having a title in relationships

I have a confession: When I was with the guy with a girlfriend, I was obsessed with having a title. In fact, I wanted her title ‘girlfriend’ and it wasn’t enough for him to tell me bullshit like he considered us to be boyfriend and girlfriend. When we were together, I was constantly looking for validation that I was equally, if not more important (lunacy I know) and wanted our relationship to be ‘bagged and tagged’. I don’t know what I thought I would feel if we were official and out in the open, I just knew I had to have it and I was devastated that I didn’t.

I have another confession: I overheard the Mr Unavailable who ended up giving me my epiphany after a barely there five month relationship, telling the waiter at the restaurant we used to go to that we were “friends” when I was on the way back from the bathroom. He stumbled over his words while I tried to remain unseen and I felt my whole face flush up. It’s like when you overhear someone talking about you and you go back and pretend you haven’t heard a damn thing. It stung but what was really strange, is that I knew I wasn’t crazy about him but while I was feeling indignant, I did wonder why I didn’t get the title of girlfriend and was essentially angry with him for not giving me a title that I didn’t actually want.

Straight off the bat you can learn two things from my experiences:

1) A title is really only as good as the relationship you’re in and,

2) Sometimes you want the title just for the sake of your ego.

Many women are obsessed with titles and we use them and status, to justify our involvement in dubious relationships with the emotionally unavailable and assclowns, often letting our ego get out of whack in the pursuit of a title.

When women email me about their complicated relationships, particularly when there’s at least three people in the relationship, I get references to ‘main woman’ ‘other woman’ ‘mistress’ ‘girlfriend’ ‘official girlfriend’, ‘I want us to be official’ ‘rights’ ‘expectations’ ‘responsibilities’ and more.

Having a ‘title’ in a relationship is all about status, but not just any old status, but an official status and one that should be at least equal to, if not surpassing the status of previous women who have had the ‘property deeds’. It’s a status that needs to be acknowledged by him and ideally by your peers and anyone else you think needs to know.

Why do we ‘need’ a title? Because we think it tells us where we stand, where we fit in, and what we think we can expect, want, and need from them in the relationship. We think it gives them and us ownership and that by being assigned a title, we can have expectations and they can have responsibilities, ideally to meet and exceed those expectations.

Obsessing about your title kicks in when either they won’t give you it (or you’re not happy with the one you have), or where you know that someone currently has a bigger title than you or in relationships past that other women have had titles.

Longtime readers will know I’m a great fan of the 80s standup comedy, Eddie Murphy’s ‘Raw’ and there is a line in it when the guy is caught cheating and says to the wife ‘I screw her, I make love to you’.This is why I hear stuff like:

He made her his wife so why is it so difficult for him to do that with me. – You’re not the same person or in the same relationship and if having the title of wife was so great, she’d still have that title now…

He went out with her for X years and it bugs me that he won’t even see me in daylight never mind call me his girlfriend. – What’s that got to do with the price of milk? If you’re in a situation where you are allowing someone to use you in darkness, the onus is on you to set your boundaries instead of accepting booty call status.

I don’t want to be the mistress anymore – I want to be the main woman. - If you wanted to be the main woman, you should never have taken the role of mistress. This isn’t a job where you can work your way up.

I need to feel that I’m official – not just some dirty little secret. – I’m sure you do but the fact that you are a secret is a red flag.

I feel like he must love me more than her because even though he cheated on me too, he came back and moved in whereas he didn’t move in with her. – Taking the glass is half full mentality to a whole new level. Just because someone moves in with you, doesn’t actually make them committed, especially if they’re still screwing around behind your back.

If he could commit to her, he should commit to me. – Why? You’re two different people and you have no idea how committed he was to her. You cannot demand that they commit to you when they don’t want to. This doesn’t mean it’s about you – they don’t want to commit.

He’s not with anyone else so I should feel special. – Yeah but he’s not with you either and coasting for the fringe benefits.

He says that no one blows him the way that I do/I’m the best he’s ever had. – It blows my mind that as women, we will use sex as a currency to determine our worth and our title. If all you have to cling to for your status is what you can do for him in bed, your title is sex based, which is no basis for a relationship.

But here’s the truth of it:

If you have to demand a title or you’re not happy with the one you’ve been given, you’ve got problems. Healthy relationships don’t have one or more people quibbling over status. If you also assume a title where you you use a dodgy assumption drawn from a basis where you measure how crappily you’re being treated against how crappily someone else was treated, you’ve definitely got problems.

Hard as it may be to hear for some of you, the truth is, a man who genuinely wants to be with you, not only doesn’t burn up his energy resisting you, but he is eager to let the world and his dog know that you are his woman. He’s not keeping it a secret, there is no secret this or secret that – you are out in the open and official by association.

When a man wants to be with you, he’s not going to keep the status of the relationship a secret from you. You will know your title and it’ll be one you can be happy with, not a title tied up in poor love habits and low self-esteem.

This is the same way that men who are interested act like they’re interested, show you that they’re interested and treat you with love, care, trust, and respect consistently because they don’t want to run the risk of losing you to someone else. Anything else is shady.

Likewise, when a man wants to keep you in your place and not have you get ideas above your station where you may expect, want, or need more than they’re prepared to be expected, wanted, or needed from, whether it’s through words or actions, or a combination of both, they will let you know what the status of the relationship is and you’ll pretty much know your title from there.

When they say crap like ‘Why have we got to go around labelling stuff? Can’t we just go with the flow?’ he’s telling you ‘I don’t want to be pigeon holed into saying this relationship is something that at a later date I may find it difficult to get out of. I want you to go with the flow so that you never know where you stand and I never feel responsible’

If you don’t know your title it’s either because you’re not supposed to have one or you’re not drawing the dots about the relationship you’re in and seeing your title for what it is.

This explains why I get emails from women telling me that they’re in a booty call but asking if they’re the girlfriend or whether they can be upgraded to girlfriend.

If you have a title and you don’t like it, you have to ask yourself what the hell you’re doing in a relationship with a guy, where you’re in the position of having a lowly status? If you’re not happy with your position whether that’s because he’s told you what it is or you’ve worked it out for yourself, you need to be concerning yourself with what you’re doing not what he’s doing.

You see, you can tell a lot about how someone sees you not just by the things that they say and do (or don’t say and do) but also by the status that you have in their life.

If you’re someone hanging on the fringes of their life, it’s not a good sign.

If you’re a booty call, friends with benefits, dial-a-lay or whatever you want to call it, it says that you have no status or that you have a lowly status.

If you’re called the girlfriend but treated like something they stepped in, is there any point in clinging hard to the title?

If you’re one in a long line of women that they’re sleeping with, does it matter whether you think you’re number one, five, or eight, or shouldn’t you be concerning yourself about the fact that there is more than one?!

If they are reluctant to commit to you and reluctant to commit to labelling the relationship, doesn’t that speak volumes about your relationship? Trust me when I say that if you can’t get him to commit defining the relationship, you’re not going to get him to commit to anything.

If you’ve manage to become their wife but they’re screwing around on you left, right, and centre and unwilling to do what it takes to be in a mutually fulfilling committed relationship with love, care, trust, and respect, is there any point in emphasising that you’re their wife? You’re committed on paper, through law, and maybe through some financial stuff but on the action part that makes commitment come together, your title of wife isn’t worth jack.

Is it better to be the girlfriend instead of the mistress? A reader recently explained:

“…most of my friends and family believe that although the ideal is not to share a man, failing that, it is better to be the girlfriend than the mistress as at least you were the loved and wanted one and you have all the rights and expectations of your relationship. Whereas the mistress is nothing but a hidden, back street girl who has to settle for crumbs and has no right to ask for anything better. In fact, it is the mistress who is scorned by society and labelled a homewrecker.”

You’re not that loved and you’re not that committed to if someone is not able to be faithful to you. No, the other woman isn’t that well regarded by society but neither are women who hold on tight to men who screw around on them.

If you’re a girlfriend or wife that is entitled to have rights and expectations to a relationship, one of those expectations is to be treated with love, care, trust, and respect. That’s basic.

If someone is treating you like dirt or screwing around behind your back, they are failing to meet the basic expectations of the relationship. The difference is that you’re making an exception because you have the title and maybe you enjoy other fringe benefits of the relationship that you think ‘make up’ for their infidelity. It is not enough for someone to go to work, bring home some money and materially support you or your family – if it was, there would be a lot less unhappy women in previous generations.

I know we live in a time when narcissistic sports men shag hookers and clock up umpteen affairs and the media would have you believe that everyone is shagging around and incapable of being faithful, but there are plenty of people out there who are faithful in their relationships.

Ladies, it’s the year 2010, not 1910, we don’t have to have low self-esteem. We don’t have to be used and abused by men. We don’t have to share our partners. We don’t have to turn a blind eye to cheating. We don’t have to take the high road and say guff like ‘Well at least I’m the girlfriend instead of being the mistress’ or ‘At least I have a title – she doesn’t’.

We determine our values, so there is no point in friends and family parroting their own poor love habits or following a culture that doesn’t reflect your values because you will be miserable.

As I’ve said many times before on this blog and in my ebooks – the reason why men (and women) can get away with cheating is because there is always someone who will put up with their BS. The more people who have boundaries and learn to treat themselves with love, care, trust, and respect is the less opportunity that there is for people to abuse the boundaries in relationships which means they have to step up or ship out.

It’s no wonder some of these guys think they can behave as they do – they know you’re more concerned with having a title and the illusion of their love than you are of actually having their love and a relationship.

If, for instance, we as women had more self-respect, more boundaries, more self-esteem, more, more, more, we would not be palmed off with titles, we wouldn’t let out boundaries get busted up and our self-esteem eroded, and we wouldn’t compete with other women for the crappy affections of even crappier men.

We need to respect ourselves more instead of hanging off the coat tails of illusionary titles. It’s called boundaries. Why are we so eager to be bagged and tagged by people who have no respect for us or the relationship we’re in?

Get the relationship with the mutual love, care, trust, and respect with boundaries and your self-esteem intact, and you know what? You won’t be obsessing about your title, comparing your status to someone else’s, and grabbing at crumbs to legitimise your position. People in healthy relationships are assured of their place and don’t need to question, analyse, or compare their title – they’re too busy living and enjoying their relationship. If you’re worried about your title, it’s already a sign that your relationship is officially in trouble.

Your thoughts?

Check out my ebook on emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them, Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl as well as the No Contact Rule and more in my bookshop.

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118 Responses to Make Me Official: The Obsession With Titles in Relationships.

  1. Knows better says:

    ” . . . unwilling to do what it takes to be in a mutually fulfilling committed relationship with love, care, trust, and respect, is there any point in emphasising that you’re their wife? You’re committed on paper, through law, and maybe through some financial stuff but on the action part that makes commitment come together, your title of wife isn’t worth jack.”

    He couldn’t WAIT to announce on FB that we were in a relationship, then were married, yet it was all on paper. I was the wife on paper, the bride-for-show, and although he wasn’t messing around behind my back, I wonder now if he married me to “show” his coworkers and friends that he could get married. I fell in love with him then left when he became verbally abusive, and I am still heartbroken.

  2. grace says:

    Re titles, I am very confused about what Friends With Benefits means. It’s become quite a prevalent term recently (not just here) and I just don’t understand what it is.
    I give my opinion and the retort is “but we’re just friends” or “he’s just a booty call”. I’m missing something.
    Would be grateful for clarification.
    I’m 45 and this is a very new term for me. Back in the day you were either someone’s girlfriend/wife/mistress or you weren’t.

    • Allison says:

      Grace,

      It means sex with no commitment or obligation. You might hook up for someone a couple times a month to solely exchange body fluids. Did it once, and it was very empty. It’s perfect for those who are emotionally unavailable.

    • allie says:

      As I understand friend with benefits means that you are just hanging out and sometimes can have sex, but its just sex, that doesn’t mean nothing. Sex equals to going to the movies together or playing cards, or whatever.

      • Grace says:

        and you can both have sex with other people?

        • allie says:

          basically yes.

        • MH says:

          Grace,
          Yes you can have sex with other people if you choose. But most of these men are going to have sex with other people no matter what the title is.

        • Allison says:

          You can have sex with many people as you like. Remember there is no attachment, simply sex. Unfortunately, one person will usually get hurt in this type of arrangement.

        • Brad K. says:

          Sex with no strings means you don’t ask what the other is doing when not with you.

          For me, that means you have no idea how many partners you are sleeping with, once removed (has to do with exposure to STDs and character flaws).

          I believe the typical scenario has one person envisioning exclusivity, while the other is multiply engaged. But since you don’t exchange expectations . .

          • susiejay says:

            I personally think its just another way of acting like an alley cat…….

          • Minky says:

            The FWB deal is a matter of personal taste and shouldn’t be judged. Sometimes people have physical needs but aren’t ready, for whatever reason, to be involved with someone. I know people who love doing it and people who find it really empty. At the end of the day it’s down to the individual and what they need at the time.

            If you can do nothing BUT friends with benefits, then yes, you are emotionally unavailable.

  3. ember99 says:

    I was always so excited to talk about my ex and to introduce him to my friends. We were together for over two years and it kept coming out that his friends didn’t even know about me! We were long distance for most of that time, it’s true, but it didn’t make a difference on my end and shouldn’t have on his. His excuses were always incredibly lame, but I bought them. He was fine with introducing me to his family (he didn’t much like his family) but it seems that to everyone else, I was just his friend…if he mentioned me at all. In the future I’ll definitely be watching out for that giant, glaring, red flag. Yikes.

  4. findingmyself says:

    Nat wrote “Why do we ‘need’ a title? Because we think it tells us where we stand, where we fit in, and what we think we can expect, want, and need from them in the relationship.:

    A very true statement! However, even with my “title” it didn’t mean a damn thing. He was still Mr Unavailable/AC, playing the field behind my back, and just using that as a smoke screen. Title or no title really means nothing. I would have preferred no title and someone who was in the same relationship I I thought I was in.

  5. Maybe I’m completely messed up in the head but I never understood the whole title thing. I never understood the whole sit down and chat, ‘Are we boyfriend and girlfriend?’

    How I see it is, is if you’re having fun, what’s wrong with going with the flow? If your fun develops into a relationship let it get there at it’s own time. Why do you need to be his ‘girlfriend?’ If you feel that he’s not giving you the attention you deserve then voice your opinion to him. If he doesn’t sort himself out… leave.

    • Mira says:

      I think you’re very right, we have to trust our instinct and leave if we aren’t comfortable. It becomes a waste of time and then heartbreak after that.

    • Brad K. says:

      Miss City Girl,

      I think the difference is whether you are part of a couple, that is an entity recognized and active in the larger community, or whether you are two people engaged in sex, room mating, or some combination.

      The public part comes into play when you want to be treated by others – family, friends, businesses, the government – as a family, a unit that communities are made up of. You and your partner both have to be respected and valued members of the community, and be acting publicly as a couple, for this to make sense. There is a reason you have “witnesses” and guests to a wedding, when you make your pledges in front of “God and everybody”. If both bride and groom have good, solid character traits, these vows will be the result of recognizing a deep and enduring bond Where the flaws are too great, the significance is lost and a wedding won’t make a good relationship where both people aren’t in it with both feet.

      One of the more insidious forms of relationship abuse is to isolate one partner from acting publicly – by forbidding access to family and friends, or dealing with anyone as part of a “couple”.

      What NML is calling a ‘title’ is all about the roles being played in public. You are right, what you call each other in private is an expression of character, respect, and integrity. But you define your roles in life when you get public – and going public is a hurdle the fickle aren’t interested in.

      If you want a long-lasting “relationship”, I think you have to find a partner that is interested in a publicly shared life, and has the character, trust, respect, and honor to be a reasonable partner. Perhaps we could think of “commitment” as “going public”. Because the two really are related.

      IMO.

      • Grace says:

        Yes, when it really hits the fan marriage does make a difference. Legally the difference is massive. If your other half is in hospital in a coma, it makes a difference, in terms of your pension it makes a difference. I know those things are not in the centre of the decision to marry but fundamentally you are putting yourself out there as a committed couple .
        I get that being married does not automatically mean fidelity, love, a lifetime commitment etc but even now in the 21st century most people worldwide believe that’s what it SHOULD be. Whereas girlfriend, mistress, friend, ex, FWB whatever could mean anything. And seems to!

      • Fearless says:

        @Brad KT
        I like your comment. That we should think of committment as ‘going public’ really speaks to me.. and also that to deny your ‘partner’ access to a public life with you is a form of relationship abuse.

        That my EUM never even acknowledged our relationship to anyone else in his life; that I never met any of his friends or family was a source of deep hurt and actual distress to me.. and a distress that he refused to even acknowledge (I called him at his office one time and was spoken to like I was an unknown, unwelcome, unsolicited, cold calling salesman! I was in a state of shock… he emailed me later to tell me his brother was in the room… and my instant reaction was relief! – because he was at least able to give me a reason for treating me like shite!OMG!!!)

        I was never able to make him understand that his refusing to afford me any public acknowledgement as a significant person in his private (as opposed to professional) life was brutal and cruel. (he was fully acknowledged in my life – met all my freinds and family, had access to my home, my phone, my bedroom… yet I may as well have been a leper when it came to his friends, family, home… it’s a terrible situation and it astounds me how he managed to manipulate me into that position until it simply became ‘the norm’.)

        Commitment does have a lot to do with the position they afford you – out in the open and in public. A man who doesn’t want to go public with you doesn’t want to go anywhere with you.

      • allie says:

        @ brat K

        Excellent words Brad, I couldn’t have expressed it better, but exactly what it is on my heart. :)

        • MH says:

          My ex AC went public with me. He came to my best friend’s birthday party with me when we were only dating a few months and introduced himself to everyone as MH”s boyfriend. I took him aside and said just say your name, your identity is not tied up with me. I said I don’t know some of these people so they are probably thinking who is MH?

          This was one way I knew we were official. When him and I would break up and get back together, He would call me his girlfriend to someone eventually and I would know we were together again.

          We were only dating for a week and he wanted me to come to his families for thanksgiving and he asked “is it too soon and I said yes.” He always brought me to his family functions and friends places.

          He played poker with only guys and their one rule was no women because of a incident in the past with a women being there. (These guys are againts swearing in front of women and they have to be poltie when a woman is in the room but when they play poker it gets heated) However he would invite me to the games to hang out in the later evening and It was funny how they would all be so polite and wouldn’t swear in front of me.

          I thought I would share this because even the biggest Assclowns can go public with your relationship and still muck you around in a relationship. It has to be more than the publicity and has to be truly about the love, trust, care and respect in all aspects and not just an image because that can be false too.

          I missed his family more than him when I finally split from him but i had to give that up when I had enough of him.

          • MH says:

            I never had to worry about titles but I have to say I didn’t like the term friends with benefits but my EUM never called me that he always called me friend or my name.

            I was the one using the term with my close friends or on here. The title is tacky I have to say and when I would be telling strangers, or acquaintances, about a trip I am planning or whatever and the person would assume the guy I am going with is “my man” I just let them go with that. I wasn’t about to tell a customer at my work that no he is just my friend that I am going to a bed and breakfast with. Then I know the guy would be thinking oh MH is one of those ” friends with benefits” because most people can figure it out.

            If the trip was a place that didn’t spell couple I would say friend. That is the term I used the most or his name. Most people expected that him and I would be going together somewhere because we were always together. Even those trips people would asked if my EUM was my boyfriend and I would say no and they would say why is he gay. I aways laughed when people would say that. One time one of my males cousins and my friends 12 year old daughter said it at the same time. I said to my friend I have a funny story to tell you and she said me too and we both told each other the same story basically it was hilarious. We told my EUM at the same time and he laughed too. I said to him its funny how eveyone thinks there is something wrong with you that we are not together and not me. My answer to those people was I don’t like him that way we are just friends.

            Even his closest friends would invite me to things because they assumed him and I would be together,

            They all assumed we were both good buddies. I asked my friend not to tell anyone our involvement except my friends could know. They were on many trips with us so they could figure it out and he had no problem with my friends knowing, it would be too hard to hide. It seem to bother him that I ddn’t want his friends to know about us because he would always argue with me and say his or our mutual friends won’t care, I said I just don’t want them to know.

            I hated the title and now I have promised myself not to ever be in a friends with benefits situation again. This way I won’t have to hide it again from others because I won’t feel so ashamed of my status. I am going tor love, trust, care and respect or I am choosing me if I can’t find that.

  6. tina says:

    In my case, the title (or lack thereof, or change in) told me everything I needed to know, except I didn’t want to believe it. During the heady early days, we were “in a relationship”. Maybe not the clearest definition, but there seemed to be little doubt about it. I was introduced to friends and family and he didn’t seem to be hiding anything. Flash forward a couple of months. I am confused, insecure and wondering why nothing makes sense. I was receiving emails in which he calls us “friends”. That’s how he told me – a vague email in which he used the word “friends” and I was supposed to know that everything had changed.

    I never obsessed about a title, but there came a time when I really needed the relationship to be defined. As you say, Natalie, if you have to have the talk, its probably not a healthy relationship to begin with and you are likely not going to like how he defines it.

    It really is all about self esteem and self respect. If you have those, you simply will not tolerate someone treating you as an afterthought. My self-esteem and respect may not be perfect but they are much better than they were and I will not put up with one second of this man’s nonsense anymore and haven’t for months. I don’t care what title he would give me now (we certainly aren’t friends). The only title he gets is ex or assclown.

    • Liberty Belle says:

      I asked the EUM wwhat I was to him, meaning what my title was. His response? You’re Liberty! Big red flag but I persisted anyway. I think that the title of As$clown is quite apt. Thanks for the laugh as well.
      *The horse is dead. Dismount.*

      • Brad K. says:

        Liberty Belle,

        *The horse is dead. Dismount*

        That is poetic, and poignant. A map of experience and pain, and an admonition for the future. Both wise and colorful.

        Thank you.

    • Betha says:

      I don’t even call him “my ex”, because he was never mine, and will never ever be mine. Enough!

  7. Mira says:

    It bugged me to never know where I stood- and always felt that to be a red flag yet I tested to see if I could handle the whole “open relationship”, “friends”, etc, whatever, which I couldn’t.
    Now I see all these titles to be titles for BS, titles for making it OK to be an Unavailable. Titles to live in misery, enxiety and limbo.

    NO THANK YOU, I’D RATHER BE ALL ALONE AND HAPPY THEN BE MISERABLE WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T REALLY GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ME. I’M BETTER THAN THAT.

    Sorry for the CAPS but I want to emphasize that. I tried for 4 months to see if anything would happen, it didn’t, and never will because I refuse to see him, even think of him. He is now a distant haze in my memory, though there is still pain from the dead hope in my heart. That pain still makes me cry when I think about it, but He doesn’t because I do see him as a waste of my time.

  8. Maeve says:

    I suppose that’s the thing about titles, they let people know where they stand to an extent.

    I’m wondering how to evaluate my relationship, and wondering if I am too demanding. He doesn’t respond well whenever he senses something is expected of him, saying he doesn’t want to be a caretaker. Am I treating him like a parent moreso than a partner? Should I be more independent?

    His words and his actions often don’t match but he has good qualities. We’ve been together two and a half years but he avoids talking about the future – doesn’t believe in marriage but is not keen on discussing anything beyond today.

    Oh the confusion!

    • Grace says:

      dump him. i’m too tired to say anymore.

      • Liberty Belle says:

        @ Grace

        I agree! Run for the hills Maeve. If you don’t know where you stand, you don’t stand anywhere. What are his ‘good qualities?’ (Helping little old ladies cross the street doesn’t count.) Believe me, if your dude wants you, you will definitely know and feel it.

    • waking up says:

      Run!!!! I just lived this for two incredible hot and cold years…and read my post on how it ended.
      I feel so bad for you, because I know how your heart aches to get him acknowledge you on any level. And then always trying to get him to commit..to anything!

      • Elle says:

        I was talking about this with my friend only a couple of days ago – she has just been dumped, and one of the themes of her ex’s was that he did not want to be “responsible” for anyone. This “caretaker” comment sounds like a first cousin.

        In my mind, this translates as “I am selfish to the point of anxiety and I don’t want to have to consider anyone else’s needs or feelings when I am communicating or making decisions. It’s a burden. I just want to speak and act on behalf of myself and my own impulses like a child.”

        These are terrible signs of character, @Maeve. And don’t for a minute twist it around into you being demanding. My ex AC said similar comments, and the fact is that I am very accomplished and, more importantly, pretty bloody competent as far as daily life goes.

        Asking a guy to give you verbal assurances and plan things together as a couple is elementary stuff. It’s not being needy or unhealthily dependent. A couple needs to cooperate. It’s not a relationship if there is not togetherness as well as individuality. These men can’t seem to do manage the former without a massive crisis of the latter.

        Have a straight-forward, calm conversation about what your essential expectations are – for your own life as well as how you see yourselves as a couple working. If he balks, minimizes or belittles, cut your losses and get out of there. It should be along the lines of “This is what I am looking for, what are you looking for?” Then you simply respond with “good” or “bummer.”

        • Allison says:

          “In my mind, this translates as “I am selfish to the point of anxiety and I don’t want to have to consider anyone else’s needs or feelings when I am communicating or making decisions. It’s a burden. I just want to speak and act on behalf of myself and my own impulses like a child.”

          You got it, Sister!!!!!

  9. Movedup says:

    “This is the same way that men who are interested act like they’re interested, show you that they’re interested and treat you with love, care, trust, and respect consistently because they don’t want to run the risk of losing you to someone else.” Exactly! Sparkey could not wait to call me wife! Introduce and show me off to the world as his “wife” and to this day honors me each and everyday. It doesn’t matter what we call each other – just that we do.

  10. JJ says:

    Sorry but titles don’t mean crap. If you have to even think a second about what your title is chances are you are not even in a relationship; maybe by yourself. As the saying goes; your body’s here with me but your mind is on the other side of town. Even though his body is humping yours every single night doesn’t mean a thing. Once that wears off; and it will eventually; he’ll be looking for somebody else to hump. Oh he already is; you just don’t know it yet. I remember hearing something very powerful not long ago: and it goes like this;

    If a man doesn’t feel he has any responsibility in the relationship then there is certainly NO CONNECTION; an illusion maybe.

  11. waking up says:

    Re: Titles….I wanted a title in the worst way. Got the Girlfriend title and then reduced to the friend title, back to Girlfriend title…when he broke up with me for the 33rd time in 2 yrs!! it didn’t make a bit of a difference what title I held. I asked him while he told me that he loved me for first time ever….why did you bother to call me girlfriend when introducing me to everyone, including your family and extended family to breakup with me now? you know what he said? “it didn’t matter what you are as a title, relationships breakup all the time”!!! Jerk!! So the title to this AC held no value anyway. So why did I try so hard to want it? I guess it is about validation. Because somewhere its suppose to be code for off the market, untouchable, loved by one. But in this case even the words I LOVE YOU preceded the breakup.(by minutes)..so to me now, it really doesn’t make a difference what your called in the relationship. Its having a relationship that counts the most, and that you shouldn’t have to have a title to feel complete. Love, care, trust and respect. as Nat says will show and radiate and there will be no doubt in any ones eyes when they see it so not to have to ask…”so who is she?” ugh!
    By the way finally after 2 years, I told him I just didn’t want to do this anymore. Come back if you can commit other then that see ya.
    Hurting yes definitely…but over what? the dream of validation meaning something.

  12. Robin says:

    In this case, I can see why there are more and more couples who do not marry, yet continue to be faithful to each other, work at a healthy relationship, and even raise children together. As long as this continues to happen, it’s sometimes not necessary to have the title or a piece of paper that says you are married. (Of course, I’m excluding all potential financial benefits of being married from the equation.)

    Note that I’m excluding people who will abuse the meaning of the title (“in a relationship,” “married”) or lack thereof.

    • Aimee says:

      @Robin

      My cousin and her boyfriend who live in Italy (are American Italians) have been together for over 20 years – they have never married (eachother) and they are so in love. They have respect, love, trust, honor.

      A title only means what it means to both of the parties. That is why I think it should be discussed – just like I found out monogomy meant different things to me and my ex AC, I wished I had clarified. He told me he was monogomous – but it was ok for him to talk, email, flirt and have emotional affairs with other women, and for friends to sleep in his bed. And all these women were just friends – but I had totally forgotten about FWB – as that has not been in my vocabulary or thoughts since trying it in my 20’s- that only worked if both people had no feelings for eachother – so then I would call that a shag – not interested in that either.

      It’s all a mental f**k with the EUMs/ACs – not with healthy men.

  13. jennynic says:

    Being introduced as the girlfriend feels nice when you hear it. If he is acting like it too then the title fits and being given the title is good and lets you know where things are at in the relationship. If they act like an AC then the title means nothing like you think it does. It may be a way of keeping you on the hook until they are ready to move on. If they call you girlfriend and treat you like dog poop, then you are his dog poop girlfriend. Next time some AC starts calling you his girlfriend but treating you like sh*t say “dog poop girlfriend” to yourself three times and see if you like that title. Thats one way of seeing through the illusion and getting real.

  14. Cindy says:

    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah :( Another oh so timely post. I’ve been sleeping with mine for a few weeks but this has been bothering me greatly as of late. I see no urge on his part to simply spend time with me beside our “sex get togethers” in which he leaves right after in the middle of the night. I was overwhelmed, trying to figure out what to do. This post is like a punch in the gut but something I needed to hear.

    • Minky says:

      Get out of there!!!!! A guy who likes and respects you would never act like that.

      I was supposed to meet up with a guy this week, who i’ve seena couple of times, for a drink, it all went a bit tits-up because of one thing or another and we ended up not meeting. He seems like a really sweet, down to earth, bohemian guy (didn’t chase, has usually been consistent and respectful) but I suspected he was full of crap when he very apologietically had to cancel (still cynical after the EUM experience) so I threw out a test by offering to let him come over, but leave early in the morning (booty call type thing) to see what he was made of and, joy of joys, he declined, saying he wanted to spend a proper evening with me. We’re meeitng up another time instead. No idea how it will pan out as i’m taking each day as it comes. May come to nothing.

      Respectful guys don’t take advantage. Even if you give them the chance!

  15. Aimee says:

    Amen Sister – Great article and insight.

    I think “our” title does say alot about where we stand in a relationship – I think in a secure, respectful relationship, that you are introduced as the GF, Fiancee, Wife, but you know the title is there already because of the way HE/SHE TREATS YOU. As Natalie said:

    “People in healthy relationships are assured of their place and don’t need to question, analyse, or compare their title – they’re too busy living and enjoying their relationship. If you’re worried about your title, it’s already a sign that your relationship is officially in trouble.”

    I did enjoy my title as he was treating as his girlfriend. I was proud that he was my boyfriend and I intended on treating him as my boyfriend – with respect, trust, love, honor, and monogomy. I told everyone – friends, family, after we had the discussion that we were in a relationship. He did the same as well – until the girl showed up in his backyard and I got to see them eyef**king eachother the first time they met – all of a sudden I was “a this is Aimee”. In that one exchange I was down graded from GF, to “nothing” so she understood that he was available and I was left with “where the hell do we stand now?” Down hill from there ladies. It wasn’t loosing the title that was the kicker – it was ALL his actions!! Ocuh!!

    • Used says:

      1. what exactly does eyefucking look like? is it when the dorks have their eyes half-closed and you can tell that they are dreaming of something sexual in nature? or that and more? please define.

      2. did he ever get together with that girl?

      • Aimee says:

        @Used

        It is so hard to describe. But I walked out right when they were being introduced (this was his neighbors sister visiting from NM), it’s that sexual chemistry you see between people and the way they looked at eachother, smiled and blushed (both of them). And then did not bother introducing me as his GF, never really even acknowledging me, which he had ALWAYS done up to that point. He seemed smitten with her.

        It was suppose to be our “date” night. I met everyone, went inside and then he came in “I’m going to get drunk with them tonight”, me “what happened to our date night?”. Him “I have too much pain tonight” He lives in chronic back/neck pain. Blah Blah – I don’t drink, so I told him I was leaving – he chased me out to the car “can we talk about this tomorrow?” I said “we could talk about it tonight”. Nope. You see there were 3 girls and my AC and his 2 friends (w/o me that is). And this was just 5 days after he asked me to move in with him and him saying we needed to spend more time together.

        I got angry and set boundries, he then proceeded to put us on a “break” for three months blaming it on his pain. Then manipulating me to come over a couple times during the week to make out, etc throughout the “break” – no sex though. I blame myself for tolerating all this – I was very vulnerable – my mother had just died 6 wks earlier and I was just coming out of the shock from that, plus I was shocked he did this, I NEVER expected this from him.

        When we got off the break I asked him if he had slept with her, he said “no, but she has a crush on me”. I then asked if they talked on the phone, he said “only when she calls his neighbor’s (the brother) cell phone”. Then I found pictures in his camera with his arms all around her from that night, like he hugged me, not his female friends (he had deleted quite a few pictures before I got to the camera – I guess he just couldn’t part with THAT one). Found girls clothes in his drawer – sexy robe, etc. Her home and cell numbers were programed in his phone. I did not break up with him then, but set “false” word boundries – hahaha.

        4 months later I found out he was on FB (I was not), but he had never told me, I googled and found out, guess who he was friends with? Her + others he had sex with before us (and maybe during us) and supposedly didn’t talk to.

        We broke up for 4 1/2 months, begged me to come back, which I did and asked me to be his friend on FB, I relectantly did, but then he never said he was in a relationship (just ended up hiding his status, which had been single, saying it was nobody’s biz), never acknowledged I was his GF nor put pictures of “us” on there – all the other pictures he put out there, including a picture of him and his buddies in front of my mountain cabin – none with me in them.

        Things were “good” for 4 months and then I saw she was calling him on his phone – this is 1 1/2 yrs later. I broke up with him then, Nov 2009, told him they could have and deserved eachother. Then we did the pushy pully from Jan to Aug 2010, after he cried and said “he missed me and should have cut ties with that girl long ago and none of this would have happened”. So I will never know the truth – I do believe they did sleep together, he had to get checked for STDs before he slept with me again (his idea), still denying he slept with her. But I am grateful, his brother and my Uncle live with HIV.

        Needless to say – he never changed his phone number as HE suggested so “she” and “others” wouldn’t call – and guess what they are still friends on FB. What can I say? Should have listened to my gut and not his crap words!! Sorry so long! I do KNOW they had an emotional affair over the phone and internet (she lived in NM) I confronted him on that and he admitted that.

        • Used says:

          He is a pig. A selfish little pig. And, btw, a baby. And a liar. Be so happy you are rid of him! Start playing some old, happy songs, from the ’70s and early ’80s, and think about how great life is now that you are rid of him!

  16. RM says:

    love this article very relevant to my next question..i dated my AC without a title for 8 months the other woman dated him with no title 4 months prior….when i found out AC was sleeping with both of us after she came back into town i was deeply hurt and became livid and due to temporary insanity i begged him to leave her ..he wouldnt apparently she did the same. he kept flip flopping between the two of us for 3 months telling her he would break it off with me and downplaying her to me saying shes just around and doesnt mind him sleeping with other women and shes just a goodtime girl who doesnt really care to much about herself someone he couldnt possibly have a real relationship with ..towards the end it was a constant struggle with him trying to end things with both of us .bc he felt backed up in the corner as he put it and there were to many expectations. (btw this man was married before and had cheated on his wife after 7 years). over time it came out that his loyalties were to her due to the fact that she let him do whatever he wanted including sleeping with a few of her friends if he felt like it . that type of lifestyle was more appealing and i wasnt about that . there were words exchanged between the too of us (the other woman and i) due to her trying to provoke me and flaunt thier situation on facebook and and saying nasty things.when i got upset about it i was made to feel like i was the one being childish. shes 22 im 21 the man is 28 btw..how he explained the situation was that he didnt want to be tied down to anyone that he ruined his marraige beacause he felt trapped and his life became predictable he was going through this wild rebellion stage and that he was a free spirit. ultimatley during one of our confrontations she told me she now had the title of girlfriend ..i was devestated i was thinking how could he commit to a person like that .alot of his colse friends werent to fond of her and felt that she got him into alot of trouble. i felt that way as well but he didnt wanna hear that .since hes been with her he started heavily drinking and partying he was jumped at bar recentley and even got into a domestic dispute with her. things that never happend when he was with me me..but she ultimatley got the title as girlfriend??? how does this make sense is this gonna last ??? i know alot of you would say be happy i got away but i did love him with all my heart and wanted the best…will he ever come to his senses?? does being 28 and being set in his ways have anything to do with it??? does her having the title of girlfriend means that he loves her although her claims to not be inlove with anybody? he said he hasnt felt in a long time is ths still true is he using her? HELP!!!!

    • MH says:

      Your very young RM and you need to get out there and enjoy your twenties. I wasted most of mine with an abusive assclown. I didn’t regret it then because I thought I was having fun but now I regret it. I have to forgive myself now for wasting my own time.

      Like Natalie says we have to learn to love ourselves. This is the new journey I am working on, along with learning boundaries and values.

      The writing is on the wall he has shown you who he is and what he wants. Most of these guys don’t want a relationship they want someone who lets them do what they want and if calling you their girlfriend gets them that then why not give the false title.
      THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS POST IS THE TITLE ONLY MATTERS IF THE GUY BACKS IT UP WITH ACTIONS THAT INVOLVE, LOVE, CARE, RESPECT, TRUST, MONOGOMANY AND COMMITMENT.

      We have to look for men now that come with good behaviour as standard so we can have healthy relationships,

      Ask yourself after rereading your own post does your guy come with good, standard behaviour? If not asked yourself do you want love, trust, respect and care from a guy and if so why would you want to hang onto him? Has he changed yet? Do you think he is seriously going to?

      Its tough I know I wanted to hold onto the illusion for awhile but I am forcing myself to look at reality and it is the other posters on this site that are helping me realize we have to move on to do what is best for us.

      Of course it is our choice and we will stay stuck for as long as it takes us to move to the next level.

      Maybe reread this post because you seemed stuck on this title image as well and the point of the post was to help you break free from the idea or at least get the ball rolling but you are rolling the ball backwards, no offence.

      You can’t really love someone in a healthy manner when we don’t love ourselves properly.

      I think too many people throw the word love, and in love around too much. I don’t think half of the population has learned what these two terms really truly mean. This is just my opinion and I tell this to my friends as well all the time. I think you might be idealizing love because when we think we love someone it gives us that extra feeling of bonding with someone.

      People try to tell me all the time that they saw us together me and my EUM and we loved each other. I tell some people how dillusional they are and others I just ignore it because it is not worth the argument.

    • Grace says:

      get away from him and get him and his other woman off facebook. If he does change (long shot) he ain’t going to go back to either of two women who have acted with so little self-respect and dignity anyway. You let him walk all over you and now the pair of you are catfighting. Not that you will want him, by then you will have long forgotten him and be making babies with a man who would rather be dragged through a field of thistles naked than cheat on you.
      I get that young people are obsessed with age but him being 28 means nothing.

    • Fearless says:

      RM,
      1. He is using EVERYBODY. He is a ‘good-time, selfish, self-serving Charlie’.

      2. No it won’t last. Why would it? Why that should be good news for you is a mystery.

      • RM says:

        Thank you all for your feedback this was really my first experience like this and i guess im just still in shock that it happened like that. Ive read every topic on this page and almost eversingle scenerio has happened it scary!!! i feel like Natalie knows me..i feel alot better now and am i ready to start my healing process (had a few missteps along the way i talked to him last night-totally regret that!!!!) but its my first day of no contact and i feel ok so far i know i have a long way toi go … wish me luck!

    • Aimee says:

      All I can say is “Dog Poop Girlfriend” Great one Jennynic!!! – are you upset that you didn’t get that title as well? He’s a jerk!

    • jupiter says:

      RM, please listen.

      You are wasting your youth. This situation is such a waste of your time. And, truthfully, you could be on this blog for a good two years still talking about this situation. In two years, you could have raised your self-esteem and met someone about 100 times (easily) better than this person who has no respect for himself or women.

      Do you know how many other guys you could be dating when you heal, when you understand that you deserve better? This guy sounds like a living nightmare, and, yes, you are lucky.

      You need to block these people from facebook. Hell, delete your facebook. Move 1,000 miles away if you need to. Stop engaging with this other woman. And LIVE your life.

  17. bleh says:

    This blog has saved my sanity.

    The whole duration of my imaginary relationship with my EUM, he referred to me as his friend. It was quite obvious he was doing it deliberately to let me know what my status was without having to have a conversation directly along the lines of, “you know, I’m never going to commit to you, right?” Because he’s a coward and he didn’t want the sex to dry up if he came right out and said that.

    It should have told me all I needed to know—his continual little “friends” hints. I don’t have sex with my “friends,” so what was *I* doing sleeping with him if that’s all he considered me?

    • Findingmyself says:

      I once had the “friend” introduction. It was such a huge red flag moment. Funny, he remembers it differently. Its when he introduced me to his family and friends. For me it was a moment of clarity that he considered me his “friend”…I was making love to my “friend”?? OMG! Eye opening indeed!

  18. Sweetie187 says:

    Oh yes indeed!!! Natalie, this is the post that speaks to my heart in the worst way.
    .
    I admit it ladies: I was extremely distressed about the fact that i did not have the official GIRLFRIEND titie! It burned and bugged the crap out of me. It had me absolutely jealous and absolutely fuming that i was not his girlfriend. I WANTED THAT TITLE SO BAD!!!

    Every single day, my mind was consumed with the following thoughts:
    “why doesn’t he want me to be his girlfriend?”; “why is she his girlfriend and not me?”; “she’s not even as pretty or as successful in life as i am….so why did he choose her over me?”; “i am not the other woman as i was here first!”

    Yes ladies, i was dumb enough to be sexually and emotionally involved with my ex AC for 3 whole years, as his side shag, while he made 2 different women his official girlfriend in that time.

    I kept believing we had a special, spiritual bond that meant we would be officially together and married in the end (this thought was fuelled by the fact that a psychic had told me this). He told me all about his childhood and other things he has not told anyone else about.

    The AC is now in prison. He drinks too much and cannot control his temper and so this is a consequence of that (he got banged up in August, a week before he went to jail i sent him a text, ending our “non-relationship because i was fed up with not wanting to be in a proper relationship with me). But when i heard he was in prison i went to visit him (yes ladies….silly me even took the day off work to see him). When i arrived, he looked surprised to see me. He wanted to know how i knew he was in jail (his neighbour told me). Our conversation was going fairly ok until i asked the fatal question “so who has come to see you so far?” He responded “my uncle, my dad and my girlfriend” I hit the roof!! WHAT GIRLFRIEND??? WTF is this clown talking about??? I demanded to know who this girl was but he refused to tell me anything about her. The visit (which was supposed to last 2 hours) went downhill from there. I walked out of the prison after 30 minutes. I was so distressed that this clown was telling me he has a girlfriend. He made out he was SINGLE all this time, after his other relationship ended back in January!! That episode almost killed me as i vowed never to be the other woman again, so imagine my fury at having to hear from him that he actually has another girlfriend!

    I went home fuming and vowing never to have anything to do with this clown again. Then that same weekend i received a message from a girl on my facebook asking if i knew (ac’s name)? I don’t know how this girl had managed to track my full name down but to cut a long story short, this girl was the AC’s official girlfriend he was talking about, and she is 6 months pregnant to boot!! I pretended i did not know him and she backed off. But i clicked on her FB profile and saw a billion photos of the two of them together, attending weddings, christenings and even a holiday in St Lucia together, as a foursome with his dad and his partner!! Bascially, he has been with this girl for over a year and i knew NOTHING about it. As i write this, she is now living in his flat, awaiting his release from prison. She is even on FB telling the world that she plans to marry him after the baby is born.

    I did the math and worked out that this AC had 2 official girlfriends (they even overlapped for a period of time) during my time with him. I knew about one girlfriend (they lasted just 6 months) but not the other (pregnant) one.

    But get this!! Even when i discovered his lying, cheating, devious ways i was still more upset about the fact that i (once again) was not made his girlfriend and another woman was, when in fact, i should have been upset about being used and disrespected by him for so long.

    I don’t know why but my mind keeps thinking that he loves the women he makes it official with and they get better treatment from him than i ever did. For the 3 years i was involved, i have never met his kids or his family members and I don’t have a single photo of us to show for our time together. And these women were made public to his friends and family. WHAT A SLAP TO MY FACE. I was just his fuck buddy. Whilst i was making love to him he was just using me. And that hurts. BADLY.

    I am sitting here in my house, feeling extremely hurt, heart broken and having to come to terms with the fact that i meant NOTHING to this man for 3 whole years, whilst he gets to have the love and loyalty of a woman who is carrying his child and sitting in his flat, getting ready to play happy families with him when he gets out of jail.

    I really want take revenge and spoil things for him by going to his house to tell her the truth about her wonderful, beloved boyfriend who is actually a devious, narcisstic, using, lying, no good cheat. It’s only the fact she is pregnant that has stopped me from doing it already.

    Please God, help me to move on and get over this.

    • Grace says:

      How did they get better treatment? He was cheating on them with you. Stop stalking his girlfriend on FB, it’s making you nutty. Block her. Of course he was surprised to see you, he can’t believe you came back for more.
      You need to cut contact with him and with his girlfriend. There’s no need for an announcement, just delete his details from your phone, FB, etc. I get that maybe you can’t do it today, but maybe tomorrow. Or next week. But it had better be soon before you waste x more months/years. And believe me, you could easily drag this out for years. I’ve done it myself.
      The only thing that got me to the other side was NC.

    • Elle says:

      @Sweetie187: Don’t entertain these vengeful thoughts for too long. They’re natural responses, but they’re not the right way through this. That’s a path right back into the mess, into the pain, into the chidish “I didn’t get what I want”-ness of it all.

      There’s a strong tone of losing a competition in your comment – and you acknowledge that. This is not a game to win. If there is any game now, it’s a pretend one in your mind, like a computer game for one. There’s nothing in the real world that can be done or enacted that can make you feel better or sense of victory as far as these people go.

      The AC has set up an impossible test for you. In fact, the race is over – you lost (but, I assure you, you lost a rigged race that you didn’t even want to win. The prize is as useless as a stuffed frog with a stupid smile, from the fair!).

      Divulging the deceit to the mother of his child is a mere extension of the old stuff – the pain and dishonesty of your semi-relationship. You’d just have more things to obsess about and apologise for, or at least regret. Don’t put that out there in the world. There’s enough of it! She already knows something is up anyway. It’s her responsibility now.

      This is something from which to walk away and learn, of which to let go, so that something real – substantial, positive and workable – has room to enter your life. That’s the true competition for you (and, in different respects, all of us).

    • MaryC says:

      Sweetie187…I’m so sorry for what has happened to you but don’t contact her, all that would do is give him the opportunity to turn the truth around and make you look like some lunatic. You know he’d say you chased him, you went to the prision to see him, you won’t take no for answer etc etc and she’s not going to believe you anyway.

      As hard as it is hold your head up high and show this guy you won’t put up with his crap any longer. You and he both know the truth and sometimes that’s all you can have. But don’t worry I’ll bet you anything that sooner or later you’ll hear from him again and when you do you can be the one to shut him down because you’re better than just some lay.

      You deserve so much better so give yourself that. Take some time to get your head and your heart together by enacting strict NC and when you’re ready to get out there again use this experience because it sounds like when its all said and done you will have learned alot about yourself.

      Wishing you all the best….

    • susiejay says:

      I know exactly how you feel. I am not sure what this AC/EUM man called me, i used to refer to him as ‘my partner’and he used to refer to me as ‘my girl’ which used to make me feel stupid at times as i am far from being a young girl! And like yourself i was with this man for 3 years and did not know he was shagging someone else behind my back until i came face to face with her sat in his car one evening. He actually tried to pass her off as a relative until i confronted her and she told me she had been ‘seeing’ him for over a year. She it has to be said was shocked to discover i had been his partner for 3 years, so this man is obviously one who likes to play the field and is not satisfied with one faithful female at his side.

      He went awol on me out of the blue last year for 15 days and when i eventually got to speak to him, he said he was confused as whilst not with me he could do what he liked, go to his place of work and just get on with his life with having no else in it to worry about! He could do all those things before, i never put tabs on him whatsoever. He did come back to me a few days later and said he missed me, and besides no one else would put up with him!! I must have been mad to accept that explanation. He then said he loved me and made plans for a future (faked future as i now know) so i went along with it, until i found out about the other woman. For all i know (and she knows) there may be even more than her, so if she is still with him she is welcome to him, i am out of there!

      What deceit, lying, and deviousness these men show when you do not even suspect they are cheating on you, and like you after 3 years! Good riddance to bad rubbish i say.

      And Sweetie do you really think the other woman who is having his baby is going to have an easy ride? Nope, you should feel sorry for her – there will be no happy families played out in that relationship, she is worse off than you because she now has a baby of his arriving and while she is probably looking after it at home, he will be out hunting and shagging someone else behind HER back. You have surely had a lucky escape and in time you will get over him, i am well on the way already and its been 4 months now. Good luck but i know how you feel – its hell on earth.

      • Sweetie187 says:

        Susiejay,
        I am torn between imagining 2 scenarios panning out for him and his girlfriend:
        1) Just as you predict, after the baby is born he carries on being his usual, lying, cheating, narcissistic, disrespecting self, cheating on her with all kinds of women.
        2) His prison experience helped him to reach “rock bottom” and it was the epiphany he needed, which forced him to contemplate his life, reflect on himself, namely his character flaws and vow to make positive changes in his life especially since he now has a chance to life a new life, get married and be a decent man/husband and father-to-be when he is released from jail (bearing in mind that he is not a hardened criminal. This is his first time in prison and also his first offence).

        If scenario number 1 happens, then great! I’ll be happy to let go of the no-good, using piece of scum. I will go on with my life, satisfied that i have not lost anything worth having and that girl has a booby prize on her hands.

        But if scenario number 2 happens then IT’S GOING TO BUG THE CRAP OUT OF ME as that girlfriend gets to have a decent version of the man i was sexually and emotionally investing in for 3 whole years. She gets to have a return on MY investment for less of her own investment (as she has been involved with him for far less time than i have).

        I know that some people reading this might be thinking of me as a spiteful b*tch to even be thinking this way, but right now, i am hurting and this is just how i feel at the moment.

        I loved that man. I cared about that man. I was loyal to that man. I gave and i gave and i gave. I had his back when times were hard for him. So having to come to terms with the fact that this man did not ever love or care about me for 3 whole years is a bitter pill for me to swallow.

        How do i get over the fact that i basically gave this man permission to use and disrespect me for 3 whole years, in the dark, whilst he made other women (who, by the way, came along during the time i was involved with him) public and official in his life?? and when that relationship did not work out, and the girl dumped his ass, i still stayed, playing the loyal “friend with benefits” instead of growing some sense and dumping him too! i cannot believe i still stuck around hanging on in the hope he would one day make me his girlfriend (even after witnessing the fact that another woman, his official girlfriend no less, did not want his ass). And just to rub it in even more, i then find out that he had a second, overlapping girlfriend for over a year who is now carrying his child!! Am i stupid or what???

        I FEEL ABSOLUTELY SICK TO MY STOMACH. If karma was doing its job well, then no way should scenario 2 come to pass as he should never ever be allowed to ride rough-shod over my heart and skip off into the sunset with a brand new life waiting for him on the outside whilst i sit here hurt and reeling from a 3 year tortuous, soul destroying experience.

        As Natalie would say, i am sitting in “negative equity” worried sick that scenario 2 may come to pass for him, enabling him to play happy families and get away with mistreating me for all these years.

        HENCE MY DESIRE TO GET EVEN!! I DONT TRUST KARMA TO TAKE CARE OF HIM. I WANT HIM TO SUFFER.

        • Fearless says:

          Sweetie,
          Here’s a title for you – Mrs Angry! Seriously though, you are saying this man is a serial cheater and a liar who drinks too much, has an uncontrollable temper and these problems are so serious that he has landed up in jail (first offence isn’t same as a final offence!)… and while this drunken, violent abuser of women is banged up in the slammer you are spending your time doing the arithemtic to try to predict ‘what he’ll do next’?

          The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour; that’s all you need to know. Here’s what he’ll do next: he’ll sh*g his way around as many women as will let him, he will be drunk a lot of the time and whoever is in the same room will get the brunt of his violent temper and his every misfortune… (and he won’t drink less as time goes on – he’ll drink more, and more) and that poor titled girl who is having his baby, waiting for her ” happy family man” to come home from the jail is in for a very rude awakening…. but, hey, she got the “girlfriend” title and crown, and maybe even she’ll get a ring and a shopping bag!

          Without meaning to be harsh, you need to try to get real here – “what happens next” to them is immaterial to you and your life, what should matter to you is what happens next TO YOU, and spending your time doing the statistical analysis of probabilities in his soap-opera of a life isn’t going to help you fix out your life and your future. All you know for sure is that she’ll get a raw deal with this man.

          You are focused on the wrong thing, which is exactly what NML’s post is getting at – this woman has “won” the title but she’ll also get the drunk, the cheat, the liar and probably the black eyes.. the soap-opera for her (and, sadly, her unborn child) has just begun; why you still buying a front row seat? So you can chuck rotten tomatoes? Maybe best just to leave the theatre?

          • Sweetie187 says:

            Fearless, i know that in all probability you are absolutely correct in your predictions, especially if the “past behaviour is a prediction of future behaviour” phrase turns out to be relevant in his case.

            But i do need to set the record straight on a point you raised. As much as he is a liar, a serial cheat and drinks too much, he has NEVER EVER given any woman a black eye. He does not hit women. Of that i am certain. He fights other men though (when he is drunk) LOL

            Yes, i guess change may be unlikely. BUT…people DO change and that fact cannot be ignored. I have seen smokers and drinkers quit. I have seen the obese lose weight. I have seen players get tired of the game and settle down. I have seen cheaters quit and be faithful when the person stops and thinks about the impact of their negative behaviours (yes it is crucial that they see a need for them to quit) and decides he is going to do better.

            This is what i am paranoid about. If he did not go to jail then i would not be worried. But prison does wonders for some people. It puts them in isolation from all the negative influences of the outside world and forces them into having a lot of thinking time on their hands. If they were heavy drinkers then they will sober up. They have no choice!! Prison forces a person to look at their life circumstances. It makes them ask the questions “who am i?” “how did i get here?” “what do i want to be in future?” Whilst inside, they get access to education and they can even learn a skill.

            When he gets out of jail he will be also required to attend some therapeutic courses (this would be mandated by the Courts) as part of his conditions, so again, these courses are going to help him improve and develop his character for the better. He will be closely monitored by a probation officer too.

            As this is his first offence, in all probability, he is going to be released on tag, so therefore he will be given a curfew time of 6pm or 7pm. This will drastically curtail his cheating activities! Lastly, he is going to be a father, so again, this is yet another reason for turning his life around.

            So in summary, although change is difficult to achieve, is it not impossible and he is going to receive a lot of help.

            But i do take your point about my need to move on and stop looking over my shoulder at him and his life. I know for a fact that i would be far less concerned about him if i was out here dating and socialising and engaging in meaningful activities. Yeah, you’re right about that. I guess it is time for me to walk out of the theatre.

            • NML says:

              Sweetie, I feel I must interject here. What you’re basically doing is trying to control and you’re also demanding entitlement to his love. Just because you slept with him and emotionally invested, doesn’t mean you have a right to him, whatever love he has, and any positive changes he might make.

              You may not see it now but you’re better than this however you’re selling yourself short because your ego is out of joint and you’re doing the whole ‘it’s my football and if I can’t play with it nobody will’ and throwing your toys out of the pram.

              If you really, genuinely loved this guy you would accept and respect any positive changes he makes even if you don’t get to benefit.

              Via your ego and control, you’re basically saying you don’t want him to be better if it’s not with you and you’ll only be happy with letting him go if he treats his woman bad. Come on now! Even you must be able to see what’s wrong with this picture.

              You never owned this man. You might have thought you did but you didn’t. You were not his girlfriend and at one time you were willing to be with him in spite of another girlfriend. He is with someone else who is pregnant with his child – That is code speak in the sisterhood for wind your neck in, step back, and move on.

              This relationship is over because it didn’t start and you will wreck yourself if you continue to pursue your ego and get trapped in the rejection. Accept that it is over before you cause yourself any further pain.

              Hugs and take care

              • Elle says:

                Whoops, NML – read this after posting my comment (to Sweetie187). Excuse overlap of themes! Agreed!

              • Sweetie187 says:

                Natalie,

                You are correct. I am being spiteful and selfish. Perhaps I did not genuinely love him at all, as I totally agree that if i really did love this man, i would want the best for him, even if i am not with him anymore.

                Isn’t there a famous love quote that goes: “You really do love someone when you are able to wish them happiness, even if you know you’re not included” (or words to that effect).

                But deep down i do want him to change for the better. I am just hurting and venting and want him to feel the consequences of his behaviour for hurting me. But yes, at the end of the day, i do recognise that the best love is unconditional, selfless love.

                And Elle, you are correct too. People have helped me in my life they have not received any “reward” directly from me.

                The funny thing is that i am not even a spiteful, vengeful person in everyday normal life. But isn’t it funny that this situation has brought out the absolute WORST in me? And to be honest, that has scared the crap out of me!

                My goodness! I feel ashamed of myself. I need to heal, make peace with this and move on.

                • Elle says:

                  Crazy behaviour is contagious, and ACs tend to invite and aggravate the worst in us. Don’t be too hard on yourself! We’ve all been there, to greater or lesser extents, so know that we know where you’re at! Good luck, and glad to see you’ve had a bit of a breakthrough. Keep going!

                  • MH says:

                    Hi all,

                    I am wondering if it just me or do many of us on here blame our AC’s and EUM”s a lot?

                    So many of us on here were fighting for a title and then the labeling seems to get thrown about too much.

                    I like that Nat gives these guys a name and us one too. For the reason that we can sum it up and realize if we hang on were wasting our time.

                    At the same time she taught us all that we attracted them to us because of how we feel about ourselves, relatonships, and love.

                    It is understandable that we go through grief stages and one of them is anger. People on here have admitted that stage brought out the worst in them, and I commend those that recognized that and said something.

                    My point I am trying to make is that a lot of hate is focus on these men and I am finding now that I have to conquer that hate and anger in order to get over my EUM.

                    Maybe it is this post that is bringing up a sore spot for many because it does go back to the core of the undefined relationsip for many. I thought about the title or the non sense my EUM use to say to me and I really coudn’t be bothered to be bothered by it all anymore because I want to move past this.

                    Who knows maybe I am in the acceptance stage right now and when I bounce back to the anger stages I too will be more bothered. I was angry today for a short while but I focus myself back to forgiveness so I wouldn’t spend my day in a negative funk. Not knocking anyone who allowed themselves to be in funk because i think the grieving process is necessary and it is good to go with your feelings and get them out.

                    I am just saying in general, the venom for these men could make us more attached to it all.

                    When I think of the games or whatever wrong I think my EUM or AC has done to me, I refocus myself and say yeah but you stayed, you allowed it, you thought you deserved it and let him mistreat you. Then I follow it up with, hey you didn’t deserve it did you? So you made a mistake but now you have learned from it. How lucky are you that you learned and got out? Well what can you do? I can work on my self esteem, okay and what will that do? It should help me make better choices for myself because I love me and I only want those that love me, to be my partner.

                    I want love in my life and I really want to experience it with a good man. I want my realizations from my last relationship which has also been my light bulb relationship to lead me to lasting love.

                    • Minky says:

                      I think it’s best to get all the anger out – and the grief and everything else. These are all very valid emotions, they have to be acknowledged and worked through in their own time.

                      We all have a right to be angry – we were all mistreated, we were all used, betrayed, hurt and cast aside. That needs to be absorbed, reflected apon, given its due and only then can we move on. It’s no small thing. It’s a huge injustice – yes we had a part in it and it is vital to remember that – but at the end of the day, we were treated in a way we did not deserve to be treated.

                      Don’t try to rush through or repress the negative emotions that you will feel during this time – i did and i made myself ill for two weeks!! It’ll manifest itself somehow, believe me.

                    • grace says:

                      Two weeks is not bad. I had clinical depression for two years because I simply could not face up to how badly he had treated me. A bit of anger would have served me well. If all we think is “I still love him”, “no hard feelings” ” i forgive him” “i should have known better” etc, we are not acknowledging the painful truth that he has treated us badly. We do have to recognise our part in it AND recognise he has mistreated us. It’s a tricky balancing act and takes time. Supressing either side of it for prolonged periods just throws us out of whack.

                    • Sweetie187 says:

                      Yes i agree,

                      Although i am able to recognise my part in how he was able to use me for so long, my mind keeps coming back on the following point:

                      “If he was a decent person in the first place, he would not have taken advantage of me and my feelings for him, regardless of my actions”.

                      There are many people out there who would just point blank refuse to mistreat someone, regardless of whether a person was making it easy to be mistreated.

                      Yes i should have stopped sleeping with him and cut him off the moment he told me he did not want a relationship with me. BUT…….if he was a decent person he would not have strung me along by taking advantage of my feelings for him. If he was decent, he would have gone no contact with me. But nope! This man continued to call me up, spend time with me and have sex with me when all along, he had no future plans for us. He had no intentions of being with me properly even though he knew a relationship was what i wanted. HE USED ME FOR SEX. PERIOD. I was making love to him whilst he was just shagging me.

                      For those of you who might by saying “well he is a man, he is not going to turn down free sex”, but i was not the only one he was sleeping with. SO WHY DO IT WITH ME when he knew i wanted a relationship and there were other girls he slept with who were not wanting a relationship with him?? It is just plain cruel.

                      My point is, just because you CAN mistreat someone it does not mean you SHOULD. For example. if i wanted to, i can go out on the road right now and rob an old lady of her handbag and purse. But because i can (and i have the physical might to overcome her) does it mean i should? Of course not.

                      Yes i do need to forgive myself for not showing enough self-love to opt out of a bad situation. I am able to say with confidence that i had good intentions. So (for the abovementioned reasons) i apportion the majority of the blame on HIM!! Hell yeah i do!!

                    • Fearless says:

                      I don’t think there’s any doubt that most of the relationships discussed here on NML’s blogs turn into catastrophes mostly because of the behaviour of the men involved (or the AC/EU).

                      Yes, of course we have to address why we wasted our time on these guys – why we ignore the warning signs and keep going back for more hurt and diappointment but that, I think, is a seperate issue. The point is that whatever we were doing “wrong” was only damaging ourselves – our crime, if you like, is having poor self-protection strategies, which is not the same thing as the devious, manipulating and often cruel behaviour dished up by these these men.
                      The bottom line is that whatever we were doing, we were jumping through hoops trying to make it work – he was jumping through hoops trying to make it NOT work. Our actions, whetever they were, were well-intentioned or, at least, not ill-intentioned; the actions of these men are clearly ill-intentioned….

                      How many of the guys discussed on this site are reading and posting on websites such as this one looking for help and support to deal with the trauma of having been involved us? None, is my guess. And that should tell you all you need to know in respect of whose relationship behaviour has been most damaging!

                      I also agree with what has been said above, that there are men (and women) who will treat you just as badly as you allow them to, and there are those who wouldn’t. The worst kind though, is those who deceive and manipulate you; keep you in the dark, so that they can get way with treating you very badly without you even realising it until it’s too late for you to avoid their trap. This is just plain predatory and abusive. And men who behave like that, frankly, should be shouldering all of the blame.

                      In an ideal world there would be a law against it (though some may say you can’t legislate for a foll!) Perhaps with all the growth of political correctness and the increasing power of women and growing profile of women’s issues, that one day in the future we might find that grievous (and willful) emotional abuse/harm will become a criminal offence. That would be interesting! (I think, for example, there are current moves to have forced marriages criminalised in the UK).

                      I don’t think there would be anything to prevent a woman (or man) taking out a civil suit for compensation against someone who had perpetrated greivous emotional assault upon her. Grace… sounds like you’d stand a good chance of a hearing!

                    • Sweetie187 says:

                      Fearless,

                      I co-sign all you have just said above!

                      Hugs and take care -x-

                    • Fearless says:

                      I think it’s just cake and eat it stuff – if cakes being served they’re not applying any principles about what restaurant they’re eating at. I think also having a good supply feeds into their egos and they like to keep all ‘cake’ options open!These guys have big fat hungry egos… there can never be enough cake!

                      Hugs and good luck to you too
                      (and you’re well out of it with that guy – don’t let him have you feel bad about YOU!!)

                    • jupiter23 says:

                      So much of this post reminds me of a place I was–almost two years ago. I almost had to reinforce to myself that he was an awful person, that he used me, that even if I let him hurt me he still chose to. I really understand this. Yeah, he used you. That hurts. Yes, you let him. That hurts even more.

                      But one day, one day you won’t give a sht. Today will go by, the next day, the next month, and then the year. You might still think about him, you might even feel a little grain of anger at him and at yourself at times. But it stops. It stops. You remember that you could care less about him, you’ll remember that you forgave yourself. You’ll remember that your life is so much better without him in it. You will be free of this.

                    • jennynic says:

                      For a friend of mine who couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just snap out of it and would say I shouldn’t feel bad about it anymore, I explained it like this. I do feel bad still. I had a bad experience and it takes time to heal, which I am. I compared it to a broken leg, and how it takes time to heal and there are no shortcuts. You can baby the leg and be careful how you use it so it heals properly. Once the cast comes off, it is still tender, even though considered healed. You wouldn’t go out and run 5 miles the day your cast comes off. You move it a certain way and still feel a twinge of pain, which reminds you that you need to slow down and continue to be patient with the healing. It all takes time. Feelings and emotions are part of our body too and take time to heal. Some of us heal faster than others, some were injured in different ways. I have good days and bad days still. I go through moments where I am swept up in anger again but I work through it. I allow myself these days….as I am not ready to run those five miles yet. I don’t wallow in it but don’t deny it.

                    • Fearless says:

                      jennynic,
                      those are my feelings too; I think I have every right to feel angry; but I don’t dwell on or feed the anger; I just know that I AM angry and I think it’s normal to feel that way for a while – maybe for a long while; but I accept that I am angry.

                      People have said that they are trying to quell the anger, or to get rid of it through forgiveness, to help them through, and I can see this is needed, maybe even desirable for some, and especially if it is overwhelming and a hindrance to healing and moving on; but after the EUM experience I want, in a sense, to OWN – to have a right to – the way I feel, and for the first time in years! Because, like you, I denied myself my true, authentic feelings when I was with the EUM – I doubted and quelled and ignored and dis-allowed my gut reaction, as I knew it would be “misconstrued” or belittled or ignored and would have him reaching for his coat!

                      I wasn’t “allowed” to be angry or I was “punished” (always by the silent treatment – he just stopped engaging with me – never by anything else); and if I wanted him to speak to me again I had to drop the subject, stop with the angry face and get my ‘fluffy bunny slippers back on’. Anger was not tolerated, for any reason, justifable or not. Angry people were sent to coventry and only allowed out when they were going to accept whatever was deemd acceptable and behave themselves!!

                      So I am now letting my gut (my true feelings) talk to me and I am not going to ever again try to smother out what I know in my gut are right and justifiable feelings. I already did that – for years – and look where it got me! (seems I’ve now been banished to the badland for angry people for all eternity! ‘Cept now I am not coming back out to play. I don’t like the rules of this game – and anyway I chucked my fluffy bunny slippers in the bin.

                    • Aimee says:

                      My heart hurts today – I am sad. I wish the healing would go faster. I hate that I miss him, that I trusted him, that I loved/love him. One of those days – sure hope tomorrow is better. The only constant in life is change!

                    • MH says:

                      Aimee,
                      I hear you I go through those moments where I feel that way. You think why are they so full of nothing and we feel everything so to speak. Its healthy that you vent how you feel thats what gets us to the otherside is working it through and allowing ourselves those feelings.

                • jennynic says:

                  Sweetie, most of us here can admit we behaved in crazy ways when in the midst of a crazy relationship. I didn’t like who I was when I was in a four year relationship with an assclown. I look back and feel embarressed about some things I did and how emotionally out of control I was. Now, with some distance and time, I am acting sane again and feel peace. He was dysfunctional, but so was I for hanging in there. Whether he recognizes how he hurt me or how unfair he was to me matters less and less each day. It took me letting go, really just letting go of the illusion for this to happen. Why did he treat me so bad? I don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter anymore. He just did and it doesn’t have to affect MY future anymore. You’ve heard the saying “the best revenge is living well”. Which really translates into you moving on and finding peace. Easier said than done, but many of us here are living proof that it does happen, one little step at a time.

          • Elle says:

            I know it’s hard when you’re in it, Sweetie187, but here are two things to consider:

            1) If you do love this man, you will actually want him to self-improve and have healthier, more happy relationships. When you really love someone – as distinct from want them to be and do what fulfills your expectations and fixed ideas – then you sincerely want them to grow for the better. Otherwise, you’re just displaying narcissism: seeing outside people as minor roles in your play.

            2) Think about all the people who have helped you in life and not necessarily gotten a return on investment. I remember once half-heartedly complaining to my thesis supervisor that a colleague had asked to read my literature review – that had taken me over 6 months to write – and then used it for the basis of a paper he wrote. She said, “but that’s academia – think about all the articles – and therefore people’s time and energy – you used to write the literature review?” I hope you can see the analogy to life – it is not a series of equal investments, and we often benefit from people without acknowledging it, let alone returning the favour in kind. Besides, if the investment idea is really important to you, I have a strong feeling, with time, you’ll actually get more back from losing this man and forgiving yourself, than anything you could have gained from staying with him (a man who, on some level, you don’t want to grow and change).

            I recognize that you’re in the angry, fearful, reactive stage of grief. But, as I said in my last comment, indulging these thoughts of winning and losing, competition for titles, revenge etc is not the way through for you. It’s a side street that takes you to a dead-end. Now you’ve been up and down it a few times, you should try taking your brain (and therefore your emotions) down another path. See if it helps – like writing a list of qualities you want (and would not accept) in a relationship, doing a full day of physical activity, making something new (even just a cake or a scarf or whatever you’re into), writing the story of your relationship from your perspective, then his perspective, doing something kind for someone.

          • Fearless says:

            Sweetie,
            Elle is talking a lot of sense.
            You may also wish to re-read your post above which outlines all the “positives” about this guy’s circumstances (with an objective eye) – this other woman hasn’t exactly hit the jackpot, has she?!

            It would be unfair to say that people can’t change – just that he doesn’t sound like a good candidate for change to me, even though you see this differently. (He already has four children by four different women I recall you saying; that alone speaks volumes about this man’s sense of responsibility; and he may never yet have taken out his violent temper when drunk on a woman – but the fact that he gets drunk and violent does not bode well for anyone)

            If women want their man to be so different; they can either wait for him to decided to be different or just get a different man. The second option is easier.

            For the sake of his fifth child, if for no-one else, we would hope he would reform himself…only time will tell… and life is a long road… but this guy turning himself into a new man anytime soon is not where the smart money would go, and his current woman sounds to me like a turkey signing up for Christmas.

            All you can do now is take better care of yourself.

            Good luck

            F

  19. susiejay says:

    Havent a clue what happened then to my initial posting so i shall start again!!

    Recently Natalie wrote after i posted a comment, that if i played back my relationship slowly i would notice the red flags, as i said i didnt appear to notice any, and how right she is!

    When this man first took me out on a date, he explained that he would like a ‘full’ relationship eventually with me, but only when i felt ready! I asked him what he would do until i did feel ready and his reply was ‘i have friends’. As i had never dated for years after my lovely hubby died the meaning of that comment escaped me – how stupid i was looking back. Even at the beginning the disrespectful signs were surfacing when on the 3rd date he lifted up my blouse and kissed my bare flesh. I am typing this and i can hardly believe i didnt smack his face for that!

    However, we did go on to have a really good relationship where he treated me with kindness, took me places i could never have afforded, we laughed, cried and went on super holidays,he bought me expensive gifts and he really did put me on a pedestal, but had i have had a crystal ball i would have got out of the relationship straightaway.

    After 2.5 years together i noticed a definite change in his behaviour towards me, he would do all of the arrangements without asking my opinion, started to cut down the time he spent with me by joining (as he said, maybe he never did) mens societies 3 evenings each week so i was hardly going out with him, but i also had activities apart from meeting up with him so it did not bother me, i was quite happy as he rang me every day to chat in his absence. And, of course, he did go awol on me without explaining why and came back again with the comment ‘no one else would put up with me’!! What a complete idiot i was.

    To cut a long story short, he was cheating behind my back with at least one person i discovered – maybe there were more from the word ‘go’, maybe these were the ‘friends’ he mentioned initially, i have no idea, but when i found out about the one i did, there was no going back for me. Apart from the fact i could have developed any health problem, i would never share a man if i knew i was sharing, i have far more self esteem about myself than that. But what a waste of 3 years of my life, because at the end he really did show me his true colours and i really thought i was dealing with the devil – i kid you not. I shall never, ever forget the cold, hard, unemotional look on his face when he told me he did not want me anymore, he had changed as a man he said and i was no longer required. This statement was said just like you would tell someone that the goods they had bought recently were shoddy and sub-standard. I was shocked to my core, i even asked him if he had suffered a breakdown or was joking. He was then dismissive and i walked away very, very confused.

    Then i found Natalie’s site and i can now relate to everything she says about these type of men. God forbid i should not recognise another one when i see one, i would rather stay single forever! They leave you completely confused, bewildered, feeling unloved, and then you realise that the whole relationship was just a game to them until they found someone else they think is more interesting to them and a new ‘victim’. And apparently can also forget you as if you ever existed!!

    It is now 4 months with NC and i would never make contact, and if he tried to contact me, i would ignore him i am worth much more than being tossed aside like a damaged rag doll. He has some personal items of mine in his possession but i am willing to forego getting them back as i never want to look him in the face again. He really is evil personified!

    • Grace says:

      Susiejay
      He sounds very callous. It seems he was manipulative and calculating enough not to display any red flags. However, one of them is the expensive gifts and holidays. I blame chick flick and romcoms or just plain materialism for our fixation on these romantic gestures. Gifts and holidays do NOT mean that a man is committed to you. It could just as easily mean that he is trying to impress you with shiny stuff so you can’t see that he is basically offering nothing.
      It’s much more positive if he helps you fix stuff around the house, or runs an errand if you are sick, or offers to pick up your dad from the airport, little stuff like that.

  20. CE says:

    I got the title of “babe” or “baby”. At first, I thought it was a term of endearment and it meant the world to me. Then I realized it was what men in porn films call the woman they are screwing.

    Beward of titles, pet names and other ways of being dehumanized and depersonalized. Baby is just another word for “I forget your name sometimes”.

    • jennynic says:

      Reading everyone’s stories makes me feel two different things. Everyone here understands what the other went through, and it is oddly comforting to know I am not alone in getting involved with this sort of deceitful man. The other part of me feels depressed that so many of these men lurk out there. It is hard not to feel discouraged about the future of dating. I am sorry but these men will always be around if we as women don’t stop falling into the trap. When we finally wake up, there is always another woman who thinks she is getting a prize with him. I wish I had a magic wand to make women stop being objects and victims. Natalie has been so proactive about teaching women to stop being victims, I wish more people could find her site. I spread the word as much as I can as she has helped me see the light.

  21. ana says:

    heeey nat and ladies!

    anway, this weekend, I’ve done a lot of chating with my girlfriends, we sort of had a girls weekend, and of course, there was some talking about guys and relationships…
    one friend of mine said, that it is totally normal, that a guy treats some girls like “options” and others like girls they could have a commited relationship with, but they hook up with both kinds… so I’m a bit confused, does that make him a Mr. unavaliable, or is this just “normal” for guys in their mid-twenties???

    and also, another question, my cousin was with a girl for good 8 years and for the last 5, 6 months of the relationship he was cheating on her. Eventually they broke up and he started seeing this new girl he’s been cheating with… so they were together for 5 years when the problems began and he cheated on her too… does the sole cheating make him a Mr. Unavaliable, or just a guy who fell out of love and didn’t know how to end it??

    anway, i need to go to Natalie’s bootcamp so I’ll finall start getting things right. I can’t wait till she start here consulting service again:)))
    I guess my problem is, that I don’t wanna start to see a Mr. Unavaliable in every guy, but i need to recognize them, cause so far, i think that all of my boyfriends were Mr. Unavaliables and so are my brothers…

    I would really appreciate any thoughst from your side ladies:) you and our comments really help A LOT!!! wish you all the best!

    xoxo

    Ana

    • Grace says:

      They all sound like EUM/a$$clowns, either fully formed or in the making. There are a lot of them about. There are a lot of decent men about too, but they don’t tend to be the topic of conversation. They’re just at home with their girlfriend/wives/families/dating just one girl/looking for one special person, not raring around town causing trouble. Clue: if you and your friends are spending a lot of time analysing a relationship/a man/a certain type of man/your male friends/men you know are very likely talking about EUMs/assclowns.

      • ana says:

        heeeey grace!

        thanks a lot for explaining this!:)
        yeah, you’re totally right, if we have to talk about them all the time, they’re probably not worth talking about at all:)

        so, if I understood you, if a guy is a Mr. Unavaliable, he’s a Mr. Unavaliable to all the girls, even if she gets “the title”? Until something massive happens and he sees the light hehe;)
        And they probably don’t change cause of the girl either…

        and yeah, you’re right, there are a lot of decent guys, it’s just that i don’t know them… unavaliable is very familiar to me:))

        thanks a lot once again!!

        xoxo

        Ana

  22. Alice X says:

    Interesting topic, i think many women like the feeling of being known by a title, it suggests worth and status. I feel that sometimes it is often a security thing as well, when you are someone’s Wife, girlfriend, partner, it makes you feel like you are not alone and part of someone’s life, that you mean something to them.

    • Fearless says:

      Yes, I agree. I also think that in our society women have been and still are largely defined through their relationships with a man.

      A man is a “Mr” – a title which indicates nothing about his relationship status – he is then, if you like, always titled as a person in his own right independently of anyone else and regardless of any relationship he may or may not have with a woman.

      On the other hand, a woman’s title clearly labels her in terms of her relationship with a man.
      She can be a “Miss” : an unmarried woman
      She can be a “Mrs” : a married woman (literally meaning “wife of”)

      And a number of years ago when women complained about this unfair labelling, the men, I assume, came up with a third label (just to make everything “fair”!). So, now if you choose to reveal nothing of your relationship status you can go for a third option: “Ms” (which, aside from anything else, is very difficult to pronounce – I think it’s supposed to sound like “Mzz” – and just sounds like an odd pronunciation of “Miss”, so no-one actually can tell the difference and no-one likes using it because it makes a statement that you object to Miss or Mrs.

      “Ms” is just a way of telling people “none of your business” – and so is just another way of labeling women, indicating that you are an “objectionable woman” (!) who has something to hide,or you are a “raving feminist”, or a woman of a certain age who is embarrassed not to be married yet or is divorced.

      Speaking as a woman over forty who has never married (but has a 21 yr old daughter), I am never quite sure what title I am supposed to adopt – I am not comfortable with Miss (as I feel too old to be a Miss) or with Ms (as I think it suggests I am “objectionable”!) and I can’t be a Mrs!!

      If they’d wanted to make things fair they should have dumped Miss and Mrs completely and gone for ONE title for women (one that was easy to pronounce!) just as there is ONE title for a man – my marital status, or my feelings about it, is not everyone else’s business – Yet when I meet people, say at work, I always just say my full name (no title) but when that person needs to refer to me formally, as they will do, they need to ask me if I’m Miss or Mrs… and my answer tells them my relationship/marital status, which has always been a real bug bear for me.

      Men are not asked these questions. I work in a large school where there are many male and female employees; I know the marital staus of ALL women who work there (by their title); yet I could not say whether men at my work were married or not by theor title. (I know that some women using “Mrs” may be divorced women, but it still tells us they have been married or not. Kids at school, for example, need to refer to teachers and staff and Mr, Miss or Mrs. so when kids ask me which one they are to call me it does annoy me, because I don’t like children asking me if I am married or not (it’s none of theor concern), and that is what the question is effectively asking.

      I’m not sure what all this has to do with this post!! But I think that traditionally women’s titles (Miss/Mrs/fiance/girfirend – whatever) have defined her status in society and that status has always been clearly linked to her marital position.

      So, it’s hardly any wonder that women put so much store in having a title in relation to a man – and men don’t care about it, for obvious reasone; it has no bearing on his perception of himself or of other people’s perceptions of him. It’s hard to shake off hundreds of years of having everyone, including ourselves, define us in terms of the man we are with (or not with).

      Women may have moved on in terms of the world of work… we may be economically less dependent on a man than we were fifty years ago… but it’s hard not to feel even just a touch uncomfortable with being “single” – untitled beyond a certain age – and having that ‘singleness’ virtually stuck to your forehead on a post-it note! And the only women I know who insist that “it doesn’t matter” are always those with a husband/partner/boyfriend to go home to!! Funny that.

      Sorry for the blab. Am pretty pissed off today – have had little bouts of self-pity and sadness this weekend – and have had a few wobbly moments with keeping NC – But I have not yet succumbed. The sheer bloody pointlessness of it all with that EUM is so depressing sometimes.

      • Aimee says:

        @ Fearless

        I always love the points you make – I think this post is an EXCELLENT point. I would love to hear what Natalie’s take is.

        I have never married – and I go by Ms. It’s funny as an older teenager and early 20’s I used Miss, but I started using Ms late 20s. My reasoning at the time is I felt like I had gone thru 2 divorces at that time, I have a little feminist in me (from my mother), it was nobodies biz if I was a Miss or Mrs – but the main reason I used/use it is I felt/feel like a grown woman and that title conveyed that for me – bug off anyone else’s thoughts or labels and what it means to them.

        When my ex AC looked me up after 28 yrs (2 1/2 yrs ago), he asked if I was married/had ever been married – like he was judging it – which I think men do. My reply was no – but I was asked 7 times/3 different guys and I said no – which was the truth. Men really judge if you have been married or not/divorced/kids w/o marriage – and society really judges women more about that then they do the men in the same boat – my opinion anyways.

        Something must be in the air – full moon maybe – I have been all over the place this weekend – self-pity, sadness, but today lots of anger too. It didn’t help as I had dreams of my AC all last night, waking me up reading inbetween so I wouldn’t keep dreaming about him, but would go right back into more about HIM!! UGHHHHH! They were all sexual – him cheating with all these different girls – no wonder I am angry today!!!

        47 Days no contact – have no desire – plus he has blocked my number anyways – I did that on purpose!! hehehehe!

        • MH says:

          Aimee and fearless,

          You both are entitled to down days it means your human.

          Speaking of titles very interesting topic you both discussed by the way.

          I always felt old if someone said Mrs. I too have never been married and I am proud of that title because it means no divorces under my belt. At the same time I have people in my life that have been divorced and I don’t look down on them at all, it is part of life. I am more proud of them for getting out.

          My last long term relationship with my AC, people use to say introduce your husband when I was at parties. I was in my twenties and I thought the word husband made me feel old. I liked the term boyfriend better at the time it made me feel young. Now i don’t care, I think husband would be nice to say.

          A guy recently who I wouldn’t give the time of day for after a couple of phone calls because I figured he was the next mr unavailable or assclown said “what happened” when I told him I was never married. I laughed and thought that was odd and thought it was a good thing that I didn’t have to deal with legal issues.

          I have learned that it is our own issue about single and marriage status. Nat is the one that wrote a great post on not feeling ashamed that we are single. I was actually more impressed that you both were not ever married.

          I hope that we all finally do get married if that is what we want and it is to the right man and none of us have to face divorce. How happy would we all be knowing we stayed away from getting married to jerks in our lives and it paid off. Not knocking anyone who has been divorced because I have so many friends that are divorced or sepaatated saying don’t do it, don’t get married.

          Like the song says “Owner of a lonely heart (single / never been married) much better than a owner of a broken heart (painful relationship, break up, separation, divorce). I know no matter whether we have been married or not a break up is painful but it is much worse when you have to deal with legal matters because I see it all the time with friends.

          I believe titles matter when the actions are backed up with the appropriate behaviours. When you are called girlfriend and the guy treats you with respect, love, care, and trust.

          Lets be proud we are MIss’s and that we escaped our captor’s who would keep us in shambles with our broken hearts. I do hate the word Ma’am. That word should be banished from our vocabulary’s.

  23. This is simply brilliant…

    “Ladies, it’s the year 2010, not 1910, we don’t have to have low self-esteem.”

    Well done, this blog.

    http://www.msadventuress.com

  24. Lesley Binnie says:

    Wee while since I posted,once again the article hits home succinctly. Good words Natalie. Made me look at myself. The man I ‘m seeing…do I want him to refer to me as his girlfriend?. He does…to me….. How does he refer to me when out with his mates, to his children(have I been mentioned yet??),to his work colleagues. This article made me realise three things;
    1.I want there to be compatibility/similarity/convergence in how I am referred to at all times. To anyone, complete overlap despite circumstances. This is not too much to ask.
    2. A title,(this site helped me realise and confirm this to myself over the last few months),doesn’t ever make up for consistent action on the part of a partner. They still have to treat you honestly and well.
    3. I have to look at myself too, I refer to this man as’the guy I ‘ve been seeing’, I ‘ll qualify it by saying’it’s going really well’ or I think ‘ I may be falling for him’ but the words ‘boyfriend or partner’ do not spill out easily from me yet. I want them to.
    Once again Natalie, the taking responsibility for our part in relationships and our pursuit of happiness has been brought into focus for me again, tonight, by you. Thanks for that.

  25. MaryC says:

    Sweetie187….give it some time and like most of us here you’ll see that you are so much better off without him. I certainly understand the revenge thing, I myself spent months planning mine but in the end it came down to two things….1. he was getting on with his life. 2. I wasn’t.

    I became stuck in that all consuming mind set that I had to make him see how wrong he was and I wanted his new girlfriend to see too. I literally cut myself off from everyone to work on it, it was the only thing in my life.
    I was going crazy from anger/jealousy/rage/pain, they were my friends and my enemies all at the same time. I wallowed in selfpity and defied anyone to tell me other wise. I said and did so many things that are too embarrassing and humilating to even speak about now and it got me absolutely now where.

    I wanted him to hurt as badly as I hurt but what was there to gain, him? Like NML has said many times…I really didn’t want him I just wanted him to want me. You have to feel the pain, work through it and then let it go or it does eat you alive. Your ex like mine isn’t a prize, I look at it now for what it was a very disfunctional relationship and I wouldn’t wish him on my worse enemy.

    I don’t believe people really change their core being, I think they learn to control whatever bad behavior they have to accomodate whatever situation they’re in at the time. So if he goes along with the happy family thing there is probably some self-serving reason behind it.

    Yes it sucks to be on the receiving end of all this and my heart goes out to you but all you can do is learn from it and move on. It will take time, its taken me a year of NC to finally feel better. Be good to yourself.

  26. Elle says:

    More of an indulgent post – sorry that off topic – but went on a date yesterday with a very intelligent, energetic, warm and funny guy. Great date – good, easy conversation, lots of laughs, lovely Autumnal atmosphere (a bit of fantasy to add to the scene!). Followed up by some light kissing on the couch last night. Then these comments from his mouth (in the space of an hour or two):

    1) I am good as a friend but terrible as a boyfriend.
    2) I hate compromise in relationships so that’s why none of my relationships have lasted very long.
    3) I always seem to be with women who I perceive to be lower than me (the women I perceive higher than me don’t seem to want to be with me) and then I start the slow process of trying to get out of the relationship.
    4) I don’t know how to not just avoid and withdraw when things get difficult, even if I simply don’t like something about how the other person is doing things or what their personal tastes are.

    Hmm…RED FLAGS A PLENTY! [Made me think: believe a person when they tell you who they are – even if it’s not entirely true of them all the time, they’re pretty much giving themselves permission to behave to that standard.]

    I began winding things up pretty quickly. I was polite, but I did say that while it was only one date and just some fun – and I had a lot of fun, I could imagine myself, if I signed up for some more dates, given what he just said, getting in this terrible dynamic of trying to compensate for his avoidance responses, and I didn’t need that experience in my life. I said that I had a feeling his defensive behaviour could make even the most stable of people feel bad. I gave him a hug, wished him the best, and left.

    Yes, it was a bit Dawson’s Creek of me to be so articulate and earnest about it (and I did consider just leaving in a nice, but aloof, way), but I just wanted to be honest and call it for what it was (and maybe practise a bit of boundary-making for me. Will get better at the smooth exit, I am sure – This is my first go at ‘dating’ in my life and it’s not that easy!).

    He wholeheartedly agreed and thanked me, and said that he found it brave that I actually said something as he did this stuff all the time with women. [His one slap was that he added (playfully), ‘Do you think you’re the easiest person on the planet? I just laughed and let it through.]

    Of course, it probably means that he could never actually ask me on a second date – as I’ve already psychologically derobed him – but I don’t mind that much as I want a relationship-ready man. And, in the moment, I just didn’t want to have that awful feeling of a sunny date, followed by a cool farewell, which is what it was turning out to be.

    • grace says:

      Well done Elle, well spotted. They can be whatever they want to be, we’re not their mothers. But at least we’re not playing with them anymore.

      • Elle says:

        Thanks, Grace. Appreciate it. I too am glad I responded immediately, and that I am not up for being, as you say, his parent (was going to say ‘mother’, but in this case, I think he needs or needed a stronger father presence – from my reading of what he was saying about his past!). Anyway, regardless of his stuff, it has made me feel rather deflated too. Not about him per se, but something about how wussy, bratty and self-sabotaging a lot of these men can be is getting to me today. Also just need some food and a good night’s sleep!

        • Used says:

          #3 conveys asshole. I can’t believe he actually SAID that on a date TO his date after having just been close with his date!

          BTW, ARE you “lower” than him career-wise? Or in any other “important” (important-to-him) respect? (Famil status; prestige; money-making abilities). Just wondering.

          If you are not “lower” than him in any respect, then, given his last remark (the one that you ignored–which was good), maybe you are just too nice. And these guys just can’t hack it. B/C they have no self-respect or feel inferior, etc. themselves (andthey project their own inferiority onto you).

          #4 conveys that he looks at women as merchandise, in some respects.

          Too bad.

          • Elle says:

            @Used: Thanks for your reply. I really don’t like to assess people in these ways as it feels divisive and awful, but, for the sake of examining how these buggers work, no, I would (shamefacedly) say that on every outward (social, financial, educational, looks etc) indicator I am a bit-to-a lot higher than him.

            To be fair, he was talking about the relationships he’s been in – and not me, per se (though, of course, it was a warning to me and didn’t make me feel too great, cuddling on a couch) – and, later on, he also said some half-baked stuff about his fears that I wouldn’t actually like him, which is why he found relationships so scary. He said the thought of seeing me again was “flattering” which I thought was not the best choice of word! But, anyway, it was contradictory nonsense (given his claims about superiority generally), so who cares! It was simply a lot to hear at the end of a date that had been going swimmingly. (He has, incidentally, texted from a trip he went on the next day, saying I was still on his mind… I have just left it.).

            In response to your assessment of the situation, I am certainly not the nicest person going round! I think it’s hard to be consistently super nice when you’re analytical (and a worrier) by nature. Plus, I am, quite frankly, a cheeky and selfish little sh*t sometimes. But I am very loyal, affectionate, and fair-minded, and I talk in a self-deprecating and open way. I am pretty solid – as in, I rarely lose my sh*t and I am willing to take a hit to resolve things, so long as there is honesty. I think that all this can translate as “couldn’t get away with much with this woman.”

            In fact, a guy I went on a few dates with this summer said that he felt like he’d have to “grow up a lot” before being with a “woman like me.” (He has since tried to confront me at my house to see why I don’t want to be with him). AC told me I was “too funny” (to let him be the star, was the explanation), “not needy” enough, and that my “kindness was hard to take” (by which I think he meant slightly emasculating or infantalizing or even, because he was rather crazy, an inherent weakness). There is certainly stuff to think about there – about how I might come across, and what works. But it’s mostly a “whatevs” situation. It’s all a bit contradictory and stupid, the feedback one gets from EUMs/ACs!

            Too bad, indeed.

          • Elle says:

            And, yes, to that merchandise comment. I think people – and men in particular because they have society, more time, and often money and stability on their side – think they can keep trying before buying, without realizing that that attitude is what makes it impossible and tainted from the start.

  27. shoelover says:

    WOW! This is another great post…thanks, NML!!! I have spent a year of not dating and finding my worth after a year long mess with an EUM. I have now watched girlfriends go through rationalizing bad behavior, justifying his actions etc. and the whole time seeing that I used to do the same thing. From now on, I will set my boundaries, feel good about myself and will be willing to walk away from any bad behavior. Your sentence here says it all: “Ladies, it’s the year 2010, not 1910, we don’t have to have low self-esteem. We don’t have to be used and abused by men. We don’t have to share our partners. We don’t have to turn a blind eye to cheating. We don’t have to take the high road and say guff like ‘Well at least I’m the girlfriend instead of being the mistress’ or ‘At least I have a title – she doesn’t’.”

  28. Anomalie Noir says:

    My thought is this: If you come into the relationship as the side chick, you should be content with staying the side chick. Do not try to take the girlfriend/wife’s place. You won’t. You can’t. You really don’t compare. He isn’t going to leave her for you. You aren’t equal. You aren’t as important, much less more important. You aren’t on her level. You are the side chick, plain and simple. If you want to be a girlfriend, find a man who doesn’t already have one.

  29. grace says:

    Here’s a title for you: married AC introduced me on FB as “my favourite ex”. I’ve blocked him now.

    • Elle says:

      What a turd! (so narcissistic, as if that should be enough to make you happy – totally for his benefit, to be the good guy and distribute rewards and titles, like a god might).

  30. Over It says:

    Ugh. I am sick.
    After enduring two different bouts with my ExAC, and and making it through months of excruciating NC,
    I just found out my title — “other woman.”
    Not to a wife, but a long-term girlfriend, none the less.
    I didn’t know.

    I feel like trash.
    I feel like a bigger fool than ever.
    I feel like dying, and I don’t even know why.

    Just when I thought I was well on my way out of this and so strong,
    I am back where I started.

    Am I ever going to truly be Over It?
    Or is this just wishful thinking.

    Please, anyone out there who reads this say a little prayer for me tonight. I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Over It

    • Elle says:

      @Over it: You will get there! We all will. It’s understandable that you feel awful with this new information. On the other hand, it kind of doesn’t matter: he was always going to be somewhere along the spectrum of evil to foolish coward and therefore no good for you. The title of what you were does not matter too much, except to confirm that someone was a liar and a creep, and mistreated you and took advantage of your ignorance (to say the least). But I think you already knew this.

      I remember a few years ago finding out that my then boyfriend had cheated on me. Even though it was a good year after things ended, I was still upset, but mostly upset for myself then, myself who did not know, who was giving to him in good faith. But I didn’t actually feel ashamed for myself in the moment – who I had become and what I was about.

      So try to keep you with the AC separate from you now, which is someone equally good and generous, but wiser, more centred and more free. Try not to injure yourself again. The injury is done – he did it and it doesn’t as much matter the shape of the injury (though it does make some difference, of course, in knowing what the situation was and in being able to move on).

      Be gentle with yourself for a bit – it’s a legitimate shock. But see it as a minor set-back, rather than any indication of your future. Try not to generalize about how you feel now to your whole future.

      Do some nice things for yourself. It’s kind of what life is a lot of the time: helping yourself march on even when you don’t feel entirely safe or loved.

    • MH says:

      Over it,

      Think of it this way if it helps. You just got information that proves how he is truly the wrong guy for you. In your case you didn’t put up with anything as far as the girlfriend goes because you didn’t know. That happen to me too. I didn’t find out about other girls until it was basically over.

      It actually helps me realize he really has problems and they have nothing to do with me.

      As far as feeling like dying that is part of the depression grieving process. I had a friend who use to vent to me after her AC left her. She would phone me and tell me that she climbed back into her hole today. These guys are so not worth feeling like dying over it is just the pain that you feel and you can’t help it don’t feel bad for feeling like that it is natural during the painful grieving process.

      I wish we could laugh more at these AC’s and how pathetic their behaviour is. We should actually be feeling sorry for them because they don’t know how to truly love and we are learning by learning to love ourselves.

      One thing I have been learning through forgiveness which was a very hard concept for me at first is that it helps me realize that I didn’t deserve to be treated the way he did treat me. At the same time it teaches me that he doesn’t possess the qualities that I look for in a good person so no need to waste time on him.

      Easier said then done because I flip back to anger but I don’t stay there as long as I did before. I move on and I say I am better off without the pain and the drama. Whoever they are with now will be us eventually but they may never find this website that has helpedmany of us see the light.

      Your not a fool and I know you can’t help feeling like one and you are not at the beginning. You have learned new information and it feels like you are shattered again but it is a set back. Yes it is a form of the shattering heart break stage but you will learn in time that you won’t go through it full force like the first time you felt he ripped your heart out.

      We are damn if we do and damn if we don’t. Meaning we are trusting people and we have to go into a relationship with a certain amount of trust. Natalie has now taught us that when we see the negative we have to pull back. It is hard at times because we don’t figure it out until we are blindsided and then our hindsight vision kicks in.

      We don’t think like these guys. We say what we mean, mean what we say, How are we suppose to know that there are people like that in the world? It is not in our world.

      You are still strong but you learned new information and if I learned new information I would feel like you do too, it is only natural.

      It really says more about his character not you being a fool. It really just points out how you are just a nice, trusting, person and really do we want more jerks out there, no we want more nice, trusting, people like you in the world.

      My EUM had a AC girlfriend many years back and a EUM before that or another AC girlfriend. They use to cheat on him, physically hit him, verbally abuse him. I actually heard it from other people that knew them way back when, not just him so I have validation it wasn’t just from his mouth. I asked him why did you have to go to the other side? Why couldn’t you stay nice? Why now do you want to hurt others, you know how it felt? He was tired of getting hurt, he said. He likes how he is now. I don’t like how he is now or how any of the AC’s are.

    • Fearless says:

      Over-it

      you are not the trash – he is. Just be glad you’re not the “girlfriend” – think of the shocks she is/has been in for. Let this info simply re-affirm your own conclusions about this guy and your current actions – getting the hell away from him. Good decision!!

      A prayer has been sent for you!… you will be okay. Hang in.
      x

  31. MH says:

    Hi all,

    By no means would I ever say rush the grieving period. As well as I would not ever tell anyone that they are not entitled to their feelings. That was not my point to my question of blaming them.

    I am working on the forgiveness stage and I was wondering if we were sabatoging our acceptance stage by putting too much blame on them, that is all I was asking.

    I was not wanting to offend anyone or make anyone feel that they are not allowed to feel how they do. I feel how all of you feel and I understand all of your situations unfortunately because it is sad how many of our experiences are similar.

    I actually used a similar example that was given above in a post to my EUM. About how just because I could hurt a little old lady doesn’t mean I would. Why does he think it is okay to take advantage of women and hurt them just because he can.

    I am mad at my EUM everyday, however I refocus myself by working towards forgiveness. I have already battled the other emotions for four straight months, (doesn’t mean I am saying I am done) whereby I dreamed of him every night, talked about him all day, thought about him all day. Now I barely dream about him or maybe I don’t at all because I am not remembering him in my dreams. I don’t think about him all day and I don’t talk about him all day anymore.

    I wanted more feedback on the forgiveness stage from those that were going through it. I realize that the angry stage is a valid stage and I agree with everyone on here about what they each said and I have gone through everything you all have gone through, there wasn’t a story I couldn’t relate to.
    Many years back until now after reading your stories, I thought I dated the AC of the century however I see I have competition in that department and not a thing I want to compete for.

    One of your posts talks about how your AC wouldn’t let you be angry that was my AC. I think when I was with my EUM the one big reason I liked him so much was he encouraged me to be angry and get all my anger out with him. He said it was good that I vented and I should do that more often. Now I have read Nat’s posts on “women who think and talk to much” and realized that I was venting too much with my EUM because with my ex AC it was always forbidden.

    I guess because Nat keeps talking about putting the focus back on us I wanted to see posts about how people were doing that. I found myself saying the same things you guys were like how could he do these things to me we were suppose to be such good friends, how can he hurt me like this because I was so good to him why didn’t he want to be good to me back. Then Nats posts would play in my head and when I would start repeating stuff she said to refocus back on me and away from him I would read posts of people dwelling like I was. It confused me because I thought we were trying to work on moving on.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding post. On the flipside, I am glad to hear what you all felt about these guys. It lets me know my feelings on the matter are normal because I have been angry about the exact things you guys mentioned.

  32. susiejay says:

    I would just like to add a comment here – I will personally NEVER reach a forgiveness stage with the EUM/AC who left me so bereft, hurt, confused, totally distressed at the way he calmly and coldly told me he had no further use for me after 3 years when i had given everything i could.

    He acknowledged that he could not have asked me for anything more but was making ‘his family’ a priority from thence forward. He was not married, he was widowed like myself and then i walked outside his house after his statement to be confronted with this female (the one he told me was a relative) who apparently had been ‘seeing’ him for over a year. She was just shocked to learn i existed. So no, acceptance will never come for myself, there was absolutely no reason for his betrayal – god help her if she is still with him, or anyone else who may start a relationship with this cowardly piece of poo in the future. I am out of there……….

  33. ph2072 says:

    This reminds me of the song that Jennifer Hudson sang in the movie The Dreamgirls, forgot the name and original singer. “And you, and you, and you, you’re gonna love me!” as if to force herself on a man who clearly doesn’t love her and is a cheating whore. Titles mean nothing when a “relationship” is shit.

    I used to talk to this man (mentioned him on here ages ago) who said he didn’t believe in titles and such. For him, it was a matter of being able to screw whoever he wanted without the accountability. Someone who is serious about me wouldn’t say and do things like that and, therefore, I didn’t take him seriously at all. I cut him off and he wondered why. Dummy.

    P.S. “Dial-a-lay”????? F—ing brilliant.

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!
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