play at your own risk sign

As feedback starts coming through about my new ebook The No Contact Rule, one of the things that seems to have resonated most with readers is realising that when a relationship ends, it’s not about you being someone to reject, or that you’re a failure and that you should beat yourself up; it’s recognising that sometimes, we make bad investments. When we continue to pursue someone who isn’t interested, or a relationship that causes us more pain than good, we’re continuing to try to make the bad investment come good so that we don’t have to recognise and deal with the fact that we made a bad investment in the first place.

I’ve talked about this a lot in my post on return on investment in relationships. But we also need to remind ourselves to see beyond whether we get a return on emotional investment, to looking at the wider picture of being able to recognise whether we should be sticking or folding.

Whilst I appreciate that emotions are involved, there is something to be said for considering our actions from an investing on the stock market or gambling at the casino perspective.

When we find ourselves with someone who not only doesn’t reciprocate our interest but then persists in crossing our boundaries whilst we try to get them to be better than what they are, until we get wise, they hold the ‘powerbase’, the position of power in the relationship, and until we do get wise, the ‘house’ always wins.

If there is a severe tip in the balance of power in a relationship, the house (the person who holds the powerbase) always wins.

This means that when you bet at the emotional casino, when they’re blowing hot, they throw you out a couple of ‘wins’ and lure you into a false sense of security. In a relationship, this creates the promise of things getting better and so you end up investing even more of yourself. It’s only when their hot turns to cold or you realise that the rewards of investing are not actually coming to fruition (actions not matching words, them not meeting your expectations etc), that it suddenly occurs to you that things are not going the way that you expected. Again. You’re no longer ‘up’ and may have gone past ‘breaking even’ to being ‘down’.

At this point, you can step back and ask yourself: Instead of thinking about what they want, their problems, their needs etc, what is it that I want? Are my needs getting met? Is this how I want to feel? Am I being authentic? Or am I losing myself in my attempts to hold onto something that isn’t working?

Whilst you will still hurt, if you weigh up what has been happening and ask yourself how this is truly working for you, you can choose to fold at this point. This means that whilst you have ‘lost’ a little, or even a lot on your emotional investment, you can stem the damage and the sense of loss before it crosses into that territory where your self-esteem goes into free fall and you lose all sense of perspective.

Or you can stick and keep hoping, willing, waiting, talking, discussing, pushing, and whatever else you need to, to try to get the emotional investment to ‘come good’. When we stick to a bad emotional investment, we hold on and refuse to accept and this actually causes more hurt and we can end up feeling as though we’ve lost our dignity, and even potentially put ourselves in the position of doing things that we later see as embarrassing or even downright humiliating.

Now, if you imagine making a bad financial investment: Would you continue to invest money? Or would you cut your losses before you do yourself any further financial damage?

But in relationships, a lot of people have a casino mentality: they gamble with big stakes (themselves) because they perceive the reward to be so great that it will cancel out any pain that occurs en route.

But, whilst it is a good thing to take risks in life, the reason why certain people are very good at taking risks is because they take calculated risks by doing their homework and having a sense of trust in themselves that helps them to recognise where there is a good opportunity for risk.

This is very different to taking risks on people with no real basis for placing so much trust and love in them.

This is a bit like betting on a three legged horse and wondering why it doesn’t run like a four legged one and win the race.

If you emotionally invest in people who offer the least likely prospect for you to be treated with love, care, trust, and respect, the odds are stacked against you, much like they would be if you put a three legged horse in a race and expected it to win just because you loved it and invested time and energy in it.

Over the years on this blog, I’ve regularly referred to The Justifying Zone – this is that place that people go to after they sexually and/or emotionally invest and then feel like they have to continue to invest because they don’t want to feel that they made a poor judgement. This is why people stick when they really should fold.

- You either went in with a reasonable level of awareness and then discovered that they’re not what you thought they were and are trying to get back to ‘the way things were’ because you hate feeling like you’ve been played and don’t want to accept.

- Or you went in blindly, ignoring red flags or seeing them and assuming you could make them be different because this is more familiar territory for you. You’re very illusions driven.

When we stick when we should fold, it’s failure to see the bigger picture.

Fear will be a primary driver behind all of this and yet we’re not recognising that if we do make a poor judgement, we can go along way to restoring our faith and confidence by making a good judgement. The answer is not to stick with the illusions and keep heaping bad judgement upon bad judgement.

We’re looking at the good points instead of the whole person, we’re looking at the inconsistent stuff instead of the consistent actions, we’re chasing a feeling and trying to recreate and extend the highs, we’re listening to words instead of seeing if the words match, and we’re not considering what the wider implications are of what is happening and asking ourselves if this really works for us.

Even though many of you may be taking ‘risks’ by getting involved with dubious partners and trying to get the relationship you want, they’re safe risks.

If you step out into oncoming traffic tomorrow, there is a high risk that you’re going to get run down. Also, if you keep buying three legged horses, there’s a high likelihood that they won’t get past the starting line.

Likewise, if you keeping taking ‘risks’ with the same type of relationship partners, it’s a safe risk because you actually know the outcome. Part of this is about relationship insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The other part is about self-sabotage, fear of change, and sometimes emotional laziness.

Many of us prefer the familiarity of the uncomfortable, to the discomfort of the comfortable unknown.

We’d rather take a punt on a safe risk and believe that the reward is worth it, than take a punt on ourselves and go through change to experience the unknown. We end up doing things that are out of sync with ourselves and end up generating false results that are often painful.

Pain is not love; it’s pain.

When we finally do decide to fold, it’s in recognition of the bigger picture. The bigger picture means that we realise we’d rather put ourselves through some pain to get happier sooner than hang around someone hoping to be happy one day whilst being miserable in the meantime. The bigger picture is youare you doing things that let you be authentic? Are you being involved with people that enrich your life? Are you able to have boundaries and values or do you have to shelve them in order to ‘stick’? Can we know when we feel good because we now understand when we feel bad? Are we in charge of our own lives instead of being dragged along by someone else?

If you have to justify, excuse, rationalise, ignore, and effectively bury you in order to accommodate someone else or your vision of a relationship, it’s time to look at the bigger picture and realise that you will never be happy or anything close to it, if you have to ignore yourself.

We are human and make mistakes and that means that sometimes we make poor judgements about where to invest our emotional energy, but if we have an opt out moment, we can limit the damage to ourselves so that we can heal, move forward, and invest ourselves in healthier opportunities where we can reap the rewards.

We also have to know when something is good, rather than distrust it and recognise that there are some relationships that just won’t work.

We can spend our lifetime trying to make a relationship work and get a person to ‘see’ us and ‘value’ us and be in a constant cycle of misery, or we can get wise about healthy relationships and ‘see’ the bigger picture and ‘value’ ourselves so that we recognise unhealthy situations that we need to opt of.

Your thoughts?

My new ebook The No Contact Rule is now available to buy and provides a dedicated guide to getting over someone by cutting contact and injecting some boundaries into your life so that you can move on to a happier you. For a no holds barred guide to emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them, you can also get Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl. For personal advice or analysis of your relationship/situation, check out my consultation service

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24 Responses to Knowing When To Fold: Bad Investments in Relationships & Seeing The Bigger Picture

  1. katty says:

    BEST POST EVER!! I loved the fact that you talked about “taking risks” because I always wondered and told myself: ” What if I take a risk with him? maybe we end up having a good relationship in the future if I COULD JUST stick around a bit and try to work things out” …WRONG!!

    Thanks for enlighting me NML!!

  2. Aurora says:

    A relationship is most certainly an investment, and that is an excellent way in which to evaluate it – with clear headed evidence and logic.
    That would get me out of trouble every time, to do that.
    I’d never get so deep as to have real pain because I wouldn’t have continued to invest where I wasn’t getting an adequate return.

    They never change who they are. Talking to them is fruitless. It doesn’t make their LACK of investment change into a GOOD investment, not now and not later.

    I love reading your blog. What you write should be tattoed in my brain!

    You bring the capablity to have power and self-esteem back to me, where it belongs – instead of giving it away to a poor investment and then crying over my emotional poverty.

    THANK YOU, NML. THANK YOU.
    .-= Aurora´s last blog ..Brad and Angelina =-.

  3. movinon says:

    WOW – you are so in my brain. I am a complusive gambler. In fact that is where I met my last EUM/AC – he is too. I went there at first to play and escape my horrible marriage. We became friends and after my divorce – lovers. You have outlined the complusive gambler addiction very well. I used to leave my EUM/Ac’s house and head for the casino so I could not have to think about anything. You tied those together very well. I have since gotten help and am 2 1/2 years clean. Funny about the same time when I stopped and would not “play” with him at the casino – things changed. He broke it off with me. He still gambles as far as I know.

    I didn’t go back there and haven’t – too many memories – too many people knew us a couple. My life is better now that I don’t throw away my money needlessly. My life IS better now that I don’t throw away my heart needlessly. I never connected the two before. Thank you so much for making the connection – and I can tell you from personal experience – you got it right on. I remember driving to his house and was going to end it this time just as I remember driving to the casino saying this was the last time. It wasn’t. Not until I committed to get help for my addiction and committed to myself. Only through recovery have I learned that I am not a bad person but I do have character defects to work on and with the help of my higher power I can do anything. Thank you Thank you Thank you

  4. am says:

    After re-watching “He’s just not that into you” this weekend, I realized that it is this hope that we will be the EXCEPTION to these assclowns that make us stay and put up with this crappy behavior. Unfortunately, in the case of the assclown, they DO NOT have an exception, like many emotionally healthy men do. We hear the stories of the guy who changes, who commits, who wises up.. and we think, this could be him… but unfortunately, I have come to realize we are the RULE, not the exception. You could place any other woman in the same relationship and it would have the same outcome with these men (typically). You are right, the chances of winning, or being the exception, are so minute that it really is not worth the effort or time. Thank you for another great post!

  5. Liliflower says:

    Brilliant! Loved this post. I can really relate to the gambling analogy. I had a “light bulb” moment when you spoke about the comfortability of the familiar. Even if the familiar is unhealthy or damaging. This is most definitely my pattern. As the saying goes “better the devil you know”.

    I have realised I am terrified of putting my authentic self out there and risking rejection, so repeatedly go for the familiar, because subconciously I know exactly what the outcome will be!

    Thanks NML for another great post!

  6. Kay says:

    The gambling analogy is indeed brilliant and could also be related to any other compulsive behaviour pattern.I used to have a tendancy to binge drink and after reading the Mr Unavailable ebook last year, I started to link that compulsion /addiction to my addiction to EUMs.I discovered that what I was addicted to in both cases, was drama. When I binge drank, I would get blind drunk and experience giddy,insane highs just like I would with a new beau. And then would come the horrible, gut wrenching lows of the hangover in both cases.There was no middle ground and I could not handle my emotions in a normal, even way. Quite clearly I was running away from myself and blindly investing in madness. I was completely unaware of what I was doing and the discovery was actually earth shattering for me.But there began my recovery.I sobered up and faced my life and these days I’m working on living life and feeling my feelings from a calmer, more grounded place.It’s unfamilliar territory for me and sometimes it’s downright boring.So much so that after several months of recovery [from booze and EUMs] I relapsed in spectacular style,hooked up with an ex assclown and indulged in a hot weekend of madness.And I had one helluva hangover to cope with all over again! But I got back on the wagon and the experience really brought home to me that the best investment of all is in myself.

  7. mE says:

    this is a great post and very timely for me. there truly is no reason to ‘throw good money after bad’ emotionally with someone who has consistently shown they are uninterested in valuing you. the thing about not wanting to realize you were played for a fool, or admit you made a very bad choice is all too true. for me it’s the ‘THIS again?!’ feeling. but that feeling is actually what has helped me to finally make a decision to heed red flags and stop justifying – which i often find myself doing even if i don’t say it out loud to friends- and start doing something totally radical and unheard of – focus on whether this is what i want or deserve and immediately ACT if it is not. much like the other post about not knowing what ‘healthy’ looks like, i have found myself letting things slide and slide right down the drain because i spent so much time feeling alive through whatever man i was with. and i didn’t trust my instincts, only to regret it later, and of course feel unworthy at the failure and thus the cycle begins anew with some other jerk.

  8. Myrtle says:

    @am

    Wow! You said it! My assclown actually told me that he hasn’t loved for 9 years since his fiance dumped him for another man…he said he kept picking relationships that wouldn’t end up in marriage, but with me that I was the EXCEPTION (Yes, it’s like he went on this blog and read all about himself, and then used the same words).

    1. He has his sob story of why he’s EUM (Fiance left him 9 years ago).
    2. He says all of his relationships end after 2 years, and then he moves on.
    3. Right before I broke up with him, he told me he keeps picking relationships that are long distance “in case” it doesn’t work out.
    4. And my favorite….”yeah, I can’t fall in love until I buy my house and my truck…then I’ll be ready to settle with a wife.”
    You know, we women love to be compared to objects.

    I’m finally realizing that it was a good judgement to leave. Just recently I was questioning if I should have stuck it out longer and seeing if he eventually would “be able to love” me. From all of your experiences, it’s clear that assclowns don’t change, and that definitely my love cannot heal him. A bad investment will always be a bad investment.

  9. MaryC says:

    “…we can end up feeling as though we’ve lost our dignity, and even potentially put ourselves in the position of doing things that we later see as embarrassing or even downright humiliating”. That was me, I’m still embarrassed/humilated by what I did to stay in his life.

    I had no boundaries and didn’t care to have any, I only wanted him. I tried many times to end the cycle I was in but I wasn’t strong enough back then. I was too scared of losing him even though I got nothing from that relationship. I no longer blame him, he took what he was given. I now know that I had choices and unfortunately for a very long time made poor choices.

    I’m not going to beat myself up about it anymore. One can only learn from adversity or stay on the same path, its a choice.

  10. Billy says:

    I’ve been on this website a lot lately, getting wise to and getting over my first–and hopefully last–EUM. This site is invaluable! Thanks for all the wonderful advice NML; it’s very appreciated :)

  11. aphrogirl says:

    “… we can get wise about healthy relationships and ’see’ the bigger picture and ‘value’ ourselves so that we recognise unhealthy situations that we need to opt of.”

    I read a lot of books, and my latest is by one of my favorite authors John Wellwood, called Perfect love, Imperfect relationships. His main premise has always been that the greatest potential for personal growth is within relationships, but in this book he so clearly explains how we all bring defenses to relationships, and our failure to see the grievances and destructive behaviors that the defenses bring is the very thing that keeps us from experiencing love. In the case of the EUM/ AC who is often too lazy or lacks the confidence to work on the crappy behavior his defenses present, his inability or unwillingness to work on the problem behavior is the fatal flaw that makes it an unhealthy relationship.

    I have been involved with one seriously impaired EUM and the emotional toll it took on me was bewildering to me as I experienced it. I have been struggling to understand the toll for a whole year of NC. And, I am getting somewhere. Basically, this guy, with all his defenses and walls against intimacy got me in touch with the part of me that feels unworthy of love. Though many of us carry this basic wound from typical childhood stuff, it has been a long time since I felt unlovable, and I thought I had successfully worked to overcome all that a long time ago, though I had it all together etc ect…

    But, I do think that being involved with one of these people is so demoralizing it can bring it all those insecurities back up, or to the surface if you’ve never faced them…you do feel so damn unloved because not they are not capable of loving you properly and what they do instead hurts.

    So, sad as this is for all parties, knowing its time to fold, and then actually walking away is welcoming back your faith in you, your lovability, your capacity to love and be loved.Don’t think you’ll get love from the EUP, cause without a lot of desire to learn to love, and a lot of introspection and hard work on their part ( which you have zero control over, btw :- )) it will not happen.

    Walk away, push away the cloud that has covered the light and love that is inside of you, a light that we are all born with that never leaves us, and welcome the return of the warmth of that light, in the form of self love, back into your life.

    Also, I never knew I was so capable of unloving someone and I saw the AC recently for like two seconds and had to turn away. I was shocked to feel such strong feelings of hatred and disgust. Alas, this is not something I want to live with and this led me to the aforementioned book. If you are having no problems with NC but still struggling with hard feelings (in my case a whole year later) about the AC, I’d highly recommend Wellwood’s Perfect Love book. If it resonates with you it can set you free.

    • Stefanie says:

      I just read your post and wanted to tell you how much I liked it. Thank you for expressing my feelings out loud. I know what you mean and it is hard but when i read your post it did not sound that hurtful and terrifying anymore. So thanks a lot.

  12. Gina says:

    Great post, and love the analogy to gambling….

    I confess to having been an excessive gambler, betting a lot (more than what I had) on a widower, 20 years older than me, who was seeing someone when I met him (now married her), who tries to stay in touch to tell me how his life is unfolding happily – why should this be any of my business? (No contact 2 months now btw). Counting the red flags and the excess baggage here – none of it being mine? I am cured now, dont gamble anymore, life’s good, this website ROCKS!!!!

  13. Grateful For NML says:

    One of the things I love so much about your posts, NML, is that they are indisputable truths! You are a wonderful Soul Teacher..and I am a grateful student. ;) I have discovered (along my journey from being the “desparately lost & miserable illusion hunter” to the “keep it real girl” I am today) that in order to trust myself I needed to love myself. I had NO IDEA how to do that. I actually dug out some old pics of me as a little girl. (I wanted to see what I looked like when I didn’t need the ‘love of a man’ to be happy.) I stared at the pics and I thought…I wish I could just hug this little girl and protect her from all the pain I knew she’d someday feel. Then it hit me! I CAN protect her….I love her! ~ now, aside from referring to myself in the 3rd person ;), I have a much more SANE idea of trust, boundaries, etc…..I must be well on my way to being fully healed, too….’cause I have turned down offers that I used to be ‘unable’ to refuse!! I’m learning to trust my own judgement on whether something is worth betting on or not.

    I can’t wait to read your next post, NML!! <3 and peace to you all!

  14. R.C. says:

    I came across this website a few months ago on the google search engine when I was looking up topics on “return on investment in relationships”. I have been a subscriber to BR ever since :). I’m a divorcee going on two years now and this is one decision that I’ll NEVER have to regret making. I do regret however, that I didn’t have the courage 10 years ago to leave the relationship. That “hoping, wishing, & waiting” will do it every time which only creates more heartache & disappointment later on (totally useless!). Me nearing 40 yrs old, I was forced to contemplate if staying in the marriage with the ” let’s work it out” mentality was worth it given that I had invested 13 years of my time, effort & emotional energy or leave a five year unfullfilled, complacent marriage to tend to my own goals, needs, & wants once and for all. Figuring that I had nothing else to gain or lose, I choose the latter.

    Realizing a year after the divorce that I never got that “return on my investment” (children, house, secured marriage) I became so disappointed with myself and bitter toward him that I had to have counseling. The sessions were invaluable in helping me to understand the root of my anger which falls back to some unresolved issues from my past. Once it occured to me the reasons for being in a wishful thinking relationship, I was finally able to forgive myself and move on.

    The fact that I was more goal driven than he was, I always knew that it wasn’t meant to be. The potential was there but he just didn’t work hard enough to see it to its fullest. Being that he was the product of a self-satisfying, convenient union, now I understand that it was learned behavior. I just couldn’t no longer settle for the laxed, laid back person that he was with goals & plans that we made together, never coming to fruition. I’ve come to appreciate the wisdom that I have obtained over the years and I definately plan to apply it to my life from here on out. But what I finally had to accept in regards to relationships is that 1) you cannot change anyone, no matter how long you wait or try. 2) what you see is what you get. 3)never ignore the signs, no matter how small or insignificant you think they might be. 4) stop settling for less. And finally, woulda, shoulda and coulda has left the building. I’m now leaving with it.

  15. Anusha says:

    “If you emotionally invest in people who offer the least likely prospect for you to be treated with love, care, trust, and respect, the odds are stacked against you, much like they would be if you put a three legged horse in a race and expected it to win just because you loved it and invested time and energy in it.”

    That makes so much sense and is funy how I couldnt see it before.It was insane to expect that a self centered guy that has no idea how to behave in relationships(taking from his relationship with family and friends) could give me the kind of relationship that I wanted.I definitively was beting on a three legged horse and expecting it would come first.

  16. Used says:

    Aphrogirl–
    What do you mean by “unloving” someone? Do you mean hating (…but not really hating, hence your use of the word “unloving”)?

    Need to know, b/c your last paragraph, above, is EXACTLY how I feel when I see the former AC, and, to a lesser extent, when I see all of our mutual friends, who act like him.

    • NML says:

      @Katty Thank you! Risky men are like potential health hazards – not worth the risk with long lasting implications ;-)
      @Aurora You’re absolutely right. Sometimes when we want the heart to rule, we have to apply some logic to sanity check our decision to love, otherwise we are assuming that when we love, we love for the right reasons.
      @Movinon Thank you for sharing your experience. What you guys were experiencing was a heightened level of co-dependency where you enabled one another’s behaviour. You should be proud of the inner strength you have worked with to achieve your recovery and stay committed to you. Sometimes we have to impose limits on ourselves otherwise we continue to believe that the potential of reward will make it all OK, when in fact, the reward never materialises. Take care of yourself x
      @am I’m glad you realise that. The part of ourselves that we work on is the part that pursues when they are not interested and tries to get them to change or to see us as we want to be seen. These guys create their own self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s about the fact that they don’t want relationship. Period. We shouldn’t have to force ourselves on people.
      @Liliflower Your fear is what a lot of people have. We believe it will be easier to be with someone unworthy of our time because we think they’ll value the goodness we didn’t believe in enough to apply to someone better and more worthy of our time. Unfortunately the devil is unpredictable and burns your fingers!
      @Kay Thanks for sharing. I know it’s been quite a journey of self-discovery. After a while, the boredom takes on a different feeling and it’s no longer boredom. You can make better choices when you’re calm and you will start adding more things to your life and continuously feeling good about you. Sometimes you need a fall off the wagon to realise what you’ve got xx
      @mE If it’s familiar, then it’s part of a pattern and as you already realise, you can address that. You need instincts – it will help you put your energy in the right places because you’ll have your own trust system in place. You can change the pattern and the confidence kicks in when you consistently make judgements and make decisions that have your best interests at heart. It takes patience and time, but not a lot of it. When we consistently behave like this, it becomes second nature.
      @Myrtle If we don’t believe in our decision to leave, we’ll second guess it. This is why it’s good to know what is and isn’t healthy, remember your boundaries, values, and whether it feels good to you. If it doesn’t stack up, you have to trust your decision to go and believe in yourself. You’re right – the amount of energy you put in trying to make it work doesn’t change the fact that it’s a bad investment.
      @MaryC Absolutely and we have to be 100% accountable for the choices that we make. If we give in and beat ourselves up, it’s making the choice to be stuck and that achieves nothing. Blame and shame doesn’t create positive change. You will be OK. Keep the faith :-)
      @Billy My pleasure :-)
      @Aphrogirl You’re grieving the end of your relationship which includes the reconciling of the illusion with the reality. A natural feeling that passes is anger. With a lot of these guys, the anger is often caused by feeling like you had your right of reply removed, that you weren’t heard, understood, validated. They can also appear to be walking around without a care in the world and often they are… Disconnected. Forgive yourself and if anything, feel sorry for him that he is the person he is. The inability to love, appreciate, and empathise with another person makes for sad, rather cold existence.
      @Grateful for NML What a lovely compliment! Thank you! What a great way to reconnect with you. We all have the little child within that we need to protect and nurture. It’s very easy to spend our energy trying to nurture people who have emotional black holes but will need to nurture ourselves so that we can be open to positive opportunities and treat ourselves with due care.
      @R.C Thanks for sharing your experience. You both have totally different values and work ethics and would undoubtedly have rubbed each other up the wrong way. It’s not that he has to be a power animal but it is good to have some ambition. It’s very frustrating to be making plans that don’t materialise. Whilst it’s good to dream, someone who is all talk and very little action will have you suddenly realising that this is the way things will always be.
      @Anusha I’m glad I’m helping you to see him in a different way. You wanted a thoroughbred and unfortunately he was a three legged donkey. Selfish, self-centered people don’t tend to adjust their behaviour for other people and being in a relationship doesn’t change someone who doesn’t want to change or consider someone else.

  17. aphrogirl says:

    NML thanks for taking the time to reply to us.

    I am angry but also shocked that I did not have empathy, and only disgust when I saw him. I spose this was a instinctive way to keep myself distanced emotionally. My anger at how he would not strive for a healthy relationship with me, chose cruel words with no accountability when he ran out…is what has kept me solid with NC, and NC is what is required for me to do what I need to do for me.

    There is a disconnect with this guy, and also a very strong awareness that he is disturbed, but he no confidence in his ability to be able to work through it and is making an art form ( drama) out of being wounded.

    Yet, I believe so strongly in empathy and understanding, as a way of peace, that it is important to me to turn my anger and ” unlove” into some form of compassion that does not harm me.

    When I think of him I can empathize with his misguided and sorry choice of lifestyle… no friends, closed off to almost everyone. When I think of me, I know I have to stay NC to protect myself from his instability shaking up my world. My ultimate goal is to balance these two positions, and stay in NC with compassion and no anger towards him.

  18. Anusha says:

    Thanks for your reply Natalie :) You are right somebody with those characteristics isnt suitable for a nice relationship,gladly I can see that now.

  19. ph2072 says:

    GREAT post. The way you related this to investments/investing and gambles/gambling was genius. Thanks for giving me more food for thought. :-)

  20. erin says:

    This article is so true. I always stuck around because after X amount of time I’d tell myself “Well its been this long and hes changed a little, so if i stick it out maybe he will change more!” In reality, I had to debase myself (screaming, crying, empty threats) to get the things that should be automatically given in a relationship. (Respect and monogamy being the two that immediately come to mind.) Now its over, and I still cannot believe how utterly horribly wrong the relationship was, on all levels. And I am ashamed of myself for putting up with the behavior. I have to stop myself thinking “Well maybe if I had only made it MORE clear what my boundaries were…” Even now, 2+ years later when I know logically that there is no hope, I still get jittery when he sends me emails. We have been apart for about 2 months, and I delete them/ dont answer his calls. But it is incredibly hard… Because this is the part of our nasty little pattern where if I pick up or read his emails, he is telling me everything i want to hear to convince me to “reinvest” in him.

  21. Jill says:

    Hi, This website has helped me dramatically. When I read the information it makes me feel like my feet are being weighted down to the ground again. I have been in and out of this relationship that is mostly based on emails for communication, for 5 years. The last time I saw him, four days ago, he said “I’m sick and tired of hearing about how everyone loves you”, he said “I’m bored” and then he dropped the bomb and said “I’ve been trying to get rid of you for years”. When I asked him why he sent emails saying “I love you” at the end of each one, he said, “cause that’s what you wanted to hear” When I asked him why he phoned me and invited me over he said “cause his kids wanted me to come over” Needless to say I’m reeling from the pain. He had me convinced that I was the cutest girl he’s ever seen, he would stalk me when I went out with my girlfriend. He told me that he wanted to be together forever, he’d play our song and be all lovey when he was drinking, etc. but very non-talkative usually. And also, he told me he did coke a few months ago. I’m so torn cause I want to believe so badly that he meant all those things he said and I beleived, even though my gut told me otherwise.

  22. Gaman says:

    Reading your words is like curling up on the couch with a good friend and having them tell it to you straight. Except unlike my best friend right now I can return to your words as often as I like and you will never get peed off with me and tell me to drop it already, you are sick of hearing about this guy! Every time I feel myself sliding I come back here and read a little more, and it gives me the strength to continue while I work on finding the inner strength to do it myself. Thank you SO much !

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!