Whilst thankfully I don’t spend my time on the mean streets of Unavailable Town and Assclownville anymore, I have to regularly give myself a boot up the bum to ensure that I’m real with myself about other aspects of my life and that predominantly tends to be about work and dealing with stuff like family. However, the first time I really got real with myself as a person, was when I acknowledged that I had a thing about Mr Unavailable’s (emotionally unavailable men) and once I started on a journey of truth, I learned some uncomfortable but in the end empowering things about myself.

One of those things was that I needed to be more authentic and not pretend to be happier than I actually felt, because every false move I put out, was bringing more negativity and falseness into my life.

You are the only common denominator in your soap opera called life.

If I wanted realism, I needed to be real. If I expected honesty, I needed to be honest, even in the face of seeing, hearing, or doing things that may have caused me to be uncomfortable. This has meant that I’m not prepared to pretend for anyone. It doesn’t mean I’m running around creating conflict but actually, when you’re not pretending, it’s a lot more difficult for others to pretend around you, plus those who value you, will also feel relaxed to be real.

It’s about acknowledging how you feel, good, bad, or indifferent, and using that information to influence your choices in a healthy manner.

In the past, I’d know I felt bad by the flutters in my stomach, the anxiety, discomfort, the vague ambiguous feeling, and the familiarity that comes with catering to a pattern…and I’d ignore it. This could only mean I’d continue to make poor choices and create more pain for myself.

At first it was quite uncomfortable being that honest with myself, especially as it meant that I’d have to get out of my comfort zone, but the rewards were pretty much immediate.

I was opting out of a pattern that I already had overwhelming evidence was no good for me.

I also realised that whatever excuses I made, what ever negative thoughts I pursued, I was 100% accountable for where I was at.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been involved with guys who have pulled some really shady, assclown manoeuvres on me but when I made the decision to want something different, I had to be accountable and acknowledge my own very hefty contribution. That doesn’t change who they are or what they did but that’s the whole point – at some point you realise that it is a waste of time pursuing these people or making them a part of your future because no matter how much you change, they’re not going to catch up with you. It’s like carrying lead weights – they’re only holding you back.

Logic told me that not being accountable and outsourcing basic stuff like love, care, trust, and respect to someone else clearly hadn’t worked and that if I didn’t like how my life was, it was up to me to change that.

That’s hard for a lot of people to hear. We want someone else to feel the heat.

Being accountable doesn’t change the fact that others may have wronged you, taken advantage etc but there comes a point where we can either remain powerless or we can ask ourselves what is it that we need to do differently.

There comes a point when you have to ask: What is the point in lying to yourself? What is the point in staying stuck?

Taking current examples, I could blame the kids and other work factors about why I don’t get stuff done, why I get frustrated and feel overwhelmed sometimes, but actually, it’s because I’m disorganised and don’t always manage people’s expectations. Harsh, but very true.

In the past, I’ve said that there was no point in telling my mother why something had wound me up as she wouldn’t get it, but actually, it’s because it was easier to minimise the conflict. For Me. In adapting my relationship behaviour though, I’ve realised that consistent consequences and not appearing to turn a blind eye were far more effective. I didn’t want to be one of those people that complains about everything but doesn’t do anything to shift their position.

Likewise, I can laugh and joke all I want about when I was engaged but hindsight and the wonderful 20:20 vision it provides says that it was me who really sent the snowball rolling down the hill by accepting a proposal that I knew was wrong for me, just because I thought you’re supposed to accept when asked.

Some people find it easier to complain and blame than they do to actually do something. Don’t let that be you because after a while, your words are ineffective because they have no meaning.

I complained about not knowing where I stood with one Mr Unavailable. I put this down to a whole host of reasons and whilst all of those reasons were valid to an extent, when I was honest with myself, I admitted that I knew where I stood, I just didn’t want to acknowledge it. I also could have asked but decided that I didn’t want to come across as needy or wanting a relationship that I wasn’t sure that I wanted. I was putting myself in no mans land – complaining and then rendering every opportunity to change the way things were as futile as I was afraid of what I may hear or even possible rejection.

The best thing that you can do is realise that if you’re always holding onto the past, the illusions and potential, you cannot move forward into the future. This means you’re cutting yourself off from real opportunities because you’re too busy holding onto something that either didn’t or doesn’t exist. I knew that I was afraid. Spending a lot of time reflecting back showed me that I carried a lot of fear around with me.

When we carry a lot of fear around, it’s difficult to believe that there is better out there so it’s difficult to see beyond what we already know and challenge that fear and think bigger picture, and medium to long term.

It’s like being in constant panic mode and doing lots of short term stuff that never really takes you anywhere. It’s like having lots of false starts and instead of fixing whatever is causing the false starts, deciding that where you are is where you’re supposed to be.

What are you kidding yourself about? Bravado is one of those things that can work with us or against us, especially when we start to believe the hype and forget that the reality is that there are things that need addressing.

What are you afraid of?

Fear that you’ll be nothing without them. Fear that everything they say about you is true and that they’re as good as it gets.

Fear that every negative thing you think about yourself is true – a self-fulfilling prophecy because in going out with people who reflect your negative beliefs they’re only going to serve to validate the negative, not contradict it.

Fear of being alone.

Fear that you can’t trust your judgement.

Fear of having to deal with whatever issues you have instead of focusing on them.

Fear that you’ll never find someone who brings out these extreme feelings in you.

Fear of loss and losing.

Get a more realistic picture of your fears. You’re realising your fears living the relationship pattern that you have. Break the relationship insanity and stop doing the same thing, believing the same fears, and expecting a different result and you won’t have to keep living your fears.

What part are you playing? If you’re pretending to be someone you’re not, who is that person you’re pretending to be and why? It’s safe to say that you think it works for you, but in the wider context, it doesn’t because pretending isn’t getting you to where you want to be.

Start having an honest conversation with yourself. You may surprise yourself with what you find out and you can find someone to like and love out of it and get real and develop your expectations and boundaries out of a more positive place.
Your thoughts?


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59 Responses to Having An Honest Conversation with Yourself for Better Relationships

  1. Tanya says:

    Thank you. I really needed to read this today. I recognized that I really have not been honest with myself about what I really want. I have been pretending to want nothing from Mr. UA……. while secretly hoping that something would change(nothing has). Today, I came to the realization that the only person I was fooling was myself. So this article was right on time. I just wish I did not feel like such a fool in the end.

    • NML says:

      @Tanya I understand how you feel but you’re not a fool. You loved and you trusted and it turned out to be an error of judgement. You are human and make mistakes, and you want to love and be loved – you now know that your decision to love him was based in the wrong things. Don’t let that trap you in feeling a fool and hold you back – really learn from this experience so that you can move forward into a better opportunities.

  2. Sherry says:

    Dear NML,

    As always, a very insightful post.

    I just made an appointment with my therapist for next week and made a long list of the things I want to work on… some are repeat of my last “journey” and I know one of these days I will get it.

    One thing I don’t like is I keep dating the same guy. Although the time I do recognize and get out of the relationship is significantly shorter, I’m still not getting it and I need to understand and see it right upfront.

    Fear is such a powerful emotion. Ironically, I deep sea dive and I’ve been in oceans full of sharks. I’ve walked into a room full of banking executives and tackled them in one swoop. I’ve challenged my bosses, fought city hall, fought my ex-husband in court, but one thing I am so fearful of is confronting men who I am dating. I’ve confronted men but not to the extent where I want to. I don’t like operating in fear. I’m a fearless woman, but when it comes to relationships, I’m just fearful.

    I have learned to be myself with everybody. I’ve learned to not hide my feelings around my peers. If I want to rant and rave and curse so badly that would make a sailor blush, I feel confident that my peers and subordinates understand why I’m feeling this way. But when it comes to men and relationships, I hide it so well. I just smile sweetly when I’m angry and hardly raise a voice even though the content of my statements were of anger. I need to learn to stop this. I can’t stand myself when I do this. I am tired of doing this and I want it to stop. My anger is part of me. My fear is part of me. My disappointments are part of me. If I want any man to love and accept me, I need stop hiding those things from them. But I don’t how to show that part of me and not fear of them leaving or calling me some wicked, hurtful names. But then again, I’m a grown woman, I shouldn’t care!

    I’m no longer going to accept this part of me, the great facade that I’ve become an expert of. Not with anybody.

    NML, I’m in tears right now because you’ve hit this one on the spot. Thank you for bringing light into my thoughts and mind. I have so much more work to do. I’m a WIP (work in progress). I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

    • NML says:

      It’s funny Sherry, but I just got off the phone with a reader who experiences the same thing – it’s called creating a different set of rules for men in relationships. Part of this is about misguided notions about love and that men require different ‘handling’ but the reality is that boundaries apply across everything and having the different behaviour for men is not working for you because you’re not living consistent with values that you hold in the wider context which is where you get the disconnect with the honesty. This fear of expressing your anger is not generating better results for you plus the anger gets internalised. This is why a lot of people suffer with depression – unexpressed anger turned inwards. It’s about learning to express your feelings and realising that the sky doesn’t fall down. Sometimes, as well as hearing things we might not like, we have to express things that someone else might not like. If someone is unhappy because you’re expressing your anger at them taking advantage of you, it’s because they don’t want to treat you any better. We’re all a work in progress. It feels like a lot of work but it’s not because there will be a point where you cross the point of no return and start living. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll get honesty in your relationships. If you’re dishonest, you’ll get illusions.

  3. am says:

    I am curious, is all of this blowing hot and cold and rejecting and neglecting behavior of assclowns considered emotional abuse? I certainly feel that I was abused by it.

    • NML says:

      This is a tricky area. It is from the extent of them using it as a manipulative tool but many women actively seek out to be with guys who treat them mean and keep them keen. It’s not that they want to be treated badly, but this flip flapping behaviour triggers their interest. Even with this behaviour, you still have to look at the part where you deal with your own accountability for the situation. That’s not taking the blame for their behaviour and letting them off the hook; that’s recognising that there were choices and decisions that you also made.

  4. Vanna says:

    I never realized how much my congenital blindness is part of my personality or what the diference is between a partner who grieves versus a partner who pities. When I was younger, “blindness has nothing to do with anything” was always colloquially acilitated and I never reflected much on it. I did not begin to reflect on how it is part of my personality or how it can contribute to the dynamic of a relationship until recently. Most people like to define personality as a conglomerate of thoughts and feelings. For me, the definition of personality goes beyond a coglomerat of thoughts and feelings. I do have two feet that function very well and the way I get around has some people questioning if I’m blind or not. It also includes my individual preferences on how I would like to have things, but I’m a pretty flexible guy and could work wit most alternatives if what I prefer is not available. Now, if my blindness never had anything to do with anything, I would not have wrestled the way I wrestled in high school (I was part of my high school’s wrestling team) or joke around with people the way that I do. It did and does.
    As far as a relationship is concerned, the difference between a partner who pities and a partner who grieves is: a partner who grieves has probably seen how the world has treated me or in my personal case, knows the attitutes of some members of my family toward me such as one of my uncles ( he didn’t have the attitude he has toward me now when I was younger) and wishes to express how much she cares. While a partner who pities talks a lot of nonsense because horror is conveyed to her by her imagination which leads to shit that I don’t need to be dealing with. I choose the grieving partner and if she is grieving and not pitying, I will allow her to adjust to my blindness. It is most likely something new to her and also, she has not ben with me my whole life. I realize how sensitive I am when people express some kind of “sympathy” Because I get offended because I don’t like it. Maybe because of cues such as “I’m sorry.” I’m trying to chill out, but that is not easy. I think what has been helping me to try to chill out is that I have begun to understand how much gender is a factor because most women do mean that they are sorry when they say that they are. Guys, on the other hand, well, lets not go there.
    Don’t get me wrong, the relationship doesn’t revolve around my congenital blindness, but it is what I was born with and is part of the dynamic of the relationship. If I’m not so quic to assume what she is expressing is pity and allow her to learn and adjust and be clear with her about what areas she contribute because I’m able to do most things myself, then the stress contribution from my blindness and from me not communicating with her clearly can be minimal.

    • NML says:

      I understand what you mean Vanna. When someone pities you, it removes power. The grieving is empathetic which at least allows you to maintain your sense of self and power. Your congenital blindness obviously presents some impacts on the dynamic. You’re not pretending it doesn’t exist but you’re not allowing it to limit you and I guess you don’t need someone coming into your life seeing limits that you don’t see and by the same token, limiting you, or attempting to, with their pity. This is part of the fix/heal/help dynamic – unfortunately, many of us, not just women, *assume* that people need our help and want to nurture. It can be controlling and patronising – you existed before they came along. You don’t need someone to act like they are a solution to a problem that’s not actually a problem or create problems that don’t exist.

  5. Prickly says:

    After a few days away from my PC I read this post alongside three or four previous ones, including the one on ‘reset’ buttons. They fit nicely together. I let my ex press the reset button more times than I am comfortable admitting to, and following episodes/attitudes/behaviours I would normally not entertain. For years. In the end it meant both me and my 17 year old daughter being abused and dumped – literally – on the streets. So, my willingness to tolerate appaling treatment impacted on the person I do, genuinely, love the most in the world (besides me, of course). We had the most terrible time, homeless and frightened, but have slowly rebuilt our lives. A few months after the fallout with my ex, I bumped into him. He asked me when I was coming back! Without my daughter, who he said was not welcome in ‘his’ house ever again (it was my house, too). He laughed off the fact he had been screwing a colleague as ‘just a bit of fun’. He said my fear following his verbal, emotional, emotional and physical violence was my being ‘hysterical’ and that I ‘misunderstood’ the situation. He was fed up with me pulling the rug from under his feet but, even allowing for my inadequacy and imperfection and craziness, he was willing to have me back and carry on where we left off. Meaning, forget what had happened and go back on his terms. Again. The severity of events and passage of only a little time had, however, given me the space to think in a way I had not been doing before. I very quickly, with the help of friends, saw what my role had been in it all and how dangerous this man was. The biggest danger being that I was losing myself and who I really am with him. As soon as that penny dropped, it was so, so easy to let him go. When he asked me back, the look on hs face was priceless as I laughed, choked and turned him down. I honestly did not want him at last and it felt the right thing to say, as if he had been a stranger. I guess he was a stranger, in that he made sure I never really knew him or what he was like. I was in love with a man who did not exist. So, putting it like that made it easy for me to acknowledge my part and realise I DO exist, so my needs come first. Sounds obvious but these players usually creep into our lives in such a way that we don’t notice how we are being eroded. Keeping up with posts from here make all the difference and I make sure my daughter reads them, too, for her future safety. Thanks NML and all of you who contribute.

    • Danielle says:

      Still waiting for you to direct me to your blog. :) Every time a read a comment from you it makes me want to know more. Seems like you have grown a lot and I want to learn!!

      You have opened my eyes more that you will ever know. Thanks and keep the posts coming.
      .-= Danielle´s last blog ..Her calling???? =-.

  6. MaryC says:

    My worst fear came true just hours before I read this post, my ex emailed me after 4 months of NC on my part. It only said “Friends??”, I didn’t reply but I spent a sleepless night going over all of it in my head again. I have always wondered what I’d do if he did get in contact with me and like @Tanya secretly hoping things would change but only fooling myself.

    Its amazing how one little word can set you back, I feel like I’m back at day one again.

    • Melissa says:

      I feel the same. Yesterday I got an email from the ex in which he poured out his “emotions” about his grandmother being ill. It is all very suspicious because he has never once showed emotions in the year and a half I have known him. What to do? This is sad, he is hurting (I think), can I just be a mean person and ignore this reaching out on his part? Now have thought about him nonstop for around 24 hours. Not cool, I thought I was moving on, finally stopped lying awake waiting for his phone call every night.

      • NML says:

        I’m going to be real with you – if you imagine being an armchair psychologist, you are it. These guys love an ego stroke, sex, or a shoulder to lean on. It’s like her has just verbal diarrhead his thoughts and feelings. Offloading them on you. He isn’t reaching out – he’s offloading and you have to be careful of making this more than it is because you are assuming that this show of emotions has something to do with you. He’s thought of the last person who was very receptive to him who he believes still wants and loves him….and sent you an email. Is this *really* communication? If you reach out to him, remember that it may burn and you have to reach out for the right reasons because if you’re expecting something as a result of this, you will get your fingers burnt.

      • MaryC says:

        Melissa….I think you have to ask yourself if the tables were turned would he really be there for you? Yes we should rise above those who treat us badly and not stoop to their level but we also have to protect ourselves because who else will. You might acknowledge his grandmother’s illness, wish her the best and leave it at that. Any other communication from him in the form of an illness update should speak for itself.

    • NML says:

      I know you are reeling, but that text from his is pretty lame by any standard when you consider the bigger picture of his behaviour. You have to ask yourself what you’re going over as it’s a one word text. By that I mean that if anything, if he truly wanted your friendship, considering his actions, he’d make damn sure you knew exactly how sorry he was, make amends, and do whatever it takes to help you rectify the situation. His text just doesn’t cut it. Don’t make this bigger than it is and keep the faith and perspective. You’re not back at day 1. You live to fight another day and he is still the same person that he is.

      • MaryC says:

        NML…After a few hours of much needed sleep this afternoon I see things clearer. I stick to NC (130 days and counting !!!), I do live to fight another day and I continue my journey. I think it was the unexpected that threw me off. That just shows us we need to keep vigilant and not be surprised by anything they say or do.

  7. aphrogirl says:

    The reality of NC is that we force ourselves to accept the truth, in our heads at least, that is the start. Slowly, we come accept the truth in our hearts.

    Though we all have our stubborn points, the EUM is damaged goods because he fails to see the benefit in learning to see and face his destructive/ sabotaging ways. And he avoids this work in all manner of assclowny ways, making him quite the drama king in his own bad production. We sit in the drama of his world until we notice the bad drama never gets better…and then we leave.

    Regarding baggage – people can change, with a lot of hard work. Ask any if us here ! But an ex who tries to get back in touch with one a one word text, or silly email is showing you they are still the same old damaged clown you knew before. Just remind yourself that you want nothing to do with that silly level of ability of communication.

    • madeamistake says:

      Try a weather report –that’s the text I got this morning giving me the weather update from where he lives. I was tempted to send him one back with nothing other than a link to the weather channel. : )

    • NML says:

      Aphrogirl, you are very wise. Amen to your comment! That text is pathetic – he hasn’t changed!
      @Madeamistake A weather report? Jesus… Is there no limits to the total lunacy of these bufoons?!

  8. Tthanksgoditsover says:

    I have been going through my relationship with my ex again and again and thinking what and where went wrong. I am not argumentative or confrontational but at the same time, I never head a problem to stop people from manipulating me or bullying me etc. I was long-time single and enjoying myself, not being desperate or feeling maternal or old in any way when I ran into my ex-EUM. I had a very healthy sense of boundaries at that time and I could easily see when my EUM was sliding into his EUM tricks and call him on it and expect that it wouldn`t happen again. However, at that time, I wasn`t into him as much as he was into me and I didn`t care that much if I was going to lose him. In fact, I was very much prepared to lose him if he consistently behaved like an EUM or AC with lack of respect and affection towards me and didn`t sort himself out and he knew it. As he was in his very hot phase, he was trying really hard to please me and prove himself (for the whole year). That actually made me slowly fell for him and lose my boundaries completely.

    Through the time and with all the emotional and related material and personal investment into the relationship, which was in the end quite substantial on my part, I slowly became less and less ready to lose him. Yes, I bet on potential based on how great it used to be (including marriage, kids and all that blah blah), ignored all the red flags and just couldn`t let go of the faked future and past great hot phase of the relationship. The balance of power tipped and I slowly got into a position where I pretended to be happy when I was with him because if I didn`t, he would be annoyed and blame me for being moody. I feared to complain about him blowing cold as he would again blame me being moody and stroppy and not being grateful for the crumbs he threw me. He was obviously defending his own EUM behaviour by attacking me for acting out of proportion when he turned out after months or not answering the phone. He was trying to build up a belief in me that I WAS the one, who`s got a problem all the time, who`s moody and just can`t relax and can`t enjoy what he`s giving. I started avoiding any sort of confrontation because I knew that no matter how assertive or nice I would be, the mere fact that I wasn`t happy with something between us would make him feel uncomfortable and he would fight back to show me that I WAS the only problem. It reached the absurd level when he knew that I knew he would come with his “moody and not relaxed” seminar if I said just anything other than compliment or if I commented on his hot n cold behaviour or lack of interest and that`s when he started to be annoyed with me even for not LOOKING happy and cheerful (!) enough when I was with him. It turned to be a whole emotional abuse and blackmail where I had to take anything that came from him and looking happy otherwise I got a hard time.

    Through an incidental NC that just “happened” I learnt that he was no longer bothered if he heard from me or not and he didn`t even noticed if he didn`t. That made me panic a lot and fear that if I did not comply with his rules, I`d lose him. With time, he was getting uncomfortable almost with any sort of conversation that involved “us”. At the very end of the relationship, I couldn`t believe how I changed from a healthy happy single woman with good sense of boundaries and not letting people mess with them to someone pretending very hard being happy just to prevent my EUM who was causing me all the pain from feeling uncomfortable discussing things with me. I cried every night into my pillow and complained my friends (who were rightly pointing out that this EUM didn`t give a damn thing about me and while I was overgiving I was getting nothing back). At the end, his disrespectful unloving behaviour, cold approach and the damage of my emotional stability escalated so much that despite all the fear and denial I had finally enough. Enough`s enough and it did reach the point that after one extremely arrogant, rude and patronising behaviour during his visit at my place that original confident happy healthy single woman lying beaten up at the very bottom of my soul woke up and asked if that was what I wanted in life. Trying to please a middle-aged man-boy who never invested anything substantial into any relationship, was comfortable and safe living home with his mom and older sister, treating his salary as pocket money and whose desire to have a child was just yet another whim of that spoiled brat like a pilot licence or a porsche rather than a genuine family instinct where a woman would be viewed as a life-time equal partner and contributor. Suddenly, I started to understand why all his exes left him for someone else after 3-5 yr relationships and started their families with the new guys, I suddenly understood why that string of failed so-called long-term relationships happened and it had nothing to do with a betrayal ! They just got enough and didn`t want to waste their time on him anymore. Well I decided, just like I had done at the very beginning of our relationship that I did only want him if he sorted himself out and got back on the track. After that last visit that was behaviour was unacceptable I sent him a text assertively spelling out that I found his behaviour very rude and that I also lacked any sign of interest in the relationship from his side for a long time and I asked him if he could make some things clear to me. No surprise, he chose not to respond and in this way, end the “relationship”. I never tried contacting him again as I knew him well enough to know that he simply threw me over board for my daring text as a trash and any attempt to contact him would be only a confirmation to him that I was a trash begging for attention or being taken back. Yes it was hard for me at the beginning but slowly, as the pain from the break up eases, I am able to see more clearly what it really looked like and what it really was. I have felt like being run over by a fast train when I realised he`s done with us but I am slowly healing and getting back to balance and see he was not worth pursuing.

    I learned a lot and this site helped me in the worst times after break up to realise that it wasn`t a case of him being special and me wasn`t good enough for him no matter how hard I tried. That there are actually hundreds of guys like him and that they can totally mess women up.

    • NML says:

      Tthanksgoditsover Here’s the thing. The fact that you would become involved with someone who you were OK with losing and knew you weren’t as interested in, is actually what drew you into this dysfunctional dynamic. If you want to understand where you are emotionally, look closely at the person who you’re involved with as we stick around people who reflect our beliefs. We also get the relationship that is right for us at the time even though it is painful – they serve to teach us more about ourselves. What you need to recognise is that you were willing to put with EUM behaviour from the outset because you didn’t feel attachment however in accepting poor behaviour, you open yourself up to more. Why would you see bad behaviour and then sit and watch and see how it will play out? He saw your ambivalence and turned the tables on you – this is how the control gets accomplished and you go from being chased and not that interested, to being the pursuer and ending up far more hurt than you bargained for. He certainly wasn’t a safe option and I’m glad you see his behaviour for what it is and hopefully you can now work through your pain and also your own emotional unavailability so that you don’t get sucked into this dynamic again.

      • thanksgoditisover says:

        Thank you NML for encouragement. It all lasted for 4 years and I have been reflecting on this relationship for the last several months now. Through that and this web, I keep discovering and learning more and more new things about me, my own issues, reasons behind my failed relationship, my childhood and I can see red flags that I didn`t see then. It is quite a painful process, especially learning about myself and realising what I actually want from a man and a relationship (that`s the scariest bit).

        His EUM behaviour didn`t reach the real level at the beginning as he was going through a very long hot phase and I wrongly thought at that time that no one is perfect and that I could handle that and if it got any worse, I would be smart enough to see it and wouldn`t let it suck me in. It is maybe fair to mention that there were also other circumstances that were not favourable to this relationship from the very start as we were not from the same country, met during my EUMs couple months assignment after which he took his redundancy and we had to resort to a long-distance relationship and struggle for survival during which he tried to requalify and I decided to relocate to his country on my own and establish myself there. Although workwise and careerwise everything worked out more than well for each of us in the end, the relationship failed.

        Despite all the pain and hurt I got from this relationship, I also got some positive things. It is exactly as you say. I know today that I wasn`t ready for any healthy relationship at that time and no “normal” available man would even come near me at that time. And if he did, I wouldn`t have been interested anyway. I know today that I needed this very hot blowing EUM to help me move forward and in his very hot phase he was actually able to penetrate my own EU and let me experience feelings that I thought I wasn`t able to feel and showed me the world from a different perspective.

        I definitely carried a lot of baggage from my previous disappointment years before and I suppose that only EUM could get under the crust of this. The hot phase felt like a nice hot bath and despite the long cold shower afterwards, I think it was beneficial for my own emotional development. Not sure I am ready to have or even that I am ready to want a healthy relationship now (to be truly honest to myself) but I have definitely moved much further away from where I was before. I am not throwing myself desperately at guys and I never did so. I am now working on being happily single again and working on what I really want from life in general.

  9. ashley says:

    Great post. NML you made a couple of really good points with:

    “One of those things was that I needed to be more authentic and not pretend to be happier than I actually felt, because every false move I put out, was bringing more negativity and falseness into my life. You are the only common denominator in your soap opera called life.”

    I have decided to get honest with myself with what I want and feel about my ex. He’s very casual and ambivalent. I can continue to engage in communication with him, acting like everything is great and we are friends, or more than friends but with no expectations OR I can be honest and think about what I really want.

    Continuing to engage with him is not going to cause him to change in how he feels about me. It will, however, continue a fantasy I have about his “coming around” some day.

    It’s a little demeaning, as I write this, that I should still be waiting for some guy to “come around’ especially when he’s acted so ambivalent.

    Honestly, I ask myself, “do I really want to have no expectations or to constantly be managing my disappointment that he doesn’t want me as a girlfriend or to be in a committed relationship?”.

    The answer is: “NO”.

    I gave up pursuing him for Lent (along with any other unavailable man). It’s been a great experience so far, because I am realizing that, in setting my sights on these types of men in the past, I was only setting myself up for failure. It’s much better for my self esteem to take control and not engage. It also helps me see a situation more clearly and for what it is. These men just get in contact because it suits them, their ego, or whatever – not really because they are concerned about me and want to be WITH me.

    Sometimes I am timid about posting on this site, because I may be wrestling with giving into a EUM. Or letting things go on his terms. Once I write, I realize how silly I am being and I get my resolve back.

    Thanks NML – great post as usual. Really hit home this time!

    • Turbulence25 says:

      OMG! You must be my twin on some other part of this planet! Lol! I swear out situations are so similar. I went thru NC w/ my EUM for 7 months. I found out he had a wife, and god knows how many others on the side, so I cut contact immediately. We’ve been talking for the past month or so, and now I’m just realizing that it’s a huge waste of time on my part. He hasn’t changed a bit. It’s like traveling back into the past just to deal with him.

      I stopped talking to him again today, and he’s been calling off the hook, he even called my job. I know it’s not so much because he cares about me, he’s shown me just how much he doesn’t care over the past two years. I know it’s just him wanting to make sure that his “sure thing” is still sure. I’m not. I don’t want him anymore even if he did change. A person that can hurt someone so badly, and never apologize for it, heck, never even acknowledge it, is a person that’s badly damaged and someone that I’d never want to be in a committed relationship with anymore.

      • NML says:

        @Ashley It’s funny, I was thinking of you the other day. I figured you were either loved up or as you put it, ‘wrestling’. Good to hear from you either way. Sometimes we have to put our hand in the fire in a ‘suck it and see’ kind of way. Eventually we learn that the fire burns and overall, you’ll save some time because there is no mystery about him or any of these guys so if you go back, you know it’s your imagination and expectations.
        @Turbulence25 Stick to your guns. Don’t let this guy suck the life and time out of you – relationship insanity is repeating the same behaviour and expecting different results.

  10. Sherry says:

    As I reflect on some of my shortcomings and some of the posts in here, I realize that I have to treat relationships as a business.

    I have mastered on how to relate, accept, what I don’t want and what I want in my business and I need to apply the same thought and action towards what I want in my relationships.

    In my business, I’m decisive, I can see things clearly, I act accordingly and I have the foresight on what could and would and what I want to happen in able for it to flourish and succeed.

    I am myself in my business. I don’t tolerate disrespect. I tolerate colaboration and demand cooperation or they’re out the door!

    I encourage “team” relations and how all of us must work together towards a common goal or they’re out the door!

    When someone wants a job with my company, they go through the interview process much like dating.

    Once I’ve decided that they’d be a good fit in a position within my company, I take them in with a 90 day probation to see if they’d last and observe how they’d fit in and work colaboratively with others, much like dating someone exclusively.

    Once the 90 day is up and they’ve passed that mark, they’re still not out of the woods. They still must follow protocol – respect, team work, collaborating with others, open communication, etc, much like when someone you’re exclusive with. If they screw up, they’re out the door!

    Of course, as time passes by, trust is built, people tend to relax a bit and let their guard down, there’d be some disagreements, but that new person must communicate and find a common goal to go back and smooth the day to day operation of a business, much like a relationship. If they don’t, the door is open for them to walk out.

    There’ll always be a chance for that person to find “another job” with another company, much like a person working for me, however, if that person has contributed positively with added value to the corporation, you’d do almost anything within reason to keep that person in your company, just like in a relationship. However, how that person reacts to your offer to keep them in the company is what would be at stake. If arrogance and ego comes into play from their side, and they’re being abusive and unreasonable, that’s when you also can show them the door.

    There are a lot of commonalities between a guy working for a company and a guy in a relationship. Both sides have something at stake and both sides have a way out if either one is unhappy. The difference that I believe myself and others must learn and find out is how much are you willing tolerate to keep them employede? How much abuse are you going to accept? How much low-performance and/or lack of positive contribution are you willing to accept from this employee/significant other? There’s an annual performance review. If this man in my/your life is not performing to your satisfaction, it’s up to you to rate him and see if he’ll come up to the table and be accountable for his actions. If not, you give him a warning. If he doesn’t heed, then it’s nobody else but his fault that he didn’t perform to your expectation and he’s shown the door. It’ll hurt, yes, very painful. You may have to come up and take up some of the work he’s been doing while you find a replacement, much like in a corporation. But that relationship didn’t work out. You have to have something in your company/relationship that would be a 2-way street and there’s respect, give and take and appreciation. Without it, the employee/significant other is just there collecting the paycheck without having any added value. No corporation will accept someone like that and neither should any of us.

    If I were to look at relationships parallel to business, I can logically understand and see it much clearly. And perhaps applying the same
    protocol would make it much clearer to all parties involved.

    That’s just my reflection. I perhaps need to instill this thought towards my relationship.

    • NML says:

      Sherry you make a lot of valid points. As humans, we love to compartmentalise relationships as if a very different set of rules apply. However boundaries and values are alive and well no matter what type of relationship it is – family, friends, colleagues, romantic etc. Many Baggage Reclaim readers accept levels of disrespect from romantic partners that they wouldn’t dream of if it were someone else. Here’s the thing – applying these such radically different sets of rules and making allowances and having no boundaries isn’t working. We need to live consistent with our values and that should resonate throughout your life. It’s no wonder so many people are out of sync abandoning boundaries to get people to love them – it’s not working.
      .-= NML´s last blog ..Last Chance: Bundle Offer for Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl & The No Contact Rule ebooks =-.

  11. Ramona says:

    Hi NML and all posters on this site. I have both e-books and read them daily. Been NC for 10 weeks but this guy won’t return my belongings and it’s making me nuts. He only returned half of my things and has used my things previously to contact me. I care about the things but I refuse to contact him. Why does he do this? It’s clear he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me. We lived together for 7 months. Help…..

    • RES says:

      Hi Ramona,

      You have weigh the “value” of your emotional health and self esteem against the “value” that you place on whatever belongs this person is clearly using to manipulate you. 10 weeks of NC is definitely something to feel good about. You are giving YOUR happiness priority. Just ask yourself if whatever objects/belongings this person is using as a tool/weapon are really worth you sacrificing your health and happiness? You want your belongs back, but is the point that you are making by insisting on them back worth what might happen as a result. I did the same thing with my AC for 5 years, and it ended up being one step forward and two steps back, until I said to myself “screw the sweater and my favorite earrings;” the shmuck can have them :-)

    • RES says:

      Hi Ramona,

      Ask yourself, is the “value” of your belongs worth the “value” of your emotional healthy and happiness? Your beginning the process of building a healthy relationship with yourself, don’t let someone who is clearly using your belongs to manipulate you have the power to derail you. The price you would have to pay (potential sorrow) wouldn’t be worth the cost/sentimental value of your stuff. You make a bigger point when you REFUSE to contact him/accept his contacts, than you ever could making show of getting your stuff. I did the same thing with my AC for 5 years, until I was finally able to say: “the schmuck can keep my brown clogs and favorite earrings.” It’s just not worth it :-)

      • Ramona says:

        Hi Res –
        Thanks so much for your response. I am pretty good about the NC. I just have a hard time not ruminating about the relationships hows and whys. I was told that these men hold on to your things so that they can contact you in the future. I want so much to NOT care whether he contacts me but I unfortunately am not there yet. I know you think this is manipulation but how in the world would he know it’s manipulation if I haven’t contacted him or expressed ANY desire to deal with him in any way?
        I really want to know what you think and thanks.

        • Sherry says:

          Hi Ramona,

          Similar situation w/ me with an AC back in 1999. He had my necklace that I cherished so much because my ex-AC husband gave it to me on the day our son was born.

          As much as I love that necklace and the sentimental value it has to me, I let it go.

          My sanity, my dignity, my self-respect meant more to me than that necklace and no matter what threat, coaxing or whatever I did to get that necklace back, he obviously didn’t care enough to return it. Or,perhaps, he knew the value I have placed on that necklace and wanted to keep a piece of me to remind him of how much he screwed up the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

          Ten years after the demise, he’d contacted me through email. I’m all over the internet because I’m the CEO of my own corporation and I’m easy to find. He poured his heart out to me saying that “I’m the one who got away” and he’ll always love me and if I ever want him back, he’ll drop the girl he’s been currently dating for 2 years. HA! that’s so friggin romantic, NOT! He’s still an AC and an EUM. He hasn’t changed! He’s still miserable and I’ve moved on and actually became a better person and a successful one to boot than the one he was dating 10 years prior! That was enough confirmation for me that he’s still an EUM and the biggest AC I’ve ever known! He thinks what he’d said to me on email was enough for me to go running back? Yeah right!

          Consider those things a lost and chalk it up to experience. Like Res said, it’s not worth the pain you’re going through right now. One of these days, you’ll get the validation, confirmation and satisfaction on what you did, leaving this AC behind and moving on with your life. Karma always has a way of confirming of your decision.

          Big hugs to you hon and don’t look back. Keep improving yourself, keep moving forward. It’s annoying on what your ex-AC is doing, but for your self-respect and sanity, just chalk it up as a lost and move forward.


        • RES says:

          Hi Ramona,
          Look at his past behavior and decide for yourself what his motives are. This is the beauty of NC. Spending all of this time and energy is simply perpetuating the drama that we unconsiously crave. Don’t ask yourself why; accept who and what he is (and mind you, you are in NC for a reason). You have a CHOICE, in how you respond to this situation. You are in the process of reclaiming your power, don’t risk surrendering it to someone who clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Let the AC keep the stuff. What you stand to lose is much more valuable. :-)

          • KG says:

            One of the ways I look at it is this: Let him keep the stuff.

            Why? It’s a red flag for the next girl. If/when he brings a new girl into his life, and she sees your stuff still laying around — ’cause he’ll do that — if she has any sense she’ll question it and she’ll *hopefully* realize he’s EU and run the other way.

        • NML says:

          RES you as always make very wise points.
          Ramona, this guy is using your stuff as an opening in the future. You have to look at the wider picture – you are not the only person he has been involved with and he has a pattern of doing things. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that if you hold onto something that belongs to someone else, they are likely to ask for it. For these guys, contact is contact, attention is attention. It doesn’t matter if you call him a piece of crap – they think any form of attention from you is a sign that you want them and still care. You want him to contact you so that you can feel validated and less rejected by his behaviour. If he does contact you, you may feel these things briefly…and then feel worse. You don’t need to ‘say’ anything – communication is as much what you don’t say and do, as much as what you do. He is using what he thinks he can assume about you based on you giving him the time of day and being involved with him in the first place. You want to make a point? Like RES said, stop contacting him, stop engaging in the drama over this stuff and step back. Right now, everything you do is what he expects you to do. Right now you need to get on with your own life. If you don’t want him, your stuff can wait. When you’re over him, if you still want the stuff, you can get it from him and not give a sh*t.
          .-= NML´s last blog ..Last Chance: Bundle Offer for Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl & The No Contact Rule ebooks =-.

          • Ramona says:

            Res, NML, Sherry and KG – Thank you. It is truly a miraculous thing to be able to even tell this stuff to people that understand and have experience. This is my 1st EUM situation. I have not contacted him but once to get the stuff he kept and that was 3 weeks ago. He responded but that is not worth even talking about. I will not contact him again. Ever. I am a bit jumpy always thinking he’s going to show up somewhere unexpected or contact me. How do I get out of that mindset? I am really doing everything possible, therapy included.
            So awesome to have you all to talk with and gain perspective.

          • Ramona says:

            Hi NML, RES, Sherry and KG –
            Again, thanks for your comments on my EUM not returning my things. It has now been over a month since I requested them and I am having trouble. Tell me how to forget this please. I actually had 2 dates with a new man that seems normal. I am looking over my shoulder constantly wondering where, when and how this AC is going to try and use my things to contact me somehow. I will not ask for my things again but I am not functioning well. A bit of history – hot and cold, asked me if i would marry him within the year (2009), texting most of the relationship (albeit nice and loving texts as well as cold ones), physically hot then not. Good in bed then terrible in bed. Moved in with me and claimed he didn’t remember being so happy, then distant, then loving, distant, loving, he even told me after he moved out (1 week before Christmas) “you probably don’t believe me but I love you” (via text)….i could go on as this was the way it was for a year. I just want to be prepared but I am so freakin nervous about it mostly all the time. Please tell me your thoughts on how to get past this.
            Thanks so much.
            BTW – 3 months of NC – only the email I sent asking for my things 1 month ago.

  12. Troya says:

    This post was fantastic. I too used to be a strong person before I met my Ex but then he conditioned me not to raise issues because every issue I raised, he would accuse me of the same thing… usually within a week. By the end of the relationship, I was so confused and coudln’t work out if it was me or him who had the issues. Looking back, I can see that I should have pushed back when he did this because what he was saying of me then became his version of our reality. I still lie awake at night trying to unravel what I did to make him think that I was the one with the issues.
    I still think that we had a good relationship and think back only of hte good times. My friends all remind me of how often I would have to take days off work or be crying at work but somehow I forget all that and just focus on the good whereas he focuses on the bad. I know with my head that he was an ac and eum but I can’t get him out of my heart.

  13. RES says:

    This is all so true. True change cannot begin until one is ready to have that “conversation” with oneself. One of the most difficult things to accept is our own role (and responsibilty) in perpetuating unhappy and unhealthy relationships. It isn’t easy (nothing of value is ever easy). And NML is completely correct when she mentions the role that fear plays in our relationship patterns. We all fear the unknown, I did. But I realized that my fears were preventing me from ever enjoying my life. Here I was, in my early 40’s, and I was still WAITING for some handsome prince to come and GIVE me my life. How long did I wait for someone to give me happiness. How many years did I spend with AC’s and Mr.UNAV’s because I was afraid of the unknown. Of being “stuck” with me? That realization frightened me more than ANYTHING else. I sat down, and had that honest conversation with myself. I found insight into the childhood experiences that forged my unhealthy relationship patterns (and low self esteem). I realized that parents are people, subject to the frailities of human nature, and I forgave them. Letting go of past hurts helps immensely, but another aspect of that conversation is that we must be “real” about where we are in our relationships. I love the saying “stretch a duck’s neck and you still don’t have a swan.” How much time I wasted, how many potential nice guys did I totally write off ALL for the sake of an illusion. That realization was a hard one, believe me. But now that I am happy with a really good guy, I see how his goodness is now a reflection of what I feel about myself. Having that honest conversation is the first step in changing the “relationship paradigm.” Always right on the mark, Natalie. You’ve saved me a fortune in therapy. :-)

    • NML says:

      Thank you! It warms me to hear of your honesty and happiness. Stay honest and stay happy. That ‘prince’ is not coming, especially the version many of us have looked out for. Get real, be real, and you can have a real relationship. Love the line about the swan! x

  14. Trinity says:

    Hi NML or ladies,

    I’m feeling a bit lost :(
    Is it “normal” to start feeling really lost, depressed, anxious and confused after 6.5 months broken up and 3.5 months with no contact.
    It’s been tuff but I’d made so much progress, Im careful to spend time to myself, go out when I feel like it, taken up hobbies, have therapy, cry when I need to, I no I wasn’t happy with him and he made me awfully miserable with the hot/cold thing, I’ve excepted that he dumped me, I’ve excepted losing his family. He is finally leaving me alone after harrassing me at work 4 friendship for 3 months. But for some reason it feels like I’m going backwards, I feel really lonely and depressed, on edge, having big sobbing crys. I’m finding an urge to reach out to him ( I won’t do it) buy the urge is really painfully confusing. I’m not sure why this is happening? I feel like I’m going backwards in my recovery. Do you think it’s just simply that I work with him making it harder ? I’m not sure? I don’t like feeling like this, it’s unerving :(

  15. de-lightedtobefree says:

    Sherry loved you post, helped me alot :)
    Trinity, I think this is residue, cry it out but try to manage the crying, it’s like that thing of ‘what emotion’ is driving you. If you give your tears too much emotional time over the rest of your emotions, they will take over. When you finish a cry, say ok, thats some crap out of my system now I want to feel something else, see what other emotion comes up next, try to find some objectivity. It’s a funny thing to watch yourself and see just how you can in fact manipulate yourself into staying miserable. I’m an actress so have to be in-charge and understand my emotions and also their levels. They are my job. Each emotion gets equal rights, and it is sooo easy for us to allow ourselves to feel all the negative emotions. See if you can allow some positive one some of your ‘time’ :) Treat them like members of your business (have taken Trinity’s analogy here :), each having their say at your personal emotional board meeting. And no I’m not crazy :) Hope this helps, it does for me.

    love to all and loving the posts and reading and loving the NC and me!!! xxx

    • trinity says:

      Thanks de-lightedtobefree :)

      Your advice was helpful, i think i had aloud my pain to take over just like you said.
      Sometimes i find it very upsetting to see somene i was so close to and shared so much with, at work, just walking by each other as though nothing had ever happend. Its hard. It feels unatural for me.
      But that was my choice and i have to remember that.
      He did want to be friends and i did try to be friends but i was pretending to be happy and o.k with things when really i was devastated and completly confused and crushed. Him treating me just as bad if not worse as friends finally made me understand that i had to opt out altogther. It was like still getting the same bad deal or having to put up with the same bad stuff of the realtionship only now just as friends. Opting out was definetly the better choice, as hard as it is. Self respect is always the best choice :)

      • NML says:

        Hi Trinity, sorry to hear you are struggling. You’re just going through a patch – like peaks and troughs. I wouldn’t over analyse it – you’re working stuff out of your system and getting over a relationship – this stuff hurts. Now you can ride on it and throw yourself at the mercy of being upset, or you can as has been already suggested, pick yourself back up. Don’t wallow in pain and resign yourself to misery as you will get trapped in your own feelings and react – like a downward spiral. You’re not going backwards – you’re upset. Keep real and keep the faith.

        • trinity says:

          @ NML, thank you :)
          I know your right, its a fine line between making sure you do allow yourself to grieve and feel everything, including the uncomfortable stuff and getting lost in it. Your right i could feel it spiralling and making me start to think unrealistic thoughts, like reaching out which is actually the last thing i want to do. Im starting to pull myself out of it. Hopefully if it happens next time i wont be so hard on myself :) Im also going to remind myself that each time this happens and i get through it, im a little wiser, learnt a little more, illusions dropped a little more and ive let go of him a little more. So that pain is worth it :) Going to read my NCR book tonight as a reminder. Take care NML :)

  16. Anusha says:

    RES-I would like some tips about how you changed your issues,could you please share some of them? Thanks :)

  17. aphrogirl says:

    I have found it really important to figure out what is behind the sadness of the whole EUM thing. For me it is a sadness in living a life less than full, sad that both this is the EUM’s world and sad that I learned about this way of life firsthand from him, and lived it to some extent when I entered into his world and got to experience life that way.

    Though I did fight it all along, eventually I had to get away, it’s such a discouraging thing to look at love and relationship only as something to “get” from another. Or to only know love from the point of the ego, from the point of receiving and not giving.

    And I think this juvenile point of view, the needy child, focusing on what one gets from people, with no consideration of give and take, is what we experience in these kind of immature relationships. I will admit that by the end almost all I could do was notice how I was getting nothing from him and, in my anger, giving nothing but grief in return. I was not pretending to be someone I was not but…. I really did not like the person I was becoming.

    I think many of us here come to learn that someone who functions at this emotional level of connection is someone to avoid. It is so frustrating and sad because it is so much less than we humans are capable of.

    Behind the sadness is the fact that the EUM does not know how to come clean, all you ever experience is his fragile ego working overtime to make him look good in his own eyes. Giving to you never even comes into the picture because he is very much like a needy child and so out of touch with his emotions that he cannot give himself the love he needs to grow up.

    Hard and sad part is realizing that you cannot give him that love either. All of us need to give ourselves that love that lets us grow into a healthy strong capable loving adult. The EUM just reinforced my understanding of give and take, how both are necessary to know ourselves and in having any healthy relationship.

    • Sherry says:

      Amen aphrogirl! I too pity my recent EUM, however, he was mature enough to drop hints and eventually tell me bluntly that he’s not capable of giving back what I want and need. It took me 2 mos to realize and had to walk away. He saved me a lot of time and grief and with my advice, he’s trying to understand why he is the way he is by seeking therapy. We both know he has a long road ahead of him but at least he’s doing something about it and he cared enough about me to tell me that he’s not capable of giving me what I want.

      That’s why I considered him a wonderful man and hopes that he takes care of what’s needed within him.

      NML, I’m learning so much from your site, and factoring therapy and working on my current and some on-going issues, I know I’ll be okay. Thank you again for this site. You’re a God send to people like myself who’s constantly trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

  18. freeatlast says:

    Perfect timing as usual, and always just what I need to keep me out of the illusion and back to reality. After going no contact for ages I think he finally has got the message. I just get the odd text which I ignore.

    Saw him at the weekend flirting with someone from work at the bar, yet another to add to his collection! I knew he wouldn’t change but the truth is he would be doing the same if I had stuck around. It felt strange seeing him and there was a second where I thought it would be easier if I’d remained friends with him. The reality is I had tried that many times before and he was never a friend anyway and it occurred to me that although he is having fun with as many women as he can behind his partners back and getting away with it for years. At least I am starting to put my life in order, trying to deal with issues the best I can without drama and illusion. While he is running from one drama to another. I think I am the lucky one.

  19. Moving on in 2010 says:


    I am in the same boat as you. Even though my Ex-EUM has moved away (but still with the company), it’s hard not to IM him when I see him online and ask how he is doing. It has been bittersweet-I am happy that I don’t have to see him everyday at work, but I still do miss him (even though I know I shouldn’t). He too, asked to be friends and I thought I could do it and was initially fine with it, but I realized that because I still had strong feelings for him and he didn’t feel the same way, I had to let him go. I am sorry, but there is no way to go back to a friendship after everything that has been shared (that is, unless both parties are on the same page and have no emotional attachment to one another).

    Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do after 3 1/2 months of NC. It’s going to take some time to heal. I am nearing my first month of NC (for the second time). Just remind yourself that things are going to get better….We both have to believe that.

    • trinity says:

      @ Moving on in 2010, thank you :) We both seem to be going through the same things a lot!!! I have a bad habit of being soft on others but hard on myself. I need to be kinder to myself and allow myself just to grieve or feel blue if I need to but as everyone has stated not to allow it to take over. It can be a fine line between making sure you do get your feelings out, including the hard painful ones and not hiding from the pain but also not allowing it to take over. I’m slowly starting to feel better. I’ve realised each time this happens I learn something new about myself or have another realisation about him, the relationship and seeing it for what it really was. Maybe these feelings come each time you let go, just that little bit more and the illusion continues to drop? I have to remember even when im blue how much ive accomplished learned, grown and how far ive come. It’s interesting to hear that even though your AC has moved away from work that it’s still just as painful or hard. Maybe I need to stop focussing on the fact that we work together, even though it is hard, maybe im putting to much power into it and focussing on it to much? Thank you for sharing and take care :) XXXX PS i think ill get my NC rule book out again this weekend, give myself a little reminder :)

  20. MaryC says:

    Trinity, Moving on in 2010 & de-lightedtobefree….Your posts always give me comfort. I see what you’re going through too and I draw strength from your insights. It truly does help.

  21. Sue says:

    Thanks for the insight and enlightenment. I am just coming to grips with the no contact rule. I realize I may have sent the last e-mail, but I didn’t send further e-mails trying to figure out what was up with him. I realized that I didn’t need to and that was so liberating. I didn’t give him what he wanted, I didn’t give in. I am moving on and realizing that I don’t need that. I deserve better. I am feeling fine and taking care of me and mine. :)

  22. Betterwithouthim says:

    NML thank you – excellent post.
    I’m a completely changed person (woman) since I found your site and few others which helped me get to reality.
    That has been the key – live in reality, keep it real. I was so far in the pit of denial I really didn’t know the extent.
    The clearer one’s head is, the better you can see for yourself how you need to change, it’s not always about the other person…like I used to believe.
    THis is great, I hope the newbees who visit your site and post will wake up sooner than I did and realize every day is a blessing and life is really worth living. You just have to believe for yourself, that it is.

  23. Gina says:

    This was great timing for this post. Just last night I was going over the years of what has happened in my life and what lead me to this place. Just a few days ago I ended a short term 2 month dating extravaganza but what makes me sad is that I knew this wasn’t good from the beginning. He would constantly message me on facebook (he was part of my national guard unit) but to the point where it wasn’t normal, it bordered on stalking. The benefit I got from it was that I know the “anxiety and immediate bad feeling gut reaction” is a warning sign and to stop trying to make sense of it! (and of course we as woman know this) Whenever I started dating a guy, my warning would go off when a friend would ask me how it is going, I would try to pretend “oh it’s good” but my feelings were telling me a whole different story. Why is it so hard to let go? I realized that, from the get-go from being abused and neglected by both my parents interpersonal relationships were a struggle for me with both men and woman, especially men. A quick way to get aquainted would be to get physical, but I would keep getting abandoned, feeling used and worthless which lead to more outlandish behavior. On the conscious level I have made steps to change my situation, moved out of my abusive home when I was 20 years old, was working a full time job, etc… yet all the subconscious feelings of fear were beneathe the surface which showed in ways of me acting out sexually, getting my self into debt, having unhealthy friendships and relationships, etc… until one day my whole world crashed down. I realized I had to remove the bad, unhealthy stuff out of my life and surrender. I ended up divorcing my father because he continuing abused me as an adult. I also went to therapy as well. I started searching for answers within myself and in the process actually came across this website a year or two ago. Just last night I thought about how this is a true journey towards self-discovery, while my upbringing may have sent me far off from who I wasn’t, the only person responsible for finding myself is me. While I found myself with a voice in this past dating experience, it has shown me what I really do want and need. While he wasn’t a true assclown, he was unavailable, caught up on his ex (by casually bringing her up, comparisons, etc on occassion) I seen his fear of abandonment by sending me texts sometimes “are you mad at me?”… when I didn’t answer right away (which I see is sort of a form of control) and then the last straw when he was started to act like an asshole by asking me to come over to his house and I knew he wasn’t playing fair and treating me like I was a convience store (I actually asked him on the phone “Do you think I’m a convience store, I don’t think so!). I told him about my cousin passing away that day and he wasn’t even supportive. Long story short, I ended it with him… something I knew I had to do for the longest time. Most of the time spent together was periods of me feeling anxious, uncomfortable and knew he wasn’t right under the front. Not to mention I started recognizing abusive signs in him by insulting me disquised as jokes, leaving me at his friends house (was there no longer than a couple of minutes) when he ran off to the store with his friend and wife to pick something up, he had no consideration. I did bring this up and he goes “was that wrong?” I said yes! Then trying to order me around ‘will you help me with this is a demanding tone’ (almost expecting me to be right there helping him put his dogs jackets on!) I spoke out and said not to speak to me like that. In this situation I had to be there for myself. I had to realize that I can trust myself and that I know what’s right for me and I don’t need to let things get this far. What suprises me is I am independent and not one of those people who always needs to be in a relationship, I realized that I can get attached easily and need to find my passions in life. I enrolled in college for the first time and I’m excited. I realized in this situation I did speak out more than not, but after seeing him for who he truly was (not who I wanted or hoped for him to be) it was very clear that I had to dump him. I needed to get this out. Thanks for the post NML.

  24. LadyBird says:

    Thanks for the insight NML.
    I have definitely been working at this. Thanks to the NC rule i was able to gain clarity in a situation that I knew from the gate was not healthy for me, but convinced myself that i was not as emotionally involved as I really was. I am now able to take a few steps back from the situation, and I am constantly askng myself how I truly feel about it, and what I want. Thats a BIG thing for me. Much like Gina I have had to learn how to build any type of relationship. Because of this I second guess myself, and take more blame then I should in situations. But I am working on that. I am determined to find build healthy relationships. I have learned to have that honest convo with myself to make sure that I stay true to myself. We are a work in progress.

    • Natalie says:

      Wow, I am so grateful I found this website..

      After my last bout with a Mr. Unavailable the penny finally dropped and I was able to see MYSELF as the common denominator. It took me two months of pain, denial and hope that he would change his mind, but after reading the articles on this site I got the strength to cut contact, returned whatever belongings he had and have not contacted him since! He lives across the street from me and honestly, I can actually say that I don’t care, don’t want him and don’t EVER want to repeat the same insanity with anyone. I am 40 years old and I am finally DONE!

      I am now committed to working on my self-esteem and being authentic and honest in my romantic relationships. I am practicing in my close friendships and have started dating again and am currently practicing being authentic and setting boundaries, which I’ve realized that I have had little experience with. I’m catching on fast though!

      I love reading how everyone else is also committed to loving themselves….we ALL deserve so much more than we have been settling for!


Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.


Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.