Don't judge you for making a healthy decision and knowing your own line. You need your support.

“I don’t want to look like a bad person or have them thinking that I’m immature. Won’t it look like I’m punishing them?” Said by many a person who has wound up in even more pain.

Every breakup needs some space so that each person can come to terms with what’s happened and essentially grieve the loss of the hopes and expectations for the relationship. Sure we could keep swinging out of one another, sleeping together, speaking every day, dipping in and out, negotiating, rehashing, poking around in each other’s lives and yada, yada, yada but…. we won’t get very far. We can keep trying to keep up a front for our exes or for anybody who knows us, or in fact for society at large but then it begs the question of what all of this image management is in aid of? Each time we pretend that what’s happened hasn’t happened or we deny our feelings and thoughts, we’re ignoring the very valuable and worthwhile people we are just so that we can preserve the egos of others and hold ourselves up to some sort of gold standard breakup.

There’s such a thing as boundaries, that vital personal electric fence that let’s us know our limits as well as what does and doesn’t work for us. They fit into our self-esteem which when we treat ourselves with love, care, trust, and respect, we then have an internal compass that puts a clear line between us and others as well it pointing us in the direction of our own boundaries and values. We learn what to walk towards and walk away from.

If we base the way that we treat ourselves and our choices primarily on another person, or a group of people, or even the world at large, that compass stops working and points us away from ourselves. And then we feel miserable.

When we worry about being a ‘bad person’ or that we’re ‘immature’ or punishing an ex by accepting that the breakup is over and trying to get ourselves together and move on with our lives, we’re intimating that recognising ourselves in a healthy manner is wrong. We should just sit around and take what’s chucked our way. We should just suffer in silence or suffer with complaint but suffer we must continue. We should in fact devote our life to moving on with the ex in our lives and trying to figure out how to deal with them instead of, erm, moving on and putting our energy into living our lives healthily and authentically. What the what now?

Let’s just be clear: To feel bad about wanting your breakup to be finalised or for needing some space to process what’s happened, is to suggest that you’re guilty of a wrongdoing. What’s even more outrageous about this, is that often the primary reasons for needing the space is because you’re clearly not emotionally able to continue on with the status quo and because you may be dealing with somebody who through their actions and expectations of you, is demonstrating that you can’t continue down this particular course of action and have your self-esteem in tow.

Everybody handles things differently and the fact that another person may not be as affected as us by the break or they believe that people should ‘man up’ or ‘woman up’ and keep an ex in their life if they’re a ‘good person’, does not mean that we’re under obligation to follow suit. When we run around trying to appease people while overriding our own feelings and boundaries, we forget that we are not one and the same person and that what’s informing their perspective is not informing ours. Equally, they don’t know what’s informing our perspective or what we’ve been through and even if they do know, they may struggle to empathise and may misguidedly feel entitled to expect us to let them drive our choices, as if who we are and what we do needs sign off… even though we’re broken up.

It’s not a punishment to take space or to go No Contact (NC). It would be a punishment if you were doing it as a passive aggressive or aggressive move to force the other person to do what you originally wanted from them. It also doesn’t make you a bad person because that’s to suggest that people who say no / opt out are ‘bad’ or that you don’t have a right to say no. It’s also not immature to recognise your own feelings, thoughts, boundaries, and values – it’s quite the opposite. It may suit your ex to ignore theirs so that they don’t have to be honest with themselves but that’s something that doesn’t need to be done on your time.

If you think you can slide out of a relationship with no pain and looking ‘perfect’, think again. Trying to slide out with pain and perfection may actually be why your ex is against you taking space. I’m yet to meet one person who has said “Oh such and such is so lovely. They give really good breakup.” Breakups hurt, even when they’re done nicely.

If you keep trying to out-nice your ex or keep silencing your inner voice with ‘shoulds’, you will be at their mercy (or the mercy of people in general) because you will worry more about how you look, instead of concerning yourself with how you treat you or are being treated by others. Don’t judge you for making a healthy decision that’s based on judging the situation and knowing your own line. Believe me when I say that if a friendship with your ex is on the cards, it won’t be because it’s coerced or guilted out of you and it can wait until you feel emotionally ready. Somebody who generally has your best interests at heart will not have an agenda that benefits from you overriding yourself.

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

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


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182 Responses to Needing to go No Contact isn’t about being a ‘bad person’, immaturity, or punishment

  1. Lara says:

    You know, I always felt like I owed my ex a response every time he contacted me (not sure why he contacted me) after he initiated break-ups (3 of them with one ex in the past year). I knew that not replying was in my best interest, but I felt like it was disrespectful, hurtful, etc. And deep down I was also scared of losing him forever, even if as a friend, if I didn’t reply to his texts/email,etc. It took a whole lot of more abuse, and for me to find pictures of the woman he had cheated on me with (found them on his phone while he was asleep), for me to finally wake up and smell the coffee, and decide that going NC FOREVER had to be done and that I would never ever respond to any texts ,emails, calls, etc. coming from him. If he called me from a different number and I picked up, I would’ve hung up as soon as I realized it was him, and then would’ve tried to change my number. Luckily, that didn’t happen but he did email me and text me several times after this final break-up (also initiated by him), after which I had accepted to be friends with him (only for him to throw that away as well after accepting it — talk about double rejection! What a jerk!). Anyway, he wanted to play by his rules, do things at his own comfort level and preferred timing, but I won’t have any of that. For once, I will do what is best for ME. I don’t think he gets that this is what I am doing, and why I am doing it — having been his doormat for a year, I think he grew accustomed to having his way with me, whether it was before or after break-ups. Not this time. I am a different person now, intent to do what is best for me. One thing that made me think that he didn’t understand why I was maintaining NC, is his reaction to my silence: “OK you’re pissed off.” Pissed off? That’s putting it mildly and understating it. And no, I am not pissed off! I am just plain disgusted, and am now looking out for my own welfare and happiness and peace of mind! A concept that is so alien to his self-centered narcissistic self. He’s probably now telling his friends I was a psycho, just as he told me his previous exes were psychos. Now I know who was the real psycho. Not his exes, for sure. Unless he drove them to it, like he almost turned me into one as well, with all the gaslighting, etc. The thing that indicated that he wanted things to go at his own pace, is the following he sent me by email:

    “I cut off some of our comms (fb etc) because it is difficult for me to carry on as though nothing has happened. Everyone says stay friends after a break-up but we know this is usually just bullshit. It will take time before we can talk easily but I hope we can.

    Stay in touch”

    It sounds so “balanced”, but let me tell you, it is NOT. It is difficult for HIM to carry on as though nothing has happened?!?!?!?! Wait, WHAT? This is the guy who broke up with me 4 times, made me walk on eggshells, constantly abused me over the course of a year, cheated on me, put my life at risk (possibility of catching STDs because he slept, probably unprotected, with a Thai prostitute) and then broke up with me??? And he’s supposedly feeling bad about it? Oh, what a “nice guy”! And “stay in touch”? Is that like, an order? No thanks. Talk about being demoted, not even to a friend, but worse: to a member of his harem of exes, to serve as the occasional ego stroke and solution to his boredom with his life and his boredom with the various women he tricked into thinking were his girlfriends. What a sad, pathetic man. What a sad, pathetic person I was, to have fallen in love with him. Now I know how pathetic I must’ve sounded to my friends, when I kept telling them about the stuff my ex did to me, and they kept telling me this was outright abuse and that I should leave him. Well, now my friends respect me (the ones who stuck around anyway).And most important of all, I respect myself (hard as it may be some days, when I remember that I stuck around for a year, took him back 3 times). But yes, NC it is, and no, I don’t feel bad about it. I won’t break it even if the heavens come down crashing and he begs me to take him back and shows me that he is a reformed man. Nope. Sorry. I am a 1-chance woman at this point, and you already had 4 chances. Not a chance in the world that I will give you a 5th chance. You made your bed, go lie in it (with a prostitute).

    • Kriss says:

      Grim.

      This is what is so bad about the way people – women in particular – are socialised to be ‘nice’. It basically means we grow up expecting to put other people’s feelings before our own, even our own wellbeing. That constant feeling of guilt when we do something that is not only essential because of someone’s negative behaviour but essential for mental health reasons.

  2. max says:

    NO Contact gives you perspective. Once some time has passed you REALIZE if you are honest with yourself that you DON’T need people in your life who are NOT WORTHY of YOU! NC works – for people who want to be honest with themselves.

  3. Stella says:

    You are so blessed to be able to write so clearly and honestly. Excellent!!

  4. Star says:

    I feel like this article was written for me. My ex moved on immediately, well most likely before we broke up. It’s been a difficult time for me of course.I tried NC but I guess not hard enough.

    Natalie was right when she said that every time you engage with them you end up in more pain having to start all over again.

    I decided to start NC again out of the fact that my boundaries are not respected and he no longer seems to care.

    I know he will be upset but I do find that NC does help me bring the focus back to me and step by step move on.

    Baggage Reclaim is helping me so much, tears come to my eyes. Thank you!!!

  5. Betsy says:

    This post could not have been more timely today, as I am ignoring texts and emails from my ex-assclown.

  6. Petafly says:

    Amen Natalie & Max. Took me a long time to realize all this. Ironically I went NC for almost a year after the break up bit then told myself to forgive and be the better person. I’ve gained nothing since having contact again. My ex used to have pics of him with his exes on his wall. Said he sees them as special friends and that he doesn’t think like most people. I wondered if maybe I was close minded for not being close to most of my exes. As I’ve gotten to know myself more I see that his way of thinking doesn’t work for me And my way does work for me. Besides its easy for a EU person to be friends with his/her exes. He/she is not the one who gave and gave and emotionally invested himself so why would he/she be hurt like us after the breakup?

  7. Rebecca says:

    I did no contact 3 months ago and cannot believe I’ve made it so far. I think initially I did do it out of being immature. To punish. My body just couldn’t handle the madness. BUT….as time went on, I gained self esteem because I didn’t respond to the texts. I didn’t respond to the emails. I said the standard, “Please do not text, email anymore. Thank you.” after the first ones that came. They kept coming, then I get an email stating he’d be willing to go to couples counseling. It was what I wanted to hear, BUT as Nat says, email and texts are LAZY COMMUNICATION. I didn’t know if he was scared of me or thought I’d hang up on him, but I never received a phone call or a knock on the door. So, yes, I did all of the NC for punishment and to see how he’d jump through hoops, but I’ve matured some over the past three months and see that this time was a blessing for me to get strong. If you are about to go through this, be very aware. If you were with a Narcissist, assclown, etc, you will start to remember things about the relationship that didn’t add up, bad situations that happened you had forgotten about, etc. Hindsight is amazing. Write every single thing that was “odd” or “assclown behavior” down on paper or on your phone. You will be amazed what you’ll find. I promise. If you feel like you just can’t do it, give yourself 60 days of NC. That’s just two months. You can do it. If you’re reading this post, I can pretty much guarantee your breakup is a blessing from Above and it’s time to take your power back and love yourself. Do it. Xoxo

    • Enough says:

      So true Rebecca!! I myself have been trying no contact(trying)!! Sad but its getting better. I really just don’t understand why i keep breaking no contact nothing ever changes plus its all LAZY COMMUNICATION!!! texts mostly no calls at all. I punish myself for even replying to his texts. Its the same it never changes he acts like he has done nothing wrong period!! Its been about six months since the split and i have come to clearly see assclown behavior and issues i have missed major red flags!!! Its astounding how blind sided i was. One thing i can say each text i receive feels more irritating then painful. I shake my head at some of the texts i get him trying to explain his action(if thats what you can it). My self esteem has improved very much and my self talk is less negative. One day soon i will eventually get to the point that i will no longer care for is little texts. What he doesn’t know is his few and far fetched texts are gradually weaning me off is sorry a**.

      • Enough says:

        Going back and rereading my comment even tho i forgot to proofread it. lol I feel that i am losing respect for him. I have come to grips with the fact that we not together is the best decision i ever made. Its a reason the lord never blessed us with a child. Because clearly after 8+years together on and off birth control mostly off. We should of conceived. No health issues from either of us because i clearly thought something was wrong. He clearly is not the man for me to bring a child into this world with. He is a great father to his son excellent!!! He also has full custody of him. It just wasn’t meant to for us to have one. I see it would not have been healthy for me or our child. Great father horrible horrible relationship partner!!!

      • Allison says:

        Enough,

        Why not block?

        • Enough says:

          Wish i could block,but the current phone i’m using is not up to date. Can’t afford one at the moment cant’t change my number because of potential employment reasons. So just stuck at the moment forced to answer every call until i hear his voice but that has yet to happen because he only texts at the moment. I can’t wait until things get better financially upgrading is one of my top ten things to do.

          • Allison says:

            Enough,

            Have you asked him to stop? If so, then this is harassment. You could proceed with an order to get him to stop.

  8. Mary says:

    After going with a jerk for almost two years and getting engaged, I found out he was the consummate liar. He became domineering, selfish, nasty, etc. I am really good at looking things up- found out he had been married and divorced FOUR times and every time his ex initiated the divorce! I put the NC rule in place and he has tried to contact me 4 times. I picked up the phone once and said, “What about no contact do you not understand?” That was several months ago. I hear he is still looking! I really feel badly for his next victim. He never even said he was sorry for all the lies and nastiness!

  9. Jenna says:

    I agree with Stella, kudos to you! It takes a lot to get to the point you’re at sometimes and emotions and thoughts can seem to sway our decisions. Stick with it, it sounds like you’re making the best choice for YOU. Let us know how it goes, and good luck to you.

  10. Selkie says:

    Going NC was the hardest and best thing I ever did. Too much water had went under the bridge, too much heartache and damage had occurred to fix things or consider him a friend. If I felt bad for it initially, it didn’t last. All I had to do was remember how he never felt bad about all the times he treated me like dog shit. It was his own bitter medicine he had to swallow in the end.

  11. JayD says:

    I enjoy reading these articles. My ex broke up with me and said he was unhappy only to find out that he started another relationship with someone else before he broke up with me ( actually about 3 wks before). Firstly is he an AC? and secondly it is really no contact if he isn’t talking to me because he is busy with her. I have read your books and blogs and I am just hurt and confused and desperately want to move on to something better. I have been “NC” for nearly one month.

    • tiffrbug says:

      Nat,
      Thanks for a timely post. My ex and I have been broken up for about two years after a seven year relationship/engagement. Neither of us have consistently left the other alone. I have fallen off and gotten back on the No Contact wagon several times.
      It was important for me to have complete forgiveness and be at peace with each other. As much as he hurt me, I still love and care for him. I thought it would be alright to “hang out”. He immediately pushed boundaries by openly flirting with me. I was dumb and had sex with him. This time it was different though. I could see how much I had outgrown him. I had almost an “out of body” experience while I was sleeping with him. I was disgusted. Even after this experience, I was determined to make things out like they were okay. He disappeared again in a dramatic fashion.
      One month later, he hit me up with nostalgia. I tried to ignore him, but accidentally called him. Agghh! This opened the line of communication. Big mistake! He hit me up for sex in the same conversation. I stood my ground this time. I was not letting him use me for sex. However, I kept conversing with him. He kept making it about sex. He was being downright disgusting with me.
      The icing on the cake was when I found out he was dating his long distance girlfriend (unavailable relationship perhaps?) while sending me these crude texts. I sent him a message, “really?” He texted me back. This time, I saw him in reality. He apologizes, but excuses and repeats his behavior. He is aware of how bad he is to me, but he makes excuses or blames me for it. He always finishes up by saying he only wants what is best for me and to see me happy, and he knows it’s not him. He is downright abusive.
      I cannot be “nice” to him. I have to protect myself from him. He is messed up. It has nothing to do with me or how lovable I am. I actually pity and pray for him daily.
      It has been the longest time I have gone No Contact and my soul was wailing yesterday. I have to keep going. It’s not mean. It’s self preservation. If you have fallen off the wagon, keep going, but try and save yourself the pain of falling off in the first place. I hope this helps someone else!

    • bikergrl says:

      JayD,
      I was in a very similar situation with my ex. I had moved away about 8 months prior, we had been up and down for a long time, and each previous time we broke up we got back in a few weeks or months. However, the last time he said “this time is different” and little did I know that meant he already was seeing someone else that he had been claiming was his best friend’s lover (sick, huh?).

      I realized later the times the three of them ‘got together’ was him working his hooks and he jumped right into a relationship with her…which is now flaunted on Facebook and even in his advertisement to sell his house (creepy mirror writing in a zillow pic!).

      We broke up at the end of March and I last spoke to him at the end of May when we both said we still loved each other, and then silence ever since. I am NC for 4 months but just recently blocked him on Facebook b/c seeing pictures of him with someone he lied to me about was killing me.

      I realized last night after looking at his house ad (just posted on Friday) and seeing the stupid mirror writing and feeling a surge of anger that i am not over it, not yet. I need to be more strict in my NC from this point forward.

      It does get better; but it is taking a long time and I think it will be a full year for me to feel truly ready to even date again.

      Good luck to you and best advice I have is STRICT NC! Engaging with him in anyway will only hurt you and have ZERO effect on him….he does not care, he is getting someone else to meet his needs now and does not need you.

      • Deepend says:

        Hey Bikergrl,

        My ex did the same thing – moved on quickly and then broadcast a lot of happiness in the process. I think they’re trying to find happiness in someone else to fill the void. They don’t need us, and ultimately we don’t need them either. Cest la vie!

  12. Anne says:

    So very very true, Natalie.

    Worry about being a bad person is, once again, trying to protect somebody else’s feelings. Somebody who has treated us poorly or not been right for us in minor as well as major ways.

    It means we aren’t focusing on our own needs and recovery. No, we aren’t putting ourselves first, we are putting somebody else first because THEY will think we are being mean or unkind or cold, childish, whatever.

    If you think YOU are mean because you have ended contact, you are saying you aren’t really deserving of healthy loving, that the lure of the unhealthy is still too strong inside.

    Mean people never worry about being mean, they just ARE mean.
    People who have a conscience, empathy and ethics tend to do the worrying, and there are many times when they should be worrying more about their OWN self-esteem and feelings than someone else’s.

    Be fair to YOURSELF. Cut contact and feel GOOD about you. Leave the worrying aside, it isn’t beneficial.

  13. seabreeze says:

    I split up with my boyfriend 2 weeks ago, in fact I did a “midnight flit” after I found out HM Customs and Revenue were after my boyfriend… (that’s another story). Anyway, being an avid reader of Baggage Reclaim before I met this AC, I can confirm that NO CONTACT works. NC has left me feeling at peace and confident. The old me would have relented and met the AC for a 6 hour chat to salve his ego etc etc… or felt I had to reply to every single begging txt… the old me would have felt very guilty ignoring the AC and guilty for just leaving without an explanation. I’d have also have previously felt I would have need to give the AC six million chances to change (like that would happen eh?!) Reading all the BR articles seem to have reprogrammed my mind into looking after myself. If you’re new here and struggling with guilt for leaving a bad situation, just keep reading the SIGNS articles about Ass Clowns – and the articles about looking after yourself – they really helped me understand more about why I’ve wasted time with ACs x

    • seabreeze says:

      The EX boyfriend had just txt me… he has driven 3 hours and checked into a hotel, saying he’s looking forward to seeing me tomorrow… He’s in denial & he’s playing a game. I broke NC to resend the email saying it’s over, sent a txt message to confirm that and now I am sitting on my hands. I am feeling a bit scared and worried for my parents (I am holed up at their house) – we’ve devised a plan to be out of the house tomorrow. This is what an AC looks like… he has HM Customs & Revenue after him, he future faked our life together when I moved in with him, exposed me to financial risk, and is living in denial of these facts and thinks he can either play the *Poor Me* card (I think NML calls that behaviour *That Time In Band Camp* which is brilliant!!), pretending not to read my email and he’s travelled so far because he “loves me” blah blah… and playing the *Now I’ve got you* card at the same time. I am a massive fan of Transactional Analysis. Anyway, it’s a bit scary folks, but this is why it is IMPORTANT TO READ THE CODE AMBER SIGNS on this website when you are dating someone – ignore them at your peril. I ignored two and I ignored my gut instinct – I was enjoying the flattery too much after 4 years of being single. I am usually a smart girl, with a good career – it can happen to anyone x

  14. Spinster says:

    I’m currently doing this, but not for a relationship issue. It’s for a legal issue. The blog post title is exactly how I feel, but this gives me some perspective and reminds me that I don’t have to explain myself or feel bad for something that isn’t even my fault. Thanks for this food-for-thought refresher.

  15. Sparkle says:

    NC is a tough stance. It says I am done with all the BS. Totaly agree that after a few months, it gets easier. I had a relapse when my ex AC started chasing me, begging to start over. It lasted 2 days. I realized, he isn’t going to change. Caught him in a big lie. He said he was going to a football game to watch his daughters cheer. I checked with the school and no game that Sat. night. My instincts told me he was lying. And did not hear anything from him for 7 hours. Hmm, Sat. night means date night. So, that was the end for me. He was just pushing reset and being selfish. Lesson learned for me. I am miving on and forward to better things.

  16. Sanntay says:

    I think I’ve done a pretty good job with NC. Once I got through the depression, it became so much easier. Now when he tries to talk to me, I walk away or I just look at him and don’t respond. I bet he feels stupid…and I don’t care. He thinks that whenever he asks for my help with something that he needs to offer a smarmy compliment. I just ignore it. My boss gave us an assignment to coordinate, but he seemed to want to delegate it to me, which is fine, because I would prefer it that way, but then he asked me about it the next day. I said, “So, you’re going to delegate this to me and then bug the shit out of me about it?” He said “Well, I have to have a reason to come over here and talk to you from time to time.” In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Ah, no you don’t’ but I didn’t respond. I continue to distance myself from him and sometimes when he does say something to me, those feelings of rejection and hurt start to emerge, so I push them away. I keep remembering what Wiser said in another post … “Remember what he said, what he did, and who he really is.” Repeating that to myself is strangely soothing.

  17. espresso says:

    This post was written for me. This is my problem. I am still sharing a house with the ex. It is destructive to me although I have rationalized it as a financial decision that is good for me and it is true I am saving probably $10000.00 which I will NEED AND my office is here…all my files, equipment, reference materials, books …everything!!! But I cannot tolerate being around him. Everything he does or says triggers and upsets me. I hear him laughing away on the office phone and not lifting a finger in this separation in practical helpful ways while I do the work, take the responsibility and feel the pain. He WON’T MOVE because it is inconvenient for him. I observe his daily screw ups, his procrastination,his overloading me with useless work information, his trying to insert things into our conversations about “how he is doing” and his occasional controlling comments like “reminding me” of things which is rich because it is he who forgets things. And I see and KNOW that the message I am giving him and myself that things are okay and that I am okay with things which I am NOT. He constantly oversteps my boundaries…like suddenly appearing in the kitchen to cook when it is my agreed upon time there (“oh sorry, things went on a little late), phoning me when I am away and have asked him not to ( I don’t answer) or last night going down to the basement and coming up with MY suitcase which he intended to take on a trip (because he bought a few years ago a HUGE suitcase for himself which was stupid and now he realizes it and is embarrassed to take it anywhere…) Anyway, I constantly have to work to tell him NO, don’t do that, yes, this is not what we agreed upon, making lists, checking the lists etc. blah like the good “mummy.” It is business as usual and will be until I go no contact because he has never respected me and never will. What a huge pile of BS.

    The guy who NEVER prepared for meetings or pressentations and left me to do it now tells me how good he is at rehearsing his power points….he feels like he is going from strength to strength!!!! And he tells me about it even though I am never around and don’t show any interest in him and NEVER tell him anything about myself at all anymore. presentations. He is an ac. Sorry for the rant…..
    I feel stuck because it is very hard for me to move everything, move office, home etc…..when I am so busy, exhausted and overwhelmed at work. But it will be have to be done, one way or another….I know it is the only way….And I really like how this is put as an act of self love….
    I HAVE been afraid to look like the nasty one and I guess I will have to live with that if some people think so….but I have to accept that I can’t do anything about it.

    • Wiser says:

      Espresso, what does your lawyer say?

    • Allison says:

      Espresso,

      I feel for your situation, but it almost seems like you believe this man will change. He won’t! This is who he is.

      It seems as if you are still trying to take care of him in some manner, it may be more helpful if you can remove yourself from that role.

      Can’t you move in with a family member?

  18. Jen Vee says:

    I broke up with my EUM three weeks ago. It wasn’t a bad break up and I feel rejuvenated ever since he left. He didn’t make me a priority and after two years of feeling alone I had enough!!! The issue I have to grapple with is that he was my lifting coach and programmed for me. I tried going to other gyms but I was miserable…there is no other place within 60 miles like it. As much as he sucked as a boyfriend he really is good at programming so I have stayed at the same gym. So, I feel like I cannot be completely NC but I keep the interactions short. I still feel crappy around him though…..it is a mixture of resentment and anxiety. I wonder where that is coming from…..?

    • Magnolia says:

      I don’t quite know what programming is in your context.

      But 1 – it’s only been three weeks, and 2 – if you had to bail because he wasn’t making you a priority, it will be a long time (if ever) before interactions with him where you depend on him (sounds like you rely on him for this programming) won’t cause anxiety and resentment.

      Can’t someone else at the same gym give you what you need?

      Sometimes breakups involve taking some real losses in order to take care of yourself.

  19. banks says:

    Wow this site change me so much. I’m a 22 south african gal, and Natalie you have became like my big sister. Up too a week ago I was still begging my ex AC too give me a chance in his life, while it was clear he didn’t feel the same about me. But I tried the NC and I survived for a week now. This blog feels like its a save heaven for me. You all have became like sisters too me. Hugs

  20. Maeve says:

    The only way I’ve gotten over my feelings for someone or moved past a fantasy infatuation was to go NC. I can’t break unhealthy patterns by sticking around someone and engaging in the same dynamic. Also, when I make that break, it’s a loud, clear message to myself that I’m committed to an action. I find it empowering as well as a relief from pain…

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Maeve, agree… I am almost 16 wks NC. I don’t think the AC/EUM realizes it yet. But I didn’t do it to send a message to him but rather to myself. To break the pattern and exit the fantasy for good.

      • Maeve says:

        Good luck, Searching for Satori, 16 weeks is great. I have to admit, I get a secret thrill from kicking an assclown to the curb–but it’s more the thrill of saying (through actions): I care about myself and I’ll be damned if I let you come along and mess with me.:-)

  21. Lisa O says:

    Thank you. I really needed this TODAY!

  22. EmJay says:

    I really needed to read this tonight! I nearly had a relapse. It’s been almost three weeks since I went NC and I would hate to see that effort go down the drain. Now I feel strong enough to keep ignoring the AC’s texts and emails. Thank you, Natalie!

  23. Laura says:

    You HAVE TO go NC…especially if he’s LIED to you over 11 times that you can count. It’s like Lucy with the football to Charlie Brown…Note to Self: he isn’t changing, or he would have already, during the YEARS you thought he would and the so many chances you already gave. You have to get to the point where hearing from him makes you nauseous, not NOT hearing from him. It is sweet relief to be spared that teasing Hell who does not have your best interests at heart, who doesn’t love you, who doesn’t want more than a side piece. NOT. WORTH. IT.

  24. courtney says:

    I am SO proud of myself. I blocked the AC/EUM from FB who abandoned me during my illness and who never answered me even when I broke NC shortly after our breakup to talk about my health.

    I feel extremely liberated and it was one of the major hurdles that was holding me back from moving on (I kid you not. I really wish FB wasn’t that important, but it tethers you to that person via shared photos, stalking his page, etc).

    I did it after I felt confident/happy, having just done zumba and yoga (with a hot instructor, which always helps). I felt READY. When I did it, I felt so empowered I knew I had made the right decision.

    So if I were to offer any sort of advice from my experience, it would be this: if you’re still struggling with having your ex on social media sites/blocking his number, try to get to a place where you feel most confident, through yoga, meditation, cardio, etc, and it will be a thousand times better when you do it, because you will feel really good about yourself and believe in your right to be happy.

    Here’s to staying NC and moving on.

    • bikergrl says:

      Great job Courtney! Facebook can be the devil…better to have no ability to even see the BS!

    • Fernleaf says:

      I totally agree about FB. I kidded myself into pretending I was in no contact and didn’t speak to my ex for months. I wondered why I was having trouble moving on. It was because I could still see what my ex was up to on FB. Once I blocked him on FB it was surprising how quickly I was able to move on. Ladies, Facebook is really problematic if you don’t take control and block these people…

  25. Antsy says:

    I’ve been NC with my sister for the past year and a 1/4, save for a Christmas card.

    Since I was a teenager, she was a bully to me – made me the butt of every joke, would try to turn my friends against me and once threatened to steal any boyfriend I had away from me because she was so much prettier than me. I was subjected to her fits of rage, and accusations that I was evil.

    I put up with it. I was trained well. I was told again and again how immature I was not to put up with her immaturity. I could not stoop to her level. I had to be the role model. The reality is that my family taught me to be the washrag, doormat and buttwipe. They were all expected to be treated well. When I demanded the same thing, I was immature.

    Later in life, I had the opportunity to move far away from them and created a family of my own. They saw things more clearly and told me to quit communicating with my sister, and family in general. Finally, I listened.

    She sent me a short card telling me she was sorry & asked for my forgiveness. I actually forgive her because she cannot control her behavior – she’s not self-aware. I was able to send a letter that I forgive her, any phone call would be on my recorded work line. Keep it short and professional.

    When you’re trained to put up with this crap, you put up with other crap. For instance, for the sake of being “mature,” I’ve put up with a marriage to an emotionally unavailable man who’s more attached to his mom than to me. I found it a credit that he didn’t immediately fall for the wiles of my better-looking sister. I didn’t realize that was because in some way, he was rebelling against his parents because they wished he had chosen her because she was so pretty.

    What a world. Well, after years and years, I found out, you don’t have to like or be in contact with everyone. You can drop people like a bad habit if you need to. True, it’s nice if you can mend fences with friends and lovers. But if the fence is just full of holes, then you got to tear it down.

    I’m less able to go NC with some of the EUMs I’ve dated. Still, unlike my sister, they have given me good, much-needed romps, unlike her.

  26. espresso says:

    Wiser..I have a lawyer on standby but I haven’t used her much yet. So far I have been drawing up the lists and posed the terms of the separation…he has taken no initiatives and is in a dream like trance about how soon the house will be sold. I know that I can find some place to live in the interim.

    I don’t want to go high conflict separation…for myself, for the money and for the destruction it will bring to the family. But I definitely need some help. What frustrates me is when I get drawn into this crap again.

    It is like there is some emotional “hump” that I can’t get over…like thinking explaining things will make it better, or that if he understood things hurt and distressed me he would respond differently. I think because I am no longer behaving in the way I did…I am business like and detached and so he calls me disrespectful. It is hopeless and I know it. I have never had any emotional encounter with him, now that I think of it, where I have come out feeling better….
    Obviously I am not as far along as I thought I was.

  27. Random Username says:

    Just discovered this site the other day and have to say Natalie, you have helped open my eyes wide! I have been involved with a EUM for 12 years. Started off a casual relationship then became the OW for the last 9 after getting pregnant and then having his child (he started another relationship while I was pregnant). That stopped me going NC at the time we broke up. Perfect way for him to keep a foothold in my life and he has taken full advantage of that. I’ve been trying to seriously leave for the last 3 years but always got drawn back in. And the being nice ish has always been s part of that.

    I would ask you how to do NC when you have a child but I believe I already know the answer: content limited strictly to our child with no niceties, me meeting him at the door with our son rather than allowing him into my home when he comes to collect him. I’ve tried this a number of times in the past and he’s always kicked off royally, made me feel guilty and told me I was being immature/depriving him and his son.

    This whole site has really opened my eyes on what he is and the fact that he would drag this out another 20 years if he could. I kinda knew this but seeing it broken down like this has helped me take the step. So a huge thank you.

    • Peanut says:

      Random,

      You’ve got it. Great answer to your own question. Really, that is a tricky one. The trick is to not engage beyond appropriate matters regarding the child.

  28. Jacx says:

    I am about to go NC. My assclown is a man I’ve known for 10 years and have been involved with for about 2 years off and on. He constantly lies to me hides things from me, won’t share his life including friends and family with me and won’t stay the night. He has 4 times now made up a cover story and gone on holiday without telling me. He usually goes with his close friend who is also his ex. He is currently on one of those trips, his mobile has been turned off most of the week and despite telling me he’d be back 2 days ago, he isn’t. I always told myself that if he went on a secret holiday with a BS cover story again that would be it for good!! And here I am…

    I know NC be tough by my friends all want me to do it and will support me!! I want to do it too. In the past I have felt bad and have cut NC but not this time, I’ve had enough, I want to feel like me again. This past week has been hell and I never want him to be the reason I feel like this again. Thanks for the great post Nat!

    • MaryW says:

      Do it, Jacx. Just do it. You don’t need him or the drama. If you ever get tempted to break NC, come and read your post here again: “I never want him to be the reason I feel like this again”. Go for it x

    • kookie says:

      jacx,

      who does this guy think he is, simon cowell? have you heard about the summer cruise simon cowell takes with all his exes and whoever he is currently seeing. you don’t wanna be like these grown ass women acting like they aint got no options.you don’t, it’s pathetic. forget him.

  29. Peanut says:

    I honestly don’t give a flip what my ex thinks. And so what if he thinks I’m punishing him? I hope he does. And as for being immature, he’s a giant baby.

    But this is really true. Breakups mean it’s OVER. Stop draaaaaging it out people. And if he doesn’t respect your ending contact, it is sooooo easy to block email, Fb, phone, etc. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. Unless, he is a class 1 stalker or you have a child together, no contact is cut and dry: don’t do it.

    Thanks as always Nat for your superb words and wisdom!

    • Natasha says:

      Well said, Peanut! If an ex is someone you would refer to as a jerk or an assclown, why in the name of all that is sacred should you care what he thinks of you?! I’m sure the assclowns I’ve cut off along the way wouldn’t have tremendously kind things to say about me (assuming that they actually remember my full name), but as one of my all time favorite sayings goes:

      “Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.”

  30. Peanut says:

    Max,

    Brilliant!

    “NC works – for people who want to be honest with themselves.”

  31. Messed Up Girl says:

    Just logged on today and read the post and thought to myself that it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. I have been NC now for around 6 weeks, a lot of which has been torture but I have stuck to it, somehow. I deleted all messages and the AC’s number from my phone as I did not trust myself not to contact him again in a moment of weakness. I got a new mobile phone a couple of days ago and lo and behold, when I changed the sim card over, there was his number bold as brass, must have been saved in the sim somehow, god knows how. Talk about right back to square one, I actually convinced myself for about 5 minutes that it was fate and I was meant to contact him again!! Crazy, eh?? I have not contacted him at all but haven’t yet deleted his number again either, I wish I had never met him. Need to get my strength back again and remember what a scumbag this idiot really is and how badly he treated me. Back to the drawing board…telling myself I’ve done it before and I can do it again.

    • Peanut says:

      Perfectly Normal Non-Integrally-Flawed Human Being (formerly known as Messed-Up),

      You will be tested. You can pass. You can do this No Contact thing.

      I am going on about a year and a half. I still get urges to reach out to him. Of course they aren’t near as strong as in the beginning, but they are there. And I will say no to myself in favor of my self-esteem every time. You can, too.

      Hang in there and delete that number!

    • NCincanada says:

      Dont be hard on yourself! Everything happens for a reason and meeting happened so you could learn a lesson from this whole situation, in the last couple of wks I have learned something for the events in my life. Chin up, it gets better :-D!

  32. Genki says:

    I totally agree with this post Nat, and it has come at a time that was really beneficial for me. Thank you. Husband & I separated about a month ago. After I got sick of his lies, inconsistency & addiction to porn. But we still see each other everyday cos of daily school run with daughter. Today I found & re-read a diary I wrote back in January when he had an affair, I wrote that his words didnt match his actions, he lied to me & didn’t care if he hurt me. I couldn’t help but tell him, u should read that diary so u know why I left ur arse! But do u think he bothered? No, no, no says he regrets, is sorry, wants to be a family again but does not even realise or take responsibility for what he did. He avoids any discussion on the topic it’s only when I bring it up…..but then I think why do I bother talking to him….but at the same time I want him to hurt like he hurt me….. It feels so I injust sometimes, but then I think that is why NC is simply the only way to manage this & look after myself. I talk about our daughter but that’s it, & I must remember the slight backward step I took today after trying to raise the topic again. He is not a good person for me & I don’t need to analyse further than that. We went to a counsellor & I yelled & cried it kind of felt better in that protected place but still it’s not getting me anywhere I’m only going in circles but trying to get him to realise he is completely narcissistic

  33. Lynn S. says:

    I just want to share one of the things I did when I went NC that helped: I changed my email so his emails went directly to a folder I labelled “Crumbs”. When I saw there was an email from him I said to myself, “Oh look! I got crumbs!”.

    • Peanut says:

      Lynn S.

      Haha. Genius.

    • Australia says:

      haha! Lynn S., that is hilarious. Good idea for a contact name in the phone too. Oh look Crumbs is texting me.

    • Katie says:

      Ha! Lynn S., your comment made me laugh on a day I could really use it. I have done the same thing – re-routed emails to another folder so I don’t have to worry whether I’ve heard from him when I check my messages. NC is scary but freeing in a way I have not felt in so long!!

  34. NCincanada says:

    Let me start by saying thank you NML your site’s content has been very helpful especially in the last couple of wks. I havent been one to date a lot especially in my adult life and though I have been successful in other areas not in love.The last couple of years have become the painful routine of watching childhood and highschool friends get married and kids and trust me the FB syndrome did not help( I digress). Earlier on this yr I met a guy who seemed to be my twin seperated at birth! We hit it off after the first date and by date 4 he kissed me but I just noticed that my lack of experience often leads me to think that in order to keep a love interest attention sex is the solution( maybe others can relate)eventually on date 5 just as we were about to rip each others clothes off he mentioned that he was ‘recently seperated’( Red Flag 1) I should have bailed or hit the breaks then but my hormones were in overdrive I did ask a couple of questions such as who intiated the seperation etc but really my mind was on one thing.We started to date and being a fellow introvert like him I thought we were going the normal pace until once he answered a phone call from his brother and reffered to me as some girl when his brother asked where he was at ( Red flag 2) I didnt question or throw a fit as it would imply I was listening into his conversation. Aside from that he seemed to be polite, doting and great bf material he called me literally all the time and we met once a wk, I loved the attention..lol .We dated and enjoyed the summer until a few wks ago when I left on a 2wk break to go see my family in Europe, Prior to my trip we had a tiff about him leaving me on the wknd to go play saviour to his mum who suffers from depression and we supposedly settled that misunderstanding and he didnt even try to contact me once I basically did the chasing and I was quite embarrassed by the whole thing and then the human intuition kicked in and I knew something was wrong. I came back and eventually the dreaded conversation came under the guise of Im falling for you and I dont know if Im ready for that right now .. lets take a timeout so we did this for a wk but it was hell and after a wk I just asked for us to meet and discuss to break up or not he chose to I obliged and was getting on with my life and he came back and asked to get together pleading that he overeacted and wanted a relationship with me I half heartedly agreed and he resumed the daily but I wanted to set some things clear because I deserve better eg I will not be a booty call or FWB and I asked him directly where this was all going and he did a 360 .. Im not ready blah blah. I knew it was over at this point so I said lets stay friends and even invited him for lunch a few days after bad mistake but I guess I needed to see how I felt about it was bad and I decided I couldnt do this anymore so I explained over the phone to him bfr he left on his vacation. Im going NC maybe in time we can be friends but I need time to process all this he was OK but the next day he sends me a text saying he was on his way to the airport and I was one of the best people he met and hoped to stay in touch ( RED Flag 3) put himself before me again and I foolishly reply needless to say he called me while on vacation and I took NMLs advice and asked y he was contacting me and his response was I just wanted to say Thank You for recommeding the sites to visit blah blah and I called him while in Europe so he was doing the same .. Well I cooly told him ur not respecting my wishes for NC and I cld tell it hurt but I was hurting more and ended the convo.. I know he is back in town and NC for him but mu ego is bruised on why he didnt fight for me .. Perhaps the NC was initiated for the wrong reason but I am starting to see clearly now .. Its hard I want to reach out to him but I need to keep my respect intact .. Maybe in time we might get back together but I am not holding my breath.. It felt good to put this down in writing .. Sorry for the long post :)!

    • Allison says:

      Ncin,

      Please save yourself the grief, as there was clearly a reason you broke up. If this guy didn’t appreciate you on the first go round, he definitely won’t the second.
      Not only is this guy a waste of time, but he completely disrespected you by continuing to contact. He will always put his needs first!

      • NCincanada says:

        Thank You for the encouragement, we are only responsible for our own action and not anyone elses. I had to hear it first hand from my mum who told me straight ..Move on cos he will be hot and cold and trust me. My mum is one of the first people who wants me married and settled but the conclusion after I told her about him was RUN for your life .. dont grab no shoes or nothing… LOL !

  35. sincereluv4life says:

    I am soooo grateful for finding this blog & learning about “no contact”. It was THE healthiest thing I did for myself in 2012. It gave me time to think clearly about just how disrespectful a particular guy had been to me w/ out the confusion that guy being in my headspace actively trying to manipulate me.

    • Peanut says:

      sincereluv4life,

      I know! It cuts that confusion right out of there! And forces us to choose us and stay in that habit of respecting our boundaries for life.

  36. Sm says:

    The last break up I had ended in a healthy way but the nite he broke up with me, I removed him and every photo of him from my FB page. My heart was hurt and it was the best thing I’ve ever done following a breakup. It was like I couldn’t bare looking at him or knowing his business. A lot of people think there is something wrong with you if you aren’t friends with an ex. There a difference between being cordial if you run into them in public and remaining friends. I don’t hate any of my exes and if I ran into them I would say hello but I would not keep in touch. I would say that I am the healthiest I have ever been and I didn’t even need to move on to a relationship to be that way. I’m completely single and feel great, no man hating, no fantasizing and am completely aware of poor behavior in myself and others without labeling someone bad.

  37. Tinyblu says:

    I just had to comment on how much the Mr. Unavailable book has helped me. After a gut wrenching relationship with a “Future Faker”, I stumbled across the blogs and read the book from cover to cover over a weekend.

    Thanks to the book, I was MORE than prepared when Mr. Unavailable decided to send me a random text this week. Unlike my normal “Fallback” girl pattern which would have compelled me to respond either with a curt “Thx.” or angry response, I said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!

    Thanks to the lessons in the book, I recognized his cheap attempt at an ego boost (responding would have validated his need to know that he was still a factor in my life) and was able to completely ignore it.

    The book was insightful and painfully honest (I have learned that I need to do a lot of work on myself), but the empowerment that accompanied my ability to not dignify Mr. Unavailable with a response was proof within itself that I have learned some valuable lessons and that I truly am in love… with MYSELF!!

    Thanks sooooo much for being honest and taking the time to teach us Fallback Girls how to recognize these dangerous patterns and wait for true love.

  38. Jamie says:

    Great post Natalie!!
    I’ve recently been reading about “oxytocin and the human bond”. Several articles state that oxytocin is more addictive than heroin AND that it takes approximately 3 days of no contact (with the person who provides our fix) for the withdrawal symptoms to begin. Thinking back to the numerous times I’ve gone NC with my ex this makes total sense!! I’m ok for a few days then WHAMMY, I feel as though I’ve been hit by a train and am convinced that my life is horrible and will never get better. So when I did receive a text or call from him I had my “fix” and felt so much better. Such an incredibly ugly cycle that I was all too happy to break. There is endless information on oxytocin & abusive relationships, which I’ve only begun reading.
    I wonder though if I’m alone on this or have any of you experienced the same?
    xoxo
    Jamie

    • MaryW says:

      No you’re not on your own, Jamie. I recognise the cycle you describe. Well done going cold turkey, or no contact.

      And I relate to your post below about finding NC (or detaching) so much harder when the chemistry is so strong. In my case, I’d only felt such chemistry once or twice before in my life. I can’t work out what was simply amazing chemistry versus me being incredibly drawn to a supremely unavailable assclown. It doesn’t really matter, though, as the NC is still in place and there’s no going back.

      • Mymble says:

        In the end it doesn’t matter whether it’s oxytocin, your menstrual cycle, your horoscope or the ides of march. NC is really horrible at the beginning when it sinks in that That’s It, no more bargaining and tying yourself in knots, it’s time to be honest with yourself and admit that the person either doesn’t care, or doesn’t care enough to treat you properly.
        It’s the only answer really.
        I think of it like going to the dentist. Yes it will hurt but ultimately it will hurt more and for longer if you don’t.

  39. Elgie R. says:

    Jamie, you described just what I am going thru. I am 3 months No Seeing Him….can’t call it NC because we had 1 phone conversation in this period. Generic non-emotional conversation. Fun conversation. We do the same thing for a living and talk about generic job issues…I don’t know his coworkers names and he doesn’t know mine.

    Then after the hang-up I cried.

    In the next week he contacted me 2 or 3 times…..glad to see I really don’t remember. I do remember being irritated when I saw his work number on the work phone. Yeah it was for the booty. I did not pick up or respond. He emailed me at work last week and about 4 hours later I replied with the same lazy contact phrase he used ‘Hope you are OK, too’.

    Today I have thoughts to lazy contact him. Not strong urges. Sadness at missing the fun of him. It’s like I need a fix.

    So I swam today…bought a hot dog which I haven’t eaten in months, ate half, threw the rest out and made a healthy orange smoothie. Now I’m going to “play with my clothes.” It’s a habit that I realize I do because it makes me happy. Here lately I have a desire to part with half my wardrobe. Wanna get rid of lots of excess baggage…..everywhere.

    • Jamie says:

      I’m sorry you cried Elgie!! Interesting, I’ve just done the very same thing with my clothes. Out with what no longer fits or makes me feel fabulous!!!
      xoxo
      Jamie

  40. Sparkle says:

    I just had to share a text convo with my exAC in March.
    ME: for the past 2 days you have reached out last minute to meet up. Its frustrating . Because I would like to see you, but made other plans. Is there any reason, why you cannot plan ahead for a date?

    AC: Don’t be ridiculous.

    ME: That response makes me feel like you dont want to be in a relationship.

    AC: You should feel lucky I make any effort. You’ve got a young, rich guy who is interested in you. You should be treating me like gold.

    And I chose to carry on with this guy for 3 more months. The next time I saw him, he said he never felt so unwelcome in any girls home. I said really? You should feel lucky I invie you, considering you have never invited me to yours.

    And, this is an example of not having healthy boundaries.

    • Jamie says:

      Sparkle,
      my jaw is sitting on the floor after reading your post. YOU should be happy?! Oh my heck sweetie!! My ex makes very good money too…..it’s gotten to the point where I no longer want to date wealthy men simply because of their sense of entitlement.
      So glad you got rid of this one!!
      xoxo
      Jamie

  41. Able says:

    Two months ago today I told the ex we’re done. In less than a week I’m probably going to see her at an event. In the meantime, she’s last contacted me two weeks ago and I didn’t respond. I appreciate this post, but I’m very confused by how I’m feeling about things right now: very angry about just about everything, frustrated and not happy at all. I am also worried I might really break NC and go right up to her next week and propose a NSA romp.
    Shouldn’t I be feeling better after two months, not worse? Happier, not so angry all the time? I don’t get it.

    • Wiser says:

      Able, really it sounds like you’re just about on schedule. First comes the shock and sadness and feeling stunned all the time. For several weeks you feel like your insides have been kicked out. And then comes the anger. Believe it or not, this does mean that you are getting better but it will feel like hell for awhile. No, you won’t feel happy. Don’t expect that and don’t get frustrated about it.

      Also, just waiting around for time to pass so you’ll feel better will not work. Otherwise two months will become four months and then six, and you’ll still be stuck in the same place. What are you actively doing to help yourself through this time? Are you journaling, looking at yourself closely, doing an inventory of your relationship patterns, working on affirmations, building up your self-respect, putting the focus back on you? This is the time to be active, not passive.

      You can contact her but you do so at your own peril. Because after she treats you like crap, disappoints you, etc. then you have to go back to square one, feeling the fresh wave of hurt and loss all over again, and then there’s this nasty anger phase waiting in the wings… better to get through it NOW and not just rinse and repeat. With work, trust me, the anger part will eventually heal.

    • Allison says:

      Able,

      Don’t understand the “romp” thing??? Is this for ego?

  42. Laura says:

    Yes, Jamie!!!! Except in my case, it was three days not hearing from him, because the Lying, Gaslighting, Megalomaniacal DoucheLord would not contact ME. He would go sometimes 5 days without having anything to do with me and I eventually found out that he was with (at least) two other women, one of which he called his girlfriend in interviews. No wonder he never called ME his girlfriend. I thought I was the only one, and EVERY time I asked if there was anyone else, he would vehemently deny it, being a total ahole and screaming, yelling, projecting, etc. saying I’m “overreacting”, “overthinking” and the whole gaslighting 9 yards. Red flags left and right. And so before I found out about all this, I would get all excited when he would finally text or call me, and about 3 days would pass (again without hearing one word from him again) and I would be all sad and missing him, wondering when I would hear from him again. It was a rollercoaster from Hell. NC is difficult AT FIRST, but at first *only*, believe me PLEASE when I say it does get better. I never thought it would or that I would ever fall for anyone else. So not true!! BUT it is YOU who is in control of the NO Contact, and the more time that goes by, the less painful it is. You will LOVE THIS PEACE. Silence can be golden, truly. I am at the point now where I have to take Pepcid when the Morally Challenged jerkenheimer deigns to leave me a surfacey phone message once every three months (with no apologies EVER, and still with the woman he lied to me about, not wanting to be exclusive, just calling to say “hello”. Bugger off!!! Who needs that surfacey crap). Eff those jerks. Again, NOT worth it. I love this website. Natalie is the best!!!!

    • Jamie says:

      Laura,
      So glad that someone else has experienced the “chemistry” aspect of breaking the bond. I often asked myself “why am I having such a hard time letting go of this guy?” Especially knowing that I have dumped other guys for far less without giving it a 2nd thought. It’s the chemistry…..I’m convinced!! My ex and I had incredible chemistry and sex. I was simply addicted to the oxytocin dump I received on a regular basis. The doses were obviously larger with physical contact however I also received a fix with ANY form of contact.
      So having incredible chemistry is terrific…..unless they are an AC and we need to wash them out of our hair!!
      xoxo
      Jamie

      • bikergrl says:

        I totally relate! I had major chemistry with my ex, so much that even after moving to another state I would still get the ‘hit’ from phone calls, texts, emails. And when we went NC i went through massive withdrawal (still going thru it). The first 2 months I thought we’d get back together again b/c we always had before. Then I saw pictures of him and his ‘best friends girlfriend’ on his facebook and it was worse than breaking up all over again, and the withdrawal really kicked in.

  43. Peanut says:

    I get so hung up on people with certain music or clothing tastes, idolize them and set out for complete validation of who I am as a person. And here’s how it turns out: a few years down the road we’re still doing the barely there intimacy dance. This is a horrible way to live. I don’t want any part of it anymore.

    Healthy people like what they like in themselves and others simply because they like it, not because they think it makes them better.

    Also trying to win over men by being pretty is a losing game: Pretty women are a dime a dozen. The only worthwhile way is to be assertively your authentic self and choose someone who accepts and loves the dynamic person you are and not just an exterior.

    Following trends is a never ending headache. It shouldn’t matter what other people like; the preferences of strangers ought not to factor in our life choices.

    I really sensed my ex wanted an over sexual, rebellious, rec drug using tattooed, rainbow colored hair, pierced, foul mouthed boozer.

    I was/am an easily overwhelmed, stay at home to snuggle and eat cheese and apples kind of lady. I think flossing and brushing my teeth is fun. I’m allergic to alcohol (no really, if I take a sip I get a stomach ache). I can’t even tolerate caffeine. If I stepped foot in a bar I’d either walk immediately out or cry. My idea of getting crazy is Beach House and a lavender bath. I like looking at baby clothes and brushing my dogs hair.

    While I was lying in bed at home, my ex was using and getting hammered. Why? To run and escape problems, yet, there is no such thing. The problems remain, and just continue to compound if not properly dealt with.

    The addict life and superficiality go together; both are just a silly substitute for depth and a manifestation of fear of intimacy.

    I never want to go back. I NEVER want to be with my ex or anyone like him.

    Bad boys aren’t exciting; they’re just bad.

    • Peanut says:

      What I’m trying to say is that knowing myself and then realistically looking at who my ex was with me and what he wanted makes No Contact real easy now.

      He was not a good person when I knew him and I have no reason to believe he will ever be. He was sick in a sick lifestyle and didn’t care one way or another if he brought me down with him. Just. Like. My. Father.

      I am so blessed and glad I got away. From them both.

  44. Peanut says:

    Able,

    Oh, Lawdy! TWO MONTHS???!!!!

    The ex and I dated 2.5 months. It has taken 1.5 years to be near completely over it. I’m not quite there at 100%. I’m about 90%.

    Sometimes it takes time and lots of it.

    I’ve dated men who ended it to pursue other women and it took days if not minutes to get over. Then there are these situations that bring us here.

    If you break No Contact it’s just going to take that much longer to get over.

    You’ve got to learn some patience with yourself mister.

  45. Peanut says:

    Jamie, YES.

    And you are right. That’s why we must be careful who we bond with.

  46. Swissmiss says:

    Four months NC.

    The last contact had me on the phone, covering the receiver, so he wouldn’t hear me crying. Trying to sound ok, in control, the good girl i am supposed to be. It took me a long time to realize that I hung on during that call waiting to hear an apology, remorse, him to man-up and be culpable for the deceitful behavior. I would still be hanging on that phone if some self-preservation hadn’t kicked in. I got scared I was cracking up. And I was. Trying to be someone you’re not splits you in two.

    The hardest part is that all the things I have to say keep going round in my head. I find if I say them out loud, it helps, it makes it real, and it leads to insights about myself. I have figured it all out, like a giant 3-dimensional puzzle, and wish the yearning for the good times would dissipate. But then, I was still operating under an illusion.

    I am dating and meeting really nice men. No sleuthing to do, no crises to untangle or solve. Tx, Nat.

  47. Dee B says:

    I got out of a 20 year marriage to a Narccisists controling man who manipulated everything I said. By the end of our marriage I was a shell of a person who really didn’t know what color I liked anymore. I am not sure who or what gave me the courage to GET THE HELL out…it wasn’t another man or because I caught him cheating per say. Altho he is addicted to porn and that was always the “other woman” in our marriage. Pretty much the “reason” that I gave him was I DESERVE MORE. I deserve respect. I deserve someone who cares about what I want sometimes. The day I left my X I decided I can not have contact with him. He was ok with this for a while. Then months went by and he realised he had lost control of me. He doesn’t like losing at anything. He realised that I was actually making it alone, financially, without any help from him. That’s when the phone calls started. That’s when he would stop by my work…just to talk. That’s when he started working on our three daughters “please tell your mom I am sorry and want her back”. That’s when he started working on our friends and neighbors. Still, I was hard and fast holding to NO CONTACT. I knew I didn’t have the strength to sit and listen to him and his lies. I was not strong enough yet. Then, after about a year….and the divorce papers had been signed. I thought I was ok with talking to him about our children.
    Wrong.
    He took control of the conversation and started telling me how selfish I am and how I have ruined not one life (his) but four (plus our three daughters). How I had lied to him all these years. How I told him over and over again that I loved him only to “throw it all away” to go find myself. Oh boy.
    Our children deserve to see a mom treated with respect. Our three daughters deserve to see women treated wtih honor and dignity, not like some hooker/whore.
    I do not regret leaving this sad excuse for a man. I do not hold his stupidity against the other men of the world. I do not harbor anger or hatred. I have let him go. He refuses to let me go. I will continue with the NO CONTACT just because he doesn’t deserve the time to disrespect me anymore. Yay ME!

    • Australia says:

      Yay you!! Keep sticking to no contact – you do deserve much better than him and his disrespecting, controlling ways, and you will find it.

  48. chutzpelady says:

    Thanks Natalie for your post. Totally useful. I dropped a man from my fb-friendslist, because I needed some distance (he ist married, a coworker, we had a fling, fortunately no sex involved). Now I know, I can do whatever makes ME feel ok, no explanations oder guilt necessary. By reading every post on BR I also recognized: It takes two to tango. As a child, I could not walk away from bad situation, as a woman of 61 I can! If I am honest – there where always red flags, and by not seeing the warning signs, I stepped into stupid affairs or dealt too long with difficult people. I don’t have to see me as victim and blame the guys. I just leave the dance and step away.
    @noquay: Maybe packing up, selling the house and moving somewhere else could be a wise decision. It can be done, I was in a similar situation, left and even if it was difficult – it was right. Better than becoming bitter.
    Thanks to everybody here and especially to Natalie for all the inputs you give me. (sorry my not so perfect english, I am Swiss ;)

  49. Lucy says:

    Hi wonderful women,

    I found this website in December 2009 when I was being driven mad by a guy whose unhealthy, dysfunctional behaviour I had never had any experience of in my entire life. He told so many lies I think he ended up believing them himself, he was unfaithful, dishonest and untrue. (as opposed to what you actually want in a man – faithful, honest and true) and I am here to tell you to hang on in there, Natalie is SO right, NC WORKS. That the pain and sadness, all the emotions you will go through, even though you don’t believe it now, are totally worth it and you WILL see everything clearly, start to understand your relationship patterns and work out why you have attracted this type of man into your life, work on your issues and regain a strong sense of self respect and self esteem, because I have done it and I am at the other side. It took a year and a half of total NC – being REALLY brutal with myself, taking care of ME, writing down all the bad things he had said and done on pieces of paper all over my flat (even the wording of texts I had found on his phone to other women which at the time had broken my heart) to remind me every day of the disgusting way he treated me,and not answering his texts or calls, finally blocking them, and then him turning up at my flat and even getting into the building and knocking on my door and never once giving in and answering. After that year and a half I bumped into him, everything happens for a reason and by that time I was over him and could tell him to his face that there was no going back, we were so done they would have to reinvent a name for it. Even as I was walking away he said”Can I still call you?” Honestly, you have GOT to laugh! Like we had been having two different conversations. I told him that if he contacted me again I would go to the police. That worked. Fast forward two and a half years. Two weeks ago I answered a call from an unknown number (thought it was a friend who had recently changed her number and I hadn’t listed it) it was HIM. I kid you not. And the same stuff coming out of his mouth “I love you, I think about you all the time, I think about you every day I have never stopped thinking about you. I am not a user. You were the best woman I had ever had a relationship with and I f… it up. I want to be with you. I want us to start again. I want to talk to you. I’ve changed. I am a different person….blah blah blah” Er….for TWO AND A HALF YEARS you’ve felt like this? Excuse me but I am not a Disney princess love, or for that matter a character in a Mills and Boon novel or in a Romcom. I cut him off and blocked his number. Luckily I have now moved so he can’t find me. I am guessing something major happened and he is going down his old phone list to find someone who will believe those lines. Scary that someone on that list who might be vulnerable for whatever reason could be taken in. I hope not. Just thought I would let you know that even after a long time these guys can still appear out of the woodwork. Did you know that the only creatures that would survive a nuclear holocaust are cockroaches!!! (I remember in her wonderful NC book Natalie says cockroaches don’t turn into frogs then turn into princes!)_So please stick with it even though it is really hard, because NC gives you perspective, you start to see very clearly what is going on, how you are disrespecting your life by allowing yourself to be used by these extremely manipulative users. You WILL get to the good place where you love and care yourself and have healthy boundaries, so if what happened to me happens to you a couple of years down the line you will be able to hold your head high and say No thanks, I am WAY better than you, I am worth the best and you are certainly not it! Love and hugs to you all – you are strong women – and you can do this.

    • bikergrl says:

      Bravo!! Love it! Thanks for sharing Lucy; so great to hear you staying so strong!! I want to be there (at the point of that much strength) myself!!

    • JustHer says:

      This helped so much, thanks a lot!

      I am about 10 months NC, which I broke once in July (decided to see him once more…) and now is the time I am starting to find it so hard again.

      It is painful and sometimes I just need someone to hold me close and there is no one. I almost called him today even though I have just changed my number so that he can never call me.

      It seems like another life when I was happy and it is starting to seem like a pointless exercise to just keep on pushing through and keep on holding on to the hope that one day I will feel alright.

      I hope that day comes soon. It hurts too much to wait.

      • Kit-Kat says:

        JustHer.. I understand exactly where u are coming from because I have felt the same way many, many times. What has kept me NC is knowing in my heart that someone that is capable of hurting & betraying me is NOT someone I want in my life. He is no longer welcome to be in my life and he knows that and he knows why. He has a harem of women who can give him the ego stroke he so badly craves. It will not be me ever. If your truly honest with yourself and take responsibility for your part in all of it, learn from it, forgive yourself and move forward good things will come your way. Wanting something from someone who is not capable or willing to give it to you is like beating a dead horse.

        • JustHer says:

          Kit-Kat,

          I no longer know if he wants to give it to me or not and just wonder if he’s waiting for me to make the first moves and then he’ll give me everything I have ever wanted from him.

          ANd I am wondering whether it is possible he has changed in 10 months. It’s been a long time.

          • Elgie R. says:

            Well, Just Her, I see you have your feet firmly planted in fantasy-quicksand.

          • Allison says:

            Just Her,

            I think that if he had changed – unlikely – he would be the one to contact, not the other way around.

            Please try not to focus on someone who has to change, in order for you to be with them.

  50. FinishedAllSet says:

    God bless Natalie and her wonderful advice.

    I am in NC with a guy who is quite unavailable due to his teens being against any dating activity on his part. Added to this is that he shares custody& is within walking distance of ex. therefore the girls get to go to his house on their whim.

    I’m not sure whether this is an excuse on his part or whether he simply feels so guilty about the divorce and his girls’ subsequent troubles that he allows them to basically run his social life.

    The lesson here is that EITHER way, the situation simply doesn’t work for me. I

    • FinishedAllSet says:

      (OOPS. Hit SEND too early…)

      Anyway, the situation doesn’t work for me and I deserve the guy I am in a relationship with to be available (not always, and not in an emergency, certainly). I have kids and I’ve been a single parent. I know your kids come first, but letting them dictate your social life can’t be healthy for anyone involved. And if that’s what you decide to do as a parent, DON’T DATE.

      He’s contacted me multiple times now, and I’ve ignored all of them. I’m not angry at him and I don’t think he’s an AC. I am ALMOST done being sad about the situation but the contacts make it harder to move on.

      It’s getting annoying, to be frank.

  51. FinallyDidIt says:

    After trying NC so many times and failing, I finally found the guts to block him entirely about a year ago. Best thing I ever did. Bumped into him recently, said hello, and felt nothing. If I can do it, ladies you can because there was a time when I loved that man more than I loved myself (my first mistake and a hard lesson learned).

  52. Beth says:

    I have been reading this blog for the past few months and it has helped me make such huge changes in my life and the way I look at myself. It has sparked me to start my own blog, Love Ourselves More.
    http://loveourselvesmore.wordpress.com/

    While I haven’t achieved the level of success that Natalie has, I hope to get there soon.
    Thanks for all you do, Natalie! This website has been a lifesaver.

  53. Sandy says:

    Well after after 8 months of being apart but constant contact on his part, changing my cell phone number so I could try and move on, managing two months of non-contact before he called my landline sigh more contact with him yet again spinning his bullshit and now I am trying to do no contact yet again. This has been the most painful and drawn out break up I have ever experienced.
    But at least I finally got to call him a dick to his face and you should have seen the look as he scuttled off hahaha as he ran off he was blaming me telling him where to stick it on his friend because of the things his friend had told me about him…still couldn’t see that it is because for the first time I am exercising my belief in my boundaries and values, something I always let him step all over in our relationship.
    Still a struggle though, not saying it is going to be easy sailing from here on in, but I do see a difference in myself and how I know I would like to be treated.

  54. Erin says:

    My ex cut contact with me in the most cowardly, passive-aggressive, controlling way imaginable which pissed me off to no end at first, but after being no contact for over four weeks starting today, I am happy to be done with him for good. The emotions are gone, the rose-tinted glasses are in the trash, and I see him for who he really is and the relationship for what it really was. He is an unemotionally unavailable narcissist with a harem of women surrounding him that couldn’t live up to my “expectations” and future faked the hell out of me in the beginning. When I called him on his BS, he couldn’t handle it, he overlapped me, and then one day stopped communicating with me, then caused and argument which basically forced the break-up. Then, he tried to flip everything for “not trusting him and having doubts” and then put the blame on me. When I started letting everyone know how he really is, he contacted me to tell me to stop letting everyone know he’s not as good as he pretends to be. No matter how much I would love to cuss him out, it’s no point and I hope he NEVER tries to ever contact me ever again. In fact, he’s texted me once during the official start of our NC and I ignored him.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Erin,

      Please stop telling everybody what a bad person he is. The less said the better. It’s part of walking away with your dignity intact.

  55. noquay says:

    I have found that I really need to take the”scorched Earth” position in regard to instituting and staying NC. Complete physical removal of self from the person, in some cases this has meant actually moving. I cannot see the person, patronise their business, nor have contact with their friends. The at work AC situation has really taught me some harsh lessons; in a small town such as this, never get involved with anyone as it’s impossible to avoid them and their buds should things go south. Short of retirement or death, there really is no way to completely excise this person from my life along with the current and past members of his harem. He and they will always be showing up at the grocery , at meetings, at parties (other than my own, at colleagues homes. A tough lesson indeed. Now, I deliberately approach only those men living a minimum of 50 miles away (given the local older male dating pool, this is kinda necessary anyway, see my comments on the last post if you think I exagerate). Unfortunately, people often lie, use one for attention, have hidden partners/spouses, or like the person I am kinda seeing now, major issues that make a real relationship impossible. You cannot fix any of those situations and it does take time for folks to unfold, as Nat says, so often one has some level of emotional investment in the person when the red flags start a wavin’. It is good to be able to cut ties and never have to deal with the person again.

  56. Kiesh says:

    I constantly see this running theme on advice columns. Woman leaves guy who refuses to commit and seeks advice on how to ‘get past’ her feelings b/c he has her convinced that he’s owed ‘friendship.’ Good riddens!

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Kiesh.. I get what your saying and I have always admired strong women who had great self esteem & knew a snake/AC when they saw one and walked the other way but I was not one of those women. I have made really bad choices in men I allowed in my life then when it didn’t work out I was deflated, felt rejected and knew there must be something wrong with me ..What, but I did everything right, why didn’t he love me, if only I gave him another chance I know he will see the amazing person I am and love me.
      I had to find a way to STOP the madness I was creating in my life. It was about my choices , about my self esteem , about my reactions before anything would change. I was a doormat, plain & simple.
      I am getting stronger and wiser by the day. If only I could turn back time & do it all over with my BR education but I cant… I can only dictate my future & I don’t know what the future holds but I do know I will be OK . I have a blessed life & want to make the best of it…

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Kit,

        That’s wonderful to know that you’re “getting there” and getting rid of “if only” thoughts. What you do from here on out is far more important than what you did in the past.

  57. espresso says:

    My posts don’t seem to be appearing. So hope this doesn’t appear a few times.
    Am I still taking care of my ex? I am definitely trying to only take care of myself. I think that is why he is so furious with me. I am staying in contact but I am not placating, I am holding him to deadlines and I am not providing the cheerleading, appreciation, REMINDERS, thoughtfulness and troubleshooting functions I once did.
    I still overfunctioning in the business though…and I am taking a LOT more shit from him. It is very upsetting and I am beating myself up because I can’t manage the situation better. I keep very detached but sometimes it just gets too much and I will argue or be really insistent or telling him what he is doing…and then he gets very aggressive and then I lose my cool and then he gets to say that I am being disrespectful and unreasonable. We went through years of therapy on this and he has gone back years and years. Like he never learned anything..which he didn’t.
    Long way of saying NC is the best idea..hands down.

  58. Fernleaf says:

    I have been thinking about my experience of no contact a lot. I have gone “no contact” twice in relation to two different men. With one ex it was easy and with another ex it was terribly painful.

    There was difference. With the first ex (a future faker that I “clocked” within 3 months of dating him), I had very little invested in the relationship. He didn’t have my heart. In the second relationship, I was heavily invested and I was in love with him. It was also an ugly relationship and he was pretty nasty. In my case, it didn’t matter that he was nasty, somehow, I fell for him.

    Even though the most sensible thing in the world is no contact and to leave these people forever, I found it very hard to “fall out of love”. I am not certain if I can ever feel neutral about him. All I know is that I have to stay away from him. He’s radioactive.

    Just my own experience.

  59. Fernleaf says:

    As a footnote to my comment above, I think I am asking whether my level of investment in a relationship was directly proportional to the ease of going “no contact”…

    Which, I think I have probably answered … :)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Fernleaf,

      They certainly do correlate. When you’ve never become deeply invested going NC is not nearly as big a deal as when you have actually fallen in love with him. And, when you’re in love (with an AC) and it’s not working, don’t you unconsciously want to fix or change him into a better person because you refuse to believe this is really him? Hence, it’s difficult to fall out of love and people often find it easier to break NC – unfortunately. But when you put yourself first and value yourself more than him, NC wins out in the end over the old, familiar “longing” which serves no fruitful purpose.

  60. Star says:

    I posted earlier but I will refresh and add to what I said, All this is happening now since this July

    My ex of 5 yrs moved on immediately after we broke up, most probably before. I was in denial at first, trying to see him and talk to him, but he kept saying no.

    I have been going through it all with my emotions. I am hurting badly, and I still cry almost everyday.
    It’s been so difficult.

    At first I guess I wanted to settle for the crumbs and offered or accepted friendship (not sure)but then I heard he was out with her and that pissed me off and I asked him not to talk to me.

    He has a very negative perception of me. I get blamed for mostly everything. He says I’ve never been there for him and never gave him anything. I never loved him and I have a whole book of ‘you did this and you did that!’
    I admit I wasn’t perfect in the relationship and I did do my share of mistakes.

    I had tried doing NC couple times but I always seemed to respond to him when he emailed/msged me.I realized that he still wants to be in control and doesn’t want me to date anyone else.

    I am trying to move on, I am praying about it, reading baggage reclaim and other stuff.

    I recently again did NC he got very very upset. He kept saying I am selfish and its all about me and lets make the NC forever. He declared war and said that we are now enemies.

    Is this supposed to be so hard? I am respecting myself and not succumbing to his wants for sex and friendship after all he is in a relationship!

    Seems like the more I try, more stones are being thrown my way! I need feedback..thank you

    • Kat says:

      Star,

      5 years is a huge investment…so how you’re feeling is perfectly normal and to be expected. My hearts goes out to you…I’ve been there…a few times.

      You wanted some feedback so here it is:

      If you recently did no contact again and then you listened to him talk bad about you, it’s not no contact. Star, as hard as it is, it only starts to get better once you cut them and all their bs out of your life. Yes, it’s hard. Believe me, I could tell you a couple of horror stories. But I won’t bore you with the gory love-gone-wrong details. I will tell you this, it was only after I cut them out of my life (no communication whatsoever) – no contact long before I ever read baggage reclaim – that I started to gain some perspective and regain my sanity.

      Every time is you start no contact and then breakdown and take a call, respond to a text message, phone call, email, notes on your windshield or whatever, you’re prolonging the agony.

      Please start now, today, immediately to grieve the loss of the hopes and dreams you’ve had for the past years. This dude is not worth your time, tears, thoughts. Nothing. And in time you’ll see that so clearly that you’ll hardly believe it when you look back. You deserve to be happy. Start today.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Star,

      Don’t be so ready to beat yourself up and accept all the blame for things not working out. He doesn’t seem to be very respectful of you after such a long time together. Why does he feel you’ve never been there for him? What did he want that he says you never gave him? From your writing it sounds like he doesn’t think he has been a lousy boyfriend at all. On top of that he’s off with someone else. He may not even be worth your trying to figure out what happened All your grief may be in vain. NC has been your solution so stick to it. He’s even told you not to go back on it so prove to yourself that you don’t need anyone who doesn’t want you. DO NOT talk to him, period and block all access that he may find to reach you. It’s hard but better to get over the big hurt now and move on to something better than staying unhappy for years and years hoping for change that is not coming.

      • Allison says:

        Star,

        If he got so little from the relationship, then why is he so upset with you going NC? Doesn’t make sense!

  61. Deepend says:

    I was in an on/off relationship for 3.5 years with a girl who didn’t respect my boundaries. I ended the relationship last thanksgiving when i understood that my half hearted feelings for her were rooted in unresolved feelings about a previous relationship, making this a rebound relationship with her.

    After i ended it she unloaded so much animosity via text messages to me, and Facebook messages to my friends and family. By Christmas time she was moving in with the next guy, and because i let her stay in contact with my kids, she told them all about him and the wonderful gifts he bought for her. It seemed that new details were emerging regularly, and a friend of mine kept telling me how crazy my ex was broadcasting how awesome new guy was and how happy she was but thought she was crazy for moving on so quickly.

    I endured this information assault for nearly 5 months including valentine’s week contact through my kids, until the day my kids told me my ex had – months before – taken them out (with my permission) to dinner and the zoo, and brought the new boyfriend along on both occasions without asking me if that was ok. I lost my mind that day, which just happened to be an hour before she was picking them up for another play date. I confronted her face to face about her actions with my kids, to which she replied “He (new bf) is my family now. if the kids and I are going to be friends you’re going to have to accept my family” i told her “i don’t have to accept SHIT! If you’re going to see my kids anymore you’re going to respect my wishes” She replied “i will respect the kids wishes”, this went back and forth a couple times before she acquiesced and made a half hearted apology. I let her see them that day, but she hasn’t seen them since.

    After talking to my kids about everything that happened i told them i was cutting all contact with her. 3 weeks later she messaged them for a play date, to which they didn’t reply. Then she contacted me, asking if the kids were allowed to see her, which is when i told her i was cutting contact with her. She tried to pull my heart strings “the love is the same as family”, “their mom made stupid mistakes and you still let her see them” (my kids live with me), and so on. She even begged me to not break her contact with my kids, which in the past has been her doorway back into my life after we’ve broken up, but i said no. She told me she hates me with every fiber in her body, and promised to see my kids again, which promise she will never break.

    So I blocked her contact with my kids on Facebook, texting, and the phone. So 2 days later my exes mother messaged my daughter on facebook and says “my daughter is sad that she can’t see you, but understands your dads reasons. She changed her Facebook picture to a picture of you and your brother. Have a nice life, and when you are old enough to make your own decisions, my daughter will be waiting.” i was so PISSED!! That’s when i understood my ex inherited her boundary crossing issues (too many to detail here) from her mother. I felt i needed a restraining order against her and her mother but didn’t want to face her, her family, and new boyfriend in court so i didn’t go through with it.

    Its been almost 6 months since i broke contact with her, and while i have recovered my sanity and peace of mind, i still think about her daily. I never imagined it coming to this, and part of me thinks about contacting her, but the way things have panned out over the last year shows me her true nature, which is what I suspected, and she validated for me all by herself.

    Thanks to all your readers comments I am reassured that i should not open that door again. If she couldn’t respect my wishes in the relationship she definitely cant respect them out of it.

    • Allison says:

      Depend,

      I too, believe she over stepped your boundaries in the end, but if she was simply a rebound, then why did you have so many issues with the boyfriend?

  62. Tinkerbell says:

    Finished,

    So be frank let him know, straight up. His situation in which he allows himself to be under his girls’ restrictions just doesn’t work for YOU. Use the words you think are best, but be straightforward about it. Neither of you are in high school anymore and he’ll respect you more for being direct, instead of silently stewing about it.

  63. kdashaun says:

    At the end of January, my emotionally unavailable boyfriend broke up with me via instant messenger. It was awful. To be sure, the relationship was not working. But I was hopeful and hanging in there. He ended it. He ended it in a manner that was insulting, abrupt, and confusing. There was no real explanation. I was devastated. I went ballistic – sending text messages, voicemail, and emails — crying and telling him how much he hurt me, begging for answers, pleading with him to contact me, and finally cursing him out. He did not respond. He refused to speak to me again, save a few courtesies when we met to return belongings left at his place. He ended the relationship. He initiated No Contact.
    Neither of us contacted the other for months. This was very hard for me to do, and I spent four months depressed, pining, and eventually beginning to try and pick up the pieces. This is when I discovered Baggage Reclaim. Reading here helped me to better understand my relationship and take baby steps toward caring for me. Then, out of the blue, he contacts me in June. It had been five months, but I was still not over him. We met up the next night and slept together. We resumed communicating and slept together a few more times. I thought this meant we were back together. He, however, thought we were just hooking up. In August, he told me, essentially, that he is emotionally unavailable and unable to sustain a relationship with me. He said I deserve better and that he is doing me a favor. He wants us to be friends. He believes that being friendly is the mature thing to do. I actually don’t want to be friends, because I want more. We still text, and we have slept together again. So I guess I have gone along with being “friends” and with the benefits. I don’t know what to do. Should I just stop having sex with him and try to go along with the friendship?

    • Allison says:

      Kdas,

      Staying in any type of contact with this man is the most destructive thing you could possibly do for yourself. You are selling yourself short by being ‘friends,’ much less sleeping with him.

      Contact – of any kind – is soul destroying! Don’t do this to yourself, you will feel worse later!

      • Kit-Kat says:

        I totally agree with Allison unless of course you want to stay on the emotional roller coaster you on. Also, being someone’s booty call is not where you want to me. He has already told you he is unavailable so tell his unavailable self to jog on…. You can do this !!

    • Kat says:

      Kdashaun,

      I think you should initiate no contact immediately and permanently. He’s unavailable except to get laid and for you to provide emotional support by being his friend.

      The problem with that is you’re hoping it will turn into something more. I don’t believe it will and if you’re honest, you probably don’t believe it either.

      Don’t waste any more of your precious time with this ass clown. The sooner you accept and move on, the better off you’re going to be. I know it’s hard but you can do it.

  64. 2Fearce says:

    Justher

    He hasn’t changed n u shouldnt be hanging around in the fantasyland where if u had sd the magical words he’d have sd by gosh u win! If he was gng to give u the fantasy, he’d have done it already! Throw the toad back in the pond before you catch something n leave him there!

  65. Elgie R. says:

    I wrote earlier how irritated I was to see ACs number on my caller id at work. The irritation is not because of his attempt to contact me, it is because it bothers me that I don’t mean more to him.

    Feeling a need to block phone numbers, send “Stop Calling” texts…those are things we do to shift the responsibility of No Contact to the AC and to stay feeling connected, if we’re honest.

    Just don’t respond. It will make the healing process a tad quicker.

  66. Stacey says:

    I’ve been reading this blog constantly today, in hopes that it will keep me strong when I am weak. For two years, I’ve been best friends with a guy who is pretty much emotionally unavailable. I, unfortunately, love him to pieces. We were in a relationship for 6 months…the only other serious relationship he’s had since his ex-wife. He did not give 100% of himself, therefore, I doubted his feelings a lot in the relationship. He was good to me the best way he knew how. I didn’t see him for a month after we broke up, and thought I was doing well, so we started going to movies, hanging out and of course, the shag would happen. Stupid me. Last week, he told me that he is talking to someone…its not serious, but I lost it. I told him (after reading a article on this site) that if we were going to get our friendship back, that its suggested to take a communication break of at least six months. We agreed to commit to this. Guess who sent me an email the next day with a video that I just HAD to see? I responded. It made me feel good. I then decided to text him later that day with something I thought was important. At the end of the convo, he says ‘ok, bye again, and I only say this because I need you to be better so we can hang out again’. Needless to say, the wound is raw, and I had a mental breakdown tonight. I am going to try to commit to 6 months of no contact. And I guess I am writing this to add my story to the mix. Thank you for this website…I will be visiting it probably everyday for awhile.

    • MaryW says:

      Stacey, sorry for what’s happened.

      He said “I need you to be better so we can hang out again”.. rather than (for example) “I hope you will feel better soon, in the meantime I will respect your wishes and I won’t contact you”.

      It’s all about him, Stacey. He’s selfish and he only wants you to get better so he has his FWB back? In the mean time, he can’t resist contacting you for a little ego stroke.

      Good luck with the 6 months NC – I hope that at the end of the 6 months you realise that you’re better off without him and extend it to ‘forever’. I don’t think you’re going to fall out of love with him in 6 months, but I could be wrong.

      Stay strong with the NC. Best wishes.

      • laura says:

        Hi all….This web site is so great, and helped me a lot to find out what I was going through was one big mistake… I started to date the AC on Facebook, then we met etc.. then the messing around started… first we broke up because he was still in love with his ex… then he called me that he misses me and bla bla bla when I asked about about our relationship all I got from him was “it is what it is”…, he did not wanted me to move closer to him, but showed me around his mums and brothers…I started to be a bit suspicious so I started to ask but even after direct confrontation about possible “passing time with me” I got answer – no Honey I love you… always crying about work, money, ego stroke…we just texted and used Facebook to communicate, when I said it is weird he said that how his 99% of communication looks like…so we continued… meeting twice a month and then once in the party he met a girl and being with me that time and acting like everything is ok, he suddenly wrote me on facebook that “I do not have spark he needs…”, then flirting with her on facebook of course we broke up… I was and still am in shock how quickly he changed and moved on…I am NC 4 month now… he is with that girl and looks like blowing hot now… I just wonder when he will show his true face…My marriage was not working and I put so much hope into it, but end up broken and with nothing… but at least I was open with him he new about my situation in marriage and that I ma trying to resolve it. But it looks like that it was just false hope and mind fxxxery from him… I am getting confused was he an assclown or I am mistaken? But no contact rule and reading this great website opened my eyes and I am starting to look completely differently at the whole situation… thank you !!!

        • Allison says:

          Laura,

          I’m sorry, but there was no relationship here: you communicated 90% by FB, and only saw one another twice a month. If someone is interested, there is regular contact – not via internet – and physical contact on a regular basis.

          Two huge red flags:
          In love with another
          Stating “It is what it is”

          This was never going anywhere!

      • Stacey says:

        thanks for your reply Mary. I do know that its all about him, and its hard to accept after all the time I’ve invested into him. He was my best friend first…before I fell for him. I don’t know what the next 6 months hold, but I am definitely going to try.

        • MaryW says:

          That’s a really difficult situation, to lose a friend at the same time as losing a lover. I feel for you.
          You’ll get stronger over the next few days, weeks and then months.
          Any more sneaky emails or texts, please press delete x

  67. Sedona says:

    It has been over 4 months of no contact with my emotionally unavailable guy!

    Before that it took 3 1/2 months to get him to come pick his furniture. During those 3 1/2 months I only saw him 4 times. Two of those times were him picking up his stuff, one was a business organization and the other a social drink where he ended up getting angry and yelling at me for breaking things off until I said that was enough and got up to leave.

    No physical contact except for a hug on the day he took the last of his stuff. I think it’s for the best. I still miss him though. And, I don’t like it that I miss him. I want to contact him and yet I know that would not make me happy. I miss talking with him and I’m also relieved that I am not going through the roller coaster of emotions that I use to with him. I need some new ideas of putting him out of my mind.

    I have joined other groups and need to do more with my work. Maybe I have used him as a crutch. A man who really loves me and is kind and fun to be with is just around the corner,,,

  68. teachable says:

    I have just ended a ‘helping’ r/ship with a ‘friend’ today with someone I allowed to bust my boundaries in bleeding me dry for paralegal work (& free therapy!) I am going NC! This person is EXTREMELY needy & in a terrible predicament re their housing & and an anti discrimination case they are running. The situation has dagged on for 7 yrs. The person has exhausted all of the free public lawyers they have accessed (on my referral) & unfortunately one lawyer ‘friend’ of their’s acted in a way tht seriously undermined her position. I was turned to as the fix it person as the strategist behind their entire case (using our human rights legislation which I know a little abt). The problem is, the person is at times, due to a PTSD injury (but also a long standing history of bi polar which I at first was dismissive of, but now realised they do have) verbally agressive, quite manipulative (re getting more out of me than I ever said I could give) & actually very difficult to deal with. So, after having helped them build a team of support over the past few years, (minus a lawyer, they cant get one. end of) & after having my generosity BY FAR taken advantage of, on this occassion (I cut this off 9 days past my own deadline, but not before pulling FOUR stints of ‘all nighters’ trying to get their legal documents in order) I email their documents bk to them today (unfinished but with critical parts done & sufficient arrangements in place for others to finish on my behalf) & TOTALLY EXTRICATED myself from all further contact on ANY of their highly complex problematic issues. I realise now I ought to have done this much sooner. I am still very ill & it beggars belief the person felt ok abt imposing on me in such a way. If they call I will not be answering the phone! End of. Yay me!!!

    • L says:

      Jesus, what is with these users? I’m extricating myself from a similar situation with the man I dated for six months. First it was just his divorce/child support case – helped him self-rep and then realized it was too much and was affecting our relationship so I referred him to a lawyer and helped with the retainer.

      THEN he comes to me wanting me to help him end child support for two other kids. AND he wants to go after their mothers for a return of child support overpayment.

      NO. Just no. He has a lawyer now, they can figure it out.

      This man has treated me like crap, dumped me twice, months ago for ridiculous reasons and I was foolish enough to want to work things out. He then had the nerve to say I had to “earn” my way back to being his girlfriend. We dated, I helped him out with his legal stuff… and then I find out he has his online dating profile still up. He justified this by saying, “we weren’t together”. I was spending time with him and his children (who I’ve grown to love). I’ve spent my money and resources trying to help him out… only to find out he’s looking elsewhere. The last thing he said was that he feels we’re not good together and we’re better as friends. In other words, he just wants me around to continue doing favours for him.

      I can’t believe I put up with it for this long. He’s gotten everything he wanted out of me and I got very little in return.

  69. cherry says:

    I must start by saying how much I love you! You have changed my life with your insight. My question is What if you broke up but must have daily contact because you work with someone? The daily rejection is super challenging for me and I dont know how to deal with being ignored and rehurt on a daily basis. Do you have any tips on coping?

  70. Worried says:

    I met my Mr. Unavailable/Assclown last September (about a year ago). At the time, I was pursuing a hobby of mine and he was one of the people who was also interested in it.

    I spent months admiring him from afar until I finally confessed how I felt to him. He said he reciprocated, and implied that he wanted a deep commitment with me. And, I was so happy–I thought I had finally found “the one”.

    However, there were red flags all over the place. He would rarely call. He was still talking to his ex (who had dumped him a few days before I confessed my feelings to him). He would snap at me in public when he was stressed or tired and I was trying to make him feel better. He would parade me around to his family members but never take the time to get to know me as a person. He would put my friends down in front of me. He would put me down in front of me. Although he never “promised” or “committed” to a long-term, deep relationship with me…he always implied that he wanted one. And, whenever I got upset and questioned his intentions, he said that I needed to “trust him more” and “be stronger”.

    In the end, despite his sweet nothings, the relationship turned out to be a purely physical fling. And, he left me as soon as he came to me. Although a part of me picked up on the signals and knew he was probably going to break it off, I was devastated. A part of me still is.

    But, I gritted my teeth and went No Contact.

    However, that hobby I had pursued is very important to me and this coming November there’s a huge event for my hobby. And…I know he will be there.

    I’ve made a lot of progress–I see him for what he is. And, I know I don’t want him back for the sake of being with him…just for the sake of my own personal validation. I know that to him I was only a placeholder. I acknowledge the fact that the only reason I want him to come back is just to hear him say that he regrets his decision (that I’m more than just a placeholder), not because I actually want to be with him again.

    So…in the end…my question is if I should skip out on the event in about 1.5 months. I really, really want to go; I’ve been looking forward to it since before I started going out with him (or, hooking up is probably a better term for it). But, I’m not sure if seeing him would set me back.

    On the other hand…avoiding something I love, a hobby I’m really invested in, just because I’m afraid of him…makes me feel like I’m giving him power over me. Makes me feel like I’m sacrificing my happiness (again) to appease him.

    Any advice appreciated.
    Worried.

    • Kat says:

      Worried,

      Can you find someone (preferably a male) to attend the event with you? You need to go, but not alone. Get a friend, family member, hire an escort (just kidding but maybe not!) and go. Your companion would keep you from venturing off into fantasy land when you see this guy you’re still not quite over.

    • Wiser says:

      Worried, I’ll share my experience as I’ve gone through every aspect of this very situation. I have chosen not to go to an event because the ex would be there, and was very glad I didn’t go – and also there were times I chose not to go to something and was miserable because once again I was giving him power to decide what I would and wouldn’t do.

      Then there were times when I said “Hell no, he’s not stopping me from doing what I want to do” and I went to an event or pursued interests where he would be also and felt enormously empowered and SO proud of myself! Other times I went to a gathering where he was and found myself weeping in the bathroom, feeling I couldn’t sink any lower and wishing to God I had stayed home.

      My point is, there is no right answer to this. Only you can decide what’s right for you in this situation. It doesn’t sound like this is a recent breakup where you are in raw pain and can’t eat or sleep and can barely function. If that was the case I would advise you to definitely stay home. But you say you’ve made progress and if you are feeling rather strong and just accept the fact that you WILL feel a twinge when you see him, he might even come try to talk to you, there will be moments of discomfort, it probably will hurt to some degree but so what, etc. then I see no reason for you to give up something you are really looking forward to. Can you answer this question – how much will it bother me? If it will bother you to the point of ruining the enjoyment of the event and you will have no control of your emotions running amok, there’s no point in going. But I suspect you are strong enough to handle it.

      It is possible to feel two things at once: some discomfort at seeing him and also a great deal of enjoyment at being at this event you want to attend very much. What I learned is that I am not a helpless victim when it comes to my feelings. They are there with me, but they are not ME. I have the choice of which ones I “feed” or not. This gets easier the longer NC has gone on, of course, and the farther you are from the breakup. Only you know where you are with this. Calming myself with meditation helped immensely. Also repeating to myself “this guy just isn’t that important!”

      In my case, I’ve had to see the ex a lot in the past two years, as we work together, live in a very small town and share many interests. I knew I was going to run into him often, and in the beginning it wasn’t easy. But overall I’ve tended to lean towards the side of NOT letting his presence stop me from doing what I wanted to do. He had already taken all the power from me regarding the relationship and I was damned if I would let him have any more power over my life. As I said, sometimes I really suffered from this, but in the long run it was the right move for me because I felt empowered, strong, dignified, free and full of self-respect when I made my decisions based on what I wanted to do, not on what HE did or didn’t do. Hope this helps a bit.

      (Oh by the way, forget about trying to get any validation from him. Won’t happen. Not possible. Because you can’t get validation from other people and you only diminish yourself when you try. Besides, you don’t need it.)

  71. Ostara says:

    First of all let me just say why I have called myself Ostara! She is a goddess who brings growth and rebirth. She holds the promise of new beginnings, which I think is something we all need on BR.

    Sedona above said
    “” I still miss him though. And, I don’t like it that I miss him. I want to contact him and yet I know that would not make me happy. I miss talking with him and I’m also relieved that I am not going through the roller coaster of emotions that I use to with him. I need some new ideas of putting him out of my mind””

    This is so much how I feel today and could have written that myself. I have been NC for just on 2 months now after an unrewarding relationship of 12 years that I tried to finish for the last three years!
    Finally after a couple of false starts and a lot of reading up on this website I have found the strength tp make the break. My head knows what I need to do but my heart aches. I do miss the good times so much & of course these are the ones to the forefront of my mind when I am weak.

    Coming on the website and re-reading articles is my way of getting through the bad times when the urge to contact strikes. Guess it’s a bit like a great big support group! I guess some of the feelings you go through are like those of bereavement ( I lost my father 5 years ago) and I know time has helped that pain fade although it never goes away. This should be easier as I only have everything to gain in ending this relationship.
    Think the motto of today is STAY STRONG!

  72. Sedona says:

    Ostara (love the name!),

    Yes, do stay strong! That is one reason I come to this site also! Mine was a five year entanglement! And, almost from the beginning I tried to end it as he hadn’t been up front about his situation. I did learn a lot about myself in the process.

    He was kind of like a drug to me though and it was all so much less than I wanted and still want. This is a great opportunity for me to live the life I have wanted and attract a man that wants the same things that I want.

    Ostara, this I can really identify with: “My head knows what I need to do but my heart aches. I do miss the good times so much & of course these are the ones to the forefront of my mind when I am weak.”

    When I get those little wiggly feelings where I want to make contact I ask myself what would be the next step with him and I can’t think of anything good. There is no good next step for me and this guy together, the next steps are for me to keep building and attracting the things I most want in my life. I am filling myself up with good things and meeting many more like minded people.

  73. Joy says:

    Is there a point at which maintaining “No Contact” does look bad however? Especially if the guy wasn’t exactly abusive or cheating and there’s no real reason you shouldn’t be “friends”? I mean, I’ve talked to friends who say that that’s okay…for now. That implies that at a certain point, I will actually want to (healthily) make contact with him or at least be okay if he ever does. But this rubs me the wrong way. What if I never want to have any contact with him again whatsoever? Not necessarily because I am not over him, or immature or have low self-esteem or whatever…simply because I see no reason to?

  74. Not sure says:

    No contact is not a solution to your heart break or disappointments or wanting to forget someone. To get over someone you need to know who you are and what’s important to you. Strength and time are 2 things which will help you pass this pain of lost. Nothing is impossible and the pain and hurt you once felt will go away eventually. I find it is easier to get over someone when they did you wrong. Is hard I know, but I also know that you only have one life to live and why waste so much time in a guy who doesn’t want to be with you. Always remember you start with nothing and will die with nothing. Love you have now will end one day. Don’t get too caught up on something that is only for temporarily. Over the years I have been getting disappointed over and over again, and keep asking myself why I keep putting myself through this pain, but I can choose to cry everyday or I can choose to let the pass stay where it belong and move forward. Our lives don’t end when someone broke our heart.

  75. teachable says:

    I am STILL having trouble being NC (in my mind) w two ex’s BOTH now deceased & both who did not treat me well (one I left over 23 yrs ago & many healthy r.ships b.tween the 2) This is complete BS fantasy thinking as I’m still ill & just feeling sorry for myself. Very annoying!

  76. bee says:

    Hi Joy,

    I have been thinking about your question a lot in relation to my situation, where I’ve been NC since a shock breakup almost a year ago. Ive realised that NC has helped me reassess who I am, and what’s really important to me, to the point where I frankly don’t give a flying…frig if it “looks bad”. The question is, who does it look bad to? If its the ex, by this stage I can happily say I don’t care at all. I don’t mean this in any nasty way towards the ex but just factually, his opinion, perceived or otherrwise, is of no consequence to me now. Sure, the ex and I could be “friends” now as he is not a demon at all, but I’ve worked out what’s important to me (through BR and the kind ears of my beautiful friends and family), and know now that nothing can “look bad” unless I choose to see it that way.

    Plus, the ex isn’t friend worthy, it doesn’t matter that he’s not evil and I bear absolutely no anger towards him. Ive realised that I’m a great friend, I have the fortune to have wonderful friends, and someone needs to be special to be considered my friend. I’m civil in the rare times I see the ex, I bear him no malice, but there’s no need to be “friends” just because we don’t hate each other. We choose our friends. That title is given to those who I value and love, and are the same with me. Yay! That’s the beauty of NC, it really teaches perspective. I hope this helps. Bee

  77. Laura says:

    Thank you Alison ! I know, I overlooked all those red flags waving in front of my nose !!!! I just hope he will learn stop breaking hearts and mess women minds…. Do those people even think about someone else then themselves? I hope I we will all walk out as winners girls !

    • Allison says:

      Oh Laura, mine was equally awful.

      First thing, he probably won’t change- its who he is. Second, worry about you, as you are the only one you have control over your actions.

      Getting to the root of why we put up with so much shit, is very important, as it’s not about them but us. Why didn’t we leave after the first sign! Focus on you!

  78. JM says:

    After 5+ years of being with my AC, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend right before Valentine’s Day last year. Prior to that, I was his either his FWB, OW, or a placeholder. Someone he can count on to lend him a shoulder to cry on. Someone to lend him $5000 for part of his down payment for to his condo. For the 2 months that he was my “boyfriend”, he did everything in his power to make me feel bad about myself. I’m 5’8″ and weigh 115 pounds. He said I was anorexic and needed to see a nutritionist to fix my weight problems. My skin tone wasn’t the shade he preferred, so he would get upset if I didn’t go to the tanning booth. I’ve known this guy now since 2007, so you can only imagine the things he’s put me through. It’s been a complete nightmare. :( The two examples I shared were just within the two months that we were an official “couple”. He got tired of being my boyfriend not even for two months before he decided to end everything, saying he needed time to enjoy his life. I knew what that meant. But he adamantly denied that he was going to sleep with other women. I’m not that stupid as he thinks I am. He’s a very manipulative person. But I’m also very naive. I was afraid of losing him. I spent 5+ years “fixing” this guy. I spent so much time, money, tears I was afraid another girl would come by and take away all my hard work. So I agreed to be his “friend” during this period of time he wanted to figure things out. He said that was the only way he’d find his way back to me, if I was there right by his side.

    I went into NC September of last year. But I wasn’t strong enough. I’d give in, answering his calls/texts. I even went over to his house twice. :( This went on until May of this year. He came by my house, and said he finally came to a realization that I was the one he’s meant to be with. That he was ready to commit and needed some time to buy me a ring. I never thought I’d ever hear those words from his mouth. Once again, I let him in back in my life. But my gut was telling me that something just wasn’t adding up. So I decided to do a Google search and sure enough, the night before he came to my house crying and begging me to take him back, he was hanging out with a 20-year old girl who referred to him as her “babe.” I knew it was too good to be true. I confronted him but he denied it. Until I told him I saw the pictures the girl posted on her Instagram. He went on and on telling me that she was crazy, it was a mistake to see her, and that I’m the one he wants. He has never once been truthful to me. They were all lies, just like everything he has said the past 6 years. It was my sign to finally let go.

    I finally went into real NC at the end of May. It was a lot easier this time. No tears. Maybe because I had enough. I was enjoying spending time with family and friends. He tried to text me back in July. It was a simple question. I went back and forth the entire day. But by the end of the night, I came to realize that it doesn’t matter if he thinks I’m a bitch for not responding. He already called me that name in the past and much much worse.

    I was doing so well these last couple of months. My curiosity got the best of me, so I looked at his newly-created Instagram profile this past Monday. :( My heart shattered in a million pieces and my gut felt like it was ripped out. He’s back with that same girl he told me was crazy back in May. They’re together in his profile picture, and he has an engagement ring emoticon as well. I know I’m not heartbroken because I’m not with him. I think I’m that I’m finally seeing the monster that he really is. How come he can do all these bad things and come out unscathed? It’s not fair. And I honestly think he’s doing all this, showing the entire world that’s he so in love with his girl, to get back at me because I won’t take him back. It’s only been two days, but I’m slowly picking myself back up.

    Thank you Natalie for this post. And thank you everyone for sharing your stories.

  79. Joy says:

    Thank you, bee! You just reaffirmed what I feel. I think I worry that it will look bad both to him and my friends. I live in fear that they’ll bring him up with question like, have you spoken? And I worry that because HE also hasn’t contacted ME that I must look pretty pathetic and forgettable to them. Of course, these are the same friends who thought the break up was all my fault, so perhaps I should care a little less what they think as well as what he thinks.

    I can be civil towards him if we happen to run into each other, but I see no reason to actively be “friends.” He wasn’t exactly treating me well in a romantic relationship so I’m not sure it would be much different in another context.

  80. Stacey says:

    I posted a few days ago about what I am going through, and I am posting now because I want to unblock my ex and look at his page. He is dumb and doesn’t secure it so its completely public. I did not block it right away when I asked for NC, and saw the girl he is talking to post something on his page that upset me. It confirmed that it is the girl I thought it was, who by the way, is separated not divorced. Who already deactivated her online dating profile and they’ve only been talking for a few weeks. Not sure why I care, but thats a huge flag I think. I know that he will do the same thing to her, as he is an attention whore and emotionally unavailable but it sucks. Anyway – I blocked him…but every now and then I am tempted to unblock him and look. How do you stop yourself from doing something that will just hurt you in the end? I don’t plan on doing it but thought I should write about here. :)

    • sincereluv4life says:

      @ Stacey

      I don’t know if Natalie would agree but in my opinion perusing the exes facebook is still a form of contact. He may not be contacting you, but now your making contact w/ his personal info (especially since the guy you mentioned is simple enough to post ALL his business on FB lol). Right now you’re in a phase of doing what’s best for YOU & that guy doesn’t deserve to have a presence in your day to day thought processes. Stay strong girl! I have been where you’re at & it does get better :-)

  81. teachable says:

    Oh, dear JM. You dodged a CANNONBALL. He will NOT emerge from his lifestyle unscathed. If he continues with his his disgraceful MO he will eventually die a sad, broken, & lonely person. It may take three decades for this to eventuate, but believe me, it does & will happen!

  82. Doubleji says:

    AC’s & NC, I love it! I’m doing my best thru a half ass breakup..asked me to wait for him to get his act together? Unemployed alcoholic?! Byee! We do own a car together, soo it’s the AC typical last manipulative, slimy, pathetic tie to keep contact w/me. I’m doing my best to ignore his many different & erratic techniques to get a reaction from me. Over time it does get easier! I love this quote. “When you delete unnecessary people from your life, good things will start happening for you & it won’t be a coincidence”. Amen!! Stay strong ladies! Xo

  83. Genki says:

    More & more I’m trying to say I will not just get over this feeling about 6 year marriage to an ass clown, lying, boring, selfish, inconsiderate man but I will kick its arse. It seems to make me feel better when I say these stronger phrases….rather than anything more considerate as that’s the side of my personality that got me into this mess. I like being a spontaneous, caring person but I’ll save that side for people who deserve it not for people who take advantage of it. No contact is the easiest way to move of to better things. I look back & think I have spent some wasted time worrying about things that don’t deserve my time. Nat & girls thanks for the support. Strength to all

  84. Michelle says:

    I actually had do this with a friend of mine. We had known each other a little over 7 years. I’d dealt with the “small” inconsiderate things she had done in the past because she was younger than me, but once we had reached our 30′s it turned into irresponsible “little” things.

    I’ve never been one to judge and certainly have had my share of mistakes, but I do know what friendship means. A friend I’ve always been despite it all and grew to realize that she had no idea what a friend was. So, after yet another totally unnecessary inconsiderate incident I stopped contacting her all together. At first I felt as if I had given up on her, but later realized she is an adult and it’s not wrong to expect what friendship I had given her in return. It’s been a few months now and I feel great. No hard feelings, but it’s time to be my own friend. It was long overdue.

  85. peachsass says:

    Hi all! This is my first post on BR although I started reading over a year ago. BR is a great forum for the broken hearted and I thoroughly enjoy reading Nat’s posts.
    I’ve been in a ridiculous on again off again relationship for three years this December. Presently we are off (I usually break it off)but only long after I should have.I think I should name myself Queen Doormat. I’ve gone through all the emotions that Nat breaks down in different post topics over the last three years. My guy is a Mr. Unavailable and I’m definitely his FB girl. He waited a year and a half to admit he was still in love with his ex gf and that she is the only woman he ever loved. He even told me the classic “I love you, I’m just not IN love with you” only to later say that he doesnt remember ever saying that to me and that I should not bring up the past. We’ve broken up and gotten back together more times than a bank teller counts money. I’ve learned a lot about myself through this relationship however and I’m happy to say that I genuinely am beginning to notice that I don’t care as much about him as I have before. I have blocked him from internet media and also from my Iphone. I’ve never had the lady balls to block his calls/texts before so I’m pretty pleased with myself for doing this. All these years I’ve been worried that he would go and find or be someone better to another woman and that I would be missing out on a life with him. Now, I really see him for who he is and how he treats me and I’ve learned that I haven’t cared enough about myself. I haven’t loved myself and I don’t know why. That is what I’m going to focus on doing now. Being with him or not being with him is not going to define who I am anymore. Good luck to all of those trying to move on, sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do.

  86. peachsass says:

    I got off topic there a little. I’d like to say that Nat’s right about going NC not being immature or mean. I felt that it WAS immature at one point and opted not to do it but then of course I ended up being a FWB or a booty call. I truly believe it is OK to take necessary steps to move on from a relationship that is unhealthy. By leaving the doors of communication open and not at least making some kind of pact with yourself to avoid the ex, we won’t be able to move on. Also, in moments of weakness don’t think about the ex and feel sorry for them by not responding. That is what always breaks me…I start thinking how awful it is to be ignored and I respond..but the result has NEVER been good. I’m too nice and apparently weak for my own good. Ugh!!! Oh, but not this time! The last time I broke NC was bc the ex had texted fme asking if he could use my address to have a package delivered bc the company UPS didn’t deliver to his adress (very rural Montana…and I’m such an idiot) so that resulted in a week of late night booty calls and him being blocked from my phone…I must stay strong.

  87. Moving on says:

    Peachsass-

    I can relate to you. I just blocked my ex on the iPhone this week. I had the hardest time going through with it until after 3 months my ex has not left me alone for longer than 2 weeks with the “I miss yous” and “I think about you every day” texts to not ever once offer to change or do ANYTHING to not lose me because he’s “messed up”. After this weekend and the 7th time (no exaggeration) of him not leaving me alone, I blocked him. He can still leave voicemails, but with his half ass attempts, like he would go that far. It is the hardest part :( but when you feel wonderful those two weeks of no contact to only feel in the dumps and starting over again when he contacts again (I have never initiated it), you realize it’s best to forget that person they won’t change. I was the first girl he dated seriously in 7 years, and now I know why. I was supposed to be “that” girl to make him want to settle down. And I am proof they NEVER change ladies. If he marries, commits to a relationship he didn’t give you, it’s still crumbs for all. It’s a matter of who will accept them. Stay no contact for yourself. These mentally ill types don’t change unless they seek counseling. On to being strong women :) thank you all for your support! Xo

  88. Missytom63 says:

    I’m in week two of NC and I feel so guilty. A guy I knew over 20 years ago, when we were both in our 20s came back into my life about 9 months ago. To cut a long story short he was a complete AC back then- although I didn’t realise it at the time and part of me always wondered about what might have been. But after 21 years I thought I was safe to have contact again, especially as he told me he had two types of cancer and that this had given him a new perspective on life. He said that his time with me had given him some of his best memories, had never felt so comfortable with anyone, that if we’d stayed together it would have been for life. This quickly developed into sexting and persistent requests for naked photos. He seemed more than willing to text me photos of his penis too without any encouragement. Anyway, we met and had sex and it was awful but I put this down to his illness. What I did note, though, was that everything was a one way street with him. Conversation, what we did, how we did it. I frlt really irritated and bored but guilty at the same time because we were supposed to be FWB and, therefore, not in a relationship so shy should i expect anything more, and also of course because he is seriously ill.

    Afterwards he became more and more demanding for ‘pics’, whilst at the same time getting back with his ex although ‘they don’t have sex’. So that’s alright then. When I learned that I made myself sexually unavailable but we carried on with the ‘friendship’. I say friendship, but it basically consisted of text conversations which rapidly descended into more demands for ‘pics’. Sometimes I’d just get a one word text, ‘send’. Most of the time I would ignore them or say no. Other times I would reply with something sarky. Occasionally I would send him a picture of just my face but that would make him even more demanding.

    Any attempts by me to have a normal conversation were subverted or ignored. All this time I convinced myself I was and had always been in love with this guy. I am 50 years old for chrissakes.

    This went on for months until a couple of weeks ago I was in despair. I knew I was addicted to somebody who I didn’t actually like that much and who as sure as hell didn’t respect me. I stumbled upon this website by accident and realised quickly that NC is the only way.

    Since starting NC I have had a few lame texts and he’s liked my fb status a couple of times. however I know that he will twig soon that I’m the one in control of the radio silence this time. Then he’ll harangue me for answers and I won’t know what to do or say. We were friends, not in a proper relationship, he has cancer and I have just shut him out without an explanation. So I do feel like a bad person.

    I’d really welcome your thoughts and advice about what I should say when he asks me what’s happening. Or, if you think I’m a bitch and that I should be there for him then please tell me

    • grace says:

      Missy
      You have my permission to nc him. Also, his present partner would give you permission. I visit a few people who are terminally ill. I would stop that if they started sending me genital pics. He is not your friend.
      You’re one of many who has been contacted “out of the blue” by an ex who turned out to be an ac.
      If you feel the need to explain yourself tell him that the relationship makes you uncomfortable and you do not wish to continue.

    • Wiser says:

      Missy, my skin crawled just from reading about this creep. Cancer or no cancer, this guy is major yuck! One of the more unpleasant specimens I’ve read about on BR. You need to RUN, not walk from him, as there is no love or respect here, only a kind of sick perversion on his part. He clearly sees you as a sex object, nothing more. What kind of a guy texts somebody “Send” as if he’s ordering up some kind of porn service?? This is his “new perspective on life”? How is this showing any caring for you or about you in the slightest degree? If you want to be a FWB with somebody, at least find a man who has some genuine interest in you as a person. He does not. Your guilt is misplaced and you owe him nothing. Grace is right, he is not your friend. Of course you hoped for so much more, but now is the time to see things clearly. Simply go NC and remain NC, and if you feel the need to explain things, write something short and simple like, “This is not working out for me and I no longer feel comfortable with this relationship. So best of luck to you and I wish you well.” Done.

      • Missytom63 says:

        Grace and Wiser, thank you. You really live up to your names. The weird thing is that just the process of writing things down brought it home to me how f*ed up this guy’s behaviour has been and how many excuses I’ve made for him. I also feel no grief or anger, just relief at making the NC decision. I know there will be times when I’m tempted to reach out etc but I’m going to save your advice on my phone to read it in times of weakness.

        • Allison says:

          Missy,

          This is one of the most disrespectful stories I have read on here!

          This man is not your friend, and treated you very poorly – My brother died of cancer, and I know he would never have treated another in this manner. This kind of asshole does not materialize due to a disease because he was always an asshole!

          Time to figure out why you stayed in such an empty and abusive relationship. Please read BR, and perhaps consider some counseling to understand your low self-esteem issues.

          • Missytom63 says:

            Thanks Allison, I came back in here for a BR fix this morning cos I felt very vulnerable last night and your post has really helped.
            One thing that is playing on my mind if that he had a biopsy last week. Normally I would have asked him how it went but this time I haven’t. To be honest I couldn’t see the point as he would have pushed the subject as quickly as possible into ‘send me a pic to make me feel better’ and I don’t want to feel harassed or guilt tripped like that again ever.
            But, it doesn’t stop me feeling bad for cutting off. I mean, it’s not like I’m asking if his cold is better..

      • Little Star says:

        Thanks Wiser for your comment even it was addressed to someone else, I will use your “final good bye” message, I just love it;)

    • selkie says:

      This guy sounds like the parasitic worm I saw coming our of my cat’s ass yesterday. Disgusting. You don’t owe him anything, cancer or not. Cancer isn’t a free pass to be a parasite.

    • Little Star says:

      Missy, you are not b****, you are nice and caring person;) My AC1 used to complain about his Mum’s health, when I was confronting him! He used to say that his Mum sick, she is 83 (for the last six years!) and he can’t be with me as he looking after her (he actually didn’t, all BS!)Do not worry about your guy, he has someone to look after him, keep your NC and you will feel great eventually;) All the best to you xxx

  89. floating says:

    7 years ago I thought I had met my special one. Enough to leave my husband for.said all the right things to me Loved textinghe had two phones ( he had a girlfriend) obvs.eventually left girlfriend or chucked out who knows… but to me it was all about us. He wanted marriage etc I even had his old girlfriends ring.. . Babies we had one. Never got married obvs he was bankrupt ( not his fault) . Moved in with me whilst pregnant. Not because he wanted to look after me and my two children from previous marriage. He had been sacked from job for taking money and their was a issue with a girl who worked there. Ie secret affair but I couldt quite prove it.fast forward to child being 6 weeks old find out he’s been on internet dating sites asking girls for numbers and telling them there gorgeous.2 weeks prior as I sit with our baby in my arms he asks me when I am going to be attractive again. I take him back. We have all the typical problems that you girls describe here for next two years stonewalling, denial, manipulation aggression etc leaves comes back..our son is then two . Find out hes back on sites they love a bit of ego stroking sexting..take him back. Bejesus they twist it all to make it your fault . After much flip flapping etc we come to 7 weeks ago. I open my own buisness working 6 days a week with 3 children. Day of opening we row. ( not bought me flowers or card to congratulate me nothing or verbally). So he leaves early to go work away (mon-fri) I tell him thats it were over.dont hear off him for 3 weeks well I do but he aint intrested.suddenly after 3 weeks he wants me back. I then find out hes been texting a ex til 1 in the morning. He totally denies it for 3 weeks mashes my head in. Now he admits it but he only had a little chat with her .. no . A man doest text a woman til 1 in morning unless hes after something. Ie sexts and pictures. Thats it nothing else just that. The rest of what they say is bs.theres my harsh reality .its most probably yours. But still we all think we have a connection… sorry I sound bitter. Thats coz I am. I can see all your stories for what they are based on bs. But yet like you I still hope for something.. I even fb the girlfriend ( bootycall) yesterday to ask her to speak to me. She didt coz no doubt she thinks im a nutcase and there special. I need to get a grip and im struggling. I have new buisness and 3 children to look after. And where is he.I dont eat and cant sleep.trying but its so so hard. No contact started again.

    • grace says:

      Floating
      Well done on your new business. You are very brave and enterprising.
      You have given him enough chances, it’s time to get your life back.

    • Missytom63 says:

      Floating, he sounds like a scumbag. I’m new to NC but it’s not hard to see that, like me, you have wasted far too long on someone who doesn’t deserve you and who will never change. I am full of admiration that you have set up a business with 3 kids. For the sake all of them, and yourself, ditch this guy, and see NC through. It will hurt, but ultimately you’ll be stronger and happier for it.

    • Allison says:

      Floating,

      Congrats on the business!

      This guy has been shady from the get go!!!
      I don’t understand why you stick around??? This is who he is! Please don’t subject your kids to the shit any longer!

  90. floating says:

    ThNkyou for kind words. Yesterday was particulary tough.that was my first post yesterday and reading it back now I look and think poor cow… but thats me. Wtf… but I read everyonez and think the same! Putting nc into action is hardest. Tomorrow is hard because I have to see him for our sons handover.then I think will today be the day he realises what he had ,what hes loosing. But slowly realising I dont really care what he thinks. He didt care when I was crying myself to sleep 3 weeks ago when he was busy with his ex. He didt care I had 3 children and a new buisness to run. He didt even care if we had money.THEY DONT CARE FULL STOP.only for themselves. How their coping how their life is blah blah poor poor me. They should grow up man up and start taking responsibility for their shitty actions. We have too.. by the way ladiex I have opened up a barbershop. I work with men all day every day. Theres good men out there. But believe me there’s quite a few out there circling like vultures around me ( with girlfriends) starting to tell me they haven’t split up with girlfriends but there rocky and girlfriends nagging them etc etc yada yada yada. Think I might be desperate… desperate to back to another hellhole relationship. Me thinks not.

    • Allison says:

      Floating,

      Be honest, what exactly are you losing? This guy has been cheating on you for 7 years, is a thief, has no money, treats you with disrespect etc……. This guy is a loser. Flat out!

      Keeping him around is very unhealthy for your children, as it shows them how to disrespect, lie, and live in a drama-filled, unstable home. You’ve already started on a good track with the business, now its time to do so personally. You are your children’s role model!

  91. floating says:

    Hogging the blog now. Sorry. I sound so strong as I type it. Then I waver.that is my truth but it ist his.so I doubt myself .he’s told me how my little head works so many times..so I always doubt whats real now. I know I can be hardwork I know I have issues myself. I start thinking its me.not him . Me. I was too needy emotional wanting. Because I look at the breakup and he’s coping and im not.so it must be me whos emotionally ill equipped. I barely eat ive lost so much weight.. I drink too much wine im snappy. But hes cool calm collected. Its me whos the mess not him.so then my head goes back 7 years and thinks hes the same as he was then. Its me whos changed. Im the mess not him. If that makes sense. So then I break contact just so I can boot myself again when im down…..

    • Missytom63 says:

      Hey Floating. If it’s any help, I was in the same place myself last night..wondering if somehow it’s me, or i’m overreacting. and this is in spite of all of the brilliant support here from people who don’t know us TELLING us that we’re not mad or bad and the guys who have been hurting us are deeply psychologically flawed.
      I’m beginning to see this like a detox, because we have been fed poison for years. At first you feel great, strong and full of resolve. You know it’s the right thing to do. Then, when the poison starts to leave your body the cravings start, it hurts like hell, you can’t think of anything except what you think you need.
      I don’t know how long this stage lasts but I know how vulnerable I feel and how easy it would be to relapse. I am going to switch off my phone and computer this weekend so I’m not tempted to either make contact or look at Facebook. I am going to go for long walks, work, see friends, whatever it takes to take my mind off him.

      You, my love, need to give yourself all the love and care you can for a while. I know what it’s like when you run your own business but find some time for you, or to do something nice with the kids maybe.

      Good luck, keep strong, see each day as one step further toward your goal of being free.

      Oh, and it was a full moon last night so it’s not surprising we both felt a little mental!

    • Allison says:

      Floating,

      You’re refusing to look at who this person is as well as why you would get involved with this type of individual.

      Time to see how he treats you! Why is this OK for you?

      Not eating and drinking does not help your children, time to focus on them.

  92. floating says:

    I know I know. But lets be honest we wouldt be on this site if they hadt screwed our heads up in first place. I just have no appetite im trying.I dont drink loads! My kids have my love in abundance. X

  93. pattywise says:

    so here I am….day 14 NC, and he leaves a note on my desk with 3 hopes…..
    1. he hopes that i will stay in touch (listed his new email, and all his phone numbers)
    2. He hopes that I won’t throw his note away
    3. He hopes that i have a good weekend
    This guy did love me at one point, but he always pushed me to the side and made me feel less than desireable.
    Not only did I throw his note in the trash, but I also tore is up in peices. Now I am using every ounce of control not to go through the trash and put the note back together. Please, someone please talk me down. I have nobody to talk to about this.

  94. Kyle says:

    Hi, I have read many of your posts regarding relationships, to help me better understand why mine didn’t work and what I can do for the future. But I guess I’m after some advice and opinions regarding my recent break up. My name is Kyle and I’m 25 years old, my gf is 23. We had been doing a long distance relationship for the past 8 months and when we just decided it wasn’t working. Along with othet factors that also played a part in our break up this was the main reason. We went 4 months with no contact with one another, and then out of the blue I received an email from her asking if I had moved on and what not. I took a few days to reply because I didn’t really know what to say and then finally emailed her back. I should mention that things between us didn’t end well. So we exhanged emails back and forth and it got to the point where I gave her my new number and said call and talk to me if you like I’m sick of going back and forth through emails. So she did, we spoke for a few days and texted and it was like old times. She told me how she missed me and everything and pretty much said all the things I wanted to hear. Then out of no where flipped out after a week of this and told me how we had changed and how I wasn’t yhe same guy she fell in love with. We didn’t talk for a week and during that week I made a bold move and went and bought an engagement ring. I thought this is the only way to know where I stand. I took a chance jumped on a plane and surprised her. She wasn’t angry I was there and if anything seemed genuinely happy to see me. I then presented the ring and she told me she didn’t want it, followed by I don’t want it like this. I replied with take it and think about things. I also explained how I didn’t want to rush out and get married but it was a commitment on behalf to her and only her. She took the ring and left. I got back on a plane and came home not knowing the outcome. Fast forward a week for me which seemed like an eternity, I arrive home from work and find an express post bag with the engagement ring inside and nothing else. I had no phone call, no email no txt msg no nothing to let me know. I was devastated. It’s been 2 weeks now since this has happened and I wrote het an email conveying my feelings about not hearing from het which I thought I was entitled to do and still yet no response. I’m really confused and hurt by this and can’t understand how she claimed to love and care about me not say anything at all to something so big?Any advice and opinions would be greatly appreciated on this matter.

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