I miss you so much! Er you're still single and we work together! What's stopping you?

Dee has been yo-yoing back and forth for eighteen months after her seven month relationship ended. Since he broke up with her, he’s been saying “I miss you!”, “I hate being without you!”, “I can’t believe I let you slip away!”, “We’ll be together one day…”, and “It hurts so much being apart.” When she told me it had been going on for all of this time, I was curious about what was ‘preventing’ them from being together – he’s had a couple of girlfriends, various flings, and when they have briefly gotten back together, it’s barely lasted a few weeks at a time. Yet she says that she ‘can’t’ let go and finds it near impossible to move on, not least because each time she attempts to, he’s back talking out of his bottom again and making claims and declarations he can’t deliver on, including marriage, babies, and… paying her back the money he owes.

Here’s the thing: How much can someone truly miss you or want you back or whatever, if 18 months has gone by while they’ve been saying it?

What kind of situation could someone possibly be in, that from the moment they’ve uttered the “I miss you”, “I love you” and “Nobody’s ever going to be able to do you like I did” (I kid you not) sentiments, that they haven’t been able to close the gap between missing you and being back together?

It’s important to understand what missing someone actually means: It’s recognition of the absence of you from their lives, whether it’s as a result of something positive such as you being away on a trip or being unable to spend as much time together as they or you would both like, or the result of loss, which may have come about through a falling out, moving away…or a breakup, which incidentally they may have been the driver of.

When someone misses you, it can also be an expression of sadness and regret because they no longer get to enjoy you in their lives, whether that’s by your choice…or theirs. They may think of you fondly and wish they had another chance to have you around again, and let’s be real, if they’re somewhat of a navel gazer, it won’t be about reuniting in a mutual capacity, and it’ll be more about missing the things that helped them enjoy you on their terms.

Now you know, I can understand when you’re thousands of miles apart due to work or a family situation, or you’re both expressing that you miss one another, but also reminding yourselves of why you’re apart and heeding and respecting that decision. What genuinely mystifies me, is how someone can bleat about how much they miss you, when they sit across the office from you day after day, week after week, or you live in the same area / post code or city, or there is no real obstacle to being around you…other than themselves?

I should also point out that really, even in the situation where you know it’s right to be apart, telling each other you miss one another beyond a short period of time, is just mind effery that prevents each of you from moving on and being able to fully honour your emotional commitments elsewhere. How comfortable would you be if you discovered that each time your partner speaks with their ex, they’re saying “I miss you” as if they’re being thwarted by dark relationship forces?

Just like after a breakup, when that bog standard line of “Let’s stay friends” gets trotted out, saying “I miss you” has become the currency of those who talk a good game but haven’t got much else going on.

Saying “I miss you” or something similar to that effect is also one of the easiest ways to mess with somebody’s head and keep a foothold in their life without staking yourself to something you might be called on later to deliver on. It’s vague and it’s an expression of sadness and regret, but it’s not really saying anything and it’s definitely not a commitment of any sort – this is a bit like when someone says “sorry” without really knowing what they’re sorry about or having no true regret.

“But you said you missed me!” you say angrily after building your hopes up and possibly dropping your underwear.

“I did say I miss you. I do miss you but my situation hasn’t changed. I thought you understood that….”they say while avoiding looking you in the eye.

“You’ve led me on!”

“Er hold on a second here! I never said that we were getting back together!” And….bingo.

Someone missing you is not equivalent to wanting to be with you or wanting to get back together. If they truly want to be with you, you’ll know you’re getting back together without having to be sold pipe dreams or dropping your pants.

They may want to be with you again to enjoy the presence of you in their lives, to reconnect, and to assuage what may be some of their guilt. In fact, let’s be real – you responding to their “I miss you’s” lets them mentally tick their standby list as confirmation that you’re still an option, plus it relieves that fear of the medium to long-term regret that they think may arise from a ‘mistake’.

You may have convinced yourself that it’s just a matter of time, or an obstacle in the form of another person or ‘situation’, or are even blaming yourself for not being ‘enough’, but the truth is that they may miss you, but they don’t miss you that much that they’d put their action where their mouth is.

They are the obstacle. It’s not about you.

“I miss you” is just something that they say and mean to an extent…just as long as you’re not expecting them to follow through on it. It’s also fair to say that it’s a pacifying statement – I receive thousands of emails from people who are still emotionally invested, clinging to the dream, and often laying out an ego stroke, shag, a shoulder to lean on or even money, for someone who misses them so much, they’re never able to do anything on a medium to long-term basis to solve the issue. YEAH, that’s really what being missed looks like.

Some people like to stay missing you – it’s No Man’s Land where they can sit on the fence uncommitted.

They can go “Poor, poor me, they’re gone, wah wah wah…” which in their eyes is a legitimate reason to ‘check in’ with you (read: disrupt your life) and talk about the pipe dream from time to time, and on the flip side, they can miss you, but they can quietly, and sometimes loudly, come up with ‘objections’ for not resolving the situation, or back-peddle when you buy into their sentiments.

It’s like ‘missing’ you gives them a claim on you that they don’t even value.

If someone misses you, but they’re not backing it up with solid, consistent, lasting action that takes it from missing you to being with you, it’s time for them to jog on. They can keep missing you from afar while you get on with your life.

Your thoughts?

If you’d like to move on from a boomeranging ex, check out my book and ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, as well as others in my bookshop.

Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .

Natalie (NML) – who has written posts on Baggage Reclaim by Natalie Lue.


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283 Responses to “I Miss You” Doesn’t Equal “I Want To Be With You” Or “We’re Getting Back Together”

  1. Sunshine says:

    I work with a guy who was outrageously flirtatious and testing boundaries all over the place. His divorce is unfinished, he has been seeing other women, and I have been quite clear I want a Real Relationship and his situation doesn’t meet my requirements.
    He called me once on my office phone (I wouldn’t give him my number, haha!) from his cell on his way home to tell me how much he was going to miss me and how miserable his weekend was going to be without me. I enthusiastically and sincerely told him, “GOOD! That’s wonderful!”
    He said, “What?? Why would you say that?”
    I responded (again, with my usual bubbly enthusiasm), “It’s totally self-inflicted, and I completely support you having whatever experiences you want in your life!”
    He never did it again.
    His divorce *still* isn’t final and he’s been dating a woman who doesn’t seem to notice or mind that little fact, so apparently he didn’t miss me THAT much.

    They can keep missing you from afar while you get on with your life.

    Yup! Have fun with that!!!

    • Movedup says:

      They can keep missing you from afar while you get on with your life.

      Yup! Have fun with that!!!

      I second that! Amen!

    • Robin says:

      If a guy who’s clearly an EUM tells me he misses me, I totally need to use that line on him hahahaha

    • grace says:

      “It’s totally self-inflicted, and I completely support you having whatever experiences you want in your life!”
      Man, that’s good.

      • Sunshine says:

        I like Yoghurt’s response further down,
        “own dumb fault. Not sympathetic”.
        I wish I had thought of it, my tendency to be overly diplomatic gets the better of me sometimes!

        The thing is, the guy is a total bad boy motorhead, he is wayyy into the whole ‘Fast and the Furious’ kind of scene, and has a huge personality, so he was off for a weekend of racing cars, motorcycles, riding horses and 4-wheelers with his crew and his girlfriend and harem. Miss me? Um, yeah, right…more like, “I have 5 drama-free minutes right now and it’s driving me crazy, I need a fix.”

        • Magnolia says:

          When I was getting the emails from the AC that said he missed me, I had just found BR, and was reading everything Nat said about them missing the ego stroke, the shoulder to cry on, the sex, the companionship, etc. That made sense to me.

          It also helped me make sense of why I missed him, even though I decided not to be with him, and being with him had caused me so much heartbreak. I missed the sense of companionship, a relationship to focus on, the sense of self-worth, etc.

          If I were to get one of these guys on the phone, and actually have to speak to them, I might respond as they would to an “I miss you”:

          “I know you do, sweetie. Too bad we weren’t meant to be.”

          Or smthg like that. Nothing wrong with them missing us. Of course they do. Sorry, we’re not able to help them with that now.

        • cc says:

          oh, sunshine, that’s the bomb. good for you. you outmaneuvered the maneuverer, i betcha he couldn’t figure out how to draw his next breath. brava.

        • yoghurt says:

          Nah, I like yours better :) It’s killer.

        • Natasha says:

          “Um, yeah, right…more like, “I have 5 drama-free minutes right now and it’s driving me crazy, I need a fix.”

          I know I just said it, but you are so awesome Sunshine. For serious. When my ex would start needling me with dumbass texts, before I got to the point where I would ignore them, I was at the point where I would go off on him. Ummmmm, what normal dude wants an irate girl going off on him when he could be watching ESPN? I really don’t get it. My ex must have been all, “Ooooh I should text her ass and see what happens! Maybe I’ll get yelled at…but maybe she’ll take me back and we can have the exact same relationship and the exact same blowout all over again! Wheeeeeeee!” As a Recovered Drama Lover, it makes no goddamn sense to me haha!

    • Natasha says:

      Sushine, thank you for making my day! You are AWESOME :)

  2. Izzybell says:

    this posting is great!

    my ex treated me (and being in a relationship) like a burden, and then when I broke up with him (and after 6 or seven months of no contact) he wrote me a letter about how it was soo hard to NOT have me in his life. You just can’t win with these whiners!

    • yoghurt says:

      Killer post!

      I got (and would still be getting, I think, if I hadn’t stopped taking the bleddy ridiculous-o’clock phone calls) many “I miss you”s over the course of the last few years. The one that really stood out was the one on facebook chat when I had a two-week-old baby and was living out in fairly damp and uncomfortable circumstances having MOVED HOUSE to prevent the EUM from coming round in the middle of the night because the situation was making HIM so miserable. Son had had colic and we’d both spent the entire evening crying. HisNibs had been out on the beer, listening to bands and dancing away. And HE missed ME – although not enought to ring me up, even. Sheesh.

      I think that my response was along the lines of “own dumb fault. Not sympathetic”.

      When I originally read the post title, though, I initially saw it from the other perspective. When I’ve missed him, has that meant that I’ve been in love or have wanted to get together? Or has it just meant that I’ve missed the drama, the ego-boost, the fantasy and the company? Really not worth the misery.

      • New York Girl says:

        Dear yoghurt, we are in the learning phase, and what a pleasure it is to be in the company of wising-up women! Not going back, no way!

    • yoghurt says:

      Sorry izzybell – I meant to put that at the bottom of the page.

      Although yours is a killer post too “You can’t win with these whiners” – so true. Poor them, their lives are so hard with all the people running themselves off their feet to look after them.

      ‘Whiners’ is also a really apt description – I like that a lot. Puts it into perspective, doesn’t it?… basically immature people who have to create adversity where there is none so as to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.

      • Izzybell says:

        Hi Yoghurt,

        no problem.

        you’re so right– it will always be something because without big problems these folks wouldn’t have an excuse for not showing up for the people around them (and for being self centered and immature.) “I miss you, but whoaisme life is just too crazy/hectic/difficult for me to actually do what’s necessary to be with you. It’s so hard for me without you, poor me.”

        I used to be drawn in by the difficulty and hardship, the sadness and the… drama. and by the opportunity to “help”. from your posts it sounds like maybe you’ve been susceptible to this too in the past.

        Now I steer clear- not interested in this dynamic. Whenever I “miss” my ex (and I do occasionally), I ask myself ‘would you like to be with him again? would you accept/be happy with him exactly as he is?’ The answer is always no– which has (thankfully) stopped me many times from reaching out.

        • Izzybell says:

          also, I think the act of telling someone you miss them months after you hurt them/underdelivered on promises/sabotaged your relationship is a supremely cruel and selfish thing to do. It’s all about them, and demonstrates (again!) no regard for the effect they and their actions have on someone who once was, and might still be, vulnerable. total lack of character to say it, and have no intention/capacity to back it up, imo!

    • Tracy says:

      Geez, the same thing just happened to me this weekend. My ex EUM/AC sent me an email saying he wanted us to be “friends” and that I was wonderful. A month ago, after 8 months of no contact after the break up HE wanted (though I am eternally grateful for in hindsite, as he was a pretty sucky boyfriend…how I stuck it out for 18 months is beyond me) he called me and said breaking up was the biggest mistake he ever made. I told him, basically, you wanted it (no commitment), you got it. I told him he said a lot of really mean things to me, he clearly didn’t like me, etc. No contact, again, until this past weekend. Friends? You miss me? I replied with a list of all the things he seemed to find wrong with me in the relationship, that this isn NOT how friends treat each other. His response was to get mad at ME! As if how DARE I reject his ‘offer’ of ‘friendship’. What an ass.

      • New York Girl says:

        Izzybelle, my life experience has taught me to keep to myself all recriminations in relationships that will never work out. I could have told you he would get angry. Our need to sail into the sunset being “right” or being the injured party will NEVER be satisfied by the “wrong-doer.” Looking for satisfaction? You’ll find it inside you.

        Maybe you triggered an angry response with your list of accusations, but I expect you gave HIM a sense of satisfaction. Look how hot and bothered you are. Your not caring would have been the most devastating response for him – and the most empowering for you. Give yourself that luxury.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Poor pathetic me whine – OMG, this is happening to me so much lately. They always have something to whine about!

  3. Natasha says:

    One of your best Nat! I know when I was actually still seeing my last illustrious assclown (who lived about an hour away), I’d get a lot of “I miss you! See you soon hopefully!” and I’d think to myself, “If you miss me so freakin’ much and you’re so very ‘hopeful’, why aren’t you making plans to see me?” (In this situation I’d taken him back after jackassery, so I felt it best to sit back and see what kind of effort he’d make….aka, “next to none”.) Then I’d see the updates on Fbook that he was out drinking with his friends (sometimes “friends” = chicks I am currently trying to sleep with/sleeping with sporadically). Point is there was no actual obstacle other than him to him seeing me! The gall of these dudes, I swear.

    Dee, this guy sucks more than a Dyson. For serious. I’m typing this while watching Judge Judy and all I can think of is what a field day she’d have with him. That is not the mark of a guy that’s worth bothering with!

    • Lia says:

      LOL facebook is seriously the devil..but seriously, I had the same thing happen to me a couple years ago. The guy would say how disappointed he was that we didn’t get to spend time together, but then his facebook updates would reveal that he certainly had plenty of time for other people. It enraged me, but I learned that not only was I not a priority for him, but that he also had no regard for me if he was putting himself out there knowing good and well that I would find out the truth. There were never any outside obstacles in the way, just him… I think they must read from the same playbook or something…

      • Natasha says:

        “…but that he also had no regard for me if he was putting himself out there knowing good and well that I would find out the truth.”

        True story Lia! That’s part of what’s so vexing about it, much like Dee knew the guy had puh-lenty of other relationships while he could only “miss” her. Oy vey. I look back and think, “How in the name of HOW did I put up that kind of disrespect?”

        Aren’t you so glad not to be on the receiving end of that playbook anymore?! :)

  4. goodkarmagirl says:

    OOOOOO MMMMMM GGGGGG. This was written just for me. Frightening. My ex JUST said that last night when he called/texted. I’ve fallen for it before…and like a moth to a flame, Im drawn back in, mentally giving myself excuses as to “WHY” he probably “reallllly” means it THIS TIME. It’s so co-dependent of me to delight in this ego stroke, making me feel so unbelievably needed and wanted. If I deny myself this compliment that he “misses me” and “loves me” then it feels like I am the one who is ruining the possibility of reuniting. Like he is extending the relationship olive branch and I’m not grabbing the other end. Wow. It’s amazing that this explanation is so simple…so text book, yet a super educated, aware, sharp girl like me who is approaching 50, still can’t see it. Wow, assclowns come in sooo many different varieties, huh.

    • Acceptance says:

      OMG that’s exactly right “Like he is extending the relationship olive branch and I’m not grabbing the other end. ” I am embarassed to admit that I fell for this with the same EU idiot no less than 80 times. Talk about groundhog day :/
      The best part is that when I finally got the “i miss you doesn’t equal I want to be with you” memo and went NC for more than 6 months, he came back miserable and decided to move in with me. Unfortunately, this didn’t actually cure his non-commital-ness and he spent the next two years with one foot out the door. Every time I got fed up he would raise the stakes, even getting a ring and proposing… only to fall apart every time I tried to plan a wedding. *sigh*… I wish I had found Nathalie then – instead I just found friends that were in similar relationships so that I could complain without embarassment about my own.

  5. Cameron from Ghana says:

    “If someone misses you, but they’re not backing it up with solid, consistent, lasting action that takes it from missing you to being with you, it’s time for them to jog on. They can keep missing you from afar while you get on with your life.”. True words Nat!! Missing you but not doing anything about it. How convenient! Lol. We r d ones who swallow dat crap cos we just want to believe it. Yes the heart wants what it wants but pls the heart could grow some sense.

  6. jackie says:

    the more I read these blogs, the more I realize that I don’t ever want to deal with another relationship or their bullshit ever again! I’ve learned from you mostly negativity and I don’t want that in my life either. Men are pigs period and I for one have more important things to enjoy, ME!

    • Astrid says:

      Yeah I felt like this too…have now moved on to the point that if I met a nice man well and good but the ones I tend to met are just a nuisance with their gamey tomfoolery ,its boring and irritating and I am sick of it. Worse I have no respect for them and think they are so immature and dishonest that they seem like unsexy icky imbeciles when I want courage, integrity and good old fashioned moral fibre. I want to have fun and feel good about myself – if a man can’t contribute to that in my life I would much much rather be single. Being single is nice! :)

      • Susana says:

        Ladies, as with all generalizations in life, they don’t do us any good. I have had a guy treating me poorly, but have had many other being truly good and honest. I suppose I let my shields down with that one and agreed to take part in a crappy situation for many (wrong) reasons. It was difficult to get out of that situation, but have come out of it much better. I’ve been with a very decent and loving men for a year, and looking forward for many to come. Being single is nice, being with someone is also nice …as long as there is happiness within us. I wish you all the best. Just to say that there are nice men out there, just waiting to meet you!

    • Isabel says:

      Hubby and I are ending what have been a really good marriage for 9 years (different life objectives pulling us in different directions). As far as they come, hubby is a really honest and good man and yet, even with all the great times and overall positive experience, I am far from sure I will ever want to be in a long term committed relationship with another man. Trying to not caricature them here, but they are much less the natural born nurturer than women are and in general more selfish. It takes some major issues for a guy to want to work on emotional “stuff” passed the honeymoon phase. They usually dont do “pro-active” in the relationship department. I do not know of any of my long term married girlfriends who stay sane without relying on their female friends for emotional support rather than their husbands. In the end, in a couple, you give up lots of freedom, make a lot of compromises and you gotta ask yourself if you get your “money” worth for all that you invested to be with somebody, especially if you do not share common life goals like raising children. One of my divorced, single-mom of three, professional girlfriend keep making jokes that men should just live in the woods and be invited once a year in the village for “breeding” purpose. She is probably one of the most emotionally stable, independent and resourceful woman I know. Funnily enough, there is always a bunch of men buzzing around her she barely gives the time of day. For myself, now that I have reached a point in my life where I am at relative peace with myself, on my way to take on a new professional challenge in a new place, I am really far from certain that I ever want to put up with all the hassle.

  7. Lawrence says:

    Very nice job of exploring all the avenues of missing an ex, Natalie. I’ve thought about this a lot, especially when I think: “Jeez, I really miss her!” I said that to her once in our last conversation, and she responded (roughly): “I miss you, too, but I don’t want to lead you on that I want to be back with you.” I replied: “But I don’t want to get back together, either. I’m just telling you how I feel.” That seemed to make her rather angry.

    It also raises the question of how to say goodbye to someone you love in a way that’s best for both of you. It seems nice on paper (or in theory) to have “closure,” but I’m far from sure how that’s best achieved. Talking seems to have provided some satisfaction, but has also offered some frustration. If we couldn’t resolve our issues while we were together, why should we expect to resolve them after breaking up? And what would it mean to resolve them, anyway, except in the sense of allowing us both to be sure that we did the right thing.

    And for me, that’s exactly what our discussions have done: they’ve shown me why we broke up, and that it was a good thing. That does have considerable value for me, and I couldn’t have gotten that without those conversations, I think.

    Lawrence

    • JNP says:

      Hi Lawrence,

      I am in a very similar position in that I do love and miss my ex, he is pushing for a reconciliation and I feel like I am being cruel not ‘giving it one more go’…but there was a very good and sad reason why I left. So, after a 20yr relationship and 6months of no contact, he found a way to get back in touch…that was a year ago now.

      What makes it difficult is that, with all the conversations we have had since, the only unguarded thing we agree wholeheartedly on is ‘I love you and I miss you’. Beyond that, it has been good to be able to talk about things and address things that went on. Sadly, it has also shows that things haven’t changed and, although there is acknowledgement that his possessive, controlling and jealous nature/actions lead to some very difficult and sad times….he still doesn’t really understand and it is still really all about him….and I believe that, he still doesn’t fully understand the impact of his actions.

      Because we care about one another, this makes closure very difficult to achieve and I am finding myself in the position of need to be the bad guy again and saying ‘I love you and miss you, but we can’t and will never be able to get back together’….we have now reached a place of being ‘uncomfortably comfortable’, meanwhile neither of us move on.

      Is the concept of ‘closure’ something that only exists in the movies?

      J

      • grace says:

        JNP
        I don’t think we get over it or move on or get closure by continuing to see the person and continuing to talk about the relationship.
        That’s what NC is for. That will get you closure.
        If I leave a job, it does me no good to stand outside the office telling the HR director as he walks past about him and about myself. Sure, he might stop and have a chat. Say he misses me. Tell me they haven’t filled the position yet. Take me for coffee. But is he offering me the job back, with the conditions that I want? HELL NO.
        In the meantime, do I just wait and wait for him to say whatever he needs to say for me to give it up? And so go by the months and the years. When I finally walk away, do I get compensation for that lost time?

      • Lawrence says:

        Hi, JNP and Grace –

        While I agree the NC is likely the better strategy in many if not most cases – continued contact with an ex will often tend to “freeze” you emotionally in one not so good place – I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all/no exceptions when it comes to grieving or making peace with a former lover.

        In my case, a wall of silence suddenly came down (maybe she’s read something about No Contact?), leaving lots of questions hanging. I didn’t know why she’d made her decision, and while I would’ve accepted it in time (not having a choice!), it was much better for me to have those questions answered. I can see that if you keep discussing and agonizing over stuff that it will eventually become pointless and even destructive. Fortunately, that didn’t happen with us.

        JNP, it seems to me that when both parties want something basically different – you don’t want to give him another chance, but he wants one – then conversations would likely become a sort of mutual torture. When years ago another ex finally stated point-blank that there was no way we would ever get back together, I found it both chilling and liberating. Finally facing that absolute, I was able to accept that truth and start seriously moving on, to begin looking at other possibilities. Maybe you’d be doing your ex a favor by doing that? Assuming this is truly what you want (I sense a fair amount of ambivalence on your part).

        I hear people (not you so much) who still have strong feelings for former partners kind of lamenting that and criticizing themselves a bit for holding on to those feelings. I think we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Giving up someone you love isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to hurt. There just comes a point when continuing to feel that hurt isn’t doing ourselves or anyone else any good.

        • JNP says:

          Hi Lawrence and Grace

          Thank you for your comments. I have to say that, I agree with Lawrence on this one, in so far as this is not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario.

          Grace –I am not sure that I was clear in my earlier post, but taking your example, I would be the HR manager and my ex would be the ex employee hanging around, keeping up dialogue.

          I did not leave my ex because I didn’t love him, or care about him…I left because of his controlling and jealous behaviour. And despite my best efforts, he left me with no choice…nothing else registered.

          It has taken a while, but I have created a life for myself and I am now finally starting to rebalance and remember who I am (or at least, I am learning every day), I am doing things that I wasn’t able to do when we were together, plus I have been able to pursue counselling. Previous attempts didn’t really go anywhere because I was going home to a supressed and unsupported home life.

          It was only through his persistence that we are now in regular contact, not mine…I had severed all contact. It is my ex who continues to keep the lines of communication open to the point where we are now friends.

          Now, I have finally started to be less guarded and to actually ‘feel’ again. And here is where my problem lies…I am starting to feel again. I care about him and I don’t know if what I feel is how you would expect to feel, given we had been together a long time, i.e. will stay with me forever, OR if it means something more.

          So, my question was around the subject of ‘closure’. Do you ever get ‘closure’? Is is silly to expect ‘closure’? Should I just accept that it will always be a grey area?

          Still confused ? Is there such a thing as closure? or is this it?

          JNP

    • cc says:

      lawrence-
      ok, i will go out on a limb here (everybody feel free to dogpile on me, the rabbit) and gender-generalize about why your ex got pissed when you said you missed her. sorry if i’m being Captain Obvious, but i deduce from what you wrote that perhaps you don’t know why already.

      i find that men tend to live in the moment – they can say the most heartfelt, deepest, soul-warming things to women, and they mean them, but they mean them *right then*, in that moment. then they move on to the next moment, and who knows how they will feel then. women, however, tend to live in the future – and this is how we get future faked by EUs and ACs, who know how to manipulate this characteristic – and we almost cannot help but draw a future-based conclusion from a man’s present-based statement. so, yes, you telling your ex you missed her had, to her, the future-based creature, implications of more. but you didn’t mean more. therefore, in her eyes, your saying “i miss you” was – again, from HER perspective, i’m not judging you – absolutely irresponsible and selfish. so she got angry. and i bet she is completely unaware of how she jumped to a future-based conclusion from your present-based statement.

      this dichotomy is the core of natalie’s whole post.

      so, now that you, a present-based creature, know this, if you don’t mind unasked for advice – don’t do that anymore.

      • Lawrence says:

        Hi, CC -

        Well, I first noticed annoyance in her voice when I echoed her “I won’t get back together with you” sentiments., not when I told I missed her. We both said that to each other fairly frequently in the first several months after our breakup. We also finished our phone calls with “I love you” (until the last couple of conversations). So I don’t think she’d take offense at that. I think she intended it more a cautionary statement to the effect that our conversations did not presage a reconciliation.

        It never occurred to me that saying “I miss you” was a gender thing. I’m not sure why it would be, though I’m open to that possibility. But it wasn’t the case with us. She said to me early on after our breakup that she hated the idea of not being able to talk to me again. I never took her being willing to talk to me or saying she missed me to mean we would ever be getting back together – it just seems obvious to me that you will miss someone who was such an important part of your life – though I can easily imagine some people interpreting those sentiments differently, and that in some situations saying “I miss you” could be cruel and/or really annoying or just plain dishonest/manipulative.

        Again, in my view all our relationships differ to some degree, just as we all differ as individuals, and “one size does not fit all” in many cases.

        On the other forums (particularly POF, which I was on for several months), men often complained about women sending them mixed signals about getting back together, including “I miss having you in my life.” I don’t see this as a one-sided issue.

        Lawrence

        • grace says:

          lawrence
          Yes, it does cut both ways. At the very heart of it, whether it’s two men, two women, a man and a woman, or some jacked up polyamorous thing – in a free country we’re all playing out our own choices. We just don’t always realise it.

        • cc says:

          ok, then maybe it isn’t a gender thing and i’m overgeneralizing. maybe, as you and grace are saying, we all need to just be more aware of how our actions and statements affect others.

          ok, got it.

          p.s. to grace – “jacked up polyamorous thing”….heee……

  8. @Sunshine – that’s awesome! It’s also ironic that my Mr. Unavailable calls me “Sunshine”.

    I’m in the throws of my second time (I know!) around with the same Mr. Unavailable. After another whirl-wind sexcapade, his drunk dials at 2:00 am and piles of disappointments, I have decided enough is enough.

    What’s kept me coming back is his “but you’re my best friend”, “you deserve so much more”, “I’m so sorry we have to be on the down low, you deserve to be showcased” comments.

    He’s very charming and “fun”, and just what I thought I wanted – when really, he’s a good salesman, and childish, on top of having a drinking problem. Sexy.

    We haven’t communicated all day (day 1 NC) and I just know after a couple, he’s going to be feeding me the “I miss you” line. Trying to mentally brace myself for riding his bullsh*t storm.

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Thanks for reminding us all we are worth being missed, and we deserve better than crumbs and empty cries.

    @thatgalkiki

    • Lia says:

      “What’s kept me coming back is his “but you’re my best friend”, “you deserve so much more”, “I’m so sorry we have to be on the down low, you deserve to be showcased” comments. ”

      I got those first two comments from my ex more times than I can count. One day he told me that I was his best friend, and I stopped and realized that he wasn’t mine. He wasn’t any kind of friend to me, all he did was take up my time and energy without reciprocating. And he used to tell me that he thought that I deserved better too, but he was never willing to be better or just leave me alone. He was just blowing hot air.

      All of those comments are meant to butter you up so you can fall back in line so he can get whatever it is that he wants from you. They work like a charm because you want them to be true, just like I did. I’ve been where you are so I know it’s rough, but this really is the time for you to stand up for yourself. If you already know how he operates, use that to your advantage. You already know he’s going to try to contact you, block his calls. Block his emails. Do whatever it is that you have to do to keep him away, you’ll be better off for it.

      • A says:

        “I’m so sorry we have to be on the down low, you deserve to be showcased”

        Ugh for that one. And why exactly would you *have* to be on the down low….other than b/c he’s an a**hole who wants it that way?

      • Thank you so much for this.

        He DID text me the “I miss you” text last night. Naturally, he was drunk. Then he called this morning.

        I’m working on finding the strength to block him, but that will cause drama with him. I keep thinking I want to salvage our friendship, but is this really “friendship?”.

        Ugh.

        • Spinster says:

          Christine McDonald

          Warning: No sugarcoating here – never have & won’t start now.

          “I’m working on finding the strength to block him, but that will cause drama with him.”

          So what? Fuck him (and not in a good way). Re-read what you typed; these words came out of his mouth:

          ‘”but you’re my best friend”, “you deserve so much more”, “I’m so sorry we have to be on the down low, you deserve to be showcased”’

          Let me copy/paste the last one again: “I’m so sorry we have to be on the down low, you deserve to be showcased”’

          You’re his best friend, but he’s keeping you & his involvement with you under wraps? Yet you’re afraid to cause drama with him? HE sounds like the drama king in this case! Please wipe this walking shit-stain off of your shoes for good – block ALL forms of contact & let the shit-stain remain in his underwear, not on any part of you. Good luck, take it easy & take care.

        • Fearless says:

          Christine McD
          “I’m working on finding the strength to block him, but that will cause drama with him.”
          The whole point in blocking him is to put a stop to anymore drama – for YOU!

          • Allison says:

            Is he married??? Why are you on the “down low?”

            This is a complete waste of time! Block!

  9. AssclownFree says:

    After I found out my ex-boyfriend was married I cut him off. After 5 days he sent a grandiose e-mail in which he declared that he “missed me.” When I responded to his e-mail asking “what [he] planned to do about it,” and saying that the “ball [was] in [his] court,” he wrote back a piddly one-line response that said nothing more than “I know you have questions, but I don’t have answers” I kid you not. He could not even open his e-mail with a greeting, sign his name at the end of the e-mail, or end his one “sentence” with a period.

    Natalie is so right. “I miss you” actually means, “I want to keep a foothold in your life and take the temperature of the situation to see if you’re still around to fall back on.” FLUSH! If you really miss someone, you don’t have to constantly say it, you just show up in person and start a relationship!

    • MaryC says:

      AssclownFree, we must of dated the same guy as my ex said almost the same thing “I know you have questions blah blah blah”. I do not need nor want an answer from him, his behavior said it all and there’s no reason to keep rehashing it.

      Saying “I miss you” without any concrete action to back it up should be a huge red flag. Talk is cheap as we all know.

      • Outergirl says:

        I got a brief e-mail for my birthday from D*ckless. I let a week go by but did reply briefly and cordially. He basically cut & pasted things I’d written in long ago e-mails and texts! and I was expecting some original thought or emotion?? After a year of no-contact? Time and distance made me realize lots of things and one of them was; that I had to do the ‘feelings’ thing for the both of us. Like he could not even express or have his own emotions; he needed a surrogate.

        • Outergirl says:

          I just meant to add, he replied to my e-mail by cutting and pasting prior exchanges.

      • AssclownFree says:

        A word to both MaryC and Outergirl: These men aren’t men. Real men are decisive. Sending a wussy one-line e-mail is the move of a dirty, rotten, good-for-nothing COWARD. Real men make their intentions clear and back up their words with actions. It should be illegal for these guys to fancy themselves “men,” much less to trick others in to thinking they are!

        • Outergirl says:

          I love you Assclown Free!!! I also refer to him as ‘half-man’
          Idiot manchild or Manboy.

    • Allison says:

      Assclown Free,

      You have considered taking back a man who had lied about his marital status? How in the world could you ever trust anything that came out of his mouth?

  10. Truthwillsetyoufree says:

    So thankful I found Natalie and this site as my headspace is so much clearer now and I finally get it! After being involved with an assclown for eight years, been through the lot, the hot and cold, the put downs, the silent treatment, the whole kit and caboodle and still he wants to play the friend card cos he is missing me! Yeah right! At times his behaviour was so outragous that it was laughable but I am not going to play the games anymore. No more cat and mouse as the mouse has TAKEN the cheese! Thinking he is so superior that he can toy with me. He made up so many games he should be a Company Director for ToysRUs!!!! Glad I finally realised it was a Trivial Pursuit!

  11. Beth says:

    “this guy sucks more than a Dyson” LOLOL

    I will be stealing this line in the future!!!

  12. Heartache Amy says:

    Last fall, the creepy church guy sent me an e-mail after a dry spell. In the e-mail, he made excuse after excuse as to why he hadn’t been in touch (including his declaration of how he suffers from major depression and that fact that his nosy in-laws were lurking around). He wrote a numbered list of “questions” for me, including: why did I not ever talk to his sons at church? why did I stop playing Words with Friends with him? and then, would he end up blaming me if he didn’t give marriage counseling a try? After the numbered list, he wrote “I miss you.” I so wanted to reach through my laptop and slap him (I know, violence never resolves anything but he soooo deserved it!).

    • SM says:

      Amy this guy is an azzclown to the max. What a manipulator, trying to make you responsible for all his misdeeds. What was it he missed exactly? Blaming you for everything? It would have been all I could do not to forward that to his wife.

      • AssclownFree says:

        Forward it to his wife, Heartache Amy! That’s what I did when I found out my guy was married! And even if you already knew, who cares? He’ll keep doing this! Don’t enable his behavior! Help nip it in the bud! He needs to face consequences at some point! You might as well be the one to enforce them!

        • Polly says:

          I don’t agree. Tempting though it is I would just ignore it, ignore him and don’t get drawn into a drama that involves his wife as well as him. Karma or self loathing will catch up him eventually!

  13. pinkpanther says:

    Hey Nat,
    I had no idea about this little nuance. Hell yes, I’ll be watching for this one the next time…
    Thanks

  14. C says:

    12 days nc and waiting for the “i miss you” text to happen again, for the 80th time.
    This time, I am going to read this post over and over again so I do not fall for it. If you miss me, do something about it. Well, my situation hasn’t changed, so I can’t. How can it be that so many people are dealing with the same thing? How can it be that so many men behave like text book assclowns? And how many girlfriends have no idea that their boyfriends are calling and texting exes and saying these things? I just realized I am the lucky one. I know, she doesn’t.

  15. Faye says:

    This post was so spot on!

    I received a ” I miss you” e-mail from a former assclown who “left ” me for another woman. It wasn’t quite two months after he left before I received this e-mail. I didn’t respond at all. Honestly, I’m so glad he is out of my life and actually I feel insulted that he thought he had that type of power over me. Silence is the best response ( and revenge) because he now realizes he wasn’t that special to me. Flushed and good riddance!!!!!

  16. JOKEON says:

    Great article. Fits me to a tee. But what is the harm in just keeping this relationship alive while looking for someone else? It’s sometimes good to have your own ego stroke. Having the feeling of being wanted, even though you know it’s probably one-sided can sometimes keep you going. On the other hand, it could hinder you to move on, because you think this idiot is actually a great catch (NOT). Just saying, keep the fun in the game until someone else comes along that REALLY good treats you right. What do you think?

    • MissusHeron says:

      I think it’s behaviour that isn’t honest.

    • yoghurt says:

      Well, as the evidence on here suggests, it’s generally the habit of weak-willed self-centred people with an inability to empathise or take responsibility for their lack of self-control or awareness.

      S’alright, though – that’s just what men do, innit? It’s what makes them proper blokes… like drinking WKD and reading Nuts. For the articles…

      • yoghurt says:

        Ah crikey – sorry, think I misread your post, hence the evil reply.

        Still, though, I don’t think it’s a good idea. Mostly because I’ve never heard of anyone being ‘rescued’ from a sh!tty situation by a nice knight in shining armour. Messing about with unavailable people makes you unavailable yourself and closes you off to nice available people.

        Also, it solves nothing to sink to the level of people whose behaviour you don’t admire. I know it seems as though these men are the ones holding all the cards, but they’re the ones who are doing themselves out of having half-decent and happy relationships by keeping the unhealthy habits going.

    • Allison says:

      Joke,

      Seek validation from yourself, not others.

      I would also question why you would want an ego stroke from an “idiot?”

  17. Gold says:

    I made him the centre of my universe for 18 long years. He lied about his girlfriend (now his wife) when we first met. Thirteen years later we re-connected, which started a new three year prison sentence, riddled with broken promises. He sent “I love you” email on Valentine’s Day. This statement was like a slap in the face “I have no rights where you are concerned. I guess none of us really have any rights, only those that others allow us to have. In that sense you have allowed me many, many more rights than I have ever deserved”. It took me a week to write a goodbye letter, which was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I felt crushed by the time I sent it. Afterwards I dreamt that I was about to fly away, but my oversized (excess) baggage hindered me from reaching the aeroplane, whilst at the same time I was trying to text him “I Love you”. The following morning I goggled for help about lovers and I found Baggage Reclaim. Can you believe it?

    A month after I’d sent my heart-wrenching letter I got a brief email ‘Who cares (or believes) that I miss you, but I do.’ to which I replied,”I have to love myself first.” I’ve not heard from him again. It’s so true and I have accepted it for what it was; he did not miss ME, he had only missed how having a ‘secret’ made him feel. He was missing his ego-boost. There is no doubt in my mind that I’ve made the right decision. My responsibility is to myself.

    Your posts and comments blow me away every time. I read them daily, because they truly help me keep my sanity in check. Thank you!

  18. Chelsie says:

    WoW. Thank you so much for this post… and perfect timing. My ex has fed me tons of lines, and I usually fall for them. And then when I call him out on what he says, he’ll literally declare, “My circumstances haven’t changed. I told you that. I thought you understood”. This posting was so accurate, it is scary. Just 2 days ago he told me he missed me and that he has to have me in his life. It made my heart melt. But the reality is.. if he did miss me, he would do something about it instead of playing games.
    Thank you.

  19. VERY Happily Divorced says:

    My ex assclown has sent me multiple VERY abusive emails since we broke up 4 months ago, calling me some of the most terrible things I’ve ever heard anyone be called, blaming me for him being so emotionally distant, and just making sure I understand it’s all my fault and that at least he bothered to put in some effort to make things work for three months after the last breakup. (HA! three months effort in a total of six years? And he was really PROUD of that attempt? Puh-leeze). At the end of each one of these tirades was a line “I miss my best friend very much”.

    Luckily I know how to press my Delete button. No responses for you, assclown!

    What I’ve learned from this site is that his actions have never backed up his words. He’s always Future Faked or just been a total assclown, acting like I was such a burden and moaning that the “relationship” was such a drain on his precious news-watching time. Negative minded little tw@t.

    Personally, I have a busy life to lead, filled with far more interesting, fun, positive, happy people and events and things that I really enjoy. I wouldn’t give up a moment of my new happy single life.

    So he’s quite welcome to miss me from afar – even though the idiot lives right next door (yeah, that’s not fun).

    Do you know why divorce costs so much? BECAUSE IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY :p

    • SM says:

      This seems to be a running theme with these azzclowns. They act like you’re a burden then they ‘miss’ you. My last AC, called me months later and said that he never ‘wanted’ to break up, that he missed me tremendously. He had acted like I was such a burden when we were dating, so one day I just faded out of the relationship. I wish I had had all the BR wisdom then that I do now.

  20. Kit Kat says:

    Nat u are sooooo very right on again….
    Someone missing you is not equivalent to wanting to be with you or wanting to get back together.

    They just want to make sure your still an option …. NO THANKS !!!

  21. jennynic says:

    ” We believe lies someone tell us because we want to or because we fear the truth more.” Quote I heard somewhere recently, don’t remember who. The truth is so hard to swallow sometimes, because it can hurt and its uncomfortable. It’s so much more palatable to think them missing us means we are worth it to them, the bitter pill truth being they are fishing for their own validation and we are an easy target in their mind. Have the last word by ignoring it, and save yourself more pain in the process. Don’t do it in spite, but in self respect, which is a much sweeter pill once you try it. Let them eat their own bitter pill.

    • Jaynie says:

      jennynic

      i get alot of what you say, my favourite saying that I heard somewhere recently is this:

      The truth will set you free………..but first it will pi** you off.

      i typed it out and stuck it on the fridge!

    • sushi says:

      jennynic,
      I have printed your comment and will be looking at it a lot. It`s over a year since I broke up with my ex Walking Wounded, and a year since I stopped responding to his stupid texts. When I was still responding I did so because I did not want to deal with the truth. I am dealing with the truth now and trying to sort myself out and struggling to salvage my health which took a huge knocking from all the stress. Just as I am starting to get better and put behind me that year from hell and get on with my life he has the audacity to text out of the blue and demand to know if I`m healthy and happy( no, I`m not, thanks for pointing it out) and to tell me he still loves me so much ( loves me so much he is lurking on a dating site, because that`s what you do when you are in love, you look for other women) . And that nothing changed ( in his own words ). Can I let him know if I met someone. A text will do. I felt a passing satisfaction ( see what you are missing you stupid man!!) then all my old doubts back ( he did try calling before the text, could that be the sign he`s a changed man?) and now I`m just incredibly angry because I remember that we have been there many times before and it`s all bullshit. I am angry mostly with him, but also with myself for being still gullable and giving him the power to upset me. I am doing the ignoring and I know from previous experience with him that I am saving myself a lot of pain. It must look to him like I don`t care and I moved on…..I wish. What am I doing wrong, perhaps I just have no clue how to focus on myself. Really looking forward to your course Natalie.

  22. NeverTooLate! says:

    My former EUM/MM who I thought had realized over a month ago that I was done with his nonesense, sent me a text to tell me that he hoped I was doing okay and that he wanted to say hello to keep in touch with a friend. Why wouldn’t I be okay? Doesn’t “keeping in touch” require an actual conversation and not a lame text stating such? And what makes him think we are friends? My reply: Thank you, that was very nice. Take Care. NC may have been more appropriate, but then he may have bugged me for a little while. He may have gotten the hint. We shall see. He lives half way across the country. Why does he even bother? Honestly, I don’t get it.

    • Outergirl says:

      @ NTL

      I know! The limp-wristed ‘how are you’ text is more insulting then just leaving us be! Mine [well..not mine anymore] pointed out how he wanted to ‘personalize’ his message to me. Wow-ee! Like those pre-printed photos Justin Beiber’s camp mails out to his teen fans.
      He knows on my end of things nothing less then a phone call counts as ‘staying in touch’ but he won’t do it, he’ll only text so proof he is not even a friend anymore.

      • NeverTooLate! says:

        @ Outergirl

        I told him once that real “friends” have conversations thinking it was too much of a commitment for him and he would walk. But instead of leaving me alone or at least picking up the phone (not that I would have fell for that trick) to make me happy, he continues to text! Is he for real! And he wants to meet my Mom when he is in town; if I am busy he wants to meet her anyway! From random texts to meeting parents? F@#$ing nuts! And he is a doctor? If I am in dire need of medical care, please don’t let me any where near him.

        • Outergirl says:

          @NTL
          Haha!! Noooo go to any dr. then him. Go to Dr. Flywheel instead [Marx Bros. reference]. Text him a photo of your mom!
          “Here, here’s my mom now it’s just like you met her”. Dolt!

      • Miranda says:

        Limped-wristed ‘how are you?’ texts!!!!!!! lol lol

        My response if I get one of those is….

        If you genuinely want to know how I am, call me. If you’re just looking for a shag, text someone else.

        Thinking about it, a better response though is………………SILENCE!!!

        • NeverTooLate! says:

          He’s half way across the country, can’t even get a shag from me, even more baffling and more annoying! What IS his point?

          • grace says:

            Never
            Entertainment.
            Texting you is like flicking through the tv channels looking for something worth watching, it’s like surfing the internet, or its like having a go on the Wii except you don’t have to plug the damn thing in or bother with the cables.
            There’s the added frisson of not quite knowing whether you will reply or in what way.
            Unless you enjoy texting very very much and want to build your life around it, then I suggest you quit this completely, stop wondering about (it’s just text) and redirect your energies elsewhere. I’m not saying this just to you, you seem to be on the right path. This is for all of you LOST IN TEXTLAND. Don’t make me come in there and get you.

            • NeverTooLate! says:

              Heaven forbid I don’t get back to him, he keeps pestering me, “didn’t you get my text?” until I answer. Met many Assclowns, but most give up by now. In fact, I have never initiated any contact with him, never chased, used to see him when he was living here, used to meet up with him occsinally when he was in town, but have not met up with him in almost a year, doesn’t he get it? He has no idea he still tugs at my heart strings, but he does, and this is the difficult part.

  23. Michelle says:

    Perfect post that I can relate to one hundred percent and fully agree with. This guy I put up with but kicked to the curb for exhibiting many unavailable and especially AC behavior had the nerve to go to one of my best friends and say that he had been serious about me and how I had been his number one choice. Yeahhhhhh, then why the lack of commitment from his end? I’m still single and so is he so if he had really wanted to be with me we would have been together. He is ridiculous not to mention unfortunate. And disrupting your life is exactly what their fleeting and random means of communication is. They need to make a decision and then stick to it.

  24. FinallyDidIt says:

    Question to my ex-AC: what do you miss about me? (his answer, if he was honest) would be: I miss getting laid (so much better than the hand job I use to give myself). I also love being with you, but just until something better comes along. I so miss the smoke you use to blow up my butt. My butt aches for you (just loved that pedastel) but my heart could care less. My answer back?
    Has been and will continue to be – NC (he earned it). L

  25. Beyond Frustrated says:

    omg, its like you know my life!! I just had a fight with my ex like, hours ago over the same thing. We’ve been on a “break” for over two months now, that he initiated after we had an argument. In this argument he says that he doesnt know if he wants to commit, and doesnt know if he wants to be with me at all, and it ends with him saying he wants a break and me walking out on him. Mind you, he was the first to bring up marriage and kids and stuff, and even roughly set a date, so essentially he took all that back during the argument, which hurt because i dont usually take men seruously with all that talk, but i did take HIM seriously. So days later, he sells me all kinds of dreams about changing his ways, takes me out, buys me stuff, pays for me to go on a week long getaway, and i’m ashamed to admit i did sleep with him. So one day I’m talking about the future, and he pulls the rug out from under me saying “I dont know why we’re even talking about these things because we’re not in a relationship”. After this, I backed off and didnt call him or text him or anything for just over a month because i felt like a cheap idiot, and i felt led on. So during this time out of the blue he texts me to say he misses me, and he’s always going to love me and his mother contacts me talking about how he’s sulking and so unhappy and blah blah blah, and she urges me to call him if only to see how he’s doing. So i called him and told him that i missed him as well (which was a lie, but i thought it would be rude to not return the sentiment), and we ended up meeting later to talk. so the whole time, I’m expecting him to say that he wants to get back together or to show some kind of feeling. (even though i dont want to get back together i would at least expect him to show some kind of emotion) But no. Nothing. So now this is days later and i havent contacted him at all so he texts me prying and asking me why i havent called him. I didnt address the question, but he ends up doing me a personal favour. So then he asks me if i have a date, and then throws a tantrum when i wont give him a straight answer (even though its none of his business). So now i’m completely confused and beyond frustrated because, like i told him, i dont know what he expects of me. Sure he said he misses me but he never said anything about getting back together. He can no longer interrogate…

    • Magnolia says:

      “So i called him and told him that i missed him as well (which was a lie, but i thought it would be rude to not return the sentiment)”

      BeyondFrustrated, I think you have summed up why so many of these pseudo-relationships happen. They blow sunshine up our butts, and then we think it’s rude not to return the sentiment!

    • A says:

      Beyond Frustrated,

      If you don’t want to get back together with him, do his motives/feelings/wants matter? If you’re sure about what you want, then stick with it. Cut contact with this guy and stop trying to make sense of his nonsense.

      “I dont know why we’re even talking about these things because we’re not in a relationship”

      He’s messing you around. You could just ask him directly what he wants and if he wants a relationship with you…but then again you have already said that you don’t want to be with him, so does the answer matter?

    • cc says:

      beyond frustrated-
      i think i can sort it out for you, and the clue is in his mother’s call – he’s a child. an overgrown child. who likes to pout and feel sorry for himself and throw tantrums and make demands and take them back and do whatever he wants whenever he wants it or whenever it makes him feel good. he cannot and probably will not ever take any responsibility, make an adult decision, commit, really love someone.

      i’m probably a decade-plus older than you are and i am here to tell you – learn this lesson now. these guys don’t grow up. truly, take his picture and put it in your personal dictionary next to the definition of “manchild”. or you’ll be like me and spend a month being chased by a 54-year-old man who sleeps in superman pajamas and whose favorite person is his mother.

      by the way, his mother *sucks*, doesn’t know how to raise a man, and he wants someone just like her – don’t let that be you.

      cut him off, go NC, erase him from your life, he’s a sucking abyss of lost time and wasted emotion. i’m sorry, honey, but you will never get what you need from him. and don’t ever sleep with him again – don’t ever risk the remotest chance of getting pregnant with this guy.

      move on. there are plenty of wonderful guys out there for you.

      • Beyond Frustrated says:

        thanks cc, you know i totally agree, it was just like it came to a point where his family was fighting to salvage the relationship, as opposed to him. His mum shouldnt have to tell me what he can open his mouth and say for himself!

  26. Lia says:

    “It’s like ‘missing’ you gives them a claim on you that they don’t even value.”

    I’m at a loss for words lol, this is definitely food for though. Nice post…

  27. HowPredictable says:

    What perfect timing.

    I broke up with my ExAC about 18 months ago, with Low Contact since then. Just last night I got the “I miss you” email, which I ignored. I suspect this non-response mystified him a little (Him: “What? She didn’t take the bait???”) because this morning he sent another “I miss you” note, this time embellished with some empty promises and plenty of Future Faking. (I ignored that one, too).

    I’m sure he misses me; I was great to him. Actually, he probably also misses the good, comfortable, low-effort thing he had going with me, until I got tired of his pathetic lack of commitment and inability to step up. (I am sure the other women he is trying to pull right now are much harder work, with less reliable results. I was easy). He knows what he needed to do, in order to keep the gravy train rolling. All he misses is the free ride he used to enjoy.

  28. Renee H. says:

    While this site is about romantic relationships, I have found some of the information uplifting and informative concerning my mother. My mother is possibly narcissistic. Just today, I received a little card in the mail. There was a little poem and at the end she wrote ” I miss you.” It has been about 4 years since I have had contact with her. In that time frame, I had to cut contact with 2 of my mother’s sisters who were harassing me at church and on Facebook with Bible scriptures/prayer on forgiveness, honoring parents etc. I was sitting her wondering if I should talk to my mother. Would I be a fool for opening myself back up to her. This article has helped me realize that I would be placing myself back in emotional/psychological harms way.

    • natslayer says:

      Renee,
      Now that you are armed with this new information so helpfully provided by NML, I personally don’t feel you would be a fool for giving her one last chance. IF you really want to. Now you have wised up and on lookout for narcissistic behaviour, you will be able to spot it and hopefully act on it. You only place yourself in harm’s way (emotionally, psychologically) if you don’t act on what your instinct tells you, and what you have learnt here. I wish you the best. x

      • Renee H. says:

        I hear what you are saying. What I take away from this article is that she hasn’t said anything real other than she misses my presence. When NML says “When someone misses you, it can also be an expression of sadness and regret because they no longer get to enjoy you in their lives, whether that’s by your choice…or theirs. They may think of you fondly and wish they had another chance to have you around again, and let’s be real, if they’re somewhat of a naval gazer, it won’t be about reuniting in a mutual capacity, and it’ll be more about missing the things that helped them enjoy you on their terms.” She’s contacted me twice about “missing me.” Where were any birthday cards, Christmas gifts etc in that 4 year time frame. It’s not about narcissistic behavior. When a person has a personality disorder, it colors the way that they think. They don’t have the ability to put anyone’s needs in front of theirs. Her statement of missing me simply means just that, not an offer/promise to work to be a better person or acknowledge what she does wrong in our relationship. That is what I took from this article. It was just coincidental that I caught this article on the same day that i received the card in the mail. I didn’t understand what my mom’s card was supposed to mean to me.

        • Tea Cozy says:

          Renee, having a few friends with mothers who sound similar in disordered behavior to yours, I’ve heard the stories of my friends’ relatives trying to play upon the “duty” of the child to give the troubled parent one more chance. It’s an over-reach of boundaries, and inappropriate behavior on their part. You know your situation best, and what boundaries with your mom are necessary for your own well-being. Hang in there.

          • Spinster says:

            Agreeing with Tea Cozy. Blood isn’t always thicker than water; I can attest to that. Sounds like we have similar mothers. Don’t let others (including relatives) guilt you into interacting with toxic people – relatives or not. Your inner peace is priceless. Wishing you the best.

    • Outergirl says:

      Hi Renee

      I have found this site helped me connect those dots to the other relationships in my life. My mother is a malignant narcissist. Mine would never so much as even admit she missed me. That is neither here nor there but forewarned is forearmed. As I commented on another post..They do..not..change. I would proceed with caution, use what you know and if you do make contact; keep it brief & business-like

      • Renee H says:

        Thanks Tea Cozy and Outergirl. I originally came upon this site because I wanted to find out why I seemed to like guys that were unavailable. This site has helped me understand myself and the guys. Like you said Outergirl, some of the articles have helped me connect the dots on other relationships.

  29. stellabell says:

    Sooooo…. if “I miss you” is the foothold in the door to keep you around… what is “I Love You”? I am on the rough road of realization that I am with mr. unavailable and about as much of a fall back as humanly possible. We have been on the up and down for what I thought was the last 9 months… till I have read here and your book Nat… and realize I have been with Mr. Unavailable for the entire four years. and now he seems to have had enough… has told me is different forms he doesnt want a relationship at time.. we both want different things.. yet he loves me… tells me in texts multiple times a day.. calls me at least once a day… all with the expectation that he just needs his space. it’s starting to get old… and I am finally starting to see the forest for the trees. I tell myself at times I just need to patient and respectful of his needs for awhile… but the more I read.. the more I feel you have been in my life the last for years observing and writing.. ugh!!! So I think his “I love you’s

    • Allison says:

      Stella,

      It’s time to be respectful of YOUR needs! Four years is enough of your precious time!

  30. stellabell says:

    ugh… hit publish on accident… so his “I love You’s” are just super strong holds in my life cause he doesn’t wanna be here.. but he doesn’t want me to walk either…???!!!

    • A says:

      stellabell,

      It seems confusing when you’re in it, but you need to reduce it to the key elements to make it simple. He does not want a relationship with you. It does not matter what else he says– if he wants you around, if he ‘misses’ you, or claims to ‘love’ you. He likes having control, he likes knowing that you want him, it’s a nice ego boost, he likes knowing that he can have you if he changes his mind and suddenly decides that he wants to be with you. It’s selfish, and not how you treat someone who you love, or even care about.

      He’s not making a decision, YOU have to do it. You’ve already given this man 4 years, how is that not enough time for him to man up and make a decision? You do not have to be more patient or more anything, it’s not going to make a difference–and moreover, why are his needs (for ‘space’) more important than your need to be loved, respected, and treated well by someone who can actually commit to being with you? You deserve more. Decide that this isn’t good enough and end it.

      • LIFE GOES ON! says:

        I agree with A, he’s being selfish and unfair! He now has you in his back pocket . He won’t commit to you, but he won’t commit to leaving you the hell alone either. He can’t have the benefit of having you around and the freedom of being single, don’t allow yourself to become an option. You are the driver of your own life :) you have the power. It’s going to be hard and not to spoil the ending for you, but you’re going to be okay :)…3 1/2 year relationshit and 2 months later I feel stronger.!

        “The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” – I love this quote!

        • stellabell says:

          Thank you A & Life Goes On!!

          I am so damn confused I don’t think I know which way is up half the time. Part me knows its time to go and there is no way I would stand by and watch a friend do this without being the slightest but uncomfortable….but the other part says…unconditional love and support (believe me, I know crock of crap) I know I am worth it and deserve so much more…I just for some reason let the 15% of me that’s hangin on….continue to hang on.
          Control huh? i guess I never looked at it like that….I really hate that thought… and it kills me that (ok so this is my ego and control issues i guess) that i get strong enough to walk away and he skips on his merry way to the next girl ends up happy as a clam. UUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!! I really can’t stand the battle in me…cause I see it…but I am stuck…I want to be unstuck and be the girl the use to be and be able to “buh-bye”!!
          Thank you both!! I appreicate the thoughts and support and I will be reading them over and over again when I need the strength.

          • LIFE GOES ON! says:

            Stellabell

            ” a year from now, you’re going to wish you had started today” – I read that quote somewhere and it makes a lot of sense, because we can either sit and sift through all of the reasons why this AC doesn’t deserve us and pro-long our healing process, by not taking action or we could take action and control our own happiness. So that 15% that’s hanging on, is actually holding you back from the happy life you deserve.

            When someone makes empty promises or treats you in a less than manner, it hurts right? you feel frustrated trying to get them to see why they should be treating you better and you hope that they’d change etc but when you keep telling yourself you’re going to walk away and you don’t, you’re making empty promises with yourself and you’re just going to be left feeling more hurt and angry, because they’re not going to react the way you would like them to and when you deny yourself the happiness you truly deserve, you have to question just how much self-love you have. (I’m just talking in general) NML always tells us to hold tight to our self-respect during this time, so we can stop focusing on them and starting giving ourselves more attention, because they’re not worth it, we are. And don’t worry about the fact that he’s happily skipping along, sometimes its not always like that, he’s probably just looking for his next victim to manipulate and pull his crap on until they get sick of it. You could also be that person happily skipping along into a better life without them, they’re not that special. First love yourself, others will come next.

            You have the support of everyone here, so you’re not alone :)

          • A says:

            stellabell,

            Nat has a post that may help, here’s a quote and the link:

            “Somewhere along the way, you convinced yourself that this person and the relationship on offer was worth a punt and whatever has happened during that time, this relationship has stopped (or maybe never did) delivering what you expected. You’ve got ‘stuck’ on the potential and all the things you think you’ve done that justify you digging your heels in, but you’ve missed the bigger picture in this:

            In acknowledging that you fear them becoming a better person, it’s time to acknowledge that comparatively they’re less than a better person now and what that means to your relationship now.”

            http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/what-keeps-you-up-a-night-pondering-whether-theyre-a-better-person-in-a-better-relationship-without-you/

    • Magnolia says:

      stellabell,

      I once watched a man hit on me mercilessly for two hours and then when he sat down for a beer he picked up the phone and called the mother of his child. Now what does he say at the end of the conversation, but “I love you”!?

      A week or so later, he was asking me to go away with him on a trip, and I said, “What about X’s mom? I heard you tell her you loved her.” (I wasn’t even thinking of going anywhere with him, I just wanted to see how he’d react.)

      He said, “X? I do love her. I’ll always love her.” He may as well have added, “…and now that I’ve shown you what a romantic sweetheart I am, come away with me on a sex-filled holiday.”

      Not everyone respects the words “I love you” as we do. Some think it describes a feeling, or that it’s something polite to say, or that it’s what women like to hear. Sounds like your guy says it to keep you hooked, not because he’s expressing a desire to be in a committed relationship with you.

  31. Sam says:

    I really tried to be with this guy and frankly he had all the same qualities of a prior un-available ass clown…He stated, he valued my opinion and because of sex we were united forever; yet in still, I would make someone a great wife (just not him) He stated, when I was working two jobs things were perfect but now that I have more time and one job; it wasn’t working…He was basing this on the assumptions that we dated (late night booty calls) for over a year. Never met his friends, never went on a real date and he was never available for emergencies…but he misses me. But when he calls to tell me he misses me or just can we talk – it’s late night…Hasta la vista baby!

  32. runnergirl says:

    Oh ladies and gents, I could fill your inbox with emails, texts, and vc about how much the exMM “misses me”. Although, I’ll bet his emails, texts, and vc’s would be about the same as you’ve already received. One of Natalie’s great posts just stuck with me through all the “miss you” texts, if you miss me why aren’t you doing anything to be with me? Of course, his response was cos he’s f**ked up. But we belong together. My response, then why aren’t we together? Standard response…cos I’m f**ked up. It was like a never ending loop. This is where I finally drew the line: “If someone misses you, but they’re not backing it up with solid, consistent, lasting action that takes it from missing you to being with you, it’s time for them to jog on. They can keep missing you from afar while you get on with your life.” Otherwise it’s just a never ending loop. I miss you, my arse. Do something otherwise shut the hell up.
    How did I fall for this trip?

  33. Melinda says:

    boy did this one hit home!
    “i miss talking to you” is what he wrote on a post-it, tucked behind my computer keyboard, along with a small packet of chocolates, at work. oh yeah, he worked in the room next to mine, just a few feet away from me. despite my better judgement, i had left three breezy phone messages on his cell phone over the week. he only returned the third call– on my home phone when he knew i was at work. the worst of it is i still catch sight of him at work and i just CRINGE (three years later!). i still feel embarrassed and humiliated that i allowed myself to trust his b.s. so hard to move on from that feeling of disgust. One thing, tho. Instead of suggesting that we should anyone who’s all talk and no action to just jog on, I’d say that WE should take the initiative to jog on! why leave it in their hands?

    • Spinster says:

      A post-it. Sigh. Reminds me of that Sex And The City (SATC episode when Burger (or was it Berger?) & Carrie slept together and, the next day she woke up to a post-it which said

      “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

      I’m not even a huge SATC fan but I always remembered that particular episode.

      Anything other than genuine communication is such weak cowardly insulting bullshit. :-|

  34. Lizz says:

    Hell yeah, took me 2 years to decipher ‘I missed u so much’. My ex did never say ‘i miss u’. But when he was back in my bed he always claimed how much he missed me, IT. He has had serious relationships inbetween. Not keeping me on hold,always being clear that it was over for him. But 7 months was the longest he could stay away from me. My bed. Right now he cheats on his gf with me. She came right handy just when it starting feeling like a relationship with him the last time. Again, 7 months. He’s got pics of me he claimes to watch all the time. DON’T ask…And now that i know WHAT exactly he’s missing and as that was the best part of it all, i simply enjoy and really am aware that it does mean nothing. Sweettalking glorious lover, thinking of me a lot while loving her. I don’t really get what’s going on with the two, but i don’t wanna know, i so do not care. When he’s with me, there’s noone else and as I’m too busy to go out a lot and look for somebody new i have a few very nice hours with him. I fell in love in the meantime, didn’t work out, wrong guy. I tried online dating…And everytime i sense that ‘oh, he might change his mind and come back’ i am pretty sure that i don’t want to be with a cheater.

    Does that make sense?

    • grace says:

      Lizz
      This needs some dissecting:
      “Not keeping me on hold,always being clear that it was over for him. But 7 months was the longest he could stay away from me. ” If you are still there after seven months you have put YOURSELF on hold. As for “the longest he could stay away from me”, please don’t imagine he is spending that time agonising over you. He’s living his life and then popping back to you as if you were a holiday home.
      “i simply enjoy and really am aware that it does mean nothing.” Do you really want to be on a seven month rotation that means nothing?
      “I don’t really get what’s going on with the two, but i don’t wanna know, i so do not care. ” Then you say you don’t want to be with a cheater. But you ARE with a cheater.
      Yes, you’re too busy to meet someone else. You’re very busy justifying this to yourself.
      Does it make sense? In the world of the EU, yes, it does. You’ve trapped yourself in a timewasting, no-hope, cheating situation that you say is fine as it means nothing. If we accept nothing, we can stay put.

      • TwinFlames says:

        I think this post is soooooooo important because emotional pleas like
        “I miss you” and “I love you” and “I want you, babe” or “Can’t you just forgive me, and let’s move on” and “I want us to just start over, and…”…well, entertaining them, sometimes, causes me to “let down my guard,” and sometimes I allow myself to be persuaded and/or manipulated into making ‘bad’ decisions…’mistakes’, etc, so I use NC as my “guard,” so as to avoid….

        But as some others here have stated, I’m also concerned about the emotional pleas that I ‘feed’ myself that I use as excuses to not follow through on my decisions, commitments, goals, even little actions…. …because I find myself waffling, losing focus, and that includes my problems with procrastination. ….

        So, I try to detach myself from these emotional pleas…it’s not always easy, but one can still try to temporarily subjugate emotions to intellect long enough to go through a proper decision making process, complete or avoid an action, follow through, etc–putting oneself first…love, trust, care, and respect…love this post Natalie–thank you for sharing your gifts.

      • Lizz says:

        Thx Grace,
        not a single thought i didn’t have myself. I am not ‘with’ him. He is somehow caring for me, as he always did and i were sure everytime after brakeups that this has been it. Going on with life, feeling somehow relieved and trying to find out, what i want in a relationship. With or without him or other guys. I even stopped watching his fb profile, fell in and out of love. With other guys. I seem to be the type of girl they all want an affair with but not a relationship. ALL of them. I could get all the husbands and boyfriends of other women, which i refuse.
        My ex now fills a few needs. Though i only get the taken men, i take him. It’s just too tempting to play with him and see how far i can take it. It is tooooooo tempting and to be honest, best sex i ever had. Seems to be the same with him, we match best in bed, better then with anybody else. I simply can’t resist. It’s not holding me from dating other guys, living my life. To have him gives me a reason. Having him in my life makes me feel more alive and kicking. He is somehow very supportive and as a friend he always says the right things, always finds a way to lift my spirits.

        I just take it as it is right now, not wondering too much and maybe some day i decide that i got what i wanted and that he can go. I don’t dream about a bright future with him for sure ;)

  35. Anne says:

    Once again Natalie hit the nail on the head. I went through the “I miss you” crap back in 2009 after a 2008 breakup and it was devastating. Emails here and there to stay in touch. It’s simply to stroke their EGO and receive confirmation that you still care. It’s the “food” that their pathetic little egos depend upon! Natalie’s words are absolutely correct: “When someone misses you, it can also be an expression of sadness and regret because they no longer get to enjoy you in their lives, whether that’s by your choice…or theirs. They may think of you fondly and wish they had another chance to have you around again, and let’s be real, if they’re somewhat of a naval gazer, it won’t be about reuniting in a mutual capacity, and it’ll be more about missing the things that helped them enjoy you on their terms.” Natalie’s words “ON THEIR TERMS” is the key to these losers! It’s ALL about them! They have no conscience and no consideration for our feelings. So, good riddance to them.

  36. chloe says:

    Breaking up every 2 weeks. Yup, that’s what I’ve been going through with my EUM. We are broken up again, but during the break up he was moaning about how he couldn’t tell me how he felt about me until it was too late…hello, I was sitting right there, he coulda said something, but I got the sense and a clear pic of how he actually was already practicing missing me right in front of me! I said, if you think you love me, why are we breaking up? He said he wasn’t sure….but I still got the sense that he will enjoy missing me somehow, but he can’t seem to do the full relationship. Very bizarre EUM condition….

    • Emma says:

      Yup, I’ve been there. Every two weeks we’d split over something stupid. Enoughs enough..I’m done!

  37. titi says:

    I tend to interpret those “I miss you” messages as their way of saying “Noone but you can give me such an ego boost”. It’s like they expect us to jump at every single crumb message. No, thanks, I’ll pass, I don’t get paid to boost his giant ego. Yes, I know I’m great, and sure you miss me, but, dude, go miss someone else, far, far, FAR away from me.

  38. Hadenough says:

    Nat, this article really hit the spot. When my ex returned from his overseas trip, pleading for contact like his life depended on it, I assumed it must be all over with his overseas ‘ex’. Surely, he wouldn’t have the cheek to disturb me otherwise? Answer: yes, I’m afraid he really was that disrespectful…

    Weeks down the line, after some uncomfortable probing, I was dismayed to discover that absolutely nothing had changed – if anything, their future plans had crystallised: He was just being a dog in the manger – the ‘unbearable pain’ he described was simply the pain he felt at the possibility that I disapproved of his behaviour and that I was no longer an option.

    And so, in his case, ‘I miss you’ translated to ‘I’m making long term plans with the woman I intend to marry, but, in the meantime, I’m worried that if you find someone else, I’m going to be really bored and lonely for the next seven months’.

    Never mind, Honey…..Only five and a bit months to go :)

  39. Moon says:

    Great post Natalie! My ex AC used to say this to me everytime he came back to bother me. At Christmas, when he was back in the country, he was trying to get me to meet up with him. I posted on here about it at the time, I ended up calling his gf to tell her what he was up to, she wasn’t very happy about it and told him he wasn’t allowed to contact me again so I thought I was free at last. I remember a few of the girls on here telling me he would be back once he had calmed down and I didn’t believe it. Well, they were right! I knew he was moving back into this country last week so I was feeling kinda nervous because I was worried I might see him and his gf in the street or something and then on Monday night he emailed me saying his gf would kill him if she knew he was contacting me but he wanted to clear things up between us and wanted to know if I was ok. As soon as I saw the email I felt sick instantly. I ended up replying which I regret now. I wasn’t friendly, told him I was ok and that if he loved and cared for his gf then he would be staying as far away from me as possible and if he wanted to mess up his relationship then he could do it by himself without having to drag me into it. I thought maybe he was wanting a way to get out of his relationship but yet didn’t have the guts to end it himself therefore if he emailed me and I contacted her to tell her then she might dump him (unlikely considering she has just given up her job to move back to his home country with him). I purposely didn’t ask how he was because I know he’s fine and tbh I don’t really care if he’s not! But, yet, his reply was all about him, talking about mundane things like his phone! But also said that he loves his gf more than ever and I didn’t mess any relationship up and he got what he deserved for keeping secrets. Ha…so, he calls his compulsive lying – ‘keeping secrets’?! So I just replied asking him if now he knows I am ok, will he leave me alone. He said yes. I did end up forwarding on the emails to her, mainly because I care more about her than I do about him, I feel she needs to know what he’s like. I’m left wondering how long he will leave it before he contacts me again. This time it was 5-6 months. I feel like he only got in contact because he couldn’t bare the thought that I might not know he was back in the country again or perhaps to let me know he was still with his gf? Probably just to rub my face in it. I doubt I will ever see him in the street but I still dread the day I do. I have fantasies that I see him in the street and feel so sick that I projectile vomit into his face! If he contacts me again, I have a cunning plan anyway.

  40. susan says:

    hmmm sounds to me like ”i miss you” is a very bad euphanism for ”im missing sex with you”…

  41. So true. Talk is cheap – if they missed you that much, they’d be with you. It’s just a clever way of keeping you hanging on.

  42. sg says:

    If my ex missed me, here’s what comes to my mind.
    1. I miss that I cant take advantage of you.
    2. I miss that you believed the incredible amount if lies I told you.
    3. I miss that you did anything I asked you to do.
    4. I miss that you would let me call all the shots.
    5. I miss that you were trusting not possessive and and encourage me to enjoy my live life and do whatever I wanted and you would not question me too much and you would still be at my side when came back.
    6. I miss that I could SLEEP with other women behind your back.
    7. I miss that when people told you what I was all about, you didn’t believe them.
    8. I miss that you were convenient at the times I needed something to do.
    I’m not missing any of the above! I’m loving my new found freedom and and back to being me again!

    • Tea Cozy says:

      Ooh, I like this perspective-shift, sg. Well done!

      My ex’s list would be something like:

      1. I miss that I got to enjoy your company at my convenience.
      2. I miss the ego strokes.
      3. I miss having the benefits of a relationship without the responsibilities.
      4. I miss having lazy communication via email and IM at all hours of the night to avoid the pain of dealing with the dissolution of my marriage.
      5. I miss having easy sex.
      6. I miss being able to think of myself a Mr Good Guy who is friends with all his exes.
      7. I miss not being able to tell new romantic prospects, “Oh, my last romance? It ended amicably, and we’re on good terms.”
      8. I miss that I could drip-feed truth to you, and withhold vital info, and continue to kid myself that that was ethical behavior. Oops, you flushed me out!

      Etc.

  43. Spinster says:

    “I miss you” is as over-used as the phrase “I love you” and the words “friend” & “love”. I’ve been lucky enough (fingers crossed) to not fall for that “I miss you” nonsense.

    “I miss you”? Show & prove, otherwise miss me with that bullshit. :-|

  44. Missing says:

    Wow.

    Been here, done that several times over with the same guy over the past 2 years. I had no idea that the ‘I miss you’ card was such a well played one by guys everywhere – i thought it was just him!

    Even now, after I changed my number, went no contact for two months and now only occassionally reply to his emails am I still recieving the emails that say nothing more than ‘miss you xxx’ It used to feel like a knife cutting through my heart, that longing feeling and sadness that we just couldn’t be together (although I have no idea why, oh yeah because he has a long term girlfriend that he doesn’t want to be with…)….[long pause]. Yeah right, I now realise that if he wanted me, he could’ve had me – but in the 100% capacity, mutual respect and loving, committed relationship not in the half-hearted, shady grey area that he had me before.

    “They can keep missing you from afar while you get on with your life”

    Absolutely, and what better time to go about this new life than with Summer on our doorstep.

    Once again, than kyou Natalie. I am half way through your latest book and continuing to laugh and learn everyday.

    • runnergirl says:

      Missing,
      I had no idea the missing you card was such a well played card either. I thought it was just him too. Nope. Oh yeah, there was a little niggly, he has a wife. Head plant. Miss you… but I’m doing nothing to be with you. So time to get on with our lives and let them do the same. Don’t you love the Dreamer book. It makes me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time!

      • grace says:

        Missing
        I’ve commented on this before, but here’s a recap. Treat these phrases with extreme scepticism:
        I miss you
        I miss talking to you (especially if such talk is texting, IMs and suchlike)
        I want to be a part of your life
        I can’t imagine being without you
        I want us always to be friends
        I will always love you
        The first time we hear these words, they seem so touching, so meaningful. Then the x time around, we think “Hang on a minute ….”
        Someone once said to me about an ex:
        “*looking around the room* “Where is he? I don’t see him! Do you!?”
        Er, no.

  45. Sumumu says:

    just what i needed to hear. The EUM has been sniffing around after months of silence with a couple of pointless calls where he said he was ‘just calling to say hi’. like I don’t have enough friends. Must be having a down period and needs to remember that a great girl like me could still have time for a guy like him (before he finds someone else to make him feel better and forgets all about me again). I have learned so much about how to quickly see the truth of things through you Nat. Keep telling it like it is!!!

  46. New York Girl says:

    “I miss you.” Also the more cavalier “Do you miss me?” These phrases are typical hooks for the person who needs validation and to be the exception.

    I abashedly raise my hand – yes, I fell for the “missing” thing.

    Natalie knows her field, and I give thanks to her and this site for opening my eyes. That a man should miss my ego strokes and free sex – why would it be a surprise? And then that I should etch onto my brain his cheap words – why give myself away so cheaply? Well, it’s obvious. HE loves it, and I crave it. We are both all wet!

    But drying myself off here and feeling ever so much better. Bonded in our journey, fellow travelers.

    • Spinster says:

      “Also the more cavalier “Do you miss me?””

      Got a couple of those instead of “miss you”, and my response was usually “Uhhhh… what do you want me to say to that?” :-| The people who said it would usually get mad and drop the subject. Jackasses. :-|

  47. Brilliant post on so many levels!! And to think of how much time and life I have wasted in the past standing by and waiting for the follow up ( that never comes ) to the ” I miss you” statements. Very eye opening that the ” I miss you” is more about their inability to deal with their loss, lonliness, horniness, self worth, etc… than it is about us. Wonderful, Natalie, and thanks!

  48. Ali says:

    Fab again Nat. My life has changed so much ( for the better!!). Took a wee while mind you cos I was wearing the fur coat if denial and still kidding myself I was the exception! But thanks to your wisdom, support I’ve come out the other side Nat. I’ve come through it all and come out of the hell I was in. I still keep reading your books, posts and am on your site daily in order I keep learning, keep processing all the information. Thank you so much. And gave a great wedding day.
    The post above is just where I was for eighteen months also. It was awful. I would spot the signs of a commitment phone straight away now and would “flush”…..lol. Thanks again x

  49. Cindy says:

    Im in about a 4week breakup and he says he misses me wants me back sometimes, but needs space and time to think about if he really loves me. I want him back! Am I crazy?

    • A says:

      Cindy,

      He’s sending you mixed messages, and seems to expect you to wait around while he decides whether he “really loves you”. Please don’t hand your power over to him like this, it will destroy your self-esteem. Also, he doesn’t have to make a decision so long as you continue to stick around. You want someone who KNOWS that he loves you and wants to be with you, not someone who sits on the fence, making comments to keep you on hold as an option while he decides whether or not he wants you.

      I’d say get rid of him, but I know it’s hard at this stage, so you could tell him that it’s either in or out–he wants to be with you or he doesn’t. If he can’t say that he’s in and back it up with action, then you need to move on. Cut contact with him so you can start to see things more clearly and move on. If he contacts you down the line saying he wants to be with you, I would be skeptical, but you can see how you feel at that time.

    • grace says:

      Cindy
      “I want to think about whether I love you”
      Tell him to piss off.

    • Spinster says:

      “…he says he misses me wants me back SOMETIMES (emphasis mine), but needs space and time to think about IF (emphasis mine) he really loves me.”

      No. Ditto what grace said.

    • chloe says:

      cindy

      I am going through exactly this right now. My now ex for the 3rd time told me the same thing. I told him not to come back unless he knows he loves me. Its been 4 days and I find it very difficult to not call him, or the ex before, in fact it’s a toin coss, becasue I feel so lonely, needy etc, all a result of low self esteem, which I believe this guy contributed to. So, yes, it is difficult, and I don’t know how long you’ve been with your fellow, and if you are in love with him. I wasn’t in love yet, becasue for one, I really tried hard to protect my heart this time, but I do miss him, or at least the affection he provided. I don’t think you are crazy and I think you need to stay strong, if he doesn;t love you, then what can you do? It’s better to not be there. Did you tell him you loved him?

  50. nikki says:

    1month of no contact tomorrow. I would be absolutely shocked if I got an “I miss you” because he was an utter disappointment to me and I did nothing to hide it.
    He made me the exception to the rule as the returning ‘childhood sweetheart’ and moved 2000 miles to be with me after a 10 year split. It’s scary crazy how accurate Nat is with her analysis of every situation! Can you tell I’ve been reading up? LOL

    When he got out here to the east coast we had a brief honeymoon period and then he resumed his normal habits of being a loser that he had at a more forgiving age of 25. (drinking, smoking weed, not working very hard and NO goal to be making something of himself at now 42!) Well I cried a lot while he was around, so 2 years later after “trying” he moved back west. He went back to his fallback harem of girls and guys and forgot all about me. We’ll see how long the admiration of the returning hero lasts after a few more months and he’s back in the boat he was in before we reconnected.

    I’m so glad I refused to move for him and now I am just continuing on my merry way and I don’t have pick up the pieces. I was heartbroken at first, but reading this blog and going NC is almost magical! (and you MUST NOT peek at their pages or twitters etc)

    If you don’t want to be bothered by the “I miss you’s” again, just tell them what a disappointment they were to you. He/she won’t be back!
    Good luck everyone!

  51. Tea Cozy says:

    Oh god, the scary-sad clown photo–! That has to be right up there with the “Heeeere’s Johnny!” photo from “The Shining” as perhaps BR’s best blog-accompanying graphic. Can’t stop laughing.

    I got one of those “I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssss youuuuu” emails a few months back, and damn if it didn’t tweak my emotions. But my BR BS detector started pinging, and I ultimately took it for what it was worth — nothing. Just the guy wanting an ego stroke, or to convince himself that he wasn’t such a bad guy, or maybe there just wasn’t anything good on the television or anything good to eat in the fridge…

  52. LIFE GOES ON! says:

    Great post. Perfect timing too! I swear whenever my mind starts drifting or I find myself having thoughts about the pathetic relationship I had, a new post by Natalie comes through to my phone! :) and they’re always so fitting!
    Last week the EUM started sending me IM’s, complimenting me and trying to be so nice, which I found odd because this was so unlike him; he never called me beautiful, pretty when were together (he said it was because he thought he didn’t have to and that I already knew that I was …total BS, any girl would like to be complimented every now and then, even if we know that we’re pretty, beautiful or whatever it is we think of ourselves ) Anyway, I asked him why he was trying to be so nice to me, so he said that it was because he never used to compliment me when we were dating and that he knows that it’s something he needs to work on and he’s working on it…I actually laughed out loud and yelled LOSER! when I read his reply LOL. Firstly, his timing was way off and that should’ve been done while we were together and secondly, its not going to change what I think of him, however I didn’t bother telling him any of this, because what good is it? I only ended up blocking him from sending me any more IM’s. But on Sunday however he sent me a text, saying he’s sorry I felt neglected and that he hopes it never happens again and that he loves me and wishes me everything of the best…Tuesday, he sent another text message, talking about meaningless sh*t I have absolutely no interest in (campus, the weather). I didn’t reply to any of those messages but instead I decided to download the unsent letter guide and I wrote down everything I would have said to him, had I responded to those messages and it really helped! best part was watching those pages go up in flames :). I’ve closed the door and rights of admission reserved! NO ASSCLOWNS!!
    Its been just over 2 months since we’ve broken up and I already feel so different, in a good way, thanks to BR :) . I know that I still have lots of healing to do but I know that I am going to be okay. I love the ones who are in my life and make it amazing and I thank the ones who have left my life and made it even more fantastic, because I don’t have to feel neglected and argue about it anymore. Its better this way :)

    • Truthwillsetyoufree says:

      Totally agree! Assclowns never give compliments except to other woman right in front of you! I always try to look my best, and one particular time when I had made a huge effort, bought new dress, shoes, hairdresser etc to attend an important function with him and he basically chased after the host most of the night waxing lyrical and complimenting her on how great she looked! Tosser! He said the EXACT same words “didn’t think he needed to give me any compliments”. Now the lame texting begins and he has even the nerve to send texts to me that are meant for his ex wife! Our names are different ends of the alphabet so its not an error of his fat fingers! Before I found BR I would have been devastated but now I LOL at his desperation to get any response. Double flush!

  53. cc says:

    y’know….the more i think about this, and what everyone here has said, and the emptiness of the “i miss you”s, and the more i admit how much i wanted to get an “i miss you” from my EUM (not a peep from him since the breakup), i realize i’m lucky i didn’t:
    - his silence forced me to accept his decision, which i had trouble doing even though i was the one who backed him into it because my head knew the situation was intolerable (for me) while my heart didn’t want it to be over
    - either he really doesn’t miss me (so i need to keep getting over it/letting it go) or he’s too responsible (or proud) a person to trouble me with the admission that he does (in which case i need to keep getting over it/letting it go because he’s not showing up at all and certainly not in a constructive, healthy way)
    - had he contacted me saying he missed me, it would definitely have caused me the turmoil everyone here is suffering with and i would have had a hard time handling that correctly and it would have set me back
    - and had he asked me to come back, i probably would have gone, which would have been a mistake

    it has been a very cold, hard reality. and in that reality, i learned to make things warm and soft for myself, looking to me for the comfort i never knew how to give myself before. i never would have grown like this, in this way, had he pestered me.

    thank you, EUM. thank you for not missing me.

    wow. never, EVER thought i’d say that.
    love to all.

    • Magnolia says:

      Great comment, cc. Well done.

    • Red Velvet says:

      Wow CC, wow.

      I think we are the same person. Lol. I was in the same exact predicament as you. I broke up with him when things got so unbearable that even my heart couldn’t beat out my logic. I loved him and wanted to be with him so badly, but the longer we were together the more space he wanted. Hello? Really? After calling it off, it hit me all too quickly how difficult this was going to be. I wanted to hear from him, hear an I miss you, anything. But he was silent. He even went so far as to shut me down and tell me not to call him for any comfort two days after we broke up (emotionless man). At the time I thought it was horrible not to have heard from him even weeks after but fast forward a few months in to the present…I realize that if he had told me he missed me, moved an inch towards me? I would’ve ran a mile towards him, painted a future that would have never existed. He got with his current girlfriend two weeks after we broke up, and I’m pretty sure she is being fed the same pile of shit covered in chocolate and sprinkles. I hope she discovers it’s poop sooner rather than years later. And so with that said, I also have to give a big thank you to the d**kless bastard for doing exactly as he needs to.

      • Wendy says:

        This is just what I needed today. After 3+ years of EUM man I finally called it quits last night.I wouldn’t hear from him for day, even weeks, then he would “resurface”, start texting and act like nothing ever happened. Sure, the sex was incredible but as we all know, most women aren’t programmed for just the throw downs! :) I love the chocolate and shit covered sprinkles post. Sigh. Dating is so fun.

    • Tea Cozy says:

      “it has been a very cold, hard reality. and in that reality, i learned to make things warm and soft for myself, looking to me for the comfort i never knew how to give myself before.”

      That is good stuff, cc.

      When I got my dopey “I miissssssss youuuu” email, I thought to myself: yes, I miss him too in some ways, but I’d be missing *myself* MUCH more, were I to re-engage with him. There’s no going back.

      Learning to create warmth and security and softness for ourselves is a great take-away, a parting gift to ourselves.

      • Lilly says:

        No ‘miss you’ email for me. It’s day seven of no contact . I was feeling desperate and I made a mistake. I just couldn’t help myself and went snooping on his blog. (He has a live-in girlfriend, was supposedly very unhappy and was going to leave etc, etc, hence the need for NC). He’s posted a piece about ‘confessing’ as a way of starting again and making amends by never repeating the bad act again. Presumably, I’m the bad act. Far from missing me my NC seems to be contemplating confession and making it work with his partner. I feel so numb I don’t know what to say.

        • Elle says:

          Hey Lilly, I have very little knowledge of your story, but it seems to me that you’re probably right to be in shock. Affairs (which this looks like) always end shockingly, for someone at least. Act on this information: he is with someone, he is managing you from a distance, and this is not going to turn out well for you. Don’t focus on his inner turmoil and redemption. That is his. I don’t expect you to internalise much of this, but, really, when someone has two people to choose from, they have the power to make that choice, and someone loses (he ultimately loses, but that’s his ongoing struggle that has nothing to do with anyone else). Anyway, I am rambling, but you need to get yourself out of this situation where someone else determines your fate/worth/feelings. It’s too risky, and you can lose big. NC is for you to move on and care for yourself (sometimes with every ounce), not to give someone space to deliberate on your value.

        • Tess says:

          Lilly, so sorry you had to go through this! It’s likely he is missing you, but it’s the GUILT that is prompting his bs blog- she is more than likely manipulating him by threats to leave- in my view women degrade themselves by getting what they want by crying and making threats. Anyway, if he has a girlfriend while you two were together, good riddance! Keep your chin up, girl, his whining has made it abundantly clear to you that he is not worth your tears!

        • cc says:

          lilly-
          you need to take very good care of yourself right now. take care of yourself as if you’re recovering from a terrible illness. because you are. the numbness is going to wear off and you need to be there for yourself when it does.

          try to, metaphorically, scoop the awful out of you and replace it with gentleness and understanding of yourself. do not accept the condemnation you feel from his having categorized you in that way. who is he, anyway? he’s the guy who cheated on his girlfriend, which disrespects her, with another precious soul (you), which disrespects you. then he takes it all back like it shouldn’t have happened, which is *annihilating*. he’s a *douchebag*. we do not let douchebags be the judges of us. but of course you feel this way right now, its a terrible blow. so scoop out the bad and replace it with good.

          and no. more. snooping. at all. EVER. now you see what it does to you and you must refrain, you must stop getting a charge, a rush out of pain. snooping on exes is like virtual emotional cutting – no, no cutting. we all need to understand, on a very deep level, that pain is BAD, an indicator that something is WRONG. that is very hard to do when most of what we’ve ever felt is painful, so we associate that with normal. but it isn’t normal or healthy. you must give yourself that health.

          7 days of NC is nothing, its still a trial period, its when we slip up and you slipped and paid the price for it. so you must be firm but gentle with yourself. the steps you take now will pave the road for a new you. i mean this. so take those steps carefully.

          • cc says:

            and, lilly, excuse me, but who *blogs* about their confession and reformation? ugh, no judgment, no control, no sensibility, no perspective. seriously, good riddance. i know it doesn’t feel that way now, but this cheating guy is a cheating narcissist who puts his cheating business and his cheating reset button pushing out on the (cheating) internet.

            ew. ew! no. take excellent care of yourself and annihilate him out of your head and your heart as fast as you can. …”bad act”… bite me with your bad act.

            • Lilly says:

              Thank you all so much for responding. Right now I’m feeling worthless – I can’t help it. In his blog he says that confessing may help wrongdoers feel better and do better. He says confession is a chance to start again and can wipe away sin (the affair with me). He goes on to say there are other ways to start again by making amends to the person who has been harmed (his partner) and never repeating the bad act (me). It’s as if I just been swept aside, that I was just a mistake. I know I was wrong to be involved with him in the first place and I know I probably deserve this pain, but I am something. I’m a person with feelings, not a mistake or just an error of judgement on his part. I’m crying now I can’t seem to understand what this all means.

              • Polly says:

                Lilly,
                You are not worthless. You are a decent, greta person. He has made you feel worthless because he is a crappy limited person. Get angry. How dare this complete twat post this stuff on the internet, trying to hurt you further and get a reaction from you? You need every ounce of your strength to start looking after yourself, feel the pain you are in and heal from it. DO NOT try to get him to validate you any more. He is making you feel worthless so you don’t need him to decide whether to make you feel worthy again. Do that for yourself and give him what he deserves. Silence and the loss of you from his life.

                • Lilly says:

                  Thank you so much Polly. I’m determined to help myself and I will continue no contact. It all hurts so much, but enough is enough. I got pregnant, but miscarried my beautiful baby boy at 22 weeks (4 months ago). I asked him if he wanted me to say anything on his behalf at my baby’s service (he lives in a different state). He sent me an email asking me not to mention his name for professional reasons. I complied, but this crushed me. Like an idiot I carried on the relationship with him. I cannot believe I didn’t stop contact then, but there’s no going back now. I’m so glad I stumbled across this site. I feel supported, understood and most importantly not judged. I will take strength from others experiences. I know I can get through this. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories it gives hope.

                  • Polly says:

                    Oh Lilly I am so sorry. What a horrible experience you have been through. He has shown you what he is like. This man will never step up for you if he couldn’t do it then and cared more about himself and his reputation. You know I was once walking with my equally horrible ex and he we were talking about safety walking in isolated spots. I said to him that I felt safe when I was with him. He said, I don’t know why I would run off if anything happened. And he meant it.

                    We try to imagine them into decent people and it hurts horribly when they show again and again what they are. I’m glad you found BR and I’m glad I did too. It has undoubtedly kept me from contacting him in dark moments. I haven’t and I won’t and it will help you not to too.

                    Take good care of yourself. There are much better times to look forward to x

                    • A says:

                      It’s interesting how we can make someone else’s poor character about us. I’ve done this myself….wondering why he would say or do something so cruel and just feeling low as a result.

                      Polly, for some reason your post really made this hit home for me….we take it personally when these guys treat us badly when it has nothing to do with us. Your ex would run from danger regardless of who was with him, because that’s who he is. And it’s entirely a reflection on him and not whatsoever on you. (Which I know that you know, I’m just thinking out loud!)

                    • Outergirl says:

                      @ Polly

                      Oh I get chills they are all so much alike, so worthless. We’d walk in this park at night and he asked ME what I would do if we were attacked! I said I know I’d leave you in the dust and get myself to safety. Yes..tw*ts that they are.

                      @ Lilly, he is re-directing his guilt, possibly hoping you will see it and you will be the one to feel guilty for him. I think it’s called projecting and/or dumping. When they can’t or won’t experience negative emotions about themselves and their behavior.

              • Sunshine says:

                It means you need to stop reading his blog. You can’t convince a lying, cheating, AC that you are a live human with feelings, you have to know it for yourself. Which means YOU protect your feelings by not throwing yourself on the sword of his blog again and again and not expecting a lying, cheating AC to be capable of or willing to be sensitive to your feelings. Knowing you are an actual person with real feelings means you see him for who he is, a liar and a cheat and an insensitive, self-righteous twit and stop giving what he says and thinks so much power to hurt you. He’s messed up and his take on things doesn’t mean anything about you, it just means he has a shitty, cowardly character.

                • Sunshine says:

                  You are also interpreting this in a way to hurt yourself as much as possible.
                  “Presumably, the bad act was me.”
                  No, the act was the act. You are you. The two are separate.
                  Notice whenever you are being emotionally masochistic and the habit will start to unravel.

            • Outergirl says:

              CC! You read my mind! I was just going to send the same comment..ok, guess I DID send the same comment ha ha

      • Elle says:

        Yes, I am with you cc. I had that similar twitchy-eye response, when I first saw from BR how much pestering ACs could get up to, the opposite of my radio silence. Like you, I had to accept that either he did not really care , was too ashamed, or, out of some slither of care and respect for me, wanted to provide me with a context to move on. Regardless, it is a blessing to have this space, to fill it oneself. It’s what my heart truly desired. A couple of years on, and I am more content, more succesful (in my terms), and more balanced than I have been in over a decade, and have many wonderful and interesting people and projects to enjoy. Plus, I just don’t have someone in my life who was capable of saying this once (when I was freshly-dressed for a nature walk in a puffa jacket, woollen hat, and jeans): “You really don’t care what you look like, do you? Like you don’t care about your looks.” It’s funny now! Bahaha!

      • Enabler says:

        I need to learn to create warmth, security, and softness for myself. But how do you do that? Any tips? I am NC (once again…) as of yesterday.

        • cc says:

          enabler-
          lessee….i’ve been working on healing for a very long time, and being able to give myself warmth and softness is only a recent thing. but simply put its (and its gonna sound mushy):

          - recognize the inner core of you, where it hurts, where it feels empty, bottomless – and embrace it. you can’t get back the love you didn’t get as a child or as an adult, but you can give it to yourself, right now. tell yourself, or write to yourself, how it feels there and what it needs to not feel that way. LISTEN to what you say to yourself, its as if you’re your own child, comforting, soothing. give yourself the love and understanding you need. tell that part of yourself that you are there for her, you love her. i know, it sounds ridiculous, but this is the beginning of loving you, of soothing you, of beginning to trust that YOU will be there for you and not have to look to everyone else to fill that hole. because they CAN’T. YOU CAN.

          - set aside some time to do this every day. every. single. day.

          - whenever you feel sad, lonely, hurt, angry, do it again – sit with yourself and listen and take care of you. be gentle, understanding. cry all you want. but no judging. don’t wallow, but do some healthy, constructive, healing indulgence.

          - writing helps a lot for me

          - therapy helps a lot

          - mindful awareness – just google it – and do the exercises, they’re a lot like what i said above

          - do other, fun activities that you like, put more in your life than men

          - then, every day, go back to the listening, feeling, understanding, comforting, loving. its a practice, like yoga.

          then kick that AC man out of your life.
          xox

          • Enabler says:

            Thank you so much, cc… I am pretty good at diverting my attention away from him for stretches during the day- but dang it! he sure creeps in when I’m not looking…
            I just HATE that he probably thinks of me 5% of the time I spend contemplating him.
            I just heard recently about mindfulness (a friend received advice to try this for his-unrelated- problem, and here it comes up again, but for ME!)- I guess that’s a sign I should delve into it.
            Day 2 NC… ugh.

            • cc says:

              enabler-
              glad it helped.

              look, don’t berate yourself when he creeps into your mind – its normal. it does get less and less over time as you heal and turn your attention to other things, but my EUM “crept in” ALL the time for weeks and weeks…i woke up with him in my head, he would come zooming out of my subconscious, i finally gave up and just started having conversations, fights with him out loud in the bathroom (by myself) just to work it out of myself.

              when we first broke up, that’s how i found BR, and i think i read nearly every single post natalie wrote. every time i had a spasm, i would type what i felt into the search box and read every post that came up. and then kept rereading them until i retrained my brain. i owe that recovery to natalie, no joke.

              just keep working on it, it gets better. keep actively healing yourself. eventually, you’ll just think of him less and you’ll get sick of him more.

              hugs

    • nikki says:

      CC,
      I know how easy it is to go there…I admit, on some level I would like to be missed too… but seriously, it doesn’t mean shit if they do (…say it).

      “- his silence forced me to accept his decision, which i had trouble doing even though i was the one who backed him into it because my head knew the situation was intolerable (for me) while my heart didn’t want it to be over”

      Are you NC?
      Maybe YOUR silence forced HIM to accept YOUR decision!

      • cc says:

        nikki-
        yes, i’m NC for …. over 3 months, not sure exactly. about a month after we broke up, i did send him, after agonizing over it, a carefully worded “here’s how i really feel about the whole thing” email, which he may never have read, for all i know. i didn’t expect or desire a response to that nor did i get one. but i was NC before and after that.

        what did hurt, and what it was that forced me to accept his stance, was his lack of impetus to reach out to me. so, honestly – thanks for trying to throw me a bone, but i think his silence is his silence. and for which, even after the pain, i am very grateful because there was so much much-needed learning and growth that came out of that.
        hugs

        • nikki says:

          nicely put, CC.

          …maybe I was trying to throw myself a bone! In reality, I think I feel the same way about the silence from my ex as well.

          it’s funny, I can totally accept that it’s over and that it should be over, it’s just the WAY it became over really sucked. Like, if he didn’t want the relationship, why didn’t he just TELL me? he just kind of disappeared.. after living together for 2years leaving me to figure it out. I’m having a hard time dealing with that. 1month NC now and I’m not sure who initiated it! I like to think that I did

          hugs back!

    • cc says:

      thanks you guys, so much.

      its really hard, but … sometimes its intolerable, but i think that we’re supposed to DO something with that, we’re supposed to allow the fire to burn us, like a crucible, into a new shape (i know, so poetic) that is better for us, healthier, so we stop looking outside ourselves for the beauty and joy and love that is inside us. i mean, yes, we want partners, but we want PARTNERS, not stunted, broken excuse-makers who option us for futures that never come to pass.

      we need to be on our own sides. which is the understatement of the century.

    • jennynic says:

      CC,
      I have been in the same boat as you since my ex ended things. It is a blessing in disguise, really and does force us to move forward. Your post described just how I’ve been feeling too. Thank you for voicing it.

      • cc says:

        elle, jenny-
        yes and thanks to both of you. it is a blessing in disguise to step into this space and do, finally, what you know you need to do for yourself anyway.

        i wonder if its easier in a way, however more painful though less disruptive, to have this silence rather than the AC pestering. when a guy is NOT paying attention to you, there is no mistaking that motivation: not interested. if he IS paying attention to you, he may still not really be interested, but he’s still messing with your mind. AC pestering just prolongs the agony and postpones the inevitable. and few have the strength to decide that the inevitable = i’m going to love myself, fully, and tell you, the AC/EUM, to eff off.

        yep. blessing in disguise.

        elle, the twitchy eye thing was hysterical…
        smooooooches

        • A says:

          cc,

          We really don’t know why it is that they choose not to be in touch. If it helps, I was thinking about my EU non-stop and lamenting that he had not called….yet when he did, I didn’t answer. And I didn’t return his call, nor have I called him at any point over the months since we last spoke. My actions likely give the impression that I’m over it, that I don’t care….but I still think about him every day (though differently than I did months ago.)

          Regardless of what is going on with him, you’re right, it’s a gift. If mine had called earlier, or had even called more than just the one time, I would have taken his call…..though it would have been pointless to do so, since I’m sure that nothing has changed.

          • nikki says:

            good point!

          • cc says:

            a-
            good for you! of course i went back and forth as to whether i would pick up the phone had he called. but you sound so damn resolute – its inspirational. because i too am sure nothing has changed.

            • A says:

              Thanks, cc. It’s probably not the best example, but I have been resolute that there was no way whatsoever that I was going to contact him, though it was easier to stick to after he treated me so badly on so many occasions. Pride and stubbornness can come in handy in these instances!

              But even then, I had not decided whether I would take his calls….though fortunately for me at a certain point he mostly stopped calling. I think at first he couldn’t fathom that I would not want to talk to him (he clearly thought he could say or do whatever he wanted and that I was not going anywhere), but eventually it began to hurt his ego that I was ignoring his calls. He tried to turn it around on me by getting angry and telling me he was not going to call me again (calling me to tell me he was not going to call again?) hoping that I would panic and try to apologize or talk him out of it. I just said calmly “ok, if that’s what you want”. That was a satisfying moment :)

        • Teddie says:

          CC,

          He does not stay in touch because he does not want to be in touch with his own feelings. As far as your feelings are concerned, he’s always been beyond caring, being EU, it’s all about him, remember? So whether he does or does not stay in touch, it’s for his sake, not for yours. From his perspective, what’s the point anyway, it is preferable to just move on to someone else, especially if this new person is already there.
          So yes, his not wanting to stay in touch is a blessing, because he’s not likely to help you work through your feelings anyway, and why would you want to help him work through his?! He’s flushed himself off your life, good riddance!

          • cc says:

            teddie-
            yep, you’re right.

            its interesting, and not that i care so much anymore but it fits with the discussion, we both rewrote our online profiles after the breakup. mine is bolder, braver, than before, even more clearly states what i am looking for and what i’m offering than the prior version. his offers – essentially nothing, nothing at all. it practically screams “i have nothing to offer but am dressing up casual as relationship light – any takers?”. i would never have gone out with him had that been the profile he had up when we connected. talk about EU….jeeeezus.
            xox

  54. Kitka says:

    I’ve been stalking the user comments for a few weeks now, and have read the NCR and I am currently working on Mr Unavailable…I am on my 7th day NC. I am dying. I have a litany of things I could share that will make you cringe, but have to put my daughter to bed so it won’t be for awhile…but I am perilously close to unblocking his number from my phone and sending him a text! I’ve reached out to my girls who I consider my “sponsors” and haven’t heard anything back. The guy has a live in GF, it’s been 10 months, I’ve broken up with him maybe 8 times. I’m a smart, attractive woman, high profile professional job. However,the guy sells drugs, has an illegitimate child that he renounced three years ago (mother is crazy, why would he pay support to her when he didn’t want her to keep it), former heroin addict, lives off the grid to avoid DHS. I’m sick even as I type this. He’s fed me all of the AC lines. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment to get screened for Hep C among other things because I just found out he has gotten a card for medical marijuana (intends to parlay this into making money so he can “leave” his live in) and once I researched how one gets this card, I was horrified to see that the major symptoms were HIV, cancer, Hep C, etc. I have a 6 year old daughter and I am in the process of separating from her father.

    Got help me for the verbal diarrhea but I am so close to calling him and I need a brisk slap in the face.
    :(

    • Tess says:

      Here’s your slap! Really, why would you want to bring this sketchy criminal into your daughter’s life? Let alone your own?

      I usually don’t speak in such a manner, but I can’t believe what’s going through your mind…It sounds as if he is not/has not taken responsibility for anything in his own life (and not supporting his own child, regardless of the circumstances??) I urge you to take responsibility for the life you’ve brought into the world (your daughter’s) and yourself, and never contact this person again. If you can’t do it for you do it for Her! Perhaps even contemplate staying with her father, if it’s better for her. You haven’t heard from your girlfriends because they are amazed you’re even thinking about contacting this man who lacks decency. You are better than this!

    • nikki says:

      Don’t do it!!!

      need a reminder? read this again!

      “However,the guy sells drugs, has an illegitimate child that he renounced three years ago (mother is crazy, why would he pay support to her when he didn’t want her to keep it), former heroin addict, lives off the grid to avoid DHS. I’m sick even as I type this.”

      “I just found out he has gotten a card for medical marijuana (intends to parlay this into making money so he can “leave” his live in)”

      ” I have an appointment to get screened for Hep C among other things ”

      Kita, this guy is a tool. Let go for the love of God, and pray you have dodged a bullet!
      For what it’s worth, many Drs will write a Med MJ card with the slightest fever. So hopefully you won’t have any life-long consequences because of this parasite!

      • nikki says:

        PS. the most respectable thing he does is (maybe, actually) pay to support the child he produced; no matter how crazy the mother is and how earnestly he wanted her to get an abortion.

    • Magnolia says:

      You don’t say a thing about the guy that says why you are so close to calling, Kitka. Of course, we’re here to say, tape your hands to your chair, go to a place without phone service, anything, but cut contact from this user-loser.

      Try to become curious about why, or what feelings you’re having, that would have you call a guy like this when you could be feeling freed of a very bad situation. You can have all those feelings without acting on them by calling. Stay strong.

    • cc says:

      kitka-
      man, i hope grace responds, she’s a good tiger mom (don’t get mad, grace…) but i’ll give it a try…

      GIRL! i know you have a lot of change/disruption in your life, but you need to get a hold of yourself. read again what you wrote. he is a(n):
      - addict
      - liar
      - cheater
      - disease carrier
      - user
      - child abandoner
      - baby mama abandoner (i don’t care that she’s crazy, that’s his CHILD – what. the. FFFFFFF!

      you need to make a DECISION. you have a child and you are separating from her father. WHY in the world you would want this piece of shit guy in your lives is beyond me. your daughter needs you and you need you and you need to wake up and realize that dallying with him is worse than wasted energy, its dangerous.

      who’s side are you on, anyway? do you think this can end well? what the heck did your …..ssssssshudder…… hep C screening say anyway?

      in fact – HEP C!!!! need i say more?

      SSSLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAP! snap out of it!

      • Sunshine says:

        Don’t forget “dealer” and “has a gf”.
        Have some respect for yourself!
        Can you imagine how you would look to him and to his gf if you contacted him?
        Desperate.
        So, what’s got you so desperate? What are you feeling, really? What’s got you feeling like you might actually DIE if you don’t contact him?
        Write it out, talk it out in the mirror.
        They are all just thoughts and feelings, get curious about what’s going on with YOU. What are you trying to avoid by reaching out to him?
        What do you want to say to him? It’s probably something YOU need to hear. Write out what you want to say to him and address the letter to YOU. Roll around on the floor (my favorite!), make some noise, breathe, sing, move…anything, anything to bring you back to YOU.

        Do not abandon yourself.
        Be there for YOU.

    • Kitka says:

      Thanks, ladies, for the slap in the face! You’re not telling me anything I don’t know, in fact- I keep a journal and find myself writing about how horrid he is. I am trying to look at why I struggle to just walk away.
      I’ve known him 20 years and had a mad crush on him, I am sure I am holding on to the illusion and the fantasy of someone he never was!
      I’ve been seeing a therapist since my husband and I split last November. A lot of the work I’ve been doing centers around loving and valuing myself, I have definitely come far. This is the first time with any of my past relationships I have taken a step back and looked at facts rather than feelings.
      He’s a master manipulator, and definitely tries to keep the “good guy” image. He’s an ass. As I was reading Mr Unavailable I couldn’t believe how textbook he is.
      Sigh. The weird thing is I don’t envision a future with him: no way! Nor would I ever bring him into my daughter’s life. It’s just something about looking for that validation that he throws me now and then.
      Day by day, right…..

      • cc says:

        kitka-
        good for you. i realize i got it wrong in my comment below – sorry, i misread your post below.

        hang in there. it does get easier. really, it does.

        • Kitka says:

          cc-

          Thanks. Your words made me feel better- i know he’s no good and not my future, but for the first time I’m facing myself, exploring my impulses to disconnect from myself and forcing myself to deal with the pain.
          As everyone here knows, it sucks. I’m glad to have your support, it’s really what I need right now to stay focused on ME and MY life.

    • A Branch says:

      I hear you, but I thought I would let you know a few things I know about the subject. I’m not sure what state you live in, but medical marijuana is prescribed for an array of issues, yes HIV, cancer and other serious things are on the list but so is depression, insomnia, migraine headaches, anxiety, glaucoma, eating disorders and hundreds of other disorders.
      If he is a current or ex heroin addict, the needles and the contamination to the body he experienced does increase the possibility of him carrying /contracting HIV/ hep c. etc that does pose a very serious danger to you and you family.
      For that reason your testing planned seems above needed, I just would not put the emphasis on the medical marijuana script as a such a danger; it is not only prescribed for the items you are concerned about.
      I know there are other big concerns and anxiety but I just wanted to let you know what I know about that issue, hope it helps
      Best wishes

  55. dancingqueen says:

    love this. I am actually pretty happy about my breakup almost four weeks ago…mostly because it just wasnt the right fit and my heart was not totally in it…but I must admit I was perplexed by the facebook and email “I miss yous” that I got….that I never got as much during our relationship….now I think that I understand….it is just a way to keep a foothold on my mind or assuage his ego that I was apparently not quite assuaging enough! oh well so sad too bad

  56. LMA says:

    I could have shaved off 3 years of an EUM fake relationship and saved myself a lot of pain and confusion if someone had been this blunt with me. You are 100% right NML. I kept being fed the ‘I miss you’ drivel and I really thought that it meant he wanted to be with me – not. Please heed this post.

  57. runnergirl says:

    Okay I have to confess. My 22 year old daughter is going through a major break up and I eavesdropped on a telephone conversation with the mom of the ex. There’s money, property, and leases and like real things but he “misses her” even though he is now living with my daughter’s best friend. My kid was amazing. Apparently the ex bf is a major drug addict. Here’s her best line, “he lied to me three times, who’s to say he didn’t lie to me four or five times? As I continued to eavesdrop, I was so proud of her. She isn’t going to be sucked back up in his crap. He’s an addict and she wasn’t having anything to do with his addiction. She doesn’t miss him. Period. She’s walked and doesn’t care if she gets her things back. (Which is what prompted the discussion with the ex bf mom because I was over the line in requiring that since I sent money, he should return her stuff. He used the money for drugs.
    She quit school with one semester to complete her degree. I was unhinged in January. Now, I’m so proud of her. She did the right thing. Degree or no degree. God, I wish I could listen when my kid talks. He misses her! I hope I don’t have the opportunity to see that little scrawny drug addict piano playing 2o something again. He misses her? He’ll have a mama bear to deal with. My kid did good.

    • Spinster says:

      Always great to get ‘em started on the common sense path young. :-)

    • cc says:

      yeah, runnergirl mama bear!!

      good for you and your girl-cub. and please realize – your kid’s mom did good too. she got that from somewhere.

      rock. on.

  58. NICOLE93 says:

    Oh god, this one certainly hit home. Those declarations of “I miss you”, “I miss you so much”, “I can’t sleep because you’re on my mind too much” etc. which I originally saw as romantic, out of character, and the ultimate proof that he was in love with me.

    Right.

    Except for: WAKE-UP CALL (literally, seeing as those messages were sent on my birthday at 5am), he STILL had a girlfriend (i.e his “situation”) and was STILL a cheating assclown. Now looking back, I’m quite insulted by all of it.

  59. Kitka says:

    Well, I made it through the night and into today, I didn’t break down and text him. It felt good waking up to not feel the guilt and anger that would have followed. It’s now day 8. When I told him to eff off last Thursday, told him to have a nice weekend with his girlfriend, and to lose my number…as suspected, I didn’t hear a thing until Monday morning. And guess what? It was….wait for it….wait for it…. “I miss you…”
    then two hours later after no response it was :(.
    Really. Like we didn’t just have a huge fight on Thursday where I told him he was disrespectful of me as a person, as he was cranky and telling me he hadn’t been ignoring me/avoiding me lately, it was just an absurdly busy week, he was in a bad mood, don’t take it personally….
    I blocked him promptly after that.
    Ugh.
    I keep replaying in my head how empty and hollow the short term gratification will feel if I reach out to him.

    • nikki says:

      I said it before and I’ll say it again: this guy is a T.O.O.L.
      good for you, for not contacting…it gets easier I promise!

    • cc says:

      kitka-
      i had the urge to yell at you but you’d probably tune me out.

      sigh.

      kitka? you’re not focusing. you’re not listening. please read (or reread) the above comments. the empty and hollow are nothing. what you and he said to each other is nothing. the. entire. situation. is. FUCKED. you need to stop drinking this guy’s KoolAid. honestly, for the life of me i can’t figure out why it tastes so good to you.

      please get a hold of this, a hold of you. and save yourself and your daughter. seriously.

    • grace says:

      kitka
      Call it what it is. You won’t be reaching out to him, you’d be texting him.
      It’s not worth it. Text, text,text. Let’s not elevate it to the level of genuine heartfelt communication. It’s not – whether it comes from us or from them. I am happy to text people that I also see IN THE FLESH – for a laugh and for information transmission. But never again am I going to conduct a quasi-relationship by text. The day that I find myself sat at home waiting for a text is the day I need to do something worthwhile. Even if it’s just popping out for groceries.
      “I miss you” is crap. Via text makes it twice as crap. Flush.

    • Waltzing Matilda says:

      Kitka, I must be an old timer now, as I want to 1. See Grace reply to you, and 2. Add to the Greek chorus – just leave it all behind/let it go/move on, you don’t need this plonker near you or anyone you care about. Everyone understands the emotional hunger, especially when we want support at a tough time, but it’s like a junk food diet – it will leave you malnourished AND fat, because there is just nothing wholesome there.
      You’re doing good though. No contact was the healthiest choice I’ve ever made, and I didn’t even know what I was doing until I came across BR. We think it’s all so complicated, but Natalie shows how truly simple it can be, please believe it.

      • happy b says:

        “it’s like a junk food diet – it will leave you malnourished AND fat, because there is just nothing wholesome there.”

        Empty too, craving for nutrition but not knowing how to get it or even what it is. We can change habits. I never thought I’d see the day when I eat an apple with as much relish as a chocolate bar (ok, 60% of the time), but it happened, my thoughts and feelings changed. Have to put this to the test with men. Keep choosing and it becomes a habit.
        I was on the ex-ac’s crappy kool aid diet, looking for the emotional sugar/not-even-real-sugar rush that left me high and dry.
        Kitka, you know what you need and even more, what you DON’T need :)

  60. Tess says:

    Nat, this is an awesome, right on target, commentary! My ex also would say this to me occasionally but do as you’ve described – back off, too weak to go through with anything in his life. My motto with that is now: Put up or Shut up!

    I find this isn’t limited to love relationships; it often happens with girlfriends as well. My married friends or friends in serious relationships often moan and groan about being independent and wanting to get out and break their “indentured servanthood” at home (a friend’s description) , they say how much they miss seeing me, wish we could go out, want to go away for a girlfriend’s weekend at the beach, on and on. Rarely does action ever come of it despite my offers to coordinate the details. Just as you said, they want to assuage their guilt about neglecting the friendship or live a fantasy that they are still involved in your life or are still have some remnants of independence, but it’s BS. And it’s hurtful that there are no issues keeping them from following through! Like with the ex, I’ve learned to think: Put up or Shut up!

  61. Teachable says:

    Hmm…

    What about when WE are the one’s who miss THEM though (or the illusion of who we THOUGHT they were, as opposed to who they actually are. For those of us deliberately misled about this, it can be difficult to reconcile the gap between the two in our hearts, despite our cognitive understanding of the reality…)

    And worse, when this causes US to slip with our efforts at N.C?

    Big sigh… I finally got a couple of NML’s ebooks today and think it’s time to start reading…

    Your’s in feeling-like-crap-land, T

  62. Teachable says:

    OK…

    After getting to two months (60 something days) of NC, slow learner here (!!) sent xAC a short email. I didn’t say I missed him or invite return contact, (I wouldn’t respond even if this came because I now know he is in a relationship with someone else), so why did I send the email? I think it was because I was feeling bored and isolated.

    Currently I’m missing the illusion of who I thought he was before I learned the truth. I’m also remembering the all too fleeting good times. This might sound silly but I wonder if I should try writing out a list of all the crappy things xAC did and stick it up on my bedroom wall? He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and I need to get my head back to REALITY … :(

    • Outergirl says:

      Yes Teachable! DO write out the list of crappy things he did and said. That will be very cathartic. In time, you will see clearly, that it is not him you are missing but who you thought he was and what might have been. It may help you understand and come to terms why it hurts and why you are still acting on feelings. It’s ok, we have all been there.

      • Teachable says:

        Thanks for the encouragement Outergirl,

        Yes, I might actually do this. Anything which keeps me in reality is prolly a good idea. For now though, after a night of zero sleep, I re-read a bunch of ‘final’ letters and emails I kept from all the times I’ve initiated NC previously, instead. Unsurprisingly they showed clearly that I tried to end things with this person from pretty much when it began, and that my complaints as to why were always variations on the same theme. He will never change. I have though and hopefully NC will now stick.

        I haven’t seen him in person for 18 months, and it’s been about 9 months since I discovered he had been with someone else the whole time he was involved with me. After previous complaints that he was treating me with disrespect (duh, now I knew WHY), at this time, I let go fully and got serious about wanting to move on.

        He contacted me via email 3 months ago wanting to ‘talk’ (there was never any discussion between us after I learned the truth and told the other party all I knew about him – something I imagine he didn’t appreciate, but hey, tough titties). He said in the email that he’d sent me a previously angry worded email because I’d ‘lied about him’ to the other woman but I knew this was not the case and so dodged the call (and deleted the email with his new number in it) and contact with him at the time. He’s such a pathological liar that I just could not be bothered doing yet another round with someone who will swear that the color of snow is black. Been there done that with him over other issues already & my ‘compassion for his bullshit meter’ was fresh out of coins!

        Now though I am wondering what his real reason was for contacting me back then. Most likely just looking for someone to use again for various things like he always did I suppose. Anyway, no matter. I’m over it & too many red flags there for even this (former) Florence Nightingale!

        T :)

        • runnergirl says:

          Hey Teachable, you are teachable. You miss the fantasy as do I. Whatever we do, we must cling to reality. Stay strong girl. You sound so much like me. I miss the fantasy. It seems difficult to separate reality from fantasy. Trust me, the color of snow is white, unless he peed on it. Then, it’s yellow. Oh, how I wish his “miss you” texts meant that he’d turned the corner. Not a chance. I’m almost at the point where I don’t care. Is that acceptance?

        • Kitka says:

          Teachable,
          I too, go back and read letters that I wrote that were attempts to goad him into changing who he was and how he treated me. In fact, if I look through my journals, I see that there are never any entries about happiness or contentment. And the only time he ever kicked it up a notch was when he thought I might bail.

          Something I did that is pretty powerful was to right a list of facts that I knew about him (FACTS, not my feelings) and then look at those facts as if I was reading about someone I didn’t know. Stripping out my feelings and looking at the data, well, it was horrifying.
          I look at that list often. It’s an embarrassing reminder of how I lost sight of my values and boundaries…..but I’m gonna keep on keepin on!

  63. Mia says:

    Im on day 16 of NC from an EUM of 2yrs… its been a journey but all for the best. After stumbling upon this site, I find it to be a big eye opener as well as a blessing. That EUM has started the text msging thing and just in case I havent seen the txt msgs, he had to follow up with an email stating: I have texted your personal cell multiple times but I’m not sure if it’s still working, but just saying hello and to see how you’ve been…lolol cell working? REALLY:-/ how about your coward self pick up the phone and say what you really want…although i wont answer anyway but i cant even believe the AC actually thought I would give that msg life. What I have learned about this journey is that in life the universe will keep giving us the same challenge so that we can really learn how to be better human beings and get through obtacles. We werent created to be alone and there is much greater things instore and in order for it to manifest we all have to keep thinking positive, believe that we are valuable and worthy of love being reciprocated…If not the challenge will keep presenting itself until we can get it right or so that we can see the light. May the creator bless the founder of this site and all Us great women who are going through this journey called life…xoxo mia

  64. amanda says:

    Nice to read this today. After a couple of weeks of silence (really, a few months, with occasional slips of NC), I just got a long e-mail from the ex MM. He opens up about what has been going on for him since our split, very friendly, and invites me to write him back. If it had been sent from anyone else, it would have been a perfectly nice letter. But, its from the MM whom I had a 2-year fantasy relationship with, for whom I was the consummate Fallback Girl. Even if he got struck by a magical rainbow over the last months that has turned him into the nicest person in the universe, I know that I am still vulnerable, and I need to hold off on responding.

    • Amanda – I know exactly what you’re going through.

      My MM and I are “best friends” and I’m a sucker for his words. I haven’t kicked himto the curb, because I love our phone conversations for hours and phone-sex (we are Long Distance, only seeing one another three times in one year).

      I’m opening myself up to available men – who are LOCAL – but can’t seem to shake this guy.

      Needless to say, I’m in weekly therapy.

      Good luck to you,
      Christine

      • grace says:

        Christine
        You can’t shake him because you keep talking to him. There is no mysterious force binding you together, it’s the choice you make to continue this. If you keep this going, you can’t be available for a new relationship. Don’t kid yourself – intimacy isn’t built by omitting to tell the truth about something this important to you. You wouldn’t like it if someone did it to you. If you must continue this pseudo affair at least don’t date other men too.
        amanda
        Don’t wait until you feel “not vulnerable” to reply to him. Many have broken NC in the mistaken belief that, after x weeks/months they can handle it. He is married. And the day you reply to him is the day you say to him:
        “I accept that you are married and I accept my designated role as your mistress/plaything/bit on the side/no-sex friend/text buddy/email pen pal/ whatever suits you at the time”
        Genuine friends are there for you ESPECIALLY when you are vulnerable. You shouldn’t have to gird your loins (or don a chastity belt) just to get in contact with them. There’s your red flag.

      • amanda says:

        Christine,

        I feel you. I was the MM’s “friend” since early November; his marriage was in overt crisis, he ended the sexual/romantic part of our relationship, but said that I was his only friend, and I foolishly thought that I we could smoothly make this transition. It is only in the last couple of months, thanks to BR, that I have been able to see this “friendship” with clearer eyes, and I am finally taking the steps I need to back away. It’s been murky, to say the least. MM isn’t a clear-cut case of an ass-clown, and ever since November, he’s been “good” about no longer asking for sex or romance. But, the friendship has been just as crumb-y. I have often felt like Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”.
        Back when we were lovers, I tried dating other people, much as I have tried since November. The attempts were half-hearted, and I was always secretly pleased when they didn’t work, because, not surprisingly, my fixation on MM was making me emotionally available. I’ve had to work really hard on letting MM go to regain that emotional real-estate.
        It’s taken me a long time to get here, and I am still faltering with NC. Just less and less… and I am finally emotionally available for a real relationship that turns out was within reach this whole time (a good friend).
        You’re on your way. You are identifying the problems. You are seeking help. One day, you wont be able to live with how stuck you feel, and you will do what you need to do to really carve out that space. I know that you will!
        I, admittedly, wrote MM back earlier today. So, I guess that I busted my NC again. But, it doesn’t feel as much of a roller coaster as it has in the past. I know that MM is trying hard to get his life back together since his experiment with so-called “polyamory” went nuclear last November. We’ve both been trying to feel out how to keep the distance. Just trust me on that, although I am not here to prove anything. I may end up 20 paces back from where I was a couple of days ago, when I held off on responding… but that will be one more learning experience. I do feel, more and more, like I am re-engaging with the real world, leaving behind the fantasy world of MM.
        You will get there, too.

    • Teachable says:

      or, given that he’s married, not respond at all. ;)

  65. Confusedd says:

    im 25 days NC with most recent ass, however one from the past has reappeared, asked to start again, i said no, hes asked to be friends as he doesnt want to not have me in his life….do i have a sign on my forehead or something?

    • This sounds exactly like my MM.

      I just received a text from him this morning telling me how blessed and grateful he is to have such a “special frienship” with me.

      Last week, when I suggested we “quit while we’re ahead”, and he asked “are you breaking up with me!?”…I eventually backed down, because he pleaded to keep me in his life. “It’s not about the sex, you’re my best friend and favorite person..” Oh, the words, that keep me hanging on.

      I wish I had your strength.

      • runnergirl says:

        Amanda, Christine, and Confusedd,
        I’m sending you strength. I don’t think I deleted all the exMM’s emails and I can post them. His “I miss you, you are my best friend forever, I’ve never met anyone like you” are standard run of the mill AC crap. I’ll bet my exMM’s “I miss you” emails/texts are word for word what you are experiencing right down to “it’s not about the sex”. Nat’s not wrong. Nat’s never wrong. “Saying “I miss you” or something similar to that effect is also one of the easiest ways to mess with somebody’s head and keep a foothold in their life without staking yourself to something you might be called on later to deliver on. It’s vague and it’s an expression of sadness and regret, but it’s not really saying anything and it’s definitely not a commitment of any sort..” I fell for the words too. Once I started responding with I miss you too so why aren’t we together? His fav text: We belong together. My response: Then why aren’t we? Once MM’s have to deliver they run screaming into the night. I miss you is code for I miss the fantasy we had. Trust me. I miss the fantasy too. I want a real mutual co-piloted relationship based on trust, honesty, and respect. That type of relationship is not very likely with a man who is married to another woman. Topline Data: They are MARRIED. You are an OPTION. Everyone is LYING. It sucks. However, there is an upside. You can be number one if you move on. Yeah, that’s the hard part. Letting go. Today was a hard day for me for some reason.

        • Thanks for sending me strength. I look at these “free”weekends (MM are never available on weekends) for myself to regroup. Trying to to hang on every word he says, and remember, I am SO MUCH STRONGER than this.

          These two days every weekend really help me.

          And you ladies do as well.

          Thanks so much. xo

      • A says:

        “Special friendship”. Right. “Best friend”, “favourite person”….such bull**** from these guys.

        It doesn’t mean a thing if at the end of the day he’s not in an exclusive, committed, loving, respectful relationship with you. If you mean *so* much to him, where is he?

        Cut him off.

    • Teachable says:

      Yes & it says ‘confused’. Kidding! lol ;)

  66. ResearchGirl says:

    Broke it off with my MM/AC of 18 months about 5 weeks ago, after a near breakdown and being diagnosed with situational depression
    Over the affair

    Twice in the last 5 weeks AC asked me to meet for a coffee and I went
    The first time he showed no empathy or concern for the illness but sat petuantly waiting, arms crossed for what he later told me he wanted, an apology for how I ended it (via an angry hurt text exchange after he had disappeared for a week). He followed up that coffee with a text apologising for being an ass and saying he wanted to try again with a different attitude.
    That was yesterday and he arrived at the cafe and I burst into tears the moment he arrived as I was swamped with anxiety just seeing him, and he demanded an immediate answer to “can we be friends”
    What followed was a ridicuosly painful exchange of me saying my health has been compromised and I need time and space to heal
    ExMM proceeded to lecture me that he doesnt think the affair caused the depression and I need to learn to appreciate little things more
    I drove away not looking back

    He followed with a “will miss you ” and kiss emoticon
    As he went home to pack for an overseas family vacation

    Will miss effing with my head more like it

    • runnergirl says:

      Researchgirl,
      I’ve been there too. The exMM would get so angry at me that I thought it must be me who was wrong. You keep driving away and not looking back. The exMM insisted that he would miss me while he was on a 10 day 25th wedding anniversary cruise with his wife and it really was he who would be suffering. Yeah right. He’ll miss effing with your head while he is with his wife and family on vaca.
      I wish I had BR when he trotted off with his wife on their anniversary cruise. I would have been in a different place when he got off the boat. This is a great time for you to focus on you. Get some space, some healing, and some you time. Oh and block him big time. The exMM always missed me the most when he was on vaca with the wife. Mind numbing.

    • Sunshine says:

      Ugh. RG, please never never never never never talk to this guy again.
      He is an UNSAFE person. Toxic and dangerous. Which obviously your body knows.
      Please do not ever ever ever give him a chance to tromp all over your sweet vulnerability again. Our hearts and our love are so precious, please don’t toss your pearls before this cruel and idiotic swine again. Take care of you and let the next man EARN your heart.

  67. Gaman says:

    Can I recommend a theme song??! I have been singing this since last week when the AC got in touch after 19 months absence bar the odd thumbing up on FB. It is highly appropriate for anyone getting sporadic contact from EUM/AC. You can find it on Youtube – Dionne Farris “I Know”. Selected lyrics below:

    I know what you`re doing, yeah,
    I know why you say you love me,
    I know what you`re doing, yeah,
    I know why you care.
    I know what you`re doing, yeah,
    I know why you dialled my number,
    I know what you`re doing, yeah,
    And I don`t think it`s fair.
    I know why you can`t forget me,
    You should know I`ve changed my mind,
    I know what you`re doing
    And it`s not gonna work this time.

    Power up ladies! Illegitemi non-carborundum as my darling Dad used to say! x

    • cc says:

      y’know gaman,
      i never knew what that song meant. THIS is what it means! perfect! thanks!

  68. Diamond1211 says:

    Today is my third attempt to getting out of this affair. Im feeling so heavy inside. Im trying to think back to when i started having feelings and trying to understand what is making me hold on to a situation that I know is not good. How can I have these feeling????!!!

    What started out as straight rejection of him for over 6 months became a fast romance for the next 9 months. I thought I was doing so well keeping my emotions in check. When did i lose it?

    We have stopped contact back in late March then about 3 weeks ago, I called myself sending a “closure” letter and bam, it started back up again. Im not proud of myself of what I’ve become. I never thought I could or would be the “other woman”. I can honestly say that 90% of the reason I hold on is because I feel and believe that No other man has ever treated me the way he does. He seems to give me what I need and want without trying. Even as I type this I know how ridiculous I may sound. I just needed to get this out because I’m losing it. I have this huge conflict inside of me and I feel like Im losing all my good sense and logic and being overwhelmed by my feelings for him. I dont feel I can do this alone. I’m too ashamed to tell someone in my family and just cant believe im in this situation. I’ve tried to keep busy and act like im okay but Im not. How do people share such intimacy and just walk away from it? I guess if he could do it to his wife, the answer is very simple huh?

    Thing is, im sitting here today waiting for him to call and just end it all. We had a wonderful time yesterday and then he didnt call today or last night when I got home. Im actually afraid of experiencing that hurt and pain all over again.

    I know I need to gain control and end it myself. Why do I feel Im the one losing out on something? Since we have been back communicating, I get so so less of his time. Even the phone calls. at first I thought i could let go by just being his friend again and putting this all behind us but somehow, I get so angry or want to see him.

    Even after our great time yesterday, i went home thinking, “now what”. None of what we just did means anything because I have to limit my emtions and needs because I can never have him that way it should be. Im wasting my time and emotions with a man who doesn’t belong to me and Im just stealing him away for…

    • runnergirl says:

      Diamond 2011,
      I couldn’t help responding because I’ve so walked/walking in your shoes. I couldn’t believe I did the optional, blow-up toy, OW gig for 2 years and then when my denial cracked thanks to Nat and BR persisted in breaking my faux NC because he missed me and/or I missed him. I did it too. I thought my emotions were “in check” and wondered where I lost it. Natalie responded and pointed out that I lost it the minute I became involved with a MM. You are not losing your good sense. If I may be so bold to suggest that maybe you are regaining your good sense? That was the conflict I felt when I could no longer be an OW. I felt the same way. No other guy treated me like he did both wonderful and evil. But, and it’s a very giant butt, he is MARRIED. Don’t wait for him to end it. MM’s rarely end it with their mistress and rarely leave their wife because they are perfectly fine…cake, icing, and raspberry filler. It’s the OW who is miserable, although the wife would be too if she knew. Focus on how you feel when he goes dark. It’s usually cos he is with his wife. Remember, he has a wife no matter how much he misses you. In my situation, his wife became a very real person when she put a tail on him, hacked his email, and discovered our affair. Talk about a low point. I was a mistress and she could have gone public. You are NOT losing out on something. I know it feels like it and as I type these words to you, I will reread my own words. I’ve fallen for the “miss you” texts and sent many “miss you” texts. If you can, get Natalie’s Mr. U and the FBG book and her new Dreamer book. You completely articulated what I used to feel after a great time…now what? Err…more of the same. Great time, waiting, darkness, waiting, great time, darkness, waiting…. MM’s have a wife, family, and a life. OW’s are a blow up toy. I’m doing a bit better after a year or so of not being an OW. I’ve had to dig pretty deep to figure out how I would allow myself to be a mistress and then miss him. I wish you the best. At some point, reality dawns and the fantasy fades. OW’s are dreamers. Okay, so I’ll be reading my response to you over and over. What do you miss?

    • Sunshine says:

      See the whole picture…he *isn’t* giving you what you need and want, which is a healthy relationship with love, care, trust, respect, commitment and honestly. None of it means anything anyway because he is MARRIED. You feel like you are losing out on something because he is MARRIED, he has a WIFE, you *are* losing out!
      If you can, let go of your need to understand “why” for a while, and just take action. You know what you know, that it’s not good, take action and sort the needing to understand part out later.
      It may be a good thing to tell someone in your family, to help bring this out into the light. Abuse and insanity breed in isolation.
      Don’t try to be his friend…friends look out for you, care for you, consider your well-being, want to see you have the best in life. This guy is an accomplice, not a friend. He’s more than happy to exploit the situation to get his needs met regardless of the cost to you or his wife.

    • cc says:

      d1211-
      not sure i’m so much help here, but i had a MM relationship for about 6 weeks. it was only that long/short because he told me at the beginning that everything heading for divorce was sorted. so i called him on it and said “so, what are the rules, can you each date?” he said, “dont’ know”. so i said “ask her”. he never did, so i broke it off.

      what happened next, however, is the point. i was so horrified at myself for becoming, as i thought of it, someone’s lollipop, that i went into a depression. a bad one. being in that situation hit on every raw, bruised nerve i ever had. it was terrible for me, so terrible that i am actually proud that the relationship was that short. but now i realize that i didn’t have to get so depressed – that i was missing something that i legitimately needed (it took more crappy near misses with guys who weren’t really available and a real whole relationship (with the EUM) to really teach me this) but it was something i had to give myself. the only way i ever learned to give this to myself (l-o-v-e) was to go through the MM and the EUM relationships.

      so, i’m sorry. but you have to end it with this guy. or just drift away and go NC. it will hurt. but you can do it, and every day you stay with him, it will hurt MORE. you should have a WHOLE man, not 1/2 a man, and not a borrowed man. your own, whole man.

      you can do it. you can put yourself on a path to healing. but you have to DO it. affirmatively. you have to CHOOSE. and then stick with your choice.

    • amanda says:

      I know the feeling well… of getting everything that you could ever dream of from the MM in the moment that is he with you, then having to suffer through the long, undefined periods when he “goes dark” because its back to the wife (and in my case, kids).

      The MM is able to give you everything you want because he knows that there is no risk involved. He can look you right in the eyes, tell you he loves you, move you with passion, make you feel beautiful and wonderful and amazing, because he doesn’t have to be there for you at all other times. At least, this is how it was with my MM. I never had a man look me right in the eyes like he did. I never had a man tell me he loved me, so soon. I never had anyone tell me that they needed me. But, we were on the clock when we were together. After about 75 minute, I would feel his mental compartments shift, as he prepared to go back to work, then home to the wife. And, then I wouldn’t hear from him for days.

      It literally made me crazy. I didn’t know it until I started waking up to the folly of it all.

      MM loved the rush and thrill of giving a woman everything that she could ever dream of, but he could only do that when he knew, in the end of the day, that it was a bunch of malarkey.

      We had a solid e-mail correspondence bewteen our dates (dates which, at first, were every week… and soon trickled to once a season). In those takes, he always used the first-person-plural point of view; “we’re going on vacation next week. we’re tending to our sick son. We’re really into Mad Men these days.” “we we we we we we we” he and the wife. That was his reality.

      Good luck. Keep reading the signs. You will stop torturing yourself soon.

      • Kitka says:

        Amanda, your comment just shook me to my core. I know we all read and re-read these blog entries and all of our collective insights because there is always something that clicks. I fucked it up after 2 weeks of NC and had a dramatic episode yesterday with him.,.that resulted in me telling him NC and blocking him any way I could. But today I wavered because I still struggle with peeling the illusion or forced reality I imposed on him.
        He could play the game and win it (me) like he was playing it loaded with every software cheat he could get his hands on. No risk of losing because he had nothing to lose. And I mirrored it.
        But when I break down the facts and what he truly said through our conversation or his email yesterday….it’s casual at best.
        WTF?!? Then I start reading all of the blog entries I skipped because I didn’t think they applied to me…
        I think I’m struggling with the fact that I let myself buy into this false persona because it was easy, safe, made me feel good, and create this false character. It’s a house of cards and I orchestrated it all.
        Your comments hit home and were a very good reminder of what the foundation of this shitty house of cards is.

        • amanda says:

          Kitka,

          I am so deeply sorry that you are going through this. It feels like the relationship has multiple personalities, right? It is so hard to weather; so hard to know what is truth, what is illusion.

          It’s funny that I shared the comment about how the MM I am recovering from loved to watch Mad Men with his wife. I’m three seasons into the show, and I have to say, it has given me a clinical perspective on what affairs are all about. Don Draper gives the world to his other women with his words, but you can see, in his eyes, that he isn’t really there. He isn’t there for his wife, either. This is because he is deeply scared of himself, and prefers to be lost. Neither the wife nor the other woman has the power to pull him out.

          Anyway, good luck with your situation. I have found that grounding myself in the other elements of my life has been my lifeline out of the confusion; my work, my hobbies, my friends.

  69. Lilly says:

    D1211, I understand everything you are feeling and you are not alone. Don’t sit and wait for him to end it. Why would he? He’s getting everything thing he wants. He is a selfish, greedy, insensitive person and you deserve so much more. He’s not giving you what you need and want. You are confused, miserable and in pain like so many of us. I’ve done the same as you and kept going back with similar results. I also tried the friendship angle, but it DOES NOT work. He isn’t your friend. A good friend would not treat you this way. I know it’s hard but you have to take control. Take strength from all the amazing women here and Nat’s advice. I’m on day 10 of no contact and it’s unbelievably hard. I’m hurting and at times also feel overwhelmed, but I’m determined to go on. I heard from him yesterday and yes, my heart lifted and all of the old feelings came flooding back, but I’m getting real. He represents misery, hurt and pain and I’m NOT going back. Dig deep D – you really have it within you to stop this. You can do it and remember you are not alone and we are all here supporting you. xx

    • D1211, Sunshine, Runnergirl, Lilly – and, Nat –

      I’m a simliar situation as D1211. Thinking “this isn’t me”, “I don’t want to lose my friend”, etc.

      I haven’t heard from MM since a quick one line text Saturday (so, today is day 2 NC), and I’m actually feeling good about myself for backing off.

      But – I know the “I miss you”, “have I done something to offend you?” texts are coming. It’s his usual MO when I back away.

      The thing is – I know when I tell him “this isn’t good for me, I’m ending this – and – NO we can’t be friends”, he’ll respect that and I will never hear from him again.

      This should be what I want – but I don’t. I must be insane, because the CRUMBS he gives me, I cherish. AND we are long distance!!! Really, it’s phone sex and texting with a three hour call once a week.

      Therapy (and these blogs/comments) are helping. I just need that extra PUSH inside myself – the person who believes I am worth more – to show herself.

      It’s so frustrating when I know I am in charge of my happiness when it comes to MM. The only answer is amputation.

      It’s no surprise I’ve been this way since I was 13 – raped, then drugs, then stripping for 10 years.

      I’m 43 now. Time to grow up.

      Whew! Just typing this is helping.

      (((hugs))) to you ladies.

      Thanks for reminding me I am not alone.

      xxoo

      • cc says:

        christine-
        realize that you’re self-protecting in staying with him. that’s what an EU/MM relationship is, you’re minimizing your risk of being hurt (while ironically accepting LOTS of hurt) because you KNOW it can never be more. even though you might keep asking for it to be. its both the EU part of keeping risk at arms length because he’s a MM and the seeking validation part of trying to win him to be all yours.

        you’re not alone. i think we are ready to unleash our inner strength when we are sick of the status quo and when we want something else more than we want to stay where we are. its terrifying to step into a brand new identity, onto uncharted ground. but, again, that ground is a little wobbly, but its better than what you’re standing on now. and if you have faith in it, faith in yourself, it will hold you, it will support you. because you’re holding and supporting you.

        i’m sorry for all those terrible things that happened. but you don’t have to be that girl anymore. when you’re ready, which i think you almost are, you won’t be.

  70. ResearchGirl says:

    Diamond please get out
    He treats you wonderfully when you are together because that is in an isolated bubble
    He can be fake, fantastic, loving etc because it is an act
    He has no responsibility to you and so long as you stroke his ego and everything elee he can be Mr Wonderful for a couple of hours

    It is painful
    It is not real
    It is not love

    Take the lead and end it

    You can do it

  71. Warrior says:

    Ladies, wake up and smell the coffee, Because I did. I know what you are feeling, because I once was in that position, and Im still healing. I am going on 90 days NC and it feels GREAT. There are times that I have illusions of the “FAKE HIM” that I fell for, then I think back of all the things that he put me through. I got involved with EU, little did I know that I was the rebound. He Lied and told me that his last relationship was about a year ago, little did I know that he broke up with his ex a month before he met me. We got involved for 6 months. Six months later, I get a facebook message from a girl and I just broke down crying basically they got back together during my time and he maintained two relationships. aI saw all types of red flags but I really didnt understand them. For example, there were times where he would get mad at me for no reason and I wouldn’t hear from him for 3 days, and of course he was with her. There were times he would say some mean things to me and I never understood. The sex changed, he treated me like i was some type of Hoodrat chick, he would have sex with me and a quick and abrupt manner.. no more oral sex. There was a time where I went into the bathroom and he was wiping his “you know what” with alcohol. That made me cry. There was a time where we got into an argument in the car and he drove to his house I got out and started to walk home. It took me A hour and a half to get home. not one time did this AC call me or get in his car to see where I was. I didnt hear from him until 4 days later. When that girl facebooked me, that was a blessing in disguise, because I was stressing everyday in that relationship. He emotionally drained me. I am still going through the works but Im healing. Time heals all.

  72. Gene says:

    Can men hang here, too? I’m trying to remove a female assclown from my life and it’s hard, really hard. I keep thinking about what Natalie says about if people miss you THAT MUCH, they’ll take care of their business and be with you. I’ve done all of that for her, but she stays in her marriage and offers excuse after excuse as to why we can’t be together, but still loves and misses me. I’m really tired of it. This affair has landed me in the hospital with depression, I’ve been up and down with our constant breakups and reconciliations and it’s all because for this entire time, I’ve refused to be honest with myself about our real prospects. There are none. She won’t leave and has never really intended to leave, although that hasn’t stopped her from blowing smoke up my ass on a regular basis.

    All of the things that signify me getting my act together and moving on like finding other people to hang out with, therapy, getting a new roommate, etc., are a threat to her and she becomes insanely jealous. All the while she is sharing a bed with her husband. When communication goes dark during the day or the evening, I’m left to wonder whether she’s with her husband, sleeping, talking, or ignoring me. It’s my own little private circle of hell.

    Thanks, all, for letting me vent.

    • amanda says:

      Gene, I’m glad you’re here.

      I know what its like to be on the M(M/W) merry go round.

      All I can say is that if it is too hard to directly enforce NC, keep up with rebuilding the rest of your life; your friendships, your hobbies, your work. You will see in time, as I have been seeing, that the return that you get on those investments is much higher than the return that you get with your MW. These returns are quiet, but their effect is lasting. Your mind and body will begin to tune into this, and it will be all the less terrifying to set limits with your MW, and ultimately, break things off with her.

      I remember a friend once giving me some dieting advice; “don’t eat less of the ‘bad things’, eat more of the “good things””. While this doesn’t directly apply, in that you should do all you can to cut down (and terminate) contact with the MW, “up” your intake of everything else. It will make you instantly happier. Believe me.

      This only works, though, if you have faith, and if you can tune in to the quiet return that you get from these healthy investments.

      • amanda says:

        I have also found that when I am actively immersed in my other activities, I am less concerned about what the MM is or isn’t doing. This is quite simply because I am actively living my own life in that moment; exactly as I should be. I’m sorry your MW feels so threatened by you having a life outside of the crumbs she feeds you. Are you able to confront her on the hypocrisy of this all?

    • runnergirl says:

      Hi Gene,
      I think everyone should hang out on BR. So welcome. Natalie’s writing pertains to both genders and every sort of relationship. I’m sorry to hear that you are in an OM situation. I hung out in an OW situation for far too long. (Maybe we should switch to ‘Other Person’.) Based on my experience as a OP and the recipient of probably 1000′s of text/email/phone calls “I miss you/love you” messages, if he missed me that much, he’d be with me. I’m not recommending this but before I blocked him, I’d get the “miss you” message and I’d respond with “why aren’t you with me then?” When I broke NC because he missed me and asked why aren’t you with me, it was cos he’s f**ked up. I haven’t gotten a miss you message in a long while because he knows now what my response will be (and he’s blocked).
      Keep doing the things to get your act together. Of course it’s a threat to her. It means you are moving on and she can’t have her cake and eat it too. Yup, she’s sharing a bed with hubby because she’s MARRIED. It’s what MARRIED people do. It really isn’t your little private circle of hell when she goes dark. It’s the circle of hell of all OP’s. Oh I so know that darkness. It hurts and makes me feel that pain again. It is really dark and painful. The upside is you don’t have to live in that circle of dark hell. I’d like to suggest Natalie’s No Contact Rule ebook for starters and even though the title Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl doesn’t sound like it would apply, I’ll bet it does. I’m certain you will relate. OP’s have a lot in common regardless of their gender. Please let me know if you read it. I’d really appreciate your feedback. In the meantime, keep reading BR. Welcome. NC is PEACE.
      It really does take getting honest with yourself. Natalie’s new Dreamer book really helped me to see that I needed to go on a strict BS diet.

    • Fearless says:

      Gene,
      Welcome. The only way out of this circle of hell is NC – and building your own sense of personal worth. You are worth way better that this kinda crap and mind-effery. Why don’t you think so? When you really believe that, you’ll flush her – and NC will get you there. Good luck.

  73. Jen says:

    This article is so spot on.

    My AC texted me this weekend– first a “hey can I have an update on the dog, and you of course”

    And when I didn’t respond, he sent me a text about the zombie apocalypse, and “wouldn’t I rather have him on my side?”

    No big deal. Honest. He does this every few months or so, something stupid, condescending, what he thinks is funny or will maybe get a reaction… Ugh. It’s been over a year since I asked him to stop talking to me. Repeatedly. He doesn’t do it *enough* for it to be constituted as abuse, yet. And he’s blocked on everything but text messages, which I still just haven’t figured out.

    Usually I just roll my eyes and talk about it to a friend or two. This time was no different. But sometimes it’s just so exhausting and depressing– I know, I’ve known for a long time, that this means NOTHING. Even if he did genuinely learn to love me (he can’t), I don’t want him anymore.

    I just don’t get how some people can justify this in their minds. “Hey, he/she never replies, he/she told me not to contact her, but I’ll do it anyway…”

    Get and effing clue and go away.

    • Allison says:

      Jen,

      Have you considered a new number?

      • Jen says:

        Definitely… but I’m stupidly attached to my number. It’s easy to remember, cute, and just… I’ve had it since high school.

        I also kind of feel like I don’t want to give him the power to change my beloved number. I know, I know, this attachment is foolish.

  74. EX EUM Lover says:

    Boy, this post hit close to home. My ex EUM has pursued me for 5 years off and on and he was married for those 5 years! He was always saying how much he missed me, but never getting a divorce. Instead he cheated and drank and spent as little time as possible at home. He finally left his wife in December 2012 and I began dating him soon after thinking maybe he had changed and grown up. BIG mistake. He did change, but for the worse, drinking daily, neglecting his job, blowing hot and cold, not making nay time for me on the weekends, etc. He did make an effort to be with me, but was future faking and when things came down to it, he began back tracking. I took that as a major red flag, and was smart enough to bail out immediately. He contacted me once more saying he would help me with something and I blew him off. Then no contact for 3 weeks and suddenly he begins poking around on my friends FB site liking her comments, which he has never done in the past. I guess trying to get a reaction out of me. So, I promptly deleted him from FB and had my friend do the same. Now he pranks my house from time to time. Pretty sad behavior for a 42 year old man and I realize I was crazy to take him back, but am glad I was wise enough to run after only 4 months.

    And ladies, NC is the only way. I had to do that with him years ago when he was married and heavily pursuing me. He used to stalk me at my job, not in malicious way, but stalking is stalking and he would not let me go. He couldn’t commit to being with me and couldn’t commit to being without me. But, I pressed on and he eventually went away for 2 years.

    Oh yea, and also, once a cheater, always a cheater. He had been in therapy for 4 years and I thought maybe he had changed, but when he found out his brother got busted cheating on his wife, his response was, well, she is 300 pounds and in a wheelchair.

    So that makes it Ok to cheat? Riiiight, guess he hasn’t learned much in therapy. It figures because it turns out both his grandfather and Dad were big time cheaters so I guess nobody in his family can keep it in their pants.

    FLUSH!!

  75. D says:

    Two months ago, I was dumped completely out of the blue by someone who I was falling in love with. We were dating under very stressful conditions (work related), but the light was at the end of the tunnel. Apparently, however, “Something” was missing, and since he thinks that the “something” feeling is a fundamental of a relationship (although he has never felt whatever he thinks is missing…), he had to end it so that he wasn’t lying to me anymore about where he thought that it was going… We have been back and forth over the last couple months, getting together every couple of weeks to talk about where we are and why this is all so stupid because the stress that was making things really hard is gone now, and we have to most amazing chemistry. I have never felt this way. He told me that he needed time to figure out why he was keeping us at arms length, and that he knew we were great, but the timing was off.. blah blah blah.. we beat the horse dead. But then he would text and show up at my office – in his head we were still best friends, in my heart, I was fighting a constant battle of over analyzing every message/look/visit. He had the upper hand while I sat and waited…. I have never done that before but I couldn’t shake it.
    Last night, I went over and told him that we cannot be in contact anymore. It’s not helping me move on, and he’s clearly not decided that we’re worth fighting for anymore. He wasn’t happy, but he understood. After hours of talking and crying, we had a huge blow out and I ended up leaving on a very bad note. Basically, I yelled at him and walked out without saying goodbye.

    I am not ready to let go.. but I realize that I have to. I don’t even know how to focus. I lost my best friend and my boyfriend, and he’s just so scared of commiting and getting hurt again… I need to get passed this… I’ve resolved myself to no contact…… but it’s so hard to just sit here knowing how last night ended. I’m heartbroken.. again.

    I just found this website… and this article… and it made me realize that I’m not the only one that this has happened to…

    Anyone have any advice?

    • yoghurt says:

      First of all, well done and hugs, because that sounds really difficult and yet you’ve done the right and the sensible thing.

      There’s a recent post on the BR facebook page that says “Sometimes the first time you realise that you love yourself, is when you opt out of an unhealthy situation which although you hurt, it’s not as much as you would have hurt if you’d continued.” That’s what you’ve done, I think.

      I’ve come across this ‘something missing’ thing before – the EUM used it on me and I used to think that it was a reflection on ME – if I twisted myself around enough and/or said the magical ‘right thing’ then he’d see the light.

      Actually, it was a reflection on HIM – he was in the sort of state where NOBODY would’ve made him feel that spark. And when that changed then he realised that he didn’t want someone who’d twist themselves up for somebody else, because it isn’t a particularly healthy way to go.

      I know that it must be difficult because the ending feels so unresolved, but to be honest, any ending would feel unresolved because he isn’t going to give you what you want or a comprehensible explanation for not doing so. But the alternative to an unresolved ending is for it to drag out indefinitely and screw you up whilst he dithers about, wanting you in his back pocket and an unfulfilling situation just on the offchance that he’ll magically start feeling the right way (which he won’t while he’s having his cake and eating it anyway).

      It was the right decision, and the longer that you stick to NC then the clearer that’ll become. Good luck!

      • D says:

        Thank you for your advice and sharing your similar experience.

        I think that you’re right about the unresolved ending; I don’t know why I thought that I would leave there feeling whole. I guess I believed that he would give me some answers when I was there….

        I was in a relationship for 5 years (he cheated and I left immediately – it was not worth it to me to go throughout that) and did not mourn it this badly. I was so strong, and now, I have been reduced to nothing by someone that I thought I could potentially be with forever. Its just really hard to feel this weak. I know, however, that I needed to do this to move on, and to get myself back to the strong, confident woman that I used to be.

        I spent a few hours on BR yesterday reading article, printing them and putting them in my journal as reminders. Reading all these comments is also helpful, albeit painful because it hurts to know that you’re all right…

      • tired_of_assanova says:

        Something is missing alright – his heart, his emotions!

    • yoghurt says:

      Incidentally – these feelings of his popped up just as the stressful situation at work was ending and he’d actually have to commit to you properly and publicly… coincidence? I think not.

      Keep reading x

      • d says:

        The situation kept stretching out, actually, and we didn’t know when exactly it was going to end.. The light had been at the end of the tunnel for a long long time (so we thought) but it seemed as if we were never reaching it… sigh

    • grace says:

      Tough out NC.
      There’s no perfect way to break up with someone, to keep going back and going back and going back doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse.
      And – this is controversial – your best friends should be female, or your brothers. I just don’t think we should be depending THAT MUCH on any one person.
      And the irony is – those who cry that they don’t want to get hurt end up causing the MOST hurt. They’re so afraid and so sorry for themselves, they can’t give. I know, I WAS one of those people. Just because they’re bleating and wailing it doesn’t mean they love you. Don’t get it mixed up.
      NC all the way.

    • Ex EUM Lover says:

      .Keep up NC. It’s the only way to move on. Trust me. I have been on and off in this situation for 5 years and the only time I moved on in life was when I cut him cold turkey. And I just did it again am moving on and dating again. It’s actually very empowering once you do it.

      I headed into this relationship with a healthy level of self esteem which is why I only wasted 4 months on this guy. He finally left his wife and I thought he had changed, but it is impossible to date someone who is in this situation. I saw the red flags and cut him quickly.

      So, I say take time for yourself and work on your self esteem. You can’t find happiness with anyone else until you find happiness within yourself. And when your self esteem is in tact, you will see these red flags quickly and not waste much time on the EUM in the future.

      Good luck!

    • Fearless says:

      D,
      I totally agree with Yoghurt that any ending with these kind of people leaves things unresolved and very frustrating because they are slippery, contradictory and riddled with ambivalence and ambiguity both IN the relationship AND when we try to get out of it, end it, or get some definitive ‘answer’ from them one way or another. There’s no such thing as a straight answer from these men; they never, ever (ever!) confirm to you that they are /will be/want to be either “in” or “out”. Truth is that they want one foot in and one foot out. Always. So as long as we hang around (be it for ten days or for ten years), we remain, in perpetuity, nothing more than an option for him. Our option status is permanent, unless we opt out. hard as it is, you’re doing not only the right thing with NC – you are doing the only thing that will ensure you do not remain an option for this flip-flapper one minute longer. NC will hurt for a while but to stay in this ‘no-thing’ with this man will be soul destroying. Btw, scrub him off your friend list too – he’s not really your friend. being “friends” with him is juts a demotion – before you know it you’re friends who have sex sometimes – at his convenience.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Hello D,

      I was put into a similar position where I upgraded what I thought was a good friend to a relationship. Wow! DOUBLE GRIEF PEOPLE! The guy was an AC, and when he lost interest the instant we slept together, tried to default back to being just friends (with ‘cuddle benefits on the side’), it was the BIGGEST MINDF*CK ever!

      It will take a while – 3 months of the sex break, 9 months to descrew my mind and total blanket dating ban, 17 psychological sessions over a year, high daily doses of BR, NCR and NC Mail, forcing myself to go out every weekend, 12 months to full recovery for me.

  76. runnergirl says:

    D, I have some advice but it’s not what you want to hear. You def aren’t the only one who has lost their best friend and/or their BF. It’s how it goes when you hook up with commitment resistant folks. It may be amazing chem-wise but if he is holding you at arms length, that’s a clue. You are correct, NC is the only way out for you, despite his Miss You moments. Always remember, there is no reason for the Miss You texts or messages. He could be with you if he wanted to. So now it’s up to you. It sucks, trust me, I know. This website is amazing and the folks who post here are down right brilliant. Stick with it and read everything you can on this blog. While I was sitting and waiting after a giant blow out, I downloaded Natalie’s books. After reading Nat’s books, doing a ton of work, and reading BR three times a day, I’m no longer sitting and waiting! And I could care less if he “misses me”. Letting go of this one was the toughest ever. I’m still struggling. Fortunately, I’m only struggling with myself now. He’s flushed. He’s a two time flusher. Get Natalie’s books. It’s a great start.

    • D says:

      Our relationship was just so different from anything else I’ve experienced, and I have never fallen in love with someone so quickly like that….. and then been so BLINDSIDED. ugh…

      Due to the complications with work , there are very few people in my life that know about us, so I have to act like everything in my life is normal, while I am dying on the inside. I had to hide my happiness throughout, and hide my pain for the last 2 months. It’s been miserable, and now it has to change.

      I’m going to see if I can find Natalie’s books here in town, and if not, I will order from Amazon. It makes me feel so much better to know that I’m not alone, but it also stabs pretty hard to read through all this and realize that I have to accept things as they are.

      • Tea Cozy says:

        D, it is extra-painful to have to put on a false front. I once had a former co-worker / ex who was all palsy-walsy with some of my co-workers drop into our offices unannounced. We’d just recently broken up. Seeing him was like a gut-punch: I crawled under my desk and hid, and then ran to the stairwell and sobbed. Because we’d kept our relationship a secret, I couldn’t even let my friends know what was up. They probably just thought I was bonkers.

        You mention falling hard and fast for this guy. In my experience, the few times I’ve had that happen, it turns out there was some unhealthy dynamic at play. In two cases, the guys had major Mom-issues (childhood neglect and abuse), and their issues “hooked” into my own. It was like some sort of psycho-sexual drama we were using each other to re-inact. The point being, it takes *time* to really get to know someone, and to find out what they have to offer, and if we are good together. I’m now watchful for too-quick too-strong feelings — they signal to me that something might be up.

        This goes against all the romance-novel plots, but I think a quiet, calm, steady courtship is much better.

        Anyway, that was a digression, but just now that many of us have been blindsided when our feelings don’t match what the other person has on offer. Going NC will help you get all your difficult feelings sorted, and very importantly, will protect you from any new pain. Hang in there.

      • Fearless says:

        D,
        you can download Nat’s books from this site – BR.

        “Reading all these comments is also helpful, albeit painful because it hurts to know that you’re all right…”

        I know ((hugs)). When I first found BR I hated that everyone was so effing right! I felt desolate/confused/furious/lost in space! Because Natalie’s blog laid out my whole relationshit (which was on and off for ten years) in its every miserable detail right before my eyes, page after page after page as if Nat had been following me around for years taking copious notes!
        It took months for me to allow the reality to sink in; it was very painful – but I already knew I needed help, which was why I found myself here. It seems silly to say that one woman’s blog on an internet site woke me up to myself, changed my whole view of myself (ongoing!), my relationship behaviour (ongoing!) and the way I see my life and what I do with it (ongoing!), but it has – Natalie has (and her wonderful commentators). Keep reading and posting. It’ll get better. Take care.

  77. christy_jayne says:

    I understand that I miss the guy in the mask. The guy that never existed. After being educated, I feel that the guy I still live with, because I can’t afford 2 leave now (probably all part of his design), still has a hold on me, but I am trying to go. After educating, I really feel that ‘No Contact’ won’t be a problem, but I know that he is on a date tonight and I can’t stand it. People have tried to go on dates with me and I can’t deal with it. I’m sorry for him because he’s a narc, but a part of me still wishes that I could be as uncaring as him so that I could move on…

  78. Anne says:

    I am struggling to end my relationship of almost four years. He’s faithful and has many qualities, but we keep going round in circles. I want to get married. He doesn’t, then I articulate that my time is not for wasting anymore. He tells me how much he loves me and misses me and of course we will get married. I get relieved and happy, and then he takes no action to progress this. I start to pull back and argue and he says no wonder he’s reluctant because we keep arguing about this. I explained recently I will not argue anymore, and reasonable stated my case once again. I get so confused with the mixed messages. He tells me he misses me all the time. I tell him that he doesn’t need to miss me. We can get married and share our lives (I am 49, he is 61). We’re not teenagers. We both have grown children. I really don’t think he wants to marry ME. It’s affecting my self esteem. We had a wonderful holiday together recently. We’re very compatible, and he’s a really decent guy. BUT …. This weekend, after we’d agreed to progress our relationship, I asked ‘so are we getting married then ? AFTER we had agreed we would. His response ?

    I THINK SO ! This is cruel to me and I told him this. I think he genuinely cares for me, but does not really want the deep close intimacy beyond a couple of times a week. He would love me to spend whole weekends with him, but I keep my boundaries and only see him once a week. Help me figure this out !!

    • bikergirl says:

      Anne,
      I am hurting for you. I know how hard it is to have to let go of the dream…you are right he does not want to truly commit….but what do you want? That is more important? And realize that no matter his motives, he is not treating you with love and respect.

  79. bikergirl says:

    Thanks for this once again….I just had break-up number 2 in 3 weeks time with someone who was trotting out this line till the end. Of course he also said he was breaking up b/c he could not handle the long distance (i have been moved west for 2 months), wanted to be back with his ex wife and kids, and had too much stress in his life and I was just too low on the priority list and another rock in his rucksack. Later I found out he has been calling another woman in town for hours late at night since less than a month after I moved, all the while telling me how darn much he loved me. GAHHHH!! Once a cheater always a cheater….I just hope his ex can see through him too. I am struggling hard to get over feeling like a royal fool. He misses his easy sex, ego stroke, and shoulder to cry on. He does not miss acting like a grown up mature man.

    • Anne says:

      Hi thanks so much for responding. I really appreciate that.

      I just felt ‘done’. Underneath everything it’s clear that his indecision was affecting me as a person just far too much. It resulted in me not trusting him. Not trusting him to have my back, when I need someone to support me all the way. And also trusting him not to ‘change his mind’. Relationships should weather argument and dissent with the right approach, love and compassion.

      The fundamental structure was too fragile. When you cannot have trust, there is nothing there. That is my stance.

      There is no ‘I miss you’ that can make me change my mind. Even if he turned up with a diamond ring tomorrow. His response me my ‘I am done’ is still ‘ we can live together ‘ (translate: lemme try you out).

      Umm…. No Thanks.

  80. angel says:

    Reading these comments has just brought everything home to me and how I have wasted the last year believing the ‘I miss you’ texts. Me and my ex broke up just over a year ago. From April last year through to January we carried on having sex, I was his friend, he missed me, he wanted us to be able to talk on the phone, to tell me his problems etc etc. Because I loved him still I thought this was the way to get him to want to be in a relationship with me again – wish I had found this site then. So I let him feed me all the BS and use me when he needed a friend or sex. In January I we got pregnant. Apparently he didn’t miss me as much anymore. He totally withdrew and two months later he found himself a new gf and from what I gather they have pretty much moved in together after a few months of dating. Me and the baby are of no interest to him anymore, funny that how back in January he started to cry on the phone saying he was going to MISS ME when I suggested maybe we should try and go our seperate ways and move on. It is heartbreaking when you have let someone carry on being part of your life without committing only to have them turn around and dump you when you are of no use to them no more.

    Ps realise the above sounds a bit like a Jerry Springer drama, lol. We are both in our late 30 and well educated so there you go….

    • yoghurt says:

      angel:

      Doesn’t sound remotely Jerry Springer to me, it’s very similar to what happened to me – I remember thinking “Why, when I am being SO nice and SO calm – at the expense of my stomach lining – does this all feel like an episode of Jeremy Kyle?”

      I’m reading that you’re pregnant now? I have to say that this blog probably saved my life when I was pregnant and kept my head on my shoulders (just about) so keep reading and posting if you need – people on here are lovely :)

      It sounds as though you’ve got your head screwed on about it but ((((hugs)))) anyway – it isn’t an easy path to take. Don’t for heaven’s sake take anything that he’s done as a reflection on you – it’s a reflection on the sort of flip-flapping, childish, self-centred manchild that he is.

  81. Heather says:

    How about this for the ultimate “I miss you” of a mindf*ck…
    I get a text at 4am from a guy I was seeing that read
    “Through it all you were one of the best girlfriends I’ve ever had. I hope you find what you deserve.”
    I was flabbergasted…I wasn’t his girlfriend…in fact that was the problem! He wanted a casual relationship between me and some other girl so I opted out and cut contact. What is this mind effery?! Anyone care to explain? I’m beyond confused.
    I even feel guilty for not responding!

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