When your interest isn’t reciprocated or a relationship ends, how much it hurts and whether you feel broken as a person is very much tied to how much you’re persecuting you while pumping up the other party. It’s totally understandable to consider someone who you love or care about to be special, as in you feel differently about this person than you do to everyone else and it’s in a good, healthy way, but there’s love and care and then there’s idolising, glorification and the attendant devaluing of the self that goes along with it. They’re ‘special’ for all of the wrong reasons.

It may come as a shocker to you but… they’re only human. Stop attending daily rejection service at the Church of My Loved One’s Ego.

Feeling bruised for a little while after the breakup or non-reciprocation is one thing but consistently persecuting and beating you up over where you’ve ‘failed’ while making them out to be The Most Important and Special Person In The Universe will gradually cripple your self-esteem and distort your perspective.

Say it with me: they’re just not that special that it warrants you decimating your sense of self along with your zest for life. The fact that your relationship has ended or your feelings weren’t reciprocated doesn’t mean that all hopes and plans that you had for you are done.

Taking this relationship or experience and judging it as being a formal and permanent declaration and prediction of what your future will be is very fatalist thinking.

Your involvement represents a period of time in your life and the things you’re very focused on represent moments of time or a series of moments of time but they’re not all that there is and will be. You’re not only giving over all of your power to this person and but you’re in essence saying, “Go on with your messiah-like self. I’m less of a person with or without you and you’re more of a person with or without me.”

This is really about a breakup between the two you’s – the you that you don’t like and the you that you thought you’d be.

You might be glorifying the hell out of them because when you acknowledge what actually happened or how you truly felt or who they really were, you feel guilty for thinking ‘bad things’ (too much people pleasing going on there) and/or you see acknowledgement of the truth as some sort of ‘failing’ on your part. You can’t win with you.


It’s not about glorifying yourself and then ‘villainising’ the other party but the truth is, if you truly love this person then you have to honour what you had and those feelings by keeping it real… even if by recognising the truth and coming back to earth, you also have to acknowledge and accept some uncomfortable truths. Bullshit – even ‘well intentioned’ BS – isn’t love.

They’re just a human and they are flawed like every single person on the planet. They might be ‘perfect’ to you because you love them but if your reason for seeing them as perfect is linked to your sense of inadequacy, it’s not love – it’s need because this person is seen as vital due to how little you are giving to you.

As long as you’re bullshitting the hell out of yourself, you’re not in love with and missing this person – you’re in love with and missing memories (probably exaggerated ones using a low self-esteem filter in your imagination), you’re missing the illusions or you’re missing and in love with the possibility of potential (yours or theirs).

Sure, you can keep ‘pumping them up’ but it’s an unhealthy distraction which paves the way to self-destruction. What are you really avoiding? What do you get to keep telling you that keeps you in an uncomfortable comfort zone? Why are you giving you the beat down over this person? That’s not love; it’s pain.

You’re not doing justice to either you or this person.

Stop the glorification of people, especially based on superficial reasons, assumptions or envy. It’s inverted ego issues and you’re actually making a narcissist out of this person in your own mind and attitude. Bad enough to deal with a narcissist but this pedestal building is delusions of grandeur about this person. They’re just another human! Even an actual narcissist is only a big fish in their own harem pond!

You may be glorifying this person because they appear to be, do or have something that you want but don’t make the mistake of mixing up envy with love.

It’s also best to dodge the trap of believing that if you’d possessed this person then you would have acquired whatever you envy or would have seen a rise in value due to association. This is unhealthy – we’re people not commodities. Once you start to appreciate who you are instead of engaging in very unhealthy comparison, you can address how to evolve you and your life into something that makes you happier off your own steam.

And you know, there are people out there who are greatly admired and loved but we live in a time where you don’t even have to be particularly talented, skilled, doing great deeds, or even a very nice person in order for that to happen. Unless you’re greatly admiring, loving and revering somebody for who they actually are and it’s truly notable, it’s just worshipping a false idol. Being given the time of day by a person, being in a relationship, them being ‘popular’, ‘beautiful’, ‘intelligent’ etc isn’t a justifiable reason for all of the idolising and ultimately, unless you intend to only ever admire and ‘love’ someone from afar, in order for a mutual relationship that leaves your self-esteem intact to happen, the pedestal has to come down and fast.

When you put somebody on a pedestal, the only place for you is beneath them.

You might feel that it will hurt more to come back to reality but when you stop exchanging your worth with the worship of this person, the hurt and sense of rejection will begin to recede and that self-compassion that results will gradually help your self-esteem to recover.

We all want to matter and that’s human nature but if you wouldn’t expect or be comfortable with someone exaggerating the hell out of you while devaluing themselves, you definitely shouldn’t be doing this to you. Do for you what you expect from others and you’ll have self-esteem and one day this person will matter for different reasons – this experience can pave the way to a better relationship with you and with others that will need no glorification.

Your thoughts?

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207 Responses to Is it love? Or is it glorification? Stop pumping them up & take down that pedestal!

  1. Mymble says:

    I love this post – a lot of food for thought and interesting ideas to ponder. I did so much of this with the MM, totally put him on a pedestal at my own expense. I NEVER want to repeat that experience, I must learn to take care of myself and those who need and deserve my care. I will reread a few times.

    • Mandy says:

      I did too – with my past two guys. I can’t do that again! It doesn’t start out that way but it totally morphs into it. Ugh!

    • Jules says:

      Mymble I actually gasped when reading your comment because that is exactly my situation. I was involved with a married man and even though it ended 8 months ago, I’m still hurting. It’s like my head knows the reality of it all but my heart still hurts. I was so convinced we were in love until he just slowly pulled away. Now we have occasional contact initiated by me. I want so badly for him to reciprocate my feelings but I have put him on such a pedestal. I wish I could wake up out of this nightmare. How did you do it?

  2. Claudia says:

    Fantastic post

  3. n says:

    I have done the ” putting on pedestal” many times. Never ever is ended up well for me.

  4. ellejae says:

    Nat – You are ALWAYS in my head & my “divine intervention”. I was ABOUT to start to write an email today to my Ex-EUM who I have had no contact for 2 yrs AND took 3 yrs of my life to get over him (b/c his misery crept in my soul & took over me & I had to rise above & I got out – finally). He broke my heart when he abruptly ended it (after 5 yrs) over he was having a mid-life un-happy crisis!!(I didn’t write b/c I got busy working)& Wha-La I see this Post – WOW!!!
    I am a person who loves to help people & I was about to write my EUM an Article on “Un-happiness” – it’s like I sometimes have this over-whelming feeling if I could crack his hard head of Misery, he would be a much better person. I guess b/c I’m a stronger person who can escape & see/feel the difference – I wish he could do the same!!! Not that I think it’s my responsibility to try to make him “come to his senses”. His only 2 faults as a b/f – he was MISERABLE & wouldn’t/couldn’t open up to “True Love & Emotions” (even though when he moved while we were dating he was the 1 who cried cuz he was going to miss me) – things like that REALLY confuses the hell out of me!!!!
    As he always said “how can I love if I hate myself” BUT, the oxy-moron is he was ALOT of FUN & a decent good guy…. I guess I can always see the “good” things in people & yes I care…. & wished & hoped he could learn to change his life around for a happier life (even if I wasn’t included in it!!!!)— “IF ONLY” is the magic word!!!

  5. XFBwoman says:

    You pretty much pegged me with this one, Nat. Very good, thanks.

  6. Claudine says:

    These posts have helped me so much in the last week. It is difficult to deal with non-reciprocated feelings. I had lost my sense of self and violated my own boundries in wanting someone unavailable. It was like 3 months of amnesia, forgetting myself for “potential”. I now look at myself and my own unavailable-ness. I miss what I thought we had, but try to remember that it was just an experience on my journey, and that it’s an opportunity to grow and learn. I can’t say that I won’t ever make the same mistakes again, but with the newfound awareness that your posts have given me, I can make my next relationship better. Thank you.

    • meandthebump says:

      Claudine, your comments resonate with me – I was very much betting on potential with my ex-EUM, but that potential was never fulfilled, and it’s hard when I look back, to remember what the relationship was actually like not what my betting on potential tried to make it be. I like your words about remembering it’s just an experience on my journey. I hope to be thinking like that increasingly with each new day of healing

    • Mandy says:

      Ditto! You are never alone in that. I’ve been in the same boat. I hope I reached my “a-ha!” moment today and stop perpetuating the cycle here. For once I set boundaries realizing we weren’t on the same page, and then I had a relapse. Time to stick to my guns and not put up with less than what I’m looking for because of potential that isn’t actually being realized.

  7. Mary says:

    Great post!

    Broke an engagement 2 to 3 months ago. He forgot to tell me he’d been married and divorced FOUR times- and every woman he was married to was the one who initiated the divorce! Feel like I dodged a bullet but devastated he lied like he did.

    I will never understand the lying. Never!

  8. Revolution says:

    “Stop attending daily rejection service at the Church of My Loved One’s Ego.”

    I did some serious rosaries at that fucking church.

    • Jule says:

      yeah I hear ya. I had to defect!

    • Sassorama says:

      I know! I dated someone briefly and I am still not over it. I keep thinking of one convo where I did not bring my best self and then he faded out. I run it over and over like a large bludgeoning stick. But when I think about him, he was not some great guy, I hooked to his attention, kisses

    • Sassorama says:

      Yep, bludgeoning myself over a short dating interaction for longer than it lasted. Over one convo where I was “needy. I was “needy” because our plans always needed some sort of potential cancellation option. Then he checked out. He was no great guy. Just a guy. No reason for a month and a half of self imposed suffering and judgement.

      • Hannah says:

        Im in the same predicament! The guy wasn’t so special…but Im still suffering with accepting the disappointment. It’s so nice to have attention and the space to give/receive care/love… why did it have to go away? Im so frustrated that he just vanished when it was just starting? Does everyone “get” / “give” love in life? Or will this be the only thing I ever experience with men (at 30-yes, it is the only thing so far-why keep at it when it’s hurtful but also without sufficient explanation besides “he obviously wasn’t that interested”).

    • Nancyw says:


      Too funny!!

    • Mandy says:

      HA! That made me laugh out loud. Me too!

    • dancingqueen says:

      I am an atheist and I never go to that church anymore;)

      Okay for my input: great post. I am sure that there is nary a soul who cannot relate to having done this at some point…

      “but if you wouldn’t expect or be comfortable with someone exaggerating the hell out of you while devaluing themselves, you definitely shouldn’t be doing this to you.”

      You know what is funny; I think that that indeed is the sign of true health; if someone were to pump you up and you liked it, you would be a bit narc, insecure or odd. I think though, that many MANY people nowadays, are one of those three things. It is gaggingly common to feel like people are making me their “audience” if that makes sense. I almost feel like it is more abnormal, to have your ego in check, than normal.

      I really feel like I have mine in check. I just want to meet someone else who does too…

    • Lois Lane says:

      No doubt! I think there is a kneeler named after me.

  9. DramaFreeIsTheWayToBE says:

    This one is timely. I am getting my feet wet in the dating scene again, and have been beating myself up about how I was seeing someone who spent 6 weeks being really attentive, planning time to see me and including me in his life to now being SOOOOOO busy that all he can talk about is how work is so busy, he is so tired, his car broke down – the list continues and for the past 3 weeks not a ‘how was your day’ and now he is SOOOOO busy next week there was no mention of meeting even when I asked if he wanted to meet later this week. The good news – I am going to run a mile as being so far down someone’s list of priorities and being the one that is always pumping their ego is NOT fun or good for my mental health. The bad news – I did spend a good week beating myself up for not being good enough to warrant his attention, and telling myself that there must be something wrong with me for him to back off so quickly. I suppose at least I only wasted 2.5 months and am starting to see the red flags and slowly learn it’s nothing to do with me – it’s just yet another self absorbed EUM I’ve happened upon!!

    • EUM-R says:

      Hi Drama Free,

      I havent started dating yet (actually never really dated because i got married so young), but from what i’ve been reading here, 6 weeks is not that long and seems about right amount of time to let a person unfold. So really you did good to notice hot cold and opt out.

      There are some really good articles here about rejection and how people reject for their own reasons and not so much to do with you. Just like when you have to “flush” some people out of your life, you do the flushing for your own reasons/boundries.

      good luck, and please take my reply with a grain of salt because I am clueless about dating but i got insight from your post as to how it goes.

    • Tracy says:

      Dramafree: that’s exactly how my last relationship played out. He was so busy at the end…like he was the only one in the world who was raising a child alone, working a full-time job, dealing with a difficult ex. Lame excuses for breaking dates, trying to break one once when I was on the train going to see him!

      Yet I got so incredibly depressed when he dumped me. So bad that I had to go back on meds, the first time in years. At first I thought, “What’s so wrong with me? Two weeks ago this guy thought I was the greatest thing ever?” I played and replayed every interaction, every email and phone call during the dumping…blaming myself for not being understanding enough.

      what. ev. uh. Fact is, once the mood stabilized, I realized this guy was kind of a douche. Childish, as he tried to break up via email and text. Selfish, as he never made many attempts to visit me on my end and would never call or text to make sure I made it home ok. Etc…

      It’s amazing to me how many people just refuse to engage in basic civilized behavior and yet they expect others to do so towards them.

  10. meandthebump says:

    I look forward to the time when, as you say, the person (the EUM ex) will matter to me for very different reasons…. when I’ve truly moved on and can find the good in this whole painful experience and breakup.

    I feel like I have ‘hurt puppy’ syndrome – that the cruelty of my EUM ex makes me try harder to show how nice I am, how I forgive him and can overlook his bad treatment of me… [wags tail manically]. The more I read on this site, the more it helps me be aware of the illusion I am creating and the pedestal I’m putting him on, that he doesn’t deserve, and that partly preventing me from letting go of someone who, by his actions not matching his words, clearly does not have anyone but his own interests at heart

    • Chrysalis says:

      Oh you and me too, meandthebump. I must have wagged my little tail off trying to show him I was the bigger, forgiving person. But deep inside I knew I was devaluing myself and it did not feel good. I’m slowly learning to be polite but not feeling that I have to be full of the joys of spring when me meet. Cool detachment all the way…. It puzzles me greatly, why of why do we try so hard to overlook crap treatment?

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Because we’ve been fed the B.S. that a woman should always be a lady, and other coddling crap.

    • Nancyw says:

      Wow…I know…the worse he treats me, the more I try. And every crumb he gives me, my tail wags too! I need to get my tail cropped!

      • Hannah says:

        Oh no! Please don’t! Shake a stick at that loser! Im saying this to you to help myself. It’s his loss. Let’s fight the “Im not good enoughs” together

  11. Nj P says:

    I did this with my last serious crush…lol…..until I remembered that
    “ain’t nobody got time for that…”


    Great spot on post…..

  12. Stephanie says:

    This post hit the nail right on the head. Like a lot of the people that read this blog I am guilty of pumping up someone and idolising them. I thought being in a relationship with him would make ME look good. When he disappeared I immediately blamed myself, lost my self esteem and didn’t know what to do with myself. It was very painful, However, I’ve learnt a lot about me and I now have better friendships and relationships with people in my life that actually matter.

    • DramaFreeIsTheWayToBE says:

      Hell yeah, Stephanie. I didn’t necessarily think he made me look good, but I did the whole blame, lack of self worth, I wasn’t ‘good’ enough for him thing. I am SO glad I just spent a week letting myself slip into a funk, but now I’m back on track, planning fun things with good friends who will always make time for me and support me – and I am DETERMINED to have a great, fun, drama free summer!

    • Mandy says:

      Stephanie – I have been doing the EXACT same thing. Thinking if I am with this type of guy that every girl wants and every man wants to be that I, in turn, look really special and spectacular – unattainable! So not healthy. Must stop this thinking!

  13. NK says:

    Yes pedestals are dangerous!
    Today I had some clarity with my counsellor. Whenever I have an interaction with someone who I’m investing with or have a bond, if I feel like they are not seeing me as important or I’m not listened to It can trigger this reaction within me hat causes huge anxiety and impatience. It always happens with blokes and happens often with freinds or family or sometimes work. When I get I this anxious way it starts to affect everything g I’m doing including work. I get fearful and push that person away or I get impatient and wanna take control of the situation. Like breaking it off with a guy before the issues has been resolved or panned out. My counsellor asked me if I’ve felt non important in the past and my immediate reaction was when I was in care and lived with my dad. Pretty deep wounds there…

    • Tracy says:

      Holy crap, NK,I think you’ve solved all my issues! I do the exact same thing in relationships. I get this high anxiety level which I think I mistake for ‘luv’, but you are so right; I somehow know, deep down, that I am not being treated right. When I look at all my relationships where this happened I WAS being treated like shit, yet I thought that by this jerk ‘wanting’ me, I should count my blessings somehow. Wow. I should give you my insurance co-pay!

      • NK says:

        No worries ! Glad it helped. I am now havin to put a post it note on my head to remind me because my brain so easily forgets ! Getti g past this is the next step a y guidance is much appreciated

  14. Finally Free says:

    I have been reading this site for 2 yrs while dealing with an EUM off and on for 8. Everything posted here is the truth. I remember a post Natalie wrote about “the fire still burns” and now I’m finally at that point where I can relate to her post about “no I’m not that woman…” I put my daughter’s father (the EUM) not on a pedestal but in top of the damn world. All the while because I had self esteem issues. No matter how much I read this site and knew it was true for 2 whole years i just wasn’t ready to be done with the pain I was putting my self through. Remember people (men, women, friends, family etc) can only do what we allow them to do. It wasnt until this past weekend I realized how drama free my life is when he is not around. When I’m not involved with him I don’t have that empty feeling inside. He doesn’t add value to my life even though we have a beautiful 6 yr old daughter together. He is a soul sucker. The great part is he lives 8 hours away, I don’t have to see him everyday, however he uses the distance as an excuse to not be involved with our daughter like he should all the while blaming me for relocating. All this time I put him on pedestal maintaining what a good father he is. Hogwash I tell you. Because when I really look close what he is teaching his children about relationships is not healthy. And I was contributing to it. My daughter has seen her father in and out of our lives for 6 yrs. I was wrong to subject her to that. Thank God we are not the type that fights and argue. But it would just crash and burn after a few months.She loves him dearly and I will encourage that. I just want her to be health emotionally,

  15. Annabel says:

    I was dumped two months ago… Today I finally found a property to buy :) (been looking for 2,5 years) I think I’m doing great with my own hopes and dreams ^^

    I can relate to this post though: guilty as charged :) so I’ll try to remember this and stop missing the good old days.


  16. Stacia says:

    I have done this with an ex who dumped me a left me for dead last fall. He wasn’t the person I envisioned him to be, and I most def lived in this bubble of how great I thought he was.

    This post really opened my eyes, even now, 9 months later and I’ have to share on my blog!

    Thanks for the good stuff!!

  17. Lacy says:

    Wow haven’t read pass the first paragraph but this is on time.I’m read the rest but today is a bad day been having visions that thw x is getting hitched.I feel dumb, I allowed myself to look and act like a total jack ass and he still doesn’t love and respect me.

    He loves someone else I’m hurting for so long,he text yesterday Gm I didn’t respond, I haven’t changwd my num, I just don’t respond and I have him blocked.I don’t want to keep loving someone who doesn’t love me. I Feel ugly stupid amd crazy so embarrased.

    I just wish he was out of my head.I am not answering his calls his num blocked but he use different nums, I’m not gone answer I’m not going to deal with no man that doesn’t love me.

    • rebeccadewinter says:

      Hi Lacy,

      I’m in the same boat as you right now (whether I keep tabs on him or not I still am tortured, although seeing him living his life is just that bit worse) so I understand the pain…wish I didn’t. I have been speaking to therapists and as of yesterday evening began medication. I know things are actually probably going to get even harder for me, not better, but being this way over people is just the worst thing that can happen (I really believe that: you become an empty shell, with no room inside but hurt and jealousy and madness), and we HAVE to see if its in any way possible to ESCAPE this situation and rebuild our selves and our lives.
      I know how impossible it does to me too. Its like this blog Natalie wrote is just falling on deaf ears (mine)…I want that warped thinking to end, I want to move on and this time for good.

    • Allison says:


      You’ll get him out of your head when you change the number.

      Please be honest with yourself, you like to know he’s still checking in.

      It’s up to you!

      • Lacy says:

        I changed my num 3 mths ago he came to my house when I wasn’t home and lied to my daughter and she let him in.I hadn’t talked to him for 3 mths,and thats how he got my new num.

        At one point he had keys and wouldn’t return them kept coming in my house I changed the locks and cell.

        I appreciate your advice and you are right , when I did nc 3 mths ago I was delusional.I knew it was pass time for me to move on but I lived off the fact that he kept calling my house line from private nums cause I blocked his cell and everytime the phone rang I told my daughter tell him I wasn’t home.I thought after 3 mths of him continuously calling that phone everyday that maybe he was willing to treat me good this time,Stupid of me.

        I am slightly still out of touch but I accept he just had a baby and although the time we did talk that time after 3 mths he said he wasn’t in a relationship but he is, and I know I want someone who loves me and wants to be good to me, and I’m not gonna get that from him.

        So I don’t think I’m changing my num again I just don’t respond and he hasn’t contacted me in 2 days and I’m fine with that cause I don’t dial his num either.If it gets excessive that he keeps contacting me then I will change my num.

        Right now I’m embarrassed and don’t understand why he think its okay to pretend to love me at a time seeing now I was only beneficial. So I won’t answer his calls or text, I want more from a relationship that he is willing to give me, I don’t want to be hurt, I just want to be happy and move on.

  18. Finally Free says:

    It’s a shitty place to be. I’ve been there before…blaming myself, wondering what was wrong with me, etc. What I’ve come to realize is it has nothing to do with me. They act the way they do because its who they are. I don’t know tour history but to gove you some insight as to where me screwed up thinking cane from. For years my father made me feel like something was wrong with me. When I was a kid he would say “you are not normal”. It’s like he got off on seeing me cry. I spent my entire life trying to please him. All of that spilled over into my relationships with worthless men who are not worthy of me or my time. There is nothing wrong with you! Be easy on yourself allow yourself to feel the feelings/pain let it register but take care of yourself. If you have unresolved daddy/mommy issues that just can’t be worked out no matter how hard you try that’s their problem not yours. Just because they are family that doesn’t make or right for them to shit on you and you don’t have to look for their approval. That goes for anyone! It’s time that we let all dead end, emptionally void, toxic relationships/people go for good. As Natalie says “they are not that special”

  19. Tammy says:

    Oh my goodness! This is spot on with the latest flake I dated for 2 months. The more I spent time with him, the higher he rose on the pedestal until his last flake-out (i.e. inviting me to dinner then calling at the last minute to cancel with no apology or reschedule).

    Seriously, I felt like Bugs Bunny in the old cartoons, “OFF YOU GO!” and kicked him off the pedestal cliff. Flush. Not even a FLUSH! Just a regular ol’ “flush”. There are soooo many men like this out there. They’re not even worth caps or exclamation points.

    I’m not a man hater. Just a realist anymore and this is a good thing.

  20. Selkie says:

    Love the picture. It looks like the poor soul below is working hard pumping ego air up the subject’s bum! Nice visual to keep in mind next time I start to slide into poor soul territory. I have better things to do then inflate someone’s ego at my own soul’s expense.

  21. Sanntay says:

    Such a timely post, as always. I am certainly guilty of this one, as I was so in lust with my casual relationshit AC that I kept making excuses for his behavior and I had the audacity to feel special and lucky that he was even spending time with me. I thought he was engaging, handsome, ambitious and funny, and I even recall telling him once that I thought he was magnificent. Ah, when he showed interest in me, I couldn’t believe it. Why was I selling myself so short? Probably because I had been out of a relationship for nearly three years and was just happy to have someone pay attention to me. I ignored all the red flags, certainly they were there: he admitted to being a philanderer, and considered himself to be God’s gift, but I ignored all that, and let myself get caught up. Somehow, I had convinced myself that he cared enough about me to be kind at least, especially since we were sharing such intimate parts of ourselves, and because he had to see me at work each day. My best friend kept telling me that I was putting him on a pedestal, and for what, because he was just another hound dog and that I was only going to end up getting hurt. Truer words were never spoken, and regretfully I had to tell my best friend that he was right.
    I have reported on the BR forum many times about the carelessness with which the AC treated me and my ignorance in allowing it to continue and going back for more. I was “a-Dick-ted”. I even reported my suspicion that he was sleeping with another coworker because my Spidey senses were tingling everytime I was in the room with both of them, and although that was never confirmed, I’m pretty sure it happened — intuition is too powerful. I learned today that she had an emotional breakdown today, said working there wasn’t fun anymore and that she wasn’t coming back. I don’t know all the details, but I suspect that he did the same thing to her that he did to me and she just couldn’t handle it any longer. PURE SPECULATION ON MY PART.
    When he finally ended things with me, by totally avoiding and ignoring me, I fell apart. I found out that he was seeing someone else, and I was nothing short of a mess. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t think of anything else but him and where I went wrong, what was wrong with me, what could I have done better, and was everything he said that he felt about me just a lie? Clearly. I sought counseling, I prayed, and I even ended up taking prescription meds due to all the anxiety just so I could get my feet beneath me again. I KNEW VERY WELL from the beginning that I wasn’t what he wanted, yet when it ended, I didn’t know which way to turn. Thanks to the wonderfully wise and compassionate women on BR, my best friends, and my sister, I am so much better now than I was 6 weeks ago. I’m feeling a diminished sense of loss. I don’t really care whether or not he speaks to me. I would just as soon never see or speak to him again if it was my choice, and while that pedestal came crashing down before me, I have learned some vital lessons about valuing myself first. Let a person unfold, get a peek behind the curtain before you invest your time, your body, and your heart. People will only do to you what you allow them to do, and the only person worthy of that reverence and high honor, that we bestow upon undeserving others, is ourselves. No one is, as Nat says, so special that you need to compromise your self esteem.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sanntay. At the very least, you’ve learned (I hope), “no more intimate liaisons at the workplace.” It’s way too stressful and uncomfortable when it doesn’t work out. Anyway, you’re not that desperate. Right?

      • Sanntay says:

        Oh Tink, I definitely learned the lesson. Dealing with this has been way more difficult than I could have ever imagined. Admittedly, I must have been desperate at the time to participate in such nonsense, because it was certainly not worth all the confusion and heartache it caused me, while the AC is moving on, loving life, and pursuing his next victim without giving a second thought to how this has affected me.

  22. Sandra says:

    Ha just been doing the same thing, the ex informed me a while ago that he had met somebody, so I had no further contact with him and then bugga me if he didn’t text to say he had made the wrong choice, then he disappears again, he then finds out that I may have someone and bugga me again if he decides that he misses me and still loves me.
    But wait there is more, he can’t break up with his new lady as it isn’t fair to her but would I please think about having a fling with him in the meantime as apparently the sex isn’t so hot with her!!!!
    And I was stupid enought to think oh my god he still wants me :-) But I am proud to say that I said no, not only is it something that goes against who I totally am, why should I pander to this total ass clowns ego, although it was a close thing, but I get my strength from coming onto here!
    I just feel so sorry for her :-(

    • Sandra says:

      Told him to either be faithful to her or get out of the relationship so she can find someone who will be…the thing is he just doesn’t see this as a problem!
      I must admit the sex was good, but meh he’s just not that special :-)

  23. Warriorgrrl says:

    I’ve been struggling to get that man out of my life for over four years. Headache and heartache the whole darn way. Confession: Last weekend I went in for a hook up (yes i did!) – caused a pathetic scene in the morning, apologized to sh!thead over text b/c of course I acted like he walks on water and I’m begging for foregivemess. WTF? It hurts! Aren’t I done with this? As Nat tells us “dont be that woman” and sure enough here I am. I AM that woman. I’ve devalued myself, and that just adds to how crazy this is – if I really believed this AC was a hot mess I’d be long gone. Time to kick him of the Jesus pedestle I put him on and remember who he is – someone who treats women badly and preys on vulnerability. I wish there was a “man cleanse” treatment….I am NOT that woman anymore. One last cry…

  24. Kit-Kat says:

    “Even an actual narcissist is only a big fish in their own harem pond!”
    Priceless :) and so very true !!!

  25. Deno says:

    Dear Natalie,
    You are awesome, brilliant and truly gifted. Your post summed up my last infatuation/glorification event, which i am still trying to get over. You pegged it right, i am just trying to down myself, while upping the other. How crazy and unfortunate is that? It has been a few years since i had a “serious” relationship, so when Mr. Right (or so i thought) appeared, i was bowled (all 10 pins, Natalie!!) I should have just been grateful that i am still attractive, but noooooo, i fell head over heels over head over heels over head…still falling!??! Gonna read your post again and get my sh.. together. Love you Sister Nats.

  26. Jule says:

    A bit off topic here but I need someone to pull me out of this stupidity.

    Assclown from last summer is sniffing around again and I haven’t blocked him again like I did before and I know really should — i Know!

    The problem is, I am liking the conversation, lord help me.

    I know it isn’t any different. I know he will only want sex and nothing real. He is not married or anything and he is available as far as I know, but he treated me like a sex toy that he could use and put down when he was done. I told him to get lost late last summer and I blocked him out of my phone and life. I was so strong! Then he wrote to me online just recently. He apologized for being a player last summer. But I don’t think he will change. They never do. Yet, he is sexy to me and that animal attraction to someone doesn’t happen very often to me.

    Meanwhile, a nice guy is vying for my time and we have dates and he is really nice. But… I don’t feel anything when he kisses me. I’m not interested and I so want to be! I want to feel something for him! We haven’t done anything sexual yet and it’s going at the pace i want it to.

    Then along comes Assclown who messed up my summer last year. It was a long boring winter and now he is texting like he wants to see me and I’m more excited by his texts than texts from the nice guy. I feel it slowly sucking me back in. Ugh.

    • yoghurt says:

      Hey Jule

      Nat’s got a post on this which I find helpful (although, as she says, DON’T use it as an excuse to keep engaging).

    • Allison says:


      This guy is safe! You know he will treat you like crap and use you for sex, but you know he will never let you in: very safe for an EUW!

      You can continue to travel down the waste of time path, or you can deal with your issues and block this asshole.

      It’s your choice if you want to be used by jerks, but you will have no one to blame but yourself. He has shown you who he is!

    • Little Star says:

      Jule, I agree with Allison, she is 100 per cent right, we have to BLAME ourselves as we allowing these ACs to use us for sex!!! I was in exactly the same situation with AC N1, I had “animal sexual desire” for FIVE years and dumped so many decent guys on the way. I was like you, did not feel attracted to them and never had sex with them, as I was faithful to AC…and NOW I am full of regrets that I WASTED FIVE years of my life for what? Please do not have the same mistake, concentrate on decent guy, he deserve your attention:)

  27. runnergirl says:

    Oh Natalie, how do you do this? It’s the beginning of summer here and I’ve been doing the trip down notasligic lane which is clearly bullshitting the hell out of myself. You are right, I’m missing the exaggerated memories, the illusions, and the possibility of potential. It’s frustrating to be so far down the healing path and still tripping over the stones of illusion.
    I’ve been trying to appreciate who I am, what I’ve achieved, and what a wonderful life I’ve created for me and my daughter but I still slide down the slippery slope.
    Actually, I want to do what he is doing (political office) even though what I’m doing is perfectly fine. I don’t want to run for a political office because he did. I think I want to because I like that work. I can’t make a case for it. I have a perfectly wonderful job. In fact, a great job. Fabulous benefits, retirement, and the hours are to die for. But, I’m bored with it after 30 years. Worse, I’m not in a district where I could win given my political affliations.
    I guess I’m still trying to develop my sense of self and develop my life. It still feels like I’m stuck though. His life seems much more interesting, fulfilling, and exicting…I know it isn’t. Dang, you really nailed this one with where I am right now.

    • EllyB says:

      Runnergirl, if you feel bored then you should do something about it! Running for office sounds like a great idea… but if you couldn’t win where you live, why don’t you consider pursuing some other great project? Comparing yourself to this ass is NOT going to help you. It’s only going to hold you back.

    • Revolution says:

      Oh Runner, I SOOOOO know what you are feelin’ right now, re: boredom and having it cause those “assclown fadeout interludes.” I’m a writer who is writing for a boring industry in a boring job. Yes, it pays the bills and yet, I am grateful to be a working writer. Nevertheless, my right brain keeps itching for something NEW, something to cause me to flex my creative muscles once again. Thank God, I’m starting a new creative project soon (illustrating a children’s book, how cool is that???, one that is NOT my area of expertise and therefore will present a creative challenge. If you’re craving something new, specifically involving running for political office, why not jump into something? Even if it’s not running, maybe you can campaign for someone? Anything’s better than tripping over those damn illusion rocks, eh? :)

      I think that when the boredom creeps in, it’s natural to pine after those pumped-up memories of what’s-his-assface. But what our brains are really craving is new stimulation, learning something new. Getting those neurons to dance to a different tune, you know? :) Best wishes to you!

      • Revolution says:

        * “yes, I am grateful to be a working writer.”

        Ha! Please don’t judge my writing ability on these comments! I don’t usually take time to edit when I’m writing on BR. :)

        • runnergirl says:

          You are a great writer Revolution, plus or minus the editing. It must be amazing to get paid for writing.

          The minute I decided to run, those pumped up illusions faded into the background. I didn’t realize how much I was stewing and mired in analysis paralysis.

          So yeah, I’ll be the underdog, third party candidate running an election out of my kitchen. I wrote winning legal briefs out of this kitchen as an underdog attorney. It’s a nice kitchen. Tomorrow I contact folks and start looking for a campaign manager. I’m excited to get going. Natalie, you are always right. When I focus on me, he fades in importance.

          OH. THANK. YOU.

      • AMD says:


        I think that when the boredom creeps in, it’s natural to pine after those pumped-up memories of what’s-his-assface. But what our brains are really craving is new stimulation, learning something new.

      • Lochy says:

        “what’s-his-assface”…loool :). I think your right brain is firing on all cylinders!!

    • Selkie says:


      I too have been in my profession for a while, 25 years. I make decent money, my hours are perfect and my job stability is good…..yet I am bored to tears and feel NO passion for it anymore. I am good at it, but feel very stagnant. This is the time I get into trouble looking for some kind of passion in my life ( finding an exciting man to fill that boredom). I work in the medical profession but want to move to a more creative job in the arts. It’s a little bit like getting out of a relationship that no longer works but you are so comfortable there you stay long past the expiration date, even though you aren’t happy. It’s fear of the unknown too, what if I can’t support myself with a new career? What if I end up not being any happier? Lots of what ifs. Anyway, I relate to where you are now, as I’m in a similar boat, afraid to rock it and get wet. I think if you want to make some changes in your life, you should make some small steps to bridge the gap. Like some one else here mentioned, if you can’t really run for office where you live, why not get involved in a campaign to see how the nuts and bolts work, get your feet wet in your stable little boat, so to say. I should take my own advice, but isn’t that why they say do as I say, not as I do. It’s easier to tell you to be brave than rock my own boat. I would vote for you. :-)

      • runnergirl says:

        Ahh EllyB, Rev, AMD, and Selkie, as usual, I thought I was the only one. Thank you for your replies. Yep, once the drama-rama roller coaster ride ended, I’m left going yeah, now what, and pinning over the pumped up memories of whats his ass face…too funny. Rev, congratulations on starting your new book. Totally cool and exciting. It’s that itch for something new and healthy. You sound like you are on the right path. Selkie, you hit it spot on. Despite my long sordid experiences with the opposite sex, I’ve been spot on professionally so it’s uncomfortable to rock the professional boat. Selkie, your comment made me realize, I wouldn’t really be rocking the professional boat. If I lose, I’d still have the perfect job. What about you?

        I spent the day seriously thinking about and researching running for office. I’m going to do it. I have nothing to lose except an election and I think it would be fun. There’s nothing really unknown. If I win, I have two jobs, if I lose, I have one job. I’m going to get wet!

        • Revolution says:


          Wooohoooo!!!! I’m so happy for you!!!! So great to hear you’re jumping in with both feet. And thanks for the kind words about my writing.

          Like you, despite my train wreck experiences with the opposite sex, my professional life has always been immaculate. I think it’s because I use work to get over heartbreak. I performed a developmental edit (we’re talking fact-checking, rewrites, the whole nine) on a book manuscript while I was working full time AND going to school, not to mention volunteer work, when I was getting over the clown before the last one (that brought me to BR). I was basically getting three to four hours of sleep a night and then jumping back into the fray, head first. A little much, maybe, but it got me out of the assclown blues. Can’t wait to hear how the campaigning goes! Keep us posted! :)

    • On Leaving Sugarland says:

      I’m in the process of changing careers because I really dislike my job.
      You are ahead of me in that you know what you want to do. I’m taking small steps in different directions; I took some classes at university, … volunteering, trying my hand…etc., and it is helping me not only calm the “what if’s,” but also “think outside of the box. I’m rather enjoying trying different things.

  28. Tony says:

    The difficult thing for me with this post is that “putting someone on a pedestal” was just another thing I did to lose my ex. In other words, it’s just another thing I blame myself for that led to the relationship’s ending. I resent the person I am because I have these insecurities and I so wish I didn’t have them, but I also realize that she played a part too so I can’t put the relationship’s ending all on myself. And another positive is that without this experience, these deep rooted insecurities and self-esteem issues wouldn’t have been uncovered and I wouldn’t be actively working on them as I am now.

    • Jassy says:

      Don’t be too hard on yourself. Insecurities are normal, everyone has them. Accepting yourself as you are is the first step to moving beyond your weaknesses. Focus on the good. You are learning, you are working on yourself, you will be better equipped for the next relationship and chances are you’ll be much happier because you’ll choose better. It’s okay to be who you are, its okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to want to be loved and love. Next time it’s going to be a lot better. Chin up! :)

  29. Revolution says:

    Hey Natalie,

    Hands down, this is THE most important (for me) post that I’ve read on BR, to date. It really hit that “spot” in me, like finding the tooth that’s giving you the toothache. I am almost ashamed that such a reasonably intelligent person such as myself is guilty of doing this, ESPECIALLY this part:

    “Taking this relationship or experience and judging it as being a formal and permanent declaration and prediction of what your future will be is very fatalist thinking.”

    I mean, damn. I was this close to putting on the sackcloth. I have been guilty of this fatalist thinking for way too long, thinking that STARTED with the disappointment of being rejected by the AC, but then just turned into it’s own beast and overtook my plans for the future, my hopes, my self-esteem, you name it. I have seen the light. I have been HEALED, praise the LORD and Nat Lue! Can I GET an AMEN?!!! :)

  30. Revolution says:

    And damn girls….

    It’s really pathetic, the BRRRROKE-ASS, unemployed, emotionally stunted, video-game playing, hygenically-challenged, puffed up manboys that we put on these pedestals of ours. I mean they’re not exactly the centurions of the male species, are they?? WTF?

    The shallow aside, Nat’s right that (MOST importantly), these men don’t possess stellar MORAL characters fit for a pedestal, that is if ANYONE warranted being up there. It’s just sad that we pick THESE clowns to put on high. I mean, REALLY??!!! *facepalm*

    • Digs says:

      Revolution, I have spit pepsi onto my keyboard a couple of times at your comments today.

      My most recent ex has a small dippy, is a horrible, selfish lover, is broke, wears ripped, hideous clothing, and looks like a serial killer sometimes. He is the oddest person that I have ever met, his sexual values border on alarming, he is hung up on his ex (his dating profile sings her praise), and he is intolerant of emotions/needs. Hell ya, makes perfect sense that I have cried over him for the last week. All I can focus on is that he’s smart, interesting, and is a musician. Pass the rosary.

      • BurnedAgain says:

        Wow I’m so with you two. After like 6wks of no contact, I thought I was slowly getting there….and then this week for some reason I’ve taken a massive step back. I miss my AC, I miss him contacting me, I miss us laughing, I miss how he made me feel. And then I read Nat’s post…and had a re-check about that person I’m missing.
        Someone who (if we’re going to do the shallow stuff – none of this mattered to me but it does help in this situation for me to remember it) is broke, never paid for anything – or if he did he uncouthly complained about it when the drinks bill came and then for about 20mins afterwards – is into things no man who’s nearly 30 should be into (video games, mean jokes at others’ expense, awful slogan t-shirts) and has borderline concerning sexual fantasies about dominating women to a degrading level. He was also often spiteful and rude to me, blaming the fact he couldn’t handle his ‘deep’ feelings for me so he had to ignore them and be rude instead, like a 14yr old; he was so uncomfortable about expressing his emotions that I’d only see them when he was drunk and when he wasn’t he managed to maintain this annoying, aloof front; and the kicker, just in case I forget, is that he has a long-term girlfriend. And said he wanted to be with me but just couldn’t hurt her because it would cause too much upset with her and her family. Even though he wasn’t happy. Even though they rarely had sex. Even though he revealed he was secretly seeing a therapist to talk about how unhappy he was as he couldn’t confide in the gf. Even though he’d booty call me. So basically someone who is beyond complicated with little decency and no balls.
        Right now, telling myself all the bad stuff about him is the only way I’m stopping myself from reaching out or putting him way up high back on that pedestal. (I know, after that list displaying a real shining example of a man, yes I still want to reach out.)
        The only thing about this way of dealing with how I feel however, is that I’m now carrying around a load of negative thoughts that I just don’t want to or need to – I wish I could just mentally wish him all the best, good luck and cut him loose in my head.
        It’s that whole AC thing of coming on so strong then withdrawing that is such a head-messer. I didn’t protect myself, I just jumped right in, and now it’s like I’m left in the pool he’s got out of.
        When Madonna sang ‘rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac’ she wasn’t wrong. But because I can see a bigger picture and recognise that he wasn’t/isn’t right for me and I deserve better, I wonder if I want him back at all. I think all this amounts to is that I want him to want me again so I can reject him. How F’ed up is that?

        • jewells says:

          I like the analogy you made about being in the pool that he’s got out of… so appropriate in illustrating what it’s like.
          I’ve also had the desire to be the dumpee, but that will never happen as he is an intelligent guy and knows I know what he is and is smart/narc enough to not set himself up. I know that I don’t want him anymore, I still want what he pretended to be though. That’s what is what. I miss what he was SUPPOSED to be. Ugh. Hopefully I can find a reasonable facsimile that is REAL…
          The saving grace is that I am now BR educated, so the likelyhood is much higher now than before the AC Narc who left me floundering in the pool that had me reach for the life preserver that has been this site…

          • jewells says:

            meant ‘dumper’…already was the ‘dumpee’
            That was adding insult to injury – he decided that I should move on…but that was only because I was already starting to suss out what was going on and he was trying to exit carefully…what a putz…only makes me more angry to think about… ok, on to happy happy thoughts….

            • Revolution says:


              “he decided that I should move on…but that was only because I was already starting to suss out what was going on and he was trying to exit carefully…only makes me more angry to think about”

              I hear ya. But if it’s any consolation, these types aren’t exactly known for their self-reflection. I doubt he’s bothered himself much to look back and think of how it ended between you two. Too uncomfortable for him, at best. Not interesting enough to think about (“on to the next” mentality) at worst. So I wouldn’t be tied in knots thinking he’s splitting hairs over whether or not you were the dumper or the dumpee.

              And “he decided I should move on”? How magnanimous of the demi-god….

              Say it with me (I like to over-enunciate that last syllable): DOUCCCCHHHHHEEE

              • jewells says:

                LMAO…Rev, you always have a beautiful and revelatory way of putting things that just makes me smile and snaps that last peice of funk right out of me… Douche indeed…he also said (when informing me that he and his wife would be getting counselling) that he felt bad that he was leaving behind the person who saved their marriage … ugh, the demi god struck again, but at this point I already saw how ridiculous his statements like these were, he’d already tarnished at that point, so the continuing doucheness just plain old pissed me off. I think that’s my lingering crap, that this douche got the best of me, I fell hard for a douche, and he still tried to make out like he was at an advantage and better off than me somehow even in his parting words. Ghaa, good riddance. Demi god indeed, only in his mind. It’s so enlightening to write this stuff out, sharing it makes me really see what it is. He was compelled, even in parting, to diminish me, to put me down somehow – I didn’t put him on a pedestal, he did. I just didn’t see it for what it was and didn’t call him on it, otherwise the relationshit wouldn’t have had legs to begin with. Haha, fool me once…

      • Revolution says:

        Glad to make you laugh, Digs. It’s the human tragedy turned to comedy, isn’t it? Nothing new under the sun, every (assclown) story having already been told….we just have to laugh once we’re done crying. And then decide to pick better men. We’ve already sampled the ones on the low end of the spectrum, haven’t we? Nothing to see there… :)

        • BurnedAgain says:

          Jewells ‘that he got the best of me’ – gosh I hear ya on that. It’s that feeling that they somehow ‘won’. What I’m telling myself today is that the best revenge is to live a good life. Leaving them behind, enjoying life as much as you can, caring about yourself. Worrying about YOUR thoughts and YOUR feelings, not HIS thoughts or feelings.
          When I was with my Narc, which was for around 9 months, I ricocheted between getting not much sleep, not eating much or eating crap (when he was in a ‘cold’ phase), refusing fun nights out with friends just in case there was a tiny chance he might want to see me that night etc. Gahh. And when he was being hot or warm again, I’d feel more content and happy and live more normally. And that was the up and down pattern, over and over. His behaviour governing how I lived.
          It’s just NOT good to let someone else determine our moods, have someone else determine whether it’s going to be a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day. Of course, we all know deep down that this is us doing it to ourselves, not them – they probably don’t even know the effect they have half the time; but once you’re in the cycle, they seem to control how you see yourself and how you treat yourself, so when they leave, of course you only plummet lower.

          My Narc is gone (for now?) but the shadow he left cast across my life made me so unhappy and upset and thinking over and over what I could’ve done differently or better or whatever – when actually I should be relieved. So after like 5wks of moping, I’ve decided to stop the madness. Today was Day 1 and I did pretty ok. I’m feeling slightly, slowly, better by looking at the bigger picture, and I can honestly say the only bit of that previous sentence I should pay any attention to is ‘my Narc is gone’ = I get my life back.
          Don’t get me wrong, feels like a hard road at the moment without him beside me, but I know he was never really beside me in the first place, I did all the heavy-lifting and he just popped in and out when he felt like it. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss him. But I do see I need to value myself more than I value this guy, at least.

          I hope you can see how powerful you all are, everyone on here that’s been burned by someone treating them badly, you are powerful – you’re still standing and breathing in and out, and if that’s literally all you’re able to do at the moment, well it’s a start. I underestimated how hard it would be to let go of, giving up an addiction to the drama and an attachment to him and yes, life right now seems kinda dull without it, but it was also pretty toxic because it often made me feel so crap and unbalanced, so it’s got to be a positive that he’s out of my life. It has to be. It’s up to me to now really prove that to myself.

          Rev: I love how you see things, smart words.

  31. Jay says:

    3 months no contact. why is it so hard to get someone out of your mind. i know she is a lying cheat that cant be trusted but why was i not good enuf for her. i just want to get on with life and enjoy it. darn it sucks being stuck on someone.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Jay.. Congrats on the 3mths NC.. It is the only way to get over someone. Erase them from your life. The only person who can make you stuck on someone is YOU.. As u said she is a lying cheat. Is that what you want ?? I think not. Take one day at a time and build a new life and slowly the thoughts of her will fade I promise. She just isn’t that special :)

  32. Teddie says:

    Great post as usual! But the best part is, aside from all the eye-opening truths, Natalie’s writing and how she has those characters all pegged, is so hilarious! Once one is detached enough from the pain, once one’s seen the light, all this stupidity, all these follies, oh my, pure theatre of the absurd to laugh one’s head off!

  33. koko says:

    Ahh… another great and timely post :)

    Oh how i used to adore the exEUM. Its over 3 months of NC now and i can see how my thoughts has changed (albeit slowly). In the beginning of NC i was still glorifying him and the ‘relationship’. As much as i had the common sense or so called ‘pride’ in refraining from any contact with him, deep down i was thinking “lets just do this NC for a couple of months to show that i am just very blasé about not seeing him, i need to cool things off anyway, then maybe after a while, i might really not be bothered for real and can start seeing him again in just platonic way ;)”.

    I had every intention of contacting him in the near future. You see I found it hard to accept that i will never have contact with this person again – this man that i had shared so many ‘special’ memories with and who is just so talented, i wanted him to be in my life somehow, as friends hopefully. Does anyone else feel that way?

    Yeah i did miss him but once I got over the withdrawal stage, its like i kinda put him and the memories in a little box and lock it in a drawer, to be unlocked again when i am ready. This helped get him out of my mind and get on with my life.

    A few weeks ago, feeling lonely and bored, i thought i was ready to unlock that drawer. I recall back all those memories and while i still feel like i needed to treasure them i am beginning to think quoting Nat ‘he is not THAT special’ after all. Am i really ready to have him back in my life? No. What real value or positives would he have on me? Dunno. So i didn’t contact him.

    Hmmm… i am starting to waffle here as i can’t remember what my point is. I think I am just trying to reiterate what Nat is saying here and also telling myself, take him off the pedestal and see things for what it really is. Depending on ur own stories, it may not necessarily be so bad and ugly but it likely wasn’t so great either.

    Though if i am being honest, right now i would still keep the option of unlocking that drawer :( The irony is i think i would only be ready to open it when i have lost the key or thrown it away.

    • Allison says:


      If they don’t treat you with care and respect in the relationship, they won’t in won’t in a friendship, either.

      Ask yourself, why you want to be with friends with someone who was not respectful.

      • koko says:

        I am not quite sure Allison. I kinda want to see him again, maybe now or at some point in the future, because i am curious to see how i would feel.

        Or it could just be my ego, wanting to prove something. I think if i see him again, i will be disappointed because i don’t think he will live up to my illusion of him now that i have gain a bit of clarity. Sometimes when i look back and get snap shots of my past actions, i am like …wtf was i thinking?!

        Give me a couple more months. If i haven’t succumbed in that period i think this underlying desire to see him again will go. Hopefully.

        • Selkie says:

          That is like a drug addict saying they want to bring out all the paraphernalia to see if they still feel the urge to shoot up. Why torture yourself? Just stay away from him and keep moving forward.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Hi Koko. You were not “NC”. You were merely taking a break. When you go NC it is not with the intention of going back into it at a later date after you’ve cooled off. NC is a MENTAL as well as a physical process and it is intended to be permanent. You don’t hope to not succumb to his charms again, you are determined that you will not. Think about this:

          Do you want to see again to see if you’re over him? Or do you want to see how he reacts to you? Seems to be a little of both. Continue working on your self esteem by being totally committed to your decisions and not wavering. I wish you strength and conviction in the struggle and I support you fully. Hugs, Tink.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      KoKo.. Allison is so right. Don’t open that drawer. I have no desire to reach out to the AC. He made his bed so let him lie in it. Don’t beat a dead horse. Let it go. Journal, write out your feelings & be real with yourself. Are you hoping for a reunion of sorts ?? Throw away that key.

      • koko says:

        You are all so right ..tink, selkie, kit kat. I needed to hear that, thank you!

        You know i am scared to even access any of his social media pages and if i have to go to my yoga class i would take the long way around , coz the short way is quite nearby to where he lives coz i don’t want to bump into him in any way.

        i am sooo not ready. He may not occupy my mind space as much as he did but he will still affect me. you know whats brought this up…his bday is coming up next week and i am wondering if i should wish him ?!

        • Tabitha says:

          No No No No No!!!!!

          Do not do this under any circumstances. Here, this will help. First, imagine you send him a card, he smirks as he opens it, he knew you would send one, you weak pathetic little worshipper at the altar of Mr AC. He thinks, Oh yeah, Koko, she is obviously still really into me, I still don’t want her though.
          OR, you don’t send him a card, or a text, or a message by carrier pigeon. He doesn’t even realize. Cos that is how much he actually thinks of you.
          And WTF are you doing anywhere near his social media pages? Block Block Block.

          • koko says:

            :D hi tabitha, ok its kinda harsh but yea i get it :)… also read the article. Its resolved i won’t be sending any bday text to exEUM. Thank you for helping me make that decision.

            And no i have not been to his social media sites …tempted yes but nope.

            • Tabitha says:

              Sorry if I sounded harsh Koko. I do understand though. I even went out and bought a card for the ex narc. didn’t ever send it though, thanks to Nat and the posters here. I am so glad I never sent it because his reaction would have been exactly what I posted to you. Or even worse, he would have contacted me, and then what? More excruciating pain for me, that’s what. You are doing well, just keep reading the posts and do some nice stuff for yourself. A facial, a massage, a weekend away? The more you concentrate on you, the less important he will become. I promise you it works. It takes time but it does work. Well done for staying NC.

  34. Tabitha says:

    Brilliant post Natalie. Have you been to Ireland recently? Somehow it had an Irish flavour to it :)
    I have been feeling a little sad this week as it is exactly a year since first proper date with ex narc. I am remembering how it was at the beginning, you know, before I knew what a damaged incapable nasty little shit he is. The halcyon days when I was the one on the pedestal. How lovely that felt. I still don’t really understand how the switch happened, and I ended up looking adoringly up at him, with my self esteem in tatters.
    I do totally agree though that there are such valuable lessons to be learnt from these relationshits and it has been an absolute epiphany for me. Thanks to him *hot and cold* I found Br and have been able to make radical changes in my life and my own behaviour, not just in the romantic sense.
    I loved how he made me feel about myself in the early days, not him. I loved the illusion of him, and the fantasy version of him I manufactured up in my head (really good at that) not him.
    It has been a year since we actually started dating and I have been NC now for more than 7 months. Really it was just a summer romance but it has been an epiphany for me. I feel stronger than ever, and far more grounded.
    To all those still in the early stages, please trust Natalie and stay NC. When you start to focus on yourself instead of spending every second of your day thinking about him, it all just sort of comes right. *Chorus* He’s Just Not That Special!!

    • DramaFreeIsTheWayToBE says:

      Tabitha – you are SO right about the illusion, and I think I could get a PhD in manufacturing fantasy versions of guys! At least this last one only knocked the wind out of me for a week. It’s ALMOST funny the way I completely fell for the first few weeks of attention and the completely ignored all the red flags. While I’m still not 100% there, to those that are where I was a year ago, things DO get better, and this site helps so much with the process. Thank you, Natalie and all the other wonderful people who post here. We all deserve so much more than we’ve come to expect – I have faith I will find it (but am sure there will be a few more EUMs and ACs along the way ha ha ha!).

    • Ms Determined says:

      Tabitha, you are so goddamned awesome it hurts. And so right. Everything you wrote is exactly how it played out for me with my son’s father (except for the length of time it took to implode…but that was mainly because I held on like a pit bull and wouldn’t let go. I did Rev’s rosaries until my fingers were bloody stumps).

      On the weekend my little boy revealed that his dad used to make him blow into the anti-drink driving device he had fitted on his car so that it would start. This was the fuckwit I had on a pedestal. Seriously, WRONGTOWN.

  35. Julie says:

    “Stop attending daily rejection service at the Church of My Loved One’s Ego.”

    This is priceless. After the last couple of rejection services, I have finally showed boundaries. It’s quite remarkable the response I have been getting when he hears the unexpected ‘no’. He doesn’t know how to react. Suddenly the charming smooth talker has nothing to say.

    Or just recently, his text “I’m a sleepwalker, caught in my own bad dreams…I wonder if I can wake up and find my way back to home, hearth and love (meaning me)…blah blah…blah…” Which goes along with his perpetual theme of I know I’m an *sshole but can’t seem to help myself, so give me a few days, weeks, months, etc…. to figure it out (while he’s busy *ing other women of course…)” Instead of the usual encouragement from me, I said simply “you sound like a victim”. That shut him up. :)

    Meanwhile I have been finally finding my own joy apart from him. Hang in there ladies (and gents) it can and does happen! I am in a place where I finally have my own back and am creating situations and being only with people who make me happy and support my well-being. No anger (ok, maybe a little, but it passes quickly), no reaction, simply moving toward happiness and away from unhappiness. Finally finding joy in life, feeling relaxed and open again. If he wants to bring his best self and actually be the man he says he wants to be, great. But I have a feeling that another good man will get to my heart first before he figures it out… assuming he ever wakes up from the ‘bad dream’.

  36. Nancyw says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out WHY I have had this guy on a pedestal. Perhaps because at the beginning he portrayed himself as smart, successful, etc. Now I know all his brilliant words are memorized, he never pays for anything, his house (which he rents) is the pits, and he doesn’t add ANYTHING to my life. He sucks the soul out of me. And even after two years of putting up with his lies and betrayals, I still long for the guy that I had on the pedestal.

    I haven’t seen him for two weeks…my grandbaby was visiting from Florida. Now that the grandbaby is gone, he sent me a text last night at 7:22 just saying “Hey pants.” He was waiting to see if I would ask to see him. When I didn’t respond, he sent another text at 9:22 asking if I would like a “brief” visit. When I didn’t respond after 5 minutes, he wrote “Nevermind.” He text me later that he was in the car, thought he’d drive down to see me, then realized he was tired so went home.

    So…he has been falling off his pedestal more and more. It’s been hard for me to believe that he isn’t really the man I fell for. And he does a good job of trying to convince me….I’ve been mesmorized for over two years. You all know it’s difficult…gosh I really did have some fun times with him. He’s a bad boy, which I tend to fall for.

    • Allison says:


      I’m sorry, but it is so obvious you are simply a booty call! This is so disrespectful! Why do you put so much energy into this guy? What is so attractive about being treated like garbage? Would you like your daughter, or friend to put up with this nonsense?

      Please get some counseling!

      • Allison says:


        So good you didn’t respond!

        Keep it up, and you will block him from your life.

  37. Ap says:

    Dear Natalie,

    I’ve read your posts for six months now. It’s all finally coming together now in a cohesive way. Simply, I GET IT! I can’t express in words what you have done for me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  38. Tinkerbell says:

    When I think back I realize that I put the exMM on a pedestal for two reasons, and two reasons only, which were pretty shallow. He was fabulous in bed, and I admired his general contracting knowledge and ability. I’ve always admired men who are very handy around the house, and can fix almost anything, solving any fix-it or construction problem I may have had. The first reason I let him “in” was due to the fact that I was still grieving the demise of my husband of 23 years. The second reason was that he reawakened my sexual desire which had been dormant for several years.So when Mr. MM insidiously accelerated the friendship between us, and we’d had sex, I was hopelessly hooked. Well, he was not mean to me, talked up a blue streak (I like talkative men, also when interesting/informative ), and I found him to be both. Soon he began to show the inevitable signs of the MM, i.e, love bombing me and then disappearing for increasingly longer periods. All, the while I’m thinking he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I never allowed my mind to dwell on the fact that he was a married man. He would, being his own boss, leave his work, come to me for a shag and go home to his wife every night. After awhile I began to feel used. I didn’t feel that way initially, because I was getting what I wanted and needed at that time – the sex, fixing up my house, helping me move to my new apartment all for which I paid him fairly. But when I had to put up with the frequent excuses for his being late, never being taken out anywhere, never giving me any small sign of appreciation, like flowers? Ha! -well, ONCE in the 6.5 months he brought lunch to me, the reality of the sordid mess began to sink in. I began slowly dismantling the pedestal because even though we never argued and he never outwardly mistreated me that I could see at the time, he was emotionally abusive. Because my self-esteem was practically non-existent, I could not see this until I ended the relationship and experienced the epiphany. Now, I know I’m not telling you all anything new, and this story is mainly for our newer members on BR. In short, it was probably the WORST experience of my life. When my husband passed away, it was devastating for me because I was lost,physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He’d handled EVERYTHING around our house, and I did not know my ass from my elbow. But the effects of the affair were even worse for me in that it involved trampling on the tiniest bit of self esteem I had. A totally different thing from losing a loved one, not to say the latter is not just as devastating in a different sense. Plus, I was helping him do it. It was as if I was telling him, “I’m a pitiful, worthless human being, I hate myself, so you can do your worst and I will always worship the ground you walk on”. So that is exactly what he did. It is almost 2 years since I ended the insanity. With much hard work on myself, an effective therapist, and,of course, avidly reading BR, I am not that woman, anymore. Looking back and remembering what I put up with, and how little I loved or even liked myself at that time, I don’t even recognize that person, now. I’ve been through the fire and come out burned, but being a strong person in dealing with adversity, I have healed fine, now. I know I’m definitely not finished as it is an ongoing process for us all. But the difference now is that I more readily see where I need to improve in relating to my family and friends. I can recognize a person’s agenda more quickly. I no longer put anyone, including myself, on a pedestal. It is a very naive, unrealistic and self destroying thing to do because no individual walking on this earth is perfect. For our own emotional health we need to include, in the discovery phase, cutting through the sly facade of not only AC’s but any new person we meet being it a potential friend or a lover. I think it is human nature not to reveal everything about ourselves right off the bat and that’s not necessarily a negative. But we also need to be human x-ray machines and not be blinded by our wants and needs so that we may experience healthier relationships and increased inner peace.

    • On Leaving Sugarland says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience,
      strength, and hope.

      I imagine you to be quite a strong woman.

      May God Continue To Bless You~~On Leaving Sugarland

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Thank you so much Sugarland. Yes, HE has blessed me in spades. I wish the same for everyone else. It can be miraculous what we are able to accomplish we’re fiercely committed to the task at hand.

  39. pinkpanther says:

    I agree with so many of the other posters that this is one of your finest posts ever. You lay out this complex idea in a simple way.

    Yes, I’ve done this too. No, I’ll never do it again! It’s comforting to see how many of us have done this.

    I am interested in this idea of ego inversion. I don’t know a lot about it, but if anyone wants to expand on this idea, that would be great.

    I’m assuming it’s about projecting all kinds of good attributes onto the love object, correct?

    The last time I posted I was entertaining some EU behavior of my own, and I’m happy to say that I have moved on from that temptation. The impulse to have quick easy sex with someone who is not really who I’m looking for has passed, and I”m back on track!

  40. Learning from my mistakes says:

    I am guilty of this and I am going to try very hard to change my way of thinking. I realized that it has kept me in the role of the victim. I am beating myself up when I am already feeling at my lowest. I can’t understand how I can be so kind to someone who has repeatedly hurt me by so unkind to myself. It was time for me to reflect inwards and realize that the person and relationship were expectations not “the reality”. I am now learning to free myself from negative thinking.

    Thanks for this post.

  41. Peanut says:

    My ex was so very caught up in going against ‘the system.” Turns out so were many legendary psychopaths. I’m not saying my ex was or is one. I really don’t think so. My father had this mentality too. Again, I don’t know that my father is a sociopath or psychopath. I really think they are both just addicts with narcissistic tendencies.

    That said they both need that narc supply. Unfortunately as children we look up to our parents even if they are crazy. We just don’t know it. I carried this into my dating life and idolized dangerous men because, well they were dangerous like my father.

    We all go through a narc phase during adolescence. It really is a time to work all that shit out, make some mistakes, learn, grow and then contribute to society as functioning responsible adults. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be famous, rule the world and sleep with a million people…if you are fifteen. Some of us get stuck in that grandiose phase and even though it is miserable it’s hard to get out of.

    My ex was stuck in teenager mentality land and I was happy to join him. But my end of the deal meant I had to idolize him and pump him up to no end. Any hint of criticism and his fragile sense of false self was so threatened he would near fly into a rage or want next to nothing to do with me.

    Women were only as good to him as much as they could pump up his ego whether it be through having sex with him off the bat, making his clothes and sandwiches or just fawning over how “brilliant” he was (me).

    There is no need to strive to live egoless. The ego isn’t bad unless it is all that’s left or dominates our thoughts and behaviors. And sometimes it is necessary to suspend the ego. If the ego becomes our only source of identity, things can go very bad, as we lose sight of having a conscience which leads to self destruction and yes hurting people in the wake.

    The points I am still stuck on in terms of idolizing the ex are 1) his body and 2) eh, hem, his anatomy as he was very well endowed.

    I get so sick with longing thinking of the lines of his body. They were long elegant and graceful topped off with a chiseled jaw and large lips. And his shoulders. They were broad and rectangular with these sharp edges. He was also tall and very thin, and again, had a sort of feminine grace to him all the while attaining these masculine qualities. I fear I’ll never be as physically attracted to another man as I was him. And I compare all young men around my age to him and none measure up physically.

    And then there’s his anatomy. As I said, he was well endowed. We never actually had sex though, as we were both sexually unavailable. I hadn’t had sex in years and really looked forward to sleeping with this man and enjoying his body and he mine.

    Unfortunately or fortunately I had to end it due to his poor treatment of me, my poor treatment of myself and my dwindling health due to the stress of it all before we had any significant sexual contact. Wamp wamp. I know it was for the best as he is too risky of a partner on all fronts but the longing is still there and it’s been over a year since the breakup.

    Oddly enough I think my ex’s body type might mirror the physical stature of one of my abusers from when I was very young. Or perhaps I just fancy that type, but I think there’s more to it than just fancy. And the unfulfilled desire for sex with this man possibly represents every deprivation I experienced growing up. Through out our dalliance I felt tortured by what I could not have and what could not be. At least, the loss of the possibility for sex with this person feels like the loss of the self, my hopes, dreams and expectations. Damn that’s a lot to place on a single act or person. Jeez.

    • Teddie says:

      Peanut, I recommend visualizing this man and his glorious bodily endowments in ridiculous poses, such as him in giant pampers (I don’t mean to ridicule old age) as a thought-stopping technique.

    • Lilia says:

      Maybe the craving stops if you know that he knows he has a glorious body… and takes advantage of it – in a bad way.

    • Swissmiss says:


      My experience exactly, even the same body type. As soon as he took off his shirt, I knew it was the father who had neglected me. The eyes, the skin tone, everything. Bliss to lie in his arms like an infant, just breathe and be accepted. His W shamed him mercilessly–sex in the dark, etc–so we both loved putting him on that pedestal. He bloomed like a flower in the desert. He had the same connection to me, and I loved being physically adored. We couldn’t stop touching and caressing each other.

      But I was always second fiddle, like you. Never taken anywhere, no flowers—but I had to hear how the W got a trip to Paris for her 50th birthday, how deep in debt he went to make her happy. The lies and deceit that I accepted! We lived 200 miles apart, and I used the time between visits to regain a shred of self-esteem, and see a therapist to help me get out of it. In the end I walked, but not before I practically begged him to keep it going. Did he say no? Of course not. Just a lot of meaningless waffle, like “I will love you forever.” As pathetic as I was, I sensed his underlying contempt for me and was able to leave. So, Pea, look where all that yearning and desire got me. Good thing you never acted on it. Chemistry is very powerful.

  42. Maria says:

    Hard to read. But bang on. I very much wish I had not met my EUM two years ago. It is difficult to face up to the fact that he just does not feel it for me. Self esteem in my boots. He says we do the sex part well and he is happy to spend time with me when he is home the odd Saturday night. You hear these things but I don’t seem to have the capacity to break away. If my friends were here I would be adamant that they must leave for themselves. He says if it does not suit I should walk away. I have made him so special and important that I can’t humanise him. I felt sick reading the post but it was important to read too. It is down to me and me only to change and grow and move on, hard though it is. Perhaps my envy of him is making me want him more than any kind of delusion of love. Does knowing help? I don’t know I hope so.

  43. Selkie says:

    I wasn’t that happy in my last 6 month relationship and was thinking it was time to opt out but he beat me to the punch and dumped me first. In hindsight, I wasn’t in love with him and we weren’t clicking but when he dumped me I went into a tail spin. All if a sudden he was this guy who didn’t see ME as good enough and it felt like a punch in the gut. Instead of me seeing him as the sullen, boring, closed off, rigid, and cowardly man he is (for the way he dumped me) I put him on a pedestal and refused to see the reality of him. I only saw the potential that I’d assigned him, not his actual being. He was such a step up from the AC abuser and the EUM beautiful ( think Andrew Cooper ) alcoholic previous to him that I thought maybe it was my golden ticket to a real life. I avoided this guy for a whole year, like I had disappeared off earth because I was hurting but I think it was more that my pride was hurt. I decided that I still had earned my place on earth and widened my circle of place, which put in in places he might be. I ran into him a few times and he acted like we were long lost friends. We aren’t and I gave him the cold shoulder. Maybe this is childish, but it felt good that I had a choice this time. I chose not to engage with him or give him the time of day, but my heart was pounding and I felt like I was going to puke. It felt good. Funny thing, after this dreaded and avoided over inflated encounter with this man who I had put on a pedestal, he fell off it and I gently shut the door behind him as I let the illusion go. He’s back to being human, and no better than me…..and no worse. Just a regular man ( who happens to be EU). Whew, such a relief to stop revering and hating him.

    “Do for you what you expect from others and you’ll have self-esteem and one day this person will matter for different reasons – this experience can pave the way to a better relationship with you and with others that will need no glorification.”

    This last paragraph in Nat’s post was priceless. I can ‘see’ it now and how I feel about ME will dictate the kind of relationships I allow in my life and will keep me grounded and in reality so illusions don’t take hold and derail me.
    Once again Natalie, I just want to thank you for sharing your wisdom and helping me find my own way. I am forever thankful.

    • Selkie says:

      Ha ha…..feeling like I had to puke didn’t feel good but facing my fears and this inflated man while making a choice based on how I felt, not what he would think.

  44. Revolution says:

    To all you ladies who still “crave” the ACs….just remember: it’s just oxytocin you’re missing. Have a piece of chocolate. Then go to the gym and take a Spinning class. Seriously. It may sound simple, but I’m just being a realist. He ain’t that special.

  45. jewells says:

    Yeah, yeah, I thought I was being so good, so advanced in healing…then I find out that the exMM has been in town at least 4 times since we broke off. I didn’t expect to think ‘what the f***, and he didn’t try and see me to set things right?’ Then I realized that I still seem to expect him to do things ‘right’, make up for the lousy way he treated me. Then, thanks to BR, it dawned on me…he’s still a louse, will probably always be, and expecting him to set things straight is too much, he is not capable. I miss the oxytocin…he is nothing, high maintenance, liar, selfish. Looking back, the pedestal I had him on was his charisma, intellect and good looks. But, scratch the surface and …that’s it, all she wrote…no wonder it only went 6 weeks, he tried to cut out before I could dismantle the pedestal, as I think he saw was coming…in the end all he did was speed it up and put a period on it. I think I’m ok, just residuals coming up, I wonder what my reaction will be if I actually bump into him…if it happens I’ll keep you posted (meanwhile practicing my best ‘nonchalant’ facial expressions just in case :) )

    • jewells says:

      I just had a buttertart, now off to the gym to work it off…

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Jewells. Stop it. You have been doing well. It’s normal to think about them sometimes, as long as it’s only once in a blue moon, and the duration is short. I wondered, too how I would react when I saw him fro the first time after it was over. Initially, I was terrified of that happening, afraid of showing that I still cared, or acting/saying something stupid. But, by the time I saw him a few months later, I felt nothing. He tried to engage me in conversation. I was politely but obviously not interested in anything he wanted to talk about. I made a hasty retreat. It was so great and I felt hugely victorious because none of it was an act. I truly felt NOTHING for him, not even anger.

        • jewells says:

          Thanks Tink, I think it is just residuals, last flailing spurts of anger….I’ve stopped wanting to drive over cars like his with my 4×4, so I know I’m not as angry as I was. I also know the goal is exactly where you are – actual indifference. That’s why I’m practicing my nonchalant face, just in case I bump into him before I actually reach that point. Last thing I want the Narc to think is that he still affects me, no more pumping his sorry whiney coniving ass. I know that’s all it would take, that’s all Narcs need is to know that they ‘still have it’. puke.
          Meanwhile, I’m still working on myself, working out most days, reading alot, researching, fixing up my place. And happier that I’ve been in a long time.:)

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Jewells. I can relate. Fortunately, the old adage is true, “time heals all wounds”. You’re on the right track, conscientiously working on yourself. I smiled when you said you were practicing your “nonchalant face”, as I did the same. When the crucial and dreaded moment came I was amazed at how indifferent I really felt toward him. I didn’t have to put on an act. Keep doing what
            you’re doing and you will get there, too. If you run into him before you feel strong enough, just think about your BR cyber buddies. I did not even realize just how much I had gotten over him until we were face to face again, and it was all good in the end.

            • jewells says:

              Well Tink, that inspires me, it IS possible. Thanks for your support, it’s meant a lot over the months :)

  46. Peanut says:

    Oh Teddie it works! I’m all giggles.

  47. Starbelly says:

    Yeah, the post is great as usual, but I am afraid that my problem is much bigger that this “glorification thing”…It has been 1,5 year since my last encounter with Mr Unavailable, who totally ruined me emotionally. Believe it or not- no contact since then ( excluding some pathetic tricks he tried to pull on me). And you know what? Even though I know it’s over and I do meet new people, go on with my life and do what I love, deep inside I feel that he did something to me, which cannot be reversed. Nobody impresses me, nobody fascinates me, I am extremely extremely reserved and cautious, I feel like I will never open myself up again. I am not gloryfying the joker, I just feel that he took something which is now gone forever and I find it really really difficult to believe that there is something better waiting for me. I guess that the only reason for me to live is to be there for my friends and go on with my job…once I achieve all my goals I might be just gone, because I feel there is nothing left for me. Seriously, I;d rather die than go thru such emotional hell once again (with some other joker), or, for a little variety, remain a bitter, cold person I am becoming. If this post sounds desperate, I’m sorry, but I just felt like venting..which I normally don’t do.

    • Lacy says:

      I feel the same way every other day or so.I’ve missed ap for my therapy sessions but I am not to hopeful about the session lately, I’m just wondering when will the feeling go away and go away fast.I know it starts with me.I want so badly to get rhis guy out my mind and its not even a feeling of love anymore.

      I just feel used, mislead, jealous hurt, embarrased, its like everyone knew I was a fool I felt it but ignored it, he stayes in my house , I was there holding him when he cried tears about his legal problems, he just lived never buying groceries or paying bills,I thought since his job wasn’t paying much that was a small things to do for someone u love.

      Yeah I loved him but I have to move on in my mind cause now its just jealousy confusion and anger in my mind and heart.

      Living like this is not healthy I will pray for u and me to have a peace of mind.

      I feel u its like the experience u had with these kind of men does something to u and its hard to recover, but I try to pic myself soon smiling and completely over him and the pain.

    • Peanut says:


      I read and immediately connected with your words. I feel the same sometimes. The glory and the attraction are fading in regards to the ex. We dated 2.5 months and it’s been over a year and I am just now seeing things clearer. I am twenty eight. I have no friends because I am cold and I choose not too. This last go about with this man, knocked it out of me. Some days are better than others.

      I know it hurts to feel like someone has kicked you in the gut everyday and that life pretty much sucks. And I personally think it does much of the time when we are going through these types of things.

      We have to find something to live for separate from our friends and partners and perhaps current job (God, I know happiness ain’t at the one I’ve been at).

      We have to find a reason to live and keep going for ourselves each and every day. And sometimes the big reason doesn’t reveal itself until we are ready.

      Hang in there. Chin up Starbelly. At least you have the coolest blog alias name out there. And don’t stop venting even if it’s to yourself. Sometimes positive thoughts are overrated and we need a heavy dose of how we feel to get to a better place. xx

      • Starbelly says:

        Lacy, Peanut, thank you so much for your words which really helped me make it through the day (btw, “starbelly” was an accidental choice, but glad you liked it:))…just as you said, some days are worse than others, sometimes you even get optimistic, but once you think of what happened, the sadness of it all strikes you again. And as you said, I wish it all went away fast, I am totally embarrassed that it has been 1,5 years already and I am still in pieces, while the joker certainly lives as happily as he always has, feeling no remorse and experiencing no consequences of his actions. There is a Hole’s song “Doll parts” with the lyrics: “Someday you will ache like I ache”- I so wish it would refer to him someday! On the other hand, I know that seeking revenge is equally pathetic and I’ve been trying really hard to focus on my life rather than on praying for his misfortune;) actually, I have achieved quite a lot recently, and there is a whole list of things I am planning to do and that I am looking forward to, but as I said, when I think of my love life, or whatever you call it, I can see…nothing. Void, Blackness, whatever. When I read my diary, I can see that this is exactly the same thing I wrote about a year ago. No progress, then? I do have friends, there are people out there who admire me, men who are interested in me, I go out and meet people as I said, but…nothing really changes the way I feel. I have managed to recognize a few jokers on the way , which I am very proud of, but again, it didn’t help me become more optimistic about my future. Thank God I have found this site, I guess I have already said that If I hadn’t found BR, I would have probably blown by brains off. Funnily enough, I have never been “a depressive type”, so you can imagine how the latest “love affair” affected me. Maybe it was just a tipping point, after all, the latest joker was preceded by the whole series of jackasses. I know I needed to open my eyes at last and this experience was probably the only way for me to change sth in my life, but I simply want to believe and to trust again, I want my optimism (not naivety!) back, I don’t want to be bitter and cynical! :( You know what? I will pray for you, too. I used to do that regularly when I hit the rock bottom and then I stopped after I realised that praying makes you think about the problem again instead of giving you “a break” and some relief…but maybe we shall try?

    • AMD says:

      Starbelly, Even though you say you are not glorifying him… the words that you use prove otherwise. “he took something which is now gone forever” and “deep inside I feel that he did something to me, which cannot be reversed”… He ain’t that special to have that sort of effect… you are glorifying him as the end all and be all and worthy of you sacrificing your life at the altar of his ego. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

      • Starbelly says:

        I really wish he didn’t have this sort of effect and I wish I just blew things out of proportion…Thanks for this reality check..after all, I really don’t want to be a drama queen, certain of being doomed and “stigmatised” by some jackass..;)

  48. On Leaving Sugarland says:

    I wasn’t unhappy or searching for anything when I met my ex. I was happy, and I was really flying high professionally. I intentionally helped him up onto the pedestal because that is how I was raised: take care of your man; keep him strong; make him happy; encourage him and support him; attend to all his needs and feelings, and he does the same for you, as it is written–you are one– because ‘they’ said God said…. Oh, and you don’t do what you want, you do what is ‘right’, so you better make sure you are doing the ‘right’ thing, so do what we tell you, you should do, not what you think you could do. Be a good girl.


    Yes, I used to be a full blown people pleaser, I was running around trying to please other people, and every time I did that I was placing them or their values, beliefs, opinions, etc, on a pedestal above me or my own, so after knocking them and their ideas off of the pedestals, I thought, yikes, I have no identity. Who am I? But when I silence their voices, you know it, I hear my own.

    I really have to practice mindfulness, and ‘catch it’, and sometimes the anxiety is so strong that I just give-in to the people pleasing because it drives me up the wall, or sometimes I give into the people pleasing out of habit, and then I cringe, and note that I did it, yet, again…, but I’ll get there because I refuse to put anyone before me, or my God…one moment at a time.

    ~~On Leaving Sugarland

    • Tinkerbell says:

      That’s right, Sugarland. You will triumph over the trials and tribulations that God wants you to, and the others will be your everlasting lessons to be repeated over and over until you learn. But, you will prevail because you WANT IT. All the best, Tink.

      • On Leaving Sugarland says:

        Thank you Tinkerbell.

        I appreciate your support; yes, I WANT IT! :)

        Stay in peace and love,
        ~~On Leaving Sugarland

  49. EUM-R says:

    This and the previous article are fantastic!

    One-Two punch in the gut to help me understand not only my past (I put my ex wife on pedestal when we were married, but she was BPD chopper and used criticism to tear me down)… but more importantly to see the part that I played/allowed/participated/enabled.

    Helps me own up to my part. thank you.

    —DONT read below if you might get upset, but I do appreciate feedback (and empathy) —

    Now – I think im on a pedestal with current FWB.

    I really do love her but i can’t orgasm. I’ve been with 5 or6 women since divorce and was not able to orgasm with any of them. I did orgasm when i did have sex with ex-wife.

    I told FWB that i have to turn off the benefits and be totally “single”. We had our “one last time” and god bless her she really tried, but i just don’t let myself.

    So add this to your list of red flags for spotting EU:
    If you have tons of sex and your partner does not orgasm, they are probably EU

    • Lilia says:

      Ah thanks for that, Roberto. I did have a similar experience with someone last year, he would not be able to orgasm. Which in the end was boring for me. The irony was that I did try to talk to him about it so we could remedy it together, but he was all “Nah, it´s no problem, I´m used to it”. Things just disolved after that. He was probably extremely EU.

    • Anon says:

      EUM-R, You can only orgasm with a woman that is a BPD raging chopper and abuser? Was your mom BPD? The nice women leave you cold? Have you looked into why you were a silent partner? I am morbidly curious about people who love sociopaths and bpds, cuz I really hate them.

  50. Lizzy says:

    Brilliant post and hilarious illustration! x

  51. kuddlykoala says:

    My ex and I had been together for almost 3 years. The main problem, according to him, in our relationship was his lack of trust in me. This trust issue stems from an incident that occurred about 1 year ago. I lied to his face. I know what I did was wrong- I shouldn’t have lied. But at the time I felt tremendously pressured and manipulated by him. I lied because I wanted to do everything I could to protect our then budding relationship without him overacting about something that was in the past and occurred before he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was scared and acted rashly. He ultimately forgave me and agreed to move on (or so I thought). This year, as we tried to rebuild our relationship since that incident, however, I continued to be antagonized by his inability to trust me. Examples: I was never added again on his facebook, he still kept his “single” status on facebook, everyone considered me his girlfriend- except for him (he told me he didn’t fully consider me his girlfriend) and I wasn’t really invited to hang out with him when he was with his friends. Recently we started to argue a bit and I think some of the tension was because I HATED how I often felt like I wasn’t one hundred percent a part of his life. I felt uninvited. When he broke up with me I was so hurt by his reply- “Well I never wanted you to be 100% part of my life. It can never be the same with me after I find out someone lies to me. I can trust you at a max of 80%. How can you not understand that? My relationships with people are solely based on trust. That’s the main problem. I don’t think you’re genuine. Many of the things you said I took with a grain of salt.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After a whole year of being his best friend and girl friend. I thought we had moved past that. He trusted me enough to take him to the hospital when he was sick. He trusted me enough to meet his family. He even cried in front of me about some very personal issues- his little brother died of AIDS, and he has no mother or father. The main problem is exactly what Natalie mentions here. I was putting him on a pedestal this whole time! I took all of the blame from my mistake and allowed really improper treatment from him. Compounding my over eagerness to please him I think was belief that he is so “special.” I was (and still am) inspired by his story of struggle (Harlem to Harvard as I call it). I couldn’t imagine growing up as he did without a mother or father. He is now going to Harvard Law. The school I really wanted to attend. I was placed on the waitlist, and at the moment I will be going to NYU Law. With time I’ve come to realize he does not have all of the qualities needed to make a good and healthy relationship. He has anger management issues, was arrogant, impatient with me, selfish, had impossible standards, didn’t reciprocate my love for him, and (of course) had trust issues. He ended things with me via text saying, “I like that I don’t feel obligated to do things now, don’t have to worry about making you upset anymore, or getting myself angry or small things.” “They’re just not that special that it warrants me decimating my sense of self along with my zest for life.” I will say this over and over again until I believe it.

  52. Mandy says:

    Wow! I was just talking about this today! I have been accessing WHY I hang onto these types of guys/relationships past their ‘sell by’ date. I realize this is huge part of it. The men I’ve been falling for that are unavailable are very good looking, charming, successful, smart, and often the kind of men wanted by other women or even admired by other men.

    This paragraph hit me hard:
    “It’s also best to dodge the trap of believing that if you’d possessed this person then you would have acquired whatever you envy or would have seen a rise in value due to association. This is unhealthy – we’re people not commodities. Once you start to appreciate who you are instead of engaging in very unhealthy comparison, you can address how to evolve you and your life into something that makes you happier off your own steam.”

    Dead on. So thankful for this site and fellow readers!

  53. paolo says:

    A really amazingly great post..Well done Natalie. X

  54. Lilia says:

    This post could have been written for me. If I´m extremely honest with myself, I´ve always looked for popularity in men, for some superficial success that makes them look larger than life. And after the initial excitement, I´ve envied them for it.
    Not that they´ve all been bad partners, but once the relationship was over I felt like such a complete loser compared to His-Highness-on the Pedestal. And I became the FBgirl I thought I deserved to be, faced with these supposedly superior beings.
    I´m taking a hard look at my own accomplishments now and the things I want to do with my life that I´ve projected onto successful guys. I feel I don´t have time for relationships now! It´s a strange feeling, but a good one.

  55. espresso says:

    When you put somebody on a pedestal, the only place for you is beneath them.

    It is an intricate dance and it was what I did in my marriage. When things were deeply upsetting to me I reacted but I then often talked myself out of my strong gut feelings because I just couldn’t say to myself – perhaps he is just an underdeveloped person and perhaps there are justifiable REASONS why I just can’t trust or respect him.

    I had to somehow keep him up on a pedestal. Why? Because I didn’t like myself well enough to feel I was justified in saying what my gut told me. And because (still dealing with this) I thought/knew that other people saw him as “the golden boy” (some told me that) and if I rejected him they would think I was a bad person, unreasonable or mean.
    On my wedding day I was told by his best friend, assclown that he is and was, that I was so lucky to marry the golden boy. People I didn’t even KNOW wrote to us saying that marriage would be the end of his career (what about MY career – I had more plans than HE did). He was smart (so was I) and grew up in a rich admired family. My parents were thrilled that I had snagged him, lucky me! In reality he grew up in a highly dysfunctional, toxic family of an alcoholic where no real emotions were allowed EVER and where there were very very unhealthy boundaries. It was all a facade. My ex all thought it was fine and escaped to dreamland to avoid the pain. (still does).

    It is so boring to me that I am still struggling with these old definitions. Trying to see things straight,equal, in reality and with love for myself now….that is my journey.

  56. Hi Everyone,

    In need of some advice.

    It’s been a while since I posted and things have been up and down.

    This saturday I completed 6 months of No Contact and I am thinking that it is now time to extend the “let’s be friends” card.

    Quick recap: we met and he chased and chased me consistently until I said yes after several “No”s. During the relationship we both made mistakes, but he became borderline obsessive with spending all his time with me, and demanding I meet up with him all the time, questioning my actions with my male friends. He always insisted he was in love with me and couldn’t live without me. Then we broke up following an outburst from him.

    We got back together a few weeks later after he kept coming up to see me and just crying about how much he loved me.

    I went on holiday the day after we got back and while on holiday I found out he was cheating on me. It was devastating and I suffered emotionally and physically (my health deteriorated and I was clinically depressed).

    This was mine and his first relationship.

    When I got back from holiday, and he admitted the cheating, he said he would prove to me that he still loved me and none of the other girls.

    But he didn’t. He still met up with them all the time and invited them over to his flat while he was supposedly in love with me and could “never look at another girl”.

    I last saw him on Monday when he just rushed past and completely ignored me.

    He was an awful boyfriend (there was an instance of physical abuse with him twisting my arm as well), but he was a good friend and I think, given all our mutual friends, that we should at least become platonic friends, where we are willing to be at the same parties without making it awkward for everyone else involved etc.


    I’m thinking of just texting him and saying “Let’s be friends.” And perhaps just inviting him out with all our other friends when we go on a picnic this week.

    Any help will be very much appreciated.

    • Wiser says:

      Awful boyfriends who cheat, lie, devastate you emotionally, are incredibly immature and physically abusive CANNOT be your friend! What are you thinking??? You need to give some serious thought to what friendship is about. Inviting him to do things with you? That’s crazy! I hear nothing about him showing remorse, working on himself, changing his behavior, etc. He needs to know that there are consequences to his actions, mostly that he’s lost the right to be a friend. If you are worried about things being awkward at mutual gatherings, it is possible, with some calm dignity and grace, to be cordial in those situations. You don’t need to be “friends” in order to be cordial. But I wouldn’t seek these situations out!

      • I think he did express remorse when he apologised a while back (via text though..) that he was sorry about what happened and realised he had been a bad boyfriend and that it was because of him we could never be together.

        I’m sure he regrets what he did, but I don’t think he deserves another chance to be my boyfriend – I just want to be able to enjoy his company as a friend.

        It has become really bad with mutual friends as they all feel the tension of what is happening. I am very good friends with his flatmate and I think he feels like he continuously has to be careful as he cannot mention the ex around me.

        If I don’t do it now, I feel like there will never be another time.

    • grace says:

      He is not your friend. In life, we all have to go to school, church, work, weddings, where there may be people with whom there is some history. All you have to do is say “hello” and move on should you bump into each other. No one else cares about your relationship or whether you are friends unless they are dramalovers. There’s no need to pacify such people by taking your ex to a picnic.

      There is nothing wrong with crying, but my boyfriend who has loved me more than anyone else in my life (other than my siblings)has never cried about how much he loves me. Why does he have to cry about it? He’s right here enjoying it!
      What is so special about him that you MUST have him in your life? He’s an abusive, cheating ex boyfriend.

      • Grace,

        I understand what you mean. He said he never cried in front of anyone else, but ever since we broke up the first time, he would literally get over the top emotional and cry about how he was so scared about losing me.

        I feel like he was just fun to have around, but more than that, he was a friend who I now have to treat like an enemy and that it so awkward and painful.

        I won’t see him for four months now if I don’t become friends with him, but then I’ll be seeing him again after summer. It will be just as hard I’m sure and just as awkward for anyone and everyone involved.

        Since we were practically joined at the hip when we were together, all our friends are mutual friends and there is tension when his name is brought up every time.

        It’s a now or never situation I think because if I don’t do it now then there will never be a right time. I’m not sure if he’s even in the city at the moment, but just seeing how he responds to the text might be something..?

        • jewells says:

          Oh, Wish, the tears are probably crocodile – read Nat’s chapter on that in her book. The exMM used tears to get past my boundaries in the first place, then used them to try and squeak out when he realized I was figuring things out, then he used them faucet on full when I made him tell his wife and he balled and balled and balled and said how saaawwrrrrryyy he waaaaassssss… bah, tell him to grow up and stop crying like a baby, it’s unbecoming a grown ass man…

    • EllyB says:

      Wish: One short word: No.

      Please reread what you wrote. There is plenty of reasons why this guy is NOT friendship material.

      NC is always difficult when there are mutual friends, but you HAVE to find another solution. This person is a toxic and possibly dangerous a… He shouldn’t be a part of you life in any capacity.

      • jewells says:

        Wish, I agree with everyone. He does not deserve your friendship. He used words and emotional blackmail to secure you as his primary relationship while he did what he wanted regardless of what he said or promised you. His ignoring you now is ‘punishment’ for not putting up with his crap. The sooner you manage to see him for what he was and not what you thought he was the better. Please work on your self esteem and that will push this goof out of your system. He has no class, no integrity and can only do you harm.

        • Jewells,

          I think I perhaps attached too much significance to ‘friendship’. I just mean become not-enemies. Where we are able to have fun together, without picking at our emotional baggage.

          I also believe that he ignored me because he thinks I have no wish to speak to him at all and that I have moved on. If he knew otherwise, he would almost certainly have tried.

          As a friend, I think he will be pretty harmless because he will have many more boundaries to abide by. Maybe that’s why I think it is time to let him try to be a better person – by giving him the opportunity to just exist in the same sphere as me!

          • yoghurt says:

            wish, chuck, he didn’t abide by your boundaries when you were together, why would it make any difference if there were more of them? That’s just more boundaries to ignore.

            I’m all for forgiveness but you’re NOT forgiving someone if you let them back in a position where they can hurt you – what you’re doing is ignoring the impact of their behaviour on a person of importance (you). And while you don’t have a clear idea of the impact of their behaviour, how can you forgive it?

            It’s also not caring for someone to let them back in your sphere to hurt you, either. Bad for their soul.

            With the best will in the world, you didn’t bring out the best side of this bloke (not that I imagine he has a best side to bring out) and putting him in the way of temptation to do more head-screwing and abusing isn’t going to do him any good, either.

            • Yoghurt,
              He won’t have a choice as a friend. He won’t be getting access to my Facebook again or my phone.

              I know you mean it in the kindest way possible, and I am going to take this the right way, I really brought out some of his worst qualities, but also some of his best ones.

              But, I am not looking to help him fix up his life, I want friendship to allow for SOME communication and happiness, while strict “friendship” limits are kept in place.

              • yoghurt says:

                I did mean it kindly, but – and I’m sorry, because I know that it sucks to believe – it’s also the truth. Physical abuse, controlling behaviour and cheating completely trumps ANY amount of honest self-appraisal/emotional awareness/feeding of homeless kittens that he might’ve done in your presence. Besides which, genuine progress would’ve prevented him from acting out those foul behaviours at all.

                Like I say, I’m sorry because I know (very well!) how strongly you want to believe that you were good for him. But if you had been, he’d have been good for you and he wasn’t.

              • yoghurt says:

                I should add that I believe it’s bad for ANYONE to be repeatedly allowed to treat someone else badly. You think you’re doing them a favour and you’re not.

                It manks up their patterns of behaviour even further – thus lessening their ability to have a healthy relationship even further. It probably fuels their self-loathing, if they possess the capacity. And it gives out the wrong message about interpersonal relating – in the ordinary big wide world nobody’s going to put up with them being a doofus, so why should their ex/girlfriend?

                He treated you without love, care and respect when he was your boyfriend. If he has developed the capacity to love, care for and respect you in the meantime then it would show by him leaving you severely alone and letting your wounds heal without further hassle.

      • paolo says:

        Wish..What’s making you extend the friendship card is some kind of attachement in you to this unhealthy individual..I strongly suggest you address the need to have contact with him and read Natilie’s post about the ‘Hooks’ that can keep us attached to people…It doesn’t seem like anything other than unhealthy attachment on your behalf to make contact again..And you need to address what that is to get rid of it.

        • Paolo,

          I’ve tried for 6 months to find what it is that makes this need for friendship or for him to be in my life in come capacity so urgent.

          I think it is simply the time we spent together and the things we did. It meant a lot at the time and it still does now. I am in no way ever considering getting back in a relationship with him, but I think friendship is the way forward because it breaks the awkwardness without offering too much of an emotional connection.

          I want to just be able to meet up with him when other people are there and to be able to attend gatherings where both of us can be present and pleasant to each other.

          I shall have a look at that post though! And hopefully it will help me answer some of the questions.

          • jewells says:

            Wish, reading your response to myself and Paolo, I think you may not necessarily be looking for ‘friendship’/buddy buddy/bff forever, but peace. You just want an equilibrium in your relationship circle without drama or issues ensuing, just want to have a good time with your friends without the tension…am I warm? As Tink and I have been discussing, she ran into her ex and felt nothing, I am hoping for the same with my situation should the occasion arise. I also have an analogy from work that may apply here – there was someone who went over the line with me, I went to the union and wrote him up. There was a shit load of drama at the time, and afterwards he was obviously uneasy around me. I just regarded him professionally and eventually he came to relax, probably had to find out that the write up was it, there was no fall out after, and that it didn’t make me an ogre, despite the brotherhood glomming together to assure him and each other that I indeed was an ogre and that he’d done nothing wrong. Neandrathals, they really do resist being brought into the 21st century in their behaviours sometimes.
            Anyhoo, if you can keep yourself on an even keele, you may accomplish what you seem to be wanting. I would just ixnay the long text and invite to friendship – he may misunderstand your intent as I seemed to have. Don’t put too much thought into it, just go out and have fun with your friends and let him be – no heavy talks, no tension, just be you and let him release his own tension as he will as he learns he can, and you can be setting a new boundary of mutual respect and unspoken agreement of peace. You can still be NC in his presence – it’s a mental state. It will be harder, but apparently can be done. I’m personally practicing my nonchalant face in case I run into the ex and find I’m reacting to him and last thing I want is to let him know that. So, NC, present or not :)

            • Jewells,
              Yes I saw that. It is so amazing for Tink. And I was in exactly the same place. I saw him a while back and I looked at him and then looked away and didn’t get paralysed and have a breakdown like I used to.

              I just carried on talking to my friends. The next time I saw him though, he ignored me and then I felt a bit hurt.

              But now that it’s summer, I have the possibility of being friends and avoiding the possibility of continuously having to judge how I will react the next time I see him.

              Haha I love your Neandrathals analogy! And you’re right, I’m not looking for a best friend in him – just platonic friendship.

              I think the way forward may just be to let things fall together naturally and not force friendship (as you said). I could hope for the best and just wish that he will stop acting like we hate each other and start putting the effort in to be civil.

      • Elly,

        I have had very mixed reactions from friends when I have asked for advice because I’m in such a confused place regarding this. Some have said, “Go for it, if that is what you want and you can handle it” while others have screamed “No way!”

        My story shows he is NOT boyfriend material, but I think he could be a friend. I’m not looking for a best friend in him again, just someone who if I meet, we could laugh, talk and then just live our separate lives.

        What other solution is there? He is toxic, but shouldn’t I be the bigger person and be forgiving? I want to clear anything in the air and get over the “We are sworn enemies” phase.

    • Tee tee says:


    • Thank you so much for the replies everyone. I have been on the verge of sending the text I have drafted the entire day and the only thing that I has stopped me is that I have to type out his number as I don’t have him on my phone contacts anymore!

      I’m still thinking about whether or not I should and will probably write a pros and cons list (cheesy, I know) and then decide which way to go.

      • grace says:

        It’s not normal to spend all day drafting a text. This means too much to you and you should drop it. You can be his friend when you no longer want to be his friend.

        • jewells says:

          Oh Grace, that was so much more succinct and to the point than my above lengthy explanation…:)

          • BurnedAgain says:

            Wish. You want peace, you want to be the bigger person and forgive, but you don’t need to do that by sending him a text to make HIM feel better.
            One thing you might not have considered, if you are hell-bent on sending it (which I reckon you are) is what if he doesn’t reply? Will you really feel ‘well that’s a shame, but I’ve done my bit, no drama, the end!’ and move forward healthily with your life, OR will you feel somehow like he has some power back, like you’re waiting on the reply, like you may feel more nervous seeing him next time, or more awkward, or perhaps feel upset that he couldn’t even bother to respond, or wonder WHY he didn’t respond and go over and over it, or kick yourself for sending it? I’m only laying it all out here like this because you might not be thinking about the next step once you send it and how it might effect you, however emotionally strong you feel now.
            Because this should only be about how YOU feel. You’re obviously a nice, caring, considerate person who wants to make it all ok, but life is long, this precise moment might not be the time to do that where he’s concerned. Maybe it’ll be when you return to school in 4mths. Maybe it’ll be over the summer. Maybe it’ll be when you’re 40.
            The fact is, you need to project how you might feel tomorrow if you don’t hear from him, and whether that will affect you positively or negatively. I’m just pointing it out.
            One really good piece of advice (which I never listen to myself when I should – I’ve been guilty of being the Queen of sending a text to try and smooth things over and make it ok with the ACs in my life instead of just leaving the wound to heal!) is if you’re even in 1% doubt, then DO NOT SEND IT. Sit with it a week. See how you feel then.

            • Burned Again,

              Thankyou so much. I can’t say it enough to you and to everyone else who replied.

              You are actually right, I didn’t consider the whole what if he doesn’t reply scenario. But I did consider calling him or meeting him in person instead of sending the text.

              I haven’t sent it for that very reason, because I’m doubting the consequences. You’re right, life IS long, but time is short. I feel like I’m running our of time to make it all okay.

              I am desperately trying to fill up all my time so that I have no time to spend thinking about out possible friendship, and hoping that the more stuff I do alone, the less I will need to rely on things being less awkward in our friendship groups.

              We are going out as friends tomorrow, and I don’t know if he’ll come if I invite him (through his flatmate), but I am willing to try and see. If nothing happens, I would know that at least I tried. If he doesn’t – his loss.

        • That just hit me (in a good slap-in-the-face way). I spent an entire day (and now three days) wondering about whether or not we should be friends..

          Precious time wasted.

          • BurnedAgain says:

            No problem Wish. I promise you’ll look back on this one day and think ‘oh god WHY did I stress so much about that guy?!’ (I know you won’t believe me now, but trust me).
            You haven’t wasted any time, it’s all learning about yourself and growing that you’re doing.
            He was your first love, of COURSE it’s hitting you really hard, all this. And like I said, I know all too well that feeling of trying to smooth things over/do the right thing/be the bigger person/make it all ok – but please if nothing else, consider your own feelings before his. Even if you continue to consider his, I can’t stop you, but put yours FIRST. That’s when the wasting time comes, when you put them first and are more concerned about their reactions to how you handle a situation than your own. His reaction should not be your motivation – your happiness should be your motivation!

            • Tinkerbell says:

              BA. I love that,”His reaction should not be your motivation – your happiness should be your motivation. True,that.

  57. Peanut says:


    You were involved with a very abusive man. NEVER place anyone on a pedestal because they have prestige or a place in society you want or admire. This is not the man for you. Seeking out trusted help with a competent therapist really helped to put me back together. Though you must own your part in sticking around this man past the first red flag, it’s not you it’s him.

    I am someone who comes from a no parent (living parent is an addict, mother deceased) background and was very much a vagabond during my childhood. But that does NOT mean I get a free ticket to manipulate, be cruel and abusive. I have the same basic responsibilities as anyone who has fared better or worse and so does he. Don’t stick around when people play the pity card. I’ve been on both ends of it. We can really feel for someone and love them but only if we don’t compromise ourselves in the process.

    Sometimes we like or even feel deeply for someone who is not good for us and on some level we know this. So we either meet their level of dishonesty or we pick some human mistake of ours, prosecute ourselves for it all the while justifying mistreatment from them so we don’t feel compelled to leave. We prosecute ourselves and give them free passes to wreak havoc in our lives unless we get away from these toxic types and stay away. We can’t save them.

  58. Peanut says:


    If you take the time to heal, opt out of unhealthy situations and relationships, I see no reason why you can’t return to optimism and with strength replacing naivety.

    And as for the name Starbelly, I read where a composer said his best music was written off the back of a mistake. :) Take care xx.

  59. Tinkerbell says:

    Kuddly. He is not worth, to quote Nat, “the steam off your pee”. Lieing to him to preserve the relationship was definitely not wise. However, he pretended to forgive you and then has continued to throw it back in your face and use it as an excuse to dish out verbal/emotional abuse. It would have been kinder if he’d just left. This is a very manipulative individual with the potential to be extremely evil. You will always be one down if you continue interacting with him, much less attempting to procure love from him when he “ain’t feelin’ it.”

  60. cameron says:

    Thank you Natalie for giving it to us straight as it is not how we wish it could av been. At Peanut,u r dead right. I was involved with someone like that,someone I considered my friend,he was an orphan too and he used that pity card to get to me. He told me that he never told people how he lost his parents and I felt special cos he confided in me. He was a Mr unavailable. With people like that,Kuddykoala,you can never win. You lose yourself trying to win them over. You change and yet its never enough. They criticise you and yet show some affection,leaving the string dangling so you can never leave. Everything is always on their terms and God forbid if you ever manage to question them,they punish you by ignoring you or treating you so badly that you cry every night. Yet you still love them and want them back even after the hell you ve gone through. Its only normal to feel that way,after all you are human and you actually loved them genuinely even if they didn’t. But this is when reality has to set in. YOU HAVE TO LET THEM GO. If they can reject you,you reject them too!! Nobody is so special. With time,you would realise that you should never tolerate people like that,they deserve no place in your life. I’ve learned the hard way that you should observe people before investing your emotions. My EUM tried to spoil my reputation behind my back,he told people intimate things that had happened between us and they laughed at me. I found this out from several friends. I was so mad but I never broke NC. He should live his life while I live mine,I would never give him the satisfaction of thinking he could affect me. So Kuddykoala,God is good and he will provide you with a good man that easily forgivees. I think I may av found mine but am still watching him. Cheers!!

  61. espresso says:

    I keep running into new challenges about boundaries and how to act in this transition period of separation from my ex husband. I have trouble handling my own feelings when they get triggered because I seem to become retraumatized and each one brings up new epiphanies about him, me or our relationship . Recently out of the blue he purchased something for me that I did not ask him to and NEVER indicated he would/should be a part of. He had overheard my daughter and I discussing this item that I had bought for myself and then lost or had stolen on a metro and actually asked me if he could find it and buy it for me. This is totally inappropriate at this stage of our relationship but he doesn’t get boundaries at all and I have to be very clear. So I told him …no thanks – that I did not want him to buy this and that this item was no longer important to me, which WAS true. I THOUGHT I had been completely clear. So he went ahead and did it anyway which involved some extra work on his part which is a pattern that always drIVEN me crazy (not listening to what I say) and THEN wrote an email to my daughter telling me he had run around town and had found this thing for me!!!! (I saw a return on an email she later sent to me). There was NO reason to mention this to her at ALL except to be trying to say “see, I am such a kind man – I am doing such nice things for mum” The whole event made me sick because it put ME in the USUAL position of not WANTING the gifts which were “SO kind” but in my view were just ignoring my stated wishes and actually not respecting me. My counselor asked me if I felt he was being manipulative – and I suddenly realized that YES I do…and that I feel he is trying to score points with our children by trying to impress upon them how nice he is being to me. I also see that he is love bombing our kids and paying them a lot more attention whereas I have always been consistent in the ways I stay in contact. So this is another epiphany and something else I have to learn how to handle better but most of all IN myself.
    Where I get emotionally stuck is on this whole pedestal thing. It is NOT a fair representation at ALL of his emotional engagement with his kids. He is/was good father in many ways (and they love and respect them) but it was always me that built the relationships, made most of the important decisions, handled the crises(health and otherwise) and enforced the boundaries. In these cases, especially where there were things to be done and crises to be managed, he simply faded out of the picture. I have a craving to have that work and engagement recognized. I KNOW it is inappropriate to want this and I will not criticize him to the children (this is destructive) but I do not want to be USED by him to score points either. I have deep fears that he will be seen as the nice guy (the golden boy) and I will be seen as the woman who can never be satisfied. It all goes back to the pedestal thing which really benefitted him for so many years.

  62. kookie says:

    been there done that! even more pathetic , not only did i put my ex on a pedestal, i put his relationship with his ex he was not over( the reason we broke up) on a pedestal! i was not jealous of her really, but jealous of what i imagined must be such an intense, enduring passion to have lasted so long, albeit on-off. now i see that whatever they had wasn’t the love story of the century but actually quite a toxic relationship and don’t want anything like it when i do fall in love. putting their stupid childish relationship off the pedestal and aim for something healthier than a titanic level drama!

  63. Peanut says:


    I know when we realize certain unconscious behaviors were not working for us it can feel as though it is yet another blow to our already fragile self esteem. But once we realize this we move past it and can be better for it as you pointed out.

    Since my fascination with my ex is dwindling I’ve noticed a lot of things I thought were so great really aren’t. I guess this is growing up! I thought I had to be a lot of things I saw and idolized in other people and it was a lot of pressure. Then I realized all the calculated smoothness and most perfect image in the world can’t get you self respect.

    Self respect comes from exactly what you are doing. Introspection, being vulnerable enough to admit something was off, getting help and openly listening to people.

    And many of the people I looked up to were wounded and working their issues out (and not in necessarily good ways). We don’t get to truly be anyone else in this lifetime, so we might as well go ahead and give it all we’ve got in trying to be us.

  64. Peanut says:


    I’m sorry your ex tried to humiliate or tarnish you to people you knew and then they responded by being jerks. What strength you posses for maintaining no contact. I admire you. And I really enjoyed all the insights from your comment. Xx

  65. kuddlykoala says:

    Peanut,Tinkerbell, and Cameron- Wow thank you! I am on my 16th day of no contact and this is just the kind of analysis, support, and advice I needed!

    I think his background makes for such a striking individual but underneath all that there are clearly are some issues he needs to resolve on his own. Hi mother was a crack addict who died when he was young and he has no idea who is father is. His aunt, who raised him until middle school, was abusive to him and didn’t really think of him as her child or obligation since she had her own kids. This same aunt has been in and out of jail. He was first in his family to go to college and the majority of his family either sells drugs or hasn’t graduated from HS. His younger brother, only 18, died of AIDS last year which he contracted at birth from his mother. After all this my ex still made it out and will be attending Harvard law. As you say Cameron, I felt special because “he never told people” about his background (especially considering the ivy undergrad where we met, where many people’s background is of affluence). He confided in me! (How unique I naively thought). I found his story of struggle so uplifting and I think that’s what led me to give him the “green card” as you describe Peanut.

    A bit before I started NC I told him it really hurt me that after all this time together he could tell me he didn’t think I was genuine. In response he said, “You’re sad that I don’t think you’re genuine? I don’t get that either because what do you think it means when someone doesn’t ever think you’re telling the truth? I had to take many things that you said with a grain of salt because I know how well you can fabricate a story. You proved that.”
    Again this is about that incident that occurred over a year ago. (the incident did not involve cheating I must say) Should I have lied to him over a year ago? No. But I feel that our relationship had grown so much since that time. Kuddlykoala version 2010 is not the same as Kuddlykoala 2013! And neither is our relationship. Even my friends say my ex broke up with me not because of trust and what occurred could have been easily forgiven. If he didn’t truly trust me he wouldn’t have been with me for this whole year and been vulnerable with me. Secondly if this was his reason, the 1 imperfection he has against me, he hasn’t looked in the mirror enough because he is FAR from perfect either. He broke up because the burden of connecting with me on a deeper level became too tiring. He is at a place in his life where it was convenient to drop that burden. So he did. Trying to procure love form him when he “ain’t feelin it” is exactly what I did in the month long break up period. I kept trying to reconcile with him when he told me he needed “time and space to think about things.”

    I hated that when he was ended things with me he kept saying he loved and cared about me, but “this relationship hasn’t been good. There are a lot of issues that I don’t think will be resolved. But if you ever want me as a friend, I’ll be there.” UGH How could he say the entire relationship hasn’t been good? 3 years worth of NOT GOOD? Boggled my mind. And I said hell to the no to the friend thing.

    This was my first real relationship, first and only man I’ve been sexually intimate with so as you can imagine, NC has been hard. I still think about him often and I especially hurt because I think he is with a new girl (a friend from middle school, who I did not approve his friendship with her during our relationship). I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotions (from feeling used (for the love and support I provided in the law school application process) to feeling tossed/trashed aside (he didn’t even meet with me personally to break up with me, it was all through text). But I know I will emerge stronger. And I have learned so many lessons in the process of this breakup about the kind of man I want to create a healthy relationship and life with!

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Kuddly, Hon. You are inexperienced in love, having told us that this is your first real relationship. So it’s understandable that you have a lot to learn. But it’s important that you
      face reality and stop romanticizing. This man has been cruel to you. You’re excusing that because he’s had a very tough childhood and has been impacted by very unsavory relatives. You are fixated on his “Harlem to Harvard” life story. While, that’s laudable, he certainly is the not the first person to ever do accomplish that. MANY people in this world have had even worse hardships to overcome, have made a success of their lives and certainly not all of them have been as inconsiderate and insensitive as this guy. It’s not what he’s done in is life that should be the focus of your interest, but who he is and how he treats you. If he cannot treat you with respect, honesty , love and deep caring for YOU, he is just not worth your investing so much time trying to keep it going. The things that this man has said to you, and I’m sure he has backed it up with callous neglect, are not what you should be wanting in a man. You have not said what you plan to do about him, but you’ve stated that you’ve learned some lessons and you see things in him that don’t gel with a healthy relationship. I hope you will listen to that little inner voice, or your gut, and flush him. He IS NOT THE ONLY FISH IN THE SEA, and you can do better. Don’t be stubbornly clinging to false hope , and don’t be afraid of change. It can, especially in this case, be a very good thing. Good luck.

      • kuddlykoala says:

        Yes indeed! Thanks so much for your thoughts Tinkerbell. I’ve copied down some ideas you wrote here as I continue moving on with my life without him. I missed red flags and believed in love rather than the actual qualities besides love that are needed for a healthy relationship including: consistency, progression, sensitivity. I’m definitely “flushing”. Some days I still feel sad- our relationship wasn’t all bad! Definitely some good memories there. But in time I know I will look upon the past without that rose tinted haze.

  66. DiggingDeeper says:

    Natalie, I like your illustration because when I look at it, on the one hand, I see a person on bent-knees, pumping up some pumped-up AC in a ‘superman’ suit, but on the other hand, I also see a person getting ready to pull an AC off of a water tower, by his/her cape. Ha!

    I like it. I like it…because it illustrates that it depends on how we look at things,… er, our outlook, and we always have a choice. :)

  67. livinglife100 says:

    Hey yall actually needed some quick advice. Next monday my alma mater is having a happy hr. I would really like to go and have a nice time with friends. However I am pretty sure my ex will be there as well. Also, I’ll only be on my 21st day or so of no contact. I think I could keep to myself and not say hi etc, but I am a bit nervous. I don’t want to derail my progress just bc I see him there out of the corner of my eye. I also want to be able to relax and enjoy myself What do you think? Should I just avoid the event?
    On the one hand I want to avoid unnecessary drama. On the other, I want to live and enjoy my life! Why hide in fear while my ex goes out there and gets to live his.

  68. Tired says:

    Thats the problem , when you get low, bored or hurt you can long for the misplaced attention of these idiots . Example theres a guy at work i know likes me , hes on a rebound as wife left a couple of months ago and im steering well clear .im nine yrs older so i know my age bothers him but he flirts with me all the time . I keep it cool , but ive learntfrom here how things should be so im keeping my distance how ever much i like him . Its made me a bit sad as for once id like it to go right and i think because of this its made me think of ex mm , ive heard he is tired looking and not any happier with the ow he left for . I thought it would cheer me up hearing that but i felt nothing , i do miss the laughing but then i remember how he so easily lied , that is not a caring person . So i get on with it , so i have done my English o level and applied to go back to collage in Sept and im looking after my friends dog in week :)

    • Sanntay says:

      Tired: Take it from me, you do NOT want to get involved with anyone from work. I am still trying to recover from the aftermath of what I got involved in and it was simply not worth it. If you have pegged this guy’s character already: he’s an uncaring liar on the rebound, don’t ignore the signs, run fast in the other direction! Yes, the attention is nice, but if we let that cloud our judgement (words alone without consistent actions), there will be suffering and stress in the long run. At least that has been my experience. So, to repeat, RUN RUN RUN! This guy doesn’t mean you any good. He doesn’t care about you and is only out for what he can get, and it will only lead to heartache and regret.

      • runnergirl says:

        Tired, when are you going change your name?

        Don’t go down that path. You’ve got the flashing neon red flag…wife (who still is his wife) left a couple of months ago. That’s it…end of. She is still his wife and he’s on the rebound cos he’s hurt. I’m very sorry to say, he may be looking to get laid to make sure he’s still got it. You aren’t that woman anymore, right?
        I have a new facial tip: Try frozen cucumber slices. Good for you getting back to college. I wish you could be in my class!

  69. AfroK says:

    BR..where have you been in my life? I have read, re-read and read this article. I couldn’t comment, it got me emotional. I can’t even quote any part of it because each and every line hit me really hard, it’s me. This is where I am, at the alter of that church on my knees glorifying the AC. I have decided the AC ex husband has destroyed me, who I am and my future life. Why am I feeling like that, I don’t know but I just believe it. I see a counselor and narrative therapist but that belief is still deep deep down.

    And then there is the AC I’ve been avoiding to talk about, FWB shit, for some reasons what happened, nothing compared to ex husband but it hurts more than that. Maybe be it’s just the straw that broke the camel’s back, or a shame and anger of allowing myself to be a door mat, or the fact that I wanted to end it since early on but kept on postponing until he dumped me. Arrogant, self important, fake, treated me like I was beneath him. He did acts of kindness, one of it I’ll never forget. Which also make me feel guilty of reacting to the shady stuff. Someone you’d sleep with but in the day light avoid to be seen with you in public as in being ashamed, keeping you big secret. No he wasn’t married or dating. What I hate and angry the most? He left with his ass pumped up to bust believing that I think he is the great man and that I’m glad he came to my life at the time that he did:(( I told him so, OUCH!

    • runnergirl says:

      AfroK, I’ve been following your comments and I want to give you a giant cyberhug for getting out of a terrifying situ. Your initial posts left me without words. I was too emotional to give you support. I’ll give a shot now. Dump every single loser guy. Don’t worry if they leave thinking they are the cat’s meow. Eff them. Who cares what you told them. It’s what you do next that counts…which is NC their flipping arse. That takes them off the pedestal immediately. Stay completely away from the exH. That guy sounds dangerous and evil.

      Thinking about you…


  70. AfroK says:


    Good riddance of that AC that chose to forget having married 4 times. As you are struggling to understand the lying, which you probably will never make sense out of it, try to find comfort that you have dodged so much crapolla that was about to come your way if you had married that weirdo. I didn’t have your strength that’s why I’m here. I thought I’s 2nd, then found out I’m actually 3rd, then actually 4th, and guess what? They all left him, all violent, all cheating on him poor AC! Good on you for kicking his lying ass.

  71. cameron says:

    @ Peanut,thank you so much for the kind words.@ Kuddykoala,stay away from your ex,don’t let him take up space in ur head. Infact,forget about him,don’t talk about him anymore cos the more you reminisce about how badly he treated you,the more hurt you will feel. Change your thoughts,change the way you feel about him. It might not seem that way now but in the end you will see that he did you a favour.

  72. AfroK says:


    Catch some AMEN, I’m throwing a couple your way! Haha! “Praise the Lord and Natalie…” just soooo funny! Then doing the “serious rosaries” bit…oh boy, thanks for the laugh!

    • Revolution says:

      Afro, girl.

      Thanks for your comments! I loved the “Amen!” echo and also the confirmation of your beautiful fro being real. I don’t know why, but it just makes me smile. God, I’m jealous. ;)

  73. Peanut says:


    It felt like home resting my head on his chest and everything in life felt warm fuzzy and perfect. I felt I had slain the beast, made the men who used, abused and left me love me. He was a composite of all of them, a patchwork of my shady past.

    When I left he was relieved. So was I in a way. By then the fuzzy feelings had faded and I felt numb even in his arms. By this time I had felt enough of my own pain to have enough self worth to stop avoiding the realities that were seeping in.

    The months that would follow the breakup were hell. The pain was so great I felt as though I was being stabbed in the gut a million times a day which faded to where I’m at; I feel as though someone carved out my gut with a butter knife and spread sorrow all around. I know this isn’t totally about him, probably mostly it is not. It doesn’t stop the pain though.

    When I was a baby I was left alone with my seriously mentally ill mother and she could barely keep me alive much less give me affection. Based on accounts from family members and a weird penchant for dark closets as an adult, I surmise I spent a good deal of my infancy alone and in a closet. Then at 9 months my mother left me with my grandmother who was cold and showed almost no affection toward me and when she did I hated it; she was a very creepy woman with rotten teeth and a freaky smoker’s voice. She terrified me as a child yet I yearned to make her different as she was all I had.

    The ex came along and showered me with physical affection. I felt like a human for the first time in my life. When he left I felt like a subhuman, like a monster no one wants to touch unless to abuse, just as I had felt as a child.

    It’s been a bit over a year since the breakup. The ex has long since moved on. I am still stuck but it’s not so much on him; it’s more on being willing and open to process my pain and reality.

  74. Tinkerbell says:

    Wonderful Tired, I’ve thought about you. All the best and keep us posted with GOOD news. Hugs, Tink.

  75. tiny dancer says:

    What are inverted ego issues?

  76. Carrie says:

    I recently had one of the most unexpected heartbreaking experiences with a nan I “thought” I was dating for 9 months. It has been almost 2 months since we have spoken two each other, this being his choice of course, but after his treatment of me after being caught in a lie I shouldn’t be surprised. I have never felt this much pain after rejection and I can’t seem to shake it ot stop seeing him as this bigger than life individual.

    What has me confused is why he was so mean to me after I caught him cheating and why he refused to talk to me unless it was to demean me and say that he never lied and there was never anyone else once he started seeing me. My self esteem and love for myself is shamingly almost nonexistent and I feel so much anxiety fearing that I may see him in passing. I literally fear him or possibly represents to me which is the hurt that the entire experience has caused. Yes he is an assclown and a Mr. Unavailable. Any suggestions to help me move past this pain?

    • Tabitha says:

      Yes Carrie. I really sympathise, it is so awful to have been cheated on and do not allow him to cheapen your pain. Repeat after me “I do not want a cheater, I deserve better than a cheater, I am lucky to have escaped this cheater.”
      If you focus on yourself and are kind to yourself you can slowly rebuild your self esteem. Hang out with people who love you, I find aunties and older female friends most helpful when my self esteem needs a boost. Do something positive for yourself, whether it is physical like a manicure, or cerebral like enrolling in a course, anything that brings the focus back to you will help.
      No need to glorify him. He just isn’t that special. Special men do not cheat.

  77. Carrie says:


    Thanks! There were other elements and dynamics of the relationship which mad it exahusting both physically and mentally. I wwas always asking myself why this AC was so hard to break…when at the end I was the one who got broken. I was always guessing where I stood with him and even though he told me he loved me I always felt like he was giving me the best crumbs I had ever tasted! I think what troubles me the most is how the blame was shifted onto me! He sent me a text after I called him and got no answer with him saying he was at the movies with his kids and on my way home Ipassed his house and saw his truck and another truck parked in his drive way! I went to his home uannounced which I know was wrong, but the hurt I felt and the emotions that come with rejection just took over. He was very nonchalant and crass but later it got even worse when I wanted answers. He was horrible towards me and had never acted in such a way torwards me.

    The humiliation I felt was defeating. I still cannot get past the blame shift and him saying that it is up to him to pursue or let go now and that he liked and cared for me and would like to continue to be cool but without all the text messages. I have not tried to contact him in over a week and dont plan to ever again These type of men always try to test the waters I am told and I just want to be strong enough to tell him to f off.

    I am excited about getting to know and work on me again…but part of me misses talking to him and would like a frienship on my terms…I want the upper hand is this crazy?

    • Allison says:

      I’m sorry that you were hurt by this man, but your following comments were what alarmed me: “There were other elements and dynamics of the relationship which mad it exahusting both physically and mentally. I wwas always asking myself why this AC was so hard to break… I was always guessing where I stood with him ”

      Why were you choosing to be with someone you had “to break?” It doesn’t sound like this guy was really present at any time.

    • Tabitha says:

      yes, it is crazy to want to be friends with a loser like this. He will treat you even worse as a friend. Also, you are kidding yourself. You do not want to be his friend, you just want to hang around in the periphery, seeing if he misses you, trying to get him to see what a great girl you are and how he messed up. Imagine how you would feel when your “friend” tells you all about the gorgeous new girlfriend he has?
      He will probably try to get you to hover around in the fallback girl position, as an option in case he runs out of attention from other sources. He will test the waters and if you so much as answer his calls he will smirk to himself and think that you still want him. If you answer his texts he will then leave you dangling for a few weeks/months/whatever suits him. I know. I have been there. The pain nearly killed me. He has made it clear he will only ever have a relationship with you on his terms and frankly they do not sound attractive.
      The ONLY way to get the upper hand is to run away and stay away. Imagine yourself as the one that got away if it helps, but stay NC. There is happiness out there for you Carrie, but it does not lie with this assclown.

  78. Carrie says:

    Great feedback gems! Thank you so much for putting it back into perspective for me. I guess with everything going on in my life right now I was missing his consistent inconsistencies and having someone to share the drama with! It is definitely his loss! I am way better off without him….everyday I have peace of mind rwminds me of that.

  79. Carrie says:


    You are absolutely right! I have finally begun to realize he truly wasn’t. Except when I had prepared something fabulous for dinner.

  80. AfroK says:


    Thanks a lot for your kind words of support, I feel the squeeze of your hug:). Sorry my story affected you emotionally. But you still found the strength to give me support, it means a lot. I myself find it overwhelming that’s why it took me time to share.

    I’m happy for you that you have big plans for your life and that you didn’t let the AC damage your life and career. How did you do it? It is inspiring to read stories like yours. And should I say, I love your kitchen:). Sounds like a place for pilgrimage after one is done with the worshipping at the Ass Clownery church!

  81. AfroK says:


    Congrats om your book project! It is great and inspiring to read about people who, apart from being into the AC shit storm, have stood strong and achieved bright careers!

    I wish I had that strength. I’m 36 and feel like it is all over. Oh the regrets I have…

  82. Revolution says:


    36!!!! My God, life is not over, dear girl. I’ll be 36 this year and I JUST discovered Zumba (my new passion) this last year and am LOVING it. My mother found the love of her life in her late 50s. Life is a GIFT and every day and every person we encounter needs to be met with as clear a heart and head as we can muster! Let’s not muck it up by performing the last rites on ourselves! At 36 no less!! Though I’d say the same to anyone at any age!!!! Girl, please don’t waste time in that headspace. It’s such a waste and you have your WHOLE LIFE and so many opportunities to learn/try/achieve new things!!! You keep that beautiful afro UP, and eyes forward now, love. :)

    • Mymble says:

      “performing last rites on ourselves”
      That’s hilarious! I am sooo guilty of it too, moping about the hot flashes & grey hairs, and the Tragedy of My Wasted Youth. But I was having those kind of thoughts (it’s too late, I’m old n’ugly, it’s all over) when I was in my thirties! Bah, I was a lil baby!
      I hope you (& I) have many more happy times and experiences ahead.

  83. JJ2 says:

    Been awhile since I have commented. I THINK…. I comment as JJ2 cuz I saw another JJ on here.

    Anyway, wow, good post. Natalie, since you pound it into our heads, that our bad choices are related to our family dynamics, I am reading your blog in conjunction with another blog called “Emerging from Broken” (anyone interested, google it) written by a Canadian lady. Boy are these two blogs inter-related! (PS, I mentioned BaggageReclaim on the Emerging from Broken blog, so just being balanced….)

  84. Confusion says:

    I have never commented on this site, but I absolutely love reading it. I have relationship issues, needless to say, and that’s how I found this site.

    I’m in a 10 year marriage with a husband who puts me on a pedestal, and I’m in an EA with a man who I PUT on a pedestal. Neither one of these relationships are giving me what I want or need, and in fact, both of them are hurting me.

    I’m in the process of detaching myself from the EA, and trying to recommit to the marriage, but it is hard.

    My husband had a very rough upbringing. He lied to me for about 10 years out of our 12 year relationship. He delved into drug use, had no respect for me (and me for him), and made hugely unhealthy choices. There was some level of emotional abuse on both of our parts (to me stemming mostly from both of our dysfunctional childhoods). I had no respect for him for most of our marriage, because he would always choose lying over anything else. Last year, I decided I wanted a divorce, but I did not receive support from my parents. They supported him instead. They told me I ought to stay with him for the sake of our 3 kids. That marriage is not supposed to be about “happiness.” BS.

    But then as I dragged myself further and further away from hubby–a funny thing happened. He began to change for the BETTER. I did not nag him to change, but he began to make healthy choices, and open up to me (something he had not done in years), and quit smoking, and quit drugs. And my heart started opening up more to him, and I started trying, and I hope to him I feel off the pedestal that he’s always put me on.

    When someone starts up on top the only place for them to go is down. Love yourself, and do what’s right for yourself, and hopefully everything else will fall into place.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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