Wolf making excuses. Person saying that they smell bullshit


Don’t forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the archives.

One of the things that I’ve recognised as a differentiator between healthy and unhealthy relationships is the presence of excuses, whether it’s yours and/or theirs. In the worst of situations where you may be denying, rationalising, and minimising, you may even be making excuses for their excuses which only goes to show how poor the original excuse was.

Just like how on the other side of a jumped boundary lies disrespect, on the other side of an excuse often not only lies at least some element of disrespect but also the real reason.

An excuse is a reason that is given to justify an offence or fault but its primary purpose is to lessen responsibility by getting you to overlook, excuse, or even forgive off the back of it. This of course is rather tricky because when there’s excuses it means that any commitment is being lessened, which means everything else tied to it becomes pretty flimsy. You may also be overlooking things that are busting up your boundaries.

People often get ‘reasons’ and ‘excuses’ mixed up because there appears to be some crossover. Excuses allow people to remain in their uncomfortable comfort zone, dodge conflict by avoiding honesty both with others and themselves, dodge accountability, and cast themselves in a better light.

Saying “The dog ate my homework” gives the impression that you’ve been a victim of misfortune and avoids conflict whereas saying, “I couldn’t be arsed to do my homework” or “I forgot” makes you look lazy and lacking in conscientiousness.

Likewise saying “I’ve been really busy” gives the impression that you’re so busy (ya know busier than a world leader) that you haven’t had the time to contact or see them whereas saying “I’m not interested / am half-hearted / have been trying to get back with my ex” will not only have you in the position of saying something that most people squirm at and possibly inviting ‘conflict’, but if you’re the type of person that likes to hedge your bets, you may want to keep them as a rainy day option. If anything you’re hoping they’ll take the hint and do your job for you and at the worst of things, you may be hoping the excuse allows you to avail of their ‘usefulness’.

Excuses are inherently negative whereas things happen every day that are positive that have reasons behind them – that’s what a reason is; a cause or an explanation and yes sometimes a justification for something happening.

A reason doesn’t lessen responsibility or even act as an automatic precursor to being excused or forgiven and what I’ve found differentiates a genuine reason from an excuse is that when someone provides a reason for why something has or hasn’t happened, a solution is in the offing.

People who make excuses aren’t really looking to ‘make sh*t happen’ or find a solution that you can both live with, or even ‘rectify’ or make amends. Excuses are not real reasons; they’re BS ones.

In my post about ‘Sorry’, I explained how when someone gets on your case about accepting their apology or forgiving them that it really means:

“Look, can you hurry the eff up and accept my apology so I can stop feeling bad about it? You perceiving me as wronging/hurting/abusing/whatever you is terribly inconvenient and my ego doesn’t like the pinch of reality, so if you don’t mind, get a shuffle on, accept my apology and let’s move on so I can slam my palm down on the Reset Button. “

Well guess what? When someone uses an excuse, they’re really saying:

“Look, hurry the eff up and get off my case so I can get my shag / ego stroke / shoulder to lean on / money / perfect image back etc. You perceiving me as wronging/hurting/abusing/whatever you, is setting off my responsibility alarm bells which is setting off my reality alarm bells which is setting off my commitment, expectation, and intimacy alarm bells. The sooner I’m excused, the sooner I can get back to doing what I always do.”

Or “Look, can you hurry the eff up and get off my back because I’m only offering up this feeble justification for what I’ve said/done or failed to say/do because the real reason doesn’t sound too great when said out loud and may invite conflict, plus if I gave you the real reason, it would put me in the position of actually having to do something.”

Or “Please reduce your expectations of me and this relationship immediately.”

Sometimes, they’re even saying “Look, you know and I know what’s happened here but if you want to go along with this charade, I’ll throw you an excuse and see how much more of a free ride I can get.”

Sometimes, they’re saying, “Wow, it seems like you don’t seem to see what’s really going on here! Can’t you see I ain’t sh*t?!/ Can’t you see that I clearly am not putting in the time and effort here? Hmmm…well I won’t be direct with you because I don’t want to look like the bad guy here, so I’ll palm you off with this excuse in the hope that you get the hint. And if you don’t, well it’d be almost rude not to avail of what’s on offer…”

Often it’s literally “I cannot be arsed to put some real effort into a real reason.”

And when you make excuses for their excuses “I’m telling you….I’m not leaving! You’re the best thing I’ve never had or only had for a short time before the Future Faking ended and I don’t want to let go of the fantasy because then I’d have to see and accept some uncomfortable things and even get out of my comfort zone. You’re gonna love me!” – Note, best read as if singing with Jennifer Hudson’s voice.

And when you make excuses for yourself “I’m not really looking to find a solution or take any action that would involve making a decision and leaving my comfort zone.”

Behind every excuse is the real reason.

Sometimes it simply boils down to “I don’t want to try” and what’s really important is that you don’t clog up your life with excuses whether it’s yours or theirs because you’ll become a person of inaction that doesn’t make decisions. Excuses, especially when we buy into them make things appear more complicated than they are.

The next time you’re presented with an excuse, it’s time to ask “So what does this mean?” or “So what happens next?” I remember when Dot Dot Dot Man told me how busy he was for the umpteenth time and how he’s not ready for a relationship and I told him that he clearly doesn’t have time for a relationship and this meant that our ‘relationship’ was over.

That’s what it meant and that’s what happens next when someone keeps excusing themselves for not having the time, energy, decency or even ability to evolve into a copilot in your relationship.

Trust me when I say that when someone is looking to maintain the status quo and keep palming you off with excuses, no solutions are on the horizon, after all, if they’re the one making the excuses, they have to be a part of the solution, which means they have to be responsible in the relationship, which means that excuses become redundant.

You’ll know you’re in a healthy relationship when you don’t have to listen to excuses or make excuses. Instead of accepting excuses, start accepting the reasons.

Your thoughts?

Holiday Update

By the time you read this, I’ll [hopefully] have set up our tent at Camp Bestival and will be sipping on mojitos. The kids have got temporary tattoos with my mobile number on them (please Nia don’t pull a disappearing act), I’ve packed enough food to feed a village and I’ll make sure to post some pics to Instagram so check the feed on the right hand side. Em has spared me from Barbara Streisand filled journey although I’ve heard a lot of Five Star and as I type this he’s singing along with ‘123 shake your body down’…

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at the Museum of Childhood (one of my favourite places!) with one of my oldest friends from back home in Dublin. It was flipping sweltering and we made feather headdresses out of paper. I was last to finish as I was enjoying making mine so much…

My mother-in-law is arriving in a couple of days and I’ve been so busy with the kids, Em will have to get the spare room set up. Haha!

There’s been lots of relaxation as we’ve had playdates or activities all week. I’ve also been giving a little bit of help to friends who are on the verge of launching businesses. Don’t worry – I haven’t been working too hard!

I’ve ended up watching Breaking Bad this week and I laughed so hard in the second episode, I damn near thought I’d wet myself laughing.

For those who have been asking, the values and being valued posts are on the schedule for revisiting.

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227 Responses to Revisited: Behind every excuse lies the real reason

  1. stacey allam says:

    after awhile when you get old enough you start to see through these guys excuses like tissue paper and you just cant go on with it all comes with age and wisdom signed methusalah

    • R.C. says:

      Yep. You can’t live unless you learn. Wisdom comes not only with age but from experience. I didn’t fully have the wisdom of how men really think and operate in my early twenties as I do now. Aging may slowly take away the days of youth but never the wisdom that has been gained.

    • Suki says:

      hear hear! a friend recently told me the excuses that a guy was telling her – about not having it together, being confused, going through a lot etc. That she’s so great but they can’t have anything together. And she was reframing the excuses, adding to them – ‘I think he doesnt tell a lot of people and he’s obviously suffering and etc’. And I couldnt help laughing, I was just laughing till the tears ran down my face. My friend kept up defending him for a while and then she finally stopped talking and started laughing. People – stop listening, stop adding to those excuses, stop interpreting b.s. into reasons… oh and also – stop making them yourself or to yourself. That last bit is hard. Ugh now I dont feel like laughing :) Taking responsibility is hard – I feel like I usually am honest with others and dont make excuses but I make a lot to myself.

  2. crystal c says:

    Ahhhhh timely as usual!
    Latest excuse (yesterday) from my 6 year relationship EUM:
    He doesn’t talk, share his inner world, be open honest, or disclose what he rightfully should because “he is a quiet person”. LOL!
    My response was you CHOOSE not to communicate with me IE: you deliberately lie , hide things, omit things, close yourself off from intimacy. He certainly has no problem sharing his inner world with anyone but me, including women at work, ex GF’s, women on the internet,and even slandering me and revealing all my person soul sharing that I have done with him to his sister, who by the way later threw these things in my face in an attempt to shame me and make me feel like crap.
    Slowly but surely I am working through this and one day hope to be free from the chains that bind me!
    I have come to realise that I have an attachment disorder…I attach myself to EUMs that aren’t attached to me! Time to detach!
    Thanks for another great article 😉

    • Lolla C says:

      Hi Crystal,
      I hope I am not being offensive, but, if what you wrote is accurate-why are you even with this guy-you don’t have to ‘surely but surely’ work thru this and hope ‘one day’ to be free. Just read what you wrote-dont you (and doesn’t everyone) deserve better? Tell him you are done and nc hime. being alone IS better than being in a non relationship like this (bc you are not really in a relationship). then work on yourself so that the next guy you are with is a good guy.

      • Suki says:

        Crystal, I agree with Lolla. Also reading your comment reminds me of what its like to be with a passive aggressive EUM or narc. The constant talking. You’re always trying so hard, because you are desperate for normal behavior. Your stomach hurts from the trying to find the right words to get normal decent behavior. You think that if you could just say the right thing and hit on just the right interpretation for what they are doing that they will be different. You become a bit self-righteous and annoying yourself. That stomach ache – is not worth it. You might well have an attachment disorder. But more simply you are with an EUM that will drive you demented. The longer you stay the longer you believe that this is what people are like – that they have to be talked and coaxed and brow beaten into decent behavior, that people do not willingly behave decently. That is not true. Some people do and they deserve your time and loyalty. Others dont and ..ain’t nobody got time for that. Being with an EUM is not a disease that needs a slow cure.
        Also – if you do want to stay because you dont feel strong enough to leave or think there is something to salvage, there might be more effective ways of behaving. You are angry and annoyed. You are in a relationship with an EUM – YOU, so you are part of it, enabling him with his b.s. Stop enabling, stop being mad, enjoy the good times. Soon you will no longer be hooked in with your anger. Then you will see if there is anything good here or it was just you focused on getting someone EUM to not reject you, to validate you, to see you. Validate yourself, and then see if there is anything of value left in your relationship. That is how the ‘one day the cure’ will come. Something has to change – if you are not ready to leave, then change yourself. If you do neither, then you are willingly with an EUM and are willingly letting yourself experience bad behavior to which you contribute with your anger at him. This might sound harsh and I say it because I am happily NC and years from the EUM, and yet I’m still getting over it. I wish I had seen BR or had someone help me to get out a lot sooner.

        • NK says:

          Amazing words.

        • Lucky_Charms says:

          OMG! Suki! My jaw dropped when I read your comment. “The constant talking” Dear Lord! That’s why I love BR! There are so many here with similar experiences. I almost made it to 9 months of NC. Almost, because Mr. Unavailable came to my door. When I opened it (I know, but he was the last person I thought I’d see) I said “Why are you here?” His reply? “I don’t know.” DUH! For real? After spending a year with him, because he future faked me, telling me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, then telling me in a grocery store on Christmas Eve, he didn’t know what he wanted, now he comes to my house, but doesn’t know why. Translation; If he came right out and said he wanted a shag, a shoulder to cry on, some armchair psychiatry, I would have slammed the door in his face. Don’t worry he got the slam, but before I did that, I asked him why he future faked me? He said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow if I did I would be a very rich man..” What the what? My mistake was not understanding his philosophy, er, excuse, of not being able to predict the future, therefore, you don’t do anything you say you are going to do. A lot of us here at BR wonder what would happen if our ex EUM’s got back in touch with us. Well now you know. Nothing, except for more mind effery. Thank God for BR because excuses and confusion and talk, talk, talk, is all you get from these assclowns. I flushed him and his excuses.

          • Lara says:

            Ahhahaha, sorry Lucky_Charms, but I had to laugh at what your AC ex said about not being able to predict the future. Because not knowing what the future holds is a good excuse for not having any plans, ambitions, etc., right? My ex gave me that line 4 months into our ‘relationship’, when I asked him where we stood. He kept saying he can’t do a “serious relationship’ (without defining what he meant by ‘serious’) and kept saying that he can’t plan anything in his life because he doesn’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow. Of course, that was all BS, as he kept mentioning (without realizing it would expose his lies about not having any plans) his plans to settle down in Thailand 5 years down the line. It’s all BS and lies. Good thing you got rid of him. What an asshole!

            • Lucky_Charms says:

              Lara, once again I am shocked that someone else used the whole “unpredictableness” of the future, in order to avoid the future faking plans these assclown’s make or convince you to just “go with their flow.” It’s really unbelievable. I wonder, if we went to a psychic, who can predict the future for these assclowns, would it work? I have a funny feeling that the psychic would say… “Girl you in danger…”

              • Lara says:

                HAHAHA, Lucky_Charms… I loved the “girl you in danger” line!! Yep, exactly! It’s fascinating how time and again we come across men who have done the same exact things.. it’s like we’ve all been dating the same AC! Scary!

        • Selkie says:


          Yep. We tend to take on the behavior of the EUM as our responsibility and twist and turn ourselves inside out and upside down to change their behavior. It’s ridiculous and a bit self righteous, you are absolutely right! That is how we lose ourselves. We forget we have choices for ourself and instead focus on turning them into what we want them to be while completely ignoring who they really are. It’s absurd and such a complete waste of time! I’ve been there too and wish I had the vision then that I do now.

        • Brenda says:

          Sounds so familiar.. and often times the LAST thing he will want is for YOU to validate you, Even though it wasn’t working any other way anyhow, That can be the final straw in itself.

          When there is absolutely NOTHING left to do.

  3. SearchingForSatori says:

    “Sometimes it simply boils down to “I don’t want to try” and what’s really important is that you don’t clog up your life with excuses whether it’s yours or theirs because you’ll become a person of inaction that doesn’t make decisions.”

    Today I blocked the EUM/AC’s phone number. Something I should have done a year ago. Something I’ve been trying to do (within myself) for 2 years. I have been NC for almost 8 weeks (which equals my longest a year ago). He has only hoovered once, about 10 days after I told myself I was NC. Before this, in March, he “apologized.” Said he loved me and was sorry he hurt me. Didn’t offer much in the way of either reason or excuse. But I bought it. Then over the next 2 months invited me to visit him five times (he moved 3 hours away a year ago)…. then would disappear. Like a little boy playing a game of ringing your doorbell and running to hide behind a bush.

    I finally read Natalie’s No Contact book this week, which I’d had for several months. I procrastinated in reading it because I knew what it would mean. That t would be done and over forever. That I would finally have to take action. Going NC was relatively easy because there is really no more to say. But I kept wondering if he would reach out. I wanted to know he cares and have the satisfaction of ignoring him. Like he does to me. Today I decided I don’t want to think about it… about him… any more. I want to stop with the excuses and take action. There is nothing to gain anyway. If he were to contact me, would he suddenly treat me with care or respect? Nopers…

    ‘And when you make excuses for yourself “I’m not really looking to find a solution or take any action that would involve making a decision and leaving my comfort zone.” ‘

    He never even gave excuses let alone reasons. And today I am done with my own excuses. Action taken and long time coming.

    • Diane says:

      It’s irritating when we don’t get the satisfaction of ignoring them, that’s for sure! That passes and we get to feel grateful that we are not dealing with all that nonsense and hurt anymore. I think there will always be times when we regret not really knowing if they even cared that we hurt or had to go NC. It helps me to remember that I don’t need that bs- from him or myself.

      • Emerldeyez says:

        I have been no contact for months. I have a court date again, coming up for DV charges against him, over a year ago, so the slowness of the law has kept this man in my life. He tried to get me with him, again this weekend, still loves me, we could have had a wonderful life together, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. I know its all lies. he cheated on me throughout the two years we were together, and lied about it. I have finally in my heart disconnected from him and want better. I am the one who made the excuses for his behaviors, I am the one who took him back over and over again, because of his flimsy excuses, but he never took responsibility or was accountable. I AM DONE. I will no longer make excuses for someone else’s behaviors, including me own. And yes, it has been really hard looking at myself. But it is never too late.

      • Brenda says:

        And when you finally have 100% moved on.. That is when they call and are sorry it seems, “when it’s way too late to even bother mentioning it.”

        Don’t know why, just the way that always worked out.

    • Jule says:

      You did the absolutely right thing. I just blocked my assclown EUM yesterday finally so just remember, you aren’t alone in this. I know what you mean about knowing what it would mean to get real and finally do the thing that is so hard but so important to sanity and self respect. I had to do that after saying it to myself for a while too, “go NC for real” but it took a while to get there and be real with myself. We are free. Just remember that. Free from all the BS. Congrats to you.

      • SearchingForSatori says:

        Diane, Jule,
        Thank you for your support. And congrats to you too, Jule for going REAL NC.

        I’ve learned so much the past year in reading this site daily, and am better and stronger for it. Both Natalie’s posts and everyone’s comments. (Shout out to Selkie and Fx; I always related to your experiences.) Ha, a year ago “I” was offering the friend card!

        Yes, I love this man dearly, and I believe he loves/d me too, albeit in some effed up narcissistic (seriously) way that I can’t comprehend. Bottom line is, his behavior is unacceptable, and will never change. Time to get REAL about that, as you say, Jules. Time to love myself more.

        I firmly believe the only way to do that is by blocking any avenue for him to contact. Otherwise there’s still that niggling “What if…” (What if he’s finally seen the light and isn’t just contacting to use me as an ego stroke/emotional airbag?) He will always be in a quiet corner of my heart, and that’s OK. Heck, it’s far better than the drama, sadness, disappointment, confusion, shock, trauma, trying, wondering, hoping, ruminating, ad nauseum…

        I am so thankful I finally got to this point and was able to GET REAL with MYSELF. Thank you Natalie!

        • Selkie says:

          It’s amazing how similar many of our stories can be. Before finding this blog, I felt alone in my experiences and it was hard to sort out what was real from the excuses I was told and ones I said to myself. Hearing other’s stories and how people found their way out of the dark gave me hope. It also brought me to reality by making me see I wasn’t crazy, just misguided. Many of my struggles could of been avoided. AH, but we live and learn. Blocking always worked the best for me. It was a tangible step that made me let go, for real, instead of waiting for the glimmer of hope to get crumb fed by meaningless texts that I would surely spin into gold. It’s a decision I made for myself instead of passively letting the ex stay in the driver’s seat. Even if a man loves us ( in a twisted unhealthy way), if they continue to hurt us, does that love really matter? Ultimately….no. Pain is pain. Hang in there. You’re the captain of your own ship…..

          • Brenda says:

            Love it and so TRUE indeed..

            “Even if a man loves us ( in a twisted unhealthy way), if they continue to hurt us, does that love really matter? Ultimately….no. Pain is pain”

            And when you SEE that he could care LESS that YOU cried for two years, and then he has a hissy fit becasue you need more than pain even though he’s with someone else and even had your blessing?

            Oh yes, that will kinda make you NEVER want that again in your life, and see it is completely selfish and controlling alright.

            Lesson learned: I cannot trust any man to really be a friend after having had the luxury of my attentions, Never give them your attention unless your sure there is either going to be something more, or an ending.

            Never seen one be able to do it.

        • lizzp says:

          “He will always be in a quiet corner of my heart, and that’s OK.”

          Searching, I’m glad to have come across your comment. I relate to where you find yourself emotionally. My ex of 10 months just recently took up occupation in my own quiet heart corner and I am at peace from this relationship at last. The peace is so calming, a little sad, but pain is over. I’m just being with this for now, living, acting/doing and “cleaning out my own house” metaphorically speaking. No dating or men for me for now too. It’s not long till the new year and I have plenty to do.

          • SearchingForSatori says:

            Lizzp, I’m doing the same. Metaphorically AND literally.
            And no dating until I’m sparkly.

            • lizzp says:

              Searching, hehe, well yes I literately did a massive spring clean of my house recently and having a front boundary fence put in too! Hmmmm, what’s on the inside and outside definitely seem to be in sync at the moment. Geeez, a boundary fence how symbolic…

              • Brenda says:

                Good way of looking at it, nice to have am image of something you can see like that as emotions can’t be seen.

                Exactly why emotional abuse and betrayal is one of the worst kinds of abuse there is.

  4. Jule says:

    Thanks, Natalie. This is a good reminder of how lame excuses can get and how we have to watch for it. I was tormented by the infamous AC in my life. Before I dropped him like a hot potato for the last and final time, I had called him out to see if the relation-shit would actually hold water this time. I invited him to a show and to dinner — two separate things on two separate occasions, both of which were ON MY TERMS not his. Sure enough he made excuses and/or gave incomprehensible vague reasons. He tried a few more times to pull me back into HIS game on his terms that were essentially only for his gain (nothing nice for me but shags for him) and I refused. He thought that was funny. He said it was funny that I had other plans. I wasn’t laughing. I blocked him and cleared the decks. I have met some other men recently and I’m watching for the red flags. So far, so good.

    • Lacy says:

      JuLe I like that word Relation-shit I have to use that one.Good for u for opting out of the realtion-shit.

  5. Allotherstuff says:

    I have learned so much over the past three years, reading this blog – just about everything you have cited about the behaviors of people who are interested and not interested in a successful, loyal and progressive relationship is TRUE. I am so, so, so, so, sooooo happy, I ended my last relationship….one of the worse things in this life is being in a relationship with someone who’s “just not that into you.” When a man or woman is truly interested, they DON’T MAKE EXCUSES, instead, they make things HAPPEN for the good.

    I would advice anyone who is in a relationship with someone who makes excuse after excuse, to really sit down and consider the price that has to be paid when allowing yourself to stay in such a situation.

  6. suzy says:

    oh spot on with this post. I didn’t come across it before (ha, perhaps I wasn’t ready for it, I too had a ton of excuses).
    Funny that, my current, nicely unfolding relationship has no excuses, some reasons, (which are worked at in a co-piloted way). Its helpful to read this and keep me on track. I still have a responsibility for myself and how I live.
    What a fab site this is.

  7. Selkie says:

    Brilliant post to revisit and a good refresher for me. I recently got the brush off with a disappearing act without ANY excuse at all. I’m not sure whats worse, the disappearing or a lame excuse? The disappearing act leaves so much to wonder about, like; ‘did he lose his phone, was he deported, is he lost in the woods, was it because I wouldn’t sleep with him, did he have a heart attack, was he abducted by aliens?’. Just disappearing is cowardly, but so are excuses, and I guess they both leave a bunch of unanswered questions. But on the other hand, the message is clear with a disappearing act. No misinterpreting it, just poof! and no riddle of excuses to decipher. So that said, with no response to my last text a week ago, I have gone silent too. The origami unfolding was as simple and quick as a paper napkin. Think I’ll use it to wipe my……

    Oh, Breaking Bad is quite graphic, but I loved the series. Another one to watch if you can stomach the premise is ‘Dexter’.

    Have a wonderful, wonderful camping trip! I just got back from one and am heading out on another next week. I love it. I go with a bunch of gals and we have way too much fun.

  8. Lacy says:

    I used to listen to these type of excuses,but the sad part was I knew bs.I spent yrs arguing and fighting lies.I look back at how crazy I had to have looked.

    One occasion was him calling me and say to meet him at his house.It took me about 15 mins to get there when I got there I called him 5 times and he didn’t answer, 2 hrs later he sent me a text and said that he had dozed off to sleep Wow the games and circles I let him run around me.

    Mon x came by my house knocking at the door and I asked him to leave or I’ll have the police make him leave he said I’m crazy and I know what he goes thru but I’m threatening him with the police? And that he can see that he’s not wanted and I will never be happy.That night I had a glass of wine and maybe it heighten my sadness so I cried,visions of the day he asked me to have sex with him and his friend,the lies or bs excuses,the times he would say he’d be back and I wouldn’t see him til the next day, the day he told me I was boring and I no longer satisfied him sexually,then the next day he said he was joking and if I can turn around so he can have sex with me, and the day I got all dressed up on Valentine’s day and he didn’t show up.Seeing him once or twice a week for sex, rarley see him on weekends maybe at 4 am for sex,and maybe see him a few times thru the weekday when he wanted me to wash his clothes, cook food, or he wanted to lay on my couch for 2 hrs or so.

    So I asked myself if he has so many complaints,I have so many, what have I been doing to myself? And why is he at my door? I am not going to try to find out.I cried and I felt ugly visioning all the dumb stuff I did, I maybe helped him get his buisness going to make a decent living for him and one of his kids mom and I feel stupid.But I don’t think he owes me I did it because of the way I felt about him so I don’t regret kinda embarrassed.All the running around for him errands helping him pay for his tow truck and never getting the money back when he specifically said it was a loan.I cried and I felt like its gotta be me the reason he acts like that to me because whoever was getting all his time and whoever he was with when he would be in my car from 8 am til the next day he has to love that person.The next day I said I wanted to change me but not just outside inside too.I prayed I read some scriptures in the bible, I wrote I read baggage reclaim.I read the post when Nat said it takes time for the heart to catch up with the mind.To be patient with myself for loving someone who treated me unfair or didn’t meet my needs, and its better to have loved and lost then not loved at all.I learned a lot from x and if I was willing to participate in the shenanigans how can I be angry at him for pulling the same old tricks he did what he had to accomplish what he wanted and I kept willingly participating. He maybe felt I enjoyed it back and forth hot and cold.

    This is day 4 he hasn’t attempted to come by my house and Nc is still in effect.Those desires for him are fading away.My reality is on fri and sat nights now when I’m at home just me and the kids or by myself and my thoughts drift to him, I remember that on those days I may have not seen him anyway.Holidays he was busy and I may have got to see him for an hr only for sex.So therefore I am not misssing anything.

    The x had my debit info at one point and so this morn he had the nerve to use my card to by moves on the game candy crush my cell phone sent me an alert.I called the bank and had the card cancelled, I didn’t even bother calling him and asking him to stop using my card.

    I feel different from the other attempts at Nc.I have been praying and I don’t feel angry or obsessed. I hope this feeling lasts forever.

    • susanna says:

      Lacy, the sooner you shut this man out of your life, the better your life will be. You are worthy of so much better–you DESERVE to have a man in your life who respects, cares and loves you–this man is not it. Shut the door for good–stay NC and work on taking care of you. Put this guy behind you.
      Hugs to you.

      • Lacy says:

        Yes thatst a done deal for me.I added up what positives was it to keep dealing with him and Icame up with nothing but negatives.

        I have been extremely lonely in these times its seems like its hard for me to connect with anyone.I am by myself so much.No friends work home kids.No dates and this is a first this yr.My head has been buried in that man for so long I didn’t realize I was losing people. Well some people had to also be out of my life but that’s another story.I just hope that God brings people in my life that celebrates me, I am also working on myself so that I too can be a good friend, sister, daughter, a decent person in general because I think I haven’t.

        • Diane says:

          Try to think about it as the absence of anxiety, not loneliness. I went NC in February, and also started to detach from a dysfunctional friend group. The loneliness was excruciating at first. Then I realized it was because I wasn’t used to living such a calm, drama free life. It’s lovely to spend my time with nicer people now, and worth every minute of the “lonely” I went through before. I’m ok with spending time by myself now. In fact this whole weekend is just me. In the past that would have freaked me out, but now I adore it.

          • Enough says:


            It brought me to tears reading your post. Our situations are so similar that all i could do is just cry while reading. I have been NC for about 4 days now.The constant excuses i put up with and all the excuses i made up for him. At one point in my life i figured it was all my fault(so not true). He was so absent in my life coming going hot cold that now that we are NC it does not seem so bad. Yes my mind slowly wanders around him but i quickly stop and think of all the hurt and pain he put me threw. Each and every day that passes i get stronger and stronger and I am now in a relationship with Myself and Myself only. I am promising to do one or more things to make me feel Loved,Cared and Respected. It does not matter what it is or how small. As love as i feel good about myself. Time to focus on hunnie on yourself and your family. BR has helped me so much in my journey and i am loving every minute of it. This is a awesome site and i thank each and every post and NAT for helping me realize Enough is Enough.

            • Lacy says:

              Enough I do feel like its me that’s mainly to blame he said that I always rejected him.I rejected him moving back into my ap which he still brung all his things anyway and I rejected signing for his car.He said I always looked for the worse in him.I couldn’t trust him after he left while I was pregnant and I wind up having a miscarriage.I never forgave him but a mth after that I started back talking to him, that was a time of Nc for both us he left a week after i told him I was pregnant and I didn’t bother contacting him either and when he did contact me it took almost a mth before I was back speaking to him.He said he left because when I came to him I told him I was pregnant and didn’t know what to do because I had 3 kids already 2 before he and I met and one with a man who died while I was pregnant around the time x and I weren’t in contact because I had moved away.I told him that I couldn’t afford another child and he didn’t say much just disappeared a week later for a mth.When we did speak again after I miscarried he said he left cause he wanted me to have the baby and he thought I was contemplating an abortion and he hated I thought he wouldn’t help take care of the baby, so he left.

              I didn’t buy the story but I continued to engage with him for yrs not even forgiving him.It just felt unforgivable but it us said if u go back u have to forgive or just walk away.

              I’m in my head a lot today but I am not sad.I just hope these thoughts ho away for good

          • Lacy says:

            Diane I will utilize what I said about thinking of it as absence of anxiety.Being in the situation starting in 02 then I moved away at the end of the yr in 04 is when we weren’t in contact until oct of 2006 and we’ve been off amd on every since.Our off stages would be a day or two or so the longest was my nc which I started after he stood me up on Valentine day.Well I guess I can give him that one cause if someone makes plans with u on a day like that and stand u up its obvious they don’t want to be in your life or most definitely not in a relationship with you.

            After 3 mths of me ignoring him he came to my house without my permission and demanded we talk.So he said he wanted a relationship then 3 days later he said I had pushed him away.Oh I forgot within those 3 days he was in the process of buying a car and day 2 of me breaking nc to be in this 3 day relationship he had asked if I could sign my name on the car because he can’t get license and he was paying the car off with cash he just needed me to use my name.The first thing that came out of my mourh was that hey we are not even in a close healthy realtionship, are u sure?he said u know what just forget it you are right I knew not to ask u anything u are always so negative.We ended that convo but on a good note we would go out on sat. Day 3 of this rekindeled relationship date night he texted me at 8 wyd? So I told him and then I asked where are u I’ll come where u at? He said he’ll call me in a min and never did.Sun I cried and text and he said that I pushed him away with the negativity.

            So now what’s been on my mind latley is if I had signed for the car would things have been better between us? It just keeps running in my mind all this week.

            • Lacy says:

              Diane although that’s been running on my mind overall I do feel a lil better without the dysfunction.I have to adjust to no drama the un-norm became the norm.I had to distance myself from mutual friends who continouisly gave me updates on him but at the same time would say I just needed to walk away ehich was even harded with all the news they were dishing out, and I even went as far as telling them twice I just don’t want to to discuss him anymore but they kept at it so I’ve been Nc from those 2 friends since feb.

              All along I was ruminating in my mind thinking he was with one person he had just had a baby with and it turns out its been his daughters mother all along.Well in my mind I see that they have their daughter together his only daughter out of his kids and the situation works out for him so I can’t be mad.I just hate he thought I would be ok witj continuing to be 5th on his list.

              We didn’t hang out on weekends a few times we had drinks at my house sex and he’d be hone by 12 the next day and I would get a text later wyd.Holidays I got texts or maybe a few mins in the am or late night. So now on weekends when my mind drifts a lil towards him I say hey today is sat I wouldn’t have seen him all day anyway maybe til 4 am, on holidays when I’m with my sister’s and brothers and were at our mom and dads house my mind shifts and I wish I had him to be present in my life.Then I think about last 4th of july I skipped my family’s bbq to stay at home and cook food with him and he left at 8 am in my car came back at 9pm left said he was going to buy drinks and fireworks for my sons and he never returned til 5 am and we sat on the front of my house watching our neighbors firework shows.I was bored hurt lonely my son 13 at the time and my 5 yr old were pacing the house back and forth wondering what we were going to do for the day.They stayed in there rm playing he game mostly.When it got dark we sat on the front just staring at each other.

              I felt like a rejected dog.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Lacy. You’re turning a corner. Don’t “hope this feeling lasts forever”. MAKE IT LAST FOREVER. It’s up to YOU to make a better life for yourself. Don’t you dare go back on NC no matter how much you miss him. You have to go through the pain to get to the other side. There’s no way around it. Going back will just lead to more regrets than you already have and you will have to start the detaching process all over again. Stay strong, find stuff to do and don’t allow your mind to dwell on him.

    • Emerldeyez says:

      It gets easier, I too, pray, turn him over to my HP, and wish him the best. But I don’t contact him, he has nothing to offer me. The loneliness, goes away. I have a list of things to remind me, what the relationship was really like when, I feel sad, and it brings me back to reality. I have learned if I nurse certain feelings it gets worse. So I try to stay busy. I too had very limited friends, he liked it that way. So I have been building friendships, I just spent 10 days with my family on vacation, and saw AGAIN, what a real committed relationship looks like. And it was nothing like what I tolerated, or accepted. So stay NC, stay strong, and write here, when you need support. They don’t change, they just find someone else to play their games on.

      • Lacy says:

        Emereldeyez I thought it was me that brung out the worst in him.Although I still dealt with him I couldn’t bring myself to forgive him for leaving me while I was pregnant amoung other things too.I held back some with him but being that he held back way more feels like I gave too much of myself.But what’s done is done, and he lives his life how he wants to and I guess its not a crime.

        I just don’t know how to get these thoughts ouy of my head.After all the shenannigans he played on me I’m still sitting here visioning him with his daughters mother and they’re looking like a happy family riding to the mall,or something. He told me he would never be back with her seem like he never left her and I guess with the yrs I had with him and the yrs the other lady had with him however amt of time it took for him to have a son with her, I guess it doesn’t matter to jis daughter mother as long as he’s there with her now.

        It could be all in my mind but I just pray these thoughts go away.The love I thought I had for him is fading, now I’m stuck with jealousy and envy.

  9. Peanut says:


    You are my favorite blog writer (duh) and now one of my favorite artists. I love that they have a comedic flare. I look forward to those, too.

    Have fun camping and I must say, you make livin’ look good!

    “An excuse is a reason that is given to justify an offence or fault but its primary purpose is to lessen responsibility by getting you to overlook, excuse, or even forgive off the back of it.” Or to FUCKING confuse the hell out out you.

    Case in point:

    “It’s not that I hung up on you, got drunk and forgot to call you back, it’s just that I forgot my phone hung up on you.” The ex.

    WhAAA, WhAAAA, what the FUCK?

    This doesn’t even make sense. What he meant to say in an alternate universe where he was capable of being fully honest with himself or anyone would be:

    “My phone went dead or ran out of minutes because I am generally an irresponsible prick who either didn’t pay the bill or charge the phone. And because I am an alcoholic and won’t let up with the drink, I went out with my mates who mean more to me than you and got piss drunk, because I have a problem. I then drove home drunkenly, vomited in the toilet I share with my mum, and passed out with puke breath. You never entered my mind. It never bothered me that I cut you off, that I chose drink over you for the nth time. It never occurred to me because I don’t care. I don’t care enough about you. Hell, I don’t even care about my own life past my hedonistic desires and whims that I fill at impulse at any cost. You are not a factor. You’re just there sometimes when I ask you to be.”~The ex hypothetically to me in the past had he any measure of truth.

  10. Pauline says:

    One of my favourite of Nat’s posts is ‘one shot – keep it simple’.
    These days if anyone starts making excuses, tells me lies, BS’s me, gets abusive, tries to make me look like an idiot, tells me what’s wrong with me, judges me by their own cockeyed view of the world, etc etc, I FLUSH … Leave them to their own devices and get on with my own life.
    Experience has taught me that if anyone does treat you without love care trust and respect, they will do it again and again and again.
    It never gets better, it just gets worse as time goes by.
    I’ll never really understand why I stayed so long with the AC when I KNEW it was hopeless, he was abusive and controlling, jealous and possessive, bad tempered and told me I needed to see a shrink. You know, I just don’t care about him anymore, he has no power over me now and I couldn’t care less if he calls texts or emails me, my self esteem is on the rise from where it was somewhere below ground and I can see him for the sad lonely bastard he really is.
    I guess it’s true, you have to know at least one bad man in your life so you know a good man when you meet one.

    • Peanut says:


      “One shot. Keep it simple.”


      If life means anything to you, you will inevitably dismiss people who mistreat you AFTER THE FIRST TIME. They will do it again. That’s what human beings do. They do what they do.

      Any time you continue to spend with someone after abuse is just the time spent waiting for more abuse in between disrespect.

      It’s truly astounding what some people will try to get away with and stick around.

    • Emerldeyez says:

      Yep, I was the pscyho, delusional, mental, when I confronted him on his lies, his stories that made no sense, his texts from other women, that he just didn’t know why they were contacting him, his leaving his phone under a dashboard of a car he was working on for two hours around lunch time while he really was cheating on me, meeting with someone else it just goes on and on. But he loves me, and I am the love of his life. HA. And I too don’t care anymore, he has no hold on me. And I am so grateful for that. Yes my self esteem is on the rise, and I hope I never get in that dark dark hole again.

      • Selkie says:

        Hooray for you Emeraldeyez! The view is better from where you are now, isn’t it?

      • Brenda says:

        That is exactly how it feels when an ass clown has some hold on you: Like being in a dark hole, becasue they don’t bring and up lifting light or truth into your life that encourages any healthy growth.

  11. Mis(t)er-able says:

    Just found your site this past week. Very timely. I’m on day 0 of nc after trying and failing on Tuesday. It lasted 36 hours.

    I noticed most posters here are women. I’m the dumper but had been in a pseudo relationship with an acommital woman for about a year. It’s hard to give exact dates, that’s how confusing it was.

    Of the few times I had the conversation with her about what were doing, each time she’d say”no one is getting hurt” and I agreed with her. And we’d wind up in bed. Until the last time. It suddenly hit me, eff this, I AM getting hurt.

    It’s not as cut and dried as much of what I read here. She was at about a 4 on a 1 to 10 scale of ready for a commitment and I was about a 7. So in some ways I’m not devastated its over. But I’m pissed (that’s American for angry) at myself for being such a nice guy. Now that I’m angry shes said I’m mean and wants no contact too. And then I apologized for being angry!? Yep I did.

    Eff relationships is all I can say right now. I’m done.

    It’s a small town so unfortunately ill probably know what she’s up to whether I want to or not fairly soon.

    How to deal with big mouths and run ins? I dunno.

    Anyway, I appreciate this blog. It is written in a way that’s clear, no bs, and makes it sound like it is possible to learn from all of this and maybe be happy someday.


    • Peanut says:

      Mr. Able,

      “But I’m pissed (that’s American for angry)” Ha! Yeeeees. I’m sure I have written that expression here and never even thought it’d mean anything to anyone else.

      Secondly, WELCOME (I say as I cackle and sip the kool-aid). Just kidding. BR is nothing like a cult. It is the antithesis of a cult.

      If you keep reading Natalie’s sources, you will find that the end goal is to get you thinking for yourself. You will think yourself rationally out of the bullshit situations you just described.

      How do you deal with running into her? You just do. You maintain no contact until you aren’t hurting about it (you stop hurting about it when you work through it on your own time), and if and when you run into her you feel the pain, anger or whatever WITHOUT acting on it.

      You don’t engage the chick or her friends, or whatever. You gots mutual friends? If they don’t mean that much to you, you leave ’em in the dust. If they do, you insist they do not speak of her with you. If they were true friends, why the fuck would they unless they’re trying to support you through the emotional upset?!

      Even then, DON’T TALK ABOUT HER TO MUTAL FRIENDS. Don’t date until you are a 10. And if you’re not, own it, meet your own needs consistently. Become stronger. I don’t date. Fuck dating. I ain’t got time for that shit. I will when I’m fully over my ex (I’m not) and sorted out my emotions and become fully emotionally available.

      Good luck! And exercise helps with the anger. Get angry, go walking. Or some shit like that. Take CARE. Glad you made it here. This place saved my self-esteem.


    • Tinkerbell says:

      Mister. Gradually more and more men are coming to this site. Our problems with the opposite (or in some cases, same sex) are not related to gender. It has, I’m sure , been an eye-opener for many women to learn that men often experience the same feelings and situations in their lives just as we women do. We all benefit. Read and post often. You will learn a lot, I promise you that. Your input is appreciated and welcome. Thanks.

  12. Revolution says:

    Mister Able,

    See, your name works in a couple of ways, doesn’t it? :) I, too, am American, so trust me: I understand “pissed.” I also understand where you’re coming from. Though I am a woman, I do understand. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. Keep reading this site. I know it’s mainly women commenting, but a LOT of men comment as well, and I’m guessing that there is even more male readership than we can track (as fellow commenters). Wishing you well, Mister. Onward and upward, love. And just know that this too shall pass. And not all women are like this, I promise.

    • Peanut says:

      Word Revolution!

      Yes, men do come here! We love men (just not the ones who mistreat us). It always pleases me to see men’s comments. It’s a different angle and sometimes a new perspective, but the unavailability issues transcend gender.

    • Tabitha says:

      Hi mister. On this (UK) side of the pond, saying you are pissed means you have had five too man budweisers.
      Anyway, I join the chorus of welcoming male contributors.
      The pain does pass, but I have found out to my cost that if I have got complacent and stopped actively working on myself, the pain comes creeping back.
      Rats! I am so pissed ( hee hee!) about that.
      I have been working hard and been quite tired and stressed recently, plus it has been the anniversary of the happy initial days when *he* was on his best Mask behaviour. So I have been vulnerable to those “Oh I miss him Sooooo Baaaaaaad!” thoughts. In fact it isn’t him I miss. It is the way he made me feel about myself. Not for long though as after a few months he made me feel like shit!!

  13. noquay says:

    Everyone has some sort of routine; shopping on a certain day, hanging out at certain places and not at others. Your ex does too. You also recognize her car so you can scan parking lots for its presence. I too live in a very small town and have to avoid an ex and his current victim and manage to do so most of the time. It sucks to have to look over ones shoulder all the time but is unfortunately necessary to maintain NC.

  14. noquay says:

    Loved your post: in that same alternative universe, the at work AC would’ve said “Yep, I really do have to be out of town most weekends but not because I own rental property there, like I told you. Actually my REAL love (of the moment) is there; you lil Noquay are merely a source of attention during the week when I am missing her. If it weren’t her, it would be someone else. You are nothing more than a distraction and will never be anything other than a distraction. I don’t worry about you finding out because I know you have no options whereas I could replace you in a hot minute and frankly, your feelings mean nothing; it’s ALL about me”.

    • Peanut says:


      I loved that little exercise! Doesn’t it help to leave ’em in the dust to honestly try and write what they’d say from their perspective? It really helps to face the truth, though, good gawd dayum, does it sting at times. But then it’s much better because the wound is on the way to healing.

    • Emerldeyez says:

      I was told I could be replaced in a heartbeat! WOW, that’s love, right? LOL

      • Enough says:

        Funny I was told “I could have any woman I wanted and passed over countless invitations but I love You”
        Did you seriously just tell me that? You are such as AC!!!!!!!!!

        • Revolution says:


          I think that when men (read: the AC variety only) say this, they are trying to “level the playing field” with us, lest we (shock and horror!) realize that it is US that have more options than they do. As women, we always do have more options. Just remember that the next time some asshole pulls this on you.

      • Brenda says:

        Emerldeyez, that person obviously wanted to harm you, and for MOST ass clowns LOVE means this:

        1.) I want to control you.

        2.) Right now you make me horny so you’ll do until another one makes me horny.

        3.)Your not giving me a headache by asking too much or having any opinions of your own.

        Yes an ass clown will SAY I love you becasue its convenient to them in the moment only.

        But really, it has nothing to do with things like mutual respect, consideration, fairness, and moving forward, (or) any of the things that actually make LOVE genuine.

        Consider it words they say with a completely “different” meaning and that they have another dictionary in life in general.

  15. LaPinturaBella says:


    You’ve been to Hell but you are now on your way to Heaven because of BR. Welcome. This blog is truly a lifesaver.

    I feel it’s given me my sanity back; knocked me out of Fantasy-land (it’s about time THAT happened); and has given me the TOOLS I needed and and have been searching for so I CAN have the life and the healthy relationship I want AND deserve.

    I definitely let my latest EUM/AC feed me excuse after excuse after excuse. And I’m kicking myself for allowing it. My favorite line of BS he fed me, after he managed me down to FWB (without the friends part, I may add) was, “We’re both adults here.” Er no, ONE of us is an adult…and she’s walking.

    I know this much, my self-worth has definitely gone up (and continues to) since I found this site. And for the first time in my life, I actually believe that I will find a healthy relationship and have a real future. Nat, I can’t thank you enough for taking your past pain and turning it into something so needed and beneficial for the rest of the world. In my book, you should be awarded a Nobel prize.

  16. Reversal says:

    The posts like this one are the ones that have helped me to finally realize my own emotionally unavailable (herein EU) behavior with a man who probably meant me well. I understand that I did not trust him because I did not trust myself, and was thus unavailable for what was on offer. That’s too bad, because he offered what so many of us (including me) claim to want so badly. BUT I cannot honestly tell him that I can give him what he deserves… So, I removed myself from the situation and from dating altogether… until I build my most important relationship: the one I cannot help but have with myself. I need to love, care, TRUST, and respect me first. When I am content that this is my foundation, perhaps I’ll be blessed to find a suitable companion. But I look forward to continuing on this self-esteem journey. Fifteen years is a long, long time to be in a nasty EU crazy-making cycle – with myself and with others. I am slowly reclaiming my baggage and burning it, freeing myself from the useless negativity and self-destruction. Reading this blog and its comments helps me to keep the lenses in my glasses crystal clear. One day, I might even get to the point where I can throw away those rose tinted ones without trying to retrieve them from the dump :)

    Until then, Patience is a virtue.

    Thank you Natalie. I sincerely hope you enjoy your break.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Reversal. You can be very proud of yourself. You didn’t stay and use him for whatever you could get. You respected yourself and thereby respected him in the process. That’s an accomplishment that you can tick off as progress in your journey to become a better person with increased self fulfillment. Keep up the good work.

  17. marie83 says:

    Hope you are enjoying your holiday – breaking bad is awesome :)

  18. DiggingDeeper says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I luv this illustration Natalie!

    “I think I smell bullshit!” Ha!

    Happy Birthday! I hope you’re having a great time on your vacation! Holla!

    Oh, yeah, and Breaking Bad is the shiznit….

  19. DiggingDeeper says:

    Excuses are monuments of nothingness. They build bridges to nowhere. Those who use these tools of incompetence, seldom become anything but nothing at all.” Author unknown

    ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

    “If you see a turtle sitting on a fencepost, you know it didn’t get there by itself.” Alex Haley

  20. paolo says:

    I had a BS assclown last year tell me that she doesn’t want a relationship and/or commitment, but now she’s seeing some dude…Funny the red flags we ignore..I hope i never ignore my gut again..It’s just too painfull to do so.

  21. Lacy says:

    Happy birthday Nat!

  22. Maeve says:

    Thank you for this great site. I’m still reading through it and through other readers’ comments. Can relate so much. The posts that really made me sit and pay extra attention were the ones about women’s own possible emotional unavailability. I’m still struggling to figure that out, and I’m pretty relentless on myself, so I know I have to be gentle. I seem to be stuck in a pattern where I am pursued by EUM and only get involved peripherally. I always wake up before getting in too deep. In other words, I have a pattern of dodging bullets. If I were to look for the common denominator–not in these men–but in my attitude–it’s two things: 1. I dismiss red flags. I dismiss them knowingly. 2. I convince myself that I need to lighten up on the being judgmental/picky, so I dismiss red flags. I allow others to persuade me in this fashion too.

    I want to believe, very badly, that being aware of this tendency, and trusting myself 100% right at the start will end the pattern. I just dodged another bullet after a week of observation and trusting what I saw. So I think I’m strengthening that muscle. However, I’m still somewhat discouraged and anxious because I’m appalled that I keep attracting these men into my life. I’m bored with it, and they never get anywhere with me, so wtf? What am I getting out of it?

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s lack of focus more than anything else. I think maybe when we’re REALLY paying attention, this can’t happen.

    Thanks for listening. :-)

    • jewells says:


      It’s not necessarily anything you are doing or being that ‘attracts’ these men into your life. By their nature, they are constantly in the dating pool, their numbers are greatly out of proportion in representation in the dating pool as the good ones don’t stay in it long and don’t come back often, if ever – due to their nature. So, it is inevitable that we are going to run into AC/EUM’s often in our dating life, they chance their arm with most with a pulse. Our job now that we are BR educated, is to weed them out before they get a foothold. I also see in my past where I’ve flushed many out when I woke up to what they were, but now I know enough to recognize what I’m dealing with before it has any detrimental effect on myself or my life. I made the mistake of disregarding red flags in the relationshit that brought me here, and got attached and invested and as a result got very hurt. But I do give myself credit where credit is due in that I haven’t been completely misguided in my past attempts, I just needed the last one to get me here to solidify and validate what I’ve always known, and gained new insights into old problems. I go forward with knowledge and therefore power. I know I will continue to run into EUMs of various flavours, it is inevitable, they are a fact of life, just now I can deal with them with confidence and without doubting myself or my integrity in the process. And if I fail again, well, I will get myself back here and keep reading to find the piece I missed last time round…
      Hang in there Maeve, you are on the right track

      • Maeve says:

        Jewells—wow—this post made my day. First to your point about getting solidfied and validated about that which you always knew at core–I agree. There’s something nice in knowing you can trust yourself if you just pay attention. I don’t know if it’s peer pressure or what that makes us not trust our gut, but I’m so over it.

        Also, thanks so much for putting the preponderance of EUM into perspective. The fact that I ran into this in droves after my divorce was a was a frustrating mystery for me. I’ve always blamed it on some horrendous flaw in myself. It’s good to know objectively that EUMs are just out there and to be prepared. Somehow we’re taught not to think in such a “negative” vein and think the best of everyone. I just do a lot better when I see people for who they really are than what I want them to be, and move on.

        Knock on wood, the wake up time in each new EUM encounter has become shorter and shorter. This last time, it was lightening fast. I didn’t waste any time, didn’t get hurt. I think my expectations/infatuation lasted for about 24 hours…lol!

        I love the validation and support here. It’s a huge, pervasive issue, but people in real time won’t touch it by a long stretch. I’ve felt for awhile that I was completely on my own in this realm…

    • Tabitha says:

      Maeve, have you ordered Nats book, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl? I think you will find what you are looking for within those pages. Best of luck.

      • Maeve says:

        Thanks. Tabitha, for the heads up. I’ll give it a read!

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Maeve. Absolutely, you should read Nat’s book, Mr. Unavailable…..”
          And, please don’t criticize yourself for seeing red flags quickly and acting accordingly. Most of us would have preferred to have that knack before we got hurt. You sound like you have a lot of common sense. Keep using it.

          • Maeve says:

            Thanks Tinkerbell. Interestingly, I developed that self protectiveness because it was painful and frustrating seeing other people get hurt like that. I had this idea from a very young age that I’d never recover from that kind of hurt (probably not true, but still…)

            I ordered the book. Look forward to reading it!

    • A says:


      Regarding the second point that you mentioned, you may be interested in reading one of the posts on BR called “Am I being too picky?”

      A quote:

      “If you’ve made the decision to opt out of a dubious situation and are not prepared to allow someone to treat you poorly or convince you that your crumbs are a loaf, you’re not being picky – you’re being authentic and acting in your best interests.”


      • Maeve says:

        A–I did read that. I think that was one of the (many) posts that prompted me to post! Thanks for mentioning it.

  23. Mis(t)er-able says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome. This is a bit off topic, but I’m feeling guilty about the nc as she has a child and we were buddies. And now I’ve disappeared. Another man abandoning them? There’s a lot of custody issues with the ex that several years later is still being battled out with court system. Big red flag — she still has lots of anger toward the ex. And men in general. But I ignores it as i am not like the ex. I was kind and patient and understanding. and now? Bubqkus. Nada. Zilch. Zip. I feel bad about the kiddo– alot of guilt. a pal suggests I send her postcards that way my ex can read them and they can read them together. That’s not exactly nc, though.


    • theseamstress says:

      With all due respect….Sending postcards is still a huge attachment. It is also making excuses to stay in touch. NC means No Contact. It is worth adhering to for a massive self esteem rush later on. Let the pain begin, all the guilt and nonsense will eventually subside. Trust the process. It’s brilliant. This is for anyone thinking about making tentative enquiries into breaking NC. Send a postcard to someone who will appreciate it. Text up your friends or leave a comment on this blog. Whatever. Crochet. I took up crochet..I now have a blanket and thankfully not a pointless one sided AC driven relationship.

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      I don’t think it’s a good idea to be in contact with the child either. I understand your guilt, becoming attached with the kid, another man abandoning, etc.

      HOWEVER: It’s the mom’s fault for introducing you to her child before she was in a 100% committed relationship. Unfortunately, since mom is EU, it probably isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last that kiddo meets mommy’s new man, gets attached and things go south.

      What I’m trying to get across here is, this is the ex-AC’s problem. NOT yours. You have nothing to feel guilty about. And, as Seamstress pointed out, it’s more of an excuse to stay involved, even if just peripherally.

      It sucks that kiddo got caught in this. It sucks a loot that it will happen again. However, kiddo truly is the ex-AC’s responsibility.

  24. Nigella says:

    Regarding my ex EUM, I didn’t have the wisdom to pick up on his lame excuses. Instead, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I bought a lot of what he told me. In an attempt to think like a “nice” and “positive” person, I had been assuming the best in people until my fallout with the ex.

    In retrospect, I realize that I made the grave mistake of assuming that my ex – a charming lawyer – would not lie to me. How gullible of me! Thanks to discovering BR after the break-up, I realized it is crucial to be (1) aware of my own assumptions and (2) active about challening them instead of just sticking to them.

    I got a big wake-up call because of my short-lived epiphany relationship. Following the break-up, I discovered BR and realized the misguided ease with which I had accepted his lame excuses. Intuitively, I could sense something is not quite right. But briefly, I was blinded by his charm, confidence, success as well as show of care and respect for me.

    For the future, I vow not to lead my life like a mug. No matter how smitten I might be with someone, I won’t be naive. Besides challening my own assumptions about someone and focusing on their actions as opposed to their words, I will not hesitate to question whatever they might tell me. It is important to seek clarity on issues – and if someone is not hiding stuff, they should have no problem giving direct and clear answers.

    Of course, some people are exceptionally sly or scared to admit the truth, because of which no amount of questioning or clarity-seeking is going to protect you. This is why sticking to our own boundaries is so important – a message that Natalie has articulated so well in her writings. It’s not necessary to find the real reason behind each excuse. It’s necessary to stick to your limits.

    I didn’t opt out of the relationship, but I stuck to my own limits, which is what – I suppose – made my ex realize that he cannot play me like an instrument. Initially, I was distraught when he dumped me through email. Now I feel glad that I dodged that bullet.

    I remember the ease with which my ex would almost cross-examine me on the simplest things. One moment, he is saying sweet and funny things to me – and the moment I have my guard down, he is firing one question after another at me. Stepping away from the relationship, I remember seeing him narrowing his eyes and furrowing his brows as he doubted, questioned, processed my words.

    If only I had given him a taste of his own medicine. I plan on shedding my doormat tendencies: smiling and defending myself too much, providing unnecessary explanations, slouching, curving my shoulders out of fear and intimidation, covering my mouth with my hand, failing to see people straight in their eyes, acting in submissive ways, and silencing myself. Nope.

    Must change. I am willing to trust people more or less depending on their actions – and unlike my past, I am willing to think like a sceptic (rather than a mug) without feeling guilty about doubting people – their excuses and their follow-up actions.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Nigella. First step in distancing yourself from this individual – Stop calling him “My ex EUM”. If you were never married to him, he was never yours, especially if he was emotionally unavailable. And you can’t consider him “My” if he was unavailable. He can’t be both at the same time. Get it? You can say ” My experience with THE EUM”. Doesn’t that make more sense?

      Keep working to change and put yourself first in all heterosexual relationships. There are far too many vultures out here waiting to suck the life out of naive, women wearing blinders. Use what you learn here. Be smart and try to be the best person you can be. You will attract what YOU ARE. Once I regained by emotional balance, inner strength, good sense and peace of mind, I found a very good man. He admires me as a person. I feel I deserve it because I put in a helluva lot of work to be where I am today. But still, there is no guarantee it will be forever. It really does pay off though if only to yourself, whether or not you meet “THE ONE”. You can do it too. All the best.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Nigella and every reader. Reflecting back on what I have just said I want to make it clear. I do not intend to sound haughty or seeming to consider myself perfect. Far from it. I fully recognize the fact that I still have my issues which are very difficult to change esp for someone of advanced age (lol). There is no such thing as a perfect person. We are all a work in progress. Some of us may be a little further along in reaching OUR OWN personal goals. I continue to be an avid reader and commenter on BR because I find it helps me to remain clear and focused on what I should be doing to and for me and as I relate to others. So much to absorb here. Thanks Natalie and all of you for being here and sharing such poignant stories which help us to discard the rose colored glasses to instead be REAL and BE YOU.

        • theseamstress says:

          Tinkerbell, we know you aren’t perfect 😉 nor are you haughty…
          It’s a really good point to make, about relinquishing ownership of human beings. The sooner we all stop saying MY whether in or out of a relationship, the better. You can own a bag of potatoes or a book but we can’t own anyone and they can’t own us. Changing these tiny constant thoughts are critical for the healing process. And good luck to everyone going through hell because of some relationship pain. It’s awful but it passes. And if you think you want a boyfriend ladies, think again because I’ve got a lump on our sofa watching Top Gear in his pants and it ain’t pretty and it certainly ain’t mine. Smelling a whiff of dying romance anyone?

          • Selkie says:

            Ha Seamstress, you made me chuckle! Beware the bf who morphs into a lump!

          • lizzp says:

            “The sooner we all stop saying MY whether in or out of a relationship, the better.”

            Hey seamstress, I dunno, maybe I’m old fashioned…but well I hope one day to be able to say ‘..hey this is my man…x…’. I hope one day to be in a mutually loving and caring and trusting relationship where I am *his* woman/other half (my pet hate is the word ‘partner)/wife/love and he is my man/other half/husband/love. Somehow, to me that’s not so much about ownership but mutuality and reciprocity, trust, commitment and devotion.

      • Nigella says:


        Thanks for your feedback. I am glad to hear of your self-transformation. It takes incredible effort to unlearn detrimental habits and build new ones that help us attract better things into our life.

        I plan on bringing out the best in me, but not for the sake of finding The One. Rather, I want to cultivate a sense of confidence and security within me so that nothing and nobody may shock or hurt me as much as my experience with the EUM did.

        Once I create that inner confidence and security, I trust I will not fall prey to empty promises and lame excuses. Things are steadily taking a better turn.

    • A says:


      There is a book which I believe some commenters have recommended on here before, called “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend. I have yet to read it, but I scanned through the preview recently–I was reminded of it by the following portion of your comment:

      “In an attempt to think like a “nice” and “positive” person, I had been assuming the best in people until my fallout with the ex.”

      Perhaps take a look on amazon and see if it may be of interest? I’m considering reading it myself, and the above comment that you made reminded me of the hypothetical person/her thinking and the situations that she is dealing with which are described in the preview of the book.

      • Emerldeyez says:

        I too, can forget about my feelings, my little twinges from my intuition, and slide over to take care of the other person, to be the “good girl” from my childhood role, and from the role my mother always played and made me feel guilty if I said how I felt, I was supposed to understand where the other person was coming from and screw my feelings. BOY, what a lesson, it stuck and has attracted every EUM out there. So I too have to say screw them, take care of me. May sound harsh, but the pendulum will swing to the middle eventually. and I will have the confidence to trust my gut and run when it tells me to run!

        • Nigella says:


          Your comment struck a chord with me about stifling your own needs – a habit tied to the training you received from your mother. In an attempt to raise empathetic children, my parents directly and indirectly over-fed us the message of pleasing or putting others before ourselves. Ironically, since they also consistently argued with one another – and functioned as EUParents – they did not take the time out to understand the individual needs and aspirations of their children.

          For many years, I tried filling the lack of attention from them by excelling academically and surviving on the praise and support of my teachers and professors. To be loved and acknowledged, I thought I had to excel at whatever I did. From a young age, I also spent a lot of time comforting and listening to my parents (especially my mother). To feel wanted and connected to another, I (wrongly) learned that I had to attend to the needs of others without speaking about my own needs, challenges, or achievements. In fact, I learned to hide or understate my joys and achievements in order to avoid making my mother feel sad, trapped, or jealous. Not surprisingly, this self-effacing habit bled into most of my romantic relationships and friendships.

          Because I consciously decided not to diminish myself in my last relationship, more and more I sensed that the EUM – despite his own success – could not really partake in my growth and success. I had to be one-down for him to feel secure. Gross.

          I no longer begrudge my parents for neglecting me and training me to behave in ways that undermined my best interests. They have changed for the better. I now share a more balanced relationship with them. Nevertheless, at times I still find myself slipping into the helper-listener-giver modes I picked up during my childhood.

          Currently I am reading “The Doormat Syndrome” by Lynne Namka, which is helping me gain a better understanding of some of my self-defeating thoughts and behaviours. Have you read this one? If not, do give it a try.

          I hope you are well.

          • Dashee says:

            “In fact, I learned to hide or understate my joys and achievements in order to avoid making my mother feel sad, trapped, or jealous. Not surprisingly, this self-effacing habit bled into most of my romantic relationships and friendships.”

            Oh wow, Nigella, I think you and I must have been twins in another life. Your experience with your mother is EXACTLY what I had, and I spent my whole childhood as satellite, in the shadows, on the sidelines, while she held court as the Queen and center of attention. All the emotional energy in the house was focused on her, and as the only child, I was her sole audience. She would rant and rave, or talk non-stop, and need to be comforted, consoled and listened to incessantly. I would sit in the kitchen, incapable of moving, incapable of getting away from her, as then I would have been the “bad” and selfish daughter. And this went on until I was in my early 20s and finally able to move out! My father had disengaged emotionally a long time ago, and when she got manic like that he just went upstairs to his room and closed the door. And left me there to deal with her alone. There wasn’t room in the house for both of us to express our feelings at once – if we were both angry or had a bad day, only she was able to express it, and then my role was to soothe her and wonder “what can I do to make Mom happy?”

            I thought it was my job to “fix” the family dysfunctions or at least not add any drama to it – so I was the “good” girl, excelled in school, did as I was told, became that empathetic and dutiful child who never expressed any needs of her own. This has had a huge impact on my relationships, especially with men, as I have always put their needs first and was uncomfortable expressing anything unpleasant. My mother could be unpleasant; I was never allowed.

            I wasn’t even conscious about this dynamic until I started serious therapy three years ago. God, I can’t believe it took me until my 50s to figure it out! Sounds like you are further along, and I’ll have to check out the book your recommended. It’s good that we have brought this to consciousness, even though it’s painful to see ourselves in this timid “little girl” role and how it’s played itself out in our lives. I’ve been working on bringing out my own “Queen” energy and claiming the power and autonomy I abdicated as a child.

            • Nigella says:


              Thanks for sharing your experience. I wish you the best in reclaiming the power and independence you were denied as a child. The dynamics between your parents and you make complete sense to me.

              My father used the same tactic as yours to cope with my mother. He retreated further and further into his TV-watching and alcohol-drinking. He could protect neither himself nor his chidren from her constant nagging and yelling. I am sad to say that Mum was perpetually dissatisfied with him and with us – even if some of her complaints were justified, I realized at age 26 that it was unfair of her to bury our joys and feelings under her real or supposed problems.

              Four years after that realization, I am still learning to shed the habit of acting as a parent, protector, caretaker, pleaser, fixer, over-giver. In the professional realm, I do not let anyone use me, trample on me, or sideline me. I am now determined to look out for my best interests in other spheres of my life.

              To survive as a child and teenager, I had to learn to silence my joy and anger. Silencing my joys meant that I did not get to celebrate things or fully connect with others. I also did not learn to discern if they were actually happy for me and thus deserving of my time, care, and attention.

              Silencing my anger meant that I often did not realize when I was wronged or displeased. More or less, I was out of touch with my feelings. If I did feel angry, I struggled to act against those using, confusing, mocking, insulting, hurting me. I was far too forgiving. Habitually, I tolerated their behaviour and tried to make things better between us by meeting their needs.

              I have no intention of ignoring my needs or tolerating those who ignore my needs and feelings, including feelings of joy or anger if I am wronged. I will speak up more. Just as I demand fair rewards for my professional contributions, I expect the same for my input and investment in all of my relationships.

              I am rooting for you, Soul Twin.

      • Nigella says:


        Thanks for the book you suggested. I had breezed through chapters of this book a year or so prior to getting involved with the EUM. To some extent, I attribute my ability to have resisted some of his unreasonable & untimely demands thanks to the insights I had gleaned from the said book.

        He was at one point pushing me to meet his circle of friends. Since I didn’t want to be treated as his arm candy, I said a clear and firm “No”, asking for more time to know him better. Obviously, Mr. Braggadocio could not stomach my “No”. I am amazed at the extent to which people like him expect others to bend to their will. There is limited – if any – room for co-authoring the terms of an evolving relationship in his books.

        It was not easy to resist his charm and chivalric mannerisms, but somehow I could sense that he is relegating me to the role of a passenger – even literally – and increasingly claiming the role of the driver for himself in our relationship. Saying No and asking for things that I needed did not come easily to me. But in hindsight I feel good about going out of my comfort zone and daring to speak the truth. If anything, I need to speak up more frequently and consistently – rather than sporadically and nervously.

        Thanks once again for the suggestion! I’ll mine that book for more tips on taking better care of myself.

        I hope you’re doing well.

    • Andee says:

      “If only I had given him a taste of his own medicine. I plan on shedding my doormat tendencies: smiling and defending myself too much, providing unnecessary explanations, slouching, curving my shoulders out of fear and intimidation, covering my mouth with my hand, failing to see people straight in their eyes, acting in submissive ways, and silencing myself. Nope.”

      A heartfelt YES and HELL YES! to this sentiment!

  25. NK says:

    Great posts and comments as always – I am a regular poster and have been pretty sporadic. Today I’m in a contemplating mood. I have been looking at the issue of boundaries, investment and relationships (mainly friendships) with my therapist. I don’t see him every week but I have a continuous plan and I monitor my progress with him when I feel the need.
    Recently I posted about my week on anxiety in June. Ever since I have felt more able to handle my ‘stuff’. Being able to be that anxious, emotional and uneasy and still operate at work and life in general was a huge step for me. I was crying and not knowing exactly why (although I had worked out that the guy I was dating wasn’t going to give me what I wanted so that realisation upset me of course). But it was more than just being annoyed that my new relationship wasn’t developing, it was being able to ‘feel’ those feelings and not falling apart. That uncomfortable, uneasiness.
    The self awareness that I need to feel like this and Ill recover and I’ll have some insight and I am not some kinda of failure because of this.
    I have started seeing someone new and its been the best early dating experiences I’ve had in such a long time. Unlike others I am not fighting for his attention, there are no excuses coming out his mouth and he is not treating me like an option. Those thoughts of ‘future faking’ have crept into my mind but I my gut isn’t saying anything to me and it usually does at this point……
    I spoke to my therapist about how I usually start to test, sabotage by becoming needy or similar or leave when I’m presented with a fairly decent human being. We’ve spoken about ways that I can manage those thoughts and behaviour by not making any snap decisions. Which Ive been guilty of in the past.
    I am also questioning my boundaries and the excuses I accept from friendships in my life. This new guy said to me that I can ‘wear my heart of my sleeve’. Which is kinda true but these days I try not to add investment as much as I used to. Working in the music business its full of fake consideration and I have to work my way through the genuine and the business niceness…..

  26. rachel says:

    I recently met this guy. It was incredible… I have never met someone I am more compatible with. It wasn’t the sexual attraction… we were on the same page with spirituality, hobbies, health and wellness, music, and the most important- how we saw a health relationship working in terms of autonomy and communication. It was bliss… and then I broke my leg and he got a job offer 3,500 miles away. He told me via text he wanted to stay a part of each others lives but he needed to take the job and wouldn’t have time for a serious relationship. Since then he has texted consistently to check up on me, but has called inconsistently. We haven’t seen eachother for 2 weeks now because I am bed ridden and we live an hour away from each other. He works long hours and has a dog. ANyway, last night he said he’d come visit me. His phone has been acting up for days (but he has FB) and he just didn’t show up. This morning he messaged me on FB to say that he saw I asked his room mate if he blew me off. He says that he didnt but we do need to talk about our situation. Says he’ll call me from his work phone. I think hes afraid… he had mentioned last time we spoke that he gave up his career for a woman before and everyone is telling him he’d be stupid for doing it again (especially for someone he just met). I think he is taking distance from me to make a decision about the job without romantic feelings clouding his mind. Is this making excuses for him?

    • Lara says:

      I have a bad feeling about this whole thing, Rachel. On the one hand, I can understand him being unable / unwilling to do a long-distance thing (are you willing to do it given that he’s unsure about it? What does his uncertainty about it entail for you? What if he’s the type that needs the physical presence and sex often, and would be unwilling to sacrifice that for you, even if he might pretend to be doing so? I’d be careful about being cheated on, especially when the guy shows he is on two minds about this). On the other hand, though, he seems to want to have his cake and eat it too, not want a “serious relationship” but not want you completely out of his life, in order to have the possibility of a shag/ego stroke, etc. at some point in the future, or at random times when he might be around, or if at some point he moves back… This is why, I believe, he is doing what he’s doing. He wants to blow you off, but not in a manner that closes that door on him forever. I would honestly put him out of my life, because this will cause you nothing but heartache. Been there, tried the whole LD thing. Long distance is hard enough if both partners are willing to put in major effort into the relationship, let alone if one side is not interested/ claims he can’t do a “serious relationship”. As opposed to a “not serious relationship”??!? Does such a thing even exist? I can’t understand this term, and my EUM narc AC ex used to use it a lot as well. I didn’t understand that it was key word for him wanting to keep shagging me when he was around, but not wanting to pay any more attention to me outside of that. That’s what he meant by not being able to have a SERIOUS relationship. He could always have a non-serious one, that entailed me serving as his fuck-buddy (worse, a fuck buddy is a BUDDY after all, and you treat them with some respect — he expected to treat me like an unpaid prostitute, basically). I feel so low for having stuck around and accepted this sort of unspoken arrangement, thinking that it was really a relationship. I feel like he treated me with less respect than he would treat the Thai prostitutes he visited so often (while we were “together”). At least he paid them. I would’ve probably felt better if I had accepted money for sex, than I did when I realized what was going on and what I meant (or didn’t!) for him. I’d say, wish him good luck in his new job, and move on with your life, and don’t maintain contact with him.

    • Selkie says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Well, he told you he won’t have time for a serious relationship. He didn’t show up when he said he would and didn’t find a way to let you know ( unless he lives in a cave on a remote island, he could used a friend’s phone ). You have a broken leg and he has not come to see you.

      I think for whatever reason he comes up with or you think he means, the top line data….he doesn’t have time for a serious relationship. His words. It may not be the words you want to hear, but hear them and take them at face value. It sucks when our hopes get let down, but don’t let those hopes start taking on their own interpretation of things. Be careful of getting yourself be in the position to accept crumbs just to “stay a part of each other’s lives”. You have choices too. Even if a guy is compatible, it isn’t a guarantee they are ready for a relationship. If new guy is already distancing himself, I would say he is not ready, for whatever reason. The REASON is not the top line data. I know it’s disappointing, but better to know now than later. He said he wants to talk, so see what he has to say if he can be respectful and show up when he says he will, but keep your OWN best interest in mind. If he stands you up again or drags this on, I would forget the talk and the boy, and move on.

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Possibly. The fact that he’s texting not calling is a red flag. The fact that he has a dog and is an hour away is an excuse. I had a relationship with someone who lived 1 1/2 hours away and we saw each other consistently. The fact that he just didn’t show up and said his phone has been acting up for days is an excuse and a red flag.

      People who want to be in the relationship MAKE the time. They FIND a phone. They SHOW UP.

      Not telling you what to do, but if it were me, I’d flush him now and go find someone who is truly available.

      • jewells says:

        Rachel, I agree with all the above…and the thing with getting along fabulously on many fronts, well the exMM and I also got along famously, he still turned out to be a douchebag….

      • Lilia says:

        I agree with LaPinturaBella.
        And for the life of me, I can´t imagine how having a dog can be an obstacle to having a romantic relationship… or to making a simple phonecall to someone who broke her leg.

    • Maeve says:

      Unless I’m missing something, it sounds like he’s being upfront and honest about his uncertainty about the future. This is just my opinion, but he is right to worry about giving up his career for a situation that isn’t yet rooted in commitment. If you two had been together a year, it would be a different story. I think the message in all this is that you need to pull back as well. Give him space to think about it without pressure. If it were me, I’d personally want to take a break. Having sex and whatnot just makes me more emotionally invested, and clearly that kind of investment isn’t warranted at this time.

      Long distance romances aren’t ideal. If it becomes serious, ultimately one or the other has to uproot their lives and move. So you may want to step back and think about the big picture with a clear head.

  27. Tinkerbell says:

    Hi Seamstress. Thanks for the reassurance. This site is primarily for those having interpersonal problems, and not for someone touting how great their life is. That was what made me come back and clarify.

    Nigella. I had a relationshit with an MM 2 years ago which nearly destroyed me. When I made the unwavering decision to get out of that sh%t, it was not to attract anyone. It was to become a stronger, rational, self-confident, and self loving person who could never again sink so low. My husband had died after a long marriage and I had, at that time, such a void that I was ready to accept the attentions of a supposed friend who saw an opportunity. I was the sitting duck. However, it is and was NO EXCUSE. All I was saying is that once you become that special person that you feel you should be, the better the likelihood that he will come into your life. I don’t condone transforming oneself to catch a man. My reasons were the same as yours, emotional security and self confidence so that I don’t incur such pain and self loathing as during that affair ever again.

    A. I read “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend. It is an excellent book to recommend.

    • Nigella says:


      “I made the unwavering decision to get out” – I love that phrase! The self-confidence it communicates is priceless. I’ll use it as a mantra to take action whenever I may feel trapped or compromised in a relationship.

      Once, after asking me to share details about a conference, the EUM at first pretended to feel happy about the great experience I had interacting with the leaders in my field. Later on, during one of our strolls, he said: “I want to intimidate you”. That short – stinging – sentence raised alarm bells for me (even though at the time I laughed it off).

      I cannot say with certainty what that word meant to him. But the OED gives us this definition: “To render timid, inspire with fear; to overawe, cow; in modern use esp. to force or deter from some action by threats or violence.” To render “timid” means to strip someone of their courage and confidence. Clearly, the petty tyrant could not handle the sense of confidence I conveyed regarding my professional pursuits and interpersonal relationships. Looking back, I can see the subtle attempts he made to chop me down.

      If only I had made the unwavering decision to get out of the relationship by listening to the alarm bells and looking critically & realistically at all of his actions – rather than highlighting his good qualities in my mind. Oh well. One lives and learns.

      If someone is resenting me for having confidence in my abilities and goals, and is trying to fill me with fears and doubts, he can sod off. I am better off without a control freak trying to intimidate and treat me as his inferior.

      • MaryW says:


        The line he said “I want to intimidate you” is really very odd. It immediately makes me think that you in fact intimidated him by being a successfull woman. I think your assessment of him as a control freak is probably right.

        The EU I recently dated once said “I scare you, don’t I? I do, I scare you.” I was running to catch the last train and couldn’t ask him then and there what he meant (OK I am making excuses for myself somewhat because I never did ask him what he meant by that), but it was creepy. And yes he did end up scaring the crap out of me, in terms of how much he was capable of hurting me emotionally. But I didn’t know what he meant at the time, because he hadn’t unfolded.

        I actually have quite regular flashbacks of strange or ambiguous things he said which I didn’t confront. I have to learn to speak up for myself, not be afraid of confrontation. My biggest fear is of abandonment, so I think that’s why I don’t confront when something shady happens.

        Nigella, I also failed to listen to the alarm bells, I also failed to look critically and realistically at the actions. The (nice) words, and my own unrealistic expectations and hopes, were too overpowering. Yes we live and we learn.

        I read one of your earlier posts. This guy was a lawyer if I’m correct? Questioning and cross questioning you? I went through something possibly similar when I dated a psychotherapist briefly – my goodness, I felt so scrutinised in my every action (I would take ages writing a text message that couldn’t be misinterpreted!). It was awful!

        Tinkerbell and A: I just ordered the Boundaries book.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Mary. Good for you. Happy reading. It’s not a book that you will read 20 pages and throw away.

        • Nigella says:


          Thanks for sharing your experience. I can empathize with your (1) fear of abandonment (which prevents you from confronting people) and (2) feeling of being scrutinized (which causes you to second-guess or supress yourself from saying or doing things). I fear getting used, silenced, and disrespected more than anything else at this stage of my life.

          I can’t allow anyone to pull my strings anymore, especially a man in a romantic relationship. I’m still angry about dating someone so careless and cowardly.

          I’ve no intention to date until I feel confident in my ability to speak my mind and assess people more accurately as they unfold. Steadily I’m figuring out what needs to change in me so that I don’t set myself up for further use and disrespect.

          In a mutually fulfilling relationship, one should feel secure and safe rather than scared. One should feel encouraged and cherished rather than demoralised and scrutinized.

          The comparison you make is uncanny: like the EU psychotherapist you dated, the EU lawyer I dated also at times scrutinized me. To be precise, he was desperately looking for flaws in me so that – I guess – he could justify mistreating me and dumping me later on.

          Holding me in his arms, the EU once said: “There must be something wrong with you – something you must be hiding. You must get worked up about something. How can you be this cheery and optimistic person. I can’t believe you were single before meeting me. I guess people are intimidated to approach you”.

          In other words, no matter how warmly and generously I treated him, the EU doubted me, looked for problems in me, and tried to intimidate me through his snide comments and questions. Eventually, when he could not ruffle my feathers, distract me from my goals, or get me to morph into Eeyore for him, he dropped me like a cube of ice.

          If only I had reflected enough or acted on the implications of his comments. On the contrary, I persisted in focusing on his looks, charming words, and achievements. Behaving as though I was raised by Pollyanna, I didn’t see the wood for the trees. I over-concentrated on his good points.

          To speak up more consistently, I first need to listen to my feelings more consistently. To survive as a child raised by caring yet warring parents, I had to learn to numb my feelings and focus on getting ahead and getting things done.

          Over the past two months, I’ve been paying more attention to the signals my mind and body send me in response to something odd. Usually, my eyes and chest feel strained – my heartbeat quickens. These serve as cues for me to stop, look, listen. Instead of avoiding a confrontation by smiling, staying mum, changing the topic, or walking away, I’m trying to stay calm – stand tall or sit upright, shoulders back and chin up – look the person in the eye, and respond to what they said. Staying silent is not going to work anymore for me.

          Mary, I want the best for you. Recognizing our shortcomings is the first step to overcoming them. Things will get better.

  28. Swissmiss says:

    Haven’t posted in a while as I have been on hols back in my native country. Missed you all! Felt so grounded and got a really good sense of my identity and how I came close to throwing it overboard for the XMM who went back to the W.

    As soon as I came back to my flat, all the churning started up again. Weird how that goes. No, I don’t want that creep back, but I find myself playing thru reunion scenarios and laughing out loud, because the words I know he would utter have been scripted by all of you on this post.

    After months of NC, I would not rate myself A+ for the phone conversation a few weeks ago, when he contacted me. I wish I hadn’t answered it at all, but I am happy with a solid B and will do better in the future.

    I asked why he still had the key to my flat and he said, “Because that’s the kind of guy I am,” and later, “That key’s iconic.” WTF?! I didnt bite the bait! Why the call to reminisce? To let me know how well he’s doing with the W? To complain about her a little? To tell me why we didn’t work out? Sometimes I felt like there were hooks coming at me, other times it was demands for an ego boost, still other times it was OUCH. I was like a pirate, slashing my foil in the air. I still feel like that. Rattled.

    I said I didnt want contact. I didnt want to be a sounding board or party to a deception. So the next day he sent birthday wishes. WTF (again)?!

    I wish I could stop churning on this crapola. Life in my new city is finally picking up. I am meeting amazing people. I actually had a really nice date. I am invited to dinner parties. People are happy to spend time with me. I keep telling myself, ‘Just keep moving forward’ but I wish it would fade a lot faster.

  29. Tinkerbell says:

    Rachel. When they show you who they are believe them. Lara and Selkie have it right. It’s hard, but WALK NOW.

    • Allison says:


      Way too many excuses, and blowing you off should be the final straw! Finito!!!!!

  30. Sandy says:

    Being pissed means the same thing in New Zealand!! Well had another eye opener in the weekend, one of the ex AC mates came over to visit me, appears that the lady he is with now well, he was seeing her when he was with me….so the lady he wanted me to muck around on with him is the lady he mucked around on me with ha good grief will his ability to hurt me never end!!

    I used to swear to my mum that no way would he ever see somebody behind my back, the one thing I totally trusted him not to do.

    He’s unhappy with her but the reason he is staying is because she has property which he has moved his stuff onto, this friend just about came to blows with him when he gound out how he had treated me, he says I am better off without him that he is a user, but god its hard not to beat myself up for being so bloody gullible and naive and trusting somebody so much.

    I find this behaviour so alien that it is hard to get my head around, the only good thing is having changed my number I don’t feel the urge to contact him and have a go about it with him…how can you say you love someone, miss them, want to get back with them but still be seeing someone else??!!

    I suppose another good thing is that apparently his mates all know what he is like so their sympathy lies with me, ha I know it’s horrible but good bloody job that he isn’t happy.

    • Sandy says:

      I am just so utterly, utterly tired out from it all. I think I am a nice person, I try to be anyway, I work full time, I have a nice house, I have two lovely kids (well my daughter is 20 this month and my son is 17 and a half so not really kids :-)) I am polite, I see my mum all the time, I get on well with my ex who I was married to for 22 years, I have picked myself up and I have made something out of the bad things but I have to say this is the hardest…it has made me question whether I was a bad person in a past life??!!
      I know deep down that no matter what sort of lady I had been it wouldn’t have mattered, he will always be as he is but try telling that to the old heart and brain.

      • Revolution says:


        Listen to THIS voice:

        “I know deep down that no matter what sort of lady I had been it wouldn’t have mattered, he will always be as he is but try telling that to the old heart and brain.”

        I’m sure that you are a lovely, conscientious lady. I’m sure that all of the lovely ladies (and gents) here on BR would love to have a cup of tea and a laugh with you. YOU are not the problem here. Look at this guy’s behavior. Which in turn becomes his character. Be thankful you don’t understand his type of thinking and behaving, because it doesn’t lead anyone to happiness. ((Hugs)) to you and your (still young) children.

        • Sandy says:

          Hugs back Revolution and thank you for your kind words, I am just feeling a bit down thats all after finding out he already had somebody lined up…I should have realised though as it is his pattern.

          His mate told me that if it was any consolation that he did really love me, but no it wasn’t a consolation if I am honest, you don’t treat people you say you love like this.

          One day at a time I guess :-)

  31. espresso says:

    My computer just threw a fit so I hope this doesn’t go twice.
    Welcome back Swiss Miss….I just LOVE what your ex ac said “well that is the kind of guy I am.” Did he say this with a kind of jokey, smiley tone? As if it didn’t matter? I really relate to your feeling rattled when he makes any kind of contact. Because I am still sharing a house but attempting to be away as much as possible, even his presence in the house rattles and upsets me.

    I like the way these guys are kind of boastful about their irresponsible qualities…I am concerned about finances during this separation period before our major assets are divided. I know that my ex has never thought or planned ahead in his personal OR his work life (he used me to do that and although I didn’t want to, I did to my own detriment). So he says to me in answer to my expressing a concern about finances, “well I am the kind of guy who just doesn’t like to plan ahead” – as if it was just a pleasant thing to say.As if this had morphed in to a good quality. For a man in his sixties! So this was a man I actually tried to run a business with, manage finances, a family, kids needs, education, birthdays, Christmas, saving money, earning enough money to save, finding work…this is a guy who doesn’t plan ahead and he JOKES about this? What a jerk. And it is the major reason I can’t trust him. How can anybody trust a person who “doesn’t plan ahead?”

    So as I read this great blog about the difference between excuses and reasons I came to the very heavy and sad and infuriating conclusion that there is not ONE example in my life with this man where he ever sat down, face to face with me and acknowledged to me (before I brought something up) that what he had done was hurtful, inappropriate, insensitive or thoughtless. He has never taken the initiative in any kind of conversation that involved an emotional element. And if I brought a situation up there would never be a solid acknowledgement but simply excuses and blame or counter attack. He never ever would have prepared a thoughtful and adult type answer or response about how he would handle things in the future so as to show he understood the issue, was genuinely apologetic, understood the impact and was prepared to handle things differently in the future.

    In short, he always made me do all the work, showed no empathy and I took the blame for things he had done.

    It is astonishing to actually think I can NEVER remember an instance where I would say I heard a responsible, adult, collaborative and thoughtful expression of this type. Bingo moment for me as if I needed anymore of them.

    I also did some thinking about how I was in these circumstances. I get upset when I am criticized but I always try to actively listen and I would recently I have really been exemplary (A+)in how I have handled a couple of situations. One involved my youngest daughter who felt she had been left out of the communication loop because she heard something from her older sister. I was upset when I heard from her and felt guilty (first response) but I immediately understood that I had not been fully thinking, sensitive or aware and told her that. I apologized for not thinking this through and not keeping her in the loop and expressed my understanding at how she was feeling. I also told her my concrete plan to try to prevent this in the future and told her that I would do my very best to make sure this didn’t happen again. I also opened up the idea that I welcomed her questions if she felt she wanted to know things NOT to get me off the hook but to open up another line of conversation. She was immediately responsive and we are looking forward to spending some time together when I travel to her town next week (can’t wait to get out of here). So I really felt good about handling this and about the result and I also learned something..that I have to be much more careful about handling communication even with my adult children.

    Of course note this – where was my ex in this dynamic because he was as responsible as me? You are right. Nowhere. I couldn’t imagine him ever coming up with an email like this. Frankly it kind of surprises me because he has seen how I act with friends, colleagues and family. But I can see now this was another aspect of me he never noticed, appreciated or cared about.

    I love your inner script concept Peanut. I was trying to think about how my ex thinks and his inner dialogue. I always thought he just “thought” some kind of white noise but maybe I am giving him too much credit. I am sure it is full of poor me, why should I do this, she knows how to do it.., she is a bitch, she doesn’t give me sex, poor me (again), she always blames me, poor me, but whatever he is thinking I know he wouldn’t have a tiny little glimmer of how I might feel about something. I still don’t really get how you can completely turn off and away from a living human being who is expressing hurt and distress except for the idea that his own ego is taking up all the space.

    • Swissmiss says:

      espresso- tx, hon, it’s good to be back!

      Oh yeah, the ENNOBLING of dicey behavior. And as for discussions that yielded solutions that were then actually employed: ha! Yet more excuses.

      I’ll tell you why I think we get rattled. We launch into hyperthink. There’s a basic, spoken exchange going on that anyone can see/hear with the naked eye, then many, many other layers of thinking under that: Can I ask x and get an honest response? I need to avoid word X because that triggers memories. All these layers are spinning in different directions. At different speeds..there’s the rage direction, the yearning direction, the self-preservation direction…I’m hopping here, there, everywhere. I can’t say what I really feel because my need to keep my dignity in check overpowers everything.

      In this brief conversation, I found myself calling him “Babe.” That bubbled up from somewhere, and as soon as it was out of my mouth, my next sentence was curt and business-like, trying to mediate any affection I might have signaled. I think this is why contact is a crap idea..we just churn and churn over every little word, how we could have done better, how we should not have said this or that.

      In this call, he said he thought if I hadn’t sold my house (which I did to get away from him), maybe it would have worked out. WHA?! Why was it up to me to provide a context for him to jump into? I didn’t tell him to live at his mother’s for a year. Get a flat! Lazy ass narcissist! He went back to his W because it was a better offer. She handed him a pop-up situation and he grabbed it. Just as I was mesmerized by his insincerity, he was mesmerized by hers. She LOOKED and SOUNDED so good. All the promises made and not kept! Ha! A taste of his own medicine!

      My point? All this was spinning, spinning, spinning in my head…I said nothing…I’m not invested anymore. I WANTED to say it all, blurt it out, out of habit..analyzing, evaluating, correcting…funny how exhausting that can be, giving your old self a kick in the behind…

  32. rachel says:

    Thank you so much for the feedback you ladies have given me so far! He finally contacted me… but via facebook. this is what he said:

    “I understand and I am sorry for how I made you feel. Maybe in another life : ) I hope you do not have negative feelings torwards me and I do not feel I am “disrespecting” you…anyhow you are an amazing woman and you will make somebody happy…I know you will accomplish the things you set out to do.. I feel talking it out would be useless at this point. i feel i have to share with you..for i think it will be beneficial in your future relationships, you called it when you said you opened your heart too wide open too fast..we took it wayy too fast..we did not allow it to grow naturally. i am beyond sorry that you hurt yourself with me..i am also curious to hear what you take of our experience..i learned and grew from you for sure..i love your intelligence and our conversations were excellent!! love meeting awake people..It’s just that I am going to be solo for a while, it’s just what I feel…I really did and do have feelings for you…I just cannot give the time and energy needed. I can totally drop off your things for you if you can wait a few days.”

    Is he saying I am the only one that opened my heart too fast?!!! he was calling me baby and babe every text message he sent me… and talking about our future and if he should take this job or that, as if i was his wife!

    Am I delusional to think it isnt over? I feel like if we see each other and talk we can overcome some of the miscommunications and fears. I think the primary reason he has avoided me is BECAUSE he has feelings for me that he is afraid will affect his job decision.

    • grace says:

      It’s over if you want it to be over.
      I don’t know THIS guy but many men (and women for that matter) will gladly take the softer option of FWBs, “just friends but not really”, or a downgraded option to properly breaking up and moving on. To be fair, people DO get back together and it CAN work. In the end, there isn’t going to be a declaration from the heavens that it’s over or isn’t over. It’s what you choose to do.
      Jobs, family, religion can and do affect relationships. It’s not for you or me to tell someone else those things don’t matter or can be overcome. If it matters to them, it matters to them and if you accept a relationship it’s with the proviso that the thing that matters is likely to stall or end your relationship.

    • lizzp says:

      “Am I delusional to think it isnt over? I feel like if we see each other and talk we can overcome some of the miscommunications and fears. I think the primary reason he has avoided me is BECAUSE he has feelings for me that he is afraid will affect his job decision.”

      Rachel! Yes it’s delusion, I’m flat out but don’t move, please!! Let some of the other ladies here show you what’s likely going on. EEEk, your thought process is an excuse FOR HIM. You need to quickly have a look at his actions. You need to BELIEVE that your desire for a mature, co-piloted relationship with a direct, honest man is OKAY; You need to have faith that a man who has FEELINGS FOR YOU will act on them, not what he does in that face book message. Rachel, now is the time to seriously listen to your intuition on what that manipulative FB message means. EEk – it is pathetic. Yes, it hurts that he is incapable of loving you, but it’s gonna hurt a hell of a lot more if you don’t get yourself straight, stand up to him (if you can) and walk away from him. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU DON’T DESERVE BETTER THAN HIS IRRESPONSIBLE SHIFTING OF RESPONSIBILITY? Why d you think you DESERVE ONLY A MAN WHO CAN’T OPENLY LOVE YOU WITH CARE, RESPECT AND TRUST? Why?

    • Allison says:


      I’m sorry, but he is saying it’s over. There is no future with this man.

      He is saying that it moved too quickly, and doesn’t see any future- been in that place, too. Please spare yourself some more pain, by understanding what he saying, not what you wish to interpret it to be.

      He has moved on, as he does not even want to talk- This coward broke up by FB, didn’t even give you the courtesy of a face-to-face. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! If he had feelings, he wouldn’t have broken up, and he certainly would not have ended things in this manner.

      Please do yourself a favor, and do not be there to retrieve the stuff, it will be much more difficult.

      Lastly, By using the kind words, he is trying not to make himself out to be a creep, but he knows he behaved like one. “Maybe in another life,” was pretty awful and insensitive. I also don’t understand how you “hurt yourself” with him. HMMMMMMMMM, that’s a new one.

      Please take care of yourself, and avoid this guy.

      Big hug

      • Allison says:


        How do you know this guy, and how long were you seeing one another?

      • lizzp says:

        Rachel, I’ve read all your posts about this guy and based on them and putting the face book message into that context, I agree fully with what Allison says above. I really think, based on what you’ve posted, that your thought that he is afraid that his feelings for you will affect his job decision is an excuse you are making for him. Please try to check in with your gut on this…the truth is painful. He may well believe in the story he is giving you, if you approach him with your excuses for his ‘indirectness’ substituting for your gut’s knowledge he may well play along and spin this out, but it will (1) either end a bit further down the track or (2) drag on where you will not notice as he down grades your expectations. You could ask your self this: do I feel worthy of a man who is willing to move towards a mutually respectful relationship with me?

        About emotional investment: You are invested so the pain is unavoidable, it’s coming now or it’s coming later but it is coming. Sorry to be so harsh, it’s just that I strongly believe this is a fact, though I wish that I was wrong. Another thing to consider – digital communication – ie fac ebook; email; text messaging and social blah, blah sites- that sort of communication creates a false sense of intimacy and it is way too easy to believe you are getting to really know someone better when in fact you are not, again this is my opinion and my experience. I agree with Allison and Mary W that the face book route he is taking is an act, in the final analysis, of cowardice…too easy.

        Finally back to emotional investment, yes if you have slept with this man a few times, my guess is that you’ve bonded emotionally – pain = inevitable. As someone else has commented , in my opinion, it’s best to hold off in this area and treat your body and your giving of yourself in the sexual act as highly precious if having sex has the effect of making you feel bonded to your partner. I made a conscious decision to do this almost 3 years ago, that sex to me means extreme vulnerability and is a giving of myself and exposure of myself to my partner. I want to be as sure as I can be that my partner understands this, that we trust each other and that the relationship is clearly one of mutual respect and care. Because after I sleep with him I am bonded. I believe we can’t judge men on the basis of the attachments that apparently many of us women experience after we start having sex with a man. That is, generally speaking, men can have sex, at least in the early days, without forming the same kind of bond. I actually don’t believe that men bond through sex in the way that women do. I don’t usually speak about this in my life, some people call it sexist, but ‘equality’ in the sense of social mores – ie FWB- just doesn’t negate that I and many women I know bond in the act of sex with a man quite quickly, whereas for men (maybe EU’s especially?) in my experience and from other women’s stories, often are able to detach once they have had sex. I’m not saying this is for every man or woman but I do believe it generally. I agree with Mary W and her views on FWB (yuck yuck to that ‘concept’ -eeeeek). In my view it’s not necessary to speak about this bonding stuff (ie explain) when a new boyfriend/date brings up sex in some way, I just remember it and don’t give of myself sexually until I know I’m not taking a risk that involves ignoring red flags, future faking etc. I don’t believe I can avoid the risk of being vulnerable but I can lessen the possibility of giving myself to someone who, in the morning or the next week or month, turns into ‘another man’ I never knew. Please don’t ask me how many times I’ve had sex in the last 3 years…

    • Nigella says:


      I can relate to what you are going through as I was there two months ago, wondering how someone could shift from showing intense interest in me to disappearing for ten days. But it happens – and it seems from the stories told on this forum that it happens often to many people.

      To answer your question, it seems like he is not placing the sole responsibility on you for things not working out romantically between the two of you. Though he sounds somewhat patronizing in telling you what might be beneficial for your “future relationships”, he recognizes that both of you took things too fast: “we took it way too fast..we did not allow it to grow naturally”.

      The point is that he is not interested in talking things out with you. Do you really want to convince him to commit to something that is not a priority for him?If someone is unwilling to even talk to you, what can they really offer to you in a relationship? You deserve better, Rachel. Try not to over-inflate his value in your mind.

      Because of the connection you two shared, I understand it might seem difficult at this point to bid him farewell. But you need to ask yourself what is more important to you: retaining your dignity and accepting what he has coughed up or trying to convince him to be with you?

      He doesn’t sound confused or scared in his note – rather quite clear about what he wants. The real reasons for his unwillingness to date you do not matter – sometimes people are just unwilling to take things further. The right person for you is not going to be wishy-washy about being with you.

      Perhaps one lesson to take away from this experience is NOT to be so trusting of what people say in the heat of the moment. During the honeymoon period – 1-3 months of the relationship – it makes no difference if he is calling you affectionate names, serenading you, envisioning a sunny future with you, or even building you a mini Taj Mahal. None of that matters. Period. If ultimately he starts to blow hot and cold, changes his mind, and wants to opt out, say to him “Sayonara, Babe”.

      Because of my break-up, I learned this life-changing lesson – and I must say, I feel liberated not only from the one I foolishly, hastily cherished, but also from my own illusions about the relevance of words. Could there be anything more seductive, more deceptive than words?

      This quotation helped me: “If he’s stupid enough to walk away…be smart enough to let him go”.

      • MaryW says:

        Nigella, I like that quote.

        I also like the quote “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.

    • MaryW says:

      Rachel, this is an “it’s over” letter, sadly, and not a nice one. Not a nice way to end a relationship at all, and I don’t like the way he is trying to avoid any responsibility in breaking up (he hopes you don’t think negatively of him, he states that YOU hurt yourself with him).

      If you’re anything like me, it will take you a while to read the letter and understand it for what it is. In the mean time, please don’t try to change his mind or talk him round… you will end up feeling like a fool when you realise what he has written to you.

      Be strong, look after yourself.

      • Mymble says:

        I agree with all the others, this is a breakup email and a bit of a weaselly one at that.
        The only thing I would add is that he seems to be asking you to give him “feedback”- tell him what you think of him.
        If you write something nice, you will regret it later. Eventually, you will see this man, and your relationship, quite differently and you will kick yourself.
        On the otherhand if you write something rude you will regret that too.
        Either way there’s nothing to be gained by you.
        If he is refusing to have a face to face conversation then he doesn’t deserve to get that window into your mind. He is probably looking for reassurance that he isn’t in your bad books, but if he isn’t now he will be in the future. Plus I think he will want to know “for future reference” with other women. You’re not his relationship coach, let him wonder.

        • Selkie says:


          Mymble is right on about this. He can’t find it in himself to talk to you in person about how “YOU HURT YOURSELF” ( what a self indulgent ass!) then he deserves NO feedback from you on how he can do better in future relationships. He has a right to opt out, we all do, but he showed his small character by how he did this. Don’t mistake this for him being afraid of his feelings. Trying to convince him how he REALLY feels is jut asking for more hurt. He told you how he really feels, their is no hidden meaning. I’m sorry Rachel. I know it sucks, but do what is best for you in the long run and let him go. I would block or unfriend him on FB and if anything, that gives him feedback on how he behaved. If he has any brains he will see that the kick ass, strong, and beautiful Rachel is no longer willing to “HURT HERSELF” when it comes to his cowardly ass.

        • used says:


        • Nigella says:


          This is great advice for Rachel. I wish I had found BR a bit earlier than I did and received similar counsel. Rachel, I hope you cut contact with the dud pronto.

          Mymble, you are right: his email is “weaselly” (what an apt word!). Two months ago, I had received a similar email from the EU I made the mistake of dating. It was littered with his claims of gratitude for the care and attention I showed him and with his acknowledgement of my “beautiful” characteristics. It also contained a couple of apologies that now sound forced to me.

          For all the BR readers that might find themselves on the receiving end of a break-up email, I must emphasize: please do not fall for the nice things they may say about you. Do not buy the thank you and sorry statements they may include in their email.

          These things pale into insignifance if you focus on the thing that actually matters – the fact that they disappeared on you, blindsided you, and failed to break-up with you through a phone call or a meeting. Ultimately, these cowards are only saving themselves the trouble of dealing with your feelings because they do not really care about them. The EU had the audacity to insert this disclaimer in the email: “I have not intentionally deceived you and I stayed silent earlier in fear of disappointing you”. Really? How gracious of you to suffer in silence for me. How thoughtful of you to dump me through email. Of course, I should feel hugely obliged and relieved to learn that while you were enjoying the comfort of my company and body, you were at the same time having doubts that you muffled for my benefit. How considerate of you – you wretched, two-faced, poison-tongued snake.

          I must reiterate: please ignore their compliments, notes of gratitude, self-serving excuses, and apologies. The EUs use these to assuage their sense of guilt and to persuade you not to think poorly of them. Ultimately, they do not take responsibility for misleading you or underdelivering on their promises. Essentially, they have a cavalier attitude about the feelings of others.

          In retrospect, I regret nothing more than replying on the spur of the moment to his email. Thankfully, I did not try to change his mind or act as his relationship coach. I did not launch into a diatribe criticizing him or revealing my hurt feelings to him.

          Rather, I made the unwise decision to send a short and sweet note telling him “I understand that you are not prepared to reciprocate my affection and commitment. I am glad you did not keep me in the dark or drag our relationship. I wish you the best for everything.” It is not consoling me to think that I was at the time in shock and denial.

          For the past two months, I have been feeling mad at myself for sending the note. I owed him nothing. I am hoping that my writing this comment can in some small way help me move past the anger and shame I have been feeling for replying to him.

          • MaryW says:


            When Mr Psychotherapist dumped me by text, I also made the mistake of responding …. not once but twice! With no response between the 2 texts I sent!! Imagine how daft I felt….

            Why did he decide to stop dating me? Because I expressed disappointment that he cancelled a date at the last minute, and he “didn’t want to risk any further disappointments”. And then said he realised he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I feel like I’m some sort of freako who keeps making men realise they are not ready for relationships.

            Anyway what I meant to say is that you shouldn’t beat yourself up about the email you sent. It’s not that bad. Lesson learnt and you’re not on your own.

            You really sound like you’ve learned a lot about yourself in the aftermath of Mr. Lawyer, having read several of your posts. I admire you.

            • lizzp says:

              Hey Mary W, You asked after me up-thread, yes I’m ok/good thanks. I’ve been feeling really well and centred of late and well in the world. Lots is coming together for me.

              Re the psychotherapist: Oh jaaaayyysuuus, Mr Smug, disconnected, emotionally RETARDED Psychotherapist. What , as Jamie might say,a “STEAMING PILE OF COW…[POO]..”!!. Wow, you certainly did well to dodge that one. How ironic – but kind of unsurprising, I think SOME people, WITH NO AWARENESS, choose a helping profession in order to avoid/project their own problems – that a psychotherapist could harbour such cringe worthy emotional toxicity…and they’re meant to do work on themselves too right? Not like clinical psychs (at least as I understand it Clin Psychs do not need to meet requirements re their own therapy).

              Now that you have no ongoing investment in this literal mind effer, wouldn’t it be great to meet him on the street and say something like “Mr Psychotherapist, I forgot to mention something the last time I saw ya, GO BACK TO EFFING ANALYSIS YOU RETARDED JERK, you need to do more work on your INABILITY TO STOP PROJECTING YOUR MIND EFFERY into whole and caring people such as myself. Do the female population a favour huh?”.

              I’m not slagging psychotherapy, I’ve been helped enormously by a wonderful practitioner over the years.

              • MaryW says:

                Hi Lizzp,

                Glad to hear things are going well for you! I’m doing OK. Still NC and out of the black hole …

                Mr Psych (not the same man as the most recent EUM) – yes, ironic but unsurprising. He’s a child and adolescent psychotherapist, which is just about right because he’s stuck at age 14/15 himself. He did go to his own therapy sessions once a week because he was still in training and had to, but …. sigh …. he was an odd one. See below for an example (going to reply to Nigella re controlling behaviour).

                Clinical psychologists are a totally different thing … Different training (strong scientific knowledge base rather than endless analysis of Freud, Klein, etc).

                I chose my practioner because she’s a psychoanalyst/ therapist but trained as a psychologist still works with the NHS (where you have to prove Continued Professional Development etc) so she is definitely monitored etc.

                I think she’s excellent. Only a few months in, but so far so good. Had an abandonment trigger because she’s on vacation for 3 weeks, but otherwise all good and I see it as s healthy investment in myself.

            • Nigella says:


              I hope both of us get much better at staying away from the likes of Mr. Psycho and Mr. Liar. These EUs are embodiments of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomena. More their duplicity – their masks – later on.

              For now I must praise you for expressing your disappointment at the cancelled date. That Mr. Psycho cancelled the date was a red flag in itsef – an indication that he is unreliable and unavailable.

              By admitting that you were disappointed or displeased at him cancelling the date on short notice, you were setting a boundary and staying true to your feelings. I am so glad you spoke up.

              Since he wanted everything on his terms, it is no surprise that he chose not to adjust his behaviour to be fair to you. From the few things you have said about him, Mr. Psycho is unwilling to confront his control issues. To feel more in control and to feel better about himself he started to scrutinize you. To test what sort of behaviour you might accept, he pulled what Natalie has called “The Outrageous Principle”. It makes no difference if he did so intentionally or unconsciously.

              This platitude is true: you cannot mine a diamond from a dunghill. Mr. Psycho did not have the capacity to give you what you deserve. You are not a freak, Mary. People do not internalize their bad behaviour. Their poor choices, insecurities, and limitations are not a reflection of you. These people are self-centered. By rejecting others on some level these EUs get an ego boost.

              Had you silenced yourself and pretended nothing odd has happened, you would have betrayed yourself and exposed yourself to further bail outs. High Five to you for speaking up!

              Basically, I went through the same pattern with Mr. Liar: I started setting boundaries and he e-dumped me after I refused to give into his fast-forwarding demands. From what I could hazily sense, he seemed less interested in getting close to me and more interested in using me to rouse the envy of his friends. Gross. How could I date someone so manipulative and messed up?!

              I regret sending my short and sweet note to him in response to his break-up email, but I do NOT regret setting my boundaries. Doing so saved me from digging a bigger hole for myself.

              Two months down the road, socializing and working help me feel good. Otherwise, on my own, all I can feel is anger at myself for being so trusting and giving in the past. It is bothering me that there is nothing I can do to stop the EU from hurting others in the future – nothing I can do to drop his mask of “The Good Guy”. Yip: no point in trying to control the uncontrollable.

              I admire you too, Mary.

          • LaPinturaBella says:

            Don’t feel bad at all. This post was great. One thing I have come to feel is that not only is breaking up with someone via text or email disrespectful and the absolute COWARDLY way out, but I think breaking up via phone is just as bad. You had no problem seeing me in person as you disregarded my feeling and needs and used my body for your own gratification…too scared to break up to my face???? Poor pathetic little boy. Scared of big bad me!

            • Nigella says:

              Thanks, LaPinturaBella. I agree with you: breaking up through phone is also disrespectful.

              Yip, I made the mistake of not realizing soon enough that I was dealing with a careless, confused, scared person residing in the body of a good-looking successful 30-year-old EUM. Looking past their persona is crucial. Understanding the difference between their persona and character is essential.

              My best friend told me years ago that I am like an easter egg – hard and smooth on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. Initially, people assume that I could “kick their ass if they tried to mess with me”. But once they get close, they realize that I am “patient and caring”. Dammit. I wish I had realized then how my being patient and caring could benefit others but cost me. I guess better late than never.

              I cannot turn into an emotional stone to protect myself from. But I need to ensure that I do not make the mistake of tolerating or caring for people undeserving of my time and attention.

              For now, I need to focus on dissolving my anger.

          • Nigella says:


            I hope both of us get much better at staying away from the likes of Mr. Psycho and Mr. Liar. These EUs are embodiments of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomena. More on their duplicity – their masks – later on.

            For now I must praise you for expressing your disappointment at the cancelled date. That Mr. Psycho cancelled the date was a red flag in itsef – an indication that he is unreliable and unavailable.

            By admitting that you were disappointed or displeased at him cancelling the date on short notice, you were setting a boundary and staying true to your feelings. I am so glad you spoke up.

            Since he wanted everything on his terms, it is no surprise that he chose not to adjust his behaviour to be fair to you. From the few things you have said about him, Mr. Psycho is unwilling to confront his control issues. To feel more in control and to feel better about himself he started to scrutinize you. To test what sort of behaviour you might accept, he pulled what Natalie has called “The Outrageous Principle”. It makes no difference if he did so intentionally or unconsciously.

            This platitude is true: you cannot mine a diamond from a dunghill. Mr. Psycho did not have the capacity to give you what you deserve. You are not a freak, Mary. Please do not internalize their bad behaviour. Their poor choices, insecurities, and limitations are not a reflection of you. These people are self-centered. By rejecting others on some level these EUs get an ego boost.

            Had you silenced yourself and pretended nothing odd has happened, you would have betrayed yourself and exposed yourself to further bail outs. High Five to you for speaking up!

            Basically, I went through the same pattern with Mr. Liar: I started setting boundaries and he e-dumped me after I refused to give into his fast-forwarding demands. From what I could hazily sense, he seemed less interested in getting close to me and more interested in using me to rouse the envy of his friends. Gross. How could I date someone so manipulative and messed up?!

            I regret sending my short and sweet note to him in response to his break-up email, but I do NOT regret setting my boundaries. Doing so saved me from digging a bigger hole for myself.

            Two months down the road, socializing and working help me feel good. Otherwise, on my own, all I can feel is anger at myself for being so trusting and giving in the past. It is bothering me that there is nothing I can do to stop the EU from hurting others in the future – nothing I can do to drop his mask of “The Good Guy”. Yip: no point in trying to control the uncontrollable.

            I admire you too, Mary.

            • MaryW says:

              Dear Nigella,

              Yes he was unavailable and unreliable and I’m honestly glad I expressed my disappointment at a date cancelled at the last minute, by text message no less.

              Regarding scrutiny, he came to my house once. I already keep my self-help type books off my main bookshelf because they are private. But one was still there – tiny, thin book nestled in amongst so many others – and he found it! Nothing “incriminating” like, I don’t know “How to Stop Murdering Your Boyfriends” but “How to Live With the Little Black Dog” – a short manual on depression.

              Mr Psycho spotted this tiny slither of a book, took it down and proceeded to try and read it together. Then tried to ask me why I had it, etc. I was blatantly uncomfortable talking to him about this – a guy I’d been on 4-5 dates with, wasn’t in a relationship with yet, switching into Therapist mode on our date. He didn’t pick up on the cues, either! So highly inappropriate …

              Another example – he noticed a huge scar I have on my wrist (from a nasty fracture that was pinned) and he asked me if I’d tried to commit suicide! I think this was on date 2. No one else even notices the scar, or at least, don’t mention it as it looks like (and is) a clean, surgical scar). He was scrutinising me throughout and it became intensely uncomfortable.

              Nigella, Mr Psych wasn’t even the one who brought me here in earnest (I’d dabbled here before). The most recent one I will now label Mr. Messiah (he once said “I’m needed at work like the Messiah). Arrogant much? And yes he got under my skin so quickly, boundary busted me again and again until I fled in terror (no exaggeration), making me realise I have serious work to do on myself.

              I am also focusing on building up a better social network, changing my mindset at work because I was getting stale and frustrated, and exercising … not on my own anymore but in classes where I at least say hello and initiate a short chat with at least one person. It helps me feel I belong.

              I’m also in the angry phase of grief at the moment, not so much with Mr. Messiah (or at least, not only with him) but all the other assclowns I’ve dated in my extensive catalogue of failed dating experiences and relationships. I shudder with shame and embarrassment.

              I also think of Mr Messiah and who he’s messing around with now, but I know I have to stop that. It’s just torturing myself for no good reason. Mr Liar and Mr Messiah effed up royally – bad luck, them.

              All the best x

              • Nigella says:


                I’m delighted to hear that you’re exercising and taking steps to connect with others. These things, I hope, help you stay positive. Exercising I guess must also help in purging some of the anger you are feeling at the moment.

                Mr Psycho and Mr Messiah sound appalling. From what I can deduce, when control-driven EUs like Mr Psycho and Mr Liar scrutinize others, they are not only trying to define or intimidate others but also deflecting attention from themselves. In such scenarios, aside from putting limits on what one wants to share, asking them questions should help in creating more balanced experiences.

                Before a lopsided pattern of power forms, such people should be put in there place right off the bat – otherwise it seems that they’re far too accustomed to usurping the dominant role in their interactions – the role of the person calling the shots and manipulating you to do things under the guise of taking an interest in your life – your books, your emotions, your Black Dog.

                I can’t speak for you, but I’ve realized that for me sending nonverbal cues to people often does not work. For this reason, I’m consciously making an effort to be upfront about my feelings and limits in all realms of my life. Though I’m not consistent as yet, I’m trying to speak up more and using nonverbal cues to reinforce what I say. I’m indeed pushing myself to use nonverbal cues not as substitutes but as supplements to my words.

                Mr. Liar-cum-Bully didn’t take long to make off-hand and off-putting comments on the way I dressed, moved, and responded nonverbally to situations. For example, I’d be relaxing on a chair and according to him, “Nigella, you are brooding”. Thankfully, I never felt so attached to him as to absorb his comments about me. But I found it tiresome to correct or to point out that he is making unnecessary and incorrect assumptions about me.

                I’ve realized that to maintain my power and independence, it’s important not to allow anyone to start psychoanalyzing me, defining me, cross-examining me, or telling me what to do (unless, of course, I solicit such input). I’m not going to be averse to constructive criticism (especially if over time the feedback-givers have earned my trust by showing me consistent care and respect through their actions).

                It seems to me that often control-driven EUs are in the habit of (1) expecting constant admiration and agreement from the women they date or (2) deflecting attention from themselves, (3) making assumptions about the women, (4) insisting on treating their assumptions as facts about the women, (5) projecting their own anxieties on the women and (6) trying to initimidate or rile the women up through their intrusive questions and assumptions.

                In identifying these habits, I’m hoping I’ll be more aware of someone using them – intentionally or unconsciously – to claim power over me. Perhaps these will be of some use to the BR readers as well.

                How effectively and consistently I will assert myself in response to such tactis is, however, another matter. This is where I need to do more work.

      • MaryW says:

        I read your post again, Rachel, because I was quite taken aback by his message and his means of breaking up with you. Took a while to absorb it.

        He says “i am also curious to hear what you take of our experience” – PLEASE don’t give him that satisfaction. He has been cruel, he doesn’t deserve any ‘positive feedback’. Can’t believe he dares ask for it.

        I was thinking of you, Rachel, with your broken leg. And this man who you are attached to hasn’t even been to visit you (the distance and the dog are lame excuses). When I broke my wrist, my then-boyfriend visited me every day in hospital, brought me food, just came and kept me company. And he was a particularly lazy man who lived an hour away and hated leaving his house (that’s another story….!). Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

        As for the broken phone – nope, sorry, don’t believe it. Even if it is broken, there are other phones everywhere. It’s an excuse, and quite possibly an outright lie.

        Sorry to be so blunt, but what I mean is, this guy doesn’t really care for you. He doesn’t respect you either (the way he broke it off shows that).

        Please be careful about this “dropping off of items” – maybe make sure you have a friend around when it happens. Try not to be on your own. You are vulnerable at the moment.

        Natalie says something that we don’t understand at the time but which always turns out to be true: “he’s just not THAT special”. He isn’t, please believe me. I can tell you that for sure by the way he’s acted and that break-up email. x

    • Maeve says:

      Rachel–I’m not going to demonize this guy because he’s being upfront, however, I agree with you that he’s putting it all on you for moving it too fast. Unfortunately men have a tendency to do that. And blaming it on you is a dealbreaker for sure. But he’s absoulutely right. Rushing into things ups the risk of hearbreak. Whatever the two of you had was at the infatuation stage. It takes a good while to fall in love and invest real emotions…anything premature is make believe. To me, that’s the take away for you in this experience. Don’t let men move things ahead too quickly. In fact, as a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t be sleeping with or investing emotions on any man unless you have a deeper knowledge of his character, his past relationship patterns etc etc. You should feel 100% safe based on facts, not on face value.

      As wussy as he was (men generally hate emotional confrontation) at least he gave you closure. Think of all the nasty dogs who play a woman for as long as they can and then just *poof.*

      In any case, he blew it with you. I’d never let him back.

    • Lilia says:

      Please do not even answer his fb-message, flush flush flush!

      It´ll feel strange in the beginning, but believe me, in a few months you´ll love yourself for it. If you show yourself (and him) some self-respect, your self esteem will grow.

      Really, who do these guys think they are, breaking up over Facebook? And “I do not feel I am disrespecting you”? Sorry dude, it doesn´t matter what you feel, you are in fact disrespecting her.
      Also, “you are an amazing woman and will make somebody happy” – how lame is that? Couldn´t he have searched a bit harder in his cliché-dictionary?

      Girl, this guy doesn´t deserve any more of your time and thoughts. If it were me, I´d print out his Fb profile photo and burn it. And then, upwards and forwards! On to something else.

      • used says:

        She shouldn’t reply. Period.

        But if she is itching to do so, she should write 4 words:
        “Keep it moving, buddy! :)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Well, I’m back home from vacation and discover my tv has no sound. UGH. The things we take for granted until we don’t have them. So, ladies, I’ll be spending more time on BR commenting a lot. It’s too quiet here!

      Rachel, honey, please wake up. The handwriting is on the wall. He is letting you down gently so that he doesn’t feel like such a waste of time in your eyes. But, you on the other hand are trying to turn his words around and believe that he really does want a relationship and that you can overcome the obstacles that he puts up all by yourself. It takes two. Just because he says “You’re a wonderful woman” (or whatever he said) doesn’t mean that HE WANTS YOU. Don’t get it twisted. It seems from your writing that you’ve only recently met him. And as he said both of you took things a bit too far too fast. Believe him. Save your dignity and let him go RIGHT NOW. Don’t seek more pain by trying to work out the unworkable. He is not the only fish in the sea. You can do better. You can and deserve someone who not only appreciates all that you are but wants to share his life with you. This man does not. He is not the one for you because if he was he would not be handing you such lame excuses for not being there for you. And, all your dreaming is not going to change that fact. You cannot change his mind. Please save your intense feelings for someone who really wants YOU, without question.

    • Lara says:

      Rachel Rachel Rachel!!!

      He contacted you through Facebook? Wow, the effort he must’ve made!!! Such respect!! Girl, I sure hope you have not responded to that bullshit he spewed on facebook. I interpret this as adding insult to injury, to be honest. I am sitting here fuming, and I am not the one this was done to, so you can imagine how bad it is. Yes, you are being delusional. This man made it clear that he is not interested in you, was probably never interested in you, by the sounds of it. He is making you feel guilty for having done things “wrong”, while pretending that he is taking some of the “blame”, in order to NOT appear the AC that he IS. What a two faced bastard. “Sorry” that you “hurt yourself with me” LOL! What a narcissist. Can’t even say sorry for HURTING YOU! Instead, YOU hurt YOURSELF with him.. You’re the culprit responsible for your own heartache… Funny how all of us AC victims are totally the ones to blame.. Nope: the only thing we are to blame for is that we gave them the time of the day. I think deep down they know it, though, and they don’t understand why someone would spend so much time, effort, energy, and put so much love into something that they were never serious about. Of course, we were supposed to have read their mind and known that they were never serious about us… despite all their future-faking, all their lovey-dovey talk, all their “I love you”s, etc. This guy told you that he feels like “talking it out” would be of no use. It would be of no use to him, of course. He has decided for the both of you already, he has already taken that power away from you. Why would you even want to talk to him about this any more? What is there to talk about? He has told you, loud and clear, that he does not like you, that he was just having fun with you, while it lasted. I would not be surprised if, the fact that he is moving away, he realized that he can no longer have sex with you (correct me if I am wrong, I am assuming you two have had sex), therefore, he sees no point in continuing this. That’s all it was: a FWB situation. Or, at the very least (if you haven’t had sex), it was just him toying with you and just wanted to have someone to spend time with, rather than be alone. Stop over-interpreting his message, and take it for what it is: a clear expression of his lack of interest in having a relationship with you, both in the present and in the past. If I were you, I would not even give him the satisfaction of a reply to that one. I can even understand him not wanting to do this face to face, but he should’ve had the decency of doing it via phone, or heck, at the very least, email. Nope, a facebook mssg is all you are getting from this man. What do you expect to get from such a man if you were to convince him into having a “relationship” with you?!?!?!? Do yourself a favor and delete the message, delete him from your friends list, and block him on facebook, email, and phone. This man was trouble the minute he walked into your life, and no, I suspect you didn’t do anything wrong. I suspect he was never interested in you, or a relationship, from the very start.

      • LaPinturaBella says:

        WOW Rachel. HE’S breaking up with you, but YOU HURT YOURSELF???? WTF???? Talk about projecting and abdicating any and all responsibility. And on FB yet??? Cowardly AND lazy to the extreme.

        Do yourself a favor, kick this selfish and self-absorbed clown to the curb and never look back. He’s not afraid of his feelings for you (he obviously doesn’t possess any for anyone but himself.) I bet he’s terrified of your feelings for him though.

        BTW, has anyone noticed that he’s so concerned about giving up a job? Did you ever ask him NOT to move to to GIVE UP anything for you? That seems completely inappropriate and blown out of all proportion to me, considering the newness of this “relationship.”

      • Nigella says:


        This is superb feedback for Rachel.

        Rachel, I hope you will heed the point that Lara and others have highlighted for you: this fellow is holding you responsible for the disappointment and hurt you are feeling. Only minimally, he is recognizing his own part in rushing things, but not in hurting you.

        This fellow is emotionally underdeveloped as he is unable or unwilling to show you the respect and empathy you deserve. This jughead is thinking only about himself rather than reflecting on & recognizing the impact HIS actions have had on you.

        Do not make the mistake of overlooking or downplaying the fact that he does not empathize with you OR hold himself accountable for confusing, stalling, avoiding, hurting, or disappointing you.

        Focus on his actions. His actions express his priorities – you are nowhere near the top of his list. This has nothing to do with you. It is about his (poor) choices in life. Get in touch with your feelings of hurt and anger. See past the excuses and focus on the efforts a person makes to connect with you.

        Give yourself the permission to feel the hurt and the anger. Do not give him the satisfaction of seeing you suffer.

        Dump the Dunce.

  33. Jemma says:

    I’ve messed up-I met a great guy I really like but although he knows about my past and all the ex assclowns, my walls are still up and bigger than ever, and it seems however lovely the guy I like is I still push him away. I’m so scared of getting hurt all over again that I’m now the person that the ex assclown was; cold, argumentative, a horrible version of me. I know I need to love myself before allowing anyone to love me but I don’t know what I need to do to let someone in. Me and the good guy had a big fight over the weekend, and I was just a bitch, there is no other word for my horrible horrible behaviour. He’s the guy I’ve been waiting around for and I’ve messed up. He still wants to text because it’s the one channel that we don’t argue but I told him I need to time because I don’t like the person I’ve become. Some girl would be a fool not to snap him up, and the last thing I need is him to move onto someone new because I don’t want to know. Please, is there anyone with these horrible ugly walls? How do we bring them down? Because I can’t live within these bricks anymore. It’s been a horrible 5 year struggle.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Yes, you do need time. You’re not ready to be in a relationship right now. You need a break. Don’t hurt someone else because you’ve been hurt. That’s not right. It’s unfortunate if this guy is really a very good man who you could see a future with, but if you are not in the right frame of mind you will find a way to mess it up. That’s not fair to either of you. Be by yourself for awhile and work on your issues.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        What to do, Jemma? Read here avidly. You will learn a lot from other people’s experiences and wise advice. Get yourself some self-help books, such as the ones mentioned here. Find joy in the things that make you happy and indulge regularly. Follow good health habits, exercise and healthy eating. Spruce up your appearance. When you feel good and look good also, you’ve got to improve your outlook. Do not see every man that comes into your life as a future prospect. Gradually you will become more discerning. But at the same time realize every man is not the same although there my be a preponderance of EUM’s and AC’s. Once you begin to feel better about yourself, and lose the ugly baggage, you will be more appealing to the opposite sex, but you will be strong enough to recognize and repel the losers quickly. And, when you eventually start another relationship (not too soon, I hope), DO NOT BLAB about your past. Let it stay where it is. He doesn’t need to know. Be discreet. Start NOW.

    • Allison says:


      Maybe, you should consider some counseling.

  34. Found myself a backbone says:

    If he’s stupid enough to walk away…be smart enough to let him go”.

    I am so going to use this, brilliant! And so, so true!

    The comments about loneliness are also true, you find yourself not being able to cope to begin with then u feel down and then lonely and then you realise its not loneliness but life being drama free, its peace and wow how hard it is to get used to that peace because you have been on this crazy train for soooo long you forgot what normal was like. I love the quiet and I love my friends for allowing our friendship to go back to how it was before EU/AC.

    I have grown and learnt my responsabillity in the relationships I have had but no longer take the blame. Life is good and my kids are my priority and my relationship with them has never been so strong, nothing will ever make me lose myself again. I have my own back now and I love me xx

  35. Sue says:

    Well, EUM finished the legal work he was doing for me and had his secretary email for my address to send the paperwork. I guess that’s it. He is maintaining the NC I established. I guess I hoped to hear from him one more time. I guess this IS hearing from him, ignoring me one more time. Trying hard to remember the pain and rejection and not think about the “good times.” They were a long time ago – 2 years almost. The last part was all pain and slowly dying morphing into him being kinda mean and nasty. I guess blatant affairs would have been next. My heart and my ego are in pieces. I miss having the idea that somebody actually loved me. I have never ever had a relationship that worked out. Ever. Trying to go back, even though I really want a shag, is no answer. It will only hurt more. I feel like crap. So much pain. Venting here because I hope that will help and it will pass.

  36. Peanut says:


    It only took me “Maybe in another life” to read before getting fiery mad. This is ridiculous mess to say. You both are in this life, and as far as we know it’s the only one you get; don’t waste it on this fool.

  37. Betty says:

    I have learned so much from these blogs…I was in a very hurtful relationship, from which I had a son who is now 3 years old…after so many lies and being treated like a second hand dish, but worst yet, when my child was dragged into this and reading these blogs gave me the courage that I needed to finally end that relationship with my Mr. Unavailable…now after a year, he’s coming back using our son as the excuse to attempt and establish communication…he did not care ever about our son and now he wants me to believe he has always cared and he’s a changed man…I doubt it, the man owes me money, he doesn’t have the nerve to at least pay me back, but wants to establish communication with a child he’s never known, only known he has a son, but whom he never has worried about, he starts by wanting to express all his suffering at for a moment I was almost believing him, thankfully I came back to read more on assclowns like this one…you are absolutely right, they have only mediocre excuses…thankfully I no longer hurt for this, because I am giving my son the best life he can have and the most gratifying feeling comes from never asking him for a single penny to support this child…I know a mother should never deny the father the right to his child, but in my case my son will only go through hurt, disappointment and sadness just from looking at this assclown and his pathetic stories of being a changed man, I don’t even know why I gave him the time of day to listen to his non-sense, but thank you for the reality check on this assclown and for the courage and hope you give through these blogs, I personally appreciate them and are grateful and thankful to have ran into your site when I needed it the most.

    • Allison says:


      You’re not doing your son any favors by not pursuing support. This man has a financial obligation to his child.

  38. Peanut says:

    Mr. Able,

    You are not responsible for soothing her child over her dating woes that, yes, do effect her child.

    Those are hers and her child’s issues to work out. You’re right, postcards would be going against NC.

  39. Tinkerbell says:

    Sue, the pain WILL pass if you allow it. Almost 2 years ago? Girl, that ‘s way too long to still be hung up on this guy. I don’t care how great he might have been. It didn’t work out and you went NC for a reason. Remember those reasons. Stop focusing on what had been been good about him. Of course there were good things about him or you wouldn’t have been with him for more than a minute. But, apparently there was enough wrong that you felt or he felt it had to end. Accept it. No more wishing and hoping. Be strong.

    • Sue says:

      Thanks, I meant the good times were at the beginning almost 2 years ago. I just went NC a week and half ago, cause I was getting some crumbs for a long time. I feel terrible, ugly, unwanted and haorrible!!!! Thanks for letting me know it will pass.

  40. Peanut says:


    I read your backstory. He’s not interested. Move on. He’s stringing you on and being an ass about it.

    • MaryW says:

      Peanut, agreed. An ass AND a turd. And since I’m in the mood for name-calling, a cowardly custard.

      • lizzp says:

        Haha Mary W! :-) It’s so great to be able to indulge those name calling moods here huh, in such a safe environment. I fully enjoy it. Smiling…cowardly custard…if it’s anything like my custard then this ass wipe is full of horrible lumps, even a bit of unabsorped powder and he tastes kinda bland.

        While I am here, I’d like to second what suzy says below:
        “MaryW. :- Wow lady! you’ve got it. I remember your first post here, not so long ago. The pain, it fades to logic doesn’t it? Aint you already just such a fab lady exchanging the grief for love car and respect of yourself.?”. Hear, hear!

        • lizzp says:

          Mary W. p.s. oh by the way, did I mention already that from where I sit this fb coward sounds like a TOTAL FUCKING ASSWIPE?! 😉 xo

          • MaryW says:

            Thanks Lizzp, I truly appreciate your support and the comment from Suzy. I really do. Thank heavens for Natalie and BR, eh? Hope you’re doing OK?

            I got quite angry about this asswipe Rachel is dealing with. No doubt projecting my anger about the ex EUM. But anyway, yes, this guy hovering around Rachel’s life sounds like a total asswipe. I like to imagine he’s only about 18 years old because he sounds incredibly immature, but I doubt that’s the case. It’s actually insulting to turds to call him a turd… 😉

  41. rachel says:

    Lara, Lilia, Tinkerbell, Maeve, Mymble, MaryW, Nigelia, Lizzp, Allison, LaPinturaBella, and Selkie. WOW. Thank you all of you lovely women for giving me such heartfelt feedback.

    I had told him he could ship my things or I could pick them up while he was at work… he still told me he would drop them off if I could wait a couple of days. The reason I think he has avoided me thus far is because he is legitimately busy (13 hour days, 2 hours physical training for his new job,an hour to take care of his dog, and an hour drive to me) but moreso that he was afraid his feelings for me would hinder his decision to take his job cross country. Perhaps a healthy thing for himself, but not so fair to me without explaining himself. Last time we spoke on the phone he said it was so good to hear my voice, he missed me, and he did want to spend more time together, but slow down. He was such a gentleman all along… never tried to have sex with me… just cuddled and kissed. I was the one who initiated the one time we did have sex. anyway… i did respond to that message he sent (because I hadn’t read your messages yet! Oh no!) This is what I wrote:

    “Talking it out is never useless. I felt disrespected when you told me you were coming and you didn’t call to cancel. I also wonder why you won’t call me… What I loved about you primarily was your ability to articulate yourself and share. So much is lost in text…
    I thought we both opened out hearts wide very fast… Do you honestly think it was just me? I think it was easy to do because everything around us was seeming to encourage the notion it was meant to be… So trust felt natural. The synchronicities were uncanny. I really do have things to say that I think are important to share. Important for your growth and for the honor of the situation. I do request that you bring by my things and set some time aside to have a heart to heart. I’d also appreciate a phone call.”

    Then this morning he FB messaged me that he was on his way to go buy a new phone.

    • Mymble says:

      Here are some of the things people do for people they care about who are injured;
      Visit them
      Ask if they need help, Eg shopping, washing, driven around
      Phone to find out how they are
      Send flowers, cards, etc
      Has he done none of this? Then he does not care for you. No-one is too busy to do at least two of the things on that list.
      He isn’t frightened of how much he cares, he is frightened of how much he doesn’t care, and that you will see it and hold
      him accountable. He is on the run from his bad conscience.
      Of course you want to try and change his mind, but it isn’t possible. There are no magic words that you can say. There isn’t a deep reservoir of feeling there that you can tap into. It helped me to think about lovers that I have left or lost interest in; there was nothing they could have said or done to change my mind.
      He is already gone and he isn’t even really answering what you’ve said. It’s unlikely you’ll ever have that conversation and even if you do it probably wont help. As others have mentioned , you might find yourself in a FWB non-relationship booty call thing. Which is a lingering death.
      Something that helped me a lot was the “unsent letter”. Nat has a worksheet you can download, to help. I wrote quite a few of them over a period of time, until the urge to communicate with him (meaning the urge to try and get him back) eventually passed.

      • lizzp says:

        Mymble, God, it’s so simple isn’t it…God, the woman has a broken leg and is house bound…yes, yes…what do normal and caring people do and offer in this situation – everything you listed.

        Oh Rachel…you need to look at your self esteem…his lack of action and effort in the face of your injury is enough to show you the selfishness and self absorption of this character. Don’t you matter? Ask yourself – ‘don’t I matter?”

    • MaryW says:

      Rachel, you say he “avoided” you and then said he was legitimately busy. It can’t be both; avoidance is voluntary, not circumstantial. As Natalie said, this guy is not running the country; he could have made the time if he really wanted to.

      The ex EUM I recently dated had the same “legitimate reasons” and I excused him. Time and time again (“fool me once” etc). I would nervously stare at the phone, waiting for him to cancel another date in case he was working til midnight.

      Even it’s circumstantial and not avoidance, do you really want to fall hook line and sinker for a man who has no time in his life for you? And who is about to move away, making it a LDR?

      But the bottom line really is that he’s told you he wants to “go solo” and you have to respect that decision. He might have feelings for you, he might be sincere when he says that, but LISTEN, he has told you it’s over.

      As for meeting him to discuss face to face, I think that it’s a bit dangerous while you’re still making excuses for him, looking at the situation through rose tinted glasses and seem to want to salvage a relationship. I did a post mortem with the ex EUM (by text of course because he wouldn’t phone me), and it did help put the final nails in the coffin. It’s fine if you want to talk to him for closures sake, but I get the feeling you want to talk him round to changing his mind? Remember, he’s said he sees no point in talking it over. The situation can be honoured but it can’t “grow” – because he said it’s over. Please, read that message from him again.

      I just don’t want you to flog a dead horse and risk losing your dignity.

      It doesn’t mean the whole thing was false or there’s something wrong with you/ you did anything wrong, but for him the relationship has reached it’s sell by date. X

      • suzy says:

        oh Rachel!!!! Listen!
        Read and re read the comments here, they are the ones “that are important to share…and have a heart to heart” WITH YOUR SELF.
        I know where you are coming from, so do others on here, but take a breath, wait, think, read here. You DO NOT NEED TO MAKE SENSE out of NONSENSE (Natalie has talked about this, look up the post).
        Yes you need closure, yes you need to make sense of it. You don’t need to Florence this guy. Yep, he may have problems, its all about HIM, not you. Its not you, its HIM.
        Just wait, read, think.
        And then see if its so important to have that head-feck chat. It wont be.
        MaryW. :- Wow lady! you’ve got it. I remember your first post here, not so long ago. The pain, it fades to logic doesn’t it? Aint you already just such a fab lady exchanging the grief for love car and respect of yourself.?
        Rachel, take note, it wont be long and you can get your own closure, peace and experience that will take care of you and bring you guaranteed joy in your future and future relationships!!
        Much love and respect to all of you x

        • MaryW says:

          Suzy, yes the pain and confusion do fade away.. and quite quickly with No Contact. Not that I’m completely over it of course – he still pops in to my head, dammit – and I realised I have a mountain of my own issues to deal with, old wounds that still need to be confronted befoe they can heal. Meanwhile I am a man-free zone; there is one less Fall Back Girl out there.

          But I remember being just as deluded/ illogical as Rachel is now, with even worse things going on than she’s put up with!

          So Rachel, I really do understand, and I echo Suzy’s words that it won’t be long before you get your own closure once you are able to see the situation as it really is. It doesn’t happen just by snapping your fingers, and it can take a while for the words of others to sink in, but I hope for you that it happens soon. x

      • MaryW says:

        p.s. (and I feel I’m the one flogging a dead horse now), I really think you should go back to plan A and have him ship your belongings to you. The relationship is over and it’s far too early to have a heart to heart with him, if indeed a heart to heart is necessary/ appropriate. I truly believe that you must take some time out to gain perspective …. and then I think you’ll realise that actually, there is little/ nothing more to be said.

        As Lizzp might say, I’ll eat my hat if he actually agrees to drop your belongings over AND have a heart to heart. I have a feeling he will put it off, delay it, blame work, blame the dog, whatever. And so, leave you hanging …..

        Rachel, I know how you feel only too well. I had to listen to some tough love from friends as well as the lovely, well meaning and understanding people here before I could accept that the relationship I wanted was simply not possible.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Rachel. This my last comment on this subject because you are determined to see things your way. Every move he makes, every word he says is NOT ABOUT YOU. The man is just not that into you. When are you going to accept this? You continue to make excuses for him which involve your believing he really wants you. You think that you are so important to him that seeing you may “hinder his decision to take his job cross country”. You think you know what he is thinking? You seem to know what is best for him? “Important for your growth and the honor of the situation. What honor of what? You have really pushed this too far in your actions and your overly romantic statements which constitute begging. You can NEVER get a man by begging. That’s how you send him running for the hills -showing desperation. If he has your belongings, he can at least return them on YOUR TERMS. There is no need for a heart to heart talk. As it is, men are usually uncomfortable in overly emotional situations even when they deeply care for you. This is not the case for you and this dude. From what he has shown you so far, you will only further embarrass yourself. Notice I said “further”. When he comes over, IF HE COMES, just take your belongings, thank him and close the door. Go and cry all night, but don’t lower your pride any more. GO NC. There comes a time when you gotta know when to fold and that time with him has PASSED!!!!!
      And, by the way AC’s can be very adept in playing the gentlemanly role until they get tired of it and give you their asses to kiss. Put away the hearts and flowers and violins playing high brow music. Not this time, Rachel.

    • lizzp says:

      “Then this morning he FB messaged me that he was on his way to go buy a new phone.”

      Uh huh…so any gut reactions to his action of ignoring your fb message? Perhaps you see this as the writing on the wall? It will be ok…it’s just you can’t avoid the pain of the truth, you can put it off through illusion, excuse making etc. I’ve done that and I say well…I didn’t have BR and had well meaning friends urging me to give him the benefit etc…., but don’t know regardless I think it’s possible that some of us need to learn the hard way..the epiphany relationship, the reaching rock bottom.

  42. espresso says:

    ” All this was spinning, spinning, spinning in my head…I said nothing…I’m not invested anymore. I WANTED to say it all, blurt it out, out of habit..analyzing, evaluating, correcting…funny how exhausting that can be, giving your old self a kick in the behind…”

    Oh SwissMiss
    I wish you had been standing at my shoulder last night or giving ME a kick in the behind as I blew out all my boundaries, my hard won self respect when trying to “work out” arrangements related to our separation at a meeting with my ex.

    I came prepared with all my lists but was in a fragile, angry mood after some ridiculous comments he had made to me a few days earlier which were patronizing, controlling, out of place and insufferable. It was intolerable to me that he should talk to me this way and I felt I had to say something…well it was all down hill from there……so question #1 do I ignore his stupid behaviour totally?

    My frustration at him not understanding issues, his lack of insight, his not stepping up to the plate in a real way while complaining about how tired he is (when he often chooses solutions that MAKE him more tired), how he is doing this and that….I just got so angry. I am angry at myself for falling back into explain, spinning, trying to weave in and out of his rationalizations, attacks, self pitying, sense martrydom, deflecting, not really problem solving. He actually DOES NOT KNOW what mutual problem solving..

    There is still something in me that at times of general vulnerability, I still want him to understand how I feel. How I don’t think collaborative problem solving and planning is cutting up tree branches when we are not going to use the wood ever and then being able to say, “look at me.” I said a LOT of bitter things last night and it was all useless and hopeless and sad exhausting, soul destroying (for me) and pointless and I feel like I betrayed myself and my values.
    And of course I just increased his sense of martrydom.

    It is interesting too….to see that even though he professes to have learned a lot because of all the “work he has been doing” when a conflict arises he hasn’t changed one bit. (I know that too). All the old strategies come up. And even the really deep things that he said so many months ago…he had worked through and “understood about himself.” they are all just there waiting for the right time to emerge. His resentment of me, his feeling that actually he IS justified and in the right…like little worms crawl back into the conversation. But the real “tell” is always there….and when he is no longer in control of “listening” then it all comes out perfectly preserved and “ready to go again.”

    And because I refuse not to “appreciate his pain,” or placate him or praise him or cheerlead or build him up…he is even more resentful. I am not playing my customary role. He wanted me to say what I used to..oh please don’t work so hard, you are so nice, thank you, thank you thank you, I appreciate you so much, you are such a nice person, you are so helpful. blah blah when he is actually obstructing things and making this so much harder and more exhausting for me. (Oh and never saying this stuff to me). And of course the highlight of the evening was, “I guess I have just failed at everything. This is what this is all about isn’t it?” The EFFORT to bring up what was basically my telling him that he had no right to tell me what I should and should not buy at the grocery store for MY meals. And it led into his complete neglect of following through on rodent control in our country house..and is forgetting that he had agreed to do it and not following the plan of the pest control people who I arranged an (expensive) consultation with.

    Actually Natalie recommended my hiring a mediator and I think I have to start exploring that.

    Question #2 Other than doing more work on myself and avoiding these situations, does anybody have any advice for me about how to just stop things if I get into a spinning downward spiral…these is for those of you who are still in contact. How do I control my own emotions here when I feel so hyper reactive? How can I use a stock phrase to get out these kinds of messes. I HAVE been doing okay but it is so exhausting just to keep this up. This has been a hard painful lesson for me and I hope I can say and actually mean – this is the last time I will ever put myself in this position again. Sorry for the rant.

    • Mymble says:

      I also find that I don’t get much sense out of the ex. I try to keep conversations very short. I’ll state very clearly what I want to say, with reasons, and don’t look for a response. Let it sit with him.
      If I engage to much in a back and forth conversation it just turns into .. stupidity, and the focus moves to “winning the argument”. What happens is, he can’t really process what I’m saying quickly enough to respond appropriately, so he goes on the attack and entrenches himself in a hostile position.
      The other thing is, i have to remind myself that there may be situations where we CANNOT reach agreement, and he will continue to be hostile and/or irrational, even to his own detriment. I have to try and accept that, and give up trying g to control him. I do tend to be controlling, and he, like a teenager rebels, often in destructive ways. The “parental” nature of our relationship has been what has partly been the death of it.
      All too often I bury my head in the sand, and just can’t face talking to him as it is so dismaying. I am really worried about his ability to manage finances etc on his own, he is very naive.
      This is the hardest thing I have ever done, I understand why many people stay in unhappy marriages for financial reasons, for the kids, for fear of the unknown.
      Sorry for rambling.

      • suzy says:

        Mymble and Expresso.
        Im a professional mediator, (although not in “family/marital”). I guess, relevant here is, it is not about changing either sides perspective/behaviour, but looking for common ground where something positive can be achieved.
        If you combine that with Natalie’s probable advice, you know, in the peace and quiet of your own safe world what your boundaries are, you need to keep those VERY safe in your heart and head when meeting, and only negotiate within those terms. The rest you will have to write-off (NC?), as you are not going to get anywhere by expecting changes.
        Meeting and negotiating with another third party is helpful to keep things practical and focused.
        The rest is a pain in the arse.

    • lizzp says:

      Espresso, I’ve been mulling over the emotional investments of my life recently. It made me think of this when I read your comments and Swissmiss’ comments: In a nutshell, your frustrations with the ex probably boil down to you still being emotionally invested in your ex. Swissmiss is not, so she can more easily let her frustrations go because she is indifferent to trying to and/or wanting her ex to change. On some level, as you are aware, you still want validation and you still hope or want your ex to be someone he is not. This can happen even though you are fully certain you never want to be with him again.

      • Wiser says:

        I agree with Lizzp… Espresso, hon, please climb out of this messy, emotional swamp you’re in with your ex. You’re just getting covered in muck. Your posts are still very much centered on him and your frustration at the irrational and exasperating ways he thinks/acts/manipulates the conversation. He sounds exhausting. You can’t win here – you’re just going to wear yourself out and deplete the energy you need to rebuild your own life. Anything else is just crazy-making. I really think you should let your lawyers or a mediator act on your behalf and have no more contact with him than is absolutely necessary. If you’ve really made up your mind to divorce, then start distancing yourself emotionally now. Get out of his head (it’s useless to try to figure him out) and do what you have to do to figure out the business and all the practical matters – and that’s it!

  43. uigs says:

    I am new to dating, met my ex-husband at 21 and was with him until 34, I find this modern dating world to be tough since I skipped past a lot. You could say that I met my first EUM and it has now ended, but I am confused. For the first time I heard the “I am not ready for a relationship speech”, got the hot/cold etc. — but unlike what other women here say I got something more confusing. After not contacting me for a few weeks he texted, got the apology/lame excuse which I didn’t buy. He called me and then said that I wasn’t the one for him, he could didn’t think that we were compatible and didn’t see us for a long-term relationship, he was unsure of me but he was very attracted to me, couldn’t stop thinking about me and wanted to have a physical relationship with me. I found it confusing because at times he seemed really interested in me but then backed off. He said it was because of things that I said, a few things. So there were actually times when I said something and it came out wrong and I saw him look at me oddly. I now think, well I can learn from this but to be honest maybe all men wouldn’t like that thing I said that came out wrong or maybe I can communicate that better. So whereas he wasn’t perfect I wonder if he really was just unsure and his hot/cold was giving me a chance of which I then would say something that just didn’t jive for him in what he is looking for in a woman. Now I learned first that I need to improve my communication skills so it’s more in line with my values cause I do feel that things came out wrong. Second, I learned that if I was truly a confident woman then I would have been communicating differently and whether or not this would have worked out with this guy maybe if what I said didn’t matter I would have ended it sooner with him (sooner than 6 dates, not months). So whereas, I know I shouldn’t be blaming myself, it’s kind of hard to realize that there are things I wish I said differently and those are the things that this guy says he didn’t like about me. Now I feel confused on this whole EUM thing and I wonder that although yes you should ditch a EUM or not interested guy, maybe it’s ok to take some time to think if there is any way you played into the situation, the conversation, the behavior, is there anything you could have done differently to walk away feeling like wow – I am a confident woman, not differently in that the outcome would be different but that you might have handled things differently. I just think maybe it’s ok to learn something from an experience other than it’s all the EUM’s fault. Some say there is a reason why some women meet EUM’s b/c they themselves are EU, I don’t know if that is true but I do know that with high self esteem and knowing what you want, a woman won’t put up with an EUM for long, she will always know that she deserves more and she’ll move on. So I think when a woman has this experience then she should be somewhat introspective especially if she spent a lot of time with the man and let him continue that behavior. It’s really easy to just blame someone an say he’s wrong, he’s EUM, ditch em, but it’s a lot harder to accept your own role in the situation. For me it’s too simple to just say he was EU and I ditch em, I do ditch em, but there was something for me to learn from this in that I do need to work on my confidence so that it shines through my conversation and then maybe everything else will fall in place.

    • suzy says:

      I wonder what you did say? Was it the authentic you? If so – so what! what he thinks, why should you change to please him?
      In some of what you say (and I may have got it wrong, so soz if I have) I the impression he was fishing for a FWB relationship, testing you somehow? see if some casual, joking things you said actually meant you were ‘up for it?’ -when actually you turned out to be looking for more than that?
      If that’s the case – flush, think no more, you got it right.
      Perhaps your actions didn’t meet your words? Your words, he took as flirty, (he was hoping for a sex encounter), but your actions showed you were looking for more than that…..
      If that’s the case, flush, think no more, you got it right…..
      and good for him, hes looking for actions, not just words. So not a total AC, but if he ticks the boxes above, then hes just interested in sex.
      Correct me if I’m wrong….

    • Mymble says:

      He simply wanted no strings sex, and he has put the blame for his not wanting a relationship on you and something you said, as though if you had said something different he’d have wanted a relationship. No. He doesn’t want a relationship with you, or with anyone. That’s on him. If you are genuinely wanting a relationship and it becomes apparent that you’re not suited, you finish it with them, let them go, move on yourself and let them do the same. You don’t say what the communication problem was but if it “came out wrong” he would allow you to explain what you meant to say and correct any misunderstandings. He is the one that has a communication problem, insofar as his communications are untruthful, and intended to make you feel that his treatment of you is something you brought upon yourself.
      If you search the site for a post on “one false move” you may find that helpful in recognising that it was nothing you did or said but it IS all about him.
      I’ll bet he has a pattern of this kind of behaviour. It has the advantage, for him, that some women will think that if they say or do something different in future then he might deem them relationship worthy, that somehow they can earn love by “being good”, and thus they stick around treading on eggshells and terrified to open their mouths or challenge him in any way.

    • lizzp says:

      Uigs, I think I may get what you’re saying here. Please take all the advice people will give you here about red flags etc. That’s all very important. On what you are trying to get at – are you saying that you wish to reflect on where you feel you have let yourself down? So whatever these things are that you said, you feel you were not being true to yourself or that they came from a place of fear instead of confidence, self worth and value? These are important issues for me and ones that take precedence in the background of my life at present. So my view is that it’s a fine thing to concentrate on this area if your gut is telling you that.

      A useful thought for you may be ‘that’s yours not mine’. Because the first thing you may need to get straight with yourself (in your own mind) is what belongs to you and what belongs to the man you write about (btw, I agree with others that this man – and this is HIS- was fishing for a FWB situation with you, BLOW HIM OFF – unless of course you’re ok with that). Next, you find the times where you feel you let yourself down and have a look at them and try to determine what’s what there. I think you are on the right track to bring it back each time to where you have spoken or acted out of fear, even dislike and mistrust of yourself, rather than from a place where you know what’s best for you because you value yourself. I think that starting with self esteem is the way to address this. I think you are on the right track when you write “…but there was something for me to learn from this in that I do need to work on my confidence so that it shines through my conversation and then maybe everything else will fall in place.”. I also think that you are also trying to say that regardless of WHAT’S HIS when he said that stuff about what you had said that ‘put him off’ (WHAT’S HIS here is that he is an asshole that wants to lay guilt on you and guilt you into a FWB relationship because he thinks your self esteem will allow it – this guy is a real pig btw), you want to feel whole and grounded in what you say and do. That’s a good thing so put his crap aside, have a look, reflect, consider in depth how much you value yourself and how that is reflected in your interactions and you will develop the confidence that you envisage.

      I think Nigella articulates this issue extremely well. I hope she reads your comment and adds something (hint hint Nigella – you ‘out there’ somewhere woman?)

    • Nigella says:


      Since language is the lens through which we see the world, and the tool with which we connect with others, I think it is always a good idea to improve our communication skills. But this is a lifelong process.

      People do not have the right to punish or persecute you for not saying what they want to hear. If they cannot accept the real you, then they are not worth your time. Life is too short to spend it pleasing others. Love yourself. Do not let someone magnify your imperfections. It is not a crime to have imperfect communication skills. Surely this guy has not received the Booker or Commonwealth Prizes for Literature – so he can shut his gob.

      Unless you were abusing the guy – calling him names, shouting and spitting insults at him, ordering him around, belittling things important to him – it makes no sense for him to withdraw from you on the basis of how you spoke to him. This is just a lousy excuse he is using to bring you down and to justify not dating to you. Frankly, he is a sex-obsessed lowlife: his opinion should not matter to you.

      Lizzp has posed thoughtful questions for you to consider. Here are some from me: (1) Do you feel upset about not communicating your real thoughts either by silencing or misrepresenting them? (2) Do you feel upset about not finding the best words to convey your thoughts? (3) Do you feel upset about saying things that the guy could not accept?

      If 1 & 2, then I wish you all the best in learning to speak your mind. It can be done. The more you read, speak, and write, the easier it will become for you to narrow the gap between your thoughts and words. If 3, then I must discourage you from trying to say things that might please other people. If someone is not interested in understanding and appreciating the real you, they will find any excuse to knock you down.

      Here is a quote that helps me fight back each time someone tries to knock me down: “Before you judge me, make sure you are perfect.”

      Take care, Uigs.

      • LaPinturaBella says:

        Uigs… You’ve gotten some wonderful advice above. Nigella, you rocked it again!

        There ARE good,healthy,loving men out there. However, there are also a lot of low life, sex obsessed, assclowns out there too. Read everything on this site. It will give you a really good education so you can dump the guys like the one that brought you here and be open to the one that is right for you.

  44. espresso says:

    Thanks Mymble…I often wonder how you are managing. It sounds really stressful – is there an end in sight for you…do you have a deadline for moving on?

    I honestly “think” I am close to understanding him but don’t still know how to handle things that he said he would do and doesn’t follow up on even with the lists and what I understood to be commitments. Do I just have to say fk it – I will do it myself which is what I have always done? I feel pretty worn out. By putting stuff on paper I thought I could take myself out of the controlling, reminding posture (he forgets a lot of what he has said). He also jumps very quickly to the victim role….which stops the conversation about how to actually deal with specific tasks.

    Months ago I wrote up and he agreed to a schedule of when we would be away from the house. He asked for nothing from me (never does). He has never lived up to it. It is always I who am leaving the house…and it is exhausting to always be “out.” So I raise this and it is two hours of denial, saying he has “no place to go,” ” has no friends, would HAVE to take the car leaving me isolated – which is garbage because I go away a lot and never take the car. I don’t care where he goes as long as he is away…but I do worry about him spending a lot of money. His first “idea” of being away and giving me a break was to spend 3000.00 on a two week language course in Mexico. So not much help there.

    I have also been looking for a place to stay, answering ads, talking to friends, asking them to get the word out, seeing places. I have a limited budget and I live in a city where housing is very expensive and even more expensive when there is a short term lease. I am really looking for house sitting. When he says he “can’t do anything” I say, why can’t you do the same things I am doing?
    I thought writing it down and being business like about it would help solve the problem. Which goes to show that no matter what the measures, conflict can occur in any case.

    I think the only thing to do at this point is to bring a third party into it. More money down the drain but it certainly isn’t working this way.

    • Mymble says:

      Thanks Expresso
      Off topic but we have reached agreement about the financial part and are about to effect that – I pay him his share & he moves out, prob end of this month. He seems to be childishly excited, but I fear what will happen when reality bites.

  45. Tinkerbell says:

    Uigs. Have you posted before? If not, welcome. When you’ve been out of the dating scene for as long as you have you have to re-learn ALOT. That is not to say that men are so different now, because they’re not. There’s just a lot more users, liars, cheats and unavailables lying in wait to snare naive, trusting women. You fit the bill whether you think so or not, they will think so when they learn you have been married for a considerable length of time and now, you’re not. You’re going to get treated a certain way by these undesirables as they’ll feel you are too “green” to know which end is up. I’m speaking from experience. I don’t know how long your marriage ended and you became “Single” but I heartily suggest you bone up and steel yourself for some rude awakenings. You can minimize these by schooling yourself. Read Natalie’s book, “Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl.” She shows you a variety of types and you’re surely bound to run into one or two. Not trying to scare you but better to be safe than sorry. Prepare yourself with knowledge. If you really want to date, make sure you’re not alone with him right off the bat. Meet him first, not at your home. There is so much for you to know. You may think you’re prepared, but you may need reminders. I’ll stop here and let the other ladies on here give you their advice. Wishing you the best. Be smart and be careful. Tinkerbell.

  46. Akish says:

    Hi all, I’m a woman who has been through what everyone in this site has. I guess that is why I found the site anyway. closure, understanding. But what makes me so sad is that, are there any good man left; real man out there; who are honest and trully loving when all of us are going through so much pain.

  47. Found myself a backbone says:

    I agree with Tinkerbell, I came out of a 12 year marriage and at 31 I had no knowledge of men at all, I married at 19! (I know stupid) and it was an abusive marriage and I went head first into a relationship for 5 years on and off. I couldnt let go because I had so much to prove, prove that it wasnt me that I wasnt worthless as my ex husband said that I wasnt crazy etc. I should have taken some time to get to know myself again, I was disinterested when i first met him but he kept on and on despite his mum telling him to leave me alone as I had just gotten out of a divorce. I have been away now for 8 months and thanks to this site and the ex eu/ac I have learnt to trust my gut and to go slowly into a relationship and the signs are there if we let ourselves truly take notice.

  48. 2Fearce says:


    Did u give birth to him? Otherwise, stop writing him notes n reminders! Provide him space to grow the fk up… If he chooses not to do so NOT YOUR PROBLEM!
    You are not his mommy…n even if u were there’s a point where he needs to be chucked out of the nest (and learn to fend for himself). Of course you’re exhausted, you’re dragging around a bunch of dead weight, the whole time arguing you can’t put it down. PUT IT DOWN! Straighten yourself up…. I’m thinking your body is tired of you bending over backwards for him… and spend some time walking upright til it feels right again. Or just keep carrying him n end up crippled. Ur choice!

  49. espresso says:

    I have calmed down after writing a long unsent letter yesterday to my ex. This is such a good technique! I am much clearer in terms of how he functions(although surprises are still coming) but am having trouble managing these separation arrangements. He doesn’t live up to commitments, forgets he has made them, doesn’t think ahead so is untrustworthy about assets and the things we need to do – this IS him and he has never been different. I am wondering how much I am still struggling with the hope that he would be different or actually my astonishment that he IS such a jerk in so many ways but I think I am struggling more with HOW to manage this basically unmanageable situation. Because he doesn’t basically MAKE decisions it all falls on me and I know that I am over functioning even more than ever.

    I am searching for a mediator today but even with a mediator I think he won’t follow through, will forget and things just won’t get done. For all of my marriage I played the “reminding” role because I felt the stakes were too high to leet things slide. This was enabling but I felt I didn’t have a choice. I don’t care if he screws up in his own life because I want nothing to do with him after we split physically but my assets, my house and my business are tied up with him probably for the next 8-12 months.

    Natalie said once that it is bad enough to be carrying around the load of an ac when you are in a relationship with them but it is worse to be carrying the load when you have split up. And I still am!

    Yesterday when I asked him why he hadn’t followed up on a major commitment to do with the house or why he hadn’t told me he wasn’t fallowing through he erupted into a little boy rage which was almost bullying – pounding the counter, throwing his arms up and punching the air, screaming at me – and I think this is what he feels is “expressing his emotions” all the while blaming me for what he did not do and playing the poor me victim.

    In the marriage I know I enabled him in many ways by not taking concrete action and facing the reality of him but I realize I was up against a furious resistance to anything that would burst his carefully crafted opinion of himself as “a very nice guy who means well.” I mean furious resistance. By not dealing with him effectively I also victimized myself and I am feeling that despite my efforts I still am not out from under this.

    • Wiser says:

      Espresso, if he is untrustworthy and his word is no good and he doesn’t follow through with his commitments and he refuses to make decisions AND he erupts in rage when you try to talk with him -all the more reason to STOP interacting with him! Enough already. You need to opt out of this craziness. You need to separate yourself from him and his completely irresponsible behavior quickly before he goes down the rat hole and takes you with him. Talk with your lawyer about what you have to do to protect your interests and your finances, and what your options are. Maybe some kind of court order is possible. Protect yourself first!

      • lizzp says:

        Espresso, I can imagine the difficulties of doing this but I think Wiser is dead right.
        My views on your situation as described are as follows: You need to move out of the house. Don’t wait for him to do it…a waste of time. Just act for yourself. You need to make moving out a priority, along with taking the action Wiser advocates to protect your financial assets etc. I’m not saying you have to be vindicative to him, you do these things for yourself. That’s it. When/if he rages, plays ‘poor me’. whinges, cries etc, you don’t engage. Just get on with getting yourself out of a position where you have to see him or engage with him. No more ‘chances’ for him. He needs to see you are serious about taking care of yourself and that YOU MATTER TO YOU, but this is really a side benefit, it’s really about YOU SEEING THAT YOU MATTER TO YOU. All that crap you’ve written about that you put up with from him, that’s HIS CRAP NOT YOURS.

        Understandably, it’s impossible to disengage while living in the same house. You have to make moving out a PRIORITY, even if it involves financial and other sacrifices in the short term. Hopefully you have some supportive friendships you can draw on for help here, ie move out to a friend’s couch this week. It’s blunt and I’m sorry.

    • Mymble says:

      I also have always made decisions and arrangements, paid bills, filled out forms, obtained insurance, car & house repairs, financial planning etc. He’s okay but I have become so tired of being his mum, after all I am Mum to actual children too. I feel bad that he will have to cope on his own, and it is still a legitimate concern for as we have to co-parent two young children and it will impact on them if he isn’t coping.
      We used to have rows in the early years of our marriage, in the days when I still believed that he might step up and we could mutually support one another. He couldn’t cope and more than one occasion he threw things, broke things, hit me and one time kicked and punched me and briefly knocked me out. It is a long time ago now. After that I went through a period of fairly severe depression -I was in lock down. In recent years I simply don’t
      expect much of him and don’t bother sharing my feelings, discussing things, etc etc.
      To a certain extent, it is my fault. I expected him to change. He said he would change, perhaps he wanted to change, but he couldnt really do it. It was wrong to have married someone on that basis.
      Your husband, he also is who he is,
      nothing you can do will change him. Mediation might help you achieve certain things in the short term (men don’t like
      to be shown up before other men).
      In the longer term you may have to accept that he cannot or will not be trusted and either accept that things will not get done, or do it yourself. Ultimately it’s easier to expect nothing from him, as then you will not be disappointed. Also, by rebuking him, you are rewarding him with your attention. Subconsciously he may be interpreting that as you still caring.
      Very rambly this – but writing it down does help me reflect on how I got here and why.

  50. zen_zen says:

    I love your comments. It makes me feel better. I have been in a relationship for 5 and 1/2 years. Engaged about 2 y. Well, it all started with me being not available since my before and after graduation and my new job. That is what he said, but we never had any issues; we used to hang out a lot, then we moved together 1 year before the engagement.I have been focusing on my work not ignoring him.Also since my parents are not here, I had to work extremely hard to plan for the wedding and house, so I have been busting my a…
    Well He cheating on me with someone at work: blaming on me not being available s…Well I figured it out,he forgot , I am computer major lol.
    It was awful, he was just so uncomfortable not interested and was still denying.He will start also commenting on other woman. I have blamed myself for focusing at work, I cried for not being so sexual as him. I blamed myself so much, But why would I: i am beautiful, smart and wonderful lol i have been saying that to myself. I was going down the hill. We broke up and I cried day and night. it was awful. He said he wanted to try again. He could not commit anymore, could not even say that he loves me.We got intimate, I could feel that he was not into it anymore, something was wrong. I could feel that something was wrong, but I was in denial still hoping. I tried to forgive him for cheating, then when I see him doing the online dating, that was the click. I was in denial when he cheating,I was in denial when he go to match.com, i was in denial when he said he say he wanted to live by himself, I have been in denial when he say why cant we be friend. I was in denial not seeing that he was done. I was in denial for not listening to my reason. I was in denial. My parents arenot here anymore, I guess I hook myself to him so much thinking I will be alone, i guess. Couple days ago, I had enough, I called after i got a message asking me if he could sell the ring, he is sorry and if I was mad at himm if I hate him. Well boy, that was it: i was tired , sick of excuses, sick of I dont know, I am not, sorry, don’t hate me,i don’t want kids anymore, I don’t know, i am confused. I could not here his excuses anymore. I was tired, sick, it was unbearable. I told him that I am tired of this and it is over. Well since then he did not even call. what a experience,this is why i always focused on school and not on relationship. I always had summer thing never anything serious. I never wanted to be in love. That is why it is so d… hard . I have been talking to myself that he is not good enough for me and if he was then he will be make the effort to do make it work. Every day, I say get uself together, he is not the guy. The thing that hurts is he never got the courage of saying anything, I had to force him after he went to tell his ex that he does not want to be in a relationship but I am forcing it and she suggested that he could say he was gay lol. but he never told me that he does not wanted it until I forced him to say it.
    I have been sick of being in this. I am learning not to hate but to forgive and let this thing out of my system as soon as possible. How do people deal with this? how can you get over someone? Never been in this, it is awful,AWFUL, Yukk.

  51. espresso says:

    Thanks everybody. I am sorry Mymble you were in this position. My ex actually does/did more than that so you had a huge burden. I am glad the end is in sight for you.

    I am seeing a lawyer/mediator tomorrow and going away for a few weeks of NC on the weekend. I am trying to limit contact and find a place to live. He says he “can’t” find another place to live and hasn’t looked. I am not sure what to do about that because I actually do not want to get a court order and make this really go south.

    We own a business together (one that I helped build up and is my sole source of income).
    Obviously I am still engaged with him because of my emotional outbursts the other night and the way I have felt since then. Most of the time I have been successful at only interacting on a impersonal level. But honestly when he DOES things that may jeopardize selling our house, my MAJOR asset- that really really bugs me. I am older and don’t have the time to rebuild my career which I wish I could.

    I am hoping the suggested involvement of a third party will force his attention on the work and related tasks that we need to handle better. I hope it works.

    • lizzp says:

      Hi Espresso, Re what you say here;

      “bviously I am still engaged with him because of my emotional outbursts the other night and the way I have felt since then. Most of the time I have been successful at only interacting on a impersonal level’.

      No, at least in relation to how I used ‘engaged’ in my reply. By ‘engaged’ I mean ‘engaged’ in any interaction regardless of how emotional or not you feel at the time. How emotional and affected you feel has to do with your investment in him being someone else other than who you know him to be and possibly with emotional validation.

      My view is that you’d do better by ceasing ALL engagement with him, period, from this point in time.

  52. espresso says:

    I meant that I try to interact with him only on an impersonal (business-like) level.
    Although he is always pushing my boundaries.

    • lizzp says:

      YES, one of the many reasons why it is probably best for your emotional health, self esteem, and sense of self worth if you make a committment to ceasing ALL engagement with him. Hard as that will be in terms of the practical matters that confront you, Wiser had a good suggestion about that and it can be done, but will add costs, but what price your self esteem? When you get back from your three weeks NC, what then? Not sure if you’re going on a holiday and if there will be a break in ‘life’ (ie divorce and business negotiations) but if so, when you return life will still be here. Perhaps you can organise to return to some other accommodation during this three week period. All the best Espresso, I’ll cease pushing my point now. I’m sorry you are in such a horrible position but there are solutions, they require a new risk and a leap into what is really scary…the unknown.

  53. Tinkerbell says:

    Espresso. You’ve been writing about your husband for a long time, now. Your situation is very complicated so there is very little I would venture to say, except, that you need to find a separate place to live. He is slowly killing you and you are helping him. Peace of mind and your sanity is more important than things, i.e your house your business which are tied up with him. You really need help from a superior divorce lawyer. You know this. But you also need to come to the realization that you may have to take a loss. Freedom is worth more. It really is. I’ve been there.

    • Wiser says:

      I agree. Espresso, your house is not your biggest asset, your health is! Your freedom from insanity is. Even if the *worst* happened and you lost the house, the business, you would be ok! Please trust that. Not saying this is likely to happen, but you musn’t let the fear of it keep you from doing what you know you must do – separating your life from your ex and his craziness.

  54. rachel says:

    Thanks again ladies… When I told him to ship my things or i would come to pick them up while he wasn’t there he told me I was being dramatic, and could I just wait for him to come bring them to me. Well he made plans and cancelled again! He cancelled via text, obviously, and included “don’t jump to thinking I am dodging you because I am not.” Now what do I do? I am so fed up with him I want to take distance, but I need my things! You are all right, he is saying he is all over the place and not in a place to commit. I finally hear him. It is just frustrating because he says he can see himself marrying me, but right now a relationship and being in love is too distracting to accomplishing his goals. It’s actually a really healthy decision to make for oneself… makes me wonder if I am hiding from my own success in relationships myself.

    Anyway, bottom line is- he has said he can’t invest in a relationship right now. Trying to convince him is not sexy. Thank you for the reminder!

    How do I get my stuff back?!!!

    Lots of love to you all.

    • lizzp says:

      I don’t like this man (as you describe). How do you get your things? He’s behaved selfishly and unreliably (Rachel, Yes he has – HE HAS BEHAVED SELFISHLY AND UNRELIABLY). I would call him and leave a voice message; I’m not interested in seeing you. Please do one of the following -ship my things back to me, please do this by x date. That is my preference. If you refuse to ship them, then I insist you drop them at my friend’s (nearby address) by x date. It is fine for you to leave them in a box on the patio/in shed/behind back door x tree/hedge. etc.

      You can avoid the temptation to text ‘fight’ with him and have him push your boundaries by leaving a voice message. If he texts you – say NO, I’ve said all I have to say in my voice message, if he pulls some bullshit that he deleted voice message etc, leave another one – the same as before. Don’t let him suck you into texts – he is at an advantage and can avoid responsibility more easily that way. I predict he won’t answer his phone because he such an effing weak coward, so you are free to leave voice messages without haVING TO worry about actually speaking to him

      I’m so sorry Rachel but it’s clear as day that this guy is stuffing you round because he feels he can. Please stop letting him.

    • Maeve says:

      Rachel–I’m so sorry you have to experience this. He’s not willing to face up to the consequences of his irresponsible and insensitive behavior.

      I agree with Lizzp–give him precise dates and 1-3 options for getting your stuff back to you. The option to drop them off at a friend’s house is brilliant.

      I know it hurts and you don’t feel too good right now, but if you remain strong and proud and insist on your boundaries, you’ll gain something huge.

    • MaryW says:

      Shit, Rachel. You are not being “dramatic”. You are being practical, making plans to get YOUR stuff back, and doing your best to look after yourself emotionally.

      Why is he so insistent on dropping off your stuff? Is he trying to prove he’s actually a good guy, despite stringing you along? Or is he refusing to letting you go? … that would be perverse, like a cat with a mouse.

      He’s sending you horrible mixed messages.. he can see himself marrying you but he’s not in a place to commit to a relationship. Rachel, I’m suspicious that he’s trying to wriggle you in to a FWB thing, and that might be why he’s so insistent on seeing you. Please don’t let that happen.

      Lizzp’s practical advise is spot on re getting your belongings back with minimal text drama.

      Best wishes to you, Rachel. Hope your leg is healing well and wishing you lots of strength in your dealings with this guy. Please, as soon as you get your things back, start NC.

      Take care of yourself. x

  55. rachel says:

    There is no way he is looking to be friends with benefits, because his whole thing now is being celibate to focus on himself. I think he may be terribly confused? He called me last night from the forest (camping). I was so sad because he had promised to take me camping. He told me he’d take me this week… and texted me later to tell me that he thinks my assumptions about his actions are really off and he’s excited to see me. : (


    Last time we talked about us he said he wants to build a friendship but a sexual relationship is out of the question until he gets himself “emotionally and financially stable.” Is this admirable or crazy?

    He said he is so sorry for hurting me, he thought we was ready for a relationship but he isn’t.

    • Andee says:

      As someone who pretty recently got the “I need to be alone to work on me” speech from a guy, only for him to start sleeping with someone else the moment I moved out, trust me when I tell you this guy is probably NOT going to actually give celibacy a try.

      They say this stuff so that it sounds like they are really interested in changing, but what they are interested in changing is the girl they are sleeping with. If this guy valued you, really valued you, he would make arrangements to get you your stuff in a way that makes YOU comfortable. What he’s more interested in than you getting your stuff back and getting some distance and being emotionally healthy, or him being celibate and working on his issues is for NONE of that to happen.

      My ex was strangely resistant to delivering my stuff to a neutral location or getting it to me, despite the fact that he was already seeing someone else! I fought over text/email/phone for a minute. I think it was what made me see FINALLY that he could care less about what I was feeling or what was best for me. Take care of yourself, detach and don’t spend another second wondering if he is really the healthy one and if he’s going to succeed at fixing himself. A.) He’s probably not and B.)It doesn’t matter.

      • Maeve says:

        yuck…Andee..I guess I haven’t dealt too heavily with this kind of idiot and don’t know their MO…but yeah, there shouldn’t be any second chances for this dude. He lost. I don’t know why I brought up the spectre of future romance in this sitch. My only excuse was it was 3 am…lol!

        Seriously, once a guy creates this much havoc, he should be shown the door for good. It’s drama and baby games and effing with your mind.

    • Maeve says:

      Rachel–either he is legit and well intentioned or manipulative, I’m leaning towards the first. That said, SO WHAT?

      He hurt you. He dumped you. He needs to feel the consequences of his actions. By being his friend, you’re rewarding him and sending the message that you will take whatever crumbs he’s willing to hand out.

      Understand this: people test each other, sometimes subconsciously, and sometimes we involuntarily lose respect for someone because of how they allow us to treat them.

      Do you want his respect or his company to fill some momentary void?

      If you become his friend, you can kiss any hope of a future romance goodbye. That’s usually how the pattern goes and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to prove it.

      The choice is yours.

      • lizzp says:

        Maeve, yes I’d lean towards your number one and yes I agree, So what? He is still selfish, self absorbed, immature and has nothing to give Rachel.

        Rachel, I regret that I was annoyed. That’s already passed though. As this post exemplifies it seems that what you are likely doing here is making excuses for his excuses for not wanting to be with you. The underlying belief you are clinging to is that he actually feels deeply for you and would have a relationship with you except that he is so noble and so highly respects you that he would rather wait until the ‘right time’. Rachel this belief is fundamentally flawed and based on a fantasy. This because it has been shown again and again through-out history in the real world that when a man truly respects a woman he will go out of his way to help her, in your case – organise to return you stuff with the least inconvenience to you, not stand you up, communicate directly, not promise to take you camping then call you from the forest with a woe is me narration (maybe he or you think he is Robin Hood?), leave you alone and not burden you with his issues which are not yours to fix, come and visit you when you are house bound with a broken leg and bring you something that you might have liked (Choccies, a book, a meal?). He didn’t mak the time to do any of those things becasue he doesn’t care about *you*. He cares about himself. I’d also speculate that he may be obsessed/not over some previous relationship.

        Rachel, if/when this whole thing gets too much for you, I hope you’ll still stick with BR. I think a lot of pain may be coming your way. I know I sound harsh (I feel harsh to myself anyway and I am quite angry right now) but I actually do relate to the temptation of the fantasy, believe me I was there myself once. A fantasy does many things but one function it is serving for you right now is as a tool of procrastination from facing the pain of rejection. It’ll be ok, Rachel…You’ll get through this.

        • Andee says:

          Seconded. The fantasy is KILLER. That you are the exception, that his reasons have to do with how special you are and how he can’t bear to lose you entirely. This is FALSE and is not done for your benefit. It’s done for THEIRS. So that THEY can say they took the high road and tried to be friends. So that THEY can tell all their friends how they were the bigger person and you were just selfish or psycho and were only in it for some kind of happily-ever-after payoff.
          None of this is for you. If a man cares about you, wants to take care of you wants to be with you, HE WILL. End of story. It’s time for us all stop saying what we want is that kind of devotion and not even being able to recognize and reject when that falls pathetically short.

          I say this to myself as much as anyone. :)

    • MaryW says:

      So has he dropped off your stuff? Or is he too busy camping?

      Rachel, forget about him and what he wants, or says he wants. What do you want?

      Do you want to be friends with a confused man who has already mucked you around? Who can’t give you what you want?

      I don’t really want to shift the focus too much to him, but no his goal to get stability in his not admirable; it would only be admirable if he did it on his own without dragging anyone else in to it!

      I am so sick of this “I’m not ready for a relationship” thing. I’ve experienced this too.

      Rachel, do you want to wait around for him to sort himself out? Please get your stuff back *without seeing him* (and it better not just be a lip stick and toothbrush! – if it is, you’re making excuses).

      Bottom line is, he hurt you, and he continues to hurt you. You deserve so much better.

    • Wiser says:

      I have to agree with Andee – this sounds unfortunately like about 100 other scenarios I’ve read about on this blog and others. They all end up the same. When guys say “I’m not ready for a relationship” and “I want to be alone to work on myself” or any of a number of variations on this theme it really only means one thing that they are too cowardly to admit. They just aren’t into you. Not enough at least. Maybe they even want to be into you and recognize what a great person you are and wish they could feel otherwise… but they don’t. Saying all this other stuff makes them think they are being kind and letting you down easy. Maybe they even believe it themselves. It’s certainly easier on them to do this than then to look you in the eye and say “I just don’t want a relationship… with you.” But prepare yourself in advance that in about three weeks you’ll hear the news that he’s moved on to somebody else. Don’t be surprised when this happens.

      There’s nothing wrong with trying to have a go with someone and then realizing you just don’t have the feelings you hoped you would have. Wish these guys would get the message though that being honest about it actually hurts the other person less than spewing all this BS. It’s being on the receiving end of such phony excuses that’s humiliating and disrespectful,and creates wounds that are hard to heal.

      • Andee says:

        The other thing is, at least for me, it makes me CRAZY to not know the truth, especially when they are saying one thing (It’s not you…I need to work on myself…need to be alone) and your gut is telling you something different. Depending on your level of emotional investment (mine was high) you will try to reconcile this is your mind, which causes cognitive dissonance by trying to believe two opposing things at the same time and that can make you seem really mental.

        It’s when you stop trying to reconcile these two opposite things, go with your gut and let go that you start to stop suffering so much. It’s painful to realize that someone does want a relationship, just not with you, but ultimately it’s less painful and destructive than tying yourself up in mental and emotional knots trying to come up with a construct delusional enough to stay in their life without admitting you are settling for something you don’t want.
        Bite the bullet. Get over him ONCE, the friendship, the romantic relationship, the association. That way you don’t have to keep suffering in stages.

        • Wiser says:

          The greatest difficulty in getting past the ex was not in being hurt, being rejected, losing his company, or him choosing another person over me… it was him LYING about it, the crappy excuses, the betrayal of trust, the putting me on the receiving end of “I meant it at the time” and other BS that asshole men say to women they don’t really care about. This saddened and humiliated me, and hurt far worse than the loss of the relationship itself.

  56. LaPinturaBella says:


    I have to agree with Mary W, Andee, Maeve and Wiser. He’s not the healthy one in this relationship. He is playing mind games with you. And I seriously doubt he’s being celibate and working on himself.

    Unfortunately, the “I’m not ready for a relationship right now” line is just that. A Line. Like “It’s not you, it’s me.” Pure BS!

    Excuse me, but isn’t this the same guy who blew you off when you broke your leg and were in the hospital? Now he won’t give you back YOUR things unless it’s on his terms and he can bring them over to you personally? And he’s camping (something he had future faked with you) and texting you?

    Are you seeing the pattern of thoughtlessness, carelessness and just plain selfishness here???

    Dump his ass, tell him he has until whatever time on whatever day to return your things or you’ll bring the police into it. And GO NO CONTACT!

    You need to start putting yourself first. Because YOU will be with YOU for life.

  57. rachel says:

    Thank you to all for your input. <3

    • MaryW says:

      Rachel, you’re welcome. I hope things work out well for you.
      The feedback you got here may seem like too much, too soon?
      But stick around, come back if you want or need to.
      Everyone here has been in a similar sort of situation and that often includes making the same mistakes over and over (in one or many relationships) … until it reaches a tipping point and then ugly reality hits.
      I hope you haven’t felt judged.
      Take care x

  58. Karen says:

    My recent ex would make excuses when the truth would have been just fine. I think she liked to practice by lying about little stuff just to stay sharp with her con. Once you catch them in that first lie, put your shoes back on and gather your purse and car keys because if you have any sense, the end is near.

  59. Katrina says:

    I recently started seeing a guy whom I’ve known and had mutual chemistry with for years. The first few dates were amazing and our communication was really starting to open up. He showered me with compliments and told me how “unique” I was. At first, I was a little gun shy but then I started to reciprocate. Our last night together, he revealed that he was really worried about his promiscuous ex girlfriend whom he had broken up with 6 weeks ago. The issue came up at least twice during our date, once after intimacy. I was kind of put off but tried to be open and receptive but I couldn’t help feeling like he wanted to be with her and not me. I went on vacation for a week and when I got back I asked when he’d like to get together, he responded “i’d love to see you each and everyday but I have a lot of work in the next two weeks. When there’s a will there’s a way”. A sinking feeling in my gut told me that he was setting me up for disappointment. I waited during those two weeks for him to contact me and arrange to get together, but he didn’t. Every couple of days, I had to text him for legitimate work reasons and he would always add something that referred to “getting together” soon, but he never planned anything and I didn’t ask. He did not initiate any contact, phone or text. I could not help but forget the phrase “when there’s a will there’s a way”. So I waited through the 2 week period and then sent him a text from my heart saying that I really liked being around him and that I’d like to see him again, that he hinted at wanting the same but that I wasn’t sure. (I didn’t want to outright accuse him of dishing out mixed messages). I asked for clarification and told him that if he wasn’t interested, I would like to know and that it would be good to get it out into the open. I really tried to be positive and open and convey about what I found good in the relationship but that I was just a little unsure. He texted me right away that he wanted to see me but that he was dealing with work issues and that he’d call me that night. I was going to be out that night so I suggested the next day. That was two days ago and I haven’t heard from him. I struggle with the strong voice that says “if a guy is interested, you’ll know it” and the voice that says “you dumb ass, give the guy a break. He’s a busy doctor for goodness sake”. I hate second guessing myself! Any input would be appreciated.

  60. Not sure says:

    Is time for you to move on and do not contact him. It seem as though he have someone else on the side. I don’t believe he is that busy not being able to send you a hello text. If a guy is interested in catching up with you, he will make the time. If he misses you and want to see you, he will pick up his phone and schedule a dinner date or an outting. He is playing with you cause he knows you are interested in him. Stop contacting him and let him chase you if he later decide to wanting to be with you. Don’t tell him you want him or you like his company, just ignore him for now.


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Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.