woman leaning against a wallOver parts one and two of this post, I have explained about how in order to be happy as a result of external factors, we need to look a little closer to home first and be happy with ourselves personally. I also suggested some ways to kickstart getting back in touch with yourself so that you can learn to articulate what makes you happy, but also let go of people and behaviours that hold you back in misery. In the final part of this series, I have some more suggestions for helping to build your self-esteem and find happiness and some final thoughts…

One of the key issues that I explained in part two was our resistance to accepting the reality of what is happening in our lives.

Don’t be mistaken and believe that I am asking you to accept a bad situation; I am saying that you need to accept the reality rather than engage in the illusion so that you can take action.

A lot of our unhappiness is tied up in fighting.

We’re fighting against our gut instincts, we’re fighting against trusting, distrusting, loving, not loving, letting go, accepting, believing and in essence, it’s almost like we put up a resistance to everything engaging in a game of opposites. When we should let go we cling harder, when we should hold on, we push it away. When we should trust, we’re suspicious, when we should distrust, we ignore our gut and project our own version of things on it.

We resist.

We refuse to accept and the funny thing is that none of this makes things any better – it’s not like in the medium or long term you end up being any happier clinging to the illusion because it doesn’t change the reality – it just puts you in limbo.

One of the biggest things that you can do for yourself right now is to stop expecting things and people who have showed you the way of the land, to be different.

Like I’ve said before, relationship insanity is about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

You keep throwing yourself into oncoming traffic and wondering why you keep getting run over.

Stop expecting more from people than they are capable of delivering.

You can’t ‘expect’ from them just because you love them or you think that you could have a future with them; they may not be on board with your expectations. It may not be that there is anything wrong with your expectations but that doesn’t mean that you should keep plugging at someone in the hope that they’ll deliver.

We all have a right to expect to be treated decently in our relationships but that doesn’t give us a divine right to expect that from someone who has no intention of doing this and has consistently shown that they cannot meet our expectations. It’s redundant.

The unhappiness keeps on coming when we put ourselves in the hotseat of disappointment but if you stopped expecting from people like this, you’d take yourself out of the hotseat and focus your energies in more appropriate places.

Stop projecting your version of love and events on them in the hope that they will be reflected into reality.

The unhappiness arises because it’s a bit like having a script in your head and expecting someone to know what that script is without seeing it. It also keeps you out of reality and sometimes we sabotage our potential for happiness because we’re too busy trying to control what will happen and chasing a predetermined feeling and ideal of what we want. Maybe your projection isn’t healthy?

Stop throwing your love at people who are unworthy of it in the hope that by you loving unconditionally and without boundaries that you will reap the rewards and be loved back.

The unhappiness stems from expecting people to give you what you are unable to give yourself. It also arises because you keep throwing your version of love at a bad investment and wondering why it doesn’t come good. Love yourself and trust me when I say you will choose better partners who will yield better, quality relationships.

Stop expecting a quality relationship with love, trust, respect, and care from someone who is disconnected and doesn’t have you and the relationship at the centre of his interests.

Choosing an assclown or Mr Unavailable is an assurance of engaging with a man who serves his own interests first and foremost and invariably has one foot (at least) out of the relationship. If someone has no clue what these things are and no interest in giving you what you want, you’re effectively flogging a dead horse by persisting in trying to extract emotions and behaviour that they are either incapable of, or they just plain don’t want to give it to you.

Stop chasing commitment from people who are the least likely candidates for commitment and then tying yourself up in knots about why they haven’t committed.

You will find yourself at the gates of unhappiness if you stake your love on an uncommitted party and then commit yourself to the painstaking act of trying to get them to commit. Never force your love on someone and certainly never try to persuade someone to love you because you will never trust that what you have is real, wholesome, and committed. When someone makes you work so hard for their affections, you’re permanently on the backfoot because deep down you know you shouldn’t have to prove yourself to someone in this way.

Stop being words focused and be action focused.

This means that even a man told you he loved you a million times in the first three months but has been different for the last year, you process that information and realise that talk is cheap – It doesn’t matter what they’ve said before – either something has changed or it wasn’t real, and either way, they are not giving you what you want. There is this part of us that can be oversimplified and it comes down to this:

Just because someone told you something, doesn’t make it so. Harsh, but true. Yes it’s shitty, yes it hurts, yes it’s disappointing, but how much of your time do you want to allocate to someone analysing why he said something, how he said it, and why it isn’t so anymore?

And there lies the crux of the matter because, how much of your life are you willing to expend on trying to force someone to SEE you, to LOVE you, to VALUE you, to RESPECT you, to CARE for you, and do some bare basics in the quest for happiness?

How much misery does it cost you to gain your drop of happiness?

Isn’t there a cut off point where you have to recognise that you are unhappy and that your quest to be happy with that particular someone is actually making you unhappy?

If you can accept the situation, be accountable for your part, let go and recognise that you are human and make mistakes, and use your experience to empower yourself to recognise poor relationship behaviour and also to arm yourself with better self-love such as boundaries, you can and will be happy.

Having boundaries, treating yourself with love, care, respect, and trust, is self love.

Boundaries teach people how to treat you and ensure that even though you may falter at times, your boundaries will protect you from engaging with people and in situations that will harm you and ultimately cause you to dislike yourself.

Unconditional love of yourself means that even though there will be tough times, you won’t internalise other peoples poor behaviour and allow that to change your fundamental love of yourself or your ability to enforce your boundaries.

Caring for yourself means that you look out for you and don’t rely on other people to be your sole source of care. At the same time as me changing my love habits, I also addressed my health and my non romantic relationships. Act like someone who values herself and values the fact that they’re here. You are never powerless and you define your value by how you treat yourself, the situations you place yourself in, and how much you let the company you keep affect you.

Remember that the men you engage in poor relationships with often take the fact that you say you love them, or allow poor behaviour or have no boundaries as a cue to mistreat you. Nuff said.

Without trust you have nothing in relationships, so trust yourself in your relationship with you. Stop disregarding how you feel, your gut, your instincts, and your judgements because you need you and if you use these inbuilt tools, you’ll build your self-confidence because you will be happier from trusting yourself because you recognise poor situations and opt out, which in term builds your self-esteem.

So, what do you want? If it’s happiness, I suggest that you quit trying to achieve happiness with the same actions, and take a different route that starts with you.

Your thoughts?


FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

66 Responses to Personal Happiness: What do you want? Part Three

  1. Rachel says:

    Good post as always NML. I’ve been also revisiting friendships of mine – since in the course of my over analysis of the last EUM, I kept rationalizing that he hadn’t treated me any worse than some of my “good” friends. If I am not willing to take that kind of behaviour in a partner, why would I accept it in a friend? And what kind of friend is that?

  2. Mel says:

    wow! amazing post. Just what I needed. I’ve been lurking here for months and commented just yesterday on an old thread


    I don’t know what got into me after that but I broke NC and am totally regretting it now.

  3. Betterwithouthim says:

    @Rachel –
    AMEN! Bad relationships don’t just exist with men, they exist with friends, family, co-workers and bosses. Stop the madness, set some boundaries and get yourself free from all that drama!

  4. Mel says:

    @ Rachel and betterwithouthim

    totally agree with you as well, i’m going through the same purging of relationships with ‘friends’ and family members too, who have been totally invested in me staying weak and accommodating and addicted to their approval. maybe that’s why i weakened. I know it’s for the best, me going through this process but wow…slip ups are costly. I can tell you. Keep NC at all costs and remember it’s for YOU not him.
    He laughed at me and said ‘oh well, you decided to play things your way (ie not sleep with him) now who’s on her lonesome while I have moved on?’
    Aargh! on every level. We all know what he means by ‘moved on’ of course and I know I am well rid. But it still stings. I guess I have some way to go.

  5. Rachel2 says:

    Guess what I did this weekend? I identified another assclown! It was so cool. I found myself somewhat attracted to a man I met on Friday he was very attracted to me too (so I thought) he took my number and kissed me good night. The next day my girlfriend told me that he was in a very unhappy relationship with a married woman. My attraction to him completely did a 180 and I was completely turned off by this man. I am gonna opt out and let some other sucker get him through his very unhappy relationship. That is NOT what I want.

    My self esteem took a big jump. I am able to protect myself from unworthy men and bad relationships.

  6. notgoingbackthere says:

    This is my first post after reading this site for the last two months. I can sincerely say that it has been a Godsend.I didnt understand my situation with my EUM throughout the relationship, his hot then cold and verbally abusive behaviour although he claimed he loved me…after our breakup two months ago I found myself constantly thinking and rethinking my actions. When I read these three articles on happiness. it hit me that just as you said, I had failed to trust myself or my gut all along. I also realised that in retrospect I pick the the same type of friends as I do men.Emotionally distant and somewhat troubled. its pretty scary i know….hopefully by rebuilding myself i wont seek out people that seem to need saving and will only engage in relationships that are beneficial and healthy…thanks NML!!!

  7. metsgirl says:

    @Rachel2 ~ Good for you!! It feels pretty d*mn good to have some control over the people we let into our world. It’s liberating in fact!! I think what’s really cool about what you did is that you recognized it almost as soon as it happened…that says something fantastic about you. Keep it up…it only gets better from here.

  8. “Without trust you have nothing in relationships, so trust yourself in your relationship with you. Stop disregarding how you feel, your gut, your instincts, and your judgements because you need you and if you use these inbuilt tools, you’ll build your self-confidence because you will be happier from trusting yourself because you recognise poor situations and opt out, which in term builds your self-esteem.”

    This says a lot right there. Something that I am working on, because I had lost touch with my heart/intuition, after ignoring it for so long. And ignoring that, in and of itself, makes you unhappy, and uneasy, because you are no long congruent.

    searchingwithin’s last blog post..Balance of Power Among Equals

  9. emily says:

    Speaking from personal experience, please please don’t ever think of hooking up with a Mr. unavailable. It took me almost a year and a half to get over a three year relationship and I still shed my gentle tears when things trigger. A big thanks to the author of this website, it’s been MOST HELPFUL and it serves as a big eye opener for us women. It’s even better than a lot of those self-help books because it’s so down-to-earth and everytime when I read those comments section, I know I am not alone. It’s hard to stick to NC but it’s been three months for me. My assclown was having concurrent relationships with me and my girlfriend for over three years and the two of us has no clue. He is a psychopath for sure. If this man can cheat with me on his wife, what makes me think he can cheat on me? I am so stupid to believe his pity play. He is still with the other mistress and sometimes I still cry, thinking how he can do this to me, just out of sight out of mind. However, I just keep telling myself that I am the lucky one to opt out and she is just prolonging her pain since there is no future and he’s not going to leave his wife. At first, I still want to stay friend with him but after reading your wonderful postings, he has to be out of my life forever. You have save so many women’s lives by your wonderful insight into relationships. I will keep on reading and reading your articles if I ever become weak. NO GOING BACK AND STOP LOOKING AT THE REAR MIRROR!

  10. txwoman says:

    Wow, I have told my friend that I am trying to get over an egotisical arse, the same things you just finished posting. This poor girl thought that only MEN could be controlling and be users. I learned at a very young age that arses come in every shape, color, and sex.Don’t feel bad ladies, the man that I just got rid of had the nerve to finally tell me that “How dare I leave him now! He was feeling really sick and he needed me to take care of him.” So sorry, learn to grow up and understand that the women you are laying down with are NOT your mama. I thought it odd that I could get rid of the bad friends, but had a very hard time getting rid of the idiot choice I married. And understand, I know I made one of the worst mistakes when I ignored my gut instinct and got with this man. I truly believe that when we allow our hearts to rule our decisions instead of our head, at least for me, I know I am in real trouble.

  11. Butterfly says:

    I’ve surprised the hell out of someone who basically was giving out all the signs – INCLUDING saying he wouldn’t be anyone’s guy and likes to “keep it light” by not swooning at his feet (they’re probably as pretty as the rest of him) or responding to ramped up attention.

    This is, as usual, well timed. It’s a year’s anniversary in two days of being asked to commit (and I remember with irony how this was done, “I wanted to show you everything we’ve done, how much there has been between us and how much more there is to come.”). I fell for that crap!!! LOL – I genuinely fell for that crap!!

    I’m tempted to break NC and I am thinking about him but no … I won’t do it …

  12. TJ says:

    Oh my— this is what I’ve been doing: “Stop throwing your love at people who are unworthy of it.”
    I was talking to my manager today and realized– my biggest “mistake” was being NICE to the AC. That was his big issue– I treated him like a friend. What kind of people feel love, compassion, kindness and friendship are something to get “annoyed” over? I guess it’s like forcing a chocolate on someone who hates chocolate. Some people really don’t want that. Or, “a divine right to expect that from someone”

    Loving unconditionally without boundaries was also my mistake. I thought loving openly and freely was what my faith required. I thought I was being a good person. Maybe I was, but that doesn’t mean other people are going to feel or act the same way.

    I used to believe that people who were loveless (closed, fearful, disconnected, dysfunctional) were those who really needed love. I’m not so sure if I still feel the same. Unconditional love (loving without expectations) might not be something I need to strive for.

    Are there really some people who truly don’t want or can’t deal with loving relationships? These are the people who make me unhappy.

  13. PlanetJane says:

    Hmmmm TJ, your post really made me think. “Unconditional love (loving without expectations) might not be something I need to strive for.”

    I think this is very true. Unconditional love is something that a parent might give you, or aspire to, and you might aspire to give yourself, or you may get spiritually, but, as you say, “(loving without expectations)” is not really what you’re striving for. You do have expectations – a relationship, and reciprocity – two equal adults, and a balance…or an attempt.

  14. boogy says:

    Everything I have read so far in the site “baggagereclaim” is so much more on the mark than any of the books I’ve read on relationships written by “reowned” authors, psychiatrists, etc. I commend the author on her wonderful insight into relationships.

    I have experienced and tolerated too many people in my life who have drained me of my energy and happiness, from men to family, to friends. One can only find happiness in setting boundaries and if necessary getting rid of this excess baggage. We are conditioned from childhood in accepting poor relationships from what we know in our families and it is hard work reconditioning ourselves, but it can be done and I DID IT. So can all of us.

  15. sadthing says:

    Interesting point TJ

    Unconditional love is something that I also thought would break through the EUM’s barriers. Years in therapy (LOL at one stage I even started training to be a therapist before I realised my own issues were far from solved!) taught me that unconditional love was the key.

    Now I too am not sure that it is – people in therapy are looking for understanding and change, the average AC/EUM isn’t. Well maybe they sometimes wonder why good women keep leaving them, but I’d doubt if they wonder enough to look too deeply at their own behaviour.

    So yes TJ, I think there are people who can’t cope with a healthy loving relationship so unconditional love is going to make them suspicious, and pouring our love into them is like pouring it a bottomless well. I tried to do it and ended up with even less love left for myself than usual ( and there wasn’t a lot of self love to start off with!)

  16. delightedtobefree says:

    I read years ago that unconditional love only exists between mother and child. You have to try to give it to yourself, thats the whole ‘love the child within’ stuff we try to work on :) . A father / child relationship is conditional.

    If a man asks you to love him unconditionally or you are thinking about loving a man unconditionally I can tell you…. look for the crap that’s happening underneath this..for you it’s not about you loving him it’s about you wanting to get some love from him and it translates too, ‘I’ll put up with anything! (ie sickness lives here!) just don’t leave me’. for him it’s about, ‘I’ll do whatever I want and stay around, just don’t expect to be what you want’ and that translates to, ‘it’s all about me’ (selfish sickness). RUN!!! ::))

    xx peace

    love this post, perfect!!

  17. Eyes wide open says:

    I feel totally ashamed of what I became in 3 years of being involved with an AC.Reading the posts on this site opened my eyes and made me cringe!What a pity I never found this site years ago.Itwas only while looking up “no contact” after things ended,that I stumbled here.It has only been one week of no contact,and I get angry with myself when I still feel a pang when thinking about him.But after browsing throught the articles,I am honest enough to admit that I never picked up the red flags.I loved unconditionally,spent thousands on stuff he wanted,to help his family,and yes,became satisfied with being downgraded to a booty call,and text communication.

    A few weeks ago he told me he loved me,for the first time in all these years,only to 2 weeks ago tell me he had met the love of his life and she is going to be his wife.When I asked him about the suddenness of all of this,why he never said anything-he replied he wasn’t ready to tell me yet.
    See how stupid I feel…

    Yes,it’s easy in hindsight to see all the red flags etc.If there is anyone who has a “gut feeling” something is wrong-go with it!!!Your instinct is never wrong.Many times I ignored my gut,willing to only see the good in him.

    It’s getting over my own stupidity and shame in setting absolutely no boundaries and allowing myself to be treated this way,that will take longer than getting over him-or who I imagined him to be.Yes,I thought I could love enough for both of us,if \i made myself a dish rag/slave for him he would see how much I cared..I think I ignored every warning given on this site,and did everything possible wrong!I was the”fallback girl” more times than I can remember!!
    As a professional person I have it “all together” in the work place.It’s amazing how personally,where matters of the heart are concerned we allow so much more than what we would tolerate in other parts of our lives.
    But it’s all about how we look forward-a very very painful lesson?YES.But will I ever allow this to happen again?NO.So there is some good.However it’s easy to be strong when reading these articles.It’s the times alone when one has to just remember the word “assclown”-and then I laugh aloud!

  18. de-lightedtobefree says:

    Eyeswideopen…I am so so sorry. Truly, your story really touched me but honest, do you for one minute think he told her about you?? You know you have escaped, she hasn’t. Please don’t feel bad about yourself..we all have gone through this feeling of shame, please when you are ready feel proud that you gave it all and it didn’t work out. You know your capacity to love, magine what it’s going to be like when you can give it all and it all comes back. :) you are goinna have the best realtionship ever! Heal yourself with the same love you gave him, take it back and give yourself the gift of your love, it’s mighty powerful.

    take care

  19. not meant to be says:

    Eyes wide open
    “As a professional person I have it “all together” in the work place.It’s amazing how personally,where matters of the heart are concerned we allow so much more than what we would tolerate in other parts of our lives.” Yes! I have felt this way about myself too, in relation to my AC. Don’t feel too badly about missing the red flags – many of us here missed them, but the important thing is now we know, and we can do something about it and know what to look for in the future. And we can start listening to our gut/intuition.
    I agree with de-lightedtobefree. You have escaped! Br proud of yourself for taking those first steps to freedom from your AC.

    MNL said “Stop expecting a quality relationship with love, trust, respect, and care from someone who is disconnected and doesn’t have you and the relationship at the centre of his interests.” And “How much misery does it cost you to gain your drop of happiness?” Personally, I have had enough of misery and expecting emotion from a stone. I am on day 5 NC, and I’m heading off for holidays with work friends for 3 days (with no computer access, so I won’t know if he’s emailed).

    You now have the support of the many people who post here, too. Stay strong Eyes wide open – we can do this!!!

  20. not meant to be says:

    oops, I meant “NML said…” (sorry)

  21. a wreck says:

    I need some advice. My ex and I broke up 4 months ago. I tried to remain friends with him at his insistence. The other night he showed up and told me he loved me and was willing to change his ways if I would take him back. Then I found out he was with someone else this weekend. I started Sunday with no contact and this morning I found out he has been MIA from work for two days. So, what did I do, I sent him a text asking if he was ok and let me know if there is anything I can do. I am so disappointed in myself now I just want to cry. Why did I do this? I was so proud of myself for not contatcting him and then I go and give in. Of course he has not responded, he most likely smiled to himself and thought…I have her again. Can someone who has stuck to NC please advice me what to do. This is so hard but I know it’s what I need to do. We also work together. I am going crazy with this. Please any help would be great!!

  22. elizabeth says:

    FANTASTIC article – again. NML – you are brilliant. I love how you put your thoughts into words & onto paper. it has been 60 days today that my assclown moved to another state to live with a “friend-girl” – RIGHT. he has not made contact with me. i have to admit i am a bit suprised – but know it is what is saving me – big creep. i think i am now strong enough – if he does try to contact – to NOT pick up the phone.

    sometime ago – an older gentleman said to me – out of nowhere – “you are a beautiful girl, continue to be picky. you are just trying to sell it to the wrong people.” i thought it strange at the time. i would like to shake his hand now.

  23. Betterwithouthim says:

    A Wreck~ The NCRule does work, but you have to remember why you initiated it. It’s about YOU to keep you safe, to keep you from the drama, to keep you from any more hurt or pain. It’s not about them.

    So you made a mistake and sent a text, there are worse things you could have done. So chalk it up to a mistake, and start your NC now, today and stick to it. It’s not easy when you get anxious and want to reach out to the assclown, but when you feel the need to reach out just do it with someone else. Or change your thought pattern, or get up from where you’re sitting and make yourself busy. If you’re holding your cell and start to scroll down to his number drop the phone, get up and do something, or put the phone back in your pocket/purse/table and and very conciously do something else. It will get easier with time to re-train yourself.

    Just keep remembering you’re not doing this for him, it’s for you and your sanity. You’re better than the crumbs he’s handing out, you’re deserve much more and much better. Keep reading here – keep posting for help, that’s why we’re all here.

  24. a wreck says:

    Thank you, and I know from reading here that it will get easier with time. I have been resisting the urge all morning to call him. It’s literally killing me! I cannot focus on anything else. This is what I am having a problem with. I did so well Sunday and yesterday, then when he wasn’t at work again I felt like I had to reach out to him. I am doing this for myself. I cannot continue on with him and his games any longer. Reading everything on here helps a great deal, and to know that I am not alone in this struggle is also helping. I just feel so helpless and scared sometimes. I miss him so much, but at the same time, I can’t figure out what I miss about him????? I feel like NC is the only way to go with him. If I pay the least bit of attention to him, he comes on so strong and I fall all over again. The strange thing that keeps running through my head is does he miss me? I know he most likely does not, but since I miss him so much, I want to know if he feels the same?

  25. RoMa says:

    @ a wreck:
    If he has been severely injured and could not contact you, then you should not feel bad. When he does make contact to tell you this, then you should forgive him. But if that is not the case (and I suspect it is not), then here is my advice:

    First, read everything on this website!!
    Second, stay away from him. Do not talk to him at work, do not take his calls, do not contact him or let him contact you in any way. Although you work together, if he does not directly contribute to what you do, then you have no reason to engage in any conversation with him. Erase his number(s) from your phone, delete his email address(es), tell your friends that you have broken up so they should no longer talk about him, tell his friends that you have broken up so they don’t try to invite you out, tell your family you have broken up so they don’t ask you about him. If people in your office (especially the HR Department) know that you were dating, let them know that you are no longer seeing each other. This is important in case he tries to harass you at work. Most importantly, focus on your job and ensure that you do not slack off. If he tries to contact you at work, document any correspondence and keep them in a personal file.

    My source? I went through the same thing last year. What saved me? I found this website and several others that really helped (here’s another: http://www.whenyourpartnerwantsout.blogspot.com/). When the idiot decided to “come around”, I was already too wise (yet sadly too bitter also) to even give him the time of day. I’m not gonna knock your ex-bf down because I don’t know him, but I will knock down his behaviour. He may be trying to play a game with you, but you’re a big girl and you don’t play games. Cry all you want, mope all you want, curse him out all you want…just make sure that you DO NOT contact him again because really and truly, he is a selfish man out to make only himself happy.

    Lastly, allow yourself time to heal. Do not allow bitterness to set in. Read as much as you can, get a journal and write your thoughts, pray if you are religious, and try to get out and have fun. Exercise to keep your body and mind fit, and also to boost your serotonin levels (which is what causes happiness). Ensure that you eat properly. If you tend to overeat when faced with emotional distress, start looking online for ways to curb your eating. If you tend to NOT eat when faced with emotional distress, stock up on nutritional supplements that give the same calories as a complete meal (like Ensure, Boost, Supligen…to name a few). You can also take the cod liver oil liquid to stimulate your appetite or a liquid called Tres Orix, which also stimulates appetite (please bear in mind that these are only suggestions that worked for me and that I am not licensed to give you medical advice).

    At the end of the day, you will get over this man, you will get over this awful time and you will regain your joy. But it will not come overnight. Take time with yourself and stay strong.

    All the best *hugs*

  26. RoMa says:

    P.S. No he does not miss you, he misses the attention he could get from you. Take it away and save it for someone who actually wants to reciprocate. Perhaps the thing you miss about him is the space he occupied in your life. Fill his “spot” with a great activity such as going to the gym, learning to swim, taking up a language class or perhaps learning sign language.

  27. kat says:

    I am a newbie dealing with AC. Early this year I had my first and hopefully last experience dealing with this particular specie. I just remmeber feeling so confused, unheard and drained that it was affecting my self steem in a way I never experienced before, blaming myself about stupid things as If I was responsible for the bad situation. When all he did was trying to get into my pants all the time and not contributing to the relationship at ALL. In fact trying to get him to communicate at all could easily become a full time job.

    I didn’t feel right to put up with this in my life so I cut it loose. It only lasted a few months and I have 1 month NC and it’s been tough. I still would like him to recognize that he behaves like an ASS to apologize and possibly get his mind straight, althoug I know is its not going to happen.
    But yesterday he sent me a message saying:
    Me: what.
    Him: Just saying hi, how’ve you been?
    Me: great
    Him: thats great, well have a good day today.
    Me: good day.

    I could have sworn he would at least say I am sorry for behaving like an Ass. But no He didn’t I just feel like I am back in square one, thinking about the stupidiest things like what if he got his acts straight and we got back together?. Reading all this post reassures me that he wont :( Sigh… he was totally my type and liked him very much but I keep telling to myself that I like myself even more and I can’t accept AC behaviour. However I am questioning why AC still contact us after being asses? Just curious, I just never dealt with this behaviour before.

  28. lisa says:

    not meant to be,

    W-A-Y T-0 G-O! Look at you! You are already encouraging someone else!

    RoMa, that was excellent advice to “a wreck.”, great posts.

    Gosh, how much it hurts in the beginning when you really realize that they don’t care about you in the same way you care about them, but what a great realization! It is the start of something better.

  29. a wreck says:

    Your advice is the best I could ask for.I do miss the space he took up in my life because it was pretty much all of it! I have picked up and put down my phone 100 times today. I did not call and when I feel like I need to I re read your post. This is so hard and I never would have imagined that I could hurt so much. I realize he doesn’t miss me in the same way that I miss him, but I wish he was suffering. By the way, he is not injured. I overhead someone talking today and they said he just called off sick. I think that I wish and don’t wish at the same time that he would try and contact me. I want to feel back in control of my life and myself again. Thank you for your advice, I do journal and I have started back to my exercise routine. I will try the other suggestions and hopefully with time this will pass.

  30. Butterfly says:


    Next time just don’t answer no matter what. This always confused me, I always took contact to mean care and it does NOT it just is a poke to see if you respond.

    Better yet BLOCK HIM AND DELETE HIM :) Eventually you will stop caring that he might have YOUR name on his list, it will never light up for him.

  31. kat says:


    Thanks, I know that I shouldn’t even have responded but I guess is so recet that I fall for it. But enough of that already, I am starting my NC again today this time for good. : ))

  32. TJ says:

    Kat, I have wondered if when these AC initiate contact, if it’s a way for them to re-reject us. If we’ve moved on with NC and don’t chase after them or show any interested, we’re rejecting them. I think they call for a power play– they call, we respond, they disappear or pull a stunt and in their mind, they’ve rejected US or have taken control or have “won” that round. And now he can say to himself “I wished her a good day and she was a real b*tch! ” and feel he’s the innocent party.

    These people are so twisted, really.

  33. sadthing says:

    ‘Stop expecting a quality relationship with love, trust, respect, and care’

    I’ve just reread this post and this jumped out at me. When you’ve realised that you aren’t going to get this from the AC your reaction is usually ‘but I gave him so much love, trust etc’ surely he should see this and give the same back to me.

    This got me thinking, yes we all did this at one time, but now what is left, do we love/trust/respect/care for them as much as we once did and if we don’t then what is left to hold onto? For me it’s;

    Love – not totally gone but….
    Trust – gone, he’s behaved too badly for that
    Respect – gone, how can you respect someone who has hurt you
    Care – almost gone, well I continue to care because I’m compassionate but do I really want an unpaid job as a carer to someone who is very happy to take anything on offer?

    So there’s not a lot left in the relationship- other than my ‘love’. Which I’m slowly beginning to understand is more like lust/obsession, and we all know that a relationship based only on this is never going to be healthy.

    Next step for me is fighting the obsession, cos there’s not a lot else left to bind me to him!

    Thanks NML, you break things down so clearly that things just hit you when you read them.

  34. brokenheartedbabble says:

    “Unconditional love (loving without expectations) might not be something I need to strive for.”

    My ex just bought a dog – to replace me! I guess now he gets exactly what he wanted all along – someone to love him no matter how crappy they’re treated, to forgive him anything, to wait up all hours and keep begging for attention even when ignored, to always be wagging the tail. Ha! That’s not me!!! Hang in there, TJ and PlanetJane!

  35. 2kind says:

    I have a question
    if you had to break it off with the AC because you found out he was cheating on you and the AC denied it (ofcourse) but you broke it off anyway
    and the AC is still with this woman and has never tried to get back with you (only tried to friend you) what does that say about you?
    Because im startin to feel like there was something about me that he didnt like eventhough i tried my best and gave him my all but unlike many others on here, he has never tried to get back with me :( but yet he is still with this woman? I feel like if he could have just told me what was wrong or that he didnt like me anymore instead of lieing and cheating on me. Do you think he was just scared? Do you think he just didnt want to hurt me? I dont know how not to take this personally. Its not like he is cheating on this new woman. maybe he is happy? I dont know. But i felt and thought he loved me since he told me he did ,maybe i did something to turn him off? If he was a complete jerk wouldnt he be trying to play her too?

  36. RoMa says:

    My ex broke up with me over the phone in March 2008. After saying some hurtful things, he noted that he wanted to us to stay friends. I was so happy to still have him in my life, I gladly agreed that I’d be his friend. 2 months later, he invited me out to show off the brand new BMW he’d bought. And then, he rejected me again, but this time to my face.

    Good for me. This was exactly what I needed to toughen me up. I made up my mind to never speak to him again but I really needed him to get the message of “leave me alone”. So I prepared for his very predictable phone call, which came a month later.

    The phone rang, I answered using my calmest, clearest voice.

    The conversation:

    Me: Good day, may I help?
    Him: Hey you, how’s it going?
    Me: Who’s calling please?
    Him: It’s me girl.
    Me: Me? Me who? This is a private phone and I don’t recognize your voice.
    Him: Girl, stop playing. You know who it is.
    Me: Sorry, wrong number. And please, do not call me again.

    That’s the last time he made that mistake.

    He sees me at work. I look through him. Now, a year later, we make small talk but only because he is now just a co-worker.

  37. de-lightedtobefree says:

    Found this…it gives an idea of what is healthy and what is not..makes things real and makes you realize all the hurt was because these things were not being respected!!



  38. jupiter says:


    I have made pretty much every mistake in the book, and have been very slowly pulling myself out of the muck of a bad EUM/fall back girl relationship. I’ve chased and clawed and held on until I was a mess. He’d come back, I’d let him back, and then it was the same sh*t but different week.

    He cheated on you with her, which means that he betrayed both of you. This means that he has devalued not only you, but her. There is nothing special about her, and even though he isn’t cheating on her now (which you really can’t be certain of) does not mean he won’t cheat on her in the future. He already betrayed her when he cheated on you with her. You don’t know the dynamics of their relationship.

    He tried to be friends with you so that he could keep you around in case his relationship didn’t work out or in case he needed someone to fall back on. He may have tried to “friend you” so that you could be in easy access. It was a selfish ploy of his, one that I hope you don’t fall for. He may still “come back,” but all it means is that he believes he can still get something out of you without having to give in return.

    But here’s the hard part, it does not matter what he does or does not do. Believe me, I know how hard it is to believe this. The only important part of this equation is you. Just you. You have to be concerned about you, about what’s next for you, about what makes YOU happy.

    Please stay no contact. You can get over this doofus.

  39. PlanetJane says:

    I’m so sorry. I know this can be so painful. I think there are probably a lot of things going on with your AC though and you should resist the urge (I know it’s hard) to make them about you.

    He probably would have tried to get away with cheating on you and having both of you for as long as he could.
    YOU dumped HIM, he did not dump you, and that is probably why he hasn’t tried to get back with you.
    He has another woman on the line, and so doesn’t feel the need to have you to keep him from being alone or for an ego stroke.
    He is probably quite incapable of having a communicative, intimate, honest relationship where you can work things out rather than moving on to the next fantasy girl/fantasy relationship.

    His loss honey. Your gain 😉

  40. Butterfly says:

    I wonder about if he will try to contact me – I can see from my spam filter, which I checked the other day for ENTIRELY (and I do mean this 100%) work related reasons as a mail from the office didn’t arrive from a new staff member to my own personal email address. I could see two items in spam, both of which had MY contact to him as the last one so it looks like he replied and they were instantly deleted as per the mail rule I set up. Even SEEING that made my stomach flip and it was with anxiety – something I am sure you ladies will understand.

    PlanetJane has it right there. Even if he did love you once – he is happy not only to cheat on you but on her too. Forget him. Remember that horrible anxiety and that there is nothing wrong with you at all that you should apply to this idiot … except one thing. You don’t love yourself enough – my advice is take up something you love. I’ve just gone back to the gym :)

  41. j-ster says:

    Ive been thinking about unconditional love since i read TJ’s post, and the others in response to it.

    I think that my self love it very conditional. I find it hard to love myself or accept myself, or believe that others will do the same, when I am carrying a few extra kilos. I find it hard to love and accept myself when I do a bad job or make a mistake at work, or when I let people down, or when dinner turns out badly, or when this or that goes wrong or I perform at less than my best. I beat myself up with negative self-talk that just makes me feel worse, or I eat another block of chocolate… When I do better, or lose weight, or when other people love me, then I find it easier to love and accept myself again. So I guess it looks like I only love me when I’m a good girl.

    I dated EUMs for the majority of my life, and I thought I was loving them unconditionally, but when they treated me badly, I blamed myself for the bad treatment, wondering what I had done to deserve it, how I could change to avoid it in the future. So that wasnt really unconditional love, that was just shifting the blame.

    Since TJ’s post, I’m thinking that unconditional love might not be a very useful concept. There are a lot of contradictions involved in it. I think its important to remember that we dont love EVERYONE unconditionally, we are pretty selective about it, and not only that, its a pretty difficult thing to do in any case. It would be best for me to just reserve that kind of love for myself. For the near future, at least.

    j-ster’s last blog post..Holiday creativity

  42. Butterfly says:

    Perhaps “unconditional self support” is better?

    I dunno. “Love” is the right word for me, even though it smacks of narcissism despite me knowing that most narcissists don’t love themselves either. “How can you stand me?” was one of his more self pitying comments – I realise now that he probably had something he was feeling very guilty about at the time, shrugs.

    But the unconditional part … yeah, so you fall off the wagon and look to others for approbation – that’s the part you need to work on. Getting that approbation from you – and that’s something this site is really helping me see, personally :)

  43. Butterfly says:

    I wish I could edit my post above because:

    “And now he can say to himself “I wished her a good day and she was a real b*tch! ” and feel he’s the innocent party.

    These people are so twisted, really.”

    TJ I have to agree. I tried to break up with this guy a few times, and he cried which I took as being a sign that he did care (and he did – about him!). The last time I took as major when he first started with the “maybe I love you in a different way” I did start NC but got a text literally begging me to let him know I was ok.

    When I was insane enough to go back there we had what I considered a very honest talk (the honest talk is what made him start playing up again of course) during which I said that if he had not sent me that text I’d never have spoken to him again. I didn’t say the reason why was exactly this mechanism: he sent me such a heartfelt text and I ignored it then I’d feel like the bad guy.

    Urgh! These people just SUCK.

  44. Eyes wide open says:

    I was planning to post here this morning because I woke up feeling terribly depressed.I am mad at myself for feeling depressed.I had one of those moments where I remembered all the “good things”,”the way it was in the beginning”,and wondered how it all fell apart.I had pushed aside all I’ve read here and fell back in the old ways of “what did I do wrong?””what does she have that I don’t?”(that is a real mystery-she’s 7 years older than me and looks it(meouw!:)), she’s the complete opposite of me) and I started a real pity party!! I feel so humiliated that at the end he was with her and was still stringing me along.And he’s only known her a few weeks!!And he’s going to marry her.Was every single thing he ever said or did false?I could never ever trust him again.

    And get this..initially he wanted to stay “friends”-until “she” found out I existed.Do you know what the AC told me?In the interests of his future with her…not possible for us to stay “friends”.Thankfully,by the time it reached that stage I had already made my NC plans,and was on my way out,so the idea of remaining friends and then just as quickly being dumped as a friend didn’t really affect me.Actually it was the bucket of ice water I needed over my head…the arrogance,cheek..And this is the best-should it not work out with X then he will seek me out again(the truth,I swear he said it!!).
    So yes,after writing this,reading it to myself and reading the posts here,suddenly my depression has lifted somewhat.

    Oh,and my phone number is changing..just in case!!
    Something someone posted here really hit home,I actually wrote it down was how much unhappiness did you go through to get that little bit of happiness-something I’d never thought of before.The effort and energy I spent on this relationship has actually drained me.I suffered from insomnia for most of our relationship-worrying I’d said something wrong,not said enough,was he going to contact me or had I blown it by some imaginary thing I thought I’d done.Since NC,although I have had to face many painful things about myself,I have been in bed by 9pm and sleeping until 4am-really good for me!So I must be doing something right.

    My fellow sisters-thank you for posting.It gives us the strength when we have those weak moments to just remember why we need to look to ourselves for happiness,and why we will never get caught by AC’s again!!

  45. de-lightedtobefree says:

    The reason he has chosen to marry a girl he has met for only a few months is cause she doesn’t know him and he is feeding of her innocence(please fell sorry for her!), hes just taking advantage. Once she wakes up..she’ll find herself in blackbeards dungeon. Thank your lucky stars you escaped,

    What a piece of work is man!! (Shakespeare)

    don’t worry you are going through a very normal process of grief, you will get through this. :) peace. De

    and from NML, I found it again for you….

    ‘How much misery does it cost you to gain your drop of happiness?

    Isn’t there a cut off point where you have to recognise that you are unhappy and that your quest to be happy with that particular someone is actually making you unhappy?

    If you can accept the situation, be accountable for your part, let go and recognise that you are human and make mistakes, and use your experience to empower yourself to recognise poor relationship behaviour and also to arm yourself with better self-love such as boundaries, you can and will be happy.

    Having boundaries, treating yourself with love, care, respect, and trust, is self love.

  46. Butterfly says:

    Exactly! It is NOT about you or her – it’s about him, and about the time you start to feel better she’ll be wondering what the hell happened.

    After all … someone saying they will marry someone is NOT the same as it being all for real and lovely and roses. There is now a gap in his life where your attention (please note NOT YOU) was … he will need to fill it … pity her …

  47. kat says:

    see, I never thought of it that way. In my mind I think: “Maybe he realized he was an ass and is trying to apologize”. This is what a normal guy would do. But AC’s are looking for an ego stroke, I learn my lesson to never even reply to messages from them comming a month after ending it.

  48. Butterfly says:

    Assclowns rarely apologise – I am dealing with the ex BEFORE my narcissistic friend who is also being a complete nightmare – when pushing boundaries in trying to recover money he owes me, saying I wasn’t going to stand for any of his verbal abuse (10 years with this idiot alternating verbal abuse and over-affection) he said “Well you’re robbing me blind don’t expect me to be nice about it”. As if! I did used to get sorry afterwards but what use is that? I feel for his new girlfriend whom he is moving in with despite not really loving her or wanting to but because he can’t cope on his own.

    Once you see the pattern it’s hard not to be annoyed with yourself … but we shouldn’t be, we just need to learn never to do it again.

  49. 2kind says:

    Thank you for your response Jupiter and PlanetJane
    I know what you are saying makes sense and is the rational thing to do, i will try to implement that. I still feel myself wanting to friend him however as if somehow him wanting me in any way even if i were to reject his advances would affirm for me that i was still desirable to him. You are right when you say that he would have tried to keep goig with me and at the same time this woman, which is why i broke it off, you are right about that. But i just thought that maybe when i broke it off he somehow would have tried to get back with me (not that i would have taken him back and that is not the reason i broke it off). I feel that lets say i even tried to start something with him again, he wouldnt go for it– so i feel even more rejected as if i did something or turned him off so much that he never wants me in that manner again. I have thought about what could have made him react this way and the only thing that i can think of is that, i did expect him to come through with his words. If he said he was going to call me and didnt, i spoke up. If I caught him in a lie, i said something. If he said he would do somethng and didnt come through, i complained about it. I can only think that i became too much of a nag? Or that i pushed him too much or expected too much? I feel that he got tired of me arguing with him but these are things that i felt were valid because we were together and i just didnt understand why he would say one thing and then not do it. I feel that maybe i pushed him away and thats why he went behind my back because he wasnt happy? If I had another chance, i dont think i would do things differently but when i broke it off, i did it crying because it was not something i wanted to do, but something i felt i had to. As i was breaking it off, tears and everything i asked him, why did you keep me thinking that you loved me and that things were ok? and he said because he didnt want to hurt me but that to him, once he doesnt like something about someone he gets turned off and that with me, he didnt like that i checked his phone (because i knew something was going on) and that i always pushed him to come through on things rather than just letting the relationship go as it was. That i didnt understand that he works a lot and those were the reasons why he couldnt see me as much as i wanted and or that i didnt understand enough that he had so many family problems. I tried my best but i also think that if you are going to be in a relationship, you have to make time otherwise, what is in it for me? I just wanted something in return as well, not just him taking and letting the relationship be what made him comfortable… what about what makes me happy and what makes me comfortable? Am I wrong?

    Either way, i just feel that somehow this new woman is giving him something i cant. is it possible that she is more patient? more understanding? Less pushy than i was and that is the reason why he has remained with her? I know i shouldnt but i still have access to his phone account and when i check, i only see calls and texts to her back and forth and when he was with me, he was talking to so many other women/numbers. Just makes me think: What is it about this new woman that made him change or be more loyal? How come with her he isnt calling or texting many others but with me he was? What could i have done differently?

  50. 2kind says:

    one more thing:
    in the beginning he approached me. He was the one calling and pursuing me. In a little time, I got to liking him a lot and so i would call and look for him a lot and around this time, i dont know if that is what turned him off? But he started to pursue me and so isnt it just natural for the other person to eventually recipricate? I can only think that afterwards, i was more into him than he was into me and maybe he saw this as a turn off? Should I have played it hard to get a little more?

  51. PlanetJane says:

    Your post really breaks my heart, because I know how you feel. My xeum is currently dating an old friend of mine – although he’s said he doesn’t want a relationship with her, I can’t believe a word he says and I make up scenarios in my mind where they end up together. And he’s no longer calling me, so I KNOW he has someone else – he’s so needy. BUT, he didn’t want a (long distance) relationship with me either, so. The thing is, she is a mess! She’s a recovering Meth-addict, on Ridilin, she’s been arrested for drugs and domestic-abuse (her ex-husband), her marriage broke up when her husband found out she was sleeping with her boss (a married man), and she is currently sleeping with one of her bosses (also a MM). She lives with her Mom, pays child support (lost her kids) and has horrible credit. She pursued him and slept with him on the first date! I know these are all surface things but jeeezis! He said he would never get involved with someone struggling financially, or financially irresponsible again – he got messed around in his last relationship. I just don’t get it. Except that a lot of his girl “friends” are struggling. I think it makes him feel good about himself. And I certainly don’t. Oops, went off on a tangent there, but…

    I wanted to say 2Kind, that if there were little things you did that he didn’t like, and he loved you, he could have told you and tried to work things out with you rather than moving on to the next girl. It goes back to his inability to commit to a relationship and making it work. And as NML says, many of these eums NEED someone with little to no boundaries. The new girl may actually want more too, but she is suffering in silence – not a place you’d want to be stuck!

  52. Betterwithouthim says:

    @2Kind –
    Your EUM was lazy, lazy, lazy. It wasn’t about you at all. What you did or did not do, it was about him not wanting to put forth the effort. He just simply couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t put any more effort into the relationship than he had to, and he wasn’t interested in what your needs may have been. It wasn’t part of his agenda, his agenda was about hanging out when HE wanted to hang out, calling when he felt like calling, and just giving you a few crumbs here and there. In the beginning they all like to do the chasing (blowing hot), but once the chase is over and you want more (because you’re beginning to have feelings for him which is normal). You want more of his time, more conversations, more text messages, etc. That’s when they pull away (blow cold). God forbid your needs matter, or that you should get more of anything. Selfish -selfish-selfish.

    It’s just plain crazymaking, and this is exactly what NML is trying to teach us. If we know what we (EUW) want in a man, in our lives, in our careers and how to make ourselves happy then when we meet a Assclown we’ll know in short time what he’s all about and we’ll chose to walk away. We won’t keep trying to morph ourselves into what he wants us to be, or try harder, or anything else. We’ll be fine with who we are and tell him to use the EXIT door. And when he starts blowing hot, hot, hot after we tell him to leave, we won’t fall for his game playing drama and we’ll reject him.

    We’ll love ourselves enough to keep ourselves busy doing things and being with people who we enjoy and who build us up not tear us down. We’ll just keep on going until we happen to meet another guy who doesn’t act like an AC and who really is interested in building a relationship, forming a bond, and is willing to work at the obstacles which come forth between you. As NML says these men do exist but we won’t find them until we get ourselves in proper working order.

    You seem very smart, and articulate and deserve a relationship which builds on those fine qualities.

  53. 2kind says:

    Thank you so much for yur posts, planetjane and betteroffwithouthim
    i just cant believe that he would pursue something with me say he wanted certain things and then just turn the other cheek when i started to like him. What is someone supposed to think and do? I thought he was charming, handsome and everything he was saying was all the right things what did he think would happen? That I or some other woman wouldnt like him? That a relationship would start and he wouldnt have to do anything while he was in it? Do these men really think that they will find women who will stay with them like this? The other thing that bothers me is that he probably still doesnt see or think that there is something wrong with him. Im sure he is still walking around thinking that its me that wasn’t understanding or patient or loving enough. Its a lot to deal with because i just want him to hurt as much as i do. How dare he have another agenda? That is so wrong to me and i just wish he never would have approached me. I know he barely put an effort into the relationship, and now i feel like a complete jack ass for putting up with so little for so long. What was i thinking and how do i make him pay for this? im not one to be vengeful but he is getting away with something that i dont think is right. In the end he gets a new woman (or victim) and he continues to think he is great meanwhile i get the short end of the stick and left to pick my self up and my self esteem over someone who approached “me” to begin with!!!! How do they get away with these things? Its not right :(

  54. 2kind says:

    if he was lazy lazy lazy, than i am stupid stupid stupid for having been with him

  55. Butterfly says:

    2kind bless you – I went through some very similar emotions shortly before finding this site. I still have thoughts that I wish I didn’t but please try to accept that you weren’t too much of anything other than too good for this sort of behaviour, which is why you stood your ground.

  56. brokenheartedbabble says:

    2kind, oh I’ve been where you are! Go back and read more posts about forgiving and loving yourself! Much of my life was one big relationship mistake after another, and it is only now that I realize that without valuing myself, noone else ever will. Try to stop beating yourself up – you sound like you have so much to offer – intelligence, sympathy, introspection – don’t waste it on him! We all make mistakes, but thank God we can learn from them and go on.

    Punishing him would be fantastic, but he’ll never get it anyway. Try to get him out of your life and move on with your self-improvement agenda. Stay strong!

  57. PlanetJane says:

    I’m in your same boat, and it is so hard to stop thinking about the situation and wondering what you did, and what you could have done differently, and what’s wrong with you, and what’s so right with her. It is nearly impossible. But it is all worthless because there are just no answers. And, several times with this jerk, I have worked myself into a miserable depression. That is just not acceptable to me anymore. The only thing left to do is move on. The only way to do that, that I’ve found, day to day is: whenever I start to think negatively about him and his new girl or him and me – meaning, in a way that HURTS me, I yell at myself – in my mind not out loud 😉 “STOP!” And I keep repeating it until my mind goes to something else. And I do it again. And again, throughout the day. It is one thing I’ve found to work. You might try it.

    You should read, Facing Love Addiction, by Pia Mellody also. It is fantastic.

  58. katty says:


    omg I so much can relate to your post. But look at it this way, in the end this is good for you and here is why: He has shown you that he doesn’t deserve you by moving on to the next girl who could very well reflect himself (a total mess) . I know you don’t see it that way now because you are hurting and is normal but He truly has done you a favor because in your future you’ll look back and laugh at him for being so inmature and a jackass.
    Don’t beat yourself up anymore!! Because no matter how “happy” and aloof to your feelings he might seem, trust me he DOES KNOW it and in time he will recognize this, they all do!! Would he ever admit that he made a big mistake? Maybe not because AC egos are too huge to put themselves in that position. But believe me He WILL IN TIME IN TIME HURT just as much or worse than you, is just relationship karma.
    But right now try to focus on yourself, and like NML says take the focus off him and put it back to you, your happiness, your intelligence, your beauty, yourself. You are perfect just the way you are, nothing you had possibly done would make him “stay” probably only if you had become more of a dormat, and even then he may have not even stayed. He is unstable overall you cannot trust his word at all! He’s is at the early stage of having a new victim thats why he is behaving that way, just wait longer and you’ll see what happens. Nobody can change so sudden. I bet he is a very unhappy human being and his conscience will hurt much more when he find himself alone again.
    Want to know the best revenge? Focus on yourself and yourself only, do things you like try to bring happiness back in spite the pain you are going through. Personally taking vacations going away and having a blast has been my best medication to pain so far.
    And if he ever tries to contact you again, Ignore him at all cost don’t give him the time of the day he doesn’t deserve you period!!.
    Hugs! xoxo Best to you! keep reading these post they definitely will help you through this.

  59. katty says:


    One more thing, don’t beat yourself up because you stay for longer. Think of it this way, you were genuine with your love towards him and you truly tried to work things out because you loved him, had feelings for him, cared for him and you acted like a beautiful human being, someone who has a lot to offer and someone who is beautiful inside.

    SOmeone with whom any decent well together guy would like to stay with!! Your job is done, you TRIED for that amount of time and now you know he won’t change and doesn’t care about you as much as you did about him. Yes its possible that you missed the red flags, because you believed in him, as he came and showed you in the beginning, pretending to be genuine but HE WASN’T. That is called playing MIND GAMES, to get what he wants and then run away to the next victim. See how SELFISH he was?
    Feel good that you did your best because you believed in the relationship but He lied to you about his real intentions. This is why he doesn’t deserve you and relationship karma will bite him in his ass sooner than later. Feel happy and good about yourself because you didn’t do anything wrong, you believed you tried you loved, it didn’t work out, don’t force it, it is not meant to be, you deserve so much better than that!

  60. txwoman says:

    Look, second-guessing comes with the territory. My friend who has been with NC for nearly two years, called me this morning and said that she did not know, maybe SHE dropped the ball with her relationship with her AC/EUM. Two years come September, and she still has days that she is still blaming herself. I hate to admit this, but she had woke me up, and I got a little rough with her, but damn it, enough feeling sorry for yourself. Do you realize that it is sooooo much easier to blame yourself than to accept what you did and WORK on you. Forgive yourself. Realize that screwed up is screwed up and nothing you did with these AC/EUM’s changed them into the screwed up a**es they have always been. There is no magic answer. At some point, all of us need to buck up and take it like the strong women we really are. We can’t fix everything.
    My first experience with my AC/EUM I was still young and living at home. I was chasing this thing, and my mom finally told me that he was just using me and controlling me. She MADE me stop contact. She explained the controlling, the self-centered behavior, but only one time. My mom didn’t mince words, and I did not have the luxury of asking her after she explained it. She told me I would hear from him (I, of course thought, yeah, right), but a little over a year after my NC and yep, here he was. I blamed my mom for being really mean to me for not allowing me to talk to her, but I really do think that she did me a favor in the long run. Yeah, I had questions, I thought I needed answers, but the actions gave me everything I needed. I know that everyone heals at different rates, but we really do NEED to toughen up a little. Yes, you will have good days, you will have bad days. But I won’t even give them the satisfaction (whether they know it or not) of giving them the POWER to ruin my day. Done that, and I refuse to go there again. You ladies are a lot stronger than you think you are.
    Sorry for the rant. I’ve only had 3hours of sleep. I love this site. Wished I had it when I first experienced my AC (oops, long before the internet!).

  61. Brad K. says:

    @ txwoman,

    It seems kind of harsh, and a but of a “guy” thing, to jump in and “fix” her problem. I imagine she mostly wanted to hear “Yeah, getting over stuff like that is a bitch. I was going to make cookies this afternoon – you busy?”

    Actually, I am guessing. I don’t know that much about girl talk. But if she is calling you, and not him, then she is likely feeling vulnerable, and would benefit as much from a distraction as anything else.

    . . . I have my Mom’s raisin oatmeal cookie recipe if you need it. Or read it off the back of the Quaker Oats box. 😉

  62. Ria says:

    i think another reason as to why we as women get involved with these loser assclowns could have a lot to do with the relationships we have with our fathers. Statistics have shown that girls/women who do not have good relationships with their fathers (or any relationship at all) are more likely to get involved with men who disrespect them, undervalue them, use them, abuse them etc.

    i can speak for myself in this matter because i know that my strained- pretty much non-existent relationship wtih my dad has really affected how i feel about men and also the kind of men i seem to attract..my dad has never been the kind of father figure that ive always wanted and needed in my life and i feel like that somehow doesnt bring me to the same level that i see strong, smart, self-assured woman who would consider themselves “daddy’s girls” -i dont wanna lay the blame and take away any responsibility i have for my actions and choices that ive made since im an adult and i make my own decisions but sometimes i wonder if things (my life) would be different if that father-daughter relationship were different..

  63. Brad K. says:


    The connection may be similar to “just like daddy”, but I think it might be a bit more personal.

    I think we learn to live in a family from our growing up years. We learn the behavior of our parents – how Dad and Mom interact, their apparent expectations and habits, the way they communicate and cooperate. And then we take that life’s experience and pick someone that acts and reacts as the adults did in our childhood.

    There will be those lucky few that grew up in a mostly functional home, and choose a companion that is mostly functional – and those people have a reasonable shot at making a mostly functional life for themselves, their family, and to be a resource for their community.

    Others of us take a lifetime to realize that our habits and fundamental beliefs are skewed from what successful and happy people do and live. Our challenge is to create for ourselves better actions, reactions, expectations of what we are, what we are to do, and who we should pick as a partner.

    Whether what influences us is the family interactions of our childhood, or our image of our mother or father, we still face the problem of identifying aspects of our assumptions about being part of a couple or family that we have to learn or invent new values for.
    .-= Brad K.´s last blog ..br: The practice doll =-.

  64. raven says:

    I’ve been reading this site for about 3 weeks now – I read it every day and will continue reading it every day for as long as it takes to stop the insanity. It makes me cry – for myself and for all the women on here whose comments I read. What the hell happened to all of us???

    I am 53 now and I am still beautiful most people guess my age at 40-45), I have a good figure and I’m very intelligent and successful. I’ve got two gorgeous children and I’m a good parent. I have a group of close friends with whom I have excellent relationships and with whom I can set boundaries, and who treat me with care, kindness and respect. I have been working on improving my relationships with men for a long time having worked out that I attract EUMs about 3 years ago. I had set good boundaries and finished relationships which were clearly not going anywhere and then earlier this year I decided to take a break from dating and felt fantastic – everything was going very well and then a guy got in touch off a dating site which I’d forgotten to delete myself off and he seemed so much like what I’d been looking for I decided to date him. The first couple of dates went really well and then he pulled back and I challenged him on it and he apologised and then we had a couple more good dates and then he again pulled back a bit and I was really disappointed because we had been getting on so well and shared so many common interests. At that point I was really clear that he was EUM and told him so and that I didn’t want to pursue things any more, but – and I can’t quite pinpoint how he did this – I got sucked back in and my mind quite literally ‘flipped a switch’ and I found myself in an obsessional state about him that I don’t remember feeling since at least 10 years ago. I was aware of it, but couldn’t shake it and found myself emotionally really vulnerable. I saw him once more to collect a piece of furniture he’d given me and being with him was so powerful it really shook me up. Luckily I never even got beyond a kiss with him (I am wiser about that stuff now) and actually he is actively working on his issues and was very honest about his EU once I called him on it. That isn’t the problem – the problem for me is that it’s totally shaken my confidence because I wonder why I still attracted him. Though on the other hand I should be pleased because I was very clear about what he was doing and actually only had around 6 meetings with him before going to NC which I’ve kept up. But still – reading this site makes me feel even less confident because I just wonder if I will ever lose whatever it is that makes me vulnerable. At the moment I think I am never going to experience a fulfilling relationship in my life and I think I have to resign myself to giving up on that hope and just concentrating on all the great things that are going on. It makes me sad because I’ve always imagined myself with a really nice man but over-50s men seem even less interested in commitment than younger men and the ones who are single are either messed up or grieving widowers.

    I wish I’d learned this stuff years ago :-(

  65. de-lightedtobefree says:

    Raven, I totally relate..the old switcharooo trick..what is that! I put it down to the moment we say no..they hot it up and really work on making us beleive its for real and then they disappear for just long enough, we pine for them just fora moment and them bam.. it’s like they have an internal monitor when they know the switch goes on… we pursue, even if it’s one phone call!! they back off, their game just got interesting, ours just got miserable!

    Damn shame is what it is. Shame on them!

  66. Used says:

    When you first met this “man”–personally and/or through the site–were you in a state of transition in your life? For example, had you just gone through a move; and/or had you just started a new job; etc.?

    What struck me in what you wrote:
    1. You had just cleaned up all loose ends in your life–and knew that you had done so–just before meeting this “man”;
    2. You knew you did the right thing by calling him on his behavior (though I personally would have said nothing, watched his words and actions on all dates, and subsequently left him without an explanation–by rule, I feel that adult men and “men” like this do not need personal teachers/psychotherapists/mothers/sisters/etc. as dates/girlfriends/romantic interests), however, in any event, you recognized his bad behavior and lack of respect and acted on it: good for you!;
    3. You found yourself emotionally vulnerable, and still find yourself emotionally vulnerable.

    #3 is due to:
    A. The fact that you were in some sort of transitional state. We know as a fact that you had just dealt with cleaning up loose ends, so to speak, before you met him. You also were re-entering the dating scene. You may have been subject to or party to other transitional events. In any event, you were psychologically in a transitional part of your life. THIS CAUSES FEELINGS OF VULNERABILITY IN ALL WOMEN, in ALL people. It’s like starting a new school year: the fear, the apprehension–it’s all there!
    B. Not many “datable” men are out there, the older you get, so fewer opportunities exist. BUT: not many “datable” (or even interesting) men exist from the time we hit 18 forward. Also, though so many men (and “men”/man-boys, like yours) have a plethora of good women to choose from, they often wind up with bitchy women, lazy women, gossipy women, etc. So don’t feel bad! They have always either been bad, or had bad judgment.

    BTW, those women who are bad sometimes do “luck out” (despite their bad reputations, etc.) by virtue of being smart in one area: their friendships. Either they or their parents/friends hand with good people, honestly good, decent, kind, loving people who introduce them to good guys.

    I was “guilty” of having been in a vulnerable, transitional state when I met the EUM, and of having had bad friends, all through life. Bad company (whether it’s guys you date, or your friends, etc.) makes life WAYYYY more difficult than it needs to be.

    Once, I told my former best friend that the EUM resembled someone I knew professionally, someone whose office is very close to mine. Several months later, another mutual friend’s husband brought up this man’s name; I said I knew this man through my work, and “how small a world is that”. Now, the EUM and all of these mutual friends of ours live and work VERY far away from this man. Guess what? I just found out that the EUM sought out (and used) this man’s services recently! How weird is that?

    Bottom line:
    1. Be wary of the company you keep;
    2. Women’s jealousy of each other, competitiveness, or otherwise petty behavior (e.g., gossip!) is what these “men” thrive on: they exploit it for their own ends. [This makes me VERY sad, because we as women can not have real friends. Hence the necessity of this site, and others like it.];
    3. The internet is a dangerous tool, as well, for these “men”. It creates a field-day situation for them. A field “day” that lasts for all of the days of their lives, if they don’t actively CHOOSE to change–and they usually don’t!

    Be proud of what youhave accomplished and that you used your judgment correctly. Sadly, hasving used mine correctly has caused me to have lost invitations to more than a few mutual friends’ parties…all because of a jerk who I (like you) dated only a handful of times! It’s hits hard in the holiday season!

    But, all in all, people (good or bad) know what the truth is, and that I acted well, and with class.

    (BTW, the EU “man” never changed, even with marriage. He checks out women–including me–continuously, behind his wife’s back, all the time. Despite his family/daughter, wife, and mother-in-law’s presence! These people are NOT normal!)

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.