some catching up to do with you head, but that it is moving slowly in the right direction. Hold tight and be patient with yourself!

      I wouldn’t recommend ruminating on it, but if ruminating is what you’re doing, then ask yourself why you even want an answer to that question. Please stop picking at your wounds! You’re leaning towards whatever thoughts hurt you the most. Which just won’t do. Are you really wondering if he remembers you? Or are you actually wondering if he has feelings for you? You know the answer to the former is ‘yes’ — people don’t delete other people from their memories like they delete files. And you know the answer to the latter is ‘no’ — unless you count all the disrespectful, predatory feelings he’s already shown you, where he wants to continue to use you before throwing you away like a dirty rag again.

      Listen carefully! He did NOT awaken on Christmas morning to find, under the tree, that Father Christmas left him a family sized box of emotional availability, the multi-pack capacity for respectful behaviour, a lifetime supply of honesty and caring, an additional bonus of loyalty and generousity, and an upgrade pack to self-awareness and empathy. He never possessed those things before he met you, nor did he possess them during the time you were together, nor does he possess them now. These are not items that can just be picked up at Argos or Sears Hardware and Lumber or the BP Shop so long as he’s driving past. Because if they were, all men would have them. And we wouldn’t be here. And Baggage Reclaim wouldn’t be here.

  64. SK says:

    Hiya all,
    I’ve never posted on a forum before but feel the need to tell you girls my story, as a warning of how long these unsuitable and unavailable relationships can run on for. I’m very grateful to have stumbled across this site, it helps to know I’m not alone.

    I met him when I was 29. I’m now 43!! He was married and I’d just come out a hideous 7 year relationship. He never told me at first he was married and followed me everywhere. I didn’t even really like him much, but I was flattered. He told me the truth about 3 months later before anything sexual happened. I was outraged walked out the pub and ignored all phone calls. Again he pursued me. He was everywhere I looked. Outside the train station, outside my firm and where I headed at lunchtimes. Eventually I gave in….flattered again.
    After 12 years he finally left his family to be with me. They were hard years and although we finished a few times he’d always came back….when it suited him. I did my own thing too, but it really was him I wanted. I never issued an ultimatum, but at the end of the 12 years I’d had enough, and he knew it. His two children, who meant so much to him were finally old enough.
    So, around 18 months ago, he came to be with me. But I remained a secret. His wife had caught him out a few times, always with me, and he couldn’t bear to tell his family the truth. So he told everyone he was dossing with a mate. I went along with this. But it began to dawn on me that he’d never be able to tell anyone the truth. If my name was mentioned the truth would be out.
    He went on holiday with his children in the summer. He told me he was going to Ireland to work. When he got there he text me and told me he was actually in Spain! That one took some getting over. I’ve never ever been on holiday with him.
    Money was always an issue. He owes me a fortune going back years. All those years we could do nothing but sit in pubs, I usually paid, his money going on his family or the bookies.
    So when he was finally with me, money was an issue. He was struggling to pay his mortgage for his family and had no input to living with me. We talked about his lack of money continuously, but if I mentioned I was nearing my overdraft limit, which I was, they’d be a big row. If we did row, which was few and far between, as I learnt to keep my mouth shut, he would sulk for days. He would never accept any responsibility for his own actions, it was the fault of anyone but him.
    So, where does this sorry tale end? About 10 weeks ago now I came home from work one Friday evening and he’d gone. I never saw it coming, no row, nothing. Just a note saying he couldn’t live with me anymore, he was now out of work, had no money, and was going to his mums, which is where I believe he is now. I really don’t think he’s gone back home, I do believe he’s at his mums for various reasons.
    The last 10 weeks, Christmas and new year have been so hard, as this time last year I was with him for the first time ever, and it was all I dreamt it would be.
    After about six weeks he started being on my train and wanting to be in my flat when I was at work, or meet me for lunch. At first, grateful for his crumbs, I went along with it, but when I realised he had no intention of seeing me at any other times than this, let alone come back, I put a stop to it. He texts from time to time, including “be happy baby” at midnight on New Year’s Eve, my big standard response lately is to “f**k off I hate you”. He’s not used to this kind of response, but I feel strongly that leaving me like this is very different to when he had to go home to his family, before he left.
    I still think there’s part of the puzzle missing, something I’m not being told, as leaving me isn’t going to save him money, as he wasn’t contributing anyway.
    The end result is I’m so lost and hurt, and so so sad. Sorry to ramble on, and thanks for listening.
    I guess you reap what you sow in the end!!
    SK xxx

    • Monica says:

      SK, your story sounds so familiar to me. I fell for the same thing. I was with him for almost 6 years (after an 8yr marriage ended)but I finally had enough. I got tired of paying for evertything, waiting and hoping that he will finally be with me. Then I realized, why would I want a man that cheats, doesn’t work, doesn’t fullfill me.Am I really that pathetic? Well, I went to see a therapist while I was still seeing him and I started to see him in a different light. I already knew what was around the corner with him..NOTHING!!

      He was rock bottom for me…so any new relationship that “I WILL” have is already a step up from him…I had to learn to forgive myself and that I SETTLED because that is what I needed at the time to SURVIVE.

      Now, it’s been about 2 months now and it was very painful at first but I am moving on. This is a whole new world for me to be alone.

      BUT I am not lonely.My friends and family are there for me..

      Find your tribe!! Make your own support group.What ever it takes for you to be free!!

      Much love to you!!

    • Fearless says:

      SK,

      I wasted ten years on a guy who I now know was not worth ten of my minutes never mind ten years, so I feel for you.
      I spent a long time trying to figure it/him out. Only after I had put a lot of distance between us did I see the final part of “the puzzle”. Ironically what I saw is that there is no puzzle; he is just a selfish, self-serving asshole.

      Trust me, the only part of the puzzle that’s missing for you is this: He. is. an. asshole.

      Do yourself a favour and nuke him. Better late than never. Good luck.

      • Linda says:

        Fearless and SK

        I too have been trying to find the last piece of the puzzle and I have laughed properly for the first time in over two months having read your comment Fearless..

        “Trust me, the only part of the puzzle that’s missing for you is this: He. is. an. asshole.”

        Very true, very funny and I don’t know whether it’s the way you phrased it or your punctuation but I can almost hear you say it out loud. I am typing it into my phone and saving it and will look at it everyday until I can say myself loud and proud:

        ‘He. is. an. asshole’
        But maybe with a capital A!

        Thanks so much for this comment!

        Linda

        • dancingqueen says:

          it would be really funny to program that in to the phone, but that means that you would have to keep the number. So when it rang it would just say “Asshole”lol

          • La Pintura Bella says:

            LOL Grizelda. I actually downloaded to my cell phone a song that goes…”Were you born an asshole, have you been an asshole all your life…” that I did use for my EUM/AC for the first two months. Wanted to make sure when I went NC that if he tried to call me (which he did) I would know it was him and IGNORE the call. Got some odd looks from people though.

            • La Pintura Bella says:

              Dorky me… I meant dancingqueen, not Grizelda. Don’t know if that was a blond moment or if Alzheimer’s is starting. sheesh.

      • Revolution says:

        Fearless,

        Totally brill.

        “Ironically what I saw is that there is no puzzle; he is just a selfish, self-serving asshole.”

        Yeesh, I’ve practically had petri dishes out, trying to figure out guys in the past. Turns out I could’ve saved a lot of time by just kicking them to the curb. Waste of analysis.

        • runnergirl says:

          Fearless is totally brill and if anyone can make you laugh, it’s Fearless and Nat, of course. Happy New Year to you.

          Thanks to you all, I found the missing puzzle piece…it was me!

          • Fearless says:

            runner

            “I found the missing puzzle piece…it was me!”

            Yay!

            Happy puzzle free new year to one and all.

            Nat, hope you and Em are better now ((hug))

        • Victorious says:

          *Packs away petri dishes* Yes, time to stop the CSI style investigation. I now have my PHD in the ex and what good has come of it? He is still an asshole. Thanks ladies. Here’s to a drama free 2013.

        • Fearless says:

          Linda/Rev/SK and all,

          The problem is we don’t see that they are just dodgy people until we get ourselves far, far away from them. Trying to figure it out when we are still in it, still trying to make it work, is futile, heartbreaking and frustrating beyond belief. It’s like obsessing over how to complete a jigsaw that’s got half its pieces missing – just bin it! And next time, make sure all the pieces are in the box before you even start!

          • Victorious says:

            Brilliant analogy Fearless! My ex definitely had a fair few pieces missing. I picked up the box because the picture on it painted such a beautiful scene,I thought it was full of promise. When I started putting it together though, some of the pieces didn’t quite fit, some were missing, and some seemed to have jam stuck to them. I persevered cos I kept thinking about the picture on the box, but the more I tried, the more I realized that the box contents didn’t match the cover.
            Don’t worry though, it’s in the bin now (NOT the re-cycling!)

            • Tulipa says:

              Don’t worry though, it’s in the bin now (NOT the re-cycling!)

              Thanks for the laugh.
              So true they need binning not recycling.

    • Chrysalis says:

      SK. Your story resonates with me as my story is similar except I was the wife in that scenario. My ex husband became totally infatuated with a woman who was a customer in our business. He sent her hundreds of texts (on the business phone no less) so he was caught out by me fairly rapidly. He refused to acknowledge they were having a relationship and then upped and left. To this day he denies that this woman ever existed in his life yet I know he still contacts her as he has let things slip over time. I have left it all behind me but it is really weird as he swears to me, his children and all his family that he now lives alone. He never brings this woman out socially and basically lives a mad secret existence. As his ex wife I thank my lucky stars that he is no longer my problem, though that is not taking from the hurt and pain that was caused by our family breaking up. At the day the man is a complete fantasist, which means any kind of honest meaningful relationship is impossible. From reading your post it struck me that these men inflict pain where ever they go – its not just the wife and children that suffer.

      • grace says:

        SK
        I agree with Chrysalis.
        I know someone who had an affair with me (didn’t tell me he was married), left his wife, dumped me for another woman, went off with his best friend’s girlfriend when best friend had a brain tumour, married another woman, divorced her, met someone else, and then someone else, all the time telling me he loved me etc. I cut him off a few years ago when he started whining about another woman except this was his daughter. Too much even for me to tolerate. He still emails me every christmas/new year/birthday and puts a crimp in my day.
        I am sure in his mind I am the one who got away, he is very hard done by, and he’s done nothing wrong.
        There is a piece of the puzzle missing. Despite all their bleating and moaning they lack self-awareness and a conscience, and don’t know what honesty and truth is. Basically an asshole.

        • SK says:

          Thanks to all of you who replied, your thoughts and comments have helped immensely. I think it was Albert Einstein who said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over again, expecting a different outcome. Whether that will help, when the next text comes through, or he’s lurking around somewhere, we’ll see.

          All stay strong, and best wishes for 2013. I’ll be looking at your updates and posts with interest.

          SK x

  65. Monica says:

    You have helped me immensly the last couple of months and I am so happy I stumbled across your blog. It came at the right time in my life and I am sharing some of your posts with my friends.They,too are very grateful.

    Happy New Year!!!

  66. courtney says:

    Happy New Year’s to everyone at BR. I find myself having made a great deal of progress…yet still going through some pain/gone through some regression.

    New Year’s Eve I treated myself to dinner, group meditation, a funny movie (yes, watched it by myself–quite a big step–had to endure seeing a smooching couple sitting next to my coat when I came back from the bathroom/change my seat). Then went out with my sister for drinks. We toasted to sisterhood when it was midnight. Overall, it worked out pretty well and it was not the pity party I thought it would be.

    Last year I spent it with my ex and it wasn’t as fun or reflective as it was this year. So I guess I really did need to be alone and just enjoy myself, and I did.

    However, I gave into my urges today and did check the last EUM’s dating profile and saw he had changed his status from single to seeing someone but still “available” (maybe he was just too lazy to remove looking for dates part).

    Yes, I know I can’t take it personally. I know I am better off without him, we are not compatible anyhow and he’s a jerkface. But, I won’t deny that it still hurts, when he claimed that the main “incompatibility” was his inability to be exclusive (more like his lack of integrity and his needing to test out our physical compatibility before exclusivity), and right after I am out of the picture, he’s suddenly willing to if not be exclusive at least “move forward” in his words with the girl he called “boring” (but whom he slept with).

    Yes, he’s a jerkface. Yes, there’s no point in even caring about this, because the next girl is just the next victim and he won’t be a different person just because he appears to commit to her.

    So…why do I still feel hurt? Do I still have my Fallback Girl tendencies in me? Why am I, against all reason, still hurt by something like this? How do I overcome my really STUPID obsession over this jerk?

    I really wish I hadn’t grown up (and still continue to witness) in such an abusive household. I feel it really adds to the overall experience of negativity and anxiety and makes me still wonder about these disgusting assholes. At 22, I don’t want to waste any more of my life/thoughts/feelings on EUMs and Narcissists. Especially not during a whole new year.

    I don’t wish to date because I feel I am not ready, but I don’t also wish to mope around and feel this high level of anxiety/care for this nobody. What is the best thing to do at this point to just MOVE ON (besides maintaining NC which I have, except for giving to the urge to see said profile)?

    • runnergirl says:

      Hi Courtney,

      At 22, please don’t waste another moment thinking about the ex-jerkface. Of course you feel hurt. You’ve experienced a loss. There is so much more to do and so much more to experience. As I’ve tried to tell my 23 yro daughter, to no avail, maybe consider taking a break from guys and focusing on YOU? Congratulations on ringing in the New Year with you and then with your sis. That is very cool. I found your comment so inspirational. I’ve been dying to see the movie Lincoln. I’ll invite my daughter but if she declines, I’ll go by myself tomorrow. BTW, I’m 53…if you can do it, so can I.
      I’d say other than maintaining NC, taking a break from guys, and taking the time to discover you, your values and your boundaries, you are on the right path to moving on. If you can, order Natalie’s books ASAP.
      Gracious, I wish I had Nat at your age…and I wish I could get my 23 yro daughter to listen. Keep us posted Courtney.

      • courtney says:

        Thanks Runnergirl! I am taking a break as we speak…hopefully a long one as I feel quite drained. I feel so much happier single and dealing with no assclowns. I am flattered that my story inspired you! All of you BR commentors inspire me every day to make progress and keep me strong regardless of all my setbacks…

        I really hope you pass on the wisdom of BR to your daughter and that she’s receptive soon…I am already planning on doing that with my future daughter too, haha :)!!

      • High Anxiety says:

        Runnergirl & Courtney,

        I just want to add that I have been doing the taking-myself-to-the-movies thing alone for so long that now I *prefer* to go alone…

        Then, I get to choose the movie of my liking and only argue about times, snacks, and seating with my own self ;)

        As an added bonus, I often sneak my favorite foods into the very expensive theater, find a great seat in the middle of the day while everyone else is shopping or working, and kick my feet up on the seat in front of me. I then chill out like I’m in my living room… I have it down to an art :)

        And Courtney, God… I wish I had learned this lesson you’re learning when I was 22… I might have saved myself from ten additional years of drama -

        To all, best of luck in your journey!

    • malaise says:

      Courtney,

      I know exactly how you feel. To still be stuck over guys who really don’t deserve such obsession, it’s maddening. We try and make these guys and relationships into more than what they are.

      What has helped me in quelling the obsession is to STOP with the unknowns. Theorizing on who this person is and WHY, why he didn’t like me enough, why he treated me that way, what if he likes someone else better, and on and on. But I will never know ANY of these things, so why imagine the worst and make myself feel like crap? It doesn’t do me any good. Just STOP.

      Focus on what you KNOW, that is how he treated YOU. And how he treated you is not a reflection of your worth, but a reflection of HIS messed up values. Having boundaries is NOT something you should ever feel bad about. That guy was a scumbag. Like disgusting. You should be proud of yourself. What he was offering was BS, and you were strong enough to stick to your boundaries instead of compromising them, which would’ve caused you a world of more pain in the long run, believe me.

      I know it’s hard, but don’t look at his profile anymore. It’s not a representation of reality, it’s just what he wants to project for whatever purpose. You have to stay away from anything that will trigger the anxiety and redirect your attention to things that actually make you feel good and preoccupy you in a GOOD way.

      • heavenly_faith says:

        Hi Nat and readers Happy New Year!

        Courtney, I thought I’d share a graphic mind trick I use whenver I start thinking of my ex-asshole.

        So basically in my view an ex-asshole is something that didn’t mix with you, made you sick and you eventually had to vomit him out out of your system.

        Searching on facebook, texting, calling or seeing your ex is the same as LICKING YOUR OWN VOMIT. A search on fb is a small lick and calling an ex is a huge gulp of vomit.

        Whenever I start to obsess about an ex I picture this and it helps me move on!

        • Sunshine says:

          Heavenly, this is a really good “metaphor”:) From now on I’ll use it too whenever I start obsessing:))

          And a happy and peaceful new year to all of you! You’re wonderful:)

        • courtney says:

          Great trick, heavenly. Tried it yesterday. I’ve also tried to refocus to positive memories/images of other people as soon as the AC comes up in my mind.

          Fittingly, anytime AC comes in my mind I feel like vomiting a little inside of my mouth anyways….so I guess the image is already there, haha!!

      • courtney says:

        Thanks Malaise for your insight :) I wish I could say I did not break NC, but I did. He says he is really happy with his new girlfriend and that they are just so “connected” since they had more dates…and he is trying to be considerate of other girls’ feelings the ones who have been messaging him by saying he’s seeing someone too.

        …and they are exclusive barely a week after he wanted to get intimate with me…

        I call Bullshit. Maybe they do connect, maybe he does feel more “grounded” with her as he claims, but it may also be because she puts up with his bullshit more easily than I could (and also because she probably doesn’t even know much about what’s been going on anyways).

        Also declined another offer of friendship.

        Breaking NC = wrong and unproductive and an ego stroke for him, but gave me the incentive to finally just move on completely.

        If an assclown can find someone to be happy with…well then I definitely can. Someone way better than him too. Even though I am single now, it will be worth waiting for.

        • malaise says:

          He is so full of it. Why keep his online profile up if he’s legitimately being exclusive. What a crock of BULL. He’s still playing the field, believe me. Don’t worry though, she’ll find out soon enough. Forget about this douchebag. You will DEFINITELY find someone better. Someone who will actually treat you with respect.

      • High Anxiety says:

        Malaise,
        Earlier this week I had a thought: what I thought I had fallen for was, in actuality, ***a figment of my own imagination***… better known as the fantasy relationship or living in LaLaLand

        >>>Granted, he had many things that women in the US and possibly other countries look for in a man (i.e., material crap like ‘Oh, he’s so educated’ or ‘He’s got his own place, car, etc…’ ‘He’s so intelligent’ ‘He’s so professional’ blah blah blah)<<<

        I opine that we, as women, seek security and pursue men who will provide us with a safety net – it's a social conditioning… So, anyway, I basically took all of this material crap and used it as a foundation to build a pedestal for a man (?) who did not really exist – I made him up with my imagination. I should've fallen for my own self since that is the case!!!!

        Someone mentioned previously that we should go off of what the other party has done, not what we have imagined him/her to have done… And what this man *did* was use his highly sought after intelligence, education, professionalism blah blah blah to denigrate my value as a human being.

        That. Is. Unacceptable.

    • Sadder but Wiser says:

      Sometimes I think we feel sad not so much because of the loss of the ex, but because we have to face the fact that we’ve been on the receiving end of either cruelty or callousness or indifference. It’s a great sadness to realize that people can treat other people like this, and that the world has this ugly side to it. I think it’s the loss of a certain innocence (that we can never get back) that causes us pain, not so much the loss of these forgettable and unimportant loser men.

      • Revolution says:

        *Takes top hat off and bows deeply to Sadder But Wiser*

        Truth.

      • Fearless says:

        Sadder:
        “Sometimes I think we feel sad not so much because of the loss of the ex, but because we have to face the fact that we’ve been on the receiving end of either cruelty or callousness or indifference.”

        Yes. This is very true for me. It’s easy to say, ‘well, he is/was just an asshole” but it’s very painful to realise, and/or come to accept this. I have gotten over the loss – I have accepted the loss of what was never to be – but his apparent cruelty, at worst, his indifference at best is still very sore for me at times, and that he turned out to bee an arse is, I believe, the greatest disappointment of my life. I soldier on, never to even attempt to bring an arse-man round to my way of thinking again – not ever again. I’ve learned the power of “good-bye”

        • sushi says:

          So have I Fearless,
          ” the power of good-bye”, exactly.
          I also realised that the last lingering sadness I have had was mostly about the life we could have had together…erm , if he was basically a completely different person to what he was in reality. Had no idea how much of a dreemer I was.

          • Fearless says:

            sushi:
            “Had no idea how much of a dreamer I was.”

            Ditto. I look back now and am gobsmacked at how much of a dreamer I was with that man (the “ex”). An oft used phrase on BR ‘what was I thinking?’ doesn’t even come close to my reaction when I think about the rationalising, minimising and denying that went on in my head for so, so long. It literally makes me shudder to think about some of the crap and nonsense I tolerated.

            His relationship behaviour was actually appalling by any standards, but I am now way more shocked by my own behaviour than by his. I can barely believe I treated myself like that – that thought so little of myself. I had everything back to front and upside-down. Thanks to Nat and the many kind-hearted, hard talking women I have ‘met’ on BR, I now know I am not ‘less than’, that as hard as it is sometimes I’d rather do life on my own than act like a doormat, that I am deserving of much better. And so are all of us!

            I am convinced that what keeps us flogging away at these debilitating and soul destroying relationshits is an unconscious belief that we are not deserving of better – we have suffered from a very low sense of entitlement. Once we really know, really believe that we are actually entitled to better treatment, the relationshit is then dead in the water, his gig is up and he moves along to fulfil his own inflated sense of entitlement somewhere else. I think this is what I now pretty much despise my ex for now more than anything else – his astonishingly massive sense of his own entitlement – entitled to come and go as he pleased, piss all over my life but not let me into his, have sex with me whenever he wanted – which, frankly, in the last few years was nothing more than w*nking over me like I was a dirty book, he was all over me like a hot rash one minute and the next was behaving like I didn’t exist. Where on earth do they get this over-inflated sense of entitlement from, I often wonder. I suppose an answer might be, ‘from you, Fearless?’ And that I can’t deny. But he had it before he met me. I blab now. I’m grumpy and maudlin at having to get back to work on Monday morning! Thanks for listening BR. Hugs to all. Believe in better.

            • sushi says:

              Fearless,
              Ditto to everything you wrote! The bottom line for all of us is we feel not good enough. If we didn`t, we would walk away pronto in disbelief in what they are like and what they offer us.And not looked back. Since my last AC and BR education I had some crap treatment from a couple of long time friends and a couple of guys that I met (while not looking) and I acted with my new found better self esteem. Amazing result- I looked at reality of situation, the decision to not accept the crap was easy, I acted and have not doubted myself or looked back. It made me feel like a whole person, so there is hope and there is future. On the other hand, I`m still beating myself up about the last, before last, and before last AC. Can`t properly get past what I allowed myself to endure, I am ashamed of myself. I`m stuck. My head knows but I`m so used to feeling shit I`m doing it to myself now ( I think)I don`t know how to bury the past. Does someone have a suggestion? It`s eating away at me.

              • Mymble says:

                Sushi
                That kind of shame is very toxic. I know this isn’t very original, but i find doing 10 minutes of formal meditation when I feel overcome with shame/self loathing/anxiety (the three go together with me) very helpful. I occasionally attend a meditation class to support practice at home. It isn’t a magic bullet but I find that in the moment it lightens me an enables me to move on through the day more easily. Just breaks the spiralling, roundyroundy thought patterns.

                • sushi says:

                  Hi Mymble,
                  thank you for this suggestion, I think it`ll be very helpfull to me. I did some yoga/meditation and found it good to deal with anxiety. When I`m anxious about other stuff it plunges me into thinking of negatives, which are mainly connected with bad relationships/shame and that produces more negativity and anxiety, vicious circle. Need to make some more time for myself to do this, self care. That and mindfullness, concentrating on what is going on now, in the moment, not the past, past is all gone.

              • Fearless says:

                Sushi,

                I am ashamed of myself too. I know how you feel. I’m not sure we need to ‘bury’ it; we need to accept it; let it be what it is.
                I also think that if I’d learned what I know now in my 20s/30s or even 40s that I would be thinking ‘bingo! – I get it now’, and I’d be looking forward to getting out and about and meeting a new man, but at 51 years old and getting older every day, it’s just depressing; my over-riding sense is that I f**ked up my life, big time (at least in the relationship arena, which is actually a huge part of most people’s lives – but for me it’s illusive).

                What is done is done. Take away the positives. We needed to wake up to ourselves. Better now than never.

                • sushi says:

                  Fearless,
                  I`m in the same age bracket so you are echoing my thoughts. So far, I have been so relieved that I get it now that I was unconcerned about wether I will have a relationship in the future or not.Finding some self worth was exhilarating. Unfortunately, what I see around me at the moment ( friends)are either single, lonely and desperate people or people in relationships I would just not stoop down to anymore. Spent a few days around New Year with good friends who are in that situation and ended up being the happy, cheerful one of the whole lot. I feel “sucked out” of optimism, they all felt like they fucked up their lives far more than I did. One of the best things about me is that I refuse to give up and give in – except I know where and where not (AC’s) to direct that energy into now.
                  You know, we really have to forget the age thing and just look at each day as the new opportunity. And yes, better now than never.

                  • Victorious says:

                    I agree. I am 47 and I spent some time with two sets of couples over the holidays. Although both are in relatively new relationships, less than 3 years, I could see glaring problems. One friend is in a relationship with a lovely man who clearly is not over his (separated but not divorced) wife in any way shape or form. The other is in a relationship with a lovely man who has the most appalling family which he now inflicts on my poor friend. I believe they sincerely feel sorry for me and my singledom, but looking at their lives did not make me envy their coupledom. No way!

                    • runnergirl says:

                      Okay Ladies,
                      Seriously, am I going to have to board a plane and round y’all up for a glass of red, red wine? I’m older than all of you and the number of us on the website who have made similar mistakes is testimony to the fact that to err is human. BTW, if that’s the measure of being human, I’m totally human! Just imagine how many folks haven’t found this wonderful cyberspot or who read but do not comment. The numbers could be staggering. Let’s march forward together into twenty thirteen cyberarm and arm cos at Nat says: “These experiences – the good, bad and indifferent – pave the way to better opportunities. Believe.”
                      PS. What got my cheery juices going today was cleaning behind my couches while listening to my Reggae
                      http://youtu.be/zaGUr6wzyT8 or then there is this one http://youtu.be/XFwiH4Bkdhs. Have you checked what is behind your couch?

      • malaise says:

        I was very naive, my ex was my first, which I think is part of why it’s been harder to let go. He called me innocent, and I was, until he slowly killed it in me. I don’t want to be jaded about men, but it’s so hard not to after such a traumatic experience. I don’t know when I can trust myself again.

        • grace says:

          malaise
          I find that I can trust myself more having been through the wringer. I survived it before , I can again. Even if my boyfriend dumped me tomorrow I would be okay, eventually. I wouldn’t fall apart.
          I also got my innocence back, if i ever had it. I am much less cynical, more trusting, more affectionate, more optimistic, more demonstrative and braver than before. I don,t fantasise anymore and am no longer an escapist. I don,t even enjoy fiction as much as I used to, which is a bit of a shame. I just don,t identify with all that unnecessary drama anymore!
          . I saw a young woman on tv who was attacked when she was a little girl. I remember it years ago in the news. In that same attack, her mother and sister were beaten to death and she herself was left brain damaged. Years later she was on her way to university and happy.
          It,s not true that the ACs ruin you for life. Unless they kill you.

      • Sunshine says:

        Exactly:(

    • sushi says:

      Courtney,
      the best thing to do is to look at the reality of what he has shown you and absolutely not try to “translate ” his actions.
      His dating profile is showing that he is in a relationship but still open to meet people because he is a player, not because he forgot to remove the meet more people option.He tried to do that with you too, remember?
      He was incompatible with you because you want a relationship and he wants to play with multiple people. He will be incompatible with anyone who wants a mutual relationship.
      He dangles an exclusivity card and is hell bent on testing his multiple dates in bed? that is just trying to sleep with several women.It`s not because he is a poor indesisive lamb trying to find the one.
      That`s the reality. Player, assclown, not a potential pain, definitely a pain for anyone who gets involved with him.
      You acted with self love,dignity and self respect when you parted ways with him. Give yourself a credit for that. You are so young, you have your whole life ahead of you, walk forward with your head held high, he will do his assclown thing regardless of wether you look at his profile or not. He is a waste of time. You are worth so much more.

      • courtney says:

        Thank you for your comment sushi. However, the “available” status was misleading. In the dating site we use, it shows up as available if you don’t change your “looking for” status. It turns out he didn’t change that part when he changed it to seeing “someone”, but it was a mistake. He IS seeing that girl exclusively and he claims he is “happier than he’s ever been,” that he feels more “grounded” with her although he’s unsure of how long this will last.

        Facepalm, yes, I broke NC, and yes, it has forced me to get even more closure. I have to be honest about my mistake. I broke NC, and while I don’t regret it because it has brought me closer to closure, it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s an assclown and didn’t treat me well.

        I don’t wish to be chosen by him nor do I envy his new girlfriend (I wouldn’t want to date someone who compared me to other girls and has no respect for others and lacks self-reflection), but I have to come to terms with the fact that he DID choose to have an exclusive relationship with someone despite his assholery towards me.

        Now, I have to process the “rejection” recognize not to take it personally and just move forward with my life.

        I still have a lot of anger and hurt, but I am glad I walked away from this situation and from him. You are all right, of course, he is not worth it.

        Thank you all for your supportive comments.

        Every time I think about him, I feel like throwing up a bit in my mouth. So I guess the vomit-licking graphic image is on point!

        • dancingqueen says:

          Courtney: How can anyone be “happier than they have ever been” after a few weeks of dating? I am sorry, he is totally enjoying rubbing your face in the breakup. I doubt he is even seeing someone he is just mad because you did not give him sex:)

  67. pinkpanther says:

    Happy New Year everyone. Thanks to all of you I am not entertaining any assclowns ever again.

    All my best, and Natalie, I hope you and Em get well soon.

  68. runnergirl says:

    Happy New Year from sunny So Cal. Natalie, I hope you and Em are feeling better and your adorable little girls got to take care of you?
    2013 started so incredibly nicely. Is that possible? I overheard my daughter (23) talking on the phone this morning about the new bf (26). I wasn’t eavesdropping since her door was open and she was aware I was taking down xmas decorations in the hallway outside her door. Her convo was heartwarming. She described him as “normal” repeatedly. She said that he was very different. There was “no drama” and she wasn’t “spinning like a top”. She described him as very stable, centered, and considerate. She just kept using the words nice, normal, stable, and no drama. Of course, this is bf #2 in one year which was filled with drama. Last year, she looked at me like I was an alien from outer space when I suggested she take a break after bf #1 and I tried again after bf#2 with the same results. It’s only been two months so who knows. It was nice listening to her description. If he really turns out to be a nice guy, I hope she doesn’t flush for lack of drama.
    Maybe the trauma and drama of the past year has paved a path for better opportunities for her.

    I’m maintaining my house and my life as a drama-free zone. It’s very comfy.

    Congratulations Natalie on so much. You’ve touched so many lives in 8 short years…You are one amazing and brilliant woman. Thank you.

    • Magnolia says:

      Great story! I’m sure your conversations after the first two bfs, and another year of being daughter to you as your BR-conscious self, percolated into her consciousness. How lovely that she is valuing “no drama” and “stable.” BR reaches out through us and our example!

  69. Allison says:

    Hope you have recovered from your illness!

    Wishing you and your family a fantastic year!

  70. Sm says:

    Happy New Year All! Thanks in large part to reading BR, 2012 was a fabulous year for me! Thank you Nat for all your wisdom. Lots of fun and exciting things happened for me (without the drama of an eu man). And 2013 is starting out very promising as well, I am enjoying all of Gods blessings. No man yet but in the last few weeks have been interested in 2 of which I cannot touch due to one being a coworker and the other appears to have issues, based on limited info and gut feelings. The great thing is I recognize the 2nd as my weakness zone and the first as a man I’d like to ascribe to as he is healthy and appears to have qualities I like but is a new close coworker and it would ruin my credibility in the office and he is not a Christian which I know is a most have for me. But I can enjoy both as friends. As I sit in the airport waiting on a delayed flight (which would normally annoy me as I’m on biz), I can’t help but feel an incredible amount of joy deep in my soul. Here’s to self love, happiness and hope for all.

  71. lo j says:

    Oh Linda! Your ex IS an asshole!! Hope you’ve contacted a lawyer for child support and scheduled visitation. You don’t want that buffoon popping up on your doorstep any time he pleases.

  72. Marie83 says:

    Hi,
    I need some advice regarding dating – I know that it has been written about on BR before as a discovery phase. I have been single for a while now and haven’t been on any dates since the ex. However someone who I used to go to school with asked me out for a drink (the word date wasn’t mentioned) I had a nice evening and he has now asked to go out to dinner. The question I need advise on is the fact that in the past I have let men lead the pace of the relationship – fast forwarding at the start and blowing cold pretty quickly – at this stage I am unsure if I am looking for a relationship but would like to explore the possiblility. The question is how does one deal with keeping things low key. I have a tendency to feel bad about saying no and letting people down, so I am worried if this guy turns out to be a fast forwarder or is looking for something to progress that I will feel guilty

    • grace says:

      Marie
      Don’t get physical too soon. Opinions vary but at least a month. I prefer three. It,s a moving target, you will know when it feels right but you,re a braver person than me if it only takes you a couple of weeks to decide.
      Actually, my boyfriend and I will wait until marriage but we are religious.
      Bonus is that you then spend your dates out and about doing fun stuff rather than just sat at home watching DVDs. It,s cute, like being teenagers again. Well, teenagers from the past.
      Fast forwarding and blowing hot and cold is not acceptable at any stage of the relationship. My boyfriend didn,t do any of that. It,s not a required part of courtship. I would treat it as a glaring red flag. No serious, self-aware, responsible man or woman is going to start throwing around fake promises or letting you down.
      Enjoy your dates, be there in the moment and pay attention to him and to yourself, even pay attention to the guilt. Maybe it,s telling you that you,re still people pleasing and need to stop worrying about what he will think. You are not obligated to someone you have been on one date with, stop panicking! Low key means no drama, keeping your fantasies in check, minimal anxiety, not living in each other,s pocket. It,s not the being cold, defensive, distant, suspicious or disappearing.
      Just relax and enjoy it. You know what to do and how to handle it. The problems arise when you doubt yourself. It,s a discovery phase, go out and discover!

    • FX says:

      Marie83, My advice is to truly recognize that your comfort in any given situation is your responsibility and right. If you want to make plans for a given time/event, do so. If not, don’t. His agenda is not more important than yours. No “people pleasing” behavior should be expected or required. You should follow your own interests and instincts and do so with integrity. (A caveat: in an ongoing r/s, each person will sometimes compromise but that’s later.)

      A man who is interested in getting to know you will create opportunities to spend time with you. You can gauge your interest level (as he will his) over time and react accordingly.

      If he whines or disappears because you are not available at/for his convenience, then good riddance! Do what feels right to you and just be respectful of and honest with yourself as well as him.

      • dancingqueen says:

        “My advice is to truly recognize that your comfort in any given situation is your responsibility and right”

        YES! It is all about checking in with your comfort. How do you feel? Ask yourself this a lot; well actually when you start asking yourself this too much you should worry. If you feel good you usually don’t need to check in so much.

    • runnergirl says:

      Hi Marie83,

      Before I started dating, I read everything Natalie has written regarding dating. So far for me, when I’ve applied her advice, it has worked. It’s a date. That’s it. You get a chance to meet somebody, have a drink/dinner, not marry them or sleep with them. I’d try to have fun and not make too much out of a drink or a dinner.
      This sentence confused me: “I have a tendency to feel bad about saying no and letting people down, so I am worried if this guy turns out to be a fast forwarder or is looking for something to progress that I will feel guilty.”
      What does that mean?
      PS. I’ve only been dating since June so I’m not an expert. I have experienced guys making much ado about nothing though. It’s a drink or a dinner.
      PPS. If you can’t say no…I’d suggest maybe giving that some thought. So far, I’ve said “no” for seven months. No is very empowering.

      • marie83 says:

        runnergirl – In the past most of my dates have led onto relationships or flings, so I think that I am worried that by accepting a few dates with someone and then deciding that it isn’t what I want that I will feel guilty like I have messed the guy around and toyed with his feelings. The guy in question seems perfectly nice and at this stage I am completely pre-empting, but I just don’t want to get swept up in things like I have previously. I hope that makes sense

        • Magnolia says:

          We tend to think the guy will be worried about the same things, i.e. if he takes you out, then decides he doesn’t want a relationship, then he will “feel guilty like [he] may have messed [you] around and toyed with [your] feelings”.

          This is where maturity comes in.

          Dating seriously means taking incremental risks. Ideally, you’re both strong and mature enough to know that a handful of dates does not a relationship make. And that there is no obligation on either of your parts, not on his to give you a relationship, not on yours to give sex, nor the other way around.

          If you’re not mature/strong/informed enough, you may give in to pressure, whether by him or by your own worries, to be sexual before you’re ready. If he’s not mature/strong/informed enough, he will either pressure, or take whatever’s given until demands for a relationship surface then disappear, or (perhaps worst) pretend to be in a relationship with a woman when he knows only her heart is in it.

          Just last night I read another short story by a man in his twenties that has a scene where the main character accepts, with vague guilt but more cynicism, a bj from a girl he knows likes him, all the while thinking about another girl he can’t have. I swear it’s starting to become a cliche of sophomore male-authored fiction.

          But then for some of us (ahem) it’s a scene from life.

          Any guy worth your time will enjoy time with you without your needing to make a decision about him after 3 dates. Conduct yourself accordingly (don’t you be the one pushing for sex, or declarations of love, on the first date) and you should be fine.

    • High Anxiety says:

      Marie,

      You mentioned how you have had a hard time saying NO in the past and harbor fear of letting people down. Next time you’re considering making a decision based on whether or not you will let someone else down, think about whether or not you will let yourself down with your decision. If you make a decision that goes against what you really feel in your gut that you want to do, you *will* pay for it in one way or another. Do what will make you happiest.

      I have had a problem with implementing boundaries in the past. I, too, am considering dating and have been entertaining a couple of prospects.

      .These men are under evaluation.

      I love to play TWENTY QUESTIONS, so I bought a Chat Pack from a bookstore to spark conversation (or I can make up questions of my own). I use them to get to know people and for them to get to know me. Even if I went to school with someone I am dating, they may not know me anymore – not well enough to go from schoolmates to relationship! So, the questions direct our conversations away from the usual “date conversation formula” in my opinion and neutralizes pressure. I might ask five questions on date 1 and three on date 2… if we make it that far. The point is to talk and evaluate responses/behavior/etc. until both parties are comfortable with moving forward…

      I’m still learning, so that is all I have for now :) But I hope it helps!

  73. Tired says:

    Thankyou all for your posts , they have helped. Im still nc tho hand on heart part of me wonders if hell text . I still get the urge to look on his fb but i dont thats whats important , its almost like i need the constant reminder hes with someone eles . Like self harming . But the diff now is i DONT do it . I find myself singing and being happy , when i look back to last sept when i felt so low . I cant believe how far i come . When i look back even tho i didnt go out with a big eff off a quiet statement i still walked away and didnt fight for scraps i quit as soon as i sussed him and i take some pride in that . I know ill be okay its just doing the hard bit , but i know out of sight and mind and he will fade into the distance . Hes a selfish liar and hell ve that with someone eles ill find the warmth with a better , decent man and if i dont ill still be happy and at peace . Ive not smoked for two weeks and am going to get back to my keep fit .its just those odd thoughts that pop up and the odd stab if hurt that i wish id walked sooner . But the lesson ive learnt is dont be afraid to walk it they showing you there real you . And niw im older and wisec up ill listen watch and walk . Happy new yr to all to girls here and over the pond and heart felt thanks .xx

  74. Learner says:

    Natalie,
    Happy New Year to you and all on BR. I hope you are both feeling better – I know there are some nasty bugs going around that hang on for ages, kinda like ACs. My new year has not started out so well, but I am trying to stay positive. My teenage daughter has been diagnosed with a health condition that will change her life permanently. It has been an adjustment to say the least. The exMM has been pushed to a crevice in the far back of my brain as the focus has switched to supporting her. It is amazing how ones priorities can crystallize when faced with a crisis.
    2013 has started with a challenge, and challenges can make us stronger. With new levels of self esteem and my boundaries becoming stronger thanks to BR, I feel better equipped than ever to face this new twist in life.
    I am not sure how much I will be able to comment for the next little while. Please know that I will be thinking of you all and wishing all the best to you on your journeys. Thank you so much to all who have helped me get out of a terrible situation. I will be eternally grateful. Big hugs to all, and a huge, squishy one to my Lil sis on BR. Keep going with NC sweet Lilly – you are doing so well to resist him! I still think of our babies playing together up in heaven :)
    Love to all, Learner xo

    • Lilly says:

      Learner,

      I’m so sad to hear about your daughter’s health. I’m sending you all my love and support to help you both through this. I have no doubt that you will rise to the challenge just as you did when you decided to NC that creep. Take very good care of both of you and please come back and tell us how you are going. You will probably never quite realise just how much you have helped me and I love you for it. The thought of our little babies playing together is so comforting and I will think of that always. Take care my NC sis, xxxx.

      • runnergirl says:

        Learner,
        I’m so very sorry to hear about your daughter. You have your priorities in focus and that is supporting your daughter. My very best to you as you face this challenge. You are right about our health and particularly the health of our kids. That is the number one priority. My thoughts will be with you and your daughter.
        Hugs and we will be here…

      • Lilia says:

        Learner,
        all the best for you and your daughter, I´m sending you strength and lots of love!
        I too hope you´ll tell us how you´re both doing. Big hug to you!!

    • Teddie says:

      Learner,

      Be glad the former AC spared you his unhealthy presence, you will not be distracted by his antics. Please keep us posted and do not forget to be kind to yourself too. Big hug!

      • Learner says:

        Lilly, runner, Lilia and Teddie,
        Thank you for your kind words. My daughter is being brave so far, but I am sure she is scared beyond belief. She has a couple more investigations over the next 2 weeks to further nail the diagnosis, but none of the options are great. I am hoping for the best one for her.
        Lilly, I am so glad you feel I have helped you in some way. You have helped me, too, as you have shared your experiences with “your” exMM. You have been through so much, have so much courage, and have kept your warmth throughout the ordeal. I love *you* for all these reasons and more, and send you many positive thoughts my NC sister. Stay strong xxxx
        Runner, yes, our children’s health is so important. I wish I could trade places with my daughter – she is too young to have to deal with this. I am now experiencing guilt for the years I paid less attention to her as I was so caught up in the exMM drama. Hopefully she knows she has always been a top priority for me, and forgives me for my foolishness (she doesn’t know about the exMM, but knew I was “off” a little for those 3 years). It is great to hear that *your* daughter seems to have her stuff together re: men and relationships – it’s refreshing to know that she is happy with the low-drama type bf! Congrats to you, and many thanks to you for being your caring self xxxx
        Lilia, thank you for sending the strength and hugs. They are much needed and appreciated. And btw, I think you are completely normal wanting loving, monogamous sex! The media has gone crazy these days with all the erotic fiction novels taking off, and then there’s online porn of various genres (notably BDSM and “hard-core”) and I think that makes some people think they have to be extreme to be satisfied, if that makes sense. Hugs to you, too xoxo
        Teddie, you make a great point – it is a relief that the “former AC” has kept his unhealthy self away from me at this time. He would not have been a good support anyway, and it’s good that the AC roller coaster has stopped running, as this new roller coaster is enough of a scare for me! Thanks for reminding me of that ?
        Natalie, thank you once again for your wonderful blog and this wonderful community. Sorry if I sound like a broken record but BR really has changed my life! Other wonderful BR commenters have helped me too: Fearless, Grace, cc, Lo J, Allison, Selkie, Sadder but Wiser, Dancingqueen, Grizelda, Revolution, Kit-Kat, Miskwa, Snowboard, Little Star, Magnolia, Teachable, Demke, Tulipa, Truth=freedom, Tired, Mymble, pinkpanther, Victorious, Sushi, and so many more (sorry if I forgot anyone who helped me get out of fantasyland). You are all just wonderful! Thank you so much to all who post here. All the best to you.

    • Little Star says:

      Learner, I just saw your message:( All my thoughts and best wishes to you and your daughter..Please keep us posted(((HUGS)))

  75. Lilia says:

    Ladies,
    This is a bit off topic but I just discovered that Younger Guy´s previous girlfriend (the one I was OW to) is now in a lesbian relationship. And now I suddenly remembered that this guy tried to convince me into having a 3-some, which I at that moment discarded as the typical young male fantasy. I didn´t take it seriously at all. But now I´m thinking it was for real because obviously his girlfriend does like women.

    After this guy, I got involved with the narc EUM who was mainly interested in sex forms that didn´t require much touching (of me). He insisted especially on some voyeuristic setup in which some stripper or older guy would be touching me while he would be touching himself. Eeeew. (It didn´t happen, btw.)

    So now I´m thinking, am I the one out of place here? Is it so old fashioned to want monogamous, simple sex in a commited relationship? I suddenly feel so silly and naive. Like Julie Andrews getting lost in a porn movie when she was looking for the schenery of The sound of music.
    Have things changed so much? (Younger guy was the first after my 10-year marriage, creepy EUM came right after.)
    Also, is it me who is attracting these things and if so, how on earth am I doing it? These propositions only leave me bewildered, I can´t for the life of me imagine how I´d be giving off signs that I´m into these sexual “experiments”.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Lilia… Your post made me laugh :).. and it also brought back some memories of the AC. He also would bring up the threesome thing alot. I always went along jokingly with it with no intentions whatsoever of ever participating. I also found some porn kinda pictures of women w/women on his computer history. I would sometimes feel like maybe I am prudish or old fashioned but that stuff is just not me. When I brought it up in conversation w/a friend, she said all men look at porn..Really ??? IDK I am in my early 50′s & maybe I am old fashioned or prudish about sex. A girl at work suggested I do as she does & have a couple FWB ..REALLY people do that ?? I told her there is no way I would be OK with that & she shouldnt either. So there we go again with me thinking maybe its me thats got it all wrong… Everytime I see a commercial about men with sexual problems & they say pop this pill 2 hrs before or take this pill everyday to be ready for that special moment I cringe. For me its a private thing shared between 2 people who are in a committed relationship & how,when,why should be a mutual decision…
      I will never be someones sex toy. Gross.

      • Kit-Kat says:

        P.S. There is a swingers club for members only not far from me. Go past on Friday or Saturday nights & the parking lot is packed. Really, people do that ??? I will stay prudish & old fashioned as it suits me just fine :)

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      Lilia,

      You are not old-fashioned or attracting this. I really think it’s rampant in our society and goes hand-in-hand with the objectification of women in media, advertising, music, etc. Sex sells, women are “bitches and hos,” yada, yada, yada.

      As Kit-Kat says, we now have TV ads for Viagra so men can get an instant erection. And I know men who don’t have ED who still use those damn pills. WTF? Everything needs to be “new and improved,” more extreme. I think it’s an intimacy killer and one of the reasons we tend to run into this craziness. Especially with EUM/AC’s.

      It’s a lack of values…wanting to be seen as “hip” or “in the know” or whatever. Flush this thinking…it’s bad for everyone.

  76. marie83 says:

    Thanks guys, no red flags as yet but i just don’t want to get into the txting every day thing, which i did with my ex but not too sure how to handle it if the situation arises

  77. grace says:

    marie
    My boyfriend and I text every day. Crucially, it’s not about sex, we don’t argue via text, and we don’t have relationship discussions via text. We also see each other several times a week and don’t hesitate to call each other.
    I admit, my heart sank when he started texting me the smiley faces but he does that with everyone, including his father so it would be odd if he didn’t text me. You need to look at it in the round. Texting is not an offence unless it’s a way of keeping you on tap, or it’s sexting, or it’s to avoid intimacy.

    • marie83 says:

      Thanks Grace,
      Yes you are right and your comment about the smiley faces made me laugh

      • malaise says:

        Ha, me too. Sometimes I long to go back to an era before cell phones and facebook, and damn texting. Not that relationships were ever less complicated back then, but it would be so freeing. I never thought a mere smiley could give me such anxiety and rage

  78. miskwa says:

    Sadder but wiser
    I sooo hear ya! I really am becoming more and more convinced that we Americans, at least, are collectively off our rocker. Crazy people with guns, rapists, racists, the country and it’s people living irresponsibly, in debt, one step away from complete disaster next time fossil fuel prices spike. Instead of learning actual living skills, rebuilding communities, caring for our young and old, we sit, addicted to comfort, convenience, and the next episode of “American Idol”. Since the time when my ex and I got together, relationships and dating has also gone nuts. Folks serial date, lie about it, disappear, cheat, everything is cheap, superficial, and casual. Ok off the soapbox, but modern society is truly batshite crazy. Funny, over the holiday time, me, Miskwa, “thrown away woman” commiserated with three friends, all of whom “settled” for Mr./Ms. “Good enough” as marriage partners and all are horribly miserable, and all will take it in the shorts financially should they make the move to leave. Good people who made bad decisions. Ironically, all three of these folks think I am too picky and should “settle “. SBW, you really hit it on the head; it’s as though crap behavior is rewarded, and folk that practice crap behavior not only get away with it but do so again and again without repercussions. Those of us that always tryand do right by ourselves and others get to deal with the pain and loss. Then we are chastised for being negative, sad, choosing wrongly, and later for becoming hard hearted, and loosing hope altogether. Never is the person causing the problem ever held accountable. On the rez, if you hurt/harmed/cheated on a woman, six of her brothers would show up on your doorstep demanding an explanation. Screw up repeatedly, you are shunned and asked to leave. I like that system. This new year, I am dreading coming back to work, I don’t wanna see, hear, smell, have to deal with AC ever again. I have lost my love of teaching over the past year; whether due to him or other stuff, I do not know. I (and many of my colleagues) are tired of this clown not doing his job, fobbing stuff off on already burned out subordi nates, volunteering for projects and either not following through and/or taking credit for the work, inappropriate behavior towards women that resulted in at least one friend leaving the job and who is now in desperate financial trouble as a result. I guess some of the reason why this all makes me so damned mad is it reminds me of the parents that couldn’t bother to care about their child, called her ugly as she is darker, the stepbrother who beat/humiliated/burned, even could’ve killed me a few times and got away with it, the grad advisor that stole my work, took away my position so I couldn’t continue my research and had to leave my real home and my 12 year marriage. His behavior was rewarded by getting a new aquatic research center dedicated to him. Just a few days ago, a top administrator got a huge severance package for agreeing to resign (I in my irreverance, immediately sent out an email promising to leave if paid half that amount, somehow the powers that be failed to see the humor in it). The warrior in me wants to see justice done. I think all of us here at BR wanna see some justice. Sometimes bad people get away with their crap with new victims because those that know these folks are a problem choose to say nothing. Yep, we too have to have our spidey senses on high alert but it’s a lot easier to know someone is bad news from the start as some are very good at hiding their crap.

    • Victorious says:

      You make some really good points here Miskwa. You did make me smile talking about back on the rez. I remembered that when I split from ex narc, my 17 year old brother offered to have him killed for me!!! It made me laugh then too, at a time when laughs were few and far between. People get away with dubious to dreadful behaviour now because our society is so strung out.

  79. Tired says:

    I didnt realise how addicted i was to looking i
    Looking at his fb , its stiill there , why o why do i want to look , why cant i fully accept it ? I havent but i get days were it jumps up and bites me hard , the callous way he used me , why he choose her , what so great about her . All very pointless , i know hes moved so why cant i so easily ? X

    • Teddie says:

      Tired, may be you could look at the ways you “used” him, because certainly there was something in this for you too, wasn’t it? And then you may come up with other way to meet these same needs, and then it might be easier overall.

  80. Jody C says:

    Hope that you feel better soon, Nat!
    Please rest up and give your immune system the tender coddling it needs.
    xoxox,
    Jody

  81. Jeanne says:

    Well it looks like I found myself another AC. My last AC did the Fast Forward, then Future Faking, then the slow fade. Ok, lesson learned.

    This new AC, things started out slowly. It was nice and comfortable. After nearly two months we had sex. Last weekend after a fantastic date, he asked me to be exclusive and called me his “girl”. I was so happy, and he seemed to be thrilled too. We had a nice date NYE, but I sensed some distance. He made no mention of another date, and I certainly did not ask. Now he is ignoring me. He ignored me once before, and I told him that is unacceptable. He apologized, said he wouldn’t do it again, and that he was afraid I would break his heart.

    At this point I’m expecting one of two things from him. a) a lame breakup text or b) him acting like ignoring me is OK

    I’m not sure what to do.

    • Fearless says:

      Jeanne

      he probably is afraid you will break his heart – emotional unavailability is borne out of fear, I think, but if I were you I’d be more afraid that he will break yours. He is running hot and cold, managing the temperature of the relationship, like a thermostat – he’s got to maintain what’s a comfortable level of intimacy for him – controlling his anxiety levels, managing your expectations. It’s entirely possible to feel some sympathy for him (I did for my ex EUM, for way too long – I’d have been better served having some sympathy for me!), but better to be sympathetic from a distance. Once his work is done in cooling right down the temperature of the ‘too hot in this kitchen’ relationship, he’ll be back to warm it back up again – keeping you on the hop. When he does that, my suggestion is that you ignore him – and be very okay about it. Don’t let him press the re-set button, or be prepared for his Harry Houdini acts to go on and on, for quite some time! Let him go be afraid to get his heart broken somewhere else. Your job is to look after yours.

    • Lilia says:

      Jeanne, it certainly is striking that he takes some distance after asking you to be exclusive. It could be he is EU or just not ready to open up for a relationship.

      As for what to do about it, I think it´s best to treat this period as a time to get to know him. The fact that he called you his girl doesn´t mean you´ve reached any sort of destination. You´re still figuring him out, so feel free to act accordingly. I think it´s really hard not to feel completely involved once we are officially someone´s girlfriend, even if the guy is disappointing in some aspects. But then we risk adapting too much too soon.

      What I´ve learned since finding BR is that I feel most comfortable with myself when I tell men exactly how I feel about things and don´t think about what their reaction will be. Before, I was so concerned about adjusting myself to their wants and needs that I didn´t really know what I felt about them. This didn´t lead me to healthy or satisfying relationships, quite the contrary. I think it would be nice if you could express your feelings without expecting any reaction from him. Just to be true to yourself. If he doesn´t respond like you need to, at least you´ll know where you´re at and you´ll have given it an honest try.

    • High Anxiety says:

      Jeanne,
      You have already told this man that ignoring you is unacceptable.

      You already know what to do. You might not want to do it, but you already know what to do about the situation.

      Natalie has a post on forgiving someone a 2nd, fifth, or 20th time…

      When/Where will you draw the line?

      What’s so great about him that you don’t want him to go? Are you imagining his greatness? I mean, don’t you hate having to tell a grown man not to do something irksome and disrespectful repeatedly?..

      What are you willing to put up with so that he stays? Right now, you’re putting up with his blowing cold (by ignoring you)… Ignoring is terrible, so says Miriam Webster (to disregard intentionally).

      And, what will be the *consequences* of him staying if he stays?… (Read the post on being thankful that he/she did not show up/call/etc.)

    • grace says:

      Jeanne
      The risk of getting hurt goes with the territory. In fact it,s guaranteed that at least one of you will do something hurtful, or get sick or die first.
      If he cannot accept that then he won,t be able to have a proper relationship with anyone. He might find a drama queen to hook up with or another EU woman to prance about with. Drama and avoidance hides fear, but no thanks. I,ll look the fear in the face and persevere.
      No, I,m not a quivering jelly but now that I,m in a committed relationship I see that commitment is a big deal we both have to step up to. It,s not simple and easy for anyone, not all the time.
      If he deals with things by ignoring you, this can,t work.

  82. Jeanne says:

    I’m really struggling right now. I called him yesterday, just once since NYE and nothing. Fighting the urge to call or text again. I just don’t understand what happened.

    • natashya says:

      jeanne, he’s a classic example of a commitment phobe. everything probably still felt fairly safe for him when you weren’t exclusive. now that you are ‘his girl’ he needs to step up to the commitment plate. you now EXPECT him to behave in a certain way. commitment phobes can’t deal with that. they run, or fade and do whatever it takes to manage down your expectations.

      you know what the kicker is? it is extremely likely that he actually really does like you a lot, or loves you even. but when it comes down to it, he doesn’t know how to deal with love. neither how to receive it in a healthy manner or how to give it to you.

      you may not see it this way yet, but his behaviour is HIS. it has nothing to do with you.

      a short while ago, i was dealing with a similar issue and i remember driving myself absolutely crazy, hysterically screaming ‘but i don’t understand what happened!’.

      i completely understand now. apart from nat’s books, i read ‘men who can’t love’ from steven carter. you can find it on discount kindle sites for about 5 dollars. you don’t even need a kindle to read it.

      i seriously thought i was the only one this had ever happened to. then it turned out it sadly is a very common phenomenon. it doesn’t necessarily make them an AC, but those men are definitely heavily EU.

      don’t call him, don’t chase him. don’t check up on him online. the harder you pull, the harder they’ll push. first, see if he comes around to you. in the meantime, please know it’s not you. it’s HIM.

      • Teddie says:

        Another good book on EUMs is “Prince Harming Syndrome” by Karen Salmonson, boy, are those types really harmful!

    • Fearless says:

      Jeanne,

      I feel for you as I know exactly what you’re experiencing, My ex used to do this all the time (it trundled on for ten years! Don’t let that be you). Once he spent NY with me, stayed at my house for three days; we had a lovely time, then I didn’t hear from him for over two weeks; he didn’t respond to any of my messages or calls – not until he felt like it. It’s mystifying and very, very upsetting. I would sit there, furious with him, thinking to myself that there are only three acceptable ‘excuses’ for this treatment: a) he’s in jail b) he’s in a coma c) he’s dead.

      He was none of the above. At any point, ever.

      More than once I’d send him messages simply asking ‘are you still alive?’

      Of course, by the time he was ready to blow hot again, I would be in such an weeping emotional mess that I’d just be happy he was back again and his crumbs of attention felt like a whole loaf to me by that point.

      What do I wish I’d done about it? The minute he decided to blow in hot again after ignoring me the *first* time, I wish I’d told him that since he wanted to get lost he could now stay lost.

      If you feel the need to leave him a message, I’d make sure that message lets him know that he needn’t bother coming back. Then weep, then get over it. Believe me, the alternative will be so much worse (unless, of course, he’s in jail/coma/dead… but none of that is good news either!)

      • Little Star says:

        Fearless, I just love your comments! Yes, no more excuses unless they are in coma/jail or dead:) IT is really so simple but we imagine so many things!

    • Little Star says:

      Jeanne, I totally agree with Natasha’s comments, she is spot on. As being an Emotionally Unavailable myself I understand his feelings…I want to have a “proper” relationship but the same time I am scared to lose my freedom and be vulnerable. Your dates were intense and you both already talked about relationship and you being his “girl”, it was too overwhelming for him. Leave him for the time being and take all your attention from him to yourself, try to keep yourself busy and your would not have an urge to contact him:) All the best!

      • Jeanne says:

        Thank you everyone for your support and kind comments. I really appreciate it. On Friday night (before I read these words) I sent one text asking him what he is up to, and nothing of course.

        I don’t know what his problem is, but I do know that it is him and not me. Whether he is a combination of AC/EU or whatnot is his issue, and it is my responsibility to flush.

        One thing, perhaps worth mentioning or not, I make almost twice as much money as he does. I know that bothered him, and made him feel insecure. And he would make comments about my spending habits from time to time. I don’t know if that was his “dealbraker” or not. I guess I would just like to no the reason why he dumped me without bothering to tell me.

        Of course, the reason does not really matter. I know that. Two days NC so far. Time to move on.

        And thank you Nat for BR. I have learned so much.

  83. marie83 says:

    Thanks guys. I am confused about whether dating is where i am at and if i still need to ‘get over’ the ex. A few concerned friends think that dating would be good for me, not necessarily for the outcome of a relationship, quite the opposite but they feel that after all this time i am still ‘waiting on the ex’ – i can see their point as he always does the disappearing/reappearing acts

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      Marie83:

      The fact that you are questioning whether or not you are “ready” to date again demonstrates…you are not ready.

      It’s nice that your friends are concerned for you, but THEY ARE NOT YOU. When it come right down to it, their opinions, judgements, concern are theirs. YOU need to decide for yourself what is right/best for you. What anyone else thinks doesn’t matter a bit because they are not you. They don’t live in your skin or feel what you feel or experience what you experience.

      Gathering input from outsiders…friends, family, co-workers, the mailman, is a sign that there is more work to be done on one’s self-esteem, more getting to truly KNOW oneself. Perhaps what your friends “see” as you “waiting on the ex,” is in fact, YOU taking the time to get to know yourself really well; YOU learning to love yourself unconditionally; and YOU putting in the time and effort to truly heal and change your life so YOU are never again tempted by an EUM/AC.

      My take on your friends’ well-intentioned advice and concern is that at this point, dating again could very well be jumping out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. I wouldn’t recommend that approach at all. It really, really hurts.

  84. lo j says:

    Learner … you did the best you could with what you had and how wonderful now you are present, at this moment, smelling, touching, hearing her … enjoy her, love her – let her love you – right now. What a blessing. Stay in the moment. You did the best you could. Really.

    • Learner says:

      lo J, thank you for the reassurance. You are right, we have this present moment and the future to do right by our children and ourselves. I will continue to love her and care for her to the best of my ability. hugs and hope you are feeling better after your virus xo

  85. La Pintura Bella says:

    Fearless:

    I must say, I adore your way with words.

    “I wish I’d told him that since he wanted to get lost he could now stay lost.”

    Me too. With a couple of EUM/AC’s I truly wish I could erase from my memory. *cringes*

    I am burning this phrase into my mind for future use, Fearless. Because it’s good for me and my self-esteem; it succinctly sums up the situation created by these little boys and it is easy for EUM/AC’s to understand and absorb without all of the “talking too much.”

    Hopefully, I’ll never again have the need to use this phrase, but just in case…

  86. lo j says:

    Oh Sushi … I had feelings of overwhelming shame. Keep feeling the feelings. Journal. You’ll get to full awareness as to why. This was a hard process but so beneficial and freeing.

    • sushi says:

      lo j,
      I did the journalling for a few months after the break up, it helped then. Thinking about it, the thoughts do go all over the place, writing “nails” them down. I`ll try now. Thank you.

  87. miskwa says:

    Jeanne
    Nope, it really doesn’t matter but income/educational disparity between partners can be a serious issue. I get the same crap about my spending even from guys that are just friends but make about a quarter of my salary which are most of the men here. If you live well within your means on your earnings, your spending is no ones damned business. They want you to be at their level in all ways. What was probably gonna happen next was that he was going to try and cut you down to his level via constant criticism. Be lucky he is gone.

  88. lo j says:

    Lol Runnergirl!!! My friend’s and I occasionally play a game called “what’s under your bed” (in your huge ass ADD purse, in your car, etc) Some items listed: Barbie head, breathe right strip, remainder of a half chewed flip flop, banana Peel, self help book, potato wrapped in a dishtowel, shoe box of makeup, etc. Lol! Too fun.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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