The Choices Cycle

When I suggest to people that they could opt out of the Disappointment Cycle in their lives, which is where they keep responding in a similar manner because they hope that they’re going to get something (a relationship, validation etc.,) and then it doesn’t happen, they get hurt, and then the cycle starts all over again, I’m often met with resistance because they recognise the cycle and want out of it, but it’s like they believe that they have no choice over their part in the cycle.

We all have options but when we’re stuck in a cycle of doing the same thing and expecting different results, it appears like our options are limited to that uncomfortable comfort zone. We like to believe that there’s no alternative to the default response or we recognise that there is, but can’t see our way to choosing the alternative. We object sometimes to the alternative because we think it’s ‘hard’ or we’re scared because it requires us to engage in consistent action and even support it with different thinking.

If like me, you’ve found yourself repeatedly doing the same thing and have essentially ended up treading water in disappointment to the point where you’ve acclimatised to feeling disappointed, you might be feeling a tad mentally and physically worn out, so that the idea of putting one foot in front of the other, or pulling your hand back, or saying words that rumble through your mind and are trapped in your throat can seem like it’s an impossibility or at least a very difficult task. Having another go-round on the disappointment cycle is resignation with a little hopefulness, almost saying “Ack! Sure, one more bet’s not going to do any harm…”

Every Monday for almost 18 months, I’d receive an email. The contents were always the same – asking (more like assuming and confirming) that I was free to hook up that evening. I invariably said yes unless I had a prior engagement, which to be fair would be rare because I organised my life around the possibility of being called up for Other Woman duty. I often hesitated over replying and then I’d push down my feelings and let the hope of him ‘leaving’ take over, and then I’d push down the truth and hit reply. I kept making the same choice and in turn I went to bed with a fat headache every Monday.

I’d be lying if I said that when I initially made the different choice, that I hadn’t been hoping that it would make him make a different choice, but then that’s not how it works. I was making a choice to better me and to stop the pain; he was making a choice to try and get laid behind his girlfriend’s back.

The option of him ‘leaving’ wasn’t actually an option just like the option of him ‘choosing’ wasn’t an option either because he’d already chosen long ago – I was just doing a lather, rinse, repeat each week where I essentially said “Look, I know you’re all up for having an affair and that essentially makes it your choice, but I don’t like that choice so I’m going to give you near 52 chances a year to make a different choice.”

I no longer hold myself hostage on long draining phone calls anymore with family members who do the equivalent of calling The Telephone Dump or hitting me with a barrage of drama when I see them. Instead I let the call go to voicemail and call back when it’s convenient to me, or I let The Drainer know that I’ve only got X minutes and make my exit.

I do tend to think about saying YES to things that I’m asked to do, but I’m conscious of this, so I remember to think about whether I actually want to, need to, or even have the time to, because I only end up not meeting my own expectations and feeling p*ssed off.

I’ve said to certainly family members, “Er, actually that’s not true…” or “You can’t speak to me / treat me like that”. The alternative was compromising my integrity or taking a bashing of my boundaries.

You don’t have to pick up the phone.

You could pick up the phone and not book yourself in for shag or you could decline to meet up.

You could listen to the latest excuse and sob story, process it with reality, and draw a different conclusion and have a different response. “I’m glad to hear that you’ve changed and I wish you well but we both need to move on…separately.”

You don’t have to silence your questions and opinions.

You don’t have to sext or lend money or play armchair psychologist or act like you’ve got amnesia and you don’t remember who they are and what they’ve been with you.

You don’t have to blame you. You could have your little moment and then go, “Er, hold up a frickin second here – I’m owning my own and that behaviour is theirs.”

You could think and I mean really think as opposed to dodging rational thoughts and the truth, which would actually calm you down and give you perspective.

You don’t have to chase after every negative thought and pile onto it. Recently, when I catch myself ruminating over the stuff with my family, I consciously pull myself back and refocus my mind. That’s not me avoiding my feelings – that’s me having some free mind time and revisiting old drama and all it does is add negativity to me. Why go there?

Every day, you need to make conscious, considered choices about what you do and what you think. If you stop making those choices, if you choose not to choose and just ‘react’, and if you dodge responsibility, you will unconsciously fall into unproductive and unhealthy habits.

You have options and while you may have a tendency to do certain things, if you recognise what those tendencies are and get conscious about them and work on doing the alternatives out of habit and even do the work to discover where they come from, you won’t keep falling for the same cons over and over again. Start with just being truthful. “They’re calling/texting because ________ and then once I do ______, they’ll do _______ and I’ll feel ________ and lather rinse repeat.” Er, no thanks! None of this “But, but, but what if on the 102nd occasion they spontaneously combust into The Ideal Person™ ?” You’d better off making different choices and practicing acting with self-respect and self-love than you would be playing The Change Lottery on someone who has shown you who they are and what’s what. Let your choices do the talking. Or the walking.

Your thoughts?


Dedicated to helping people improve their emotional and relationship literacy, think of me as emotional baggage declutter, shady relationship buster and self-esteem booster all rolled into one! Find Out More | My Books | 30-day projects | Weekly Podcast .
FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

160 Responses to Opting Out Means Consciously Making Different Choices

  1. Heather says:

    Excellent timing as always Nat. Dealing with this now with a family member. The fact I am even getting a call for as usual – money – because the person can’t seem to get their act together for the umpteen time – is pissing me off – I am done. What do you do with people who constantly attempt to bust your boundaries even when you enforce them. Voice mail goes unanswered but every time the phone rings the sight of the call alone and the fact they play the guilt game I just want to slap him. When they won’t go away when told – what then????

  2. MyTimeIsNow says:

    It is scary. It is almost as if Natalie reads my mind or posts a subject that is more than timely. My situation is that I am lonely and feeling insecure. For my past three relationships, they have been with emotionally unavailable men and two displayed narcissistic tendencies. Consequently, I have been left drained emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. I just have this overwhelming desire to be loved but just not being able to find it. To compound my problems, I am bi-polar and have mood swings to include severe anxiety. I just don’t feel comfortable around men which started from an abusive relationship with my father. And although I have sought counseling, I have never found that right fit so I often opt out once I start. So now, truly this website has been therapy for me. I am trying VERY hard to retrain my mind and apply the techniques Natalie recommends. For this post specifically, when my current “not really boyfriend just somebody to talk to/shag from time to time” calls, I need to say no and not give in to his desire to “see” me which always leaves to a shag and him getting up and leaving. That temporary high is nothing compared to the persistent low that I feel once he leaves. I always feel so used and empty afterwards . . . I wish us all well.

    • brown_eyes says:

      Maybe it’s not counseling you need. I am on antidepressants at the moment and they have been life-changing.

    • Demke says:

      You don’t need to “find love” externally, you need to find it within yourself, for yourself first. And I’m not sure if you are already… but you mentioned you’re bi-polar, I’m no Dr., but maybe trying a med might help?

      Sometimes, we really do need to ‘let go’ of people, or ‘things’ that really don’t do us any good. So we can take a ‘me’ vacation, and not give a damn aout what anyone else thinks. Make yourself a priority, take care of you, and watch your life begin to change for the better. xo

      • MyTimeIsNow says:

        Thank you for your comment. I believe that what you put into your mind and start to believe, you will eventually become.

        Although I do know a sufficient amount of people, I don’t really have good “friends” that I feel comfortable talking too so I keep alot of things bottled up or don’t have anyone to share with when I am having “weak” moments – especially regarding the “arse” du jour.

        I truly do feel isolated as some have written me off as “weird” because of how I act at times due to my mental issues so your words made me cry! It is comforting to know that there is someone out there who cares enough to offer some help/hope! Thank you much. I will refer to your post often as I try to change my mindset.

        Thanks again. xo to you too . . .

        • Manders says:


          As someone who is also struggling with a mood disorder (depression/anxiety), I absolutely empathize with what you are going through. I was a little concerned with the advice given by the two previous commentors: no one outside of the psychology profession should be handing out random advice about whether or not to utilize medication and/or counselling. I’m sure you both mean well :)

          • Demke says:

            Manders- there’s nothing wrong with a mere suggestion/opinion of mentioning the things that we did… of course we meant well. It wasn’t advice, we suggested possibilities out of concern. And we didn’t say, ‘you should be doing this’, not at all. We see a fellow BR sweetie hurting… and we made some suggestions as a result of what she mentioned in her post. That’s it.

            • MyTimeIsNow says:

              Demke, I ditto your statement while also appreciating Manders concern too! I truly feel as though we are all in this together – no matter how far apart we are because as women, no matter the distance, we are still remarkably the same when it comes to affairs of the heart.

              I would like to try medication but fear that it may make things worst? I mean will I get better in one area but pick up a “new” issue? I just know of someone else who has bi-polar and she said that the meds made her feel like a zombie . . .

              So again, I guess I am afraid. So now I want to at least try behavior modification techniques. It is just so hard! I feel helpless to my emotions at time and just want to be “normal”. Many just can’t understand how debilitating mental illness can be. So when I am in a “low” cycle coupled with issues with relationships, I often become quite depressed and have a hard time coping.

              That’s why I often say that I will probably die alone because I just don’t know if I can heal enough to become emotionally mature for an “adult” relationship. It is a fear of mine’s . . . :(

  3. Lori says:

    Natalie, I have been reading your blogs for about 6 months now and everything you say feels like the absolute truth for my situation. Even though I feel the truth of it deeply, I still try to reason it away, just like you say we will. :-) At least now I am seeing the truth and have slowly been able to take small steps in changing the way I think and taking small steps in changing the way I am reacting. Thank you so much for all the good information. It has and will continue to change my life.

  4. yoghurt says:

    Yes! Ace post.

    I had a (very very minor – not worth the time to write) issue with Son and his dad’s girlfriend today, the result of which was a slightly baleful text to Son’s dad telling him to sort it out.

    When he dropped Son back home, he started off with the excuses and the “I’m really perfectly reasonable in every way and YOU’RE being UNreasonable and you need to respond like this hoidyhoidyhoidy”.

    In the bad old days I would’ve listened to him, felt upset and uncomfortable, beaten myself up for ‘feeling wrong’, forced myself to accommodate them, probably gone overboard in making it all super-easy for them because I felt so bad about hating having to do it and then spent a wakeful night hating myself, them and the whole world in that order.

    As it was I stopped him and said: “Right. I appreciate that your situation is x and that’s quite reasonable and natural. However, my feelings on the matter are y and that’s actually also perfectly reasonable and natural. In the interests of resolving this we can do z, which involves me compromising a little bit on y but if you want that to happen you need to do a, b and c to accommodate me”.

    Result? No drama, no bringing up every painful experience of the last three years and I didn’t feel the need to gnaw on the doorframe at any point.

    When I think about the difference between the way that I used to behave and the way that I am now, I’ve got the following:

    a) I own and respect my own feelings. Before I would’ve thought “I don’t like it? Well tough! It’s WRONG to feel like that so I should just suck it up. Anyway, nobody cares what *I* feel, boohoohoo”. Actually, no emotional reaction is wrong. I’m allowed to feel what I feel – I can usually rationalise it but even if it’s not rational or doesn’t fit in with what other people might expect me to feel (and the thought police can bog off) then I’m entitled to feel it.

    b) Insofar as I respect my feelings, I’m not married to them. I’m trying to base my long-term actions around what is best for son and most practical and sensible for all concerned. So sometimes I do things that I don’t like or don’t feel like doing in the interests of long-term gain. To illustrate this point, I should probably say that I felt like driving to his house and beating both of them around the head with a saucepan until its handle broke off at one point today – I refrained. Which is a good thing. Probably.

    c) I carry my share of the burden and no more. It isn’t up to me to make it easier for them to parent Son. It also isn’t up to me to make it more difficult either – the best-case scenario is that I carry on down my own path and I can’t do that if I’m constantly stepping onto theirs in order to tread on their toes.

    This is a massive screed about a teeny tiny issue! BUT those rules – Be Honest About And Respect Your Feelings, Don’t Always Go With The Most Immediately Appealing Option, Don’t Take Responsibility When It’s Someone Else’s Job – are true of everything – I really wish I’d applied them to dating in my former life!

  5. Heather says:


    Yes, that is exactly it. I felt that way with my last serious relationship. If I didn’t answer him/converse with him/do exactly as he wanted, I would always get a lecture about how “contrary” I was, that I had an attitude problem, that I would be “lecturing” him if I stood up for myself, and that always left me feeling beaten down, nauseated, and with a bad panic attack. I’d apologize, plead, what have you, but somehow know deep down, this Is. Not. Right.

    When I finally chose to think and act differently like Natalie was referring to, yes it was scary and hard to find new ways of thinking and acting. But I did it. I went NC for a couple of months, after a barrage of nasty text messages that ended with “Do NOT contact me about this issue again today. I am in no mood to discuss this with your current contrary attitude.” I never called him, texted, Facebook messaged him, again. Until 3 months later when I knew I was strong enough, had done some work on myself to heal and grow stronger. I sat down and wrote him a SCATHING “piss off” letter which ended in him blocking me on Facebook, but I hit “send” on that email, feeling massively empowered, that I made the choice to do better for myself than this do-nothing, lazy horse’s arse.

    Thank you for the article, Natalie! As always, well done!

    • PhoenixRises says:

      Heather, YES! I can totally relate to this part: “I would be “lecturing” him if I stood up for myself, and that always left me feeling beaten down, nauseated, and with a bad panic attack.”

      With my ex I got so nervous I was CONSTANTLY walking on eggshells. Things that I don’t usually think twice about (like including others in plans, asking if someone wants to hang out, etc.) I would spend hours–sometimes days–wondering if it was okay, or how he would react. I just never knew how he would respond. If he didn’t like something I said or did, or if I stood up for myself, I would get that EXACT same line about how I “lecture” him and “nag”. I was always such a drag because I had…gasp!…boundaries. When I finally realized there was another option (getting completely out) I felt a huge weight off my shoulders.

      And you know what? That same thing can extend to other relationships. Today a coworker was making some inappropriate jokes (as he usually does) about women or minority groups. In the past I never knew what to say, and figured I didn’t have a choice and I wouldn’t make a scene in an office setting. But today I finally made a stand and told him how he wasn’t funny. The response? People made some awkward faces, and the coworker told me I’m overly sensitive. If some of them think me politically correct or a bleeding heart, I don’t care. They can say I’m “lecturing” or acting “preachy”, but I am really just trying to live by my values. I don’t like racism. I don’t like sexism. And I don’t like disrespect. So take that, jerks!! 😉

  6. JBnny says:

    Thank you Nat for the (as usual) timely post. Honestly it’s like you see right into my life. EUM and I broke up 3 months ago after 3 years and an engagement. In that time frame I have gone NC, broken it, hoped things would be different although I knew it wouldn’t be, answered the phone calls, hopped into bed, watched him leave, and dealt with the crushing pain for WEEKS after. Lather, Rinse, Repeat indeed. Finally I told him I was moving across the country and that we no longer had anything to say to each other anymore. He of course said he respected my decision NC and I didn’t hear from him again. I left and drove myself through 6 states and attempted to start over. I still didn’t hear from him and I was finally moving on. I felt happy and that I actually have a shot at a brand new brilliant life. The

    • JBnny says:

      Oops pushed the enter button too soon… Anyway I felt better for once after weeks of crying and reading every post Nat has on her site… As well as her books, and any and all things pertaining to abandonment and healing. Then all the sudden he calls and leaves a vm and of course I listened to it and sat there debating. Do I reply? Do I call back? Maybe he decided he can’t live without me and we made a mistake. So you all know what happens next… I push down my rational thoughts and feelings and called him back. He fed me all the things I wanted so badly to hear and I ate it up. I cried and told him how much I loved him and missed him thus stroking the hell out of his ego and giving HIM validation and to hell with me! We hung up and I of course came crashing back down to earth and realized he just used me again even if this time it wasn’t physical. He still used me and I couldn’t control myself and all of the pain bubbling over and talking to him was a salve (temporary) for my still fresh wounds. I am breaking the cycle. I changed my number and he is blocked from EVERYTHING. I cannot torture myself any longer. Thank you to all the posters on this site and to you Nat because this blog has been my lifeline.

      • bikergrl says:

        I so totally feel for you sister! Good for you on changing your number and blocking him out of your life for permanent!!
        I am going thru a similar break up…we were not engaged but had been together for almost 2 yrs…during which he broke off a few times and we got back together a few times but most recently only 2 months ago, then he wants to break up again. And I got weak last week and called and started to talk and the same old hurt and disappointment cause we are still broken up and he does not want to fix it.

  7. Crazybaby says:

    This might be slightly off topic but I’m looking at the Disappointment Cycle from a different end of the spectrum. The end where, as a girl who got her heart broken by an EUM I’m struggling with dating new guys because I’m looking for red flags, so my Disappointment Cycle is more like: Date new guy > Starts off well > He says/does something that makes me feel uncomfortable > I back off thinking perhaps he’s bad news > He panics and says what he thinks I want to hear > I give him another chance but find it hard to regain the initial feeling of attraction. 

    I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been used to the Disappointment Cycle outlined by Natalie that I’m expecting new guys to be EUMs too, or if my fear of getting hurt means I’m not giving them a chance.

    For example with my current guy, he’s been desperate to get me into bed on every available occasion (even wanting me to stop over at his place after a night out without him elsewhere), and for the first time in my life I’ve repeatedly declined. Initially I pulled back and made excuses why I couldn’t see him, then I texted him to say I felt pressured to sleep with him, that he wasn’t showing much interest in getting to know me as a person, and it wasn’t working for me.

    He replied saying he really liked me, that he’d talked too much on our dates because he was nervous, didn’t want to pressure me into anything, etc., just wanted to see me.

    I’m struggling with figuring out whether he genuinely likes me, is desperate, is a player who keeps changing his game play to find out what works, or if I’m freaking out because he’s so keen on me, and I’m used to being the keen one who’s constantly put on hold.

    What happens AFTER Natalie’s Disappointment Cycle? How can you tell early on if you’re about to step out of the frying pan into the fire?

    • Magnolia says:

      “he’s been desperate to get me into bed on every available occasion”:

      This in itself is not a great way to start.

      You say he has done something to make you feel uncomfortable and you find it hard to stay attracted.

      What if that is good news? What if the loss of attraction is your wisdom’s way of working well?

      My exAC did something that made me feel uncomfortable almost from the get-go and I decided that my feeling uncomfortable was somehow indicative of something wrong with me (like I was a broken thermometer registering boiling hot when the reality was just nice and warm). I kept being like, I just have to learn to be a normal thermometer! Of course the ex was only too happy to agree that my discomfort was my hypersensitivity.

      Bullfeathers. I could have simply gone, hmm: look at that, I thought he was the bee’s knees until he went and did x, and now I kind of think he’s not so great. Oh well. Glad I found out now. Next!

    • SM says:

      Crazybaby, trust your feelings and instincts. You already have the tools, use them. You know this guy is just trying to get you into bed, it doesnt matter what he says, if this isnt what you want then opt out. You feel he doesnt want to get to know you, your feelings are correct. Yes opting out will lead to a lot of lonely times with no dates but as you continuously say no to shady situations and not allow yourself to participate, you will feel better and more trusting of your own intuition and instincts about people. You also will start to opt out without any thought to it at all because it will become second nature. I’ve had to opt out of 4 situations that werent in my best interest in last 6 months, 3 were shady and 1 lived an hour away and didnt share the same religion. By the 3rd time, I felt nothing and stopped thinking that the ‘dating’ world was a bad place. By the 4th time, I recognized that the situation was not ‘bad’ but that it just wouldnt work for me. You will too.

      • PhoenixRises says:

        Congrats on your progress, SM! I seriously can’t wait for the day where this letting go/flushing business becomes second nature, and I no longer feel so hurt and disappointed by it. I keep trying to focus on the analogies others make, that choosing healthier, more positive decisions is like rewiring one’s brain to learn a new language or skill. It’s just hard though and Nat is right, you almost have to forcibly remind yourself there are other options than huffing, puffing, or wishing. I am proud to have joined a new club this week and to get out of the house, but I am still having trouble not letting my thoughts drift to the pain. Each time I find my mind drift, I ask “How is thinking of him/the letdown/the situation going to help?” There’s a quote out there that the most successful people in the world don’t avoid sadness, but rather they choose not to dwell on it. I am also trying to accept that just because you like someone and do the right things, doesn’t mean it will work out :(

    • sushi says:

      If you read back your post you are describing an EUM because: he does something that makes you uncomfortable( that is your gut telling you he is crossing your boundary)and then you react by taking a step back ( as you should) and he responds by blowing hot but your gut knows that he is not to be trusted. You are essentially recognising something is not right and you just need to find courage to trust yourself instead trying to put blame on yourself for his behaviour. I am trying to get my head around that now too. Behaviour should produce consequences; good behaviour=more trust from you, bad behaviour less trust. It took me ages to give myself permission to trust myself , which actually involves allowing myself to make mistakes. I was terrified of making mistakes by misjudging people and situations. I just met someone who seems really interested ( that appealed as an ego boost) but his behaviour is odd and confusing. I think he might have aspergers ( that would be EU on whole different level) but I know now that that appeals to the Florence in me. Over the course of a few weeks of frequent phone calls ( zero texts)he really wants to meet up for a drink with me and is really lovely and keen…. but…insistent on meeting during the day, and during the week ( actually told me weekends are no good as they are for me to spend with my children – WTF!!they are all grown up! and who is he to tell me when I have time for a drink), and only ever calls when out of his house. Might be a coincidence…but I decided not to meet up on his terms,not to find out what`s what and why, I don`t need to give him more trust that I feel is right and I don`t owe him an explanation. If I make a mistake….so what, I`m just following my gut, which is something I wished I did in my past relationships. So, am I starting to “get it” or am I overreacting? See….not there yet because I had to ask that question..:)

      • Fearless says:

        Sushi last guy (a number of years ago now) who only ever called me when out of his house, wanted to see me during the day and only ever during the week, turned out to have a live in girlfriend. I was suspicious that something was ‘off’ from the outset but gave him the benefit of the doubt for a while – ended up pretty disappointed because I didn’t trust my gut and my gut was spot on from day one. Funny that.

        • sushi says:

          Fearless, yes, funny that. Also, I recognised the air of vagueness (previous experiences) and this telling me what I should be doing and when – someone truly interested and straightforward will ask you when a good time would be to meet up. No more, no less.I must admit, what did go through my mind briefly (pre BR me) was:could it be his aspie-like awkwardness…shy…not wanting to be too forward…meh….no. Plant feet into the ground and don`t read into the maybe`s, look at solid stuff right in front of you. I do think I`m striding forward :)And it`s me who I need to give the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, if I were to be more assertive I`d say actually weekends are the only option for the moment. That would give me a straight answer ( or lack of to interpret). I chose to mostly listen and draw conclusions, more assertivness next time. Anyway, I`m happy with my decision.

    • grace says:

      I would see constantly pushing for sex as a red flag. It’s not at all flAttering and is no indicator that he genuinely wants a relationship with you. Don’t get it mixed up. Keen on sex does not mean keen on you.

    • dancingqueen says:

      Crazybaby; at the risk of seeming simplistic, in my opinion if you have to even entertain the question of whether or not the guy is just interested in you for sex…you have your answer. Trust your instincts.

  8. AngelFace says:

    First of all, To Lori,
    It gets better. Keep reading these posts and comments- they HELP! Also, regular cardio in the morning helps immensely. After 12 minutes on a treadmill the obsessive thoughts/ ruminating stops. Relief. You get better healthy energy to carry you through the day- and for those of us who work- It can Save your JOB.

    I have changed my perceptions and thinking. What a Great difference it makes. I keep a balanced schedule, and do things that put focus back on me. Even shopping helps. Then one day you realize that the EUM/ Narcissist or whatever isn’t at the forefront or focus of your thoughts!!!! YaY!

    Thanks again Natalie!! And I’m going to New Orleans for Thanksgiving! (going alone but I will not BE alone- I’ve paid for a Creole cooking class!…). Take care ladies. Do what is right for you to become happy & healthy! Love You All.

    • dancingqueen says:


      awesome plan for Thanksgiving and great advice; cardio in the morning or evening is what it is all about! get those endorphins pumping!

  9. AngelFace says:

    And I meant my above comment for: MyTimeIsNow., especially because you are so new to Baggage Reclaim. You will find comfort, strength & laughter here. We will not let you be lonely. Take good care:-)

    • MyTimeIsNow says:

      Thank you. I so need it right now. Just having a hard time over all. Really fighting to keep a proper mental prospective as I try to keep it all together. Honestly, I just don’t know how much longer I can feel empty like this. I don’t feel like I am alive at all. Just existing. Just waiting to die. I feel deserted by so many people and the EUM not wanting me doesn’t help. So I really don’t think my loneliness stems from him totally. He is just one in a stream of people. Like him, others reject me when I don’t do what they want; namely my mother and three sisters. I just don’t feel like I belong or am accepted anywhere. I turned to him out of wanting something, anything but his only offering is sex. So I know that I have to let him go. I have been flip flapping with the contact but I just can’t do it anymore. Today, he asked to come over and I said no. I just want to be free from such and to stop attracting these characters. I just want to feel alive again. To not have panic attacks, to not feel anxious about going out. To feel comfortable around men. I just want to feel “normal” . . .

  10. NeverTooLate! says:

    Thank you so much! your last 2 posts came at a needed time, I finally was able to stand up to the exMM after numerous texts (extent of recent contact, he lives across the country) that we probably would not be speaking again so I wanted to wish him the best. His reply after 2 seconds: Not speaking again? Why? Me: Well, we haven’t spoken to each other in 6 months, I am being realistic. No comment from him at all. I am not even wondering what will happen next, I am rinsed, no nesd to lather and repeat. NC all the way.

  11. Sunnyb says:

    Great timing! After telling me at the end of August that he really cared for me, but wasn’t ready for a relationship, I rejected his request for us to “stay friends” and was successfully pursuing a strategy of NC. THEN, as anticipated, the other night I get a drunken “I miss you. You’re amazing” text from him while he’s at a wedding. I ignored it. Then, I get a second text in the morning, apologizing for contacting me but reiterating that he missed me, and adding that “since I already broke the rule about contacting you, how are you doing?” I respectfully replied that “I’m sure you meant well by reaching out to me, but I meant what I said about us not being friends. I think it would be too difficult for both of us”. And then he didn’t text me back again! Now, all of a sudden, I’m paranoid that I was a bitch to him and could have chased away a good thing without giving him a chance. Why am I doing the very thing I was terrified of him doing to me, to myself? After all, If he seriously wanted me back, he’d have tried a bit harder wouldn’t he! I need to get behind my own decision and stop obsessing over this.

    • Demke says:

      SunnyB – You did exactly what you should’ve.

      If you haven’t read “Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl”, I highly suggest it.. it’ll help with why you’re feeling that way after you actually did what was in your best interests.

      We put way too much thought into the texts, and the meanings of them, etc… when they just simply say whatever they want, not giving any thought… and they really don’t care.

      So we question if what we said/did was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, while they just get on with their life.

      No, you were not a bitch. And you being terrified is really about ‘validation’. That’s it. :)

    • Allison says:


      He simply sent a drunken text. Nothing more. If people are contemplating a reconciliation, they so not do so through a text.
      Remember, this guy said that he does not want a relationship, please listen to him.

    • Kerry says:

      Isn’t this the guy who’s messed with you a few times, phoning you up for an ego boost that meant nothing? Initiating physical contact that lead nowhere? He caused you enormous pain and torment because he used you. Why oh why think that you were a bitch and chased away a good thing this time? No, no, no. This time you made the choice that was right for YOU. This time you chose YOU. He’s had countless opportunities to make a go of it with you for real. He’s just sniffing around for another ego boost, but this time you shot him down quite rightly. Be proud of yourself. You just saved yourself more agony.
      I’ve been through the exact same situation a few years ago, and after being used and confused so many times, I fired off a similar good-bye message that you did. And I never heard from the weasel again. He didn’t respond because he knew that he was being an assclown. When someone is using you, it’s astonishing how easy it is to finally end it.

      • Revolution says:

        “When someone is using you, it’s astonishing how easy it is to finally end it.”

        Ain’t THAT the truth. It’s only US that infuses everything they do with noble motives. They’re just hungry dogs looking for the next meal. If they don’t find it with us, they look for it somewhere else. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

  12. grace says:

    And opting IN means making different choices too. I made the choice to accept that the bf loves me. I’ve stepped back into reality and the present rather than worrying about the unknowable future. I owned by behaviour – I stopped holding back and trying to be single and yet in a relationship too. I guess that’s commitment.
    Constantly feeding our anxiety and telling ourselves we can’t do stuff really holds us back. We can.

    • Magnolia says:

      Is this a result of the conversation you mentioned, Grace? I mean, did he ask you to opt in or did you figure all this out on your own?

      Not sure why I ask – I guess I just associate talking things to death and conversations where one convinces the other of their feelings as part of my old ways that imagine won’t be a part of my next relationship.

      I wonder how a conversation that can address the relationship, but not be the above, might go.

      • grace says:

        We just told each how we felt, what was going well, not so well, our concerns for the future. It wasn’t about convincing the other, but about expressing ourselves and learning about the other person. I realised I had nothing to fear except the unknown, which we can’t know cos … it’s unknown. I already knew from how he’s treated me that he loves me but I was holding back. I don’t think that’s a bad thing but I couldn’t hold back forever.
        I think after three months or so it’s worth taking the temperature of a relationship. It seemed right, our feelings were getting stronger, we were spending more time together. I always just went with the flow before. I don’t think that’s wrong either, though it never turned out well for me!
        As a rider, over sharing has never been my problem. I have to make efforts in the other direction.

    • Peter says:

      Hi Grace – glad to see someone reacting in a manner that I dearly miss on BR. I find the articles and reactions from readers on BR are mostly revolving around NC, getting and opting out, regaining self-esteem, and so on – but the tendency is mostly quite negative, and often, aimed at surviving a difficult situation by retreating – and unfortunately, not by engaging. Where engaging could mean looking at ones own role in the situation at hand – I find the tendency to ruminate and blame the other party (or parties) involved becoming stronger and stronger. In other words: it would be much more effective when BR would shift some emphasis from “do not do this” to “do this” – essentially a shift to a more positive approach to love and life, with, yes, risks and dangers along the road.
      So, in this respect I find your Opting In message a relief in an ocean of Opting Out …

      • grace says:

        Thanks Peter
        I’ve instigated NC before, with an abusive ex, a MM, another ex who had a harem. It can be exactly the right thing.
        But in a genuine relationship between two people, it’s not appropriate.
        it goes like this – opt out of what’s not healthy and opt into what is. The opting out part can be hard because it’s breaking old habits and making big changes. Opting in is still challenging but easier. I’ve already been through the wars! And I was already happy when I met him. That was huge for me.

      • Lilia says:

        Peter, the problem is most of us BR readers have Opted In too much, when there was nothing worthwhile to opt in too.

        It seems to be a female tendency to take on all the weight of the relationship, to be unconditional, to let things pass when in fact we are hurt by them. So that is how we become entangled in abusive situations.

        Most of us need to learn how to Opt Out before we can learn to discern when it´s worth it to open up again.

      • Lilly says:

        Peter, I don’t think the tendency here on BR is mostly negative nor do I believe the focus is on surviving a difficult situation by retreating. NC isn’t retreating. You could look at it as ‘Opting In’ not ‘Opting Out’. It is a proactive, positive action that gives you the space to reflect on your relationship and make decisions that will improve your life. When I found BR I, like many others, was sad, hurt and angry. I had been treated ‘less than’ and I did ruminate, engage in self-blame and I blamed him and why not, we are talking about AC/EUMs here. It’s all part of the process. Blaming him was a way for me to protect my sense of self-worth which had been eroded. So I let off some steam. I received some wonderful support, advice and understanding. I’ve almost reached the stage where I can start reflecting on my own role (without blame) and why I was in that particularly situation in the first place. This takes time, it can’t be rushed. So, imo by Opting Out of that unhealthy relationship I’ve actually Opted In. Thanks to Natalie and the wise women of BR I’ve actively engaged in helping myself. No doubt I have a lot of work to do, but I’ll get there and when I do I will, as Lilia says, be able to discern if it’s worth it to open up again.

        • dancingqueen says:


          Peter if I had ‘opted in” to the relationship which brought me here, I would have opted in to cheating, yelling at me in public, degrading my noble career (teaching) while listening to endless bragging about how important his job is ( CEO) to out nation to “create jobs”…just thinking about that loser makes me shocked now; how could I have ever dated him, much less cried over him? NC is the most positive thing that you can do when you meet a negative person; it is “opting in” to a healthy relationship with you, rather than an unhealthy one with someone negative.

          • Bhoot says:

            He might be creating jobs, but you’re changing whole minds. His might be more financially important; your’s is invaluable! And that is that! :)

            • dancingqueen says:

              Thank you Bhoot! I concur; some jobs make more of difference regardless of the money ,involved:) I loved the “invaluable” part:)

      • sushi says:

        most people find themselves reading Natalies site because they find themselves in bad situations – often repeatedly. I feel that you need to learn how to let them go, opt out first to be able to look at yourself and get the insight into why you find yourself dealing with the fallout. You need perspective which is impossible to get if you are in the middle of a spin of a bad cycle, as Truth=freedom very aptly called it.Sometimes stepping out is the only option, engaging is a bad choice and a road to nowhere. You have to learn how to ditch the bad to be able to engage in the good. I see people evolving on here, I see myself doing that too.

    • Demke says:

      Good for you Grace, happy for you :)

  13. Chloe says:

    Ok, I get it, no more rather rinse and repeat routine. I have been broken up for about 4 months now and yes a month ago he tried to get me back but I didn’t take the bait, I didn’t respond to his email where he was basically grovelling (he was probably lonely). So, I don’t have any of that drama, and my ex that I’m friends with is basically just staying at friends level…..but I miss not being in a relationship and this is when I’m afraid of being vulnerable. I want to meet someone and fear jumping into the next ‘best’ choice available, even if that choice may not work out. I guess my question is, when you’ve been out of a relationship for a while and you miss it, how do you know you won’t make another incorrect choice and start the cycle all over again? I’m scared to put myself out there again (especailly online) for fear of experiencing the disappointment of meeting wrong men and the fear of getting into the wrong one again.

  14. Kerry says:

    This is a little tangential to the topic, but I just re-read another Nat post on choices, “Your Perception of Your Choices Has a Lot to Do With Your Self-Esteem.” It was exactly what I needed after cruising through profiles on an online dating site. How depressing! All these jerks who want a woman a good 20 years younger, or obviously trying to be something they’re not… One after another. Ugh. I don’t think I can do it. I know it’s hard to meet single men after 40 or so, but surely there’s got to be a less soul destroying way than this?
    If we are to believe the desires of these online dating losers, then we’d have to believe our options are severely limited. And I just can’t do that to myself. I took the brave step of dumping the AC last year… I have to stay positive, believe I have options, and keep looking forward to a bright future. I just can’t see online dating being a part of that.

    • Linden says:

      I’m where you’re at, Kerry. So far the only people who’ve shown up for me are boundary-busters, and online dating doesn’t seem to me like the way I’m going to meet someone suitable, unless I’m into nursemaiding creepy men 15 to 20 years older than me.

      The most recent man I met I had some hopes for, because he is a friend of a friend, and not just a random online dating find. I gave him the heave-ho after one telephone conversation and one lunch meeting. I’d only seen him face-to-face once and he was already sending multiple desperate emails in the same day asking when can we talk — how about now? how about now? how about now? You haven’t answered yet — don’t you want to talk? Can you call me tonight? Can I call you? Geez. I was already smothered to death and I didn’t even know him. On the positive side, this means I don’t fall for fast-forwarding any longer.

      • Kerry says:

        Lol. Omg, talk about blowing it. You might have given that guy a chance if he hadn’t turned into a cling-on. Talk about passive aggressive boundary busting. You dodged a bullet.
        Thanks for the feedback. I am getting the impression that a lot of people here have had a tough time with on-line dating, so I won’t let the experience get me down. I know people who’ve met their spouses that way, but they must have got awfully lucky. It just seems like a distillation of creeps, especially those guys who say their favourite pastime is sex, or they’re good at kissing, or they love skinny dipping. Transparent, much? It feels a bit like trying to find a diamond in a garbage dump. Sure, there might be one there, but who’s got the energy and fortitude to sift through all that garbage?
        I’ll stick to good old-fashioned face-to-face from now on.

        • dancingqueen says:

          “It feels a bit like trying to find a diamond in a garbage dump.”
          oh that is so accurate; especially in the Deep South.

  15. Tired says:

    Thats the fear , the unknowable future of being on own . Thats why so many of us cling on , my froend who is a cycle says its better thannothing . She wont read here becausre she foesnt want to accrt the truth .
    The ex mm had it sorted with me a couple of texts a week ( that i lived on ) snd a ovcasional lunch time visit . I never de manded. Spoke up , questioned or got mad
    But i came across this site and my gut got uneasy with me. The truth was staring me on face . So when i heard bout oow i got mad , i said enouugh , oh he wangled his way around but i questioned , i asked , i demanded .
    He went cold , natrsistic and instead of cow towing and being scared of being on own i got busy with me and i binned him . Okay i knew i was going to be relegated bought off with the we still mates crap so i got in their first . I felt good i had stopped him in his tracks. Okay afterwards i made the mistake out of shock , i think of trying to stay friends and i text a couple of times , but were all allowed a boo boo . I did get a text from him saying he thinks its hood what im doing for myself , course wise extc and i should be proud of myself . And i text a hope ypu well text to get a very none interested reply . But i Give myself a good talking to every morning now , this man is not your mate he used you and is with some one eles , he is a liar and he trested you badly . I tell myself that everytime i gey the urge to text or email a why arent we mates . I cannot be friends with him . I Want to change my pattern of behaviour . I Want respect . I Want to show arse hole clowns iWont be treated like that . I Want to be kick arsre !
    I am nearly two weeks nc its sodding hard but every morn at the moment when i wobble i come here and find my backbone . If i can to it so can all you girls who ate struggling do , just imagine we all in same room egging each other on . Miles and countries dont seperate us big hugs to you all

  16. Magnolia says:

    Maybe this counts as changing the pattern:

    There is a prof in my department who kind of has that boyish good looks, leather jacket and faded jeans, artsy rebel kind of thing going on; with the added flavour of a successful career/job in the visual arts/academy.

    I took one look at this dude and was like: Magnolia, no. Everything about his look says ooh-sexy-bad-boy-with-a-hot-job. You will not be the only woman whose head is turned and you don’t need that kind of headache. I fairly deliberately turned away from any interest, having felt the za-za-zsu.

    But at the last day-long faculty meeting, I don’t know – I caught his attention somehow – I could feel him looking at me. At lunch he sought me out and said he’d met someone I know through one of his own networks. I felt I had his attention through most of the rest of the meeting, too.

    It was like a switch was flipped. Those nervous fluttery feelings. The feeling of being flattered: after all, he’s kind of hot.

    Then at one point, when I was seated in one spot and him standing nearby, he came over and while saying something to me he put both hands on my arm – I don’t know, ladies, but I haven’t been deliberately touched by a hot guy in a long while and I felt the immediate breach of my personal space and felt it to be a bit of a come-on.

    That night after the meeting he was totally in my head. I started having those wild thoughts where he turns out to be The One, where my initial read was way off and he just happens to be a James-Dean-esque super nice guy, etc. I didn’t enjoy the emotional ride, though: I felt like I was being transported back to the same inability to resist that led me to getting involved with the AC.

    I cried because I hated the idea that I could be suddenly attracted to someone that made me feel so nervous.

    The spell broke when I realized a) my fantasies of talking to him involved (still) finally finding the one person who understands and loves me (and here is where the realization that it is my mother’s love I’ve been missing really helped me step back) and b) that I was disappointed that he came over and put his hands on me, basically flirting.

    I had to focus – FOCUS – on the point that as flattering as it felt to be flirted with by this artsy babe, that I now had data that I was feeling flirted with though he barely knew me. It meant that already my fantasies were having to fight with the data that said that whatever his reason, this man gets touchy feely with younger women he barely knows.

    (Think of my ex roommate for the example of how it could be: lived with the guy for two weeks, shared a bathroom, shared conversation, food, improvisatory jamming, and never made physical contact once.)

    So my choice is to notice how DAMN curious I feel about this guy now, and to just be like, well, isn’t that interesting and keep asking myself what the heck I’m so curious about. Is it so unfathomable that a man might find me attractive that I have to track down a dude and start talking to him just because he for a moment seemed to validate my attractiveness?

    Maybe a better thought is, hmm, if I’m attractive enough for the bad boy to come over and paw, then maybe I should appreciate the nice guys who are keeping their hands off me while we interact – and take as respect, rather than lack of appreciation.

    • Linden says:

      Congrats to you, Magnolia. The kind of man you describe is like catnip to me, too. It’s hard to see through the rush of feelings to what’s there in front of you. You’re going to be glad you gave this one a pass.

    • runnergirl says:

      From your description, I think you could be experiencing some code amber flags with artsy babe. I’m getting better at recognizing and flushing code reds but ambers are difficult, although the touchy feely thing would be a red for me. Since you described his interaction as an “…immediate breach of my personal space and felt it to be a bit of a come-on”, I’d trust what you felt and thought. Since I’ve been dating, a “kiss” is apparently expected. I’ve always disliked being short but now I’ve found it handy. They lean in for the kiss and I duck my head slightly and it lands on top of my head. Artsy babe can make the effort to get your number and can make the effort call you and ask you out for a date. A real date, not just flirty, touchy stuff at a faculty meeting…trust me on that, although it does make the boring faculty meetings more interesting. Until you know him, if you ever do, and he makes a real effort, quiet the fantasies. I’m wearing lots of different colored rubber bands and flicking them every time I run down fantasy lane, demoralizing lane, ruminating lane, za za zu lane blah blah. Stay grounded Mags. To be trite, choose the path less trodden, choose YOU dear. I’m betting that if we all got to meet, we’d be struck with how damn attractive we are! Thus, no settling for flirty artsy babes at faculty meetings.

  17. Jay says:

    This is brilliant Nat – Keep banging on at us, it is eventually seeping through! well it started to make sense a few months ago and has really helped me see what an AC the ‘love of my life’ is. I’ve given up contacting him now, though i have still succumbed when he calls me. And still daydream about him though not as much. i suppose i like to think we can be friends because i do actually enjoy being with him and have believed i could rescue him from the pain of his ex. then he’d love me blah blah blah. last time i was with him though, i was actually thinking ‘my god you are boring, going on and on, same old stories, same old battle for access etc etc’. so it gets easier all the time, and reading the stuff on here has really got me to look at ‘what the hell is this all about’ ‘why do i consistently go for men with issues’ Hmmmm! I’m finally starting to get it, and taking a long hard look at MYSELF! The original miss unavailable! Ooopsie. Thanks Nat, keep banging on please x x

  18. Jay says:

    Sunnyb – I think you’ve probably done the right thing, though how hard it must be. You’re right, if he was really obsessing about you and desperate to have you back, surely he would try harder, more than just a couple of texts?! you probably are amazing, shame he will never be able to match you!!

    • Sunnyb says:

      Thanks Jay. I think the amount of angst I’ve caused myself would probably pale in comparison to the amount of suffering he would have caused me if I had responded further. I’ve been through this so many times with previous guys that I saw (yet ignored) the red flags with this one from the beginning I’m over the initial panic of him not responding (thanks to this site) and obsessively reading his horoscopes in order to get some kind of
      perspective(crazy, I know). Now I’m left with a sense of pride that I was able
      to withstand his lame attempt to re-start things and maintain my boundaries. He’s very immature, and, as we say on here….just not that special. Or at least, a long way of from being the man I want in my life. Thanks jay for responding and Natalie for writing!

  19. Tulip says:

    A fantastic post Natalie. How many signs does it take for a person to realise that they have been used and marginalised? Even when my MM (affair) would cancel at the last minute, only call me when he was at work, have sex with me and leave within half an hour, I still continued to keep seeing him for over a year. He broke up with me 4 days ago, just as he started to think that his wife was getting on to him and he didn’t want to risk loosing his family, house, respect from kids etc
    etc. To say I have been stupid is an understatement and it has taken my daughter’s tragic accident for me to see the light. He dumped me shortly after her accident when I needed him most. I have had a lucky escape I know and his wife has him for the rest of her life. Although I feel I have been treated badly, I realise his wife (even if she doesn’t find out) has been treated much worse. I have had NC for the last 4 days and do not expect to hear from him again. I am feeling so let down and disappointed in him at the moment, but I know the feeling will pass. If you are involved with a married man or a married woman you need to get out of the situation right away. You will marginalise yourself in all sorts of ways and that is very unhealthy.

    • Victorious says:

      If it helps Tulip, I had an affair with a MM many years ago and he actually left his wife and kids for me. You might think that is every OWs dream, but I wasn’t ready for it at all and was then lumbered with him for 6 years as I felt I couldn’t dump him cos of “everything he had sacrificed for me”.One of his kids hated my guts and went NC with him, which he blamed me for, and we had huge financial problems because his guilt meant he paid the ex wife off with everything he had, and more. I brought it all on myself by having the affair, but you are well shot of him and out of this situation. There is NOTHING to be gained from an affair like this, and even if you get him, there will always be a part of you that knows he cheated and he will cheat again.

      • Jule says:

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. It never stands a chance because it was based on deception to begin with. No foundation of trust is ever possible in wining over a MM.

      • Tulip says:

        Thank you Victorious. I hadn’t thought of the situation that way. You are right, he would have ended up with a guilty conscience a mile wide (he has that now he told me). Anyway, my daughter is on the mend and that’s the main thing.

    • Lilly says:

      Tulip, I’m so sorry about your daughter and I hope things improve soon.I can relate to all that you said and I understand how difficult it is coping with the fallout from the affair on top of your daughter’s accident. I also made the biggest mistake of my life by having an affair (the word makes me cringe) and would dearly love to go back and change that decision. When I look back I was really living in a fantasy world, the signs were there for me too, but I foolishly ignored them. He also let me down when I needed him the most and that was when I woke up. I have never been treated so badly and it has taken a huge toll on me both physically and emotionally. My sister told me today that I look like an emaciated scarecrow! It’s a terrible feeling realising you were being used, it is soul destroying and then on top of that is the guilt when you finally give some proper thought to his poor wife. Grief followed by more grief. But, please don’t be too hard on yourself you are definitely not stupid we just made a mistake. We didn’t take heed of the signs and we put our trust and faith in men who were not trustworthy or faithful to being with. We can learn from our mistakes and become stronger and wiser. I’m working on that now. Time for a haircut and more food. Keep going with NC it really does give you the space to work things out. Also, don’t break it! I did and paid a heavy price. Good luck and hugs to you and your daughter xx.

      • Tulip says:

        Thank you Lilly. NC is hard but it is really the only way forward. Enjoy your food and new hair do. If it helps I haven’t really eaten for 5 days and I can’t wait to get my appetite back.

  20. Late Bloomer says:

    Somehow, finally, things are beginning to click. A couple of weeks ago I ran into the guy that “stood me up” six months ago. I hadn’t been to the market (where he works) since that time. Pretty much avoiding the place. But I went in early one morning to get some flowers for a co-worker. He saw me and came running over, all happy-clappy. Wanted to know why he hadn’t seen me? Was I no longer shopping there? I was pleasant, but I could clearly feel my boundaries (i.e. – I don’t do “being stood up,” my values don’t involve “leaving people to wait without” kickin in. Yes, I was still somewhat attracted, but I could actually feel the attraction fading in his presence.

    I received a lot of support from my BR “sisters” when all of this happened six months ago. It made a difference for me. Natalie’s self esteem course is also a big help!

  21. Cat says:


    That counts as changing the pattern. Massively. You’ve clearly done a LOT of work and taken a long hard look at your patterns and this time you chose to observe them rather than act on them. And this time you’re listening to your gut instinct that previously you ignored and instead you acted out old, old patterns that helped you survive at one point in your life but now just cause you pain.

    It isn’t easy. It’s slow and painful and it takes time. But you KNOW that it will get you into a better place where you’re able to reject things that you KNOW are bad for you and you’ll be able to open up to better people and better situations.

    It won’t happen overnight and it will be difficult. But you have gotten in touch with your GUT, which is NEVER wrong. Keep listening and trusting your gut and your relationships will begin to feel healthier.

    Nat, great post. I am currently opting out of a disappointment cycle with my now ex-EUM. He is trying EVERYTHING to get me to take him back. But the truth is the truth: he didn’t deliver on promise after promise and got most of what he wanted on his terms with me knocking on the door of his unavailablity asking ‘is it time for me to come in yet? Have I done enough yet? Oh… you want more time? You just want to receive with not too much risk to yourself? Oh, ok, I understand…must be soooo difficult for you, never mind, I’ll be here waiting like a cat on the porch when you need me for a whatever blah blah blah…’

    I never asked for anything unreasonable. Just consistently loving behaviour, respect etc. which is kind of the deal in healthy relationships. Quite an eye-opener to realise I’ve been selling myself so short. YES opting out is uncomfortable. YES it hurts. YES I don’t know where it will take me. But I sure as hell know where NOT opting out will take me, cos I been there over and over again and it don’t get any better so I choose to trust my gut and OPT OUT.

    Good luck BR readers everywhere xxx

  22. miskwa says:

    Watchit! That’s how at work AC started things with me! Touching, suddenly I am the most intelligent, interesting female on the planet, after two years of barely acknowledging I exist. He is gorgeous and alas, my other colleagues and the other men in this sad town are not. Luckily you have your BR senses about you. Pay attention, find out what you can about this dude and take care of you.
    To crazybaby: listen to your senses, they’re telling you something aint right. Whether it’s too soon or something is triggering red flags, somethings really wrong.

  23. kendo says:

    These last 2 posts have come at a significant time for me. I have been edging away from someone I knew was no good for me and yet I couldn’t give up on it – what if after each fallout he came back perfect??! I have tried and tried.Each time he tells me its my fault – something different but something I am doing wrong or not not doing right. This has gone on for years. Him changing the ‘goalposts’ of the relationship without telling em and then me not knowing that.
    After 6 months he wanted to live together – I met him straight after my seperation and said that it was too soon, we had agreed not to tell the children until that point but me refusing to live with him caused a huge row- he got very angry and I was scared. I should have left then but I didn’t – instead whatI now know to be my default behaviour kicked in and I started doing anything to get him to love me. I offered to tell the kids but he then said he didn’t want them knowing, wanted to be perceived as single, didn’t want his kids to know either (his children are in their 20’s mine were 8 and 11) Then after a very turbulent year last year he said that he was really upset that I hadn’t told the kids about him. By this point I was wary – I didn’t want them exposed to all the rows – usually it went well for a month or so and then something I did would cause a row and he would go away for a few weeks, I would beg him to come back and apologise and he would return – rinse, lather, repeat.
    He has said on a few occasions that he has been deeply hurt that I wouldn’t tell the kids – seems to have forgotten he said he didn’t want them to know, didn’t want anything to do with them. Each time I hope hope hope it will be ok – that this time it will be ok and it isn’t.
    This last time I had an important event, I asked him to come, he didn’t (again!) and when I raised it with him I got lambasted about how he didn’t trust me, there were too many gaps, I had to work really hard to put this relationship right and how humiliated and shamed he had been by me not telling the kids or my family about him (they all do know now as I was in such a mess last year)I told him that my children didn’t like him and I had found the situation very difficult and perhaps hadn’t handled it well – that sent rockets flying! He started calling them names, saying why didn’t they like him was it because he wasn’t their precious little daddy, he wouldn’t buy them a rolls royce – he called them little bastards at which point I hung up.
    The thing is I have worked really hard to be a part of his life. I got to his house and meet his friends (i’m not invited I ask to go) but when I have asked him to mine he has declined – usually saying something derogatory. He refuses to come to my house saying it sounds miserable, why would he want to go to my house?, he can’t be bothered…..and now he is accusing me of not inviting him into my life, feeling humiliation for not being a part of my family.
    I can see the pattern. I can see how he has managed to push every one of my buttons and that I really need to set about repairing those buttons before I let ANYONE near me again. I can see it and I am still sat here feeling bad that I hurt him, that I didn’t do something right. I can rationalise it though – my heart just needs to catch up with my head.
    So- yes good timing and I do want to opt out of the cycles. I am hurting but hopefully I am starting to love me enough to not do this anymore.

    • Fearless says:

      Jeez, Kendo, my chin was hitting the floor reading your post. This man is outrageous. Your children have the measure of him (children often have a way of sensing a bad ‘un in their midst). I don’t like him either. When we’ve made up our minds that our man is a good guy, it’s very hard to see him any other way, despite all evidence to the contrary. I have all the evidence in the world that me ex EUM is a bad ‘un and yet, while I know it intellectually, I still struggle to really see it (the trouble is that they do have likeable qualities as well as the yucky stuff). I don’t know what else to say to you, except that your guy IS a bad ‘un for sure, and I wish you good luck in gaining the insight you need.

    • Allison says:


      This is a crazy making situation! If it is hard for you to see how unhealthy it is for you, see how it has effected your kids.

      What do you get out of this? It seems like it has never gone anywhere, nor will it!

  24. lo j says:

    Pushing down my feelings … ahhh … how familiar!! We know what we’re feeling, what our gut is saying to us, its the second guessing, wishful thinking, last chance saloon thoughts, am I good enough, those thoughts try to drown out the gut. (Sometimes my gut would SCREAM at me though I would still proceed.) We learn to trust again when we learn to trust ourselves as Natalie says. I definitely had to humble myself and say, “What I’m doing/have done is not working”, and start from the basics. And forgive myself. Good stuff, Natalie.

  25. selkie says:

    Part of this cycle was ingrained in me as a little girl, so changing my perception and actions takes considerable effort. It’s like learning a new language. Being punished in school for speaking up, and being told I don’t act like a lady when I say NO to something I was uncomfortable with. The result, I became a people pleaser, feared putting anyone out at the expense of myself, saying yes when I really wanted to say no. When I’ve said no I’ve been told Im a bitch, difficult, combative, too sensitive, or have been ditched. I didn’t want disapproval, it made me squirm. I can see now that I felt like I needed to be just what they wanted to be liked. Being myself meant risking disapproval. Eff that! It’s too much work! I’m pretty much alone anyway, after all that people pleasing because those people who take advantage of my ‘eagerness’ don’t stick around once they get what they need from you. I’m better off being alone and not selling myself out, at least I will respect me. That’s a start. Things can change, I don’t feel it’s impossible anymore, but it does take consistent work on my part. It’s like learning to write with my emotional left hand after being emotionally right handed my whole life.

    • MyTimeIsNow says:

      Wow! We have had similar life experiences. Now at 40, I am pretty much where you are. Truly, I do feel alone and isolated alot but I really want to live true to me and my feelings. Those that are genuine will embrace that and as I have learned the hard way, those that were not will leave. BUT I am learning that I am better off knowing people TRUE selves as opposed to living with what they want me to believe. It is so hard. This is especially true with men as I know that I want a relationship but I typically end up with EUM and narcissists! Now, I really want to step away from men/dating, get my mind together, and try again once I love me. Until that happens, I will keep being in the same lather, wash, rinse and repeat cycle! I wish you well. Stay strong.

  26. Lady Lisa says:

    Another great post, Natalie. Much food for thought and nutrition!

  27. Feisty woman says:

    I have applied this principle of Nat’s to my sister who is an emotional vampire. We have never been close and she resents me and has done for decades. As I am now single after a divorce she thought I’d up sticks and move 300 miles to be on her doorstep to assist with my parents. As I’ve refused because I need work and a social life which the sticks where she lives in the UK wouldn’t give me, I am selfish. She agreed to our parents moving 5 mins from her and accepted help from them when her children were young and hubby worked abroad often. Now she doesn’t want the responibility when our parents are older. I explained how I felt about some situations and she took the huff with emotional blackmail. As a result I’ve said enough, no more and decided to cut contact after telling her and wishing her a good life. It wasn’t hard as all she did during phone calls including Xmas day last year, was moan about my parents but never asserts herself with them playing the martyr and the poor me guilt card. I’ve had enough emotional roller coasters with my failed marriage to last a lifetime and realised that the only glue holding us together was my parents and this wouldn’t last once they die. A sad situation but maybe she will realise that there is a consequence for her actions and besides I knew she would never be reliable of I really needed her.

    Oh in case any of you are wondering my ex brought other women into our marriage. He worked away and played away so it took a long time with the smokescreen of depression to hide his behaviour, but he got found out. So for those of you lamenting about the MM just don’t go there. Having been the cheated wife it is shit and as long as women open their legs for these lying bastards then adultery happens. He was the last man anyone thought would cheat which made it worse for me. I am left not trusting easily, very cynical about men and you can bet that the marriage isn’t as bad as they make out. They are cowards who just want to have their cake and eat it as many have no intention of leaving a wife. Besides do you want an emotional wreck with that baggage if he chooses you or an honest man who has got himself sorted out? You’ll be the airbag before he moves on or cheats on you. If they are lying to a woman they claim to love then they are lying to you. I am not naive, people change and fall in love so marriages fail but an honourable man finishes his business first then moves on. Nat has made this point many times. You are worth more and yes ultimately those mistresses did me a favour in a round about way as I had to face reality and once the trust was gone there was no way of going back for me. Sorry to be blunt but I think some of you need to hear a wife’s tale and realise the games you are playing with people’s lives. Tell these married men the message straight as that is the only way they will get the message because you have nothing to lose in the first place. My bet is they’ll have a harem to call on as their fallback position. Remember what goes around comes around and one day you may be the primary woman who is cheated on.

    • MyTimeIsNow says:

      Kudos to you! I wish you continued success in your recovery journey. As a single woman, that is one thing I refuse to do – be with a married man. I just recently ended a situation cold turkey of a man that I finally found out was still married after he told me repeatedly that he was divorced. The MOMENT that I found out that he was still married, I never called him again (of course this took some detective work/snooping and the like but hey, I had to know the truth). He didn’t call me either but if he would have persisted, I would have changed my number. Like you, I truly do believe in karma so I leave such situations alone. For different reasons obviously, I have a hard time trusting men because many have advanced to be such liars. I truly don’t understand how people can be so deceptive and act with a total disregard of the feelings of those that they impact by their dishonesty. May one day our strong convictions lead us to the man of our dreasm! Stay strong.

      • Feistywoman says:

        MyTimeisNow. Thankyou and it is good to see a woman with morals. You did the right thing flushing that married marauder but there is a big difference being duped and knowingly getting involved with a married man. I pack no punches and I would like you all to know that his affairs cost me my home as the marital house had to be sold. I am left renting as I cannot now afford to buy and have no permanent roof over my head plus live with a long term medical condition on limited funds. It also transpired that he was a gold digger as the divorce progressed. The house I originally owned was put into joint names on the condition he put a few thousand pounds down on the mortgage which it eventually came out he never did. I even had a pre nup before they became big news and still got duped. I never intend to marry again or live with a man due to the emotional abuse as he demonised me, froze me out and blamed me for his affairs. Yeah right, all because he couldn’t keep it in his pants and I wouldn’t tolerate poor behaviour. So ladies just think for a moment what pursuing married men means to the wife. Married men who cheat are cowards who have issues with women and see them as cheap tarts to be picked up on a whim. Do you really want to be seen in that way?

        • MyTimeIsNow says:

          That saddens me! I really do hope that women who do fancy married men read your comments and leave such cowards alone. Like you said, it is the wife and children, if applicable that truly get hurt. And again, karma is real. I wish you strength as you move forward in rebuilding your life. Hugs to you . . .

  28. Lady Lisa says:

    Having choices. I choose to have a loving, caring respectful relationship full of passion, ideas, partnership and adventure.

  29. Max says:

    Best way to FLUSH…change your CELL NUMBER and only give it to the people that matter in your life. Believe ME you will FEEL LIKE A NEW PERSON!!! Do it and don’t look back. NO more getting text messages from ASSCLOWNS that don’t matter.

  30. dancingqueen says:

    Hey all,

    I am really struggling right now with my job and this post hit home; I feel so unable to make a decision.

    I enjoy what I do but I feel like I need to grow after 4 years at the same school with four different principals. It is fine, but I am bored.

    Add to this a drama queen colleague who creates pretty much daily blow ups and I am just…feeling like I need to hit the road after the end of this year.I know my boss knows her issues but there is probably little chance she will go; she is great at what she does, she is just a nightmare to deal with as a co-worker. Very draining and petty.

    The problem is that my job is great, so close to where I live, and I am…comfortable. I am a bit afraid to leave in this economy, yet I feel like I want to get another type of cert and either go up in the age I teach or move to another area (teach a language)…while I am at it, I am also thinking about selling my house and moving.

    I live in Texas and I originally wanted to live in a different part, and I just figure, if I want to go looking for a new job, why not just also move in the process?

    But I am so comfortable and just slightly uncomfortable enough to consider making a change. I hate to say it but in some ways I am thankful for Ms. Nightmare. I really don’t feel like Miss Drama Queen is something I can deal with ad infinitum and I don’t want to ask to be placed in another school in my district; if I go, I want to go for a better district and a better campus.

    Has anyone ever had a problem with not choosing due to not being miserable? I can easily get out of things when they are horrible, but just slightly uncomfortable is hard…

    • Revolution says:


      I hear you, loud and clear, from out in the ether.

      I, too, am struggling with burnout from a job that I’ve had for 10 years. I find myself feeling REALLY guilty, because as you said, we should be grateful just to have jobs in this economy, right? Especially in the writing field, as jobs are hard to come by even in the best of times. So I’m having to deal with being in a “not-miserable-though-mind-numbingly-dull” job too.

      You having the addition of the drama queen adds to the unpleasantness. I work with mostly guys, and though I know that men CAN be drama queens as well, these guys are more the “punch-on-the-arm-and-we’re-cool-now” kind when things get hairy. Which works for me.

      Do you have to deal with Drama Queen on a daily basis? Can you minimize your exposure to her? Remember our convo on boring the mofos into submission? Lol. (That was you, wasn’t it, dq?)Maybe that would work with her?

      Anyway, for what it’s worth, I DO hear ya, hon.

      • dancingqueen says:

        Hey Revolution! Thanks for the support! Yes that was me,DQ, we DO need to try to bore people into submission but this gal is one of those who needs constant strife to feel alive apparently lol…to answer one question.,

        Re; limiting exposure.

        Ah I so wish that I could minimize my exposure to this oh-so-special person but unfortunately we are on the same “team” and we are supposed to “collaborate” together daily for an hour and we are also ( don’t laugh) in the same “sorority” ( I work in a magnet school and our school is divided up into houses, she is actually our-don’t laugh-sorority head)…Notice I put the quotes in because that is what it is like…in theory, “collaboration” as a concept. She is almost comically a nightmare.

        I had heard of her (she is legendary) from two different people before she came to my campus and she is exactly as promised. Picture a really mean Southern blonde, former sorority and cheerleading gal with a strong Baptist judgmental attitude and having never left the state…that is my gal. It is awful, It is like being in “Mean Girls” lol. My boss just laughs because she is so awful.She tries to boss me around, and when I stand up to her she gets passive aggressive. She will do things like walk right past me and not say hi, but if my boss is there she will compliment me and act really fake. She also will give backhanded compliments to be catty in front of others. It sounds funny but it is a real drain. They told me that they can move me to another team next year but honestly I am kind of ready to go; it has been 4 years there, I love my students but many of my colleagues left last year and we have almost a brand new staff…I probably should just go at the end of my contract when it is still positive but I love the concept of public magnet where the disadvantaged can learn to be leaders.*sigh*

        Oh well.

        We both need to open up our universes, our minds and have more faith; I will make you a deal: you look and I look and by next year, let’s have new jobs:)!

        • Revolution says:


          This chick is stuck in high school. And not as a teacher. Sheesh, what a waste of energy. How do these people generate such drama? I don’t have their energy. It would exhaust me. I’d probably have to do shots of blue/green algae every few hours just to keep up with their (as Nat says)”Dynasty levels” of drama! Lol.

          Okay, m’dear. Yes, let’s vow to keep looking for other opportunities with an open mind (like that tie-in to the new post? ;)) and work on those new jobs for 2013! I’m with ya!

  31. Tulipa says:

    Took a while for me to know I had choices I was so stuck.
    The example I can use is in regards to texting. I knew whatever I texted to the ex eum would not nor ever bring a satisfactory response, yet I would send a text anyway and get my dose of bitter disappointment. I would cry every night and I was plain miserable and I would lie to myself that I couldn’t stop texting I had to do it every 7 to 9 days I had no choice.
    I finally wised up thanks to BR and saw I did have choices if I was choosing to text then why couldn’t I make the opposite choice for myself? so I slowly cut back till finally I could delete his number, though at first I wrote in on paper put it in a hard to get to spot till finally the compulsion to text left.
    Sometimes when stuck in a cycle it is hard to see you have choices and can act and do something that is in your own best interest.
    Even though months later he texted me I have never had that same desire/compulsion to text and go back to the cycle. Major progress for me.

    • amanda says:

      That is wonderful news. I get caught in this cycle with e-mail. I knee-jerk respond to every e-mail I get from the ex-EUM-MM. More often than not, I would not get a further response. It often felt like he was throwing whatever at me because it amused him to see me respond – he needed his ego stroke. I felt/feel like I had no control. I felt undignified. I’m trying to get a handle on this. I have the luxury of going to therapy (just started last week), wanting to address my issues with my undignified addiction to this person who broke up with me (and his harem) a year ago so that he could ostensibly fix things with his wife (but still feels the need to jerk the puppet strings so he gets his ego stroke). I’ve also placed a filter on my e-mail. I don’t see, in real time, when he sends me an e-mail. I have to make a concerted effort to see if he has tried contacting me. Sometimes I am good and can go days without checking, but I haven’t gone cold turkey, yet. I don’t have the heart yet to delete his messages upon receipt, but I am hoping to get there very soon. He teases and taunts me, but I am the one keeping this fantasy alive. It hurts so badly.

  32. araja says:

    I ran into my ex-AC at the gym today. I was stunned to see him and my heart string tugged at me to go over and say a friendly ‘Hi’. I started to wonder why he was not with his GF (the women he cheated with behind my back) on his night off. I was starting to analysis the situation when at that very moment, Nat you came into my mind and reminded me that I could Opt Out of doing that. I heard the words ‘He’s just not that special’.
    I was reminded that ,
    HE left me by cheating on me.
    HE walked away from my love.
    HE never treated me with love, care, trust and respect.
    HE is with someone else.
    I opt out of everything to do with him. Thank you, Nat. I could not have done what I did tonight without BR, you and the wonderful ladies on this site. I will always be indebted to you.

    • Revolution says:

      Excellent, Araja!!! I’m so proud of you! What great progress. I love the “He is just NOT THAT special” popping up in your mind. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

      • araja says:

        Thanks Revolution :) You, Nat and the Ladies are responsible for getting me where I am.
        It really does put everything about HIM into perspective. When I thought of everything he’s done (and not done) to/for me I was MAD and slightly SAD (for him).
        I really wanted to go up to him and start a conversation and was planning how I could possible make that into something more when Nat’s voice popped in my head. I kid you not. I actually heard her say “He’s just not that special”. (One time I think hearing voices is a good thing. LOL!) At that point my pride and self esteem kicked in.
        Luckily, he stayed well away from me with the exception of quite a few glances my way.
        That being said, the whole thing hurt like hell. There is still a massive disconnect between my head and my heart. My head is pointing me in the right direction but my heart still aches for him. I really want this heartache to go away.
        On the plus side I looked like the BOMB last night in my gym wear. I had so many guys check me out and hit on me (I’m sure he saw this) it was AWESOME. I usually am not at all narcissist but I was happy that all this attention I was getting was happening in front of him. Petty I know but still rewarding on some level.
        Hugs to you!

        • Revolution says:


          Ha ha!!! YES, isn’t it just like a little shot of adrenaline to look HOT when you see the ex? It’s like, “Oh you want this? Yeah? Well, TOO FRICKIN’ BAD, FOOL!!!” Lol.

          Karma’s a bitch, boy. A FINE ASS bitch that looks GOOD in her sports bra! 😉

  33. Jule says:

    This is a great post and so very timely as I enter day 2 of NC and having to DECIDE on a minute by minute basis to keep walking (in those stilettos as Revolution would suggest). I’m doing just what the post suggests about opting to do better decision making. I have on more than several occasions over the span of the past 24 hours almost posted to a public site where I know he reads, anonymous messages about him to him. I have so many things to say to put him down and in his place. BUT I stopped myself. My conscience decision making is I’m asking the questions “although this might feel kinda good for about a second, is it really a thing that will help and heal me? Or am I just keeping the drama alive by doing this? Aren’t I giving this too much attention by continuing with the written words for him to see? What do I expect to get out of this? And isn’t it bad energy to be so mean spirited, even if it’s true and he deserves it?” A month or two ago I probably couldn’t have stopped myself from that sort of hysteria and theatrics. I have Nat and the many writers on this blog to thank for clearer thinking. I needed that push and it’s coming along. But isn’t it funny how the universe works to show us lessons? Many of you say these posts by Nat are so timely, so personal. I have to say the last few months have almost felt like a movie to me because there are so many things like this blog and certain people, places and things that are pointing me to the truth and what I should be seeing instead of what I wanted to see through a pair of rose colored, foggy scratched up PLASTIC lenses. What I saw wasn’t real. Now I see real.

    • MyTimeIsNow says:

      I too, am in day 2 of no contact and I can relate to the minute by minute decision. He doesn’t even know that I am in no contact but I am just tired of the broken promises and the lack of effort. I just want to be over with him and all these toxic relationships that I keep finding myself in.

      I so very much want to contact him but when I do, I keep thinking of why I shouldn’t. I keep reminding myself of all the “bad” stuff. Quite frankly, I know that I really don’t want him. It is the “idea” of him. The fact that I am lonely. The fact that we seem to always want the ones that clearly don’t want us. If given the chance today to be with him, I probably wouldn’t choose him. But the fact that he has ignored/disregarded me in my mind, that fuels my desire – sad, I know. BUT I will remain strong and take each minute as it comes until the minutes turns into hours, then days, then weeks, etc.

    • Revolution says:

      Yes, keep walking, girl. You are doing SO WELL. Yeesh, the first couple of days of NC are hard. But start as you mean to go. In other words, think of it this way: these are the days where you are establishing the pattern of what you want your new, healthy life to look life. And I have to say, YOU’RE DOING GREAT!!! Three cheers for YOU, Jule!!!

    • Allison says:


      Do not post on that site!

      The only thing you will gain from posting, is by allowing him to know how much he has hurt you. He will not care! The best revenge in this situation,is by moving on with your life, and ignoring him – Nothing is worse for these guys than to be forgotten.

      Hold your head up high and move on. He is not worth your dignity or energy!

    • Grizelda says:

      Jule and MyTime —

      Hold tight. You’ve got the right idea thinking “do I want to do this?”.

      Think what kind of behaviour reflects BEST on yourself. Think how you want to be perceived by yourself, by everyone, yes even by him. Silence is strong, and it speaks volumes.

  34. Tired says:

    I know this is off topic , but im nearly two weeks nc with a ex mm . The lady who posted from a wifes point of view is right no one wins apart from the mm having his cake . They are spineless cowards , to scared to sort their lives so they lie and cheat and drag people down with them. The ex mm wont leave hes still there now so it clicked with me the other day the new oow is going to be me in a couple of months hanging for crumbs IT finally set me free i dont feel the urge to text him . Click it went . He’s just not that special . Hes a spineless selfish coward . Guess what i stood up in my kitchen and played guitar for over a hr last night instead of hopping in my bath that was waiting lol . You should have seen the smile on my face as i caught reflection of me . I was beaming it feels wonderful to feel good and not crap . I know I’ll get off moments but its like climbing out of quick sand x hugs to you all

    • Jule says:

      Tired! YAY! You sound so wonderfully peaceful and happy. I’m very happy for you. It is great therapy to play music. I do that too. I have a guitar and a piano and of course, my itunes. I hear ya about the MM being a spineless coward. AND they don’t change. The divorced AC I was entangled with this summer admitted to me that he had cheated on his wife. Yeah. I think that was a A-HA moment for me. I realized who I was with and that I didn’t want this kind of slime around me. Removing the slime permanently is tricky yes (staying NC and truly moving on) but once it’s off, you are free and clean to have a more peaceful life. Keep up the good work. Don’t look back!

    • Allison says:


      I don’t understand why there is so much anger over the OW? Didn’t you know he was unavailable (married) when you got involved?

      • tired says:

        Yes he was with the girl he went on to marry , i admit i lived in lala land for along time after wards. i think after my councelling it was he was the first person i fell really in love with . my husband of twenty yrs was a tough nut and warmth and effection didnt sit well with him so i clung on to the idea of love not really him if you see what i mean . i wanted to go back to that im sure and i have met a few men since if things had gone okay id have got over him along time ago. i was in love withe idea of this big love (on my part not his lol).

    • Seaside Gal says:

      Oh fantastic Tired. I was worried about you for a bit but I really think you’re getting there. I love the idea of you catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, smiling.
      Now you can help me. After two months no contact and him sending me begging texts and emails wanting me to take him back (on his terms I might add) I thought I was strong enough to see him for lunch and cope with it.
      Silly me, fell off the NC horse and paid the price.
      I sent an email the next day saying no, I didn’t think we could live together again, that we should both let each other go, and wishing him well. Then I got right back on the NC horse.
      But boy, do I feel stupid thinking I was strong enough to meet up with him and not start to fall for all the BS again.
      The only good thing is I’m not a mess this time, I actually feel pretty strong – Strong but stupid and very cross with myself.

      • tired says:

        dont be cross , we all make mistakes and thats what it was just a blip . but thats the main thing you can see it now for what it is , they are very manipulative and cunning . stay up on that horse and if you fall you find you dont fall as far and you can bounce back up quicker .x

  35. KK2542 says:

    Its been 1 month today of NC with my EU/MM. With the exception of me seeing him at work, which isn’t a problem — its almost as if nothing happened between us. He is respecting my wishes to stay away. I can’t say that I don’t miss him, I do, but I know this is the best thing for me. I started to see a therapist and am working on myself.

  36. Tired says:

    I wish there was a way to combat those odd moments when the hurt pushes up to the top again . Im trying so hard to put a brave face on it and get on with it , but a thought pops in and my stomache just aches . You feel it will never pass why is so easy for them to forget but not us

    • Al says:

      I dont think they necessarily forget…we all deal with things in our own way and show what we feel is right at the time (or just what we cant hide successfully)…ie braveface. The other person has to deal with it too, we just have to make the concious decision to accept that it will pass and we have to ride it out.Most importantly not compare ourselves to the other person’s projection of themselves or our probably idealised notion of them/where theyre at now. Even if they seem peachy, they may be following their own patterns and will one day have to do with their past x/y/z what you are doing now with yours. I just think about me and the wonderful things that are about to happen and how much better my next relationship will be because of all the things ive learned and all the work im putting into myself. A few tears now and then, but then on with it. Just keep moving and stay positive about the present and the future. And remind yourself of all the things big and minuscule that youve achieved or accomplished recently, or been able to do because of ‘the extra time’ you have to attend to other matters big and small! Also going on a walk outside of any length helps me an incredible amount with frustration and anxiety. You’ll be alright! We all will be. Hmm and when you have those days make sure you also do something nice that day just for you and just because. Hugs! xo

  37. Gina says:

    WOW!! I am SO proud of you ladies!! It is SO uplifting to read how you are setting an enforcing boundaries like the no-nonsense kick ass classy ladies that you are!! The more you continue to enforce those boundaries, the stronger and better you will start to feel about yourself!! Not only are you helping yourselves, but you are also setting positive examples for other women–who are new to this blog-to follow. Keep on fighting the good fight of demanding that people treat you with love care and respect; otherwise, as Ray Charles famously sang: “Hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no more no more. Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more!!”

    Hugs and Kisses! Love ya!!

  38. Jennifer says:

    Since becoming more healthy it’s odd what and who I’m attracted to. I mean it’s all changing. Certain things that didn’t bother me about certain relationships do now, and certain people I way took for granted, I’m starting to really appreciate. I see abuse and control for what it is, abuse and control.

    My last ex EUM had a three month dalliance before I called it quits. It has been a bit over five months and after all the consistent crying,hurting, and missing him, I now see how incredibly lucky I am that I got my life back. I can love myself way better than he ever did or could. And it was such a toxic, toxic unhealthy relationship. I’m done with aloof men. When I’m ready, I want a warm, loving available man that positively contributes to my life instead of controlling it.

  39. Sunyata says:

    Hi…formerly Sunshine here, but since someone else started using it I’m changing my moniker.

    I’ve been back and forth in my mind with a Mr. Unavailable for a while now, a position I thought I was better equipped to avoid since BR, but apparently I had more to learn about myself!

    I know what I want in my heart, and yet I have felt such a pull toward him. Yesterday, once again, I let my feelings pull me back into a conversation with him (which, ultimately, proved to be quite therapeutic)
    but after there was that…
    “Doh! I’ve done it again!” and for a hot second started to beat up on my weakness – then stopped myself real quick and realized that my inner weakness is what is begging to be loved, held and cherished. So I imagined holding, loving, kissing, cooing to my weakness, forgiving it and vowing to protect it better.

    It never seemed like an option before, to stop dead in my tracks and go in the opposite direction of a feeling. It feels weird and new and frankly, powerful and exhilirating sometimes!

    We do not have to give in to those feelings, no matter how strong. I have noticed, though, that for me there is a difference between feeling a true feeling all the way through, and noticing what is habitual.
    The other night, I put on some quiet music to take a bubble bath by, and one breakup song after another started playing, tugging at my heart, and there was that song that guy from 1993 sang to me once before he ditched me for another woman and… mind went spiraling down memory lane and before I knew it I was in tears
    then I caught myself
    I noticed it was habitual, ruminating, chewing on old pain
    and I told myself, “No, no, no, NO! I want o feel relaxed and yummy!” and changed the station.

    Now, maybe some of you are saying, “well, DUH!” but for me, having had trauma brain for my whole life, it was like stepping into a new dimension. I had a choice! I made the choice! It was a possibility I never knew I had before!

    Consciously opting out feels difficult sometimes, like turning in midstream and trying to swim upriver, but as far as I can tell, it’s only the force of the momentum of old habit that feels so bad, and on the other side of it feels AMAZING.

    • Revolution says:


      Your comment was very powerful to me. It’s proof of someone putting into practice what we are all talking about: switching those thoughts over. It is really a minute-by-minute decision. We don’t have to go down the rabbit hole with Alice. It’s a choice. There’s no sense in “fixing” things that aren’t broken, no matter what those thoughts tell us (the little buggars).

      On another note: Seriously, what’s WITH all the love songs appearing out of nowhere, and in BULK, when you’re broken-hearted?? I remember after one breakup, that song from Aerosmith came on the radio at work, the one that goes, “Before the day I met you….I was F-I-N-E, fine…but your love’s made me a prisoner and my heart’s been doin’ time…” Immediately, I started bawling. Then I started laughing my ASS off at the sheer ridiculousness of such a cheesy song getting to me! :)

      • Sunyata says:


        It has been a LONG process for me!
        It was about 2 years ago when I remember sobbing on a friend’s lap, “sometimes I just think it’s hopeless, like I want to give up, like life just isn’t worth living and I’ll never be loved,” I mean, snot all over her skirt sobbing, then something snapped and I cracked up laughing, saying, “and then I remember those are just thoughts and I don’t have to believe them!!”

        I’ve slipped in and out and been through tons of therapy feel so blessed to have the support of a couple of amazing friends. It is definitely a practice, like building up a muscle it gets easier and easier. When I cry on someone’s shoulder, I listen to the story I’m telling myself that hurts so much.

        What was funny yesterday, was that when I checked in and loved the ‘weakness’, I realized I was feeling desperate, I felt worried about an issue with my car that I couldn’t afford to fix.
        So I loved those worries and went on with my day – about an hour later it somehow unexpectedly came up in conversation and before I knew it, 3 of the guys I work with were out under my hood checking it out and fixing the small issue, while I stood there beaming and feeling grateful and amazed that I didn’t have to go into distress or freak out or beg or even ask for help.

        It’s kind of funny to notice the flip-flopping through the day, noticing an argument in my head and switching…”It feels bad and insane to argue with myself. What do I want to feel? Oh, right…ease, comfort, grace, home, heart, love, open, harmony. It feels so good to come to resolution with myself on this. It feels so good to cooperate with myself about this. It feels so good to feel this resolved in my mind. I feel good about my choices, I feel good about me, I forgive this part of myself and let go. It feels so good to be me, it feels so good to be in my body, it feels so good that I don’t have to sort this out right now, it feels so good to notice what a beautiful day this is, the sun feels good, the temperature feels good, I feel so grateful to be alive, I sure love driving, I love the feel of the road under the tires..” and on and on and on and on and on :)

        Which reminds me I’m going to stop telling myself I don’t know what kind of career path I want to take and start saying I do and acting as if and see what happens!

        As for the music – unless I’m in a good enough mood to laugh about it and not get sucked in to it, I just won’t listen to it. I don’t wanna hear about how people can’t breathe when other people aren’t around or aren’t even gonna breathe again or how it feels like losing a body part or never be happy again or never have love again or “love hurts” (er, no, PAIN hurts) or whatever. Screw that. Pfffft.

        I’ve noticed that even COUNTRY music is getting happier –
        “Love don’t have to be a bunch of drama
        A bunch of knock-down, drag-outs cryin’ in the rain
        It’s alright to keep it light now mama, don’t you think
        And we’re having such a good time together, it’s only
        My heart’s never smiled so hard, baby, loving you is

        Changing the radio station is also like changing the station our thoughts are set on :)

      • Sunshine says:

        Sunyata, I have to apologize for stealing your name! I’ve only recently started reading this blog and wasn’t aware that someone else had already been using it:) hope you don’t mind …

        I really admire your ability to turn your thoughts in a different direction because, frankly, I’m still quite hopeless with that!

        And about the breakup songs: have you noticed how you always tend to listen to the melody when you’re happy and to the lyrics when you’re sad?:)

        • Lilly says:

          Sunshine, I’ve worked it out now I know which one is which! Welcome to BR. I hope you get as much out of it as I do.

          As for songs, ‘our’ song came on the car radio yesterday and I didn’t cry. I listened to it all the way through. I think that’s progress.

    • Lilly says:

      Sunyata, Are you the Sunshine that helped me a while back? I was feeling distressed about my baby and you commented and made me feel cared for. It meant such a lot to me that I want to remember your name.

  40. Demke says:

    Thank you, Natalie :)

  41. Lilia says:

    Ladies, I got to say it:
    I love this blog!


  42. Tinkerbell says:

    Hi Sunyata.
    You are not alone when it comes to shedding tears over certain romantic music. I find it depends on what is on my mind and the mood I’ve been just before I start playing my cd’s. If I’m already sad and feeling lonely, invariably here come the tears. And, I know it’s self-torture because I know what the result will be. Then, I’ll change it up,completely and put on more upbeat dance music and have my own little party all by myself. But the best for me is when I put on the dance music first without the “boohoo”, “woe is me”, music at all.

  43. Natalie you’ve done it once again!

    Like most of us, it’s easy to relate to this post when we step back and look at our lives with a different point of view. Truth is, we’re always going in circles in even the smallest things! Not cleaning up the kitchen after we cook, leaving our trash in the car instead of throwing it out at home…it’s all the simplest acts that we say we will “one day” do.

    Your post proves no emotions should be thrown in circles either! Thanks for opening up our eyes, again :)

  44. Gina says:

    Something to think about…

    I’ve observed from my own experiences, and room reading many of the posts,that the unhealthy men whom we have choosen to be in relationships with, have issues from their childhood that they are replaying in their relationships as adults. The last two EUM/FFs that I was involved with either grew up in a dysfunctional family in which the mother was cold and neglectful, or had a family dynamic between their mother and father that was screwed up. Furthermore, the older we get, the greater the chances are that a lot (not all) of the men we meet may messed up and not good relationship material. One of my girlfriend’s who is happily married, gave me some sage advice. When I told her that I wanted to meet a good man like she did and have a happy and healthy relationship, she said that was fine; but even if I didn’t, I needed to learn how to be happy, nuture/love myself, and live a fulfilling life on my own. Because even if I did find a good man to grow old with, I still could end up being alone because many wives outlive their husbands. She went on to state that many women who have been happily married for 20, 30, 40+ years, find themselves in this situation.

    I’m also noticing that friends whom I thought were happily married, are getting divorced. The ink is barely dry on the divorce papers, and the husbands are already looking for someone else or have already met someone else (this tends to be typical for men). Whereas, the wives are focusing on raising the children, and/or taking an emotional breather while working on themselves and getting their lives back together.

    So…the moral is the story is that at various points throughout our lives, inevitably, we are going to find ourselves alone. Society makes a woman alone out to be sad, pathethic, and miserable; but once you get past the hurt, pain, and feeling of isolation, rediscovering yourself and finding your purpose can be envigorating. I am at a point where I am alone, but I am NOT lonely In fact, some of the loneliest people are in relationships! I know becasue I was one of them. I feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction and joy in knowing that I am stronger, wiser, and more self-assured as a result of my past experiences. I like and love the person that I am just the way that I am. I validate me, and that is such a powerful feeling! Like Helen Reddy sang, “I am woman hear me roar!!”


    • Victorious says:

      This is very true Gina. My ex EUM was sent packing to boarding school by his mum because of his “bad” behaviour at the age of 11 and he has never got over the rejection and the feeling of not being “good” or “normal.” He is badly damaged and I am sure this is why he (at 48) has NEVER lived with a woman and has a poor relationship history of long term on/off relationships.

  45. Little Star says:

    Dear Natalie, I wish I had your wisdom, love this article, it is VERY helpful, thank you:-) You are right, we have options, but sometimes we do not want to admit that it is not working and we have to finish with our ACs:-( IT is hard, I done it twice, hopefully, I will never see/hear from them again:-) Flush, flush, flush!

  46. babyangel says:

    Hello this is my first post. I am 2 hours into NC ha ha can I really call it NC- the relationship limped along for 4 months. Right from the beginning I knew he had issues and was EU but yes i dreamt I would be the one to change him. Well here I am feeling ridiculous after another rejection from him. He flip flapped all over the place, hit the reset button and only saw me when he wanted to. Yes it was sex, but it is amazing how the mind will find any excuse to avoid the truth!!! He definitely left me gagging for more and I lapped it up. I’ve told him several times it’s over but he comes back cool as a cucumber and hey were off again. This time I want to be strong and ignore him if he texts me! He gives me less and less. I say all the phrases to try and make myself feel better but then as someone said I get sick to my stomach and think i’m going to lose a ‘possibly’ great love

    • sushi says:

      Keep strong babyangel. You won`t lose a great love, you`ll lose a flip-flapper who rejected you. And you would feel even sicker in the stomach every time you`d go through the same cycle with him. He really doesn`t sound special at all.

    • Grizelda says:

      Welcome babyangel!

      It sounds like your defences are starting to come up to protect you. Please let them come up and give you shelter. From your shelter, you can start to recover and figure out what to do next.

      NC is the only way to make sure whatever happens next is on your terms, not his. Give it at least two months running NC, so that your head is clear and your feet are on the ground. You will feel so much better.

      You’ve probably read all about what a silly fantasy it is to think you’d have changed him, or that the relationship would somehow turn into something wonderful all of a sudden. But sadly, the truth is that he’s already shown you exactly what kind of relationship he wants with you. Which is great for him and awful for you. Hence, you need those defenses coming up.

      Try thinking of him as one of those disgusting little overbred, incontinent rat-dogs with the wiry hair and the yappity-yappity-yapping, scurrying over to grab your ankle and hump it like there’s no tomorrow before letting go and skipping off in search of someone else’s ankle like nothing happened. Embarrassing, isn’t it? Don’t give him your ankle, don’t even swat him away when he wraps his bony little rat-dog arms around your ankle — the best policy is not to be there at all for him to try to use.

  47. Naz says:

    @babyangel, it’s incredibly hard, you ache to take the crumbs but questions to ask yourself are very much what I ask myself…
    Where is he the rest of the time? I lost my job, lost my flat, found out my brother has a brain tumour and in all that he didn’t even flinch and give a shred of support.
    Is this guy with a wife or girlfriend?
    We can never see the fact we are getting crumbs because we have so low self value and respect. I am learning through reading Natalie’s post of how many issues I truly have…so what I’m saying is read, read what the women say here, what Natalie says and I promise your NC will turn to days, then weeks.

    The next time you want to answer his message, message me here!

    I have had some brilliant support from yoghurt, sofie and magnolia, so I know how important thi is.

    I have had NC for 2 weeks and I am getting stronger, ok my AC won’t contact me because he has a new girlfriend and she’s gorgeous so he is having the time of his life… He does have his other ex on the go and the girl who he cheated with me on…messed up or what.

    We all here to help one another, we know how much it hurts!

  48. Tinkerbell says:

    To Max and anyone else. Why should you change your cell phone number and inconvenience yourself further by having to give the changed number out to all your family, friends. All you have to do is go personally to your provider and have that one AC blocked. They can’t reach you in any way shape or form and you can’t reach them in case you should weaken and change your mind. It was the perfect solution for me and I heartily recommend it.

  49. Naz says:

    Ladies, I would like to dedicate the song by Pink – Try. Have a listen on YouTube with the lyrics.
    It makes so much sense.

    Sending you all love and light

  50. Tinkerbell says:

    Sunshine. So true. When you’re listening to music (vocals) and you’re happy, you enjoy the music, and start humming the melody. But, when you are sad you listen to the words, reflect on past mistakes and feel remorseful. I had to comment on this because only a few days ago I was talking to a friend and we were agreeing on how when you’re young you listen to the music, practice your dance moves, etc. but when you’re older and been through so many life experiences, you listen to the words and reminisce good or bad stuff, whatever. I’d never connected the happy/sad analogy as you did. Thanks.

    • Sunshine says:

      :)) It’s true, isn’t it? I’ve only recently discovered that myself, after my painful breakup, that is.

  51. Tinkerbell says:

    Sorry to keep going off topic. No mind-boggling issues right now, relating to recent posts. Am I grateful because I can really use a break.

  52. JK says:

    You changed my life…Your words speak to my soul..Your words always seem to be perfect…Like they were made just for me…I thank you for your website..You taught me how to let go and learn to LOVE, TRUST, RESPECT and HONOR myself first…Your amazing and I cant wait to read what you write next!

  53. JK says:

    and one more thing…4 months NO CONTACT…You helped me find my strength…

  54. babyangel says:

    Sushi – Thank you for your reply – you are so right about feeling sicker each time and of course the shame mounts up aswell. And yep he is just not that special – So why am I still treading water with him? Answers on a poscard please ha ha. In fact he is rather boring as all he does is work or sit on IM sites.
    Ha ha yes I like the thought of him as an over bred, incontinent rat dog. It did give me a chuckle and helped to relieve the knot in my stomach.

    Naz – Wow! You are amazing – keep strong – you have had such a difficult time. Your EUM sounds a total nightmare. I am sure if he is cheating on the new gorgeous girlfriend already it won’t be loves young dream for long.
    Do you know I had a message from my EUM – hours after he had rejected my suggestion to meet up and I had told him I was done with him -‘Hope your having a great night’ His strategy and I must admit it was very successful with me was to ignore any uncomfortable issues I brought up – ha through text of course! Never a phone call. I am not the most confident girl so I do find it easier to talk through texting. I know I have my issues aswell ha

  55. Naz says:

    @ babyangel, if you think through things as Natalie says you will identify a pattern. I mostly communicated with my AC via text because that is how he wanted it. He said it was because he could not express himself on the phone. I went with it as it was the way I was.
    I have realised through all the relationship and now reading these posts how bad my self esteem is.
    You sound probably in the same boat.
    You ask why do you still want him, it’s because he filled the gap. What I am trying and would encourage you to do is fill the gap with your own love for yourself.
    With my AC it’s been 3 years of ups and downs. I have wasted 3 years, note he disappeared on me for 18months only to pop back and want to be friends which then lead onto us getting back together and then him dumping me.
    The most painful part right now is not the NC it’s the realisation of I meant absolutely nothing to him. I took care of him, emotionally and physically. He never once bought me flowers, said sorry, he never took a picture with me or showed me pictures of his family.
    Each day there are these painful pop ups that make me see how badly he treated me. He used me and when he was done threw me away.
    I should have at the first dumping seen it for what it was, telling me he couldn’t be with me as he loved his then girlfriend and that he was afraid of a mixed race child.

    I keep coming here because it is my road to healing, I can’t thank the women enough for all their words and support.

    Sending you all love and light!

  56. babyangel says:

    Hi Naz

    I know what you mean about loving myself but God it is so hard to do. I think im making progress then I wake up and feel crap and insecure and I really struggle to feel good about myself. I keep reading natalie’s posts hoping that it will eventually begin to sink in. Well 2 days NC and its a roller coaster of emotions – knowing ive done the right thing to wanting to contact him. I know you feel you wasted so much time on him but i realise all my relationships in the last 20 years have been with EUMs!!! This has also given me the insight into my own EU and it scares the hell out of me. Its like I can see where I want to be but there is a glass wall in front of me and I can’t get through it. I just hope with awareness I can begin to change. Keep fighting and stay on the road to healing and be grateful your out of it sooner rather than later. You are now free to make a better life.

    • Naz says:

      Babyangel, that is so true all you say, I feel for you because it is exactly how I feel. I lost my AC, my job, my new chance at happiness in a new flat all in a space of the last two months. I know and feel exactly the same which is why I come here to this site everyday to get some support and perhaps give some.
      I really missed my AC today, why I have no idea,I just did. I missed the times we would be planning a future together. But then reality strikes, we were never together longer than 2 nights.
      He never was there when I was sick or needed him. Even when I told him I lost my job and flat, he offered no support, nothing. No shoulder to cry on.
      All he said to mess my mind up was he would never find a girl that loved him or cared for him as I had, 1 week later he announced his new gorgeous girlfriend.
      I feel how low you feel it is so crap we can’t just fast forward to when we feel better…

      I went to the gym today, had to force myself but I did.
      I also put up on facebook the only one pic of myself I don’t think I look like a hippo.
      I have been trying waking up and going to bed saying, I am worthy of love and respect, I am a bright and beautiful person but like you it’s hard to believe it.

      Well done on the 2 days stick to it!

      I’m here if you get tempted, trust me you will get to a point where you will have no inclination to make contact.

      Strangers we might all be but we are united in our experiences and pain. Chin up.

      If you need to offload or talk through things I am happy to listen will distract me from my worries!

      Take care

      • Allison says:


        Just focus on this and the other women, and recovery will be faster:
        “I lost my AC, my job, my new chance at happiness in a new flat all in a space of the last two months. I know and feel exactly the same which is why I come here to this site everyday to get some support and perhaps give some.
        I really missed my AC today, why I have no idea,I just did. I missed the times we would be planning a future together. But then reality strikes, we were never together longer than 2 nights.
        He never was there when I was sick or needed him. Even when I told him I lost my job and flat, he offered no support, nothing. No shoulder to cry on.
        All he said to mess my mind up was he would never find a girl that loved him or cared for him as I had, 1 week later he announced his new gorgeous girlfriend.”

        You’re entitled to so much more!!!
        Stay strong!!!

  57. babyangel says:

    Naz well done for getting out there! Baby steps forward. Every small step is a victory over the emotionally stunted men who have tried to crush us. But we are stronger than they are because we are willing to try, to change, to love. They are terrified of that emotion so we will always be the winner! Not only do I choose emotionally unavailable men but my female friends are the same. I broke my neck to meet a friend after work to talk as she had split up with her boyfriend for the umpteenth time – ha a familiar pattern – and she wasn’t there to meet me. They are back together and as usual I am relegated to not that important! I am so angry but find it hard to be honest – ha like Nats newest post. I want to stop being her friend as she hurts me constantly. Wow where have I heard that before OMG!

    • Naz says:

      Hey babyangel as you said we all have baby steps to take. I think Nat’s idea of keeping a diary to jot down all your feelings would be good. You have a lot of relationships that need resolving. It is true you only need maybe 3 or 4 really good friends that accept you for who you are and that are reliable. The rest you need to learn as you do with the AC they they are who they are it shouldn’t be your issue.
      With this particular friend you need to say what you need to, if she is a true friend then she will understand and stop treating you in that way. You may find you lose her, but if she can leave you hanging for a guy who keeps giving her the run around then it looks like she is using you.

      It’s tough giving up people, we are so scared of being alone, but we have to weigh it all up.

      How are you on the NC? I am lucky as my AC is so loved up and never wants to speak to me again that it is easier knowing that even if I did contact him it would be a lack of pride on my end and embarrassing, he would laugh in my face at my desperation.

      Here’s to hoping it gets easier. That there will be someone better or at least we learn to appreciate who we are

  58. babyangel says:

    hi Naz
    yes a diary would be a good idea. Though i am not very consistent. Its been 4 days NC now and I haven’t heard anything. I am trying to be strong and I am hoping he doesn’t contact me as it will be hard to ignore him. I would feel like a bad person for not replying. It must be so painful for you knowing he is with someone else.I am hoping i dont find out if my AC meets someone new. I have a friend who knows him and I hope she keeps anything she knows to herself. Just know that you are a strong person and that you will eventually feel better. It is so true that time is a great healer.
    I know I need to develop boundaries – I think I wouldn’t know what a good relationship was even if it jumped up and bit me on the bum. I know I am tired of having the same relationship in a different package!
    Take care

    • Naz says:

      Babyangel promise me if he does contact you, you will come here to this site and write to one of us!
      If you say you are tired of the same relationship same package then don’t go back. Even if it is hard. You have to test this and really see if you mean anything. Actions speak louder then words or in our case texts.

      If this man truly wants you he will fight for you, the fact he isn’t in itself is hurtful but he is showing honesty in his actions that say if I wanted you I would pick up the phone and find you. Unfortunately it is that simple.

      He is probably arrogant enough as my ex AC is that I will give in eventually send him by usual I am sorry lets work it out, I really care about you, etc. in which case, the vicious cycle will start.

      I have a diary, I can’t write everything in it as yet, but I have been able to write a letter to my ex saying what I feel. This will never be sent but when I am finished burnt. Again one of Nat’s ideas.

      Check it out under the library section.

      Lets stay strong shall we? We both might not know what a good relationship is like even if it hit Us in the face but we can at least hope, pray and dream of much, much more than what we have been receiving.

      Take care too! Hang in there.

  59. babyangel says:

    Hey yes let’s stay strong Naz. It does help so much knowing I am not alone and that there are many people who can understand and support. I do draw stength from reading the posts and it helps me to keep from the temptation to text him. It is amazing how easy it is to forget the pain and hurt of rejection. It is also amazing how the EUM can judge just the right time to contact you its as if they can tap into your emotions and come calling just at the point when your feeling weak.
    Hmm I don’t think mu EUM will fight for me I doubt he has any strong feelings about it one way or the other. Well it has been 5 days NC and I feel I am wishing the days away to put more distance between us. I want to try and keep a diary so that I don’t put on rose tinted glasses once again.
    I will email if he does get in touch. Ignoring it will be so hard for me. you are so right about hoping and dreaming of much, much more than the measly crumbs from the EUM!!
    Keep doing what your doing!

    • Naz says:

      Hey there babyangel, seems I can dish out sensible advise but have to read my own comments to remind myself of the very fact that I need to not make contact with my AC. I have had to stop myself checking Facebook on his whereabouts where he so easily publishes his happy new life and girlfriend. It has been 3 weeks for me NC and like you I am trying to wish the days away in the hope it becomes easier.
      I have even decided to leave the city for a few weeks just being 20 mins away from where he lives makes its all too hard.

      He won’t contact me, I know this as it was always me who initiated contact or in some way or another apologised or “begged” to get back together. He gave in, it suited him at the time. He now has become so confident has a job that he earns well and has women’s attention, I have been kicked to the curb.

      I need to snap out of the dream, that it wasn’t all good times, there were hurtful moments.

      I hang on because he was my first for many things. I had an abusive father, brother, uncle, previous so called boyfriend was bad calling me fat ass, stingy, poor, big gob, nag, stubborn, too dark, all round useless.

      My AC was the first to notice me, take me to romantic dinners, hug me, hold me, care for me. Even though I was married before my husband and I never actually slept together it was a marriage mainly for our families.

      Gosh is this hard, but I need to focus on cutting myself some slack and spending time getting to know me.

      How I wish I could look into the future..maybe I could find a shred of hope that this 36 year, childless woman will find someone to share her life.

  60. babyangel says:

    hey Naz – a few weeks away i think is a great idea. It will put some distance between you and give you some space to begin to heal.
    It is so easy to remember just the good times – ha I don’t really have any as it was usually a quick dinner, sex and then sleep. The only good times if im honest was the great sex!! Otherwise it wasnt the most exciting relationship – or rather non relationship!
    Well its 9 days NC and I managed well this weekend but this Monday morning I woke up feeling crap and he has been on my mind a lot today. Wondering if he has replaced me already! I understand that I can’t go back as nothing will have changed and I will be right back to the same place again very quickly. But it is hard to stop wanting and wishing things to be different. But I know really they will never be different.
    It must be so hard when you had so many first times with him but you will get there, just remember therre is someone better out there for you.

    • Naz says:

      You know what struck me babyangel was what you said dinner, sex, sleep. That is what I had with him. It only hit home now.
      There were 2 occasions we actually took a walk and went cycling.
      The rest as you say it.
      My AC has moved on, I am so cut up about the girl he has, I can’t believe his luck, this gorgeous, successful woman has just come into his life, apparently on a business trip. It’s crazy. I am most cut up that I haven’t had any gorgeous, available man sweep into my life just like that?!
      How does a guy who has done damage to a number of women in a short period of time come out on top.
      His ex girlfriend is also still in touch, she is the fallback girl for him. He always goes back to her in some way or another. They talk everyday even though he told me they were not together physically or emotionally.
      He still will travel 2 hours to see her but could not come 20 mins to see me?!

      I never listened the one time he messaged me and told me he was a shit. I felt sorry for him, made me want him more.

      Hang in there I know what you feel, I have the same feeling and urges. I know that nothing will not change but I still have that last shred of hope. This week will be week 4 of no contact. I have not looked at his Facebook profile, for fear of hurt and a setback.

      I need to realise it is all over.
      He is gone like the thief in the night.
      Gone for good. I have to face my demons…gosh there are so many.

  61. babyangel says:

    Naz – yes it must be like salt in the wounds knowing he is with someone. Don’t be tempted to go on Facebook it will set you back and hurt so much! I know i have been there before. You justify to yourself it will help but it doesn’t it just feels awful when you see they are getting on with their lives quite happily.
    Its funny as I thought i was doing quite well for the first week NC – now im finding myself feeling so crap and thinking about him more and more. Even though I initiated NC I am the one that feels rejected!! Probably because he hasn’t been in touch but I know it will be better in the long run.I keep imagining he has met someone else and it hurts.
    I also have to avoid a friend because I can’t bear the thought of her telling me something about him so I feel bad about that also.
    We really must be grateful that they are not contacting us, just imagine if they did and we were back on the rollercoaster and then back to square 1. I can’t go through this again, I don’t want to keep repeating the same mistakes. I so want to change it seems I have spent so long trying to change sometimes I just get tired of fighting, trying to get to where I want to be. Will i ever get there?

    • Naz says:

      Hi there babyangel,

      I felt that too;rejection. It’s sore as if I wasn’t good enough or not worthy for him to change or to fight for me. I have had to accept he has moved on.

      I promise it will get better.
      It gets easier with each passing day. I have not even checked Facebook for his latest, knowing and reminding myself all too well the hurt I felt the last time I checked.
      In the theme of Halloween, it’s like being in a nightmare, you know there is a scary ghost behind you, a dark force but you look forward focus only on looking forward at the bright light, the good…

      I am here for you, I will listen evn if you email 10 times, all because we all have been there.

      I can’t say I don’t miss him, I had a friend of a friend chat me up, another unavailable man. I was and am friendly but so detached and distant inside. Protecting my heart, I miss the man I fell in love with but not the one that left me…but though I miss him it doesn’t hurt as much, nor do I cry as much.

      This day will come for you, like an addiction you have to go cold turkey – your NC is that. After a while you will see the difference.

      Take good care,
      Said a little prayer for you, for all the women here that pain and ache eases.

  62. babyangel says:

    Hi. Naz
    Have tried 3 times to reply but don’t know where my messages disappeared to. Hope this appears

    • Naz says:

      Hello baby angel, no did not see any replies here.
      Well done on the 17 days..sad and as hard as it is, you have to face the reality has he at least tried to come back? Nope, he hasn’t hunted you down and made you feel you mattered.

      I went onto Facebook, i know I should not have, he looks happy, he’s out flaunting this great life on Facebook. I’m completely forgotten.
      He looks like a stranger, not the man I loved.
      He has been working out, looks great..he has so many new friends and is traveling.

      So I know all about hurting.
      I met this guy at a charity ball, I guess I thought it would be a good way of getting over my assclown. Turns out this guy despite flirting outrageously, being a funny guy, is just as unavailable. He told me straight he would sleep with me but would not have a proper relationship.

      I was upset, stupid, it was yet another rejection of me.

      How do we move forward, where and how do you meet decent guys? Guys that want to know you.
      How do some girls meet these assclowns and make them settle?
      Let alone that how do I prep myself to pick the right guy?

      I am hurting deeply, all I want to do is sleep during the day, night time I struggle to sleep…
      I even have a rash on my arms and legs from the stress

  63. babyangel says:

    well it has been 17 days NC and I am struggling. Even though I finished it I so want him to contact me to validate me.
    All the reasons why I should not be with him have magically disappeared from my memory.
    I am finding being with the human race challenging at the moment and am finding myself withdrawing which i know is a double edge sword.
    Why do i still crave the attention of someone who is ambiguous – a rhetorical question i suppose as i do really know the answer.
    I still feel like we are meant to be together ha ha – fantasy island i suppose.
    I hope i get stronger with time

  64. too tired says:

    I’m new here. I stumbled upon this website a few months back looking for some support but have never posted a comment until now.

    Short version of a very very long story, I’ve been involved with my MM for around 9 years now. I know, I know its a mistake, i’m a fool. To top everything else i am now 34 and divorced. Not because of MM, my ex and I had a very troublesome and exhausting marriage, as short as it was.

    Last night my MM said that he was thinking about coming by after a work dinner and staying the night. I said I’ll think about it, and who boy, that did not make him happy at all. He responded with “I didn’t realize it was something that you needed to think about. Don’t worry about it”.

    I hate to sound like a cliche but he always tells me he loves me multiple times during the day. And honestly, I do love him very much.

    Needless to say I was very angry, honestly I guess I shouldn’t be because I’ve created a comfortable environment for him at my house. I know, the worst thing that I could’ve done to myself. I probably will not hear from him for at least two weeks, thats the norm for him when I say something he says hurts his feelings.

    So now onto my question. In this time, how do you you ladies feel I should use this time to benefit myself and attempt to end this. I’m a little confused about where and how to start as this has been going on for so long. Again i know my fault.

    Essentially, I have been giving him the out that he needs all this time. Am I proud of myself, absolutely not! Do I regret the time that we have spent together, a resounding no. I have to honestly admit though that I was a little taken aback about the reaction that he gave, I told him I was p*ssed about the way he responded to me needed to think about the night, more because of the late hour that he would be coming by than anything, and he told me to to “be p*ssed, love you, goodnight”.

    So here I am. I already know im my head what needs to happen, but how can you change the heart? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result……That seems to be the point I’m

  65. Wise ol owl says:

    Too Tired, you being involved with a married man will only lead to bad karma and bad places. He is giving you the crumbs while he ignores the committment he made to another woman. What can you really expect of him? You can expect nothing of him, he is a zero. What’s funny is that he was put off when you didn’t jump to see him–that’s ridiculous! Dont be “too tired” and give up on yourself—I say cut him out of your life, go NC, tell him “it’s over” and move forward with someone who is free to give you a real relationship.

  66. Nearlythere says:

    Until today I have had zero self respect or confidence in myself for 38 years! And today was the day I finally ‘got’ what you’ve wrote about in this blog, which I originally read a while back. Today has been the day that ive consciously decided to opt out of putting everyone else’s needs and feelings before my own, to the point where Ive made myself so emotionally and physically exhausted I’m now on Prozac, and being treated for severe social anxiety.
    From now on I only do things I want do to, on the provision it fits within ‘my’ boundaries and ”my’ values, if people don’t like that they can frankly jog on! My body, my mind and my heart deserves only the best!!
    Thankyou for your blog Natalie, you’ve helped me finally see, merry Xmas to you. I cant wait for 2013 :-) With love, C xx

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.