This month, I’ll be catching up on some overdue R&R and so while I will be posting plenty of new stuff, I also wanted to revisit some previous posts….

Santa says..

This time of year, whether you’re single or in a relationship, can bring about an incredible amount of anxiety. It can also have you thinking and doing things that in retrospect, when you get to January, will have you wondering if someone was coming into your home and spiking you with a cocktail of Drama and Relationship Crack. I of course, say this with experience.

One particular December was spent ‘negotiating’ (read: stating my case, laying it down on the line, discussing, arguing, wheedling, telling him all about himself and lather, rinse, repeat), with the guy with a girlfriend.

I had this fantasy that he would be so devastated at the thought of me being out of the country with my family and having the possibility of being swooped up by a better man (’cause ya just know I kept reminding him that plenty of guys would want to treat me better), that he’d break it off with his girlfriend and announce that he was coming to Dublin with me. The reality could be summed up in four words – “You know my situation…”. Then I accidentally left my mobile phone in London – I spent the whole Christmas hiding in the toilet crying and making sneaky phone calls plus I’ll admit I wondered whether he would have fulfilled my fantasy if he’d been able to reach me… Thank God I stopped taking the delusion crack.

I’ve also had several Christmases – about fourteen of them actually – where the anxiety about buying a gift for my mother and ‘measuring up’ has had me overspending and/or being riddled with such a desperate urge to be validated that I’d feel ill.

I’ve ended a relationship before Christmas because I couldn’t face having to grin and bear it, and then I’ve grimaced my way through another and thought that I was going to experience a Miracle on Assclown Street when it was more like A Nightmare on Assclown Street – cue me having to wear the ‘gift’ of clear heeled hooker shoes, ‘nude’ coloured tights and short leather skirt so as not to ‘offend’ while I grimaced through tears. I left the bar after 15 minutes and literally felt like I’d sold my self-esteem to the devil.

If like me, you’ve done all manner of bonkers stuff around The Holidays, whether it’s suddenly reaching out to an ex or being receptive to their rather pathetic overtures, or suddenly thinking you’re owed a miracle and a happy ending, it’s time to ask:

What’s so fricking special about December? Why do you allow December to take on all manner of meaning and start making grand assumptions, even grander plans, and buy into the fantasy?

I get December on a whole spiritual and religious level. Even on an emotional level, I recognise that as the end of the year approaches, it’s natural to be reflective, but it doesn’t explain why we allow what is another month in the calendar along with some heavy marketing, peer pressure and more importantly, internal pressure along with our overactive imaginations, vaginas/penises and libidos to turn us all crazy.

It’s just December. It’s just The Holidays/Christmas – how much power do you want to give away again?

For people who are struggling with their self-esteem or an unhealthy relationship, you spend eleven fricking months of the year handing your power over to other factors such as your current partner, or an ex, or your job, or your past, or your family or whatever, and now December comes along and it’s like it owns you.

I remember a very old episode of The Simpsons where Homer almost gets himself into an affair situation with his coworker Mindy. All evening he appears to be getting signs, including from a fortune cookie, that he’s going to have sex with her. He ends up sitting beside her on a bed in a hotel room looking utterly miserable as he announces that they’re going to have sex. Mindy tells him he doesn’t have to and he says “Yes we do! The cookie told me so.”

That’s what December is like for a lot of people.

They hook up with exes, buy cards, send texts, reply to what can only be regarded as low level contact, break their necks trying to think up the perfect gift for someone undeserving, allow themselves to be used as Christmas beards where they keep someone’s bed and their ego warm for the season so that they can pretend that their life is better than it is, hold shit relationships together as if the magic of ‘December’ will fix problems that only you both can fix, bust their proverbial nuts about how crap their life is in comparison to an image of happiness that they’re being sold by companies that want to make money out of them, and essentially allow themselves to be ‘led’ by an image of a month.

When January arrives or even before the month is out and you’re asked why you did this stuff, it’s like “I had to do it! December told me so!”

For some of you it’s “I had to do it! The adverts like the soppy John Lewis one or the Coca Cola ‘Holidays are coming’ ad told me so!”

This is bullshit! It’s no wonder we get angsty about it when we’re being sold ‘Christmas’ from as early as October – we’re being sold and if you don’t have the presence of mind to remember who you are, your values, and the fact that there’s eleven other months in the year, you may end up doing something in the short-term that leaves you with a medium to long-term hangover.

It’s like “Screw it! I’m going to throw caution to the wind and send that text or buy into the fantasy (again) that my ex who has already shown and told me who they are might gift me with my fantasy of them making me the exception to their rule.”

It’s just The Holidays. Yes it can be a pain in the bum if your family are crackerjacks and descend into arguments at the dinner table (that would be mine), or you’ve fallen out (that was us last year), or you’re hurt (I’ve ticked a few Christmases off with that one), or you feel like it highlights everything that’s missing from your life. But don’t get things twisted – it’s just a few weeks and you can make them as big or as small as you want to, but whatever you do, put yourself in the driving seat of your own life.

Unless you’re taking part in a nativity play, you’re not a sheep.

Whatever your religious inclinations, the true meaning of Christmas/The Holidays was never about opting back into a poor relationship to massage your ego for a few weeks or holding onto something that detracts from you just so you can say that you’re miserable but you’re with someone.

Stay off the Relationship/Drama Crack – it doesn’t work for you during the rest of year, it’s not about to suddenly give you the ‘fairytale’ because it’s December!

Your thoughts?

Also check out 45 tips for surviving Christmas and dealing with Happy Birthday’s and big occasions.

Check out my book and ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl in my bookshop.

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

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


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184 Responses to Revisited: It’s JUST Christmas/The Holidays – Stay off the Relationship/Drama Crack

  1. SM says:

    Ha ha this will be the first time in 3 years that I wont have a Christmas EU relationship whether backsliding (only did that once) or starting anew. It feels great! As a matter of fact, all my long term relationships happened at the holidays, literally with 7 different men. Its actually a small feat that I have noone this year. I usually get holiday fever(starting with Tday) and feel the festive itch to date, not this year. Maybe I am growing into a more emotionally available woman. Unconsciously I have filled my holidays with parties and outings with family and friends. I still have 2 more weekends to go so ya’ll pray for me. Specifically happy hour Friday nite and football game on Sunday LOL maybe I shouldnt talk to any men….

    • Spinster says:

      Keeping busy is good, in case one feels inadequate for not being in a relationship during the holidays. Feelings of inadequacy hit me from time to time, but luckily I’ve been keeping busy. This year, I’m attending no less than 4 Xmas dinners/parties. It’s good to be single and drama-free.

  2. Andrea says:

    Literally 10 minutes ago, I was just thinking of this..the holiday season is fast approaching. He’s going to be spending it with her. He’s going to be buying her gifts and they’ll be all lovey dovey and I’m going to be alone. Then of course I thought, and then comes New Year’s Eve and they’ll kiss at midnight and probably have great sex all night and where will I be, drowning my sorrows no doubt. Then I saw this post. It was like a Christmas miracle to read this just at this moment. Thank you Natalie. It really IS just another month and it will be tough to get through but you put it into perspective for me. I so needed to read this right now. Thank you!

    • Lisa says:

      I’m so sorry Andrea… I’m in the same boat for 5 years now (“he doesn’t love her”), yet he won’t leave for the kids sake??? And she knows about me and has taken him back 3 times and his 13 and 14 year old sons know about me. I’m constantly heartbroken and this is day 19 of NC. I have my ups and downs. He has killed my spirit and self worth. The thought of the two of them together breaks my heart :(

      • Jemma says:

        Lisa, I’m sorry you’re going through this but stay strong! 5 years? Really?? He says he doesn’t love her? REALLY?! He isn’t in it for the children, he’s in it for the family and maybe you’re actually helping them by being the glue to their relationship. Maybe by being in their life (if they all know about you then it’s THEIR life-not just his) then you’re probably in some way or another helping their marriage survive. So stay NC, empower to you and let him suffer through his ‘unloveable’ wife alone. Give them the perfect christmas present by allowing the boys their dad back and give yourself a present by allowing yourself to love YOU and someone who’s WORTH IT from now on :-)

        • Lisa says:

          i don’t know what happened. We’ve been back and forth so many times. I do know he’s like an addiction. He’s left me dangling and waiting for 5 years. Last april, he told his wife that he was in love with me, their marriage was terrible and he was moving out. His wife called me and confirmed they had a terrible marriage yet she took him back and he stayed even though he knew my family knew about it and they weren’t being as forgiving. We had so many plans- he decided to stay at his house for his kids and I blocked his phone. He emailed me and begged to still see me because he was trying to figure out finances and custody, etc. I took him back, stood by him, he even got a stupid extra cell phone so his wife couldn’t track his calls anymore, which she would called him out on several times. A month ago I called her and told her that he never cut contact with me and this time, although “a little surprised”, she seemed so less affected. I had begged him to be honest with me because I couldn’t take anymore and he was breaking my heart. It turns out that all along he was living his life at home like he was rebuilding his marriage yet still seeing me and talking to to me everyday. After I called her, he said he couldn’t believe I called her- he’s actually mad at me. He’s like a complete stranger and has cut contact with me except for an email that he sent to me wishing me a happy thanksgiving 2 weeks ago. Today is 20 days NC and I miss him so terribly. What is wrong with me?

          • Grizelda says:

            Sounds so painful, Lisa. I’m glad you’re 20 days and counting of NC, though. Think of it as an investment you’re making in yourself, and it’s long overdue.

            I too was with an MM for 5 long years, and although I’m still less than 3 months NC, I already feel so much better! I know how MMs make it MORE than okay for you to continue the relationship with them. Their persuasiveness, their promises, their almost-maybes, the way they inch toward you, then you blink, and you realise they’ve just inched away again. How they act so relieved, happy and content to be with you — compared to, you’re told, the harpie at home.

            Please try to internalise this: they’re all lies.

            Because what makes him so relieved, happy and content? Being with you, of couse — and being with his wife at the same time. Sharing giggly, conspiratorial chat-chat under the duvet with you, of course — and then going home to sit on the sofa giving his wife a foot massage in front of the log fire he made for her. That is exactly the scenario he wants and he will say any set of words necessary to you to achieve that. He believes that is the life he deserves, because obviously he’s King Prize. In fact he’s a spoiled tyrant and you need to be shod of him. Leave the sad sack to his ridiculous-looking wife and walk away towards dignity and respect with your head held high.

            • SM says:

              Griz why is his wife ‘ridiculous looking’? Perhaps she doesnt want to raise her kids alone, perhaps she’s a housewife who cant afford to live on her own. Perhaps their marriage is bad because he is a cheater. Spouses have way more to lose than the other woman/man unless they are married too. I dont think its fair to have an affair with someone and then think of their spouse as the ‘loser’ because they dont leave when its discovered. Like you said the cheater is lying about everything just to get what they want out of the other person even the spouse.

              • Confused123 says:

                SM:
                As much as I see your point I think you are being a little hard on Griz. I think her heart is in the right place and the point she is trying to make is that when you are with a cheating MM, you are in a no-win situation whether you are the OW or the spouse. In many ways I feel the spouse that knows about the cheating and tolerates it is enabling this behavior. So if you look at it from this perspective, it is a “loserly” thing to do.
                As for the spouse using the “I can’t leave” because of a, b, and c. It’s just that, an excuse. There is always a way out. ALWAYS.

              • Grizelda says:

                SM, I apreciate your view that the wife might possibly be doing the best she can (or not, we don’t know), and she may be pitied (or not, we don’t know), but she nevertheless is made to look completely ridiculous by the spoiled tyrant who, not to forget, is entirely her problem. As Confused says, she’s his enabler whether she chose that role deliberately or by default. I’m still having difficulty understanding her taking phone calls from the OW and what that’s meant to achieve. And if she thinks it’s a good idea to keep putting the kids through the emotional mangle day after day, week after week, month after month, rather than do something — do anything — then yeah, I think the word ridiculous is perfectly apt.

                • grace says:

                  But Griz
                  If that makes her ridiculous, what does it make the OW?
                  I’m having difficulty understanding why the OW is calling her.
                  It’s a whole different thing when children are involved. Of course, men and women do leave when there are kids but to be on the sidelines hoping for it is not a good position to be in.

                  • Lilia says:

                    I just remembered this terribly depressing piece of advice I read from a “relationship expert” on what a married woman should do when her husband is having an affair. In short, it amounted to playing on the OW´s empathy and becoming friends with her so she won´t have it easy with the MM because she´ll be feeling so guilty out of sympathy for her gender.

                    It was quite a pathetic role for the married lady to be in! But this “expert” was so certain of herself, and insisted the OW doesn´t matter because hey, married lady has the prize after all, and the prize won´t leave her, not really.

                    Aaargh this is so sick! Why do women advise each other to lower themselves so much? Nat really is a miracle, she should have a statue.

      • Little Star says:

        Lisa, she is HIS WIFE, she has more claims than you do. HE married to HER and had children with HER. Leave him, concentrate on YOUR LIFE, not him and HIS WIFE. So many available single guys around, why take someone else’s husband or boyfriend? If he really wanted to be with you he would leave his wife by now…Please honey, do not waste your time anymore, you already wasted 5 years. Flush!

        • Lisa says:

          I know she has more claims but he wanted to leave her. I don’t drive by their house, or contact their friends or anything like that. He led me on for so long. I’m just heartbroken and I miss him. Please see my re-post above. I wish i could flush him. I’m trying so hard. Today is 20 days NC. I feel so lost without him :( Will I ever get over him? what the heck is wrong with me??? I’m 42 and he’s 10 years older than i am. I know there are plenty of fish in the sea but i am so stuck on him. It’s pathetic :(

          • SM says:

            Lisa keep reading BR. I have never been in your position but I have dated many single eu guys who said they wanted or felt one thing but never acted on it. The sad part is that this man is hurting not only you but his wife and children. My nephews are going through this right now, finding out that their dad is cheating on their mom and they are devastated. Their life as they know it and their Christmas is ruined. These affairs destroy everybody, not just the spouse of the person having the affair. I hope you get over this man and never see him again for your own sake. I dont have any hope for your mm seeing the error of his ways and discontinuing them, but I do for you.

            • Lilia says:

              Lisa, this isn´t only an unhealthy relationship for you and him, but also for all the others involved. I can´t begin to imagine how twisted it must be for his wife and kids to know about you and still sharing a life with him. What is he, a harem king?
              Please try to see how selfish and damaging his behaviour is, and start seeing him as the negative person he is.
              There must be a lot of manipulation on his part to have you stuck like this, but understand that the things he tells you are only a part of his own reality. Sure, you imagine he needs you and blah but the truth is that he has the best of both worlds – of being married and of being single.
              Instead of feeling sad, get angry, girl! You´ll make it!

              • Lisa says:

                selfish and damaging is right. To his family and mine. He keeps telling me that we’re soulmates and we’ll be together some day. He says hes just not ready to move forward completely and wants to keep things the way they are…. I have two client parties within the next two weeks and i’m sure he’ll be there. how do i even face him? do i say anything to him?

            • dancingqueen says:

              I am sorry this is so hard for me to read; I agree that it is kind of shitty for anyone to criticize his wife. The poor woman; how crappy to have kids and such and I don’t get the “poor me he led me on” Lisa, I am sorry but how could a married man lead anyone on. That is like being mad at a serial killer for killing you. You knew he was someone elses.

              I think that if anyone here is a victim it is the kids and the wife. Sorry guys can’t think of her as ridiculous.

              • Mymble says:

                DQ
                I agree, I was an OW and I don’t feel I am in any position to pass judgement of any kind on his wife, or for that matter his marriage. It’s really none of my business. Describing the wife as an enabler doesn’t sit well with me either, as you don’t know what her circumstances are, what lies she has been told, and how devastated she may be
                feeling. She is the victim of emotional abuse, and there may be other types of abuse taking place too. The enabler, I am afraid, is the
                OW.

          • Kit-Kat says:

            Lisa. Yes, pathetic as you said. You will get over him but the sad part is it takes time,patience and NC. I was devastated 15mths ago. Stayed in bed for 3 days straight. But now I have finally come thru the other side of that devastation. If I can do it anyone can. I had so many emotional but u have to work them. Grieve your loss as its like losing someone to them passing. Sounds weird but I lost my mother around the same time & so I grieved for both of them . Its a rollercoaster of emotions but a must do to find peace & contentment. U deserve so much more & him ,well, he wants his cake & eat it too… EWEEEEE. Flush

            • Kit-Kat says:

              P.S. And relize as Nat says:
              HE IS JUST NOT THAT SPECIAL

            • Lisa says:

              i’ve given him his cake on a silver platter, and now he’s mad because i called his wife. He’s lied and lied to me yet I always take him back. the thought of them snuggling by a christmas tree exchanging gifts makes me so sad and hurt. Why does he get to be happy? If i was his soulmate, how’d he get over me so easily after 5 years. He told me how much he loved me 4 times everyday, at least. I call his wife, that was the end of that. Is he mad that I called her or is he mad because he can’t have it all? I’m so confused. I don’t understand the way men think

              • Manders says:

                Hi Lisa,

                I really feel for you–though I’ve never dated a married person, I’ve definitely been stuck on someone in the same manner. It’s very debilitating. The only way, I’ve found, to recover is to constantly remind yourself of their character flaws, and in this case, it appears there are many. Most insidious of these flaws in a MM, I believe, is that they seem to be comfortable reeking havoc on the lives of others for their own personal gain. A person of honour would never string someone along if they found they “couldn’t” leave their family. A noble person would swallow the pain of separation from you (if they really did love you) to spare you further pain and confusion. Don’t worry about his “happiness” and whether or not he is “over you”, because these considerations are only secondary to the main issue: he is not a good or noble person, and you deserve such a person to share your life with. :D

          • Victorious says:

            Lisa, if you keep reading Nats posts you will see this is a recurring theme, words and actions do not match. If he wanted to leave her and be with you, guess what he would do? Yes, that’s right. Men who do leave their wives for their mistress usually do so within the first year. After five years? Forget it. And if he left her, just picture yourself checking his pockets for extra mobiles…..what a charming scene..

            • Lisa says:

              i know this is true…. and he’s become such a liar that I know i’d spend my time checking on what he is doing. I agree, if after 5 years, he’s not leaving, but if he were so miserable, why would he stay? His children have always been disrespectful to him and when he wasn’t with me, he was working late. I so check his fb and sees that he does many things alone still. He doesn’t seem happy. why does he stay? he knows i loved him unconditionally and we had such special times over the past 5 years and he said he thought i was his soulmate. I just don’t get it. Is it because women are more proactive? I might see him at a client party this week and then again at another client party next week. I don’t know what to say to him. how do i look at him and not start crying??? :(

          • K says:

            Lisa,

            I’m sorry you’re in this situation. When you said “addicted” about your pull to the relationship, I believe this is accurate. It’s also called a “trauma bond”. I was in an affair relationship for ten years. I felt like what you’re feeling now. I bought all his lies, let him spoon feed me heaping piles of bullshit and allowed myself to be DISRESPECTED by him. He was a psychopath, Lisa. He cared NOT for anyone else but himself and had a horrible Madonna/Whore complex, which I believe many MM’s do, right along with their psychopathy, narcissism, sociopathy or simply an assclown, however you wish to label it.

            These men lie. Pathologically lie. They demonize their wives, then they go home and have sex with them, right after they’ve had sex with us. If he’s telling you he’s not having sex with her, don’t believe it. Honesty and deception are not mutually exclusive. If he’s married and he’s screwing another woman, he’s a CHEAT.

            But the thing with pathological men, and I think this might be why yours is, is because they don’t CARE how you feel and they don’t care how their wives feel. They have no empathy, compassion and are incapable of remorse or guilt. SHE is caught in the same trauma bond that you are, and he’s loved every second of it. Neither of you is more important than the other to him with the exception that his object at home provides the image of wonderful husband and Disneyland daddy, and that is ALL. He does this so he can have his commitment offset. He doesn’t have to emotionally commit to EITHER of you, so you help him KEEP his marriage together. He doesn’t suffer any consequences.
            After ten years with my MM, guess what? He got divorced. We “dated” for a few months before he was on a dating site and CHEATING **gasp** What a surprise eh? NOT!
            He was a snake, lisa. A pathological snake. He shed his skin and traded us BOTH in for a new model that was more profitable in that she helps him pay his bills. Last I heard, that even before this new marriage, he was trying to hook up with yet ANOTHER mistress…assigned Madonna (wife) alleged whore (mistress). With these men, these cycles NEVER stop. As long as you are willing to engage he will ENJOY hurting You and HER TOO. Your fantasy of him, is his deceptive, emotionally abusive web of pathological manipulation and lying. That’s all. It’s not REAL. You’re caught up in the fantasy of his LIES. At this stage of the game (I so understand how you are feeling, I really do), there is a sense that you have lost yourself in this man and his LIES. I see emotional dependency which is what pathological men WANT. If his wife knows and his kids know? How SICK is that? This happened in my situation too, Lisa, I knew his children. And now that I look back upon that time, I CRINGE in disbelief at my OWN BEHAVIOR. He was just being what he has always been, PATHOLOGICAL, a psychopath. It was ME having the moral dilemma after awhile, he was NOT, nor is this man of yours either.

            There is only one way this will end up, Lisa and that is BADLY. You have an opportunity of a LIFETIME here. I had several of those opportunities and I ALLOWED him to rope me in. One point in particular in the relationship, is now especially maddening because I had a moment of COMPLETE clarification after he had done something HORRENDOUS to me. He kept taking vacations with his wife. Each and every time, he KNEW that it WOUNDED me deeply. I asked him to forewarn me before he was planning to leave. HE NEVER DID. In fact, this one time, this moment of clarity for me, happened when he wrote me an email, telling me he was on his way to the airport with his wife and children going to arizona to visit his parents and her sister.
            He did it ON PURPOSE. So when he got back, and was at work again, he emailed me and said he did that because I kept telling him I was dating other men and he didn’t like me dating other men. I sat on that email for HOURS, contemplating responding. HOURS. Do I do it? Do I believe this BULLSHIT?

            I wish to GOD I had not responded and I did. It was ANOTHER five years of HELL,Lisa. Another five YEARS WASTED from my life. You know what happened because I responded? He knew he could then destroy me. I was “fair game” because I had absolutely no self respect, no boundaries. He did that to me on purpose as a TEST. To see just how much SHIT I would put up with.

            This IS what will happen to you if you don’t gather what is left of your dignity and self respect and WALK AWAY. This man views you as WEAK, he has complete and utter CONTEMPT for you. Your story reads like a repeat of my own.

            These men get off on causing women PAIN. If he was a “man” at all, he would have never started an affair in the first place and if he had, and then he realized that perhaps he made a mistake, he would have APOLOGIZED to YOU AND HIS WIFE, stopped seeing you, let you go with your dignity and try to make his marriage WORK. Now SHE is being tested TOO. I FEEL SORRY FOR HER.
            I caused DEEP emotional wounds to my ex’s wife with my involvement. I saw her face when she found out about us. It CRUSHED me. NEITHER of you will get the man you want. The trust is BROKEN in their marriage and HE doesn’t want to fix it. If he dumps you, he will simply do someone else. No matter what happens now, given that he won’t change, he is his WIFE’S problem now, NOT YOURS. That trust will remain broken and always in the back of her mind, she will have to wonder who he’s sleeping with and she will be RIGHT to wonder, because he WILL.

            If he were capable of empathy, of remorse and of guilt, this would not have gone on as long as it has. These men create the most pathologically abusive environments/triangulations that they make doing wrong FEEL RIGHT, and women forget themselves, their self respect and respect for a man’s WIFE. The things he told you about her are LIES. Just like he will now tell her about YOU too.

            I hope you stay free of this. Now is your chance. Is there support around you to rally around you? Can you line up a therapist? Because NC right now will be REALLY hard when you’re in the beginning of the end in the trauma bond.

            I know this eventually this will turn into all about you, instead of all about him, but there isn’t a damned thing I could say that could make you see that while very hyper focused on him. The most CRITICAL thing right now, is TOTAL NC, no facebook, no email, no calling no indirect NOTHING. It’s the ONLY way you will get clear. And believe me, he may be mad, but he’s going to test you again, because this is FUN for him. FUN, Lisa.

            Anyway…this is about you too. Just try to think about HER, his wife. THINK about what he has truly done here and how much he doesn’t care. He’s with her because she is more profitable in some way. It doesn’t make him a “good” man, it makes him the evil, rotten son of a bitch he is.

            But YOU are being disrespected. YOU are being assigned as his whore. YOU are neglecting YOU for HIM. YOU are driven by fantasy through his web of lies and deceit. WHY? Ask yourself WHY? What he has done is the height of abuse and you don’t deserve it, Lisa and SHE doesn’t either.

            I hope you make the right choice here, Lisa in staying NC and working on YOU. But for awhile, until you get really clear about what this man is doing, it will be all about HIM. The only way to get clear is to get NC and STAY NC. Read sites like this and post away.

            I hope you stay out. I’d hate to see you go through another five years of this. I was nearly destroyed. I wound up with an STD, Lisa and a few illnesses from the STRESS of that relationship. And I never wound up with him.

            Blessings to you.

            • Lilia says:

              What K said.

              And don´t believe any of the soulmate BS, Lisa, this guy isn´t into it out of lo-o-ove, he´s just getting kicks from the power struggle going on.

            • Kit-Kat says:

              K. I hope Lisa prints out your post and reads it over & over until it sinks in. U have nailed it..Sometimes until you have walked in someones shoes you have no idea what its like. Blessings to you too !!!

            • Bellaninha says:

              Wow K you went through so so much. Thank you for sharing your story to help Lisa and others on here. I’m sorry you had 10 years of your life spent on him. Sounds like you can really see the light. It’s difficult to move past some pasts, but you must have learnt a lot about the person you want to be moving forward. Past is in the past. Wishing you a brighter future with lots of love xxx

            • Lisa says:

              K, Oh My God!! Thank you so much for posting this. You’re a life saver and I’m going to read this again and again. You are my Christmas gift!!! I’m so sorry for what you went through… How were you able to break it all down like this? So insightful… unbelievable. It’s strange you used the word “trauma” because I do believe i have a sort of post traumatic stress going on. I’m like a deer caught in the headlights sometimes- in an absolute fog. Thank you again K. Much love to you. I’m going to read this again, right now xoxoxo

              • k says:

                Lisa,

                I can break it down because I was willing to go through the horrendous pain of healing from it. It WAS PTSD too for me, indiagnosed, as I am a survivor of multiple sexual abuse and trauma from every male adult in my childhood. One of which was my father, a psychopath. The other men were probably psychopaths too. I got into a 20 year marriage and this ten year relationshit because of my traumas. It’s all I knew how to do. It was a pattern of behavior of MINE in response to that trauma and it was up to ME to break it.

                You can too. I would suggest therapy if you can access it because PTSD is an outcome with survivors of disordered ones, but also childhood trauma.

                I understand very clearly your responses to this man and it is VERY typical to hook up with men with disorders when women are traumatized (although I’ve worked with male survivors too, so it’s not gender issue). They see us a mile away and exploit our pain. But once we recognize it for what it is, it’s up to us to do the footwork to heal it. It feels unfair, I know, but it will be worth it down the road.

                BTW, to those who responded to my post, thank you for your kind words.

                Lisa, you CAN do this. It will be hard and very painful, but all ya gotta do is just BELIEVE that you can and hang on. Psychopaths are infamous for trying to come back. It’s early for you, so resisting him will be incredibly hard because your TRAUMA drama will want to pull you back. RESIST IT. Just know that any attempts by him to suck you back into his vortex are NOT about love, but about CONTROL and POWER OVER. He is a very sick man, and being with these men makes us sick too. But we can be well again, sometimes for the very first time in our lives. He doesn’t have that ability and his whole goal is to keep you AND his wife miserable.

                Hang in there and hang tightly onto YOU. :)

      • Andrea says:

        Hi Lisa,
        I’m sorry for what you are going through and thanks for sharing. I have to agree with the other posts, 5 years is a very long time, too long! I am only on 7 days NC and the EUM sent me a random text last night, which I ignored, it’s the first time I’ve ever ignored him..won’t be the last. You have to keep reminding yourself, as others have said, that if he really wanted to be with you, he’d be with you. Don’t settle for scraps. His way of begging and pleading and pretty much harassing you is not because he cares, it’s his ego, he needs to “win” you back. This is how I feel about it anyways, when I think of my EUM. You will get past it, it will take alot of time however but the longer you are NC, the better you will feel. It will happen! Hang in there.

        • Lisa says:

          it’s an awful feeling. 20 days without any contact has been so tough. Sometimes I’m so mad at him for what he put me through. Other times i miss him- or what we had- so I thought. I’m scared that i will never be able to get over him

          • Bellaninha says:

            Lisa, they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You are nearly there!! Stay No Contact.

            I wasn’t with a married man but I was with someone for 5 years who wouldn’t commit and made all sorts of excuses for that. I was paralysed and stayed far too long, giving and giving, hoping he would change.

            This month it will be 3 years that I went No Contact. The post is such a good reminder – its hard because it’s the holidays/Christmas.. It’s harder than any time of year for sure.
            But equally it’s a liberating time. Who wants to spend another Christmas buying presents or pretending things are ok, will get better, will be different next year, when it’s the same old same old.

            Don’t wait another year to be in the same situation! I will admit I cried A LOT that Christmas. I live on the other side of the world to all my family, but I had the support of amazing friends, so grab onto whoever you can! Feel the pain of losing him, go through it. It gets easier but you need to stick with it!! It’s like breaking an addiction I swear to you.

            My friends and I often laugh now. They’ll say “oh do you remember that time when we all went away..” and I say “oh I couldn’t go remember, I had a controlling boyfriend”. He used to make me feel bad about going away with my friends on weekends (“our” time… Cringe!) yet he was always “too tired” to catch up much during the week. Anyway, my point is – YOU have the control and the decision lies with YOU! Forget that he has now gone cold on you since you called his wife.
            See this as a blessing for you to make a new life for yourself his Christmas. Let go, break this habit, and you will soon see th light. You will be tempted to contact him several more times, as all addictions go! You need time to heal too, so think about how far along you will be in a year if you maintain NC now! If you don’t, you will still be stuck (and writing the same post next December)
            I wish you lots of strength, good frindships, support, love and warmth this Christmas xxxx

    • swissmiss says:

      Then there are the parties. Just received word from the host of the one I wanted to attend that the MM will be there. Sad I won’t be with my friends, but TOO RISKY. Better to be alone.

    • Victorious says:

      Andrea, Ok, you really should be thinking of yourself and what a wonderful Christmas and New Year you will be having, but no matter. If you MUST think of the ex and his new victim, you need to get a bit more realistic. So imagine her unwrapping the uncomfortable nylon crotchless knickers he has bought her. Or a Mug with a flowe on it. Then he gets really pissed and/or high and they row before he passes out. She listens to him snoring all night contemplating suicide. Boxing day he is hungover and nasty and unable to fulfil any plans so she has to spend the day florencing. By New Years Eve he has recovered enough to go out partying and he can spend the evening making lewd remarks to her friends, chatting to his existing harem, or trying to snaffle up new supply amongst the assembled partygoers. Your Lucky New Girl goes home in tears, really looking forward to all that 2013 has to bring. God don’t you wish you were her?

  3. Tulipa says:

    “It’s like “Screw it! I’m going to throw caution to the wind and send that text or buy into the fantasy (again) that my ex who has already shown and told me who they are might gift me with my fantasy of them making me the exception to their rule.”

    Guilty as charged. It was always a comfort to me in an idiotic way the ex eum was jewish and therefore did not celebrate Christmas, reality is even if he did celebrate it, he would have never been with me anyway.
    I look back and think wow when one year he said he went and celebrated with some family and only because he had a thing for the daughter.(that info only came out at a later date.)

    But my downfall was always New Year’s Eve again another time he would never spend with me and I would pretend that was fine when it wasn’t.
    But I would always send some text ewwwww even when we weren’t seeing each other and hope that he would remember me and think of me and want to be with me.
    I cringe at my long flowery texts and all I would get back was thanks which of course sent my night to crap. This year though I actually managed it last new year’s eve too I am not texting anything.
    But shortly after new year comes my birthday and the ex eum has always used it as something to pave the way back into my life. I made the mistake of accepting a dinner invitation which was before my birthday and all seemed good like old times only for the end of the evening when he froze over. (I found out later he was dating) He was just testing the water to see if I was on the back burner when things went wrong with his current relationship and because I acted like I was he went cold knowing he could stil come back. Even when it came to the actual day he didn’t actually do or say anything which hurt.

    This year because it seems to be his m.o I will be ignoring anything from him that is do with my birthday. Something I haven’t managed yet I seem to be weak here.

  4. PhoenixRises says:

    Hahahahaha oh God, the reindeer with the caption ‘it’s only fecking Christmas!’ made me laugh so hard. I was reading one of your latest posts (forget which one) where you mentioned that another person’s actions and external factors are only as big as you choose to let them be. The same goes for December. In the past, I made it this anxiety-riddled time where I freaked out about my worthiness in others’ eyes and questioned if Christmas might finally bring a positive change in my *very* unhealthy relationship. Same thing used to happen with my birthday or the ex’s birthday (I’m proud to say I did not text him for his bday last month OR for thanksgiving, woo!) I am SO glad that he is out of the equation. There are more important things worthy of your time, ladies! :)

  5. echoes says:

    This is the best timing. Thinking of Christmas is starting to fill me with anxiety. I am going to read this as often as I need to: from now right up to New Year’s Day. Thank you.

  6. Magnolia says:

    Totally. For me December is also about Dec 6 – a day of remembrance for women in Canada – we commemorate a day when 14 women were murdered basically for being women, and use the day to renew commitment to oppose violence against women.

    I went to an early service last week and it was only as the vigil was wrapping up, and I was thinking about why the day was important to me, that I remembered that three December 6ths ago, I used the day to drum up a big emotional reaction to the “triggers” of the memorial, and then call the new boyfriend, who I barely knew really, to drop everything and come and comfort me.

    It was just an excuse to test him, and to see him, and he – having a thing for women who would accept abuse – was totally into playing the hero to a desperate, wounded woman.

    Drumming up a “poor me” for the holidays is the same sort of thing. We’re not sad sack losers just because we may be single for the holiday. We can handle it. It’s just a day. It’s just a month. It’s not ever an excuse to call up an AC.

  7. Magnolia says:

    Oh – can I add – it felt GREAT to be single and emotionally strong during the service. I really felt like now I can experience Dec 6 as someone who has survived, not someone still hurting.

  8. Julie Anne says:

    This post couldn’t come at a better time. The ex-husband sent his traditional drunken holiday email this morning and I have spent all day thinking “maybe I should respond…maybe we can work things out…blah, blah, blah” So instead of re-checking for another of his emails, I read this post and it was the little kick in the pants I needed. THANK YOU!

  9. ssmith says:

    In the same boat! Hang in there everyone! Hold strong to your self esteem – we are better off without drama and being in a fake dead end relationship. Lets be good to us! For those in good relationships – we don’t envy you – you give us HOPE! Be blessed everyone and Merry Christmas!

    • Kit-Kat says:

      ssmith. Honestly, I do envy them :).. but you are correct they give us hope. This blog gives me hope.The sense of well being I have inside of me from reading others stories & advise on here is so refreshing after all I’ve been thru. To know I am not alone in all of this is a true blessing..

  10. Kathleen says:

    Hey Nat, yet another great post!!!
    So today I was at work feeling sorry for myself.
    my ex who I unfortunately have to work with is also
    seeing some one else and the thoughts did come about
    how he’ll be with her and I will yet again be spending another Christmas alone, I will go to mass alone, sure there will be people there with me, but when it’s over I will leave alone…
    I wish that I could just meet someone great with morals and values!!!
    My guy friend told me today that I didn’t have anyone because I didn’t know how to “Play the game” GAME??? what game???
    Now I’m thinking is that all it is??? is love, trust care and respect all part of some sick game???
    I told him I didn’t want to play a game!!! I want something serious with someone who is like minded.
    is this really to much to ask for???
    I hate the month of December I hate the Christmas tree I hate all the rude people pushing their way threw crowds to buy buy buy only to put themselves into debt and I’ll bet that some of them are buying presents for some EUM who could care less about them…
    The only good thing about the month of December is
    the birth of baby Jesus!!!

  11. Ayr says:

    So I just jump off the fallback girl train and I couldn’t believe I received call after call and then a text that basically said his family was coming to town and he wanted me to meet them. I had been silent for days and couldn’t resist telling him “we all want ish but that doesn’t mean we get it”. Thanks to your posts and advice I’m finding my power but I will only use it for good. No more drama. Thank you

  12. Erica says:

    AMEN!!!!

  13. Little Star says:

    Oh Natalie, I wish I read your post yesterday:( What is about AC’s Birthdays/Christmases, why it make us soppy and sensitive, it is just another day/month as you said! GOD, I wish I was strong like you…

    • Victorious says:

      Little Star it was my ex narcs birthday yesterday, was it yours too? I managed not to contact him and he will be mad, but do I care? No!!!

      • Little Star says:

        Victorious, I did send him a text and I wish I did not, that why I mentioned if I ONLY read Natalie’s post:( Guess what? He wants to see me and I am foolishly agreed!!! My musician wants to meet me too ( I keep promising to meet him but avoiding his company and poor new guy full of hopes!!! GOD, I am so confused myself! Good for you that you ignored your EUM’s birthday, I wish I was strong like you:(

        • Victorious says:

          Let’s hope it’s not the same birthday guy! Are you in London? Anyway, don’t beat yourself up, it’s just a text and you can still ignote him if he does contact you. I am strong because I have seen what happens to me when I stick my hand back in the fire. It is not a pretty sight! Stay tough!

          • Little Star says:

            Victorious, haha, I am in London:) MY EUM’s birthday on this Saturday and he just called me and said that, he is going to celebrate his Birthday with his colleagues, as they going to have a Christmas party the same day! What I was expecting?!!! Maybe I should meet a new guy (musician) after all:)???

            • Victorious says:

              You answered his call!!!??? Bad Little Star!!
              Not same guy then (phew!) We should have a BR London meetup nextyear for all the London BR girls. I believe theres a fair few of us! Anyway, I have to see ex tomorrow at a work meeting and really dreading it as I have been refusing to answer his calls and texts and I do not know how he is going to react to that. I have read Nats posts on working with exes and will try to be civil but distant. It’s so hard though when you are so fresh out of it (only six weeks NC) and he used to be the centre of my world. I can’t even ask him how his birthday was/what he is doing for Xmas in case he takes the opportunity to wade in with tales of Best New Girlfriend In The World. I will have to find a way of just saying hello and kind of leaving it at that. Wish me luck. Am going to need it.

  14. Tammy says:

    Andrea!! Oh my gosh!! I have thought that thought a million times! Who will he be kissing at midnight this New Years, not me so must be her. Good Lord!! Let it be her. She can have his BS from now on. She’s certainly not WINNING. We know that for a fact because NO ONE wins with the EUM. Don’t drown yourself in sorrow, the best pay-back you can ever get is to get your life happy and wonder what the hell you ever seen in him! I’m just starting NC and I feel free already! Let him roll through his mental roladex and see who is still available to receive his crap. We all get tired of it at some point! I already feel empowered when I read Nat’s posts. Keep reading, these guys don’t change. It has to be you. Be your own Christmas Miracle!!

  15. lawrence says:

    Holidays, especially Christmas, are like litmus tests for the state of our romantic relationship – or just the state of our relationships in general. Christmas alone probably raises for depressing questions about why we’ve been banished from the company of caring people.

    Like it or not, it’s a measurement of how important our significant other is. If we love them and consider them to be family, then of course we want to spend time with them on special holidays, everything else being equal.

    The beginning of the end for me occurred a few weeks before Xmas, three years into a relationship, when my partner’s brother innocently suggested that I be included in the family “gift lottery” (family members drew lots for whom they’d buy presents). My partner was strangely silent, and in private later I asked her why. After some pressing she admitted that while she loved me she didn’t consider me to be family. I said basically “Good to know,” got in my car, and drove (500 miles!) home. While we did patch things up enough to get together for Christmas, her clearly expressed sentiment opened a crack that widened until we broke apart two months later.

    Holidays truly can be a joyous celebration of love. They can also suck big-time. :)

  16. Awakened says:

    Stay off the relationship Crack. That’s the best that I have heard and crack is wack!!! I need something much stronger and lasting. Not just a quick high off of nothing more than a fairy tale just cause its beginning to look alot like Christmas is approaching. This posting speaks volumes today. It’s amazing that an unrecognizable number starts to creep up and when I do a reverse search it tells me its a wireless caller which is coming from right back to the exact state of the assclown existed. Thanks for this Nat. Keeps things in retrospective…. Moving right along; Front and Center …. No distractions… NEXT!!

  17. Brenda says:

    Oddly enough I used December 1′st as the day to really really go non-contact as a marker, and becasue somehow 3 or so years ago in December on December 3rd I just thought I really had met my first true (mental) love becasue of the freindhip, LOL!

    Go ahead laugh, never even met the guy, whatever but most times in life I never had anyone be any “freind” for more than a few weeks /maybe even days before wanting to shack up and use me.. let alone years with nothing but words and that was it.

    Long story don’t wanna hash over it, just stupid in so many ways.

    Anyhow December 1′st my marker to have no contact, as you know sitting and waiting for more to happen for years did nothing for me, although I was so messed up before that I needed a long break anyhow so I don’t like count it as really that long waiting but more fantasy trip, but it did became waiting at some point.

    I broke no contact before – many times actually, I dunno this time I am just not having the same feelings about it.. I am just not feeling antsy, just really looking forward to getting something else, another life and one day at a time.

    For the younger gals.. all this running out of time stuff is imagination as well, I am 45 and I don’t know.. somehow time never did have anything to do with this even though I thought it did before, Time wasted, Time lost, Not enough Time.. blah blah somehow it dosn’t seem to be about that anymore.

    Mayby Natalie would underatand where I am at right now? LOL!

    • Brenda says:

      Correction,Almost 45, I always do that closer to by bithday I guess preparation.

      And also I feel only tad sad because of this.. “Now I feel I can start being more of who I really wanted to be” but could not have that there as his freind, but can do that away from him, That always sucked.

      I do not get that really, why I can grow this self-confidence and feel fine on my own away like that, more relaxed.

      Going back to frutration is not what I want, and it wasn’t even all about winning him over either.

      He has self confidence issues himself, and really I did want him to be a man of his own.

      I woud even say nomatter how I felt or thought I wanted something.. That I don’t think I would have been with him even if he had he chased me, becasue he needs him for himself first.

      Saw that in both of us.

  18. Fern leaf says:

    Oh god. I fell into this trap already a week ago. Natalie I was mortified when I read your post because it describes me to a tee. I “felt” that I owed my ex a civilized Chistmas drink. So, sure enough, we met for drinks. This is despite the fact that the man is a complete AC. Intellectually, I knew I owed him nothing. But why did I do it? I couldn’t seem to stop myself. We split up almost 8 months ago and I was in the no contact zone for months. The only good thing that came out of it is that we were able to conduct a civilized conversation, without him resorting to his usual nastiness. Only when I reflect on it now, I can see that the whole event really served no useful purpose. I dont like the person that he is, I have no interest in him and I dont have a dream of getting back together. He’s still an AC. Nothing’s going to change that. Even Santa coming to town is not going to make him a good person! If I am honest, I was indulging in some sort of validation that I am a “good person”, able to take the “moral high ground”, be an “adult” blah blah blah. Live and learn! Stumble stumble stumble. Let’s just say I will be leaving my phone at home when I am out on New Years Eve….

  19. Chrysalis says:

    Nat, I just love when I think of as your little “Irishisms” – its just ‘feckin’ Christmas! I totally agree it is so easy to give too much significance to a holiday. This is my first single Christmas and I am so looking forward to spending it MY way. Its a first of what are going to be many firsts and I’m embracing it all the way!

  20. Grizelda says:

    Excellent points. Whilst we can’t be blamed for feeling sentimental at this time of year — that’s what empathetic people do when they’re reminded of precious memories, family traditions and relationship things — we have to look at who we’re trying to share our sentimentality with.

    Schlepping around the shops on the weekend, I spotted the perfect gift for myself for Christmas, in case I start to miss the EU/MM. Then I noticed the item was in dozens of shops — everywhere! I thought to myself “It’s PERFECT!”. It was one of the shop window dummies. I could buy him, get him delivered to my oh-so-tastefully decorated flat, wheel him in, lavish him with expensive gifts, extravagant treats, finest wine, select music and entertainment (‘do you get what a great girlfriend I am yet?’) and I would STILL get the same level of emotional fulfilment, the same happiness, and the same ‘magic memories’ that I’d had every other holiday season with Mr Assclown.

  21. grace says:

    It is just christmas and Lord knows I hate drama but if he/she goes dark, won’t acknowledge it, doesn’t want to see you at all during the holidays, buys you a crap present (not crap as in cheap but crap as in “I got this on the way home from work as a token gesture”) then he/she is telling you that you’re not big deal.
    A few weeks ago the boyfriend asked me what I want for Christmas. I was really pleased. Not about the present but because *drumroll* he was thinking that far ahead. with the player ex I never knew from one day to the next if I would see him again. It wasn’t down to insecurity either. He just did not want to commit himself to ANYTHING as far as I was concerned.
    Some of them won’t “do” christmas/new year with you because it smacks too much of domsticity and requires too much planning ahead. Don’t tell yourself you don’t mind. You do.

    • Victorious says:

      Too right Grace. We convince ourselves we don’t mind and it doesn’t matter and it’s just how he is……It does matter. It really really does.

      • Ellyb says:

        Well I think they just like the idea of us hanging around at home (or together with some unloving relatives) on Christmas day, being miserable and pinning for them. Because really, even if a guy didn’t care much about Christmas traditions (I don’t), why would he want to spend those days with other people? It’s not as if there were some vibrant things going on elsewhere during those days. I think spending Christmas together with your partner is simply the most natural thing in the world.

    • Tulipa says:

      Grace,

      “then he/she is telling you that you’re not big deal.”

      It is painful breaking through the layers of denial that one has built up, but the truth is there if they aren’t inviting you or accepting invitations to spend time together in the holidays then it is true you aren’t a big deal to them.
      OUCH
      ACs and EUMs generally don’t want to commit to anything that is too far in advance.
      I could imgine if in October I said the the ex eum lets go to so and so place for New Year I need to know now so I can book how much squirming would be done and eventual bad behaviour that would cause a split before that date ever arrived.

  22. Grace Pamer says:

    Amen to that Natalie. It’s a ludicrous time of year and I’ve had enough of it. So this year I’m looking forward to the opportunity to not do a traditional Christmas… as we are now in Spain for a few months. No Christmas tree, no stress about the dinner, no worrying about ex’s, y’s and y nots… It’s time to totally tune out, party in a hot climate and not stress about any of the normal present buying. Of course we’ll get something for the kids but for everyone else all they get is a quick skype video call Christmas day. Which is something I’m most looking forward to as it means we’ll be speaking to those we love on the day and just catching up and waving inanely at a laptop screen… and what’s more perfect than that?!

    And if it doesn’t work out, well, there’ll be enough stressful Christmas’ to come again in future.

    Hope you all have a great one whatever your plans.
    Grace

  23. Trying to be Free says:

    Thanks Natalie, I was just debating and rationalizing wiht myself reasons why it would be okay to send that text or drop by his office to say hello, we work in the same building. But this article came just in time to stop me in my tracks before I made a sad sitution for me, even worse. So no, I shouldn’t text to “check in” no I shouldn’t drop by to say “hi” because I feel lonely and starting to miss him just because it’s December.I was thinking to take the high road why can’t I be his friend? It’s okay, and if it doesn’t work, then I will know….. It’s never that easy emotionally, is it? It’s still a struggle for me not to contact him so when I feel the urge I will read and rer-ead this article until the desires passes., Thanks, again.

    • Victorious says:

      And also read the posts about being friends ( not being friends!) with ex eums/assclown/narcs……..

  24. Lilia says:

    December is particularly stressful for me when I´m single because it´s also the month when all of my three best girlfriends have their birthday-parties (yes, we´re all sagittarius).

    I´m the only one who is single at the moment.
    But now I´m also still healing from the exEUM while everyone else seems to be happily married.

    Worse, one of these girlfriends works practically in the same office with my exEUM. They´re both quite succesful, workaholic journalists who like to mingle with other succesful, ambitious workaholics (which I´m not). So the odds that he´ll show up at her party aren´t slim.
    Now I don´t know what to do about this.
    If I go to her party and he goes too, it will be extremely painful for me (especially if he is with someone else, which is a possibility).
    If he doesn´t show up, I´ll still be hearing about him from the other journalists who work with him and think that he´s such a good writer and blahblah. And I will be wondering why he isn´t there and if he´s with someone else.

    So should I just skip the whole thing this year? I never feel that comfortable at these events so it wouldn´t be that big a loss. It does seem strange though, not to go see my friend because of an AC.

    • Little Star says:

      Lilia, I am Sagittarius too:) Hurrah! IF I were you, I would not go to the party, to be honest! When I split up with the Love of my Life (2006) I avoided all places where we used to go, I rid of friends who knew us as I did not want any “reminders”…ONLY after that I started to move on in the right direction! Stay strong honey xx

      • Lilia says:

        Ah thanks, Little Star, that makes sense. I thought I was exaggerating but I really don´t need another reminder.

        And I don´t really care about Christmas because I always celebrate it quietly at home with my kids but these December-parties are my annual nightmare, there´s so much pressure to look and act like you´re perfect and happy in all areas. Sort of like a highschool reunion.

  25. G-money says:

    Well this year I am boycotting this so called festive season. Not that I had an amazing christmas with mrEUM last year by any means. I worked all the way up until xmas eve and was back in work stephens day, I was exhausted.
    His family came up to the house on xmas day to visit and see his kids and all they talked about was his ex-wife and the presents they got for her and from her! Em Hi? Do you see me standing here, in MY HOUSE? Then a week later, on new years eve, the ex’s bag fell over and what falls out only the christmas picture his dad gave him when the kids went to see santa, but it wasn’t just the kids – it was the kids AND the ex wife in the picture. It was in his bag for two weeks. “oh i forgot” he said. That’s a new years to forget.

    I have no happy memories of the ex at christmas time from all three that we spent together. There some or other stupid drama infecting me. This year I just want a detox from it so that I can gear myself up for a new fresh year. I don’t need any false christmas miracle fantasies polluting my brain, im staying firmly in reality.

    He may or may not text, if he doesn’t – happy days – if he does – well I can make it as small or as big as I want to and I will make it so microscopically tiny that you’d need a magnifying glass to see it.
    All it would be is lazy ass communication using “christmas” and the fact that hes all alone with no one to cook for him as an excuse to get in touch.

    Bah Humbug!

  26. tired says:

    im just in robotic mode for xmas , just doing what ivegot to do buy the kids presents and get by . last years i cringe as i held out for a crumby happy xma text from the ex mm wow big wow . why oh why couldnt i seehe was not bothered for years andi was just a prop. he left his wife for the girl he met this year . All i want is to get over it , i knew this months ago so why has it returned with such vengence because of fb page .why dos he g to be happy moving on and me left feeling like he siddled up and punched me in the guts. why

  27. Swissmiss says:

    Lisa-

    The question is, “If not now, WHEN?” You know you can’t go on like this. You know this will never materialize into a relationship. You will continue to be a footnote in their unhappy lives. You have all agreed this is your position. What will it take for you to step away? How wretched must you become?

    If I have learned anything, it is that these MMs will always pick the status quo, no matter what they say. It’s easy. You may have added sparkle, but he doesn’t want it enough to abandoned the safety of what he knows, however lousy. Think about it: you are pining for a man who is inauthentic. He is with his wife for convenience. He’s a user. Is that who you want?

    Stay NC. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or other charity and give your love and kindness to those who need it. You will SO good. I am rooting for you.

  28. EllyB says:

    X-mas doesn’t mean happy memories for me, because my toxic family had their own idea of what “X-mas-time=family time” really meant: “During the holidays we’re entitled to abuse you even more than usually, because we’re family and it’s family time!” And how dared I “run away” from them on X-mas-day when they wanted to abuse me emotionally and/or sexually… !!!

    For the records, it was after one particularly horrible X-mas visist that I went NC with them for good. Even if I suffered through a very deep depression before I made that decision, NC was probably my best X-mas present ever. It was a present I gave to myself, but maybe I need to thank some higher power for that insight as well. Back then I had never heard of NC as a concept, and I wasn’t aware of my parents severe (and incurable!) personality disorders either. I simply knew this was the right thing to do.

    • EllyB says:

      I’d like to add that X-mas is really a tricky thing. Everybody tells you to be happy, everybody (at least in the Western world) tells you to enhance your happiness with conifer trees, lights, songs, cookies and presents, and of course this happiness HAS TO involve your family as well as a partner. For me (and I think for many of us if we’re honest) those things have NEVER been a source of true happiness. If our parents had been abusive and our Exes assclowns, then conifers and X-mas songs are NOT going to trigger any happy memories. For me, they rather bring up a lot of sh*t from the past, and at the same time this used to make me feel guilty because I thought “I shouldn’t feel that way”.

      This X-mas there won’t be any conifers and X-mas songs for me I guess (at least not at my home). This is something I need to reconsider every year, but for now I think this is the way to go. I think I might cook some of my favorite dishes, “christmassy” or not. Not sure what those dishes will be, because my favorite foods seem to change every month or so (lol). There might be cookies as well, but I doubt they’ll have cinnamon in them.

  29. Karina says:

    I am costantly reminded why the ex is still an ex and this post couldn’t have come at a better time. My ex cop decided to pop back into my life and of course he doesn’t want a relationship, he just wants all the perks that come with it! HAHHAHH! My birthday is coming up next week and my sister invited him to the party, heck he can go and see that I DON’T NEED or WANT him in my life. The dude is a sorry excuse for a grown-ass man who can’t seem to figure shit out and go after what he really wants. Thank you Nat!!! I needed this mini wake up slap to realize, December is just another month and I’ll just stick to celebrating my birthday and Christmas as Jesus would want me to! =)

  30. Tired says:

    Im afraid lisa the above posts are right , i was lingering around for the ex mm for five odd years . He met someone eles and was gone in a yr for new ow . His wife found out and didnt want him back so he on his own so had no choice but to ho with the only option left as i had walked . I came to my senses reading here , otherwise id still be begging and hanging out for crumbs . Being on your own and watching them move on is gut wrenchingly painful i wont lie , some days i feel it will never end pretending im okay i want to scream and scream and scream . But i want someone i can trust that wants to be with me and only me . Free ypurself now or it will drag on till someone eles catches his eye dont let this happen to you xx

  31. Jennifer says:

    I hate Christmas. There ate a lot of pretty things. The food is crap. Except for the cookies, which make me feel like a crazy person because I want to eat fifty at a time. Sonetimes i don’t like my family, especially when they’re all in one place. We’re not the most respectable bunch when it comes to how we relate to each other. And the marketing, ooohhhhhhh, I wanna vomit at the thought of the needless crap. I have a friend who listens to Christmas music year round, while I would go crazy doing this, I love her more for it. I am sooooo glad I’m not with the ex for the holidays. I’d be wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do for him and he’d be off getting drunk. Also, my father “forgets” to get me something. We’re not really speaking anyway. Christmas makes me sad.

    • Teddie says:

      Oh, Jennifer, Christmas can be ideal for quiet reflective time and meditation and salt baths and scented candles and lots of reading or for lots of walks or working out or whatever your heart desires, just lots of me-time and self-care in general and no need at all to engage in anything you don’t want! Just enjoy the precious time off, don’t waste it on being sad! Big hug!

      • Jennifer says:

        Awh, Thanks Teddie. Just before I saw your reply, I thought, you know I can rest and get alone time if I get too overwhelmed. And I have quite a bit of time off from work. Actually, I think the thing I’m really dreading is having so much time to me as I have a difficult time properly taking care of me when I have time off. Ha! Once again, another seemingly major issue in my life is within myself.

    • Ellyb says:

      I know some people will hate me for this, but I think this mindless promotion of “family values” around Christmas is even more damaging than the (equally mindless) promotion of consumerism. If your family (or your relationship) is toxic, then Christmas together with those people won’t be a Merry Christmas.

      On the contrary, our abusers are going to have a field day because we can’t get away from them on X-mas day (or at least we aren’t supposed to). Of course, narcissists and all other kinds of a…holes don’t really care about family values and love and harmony and so on. They simply expect US to take care of all those things. Their only question will be: What’s in it for me?

      • Jennifer says:

        Ellyb,

        Your comment is really insightful. Media does go crazy with the Christmas holiday. And I love that you point out that if you have a toxic family, it won’t be a Merry Christmas. My father and I really aren’t speaking. Though it is for the best and I’m grateful I had the courage to maintain distance, this will be a sorrowful Christmas. I’m trying to focus on my days off from work and what I can do to nurture myself and I must remind myself, “It’s just one day. Just one day.” And I might gorge myself on cookies (that’s probably the only thing I’m really super interested in on Christmas. Or homemade strawberry cake.) Anyway thanks for the comment. I enjoyed reading it. Take care!

      • Victorious says:

        I understand EllyB. My mother is narc and I always find Christmas so hard because she finds a way to damage me every year. After experience with the ex this year though and finding BR, I have been trying to set boundaries and have managed to organise things so that I do not have to spend Christmas Day with her this year. I will see her with the rest of the family Xmas Eve but the day itself is mine all mine!!! I cannot wait I am so excited. I feel a little guilty and I know she is mad as hell and as you say, people with “normal” families just do not understand. I hope yours is as peaceful as it can be.

      • Spinster says:

        “…I think this mindless promotion of “family values” around Christmas is even more damaging than the (equally mindless) promotion of consumerism. If your family (or your relationship) is toxic, then Christmas together with those people won’t be a Merry Christmas.”

        Well put, Ellyb. After breaking out into hives a few years ago on Xmas Day at my mother’s place :-| I can look back now and see how true the above quoted paragraph really is. Thanks for the extra food for thought.

    • SM says:

      Jennifer your cookie comment cracked me up. I started making my own Holiday traditions with friends. I start ‘partying’ at Halloween and dont stop til after christmas, I love it. I do Xmas concerts, parties, go out for special holiday cocktails all kinds of stuff. One friend and I exercise by walking my neighborhood at nite just to look at the lights. I even stay home by myself drinking eggnog and making cookies to share with the office. I also volunteer to deliver Angel tree gifts for children who have parents in prison. Now that is the best thing I do all year long, even met one of my EU men doing that. I make my own traditions and I invite who I want to join me in them, try it, you may just find your own joy.

  32. Pete says:

    Natalie,
    I’ve been reading BR for the past 6 months…6 months that have been among the most turbulent in my life. Without going into detail, my Emotionally Unavailable Woman ran off to another city 3000 miles away with some guy she knew for less than 3 months, after a relationship with me that had lasted a year and half. The plan originally was for us to head off into the sunset together as she completed her medical training (she’s a doctor, I’m an RN) and then live happily ever after.

    Of course, it was a lie. The truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, she was abusive, selfish, self centered and untrustworthy. I just didn’t want to see it, as I had this fantasy in my head that all I had to do was hang in there and stick it out. After all, she told me she needed me and loved me and I was the only one who understood her…all the while she was screwing a couple of other guys that she had forgotten to tell me about. To make things worse, she told me she was depressed and on the verge of killing herself, so of course, I drove myself crazy (literally) with fear she would do something drastic and it would be my fault because I wasn’t able to stop it.

    Ultimately, I found out about the guy she was to run off with via her Facebook page that a friend of mind had up (she had, unknown to me, “unfriended” me some time before, with a photo of her and him holding each other tenderly, smiling and looking quite content).

    So, long story short, she ran off, all the while texting and emailing me how much I meant to her and how much she loved me and always would. Fast forward a few months and new boyfriend (her “soulmate” she told her folks) cheated on her first chance he got, at which point she started in with more texts and emails to me about how bad she felt and how awful her life was… and saying nothing about feeling the slightest bit bad about the absolute betrayal and devastation I felt at her actions.

    Anyway, I won’t bore you all with further details, other than she still occasionally texts and emails…all of which I ignore. NC, as hard as it is, is the only way for me to stay sane and focused on my the issues I have to deal with. Specifically, what is it about me that allowed her to have that much power over my life. It also helps I’ve been sober (that is, drug and alcohol free) ever since the breakup (alcohol fueled a lot of her craziness as well as my own). My family, coworkers and friends, as well as my newfound mates in AA have all been a big help. As has reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

  33. Paris says:

    I must admit I’m new to Baggage Reclaim (BR) and October 17th was the day I cried and cried. It was the ending of a 4 month relationship that I truly adored in the beginning. I met him, he treated me well, then he changed. Let me stop, then I realized he wasn’t respecting any of my boundaries. I changed. I have been on the BR site reading post about AC’s, self-esteem and etc.ever since that day. The post about “I’m not that woman” really made me think. I read the same post sometimes over and over. I say maybe he isn’t an AC because he left me October 17th after October 16th when I asked if you truly don’t want to do this tell me and I will disappear. He did that and neither have made any contact since. His words, ” I can’t meet the criteria and demands that you have for a man.I think you are a lovely woman and I want you to be happy”. Doesn’t sound so bad but it hurts. I guess I should be glad that he has moved on and he hasn’t contacted me. Thanksgiving was hard,I hoped that he would say something, so I could do the NC and now it’s almost Christmas. I love to read the post and I accept full responsibility for geting involved with a man who didn’t want what I wanted.I have seen him out twice since the break-up. The first time was at a party where he stood right in my face and danced/kissed/hugged all over a girl ( it was a show), and I never blinked. After acting as if he was never there, he eventually spoke and told me how cute I looked. I thanked him and moved on. ( That was hard but a very proud moment) The next party he stared but he didn’t give a show nor did he speak. He looked sad. I smiled the whole time. I think that hurt more than anything. My friends tell me that he can’t believe that I haven’t contacted him nor was I entertained by his actions. So he doesn’t know what to do. I think differently, I think he doesn’t care about me and he has moved on. So I must admit this post is what I needed because there is a glimpse of me that wants him to say Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. But really I guess I dont,he can never give me want I want. December 11th is the day I have made my goal to not grieve anymore. I was told 56 days is enough time to get him put of your system…LOL. Many people said it was a short time I was with him and I should be over him. I’m not sure why I think about him so much but I know it’s all up to me to move on. I know I will not enter where I don’t have care, trust, love or respect again. It’s just another holiday, Thanks Nat.

    • Jennifer says:

      Paris,

      I can empathize. My unavailable ex and I dated three months. I’m on month 8 of no contact. And I cried a bit over him today. It’s getting sooo much better though. I was a wreck. Hysterics. For months. Truth is no one can tell you how long it “should” take you to get over someone. It’s on your own time and what ever that takes, you deserve the time to heal, process and grow. My ex brought up terminals worth of baggage for me. So naturally, it’s taking me longer. The scary thing is, if we let in the wrong people/men they can do some major damage. I had a very similar breakup with my ex and he hasn’t made contact either and believe me it hurts. Like hell. That hurt is valid.

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      Paris:

      I am sorry to hear you are hurting. I have to say though, going NC is the best thing you can do for yourself. Consider it your early Christmas present to yourself, one that reflects the REAL love you have for you! IMO, this guy is immature at best and SOOOO doesn’t deserve you.

      As for the length of time you grieve, please don’t give yourself a deadline. It will take as long as it takes. Everyone grieves in their own way and for the amount of time necessary for them.

      Forget…I MEAN FORGET…what other people say. They are not you. They were not in the relationship. They do not know how you felt then or are feeling now. Frankly, it’s none of their damn business how long it takes you to “get over it.”

      56 days? Hmmmm, who told you this? Complete BS. There is no rule, or prescription. It’s a strictly individual matter. Feel your feelings…that is how you will move on. Putting a deadline on them will make you stuff them, not move on or do something very hurtful to yourself as you haven’t dealt with the present situation.

      ((Hugs))

      • Kit-Kat says:

        La Pintura Belle. I agree completely..Sometimes when you grieve it brings out some old wounds that were never really dealt with so its best to deal with it all & get it over… I can be fine and then spot someone from behind that looks like him & my legs turn to jello.. I dont want to ever see or talk to him & when that happans I want to bolt pronto.. Its a process plain & simple . Everyone handles things on there own pace…:)

  34. Linda Parkes says:

    Dear Natalie and all

    I am new to your wonderful website and though it really is helping me, between your advice and reading the many posts, I feel my situation is a little different. I have just finished a 4.5 year relationship, he walked out giving me a range of excuses – didn’t want me, didn’t want to be here, couldn’t handle the ‘challenge’ of raising someone elses children (even though my girls are in their late teens), wanted to go out and stay out if he so desired, oh and after all that time together, decided I was too old for him anyway. All of which may have contributed but I since heard he is with someone else and had been within 24 hours of leaving us – which speaks volumes.

    For this reason, I would love never to see or hear from this man again but we have a beautiful son together. This makes nc impossible. Especially as he takes our baba to the childminder every morning in order for me to be able to get my girls off to school and for me to get to work in time.

    What can I do in this situation? What do I do for Christmas? Does he come to see our little boy unwrapping his Santa Pressies? Or am I being heartless by letting him just take him for a couple of hours?

    Sometimes, when I’m at my lowest and weakest I think, as I’m sure so many do, should I try to win this man back for the sake of our family, but I know really that this would be a huge mistake.

    I’m up, I’m down, I feel like I’m going crazy. What advise can you give or is there anyone in a similar situation?

    Kindest regards

    • grace says:

      Linda
      I personally would not let him in to watch the present unwrapping. I think separated parents can still do stuff together (like see a school play) provided they are both 99% over it and you aren’t.
      Let your son enjoy the benefit of santa presents at yours and santa presents at his.

      • Lilia says:

        Linda, I agree with Grace, you don´t need to go through the pain of experiencing another Christmas together, knowing it isn´t for keeps. And your son will feel that you´re hurting and uncomfortable so it won´t be a very happy celebration for him.

        In my case, the father of my children does come over at my place for Christmas but that´s because I couldn´t care less about him. I see him more as an obnoxious brother at this point so it doesn´t really matter what he does. But this is because we´ve been separated for about 4 years, he´s living with someone else and I´ve gone through some heartbreak over two other ACs since we separeted. Your situation is different, I think it´s too soon for you.

        • Linda says:

          Dear Lilia and Grace

          Many thanks for your comments and you both are absolutely right. I am not anywhere near ready to cope with having him come into the home he left so easily and neither are my daughters. As you can imagine, in the 4.5 years, they too became very close to him so it would be unfair on them. Our little boy is too young to understand this year and hopefully by next year, I will have accepted things.

          I am sorry to hear you have been through this a couple times Lilia. When my first husband left, I was relieved but not this time. I just loved this man so much.

          Anyway, out of the two relationships, at least I have the gift of my beautiful children.

          I don’t feel I’ll ever let myself be involved with another man, not least because I don’t want to be hurt again but I don’t want my children to be hurt again.

          In the meantime, I will only be contacting him regarding our son and will take on board your kind advice. I had a really good day today for which I thank God.

          Kind regards

  35. Swissmiss says:

    Griz – On a flight home, so quickly- THANKS. If you can get “out from under” after five years, so can I. You give me hope! So angry he is going to a party with MY circle, not his. One of those viral invitations, and the host & hostess (good friends of mine who don’t know about the affair but feel he is stalking me), can’t understand why he is attending. BECAUSE HE IS A PARASITE, can’t make his own magic, has to feed off mine. He said NO to the magic, didn’t he? He picked his dead marriage. He is editor of our city paper, a famous ‘brand ‘ in his own right, and just published a series on OUR places. He has lived here his entire life and didn’t know them. He was completely enchanted with these romantic hideaways I had found and assigned someone to write a story with pix about ALL of them. Parasite! Fecking parasite!

  36. LulaBear says:

    It is truly amazing to me how people can recreate scenarios in their minds – and I HOPE that whenever people do read these posts they realize there are TWO sides to EVERY story…and then the TRUTH!
    I had not been a Dr. Phil fan (from the USA) for years until THIS month when he has been slowly revealing people who exhibit serious personality disorder like symptoms!
    I would caution everyone on any website to be very careful and just know that whenever you get a squiggly feeling – GO WITH IT.
    There are SO many people with NO moral compass and are GREAT at pointing out other people’s flaws but NOT taking ownership of their own! I say stop dumping on others and what they have done to you…deal with yourself!
    I think that overall – that is Natalie’s message.

  37. cc says:

    thanks for this, nat.

    a couple of weeks ago, when I was feeling completely wrecked over a brush with an AC (recidivist behavior on my part?) I decided that I would have a calm, collected holiday season, in part just because and in part…

    a year ago, I was involved with the exEUM, who crumbed me and compromised me down. I don’t want that again. a New Years by myself, if nothing else materializes, is better than last New Years when I ended up feeling so hurt and disappointed and pissed off that I so obviously was not being offered any kind of real relationship with having.

    my therapist talks to me about not allowing the incapable and unqualified to “disturb” me – my peace, my happiness – and I think I finally understand that. my peace and happiness, even alone, are worth SO much more than having any guy. that’s the space I want to stay in.

  38. cc says:

    *worth having

  39. natashya says:

    i am seriously canceling the holidays. i will not put myself through one holiday party being the only single person getting told ‘oh, you’ll meet someone, soon’. i’ve seriously had enough of it. i’m sure as hell staying off the relationship drama crack. NC is in full force and will be probably until eternity. i’ve had enough of assclowns and EUMs, as well as ‘well meaning people’. bring on the new year.

  40. Heartache Amy says:

    Lisa,
    It may be small consolation, but you’re not alone. This summer, I had MM after me – he was funny, genial, flirtatious and very attractive. He asked me to have an affair with him (I didn’t) and complimented me, told me he’d take me to the opera, called me all the time, blah, blah, blah. Then, he back tracked and told me he’d probably never get divorced (even though he’s miserable in his marriage and fights all the time with his wife) because he has two kids and fears they’ll get taken away from him. Did I know better? Yes. Did I fall for him anyway? Yes. Granted, it was only a few months, not five years, but I got sucked in and of course, got hurt. I told him off and of course, he hemmed and hawed. I was very angry, then very sad. It really hurts, especially since I still find him attractive. But, he’s chosen to stay in an unhappy marriage because, in my opinion, he’s lazy. And, as others have written, if he’s cheated on his wife, why wouldn’t he cheat on me in the future? I’m tired of men acting like this, but I tell myself this wasn’t meant to be. Tell yourself that and you’ll eventually believe it, and eventually, too, you’ll meet someone worthy of you!

    • grace says:

      Lisa and Amy
      Their wives have done nothing to you. In the beginning, when you gave a MM the time of day you acted as though his wife was irrelevant. Now that he’s no longer interested, she’s suddenly very relevant as the obstacle to your supposed future happiness. Whether she’s good, bad or indifferent, it is not your business.
      When the MM seemed like a good (!) prospect you gave him all the power, now he’s gone you give her all the power. What about your power?
      You are responsible for your choices. You can choose to build a better life, you can choose to recognise that you were never embarked on a lifelong fantasy romance, you can choose to accept that you made a big mistake. You weren’t just helpless to fall in love just because a man is nice to you (though I see nothing here than some shoddy crumbs).
      Take responsibility for your choices otherwise next time a MM or an AC or an EUM comes your way you’ll find yourself throwing yourself at him, because you’re “in love” or “falling” or “can’t help it” or are “attracted” or he is “charming” or your “soulmate”. You could even be married yourself and find yourself succumbing to somebody else because of what you can’t help. It’s a state of childishness that all of us FBGs have to grow out of.
      It’s not age related and it’s not too late. I was well into my forties before I got it.
      I do have a loving boyfriend. Yes he is worthy of me but I am worthy of him because I am not that person anymore who would entertain infidelity. I won’t do it to him, I won’t partake with others doing it. It’s not that I am better than you. I did similar to you both but it came to me that I had to stop because … tada … it’s wrong. It’s bigger than even my self-interest. And the only person who could stop myself was myself.
      If you haven’t already, get Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl for the blessed realization that your situation is not mysteriously, romantic ally unique. It’s so common it’s laughable (when you’re over it) and there are tried and tested ways forward.
      can you do it? of course you can. If I can, anyone can. I was significantly older than both of you before I “got” it. Not too late at all.

      • dancingqueen says:

        @grace

        “Their wives have done nothing to you. In the beginning, when you gave a MM the time of day you acted as though his wife was irrelevant. Now that he’s no longer interested, she’s suddenly very relevant as the obstacle to your supposed future happiness. Whether she’s good, bad or indifferent, it is not your business.”

        exactly. And ladies who cheat with MM I am not judging you but I will say, I will add to this as someone who has been cheated on; you did something to this wife. She did nothing to you. But you did something to her, so please stop acting as if you are in the position to judge her. You aren’t. I hate the idea of having been cheated on and if I had had children and been in a marriage it would have been devastating. Have a little compassion for her. She deserves it.

  41. Sophia says:

    Dear Nat,

    Thank you for yet another timely piece on relationship. I have to say that Christmas is most definitely about celebrating LOVE and love is definitely not limited to the BGR kind that most people here are familiar with. Or even just with families.

    It is about LOVING yourself and being grateful for the many blessings in life such as friends, family, colleagues, partners, kind strangers, nature, beauty, hopes, dreams, future and (for Christians) God’s mercy!

    With so much love to receive and give – a relationship crack becomes the least appetising option for anyone. So, may all you and all of us (your readers) be filled with the love of the season to last us through the year ahead!

    • Pandora says:

      Sophia,

      Beautifully worded, excellent prescription to keep our focus where it needs to be at this season ( and every season, truly): God’s mercy and grace.
      I don’t know where you are in your journey, but my prayers are with you, and with every reader of this fantastic blog. These articles, comments, thoughts, are inspirational and healing.
      May we all continue to learn from one another!
      ~P.

  42. Tinkerbell says:

    Little Star. Don’t wish that you were strong like anyone else. You have the ability to be strong, too. Focus on YOU. No one is working any miracles here. No one is any better than you are. Please believe that and work on YOURSELF. When you see the progress, you have made, and can look at how strong you have become, you will be so happy with yourself that you will NEVER go to “poor me, I wish…….” Do it!

  43. Tinkerbell says:

    Tired. CONGRATULATIONS! You have made much progress. Keep up the good work. Enjoy the holidays without an AC. You are stronger than you think you are and it looks like you are beginning to believe it. Hooraaay!

  44. Tammy says:

    To Paris…
    You may have only been with him a short time, but he gave you something in the beginning that hooked you then you seen the real deal. We always keep waiting for “that guy” to re-appear but he can’t because he was never real. Keep reading the posts, Nat talks about this a lot. If Dec 11th is the day you set to not grieve anymore, you only have one more week. Don’t give him one more minute of your precious life. So glad you found BR. I sometimes spend an entire Sunday re-reading the posts that pertain to my current situation. They start to sink in and once you know this stuff you can’t turn back. Happy Holidays to you, this could be your best ever if you allow it. Hugs.

    • natashya says:

      tammy, i can relate to that. my personal experience is that the shorter relationships are in some way harder to detox from. when i left my husband, i had already done so much processing during the marriage, that i was ready to move on when i finally left him. and the same with the 2 year relationship afterwards

      during my last 4 months faux relationship, things happend really really quickly: the falling in love, and also things falling apart while i was still with my head in the clouds. it left me bewildered and confused, to say the least and i’ve been having a very difficult time letting go of the fantasy/dream. i am getting better, but it’s taking me a ridiculous amount of time and energy to move beyond this.

  45. K says:

    Great comments here today…

    November/December/my birthday/the holidays, have NEVER been pleasant for me. I come from an abusive pathological background, a 20 year marriage to a psychopath and then an ten year relationshit with an MM.

    My marriage ended the end of December, eleven years ago. My relationshit with MM, became sexually intimate December 19, ten years ago. My birthday’s were never celebratory. ALWAYS drama going on. This year, I cried all day. It hurt, my expectations too high and I admittedly was missing my ex. It only lasted a day though and I knew it would pass. Today marks the second anniversary of the demise of my relationshit with MM. He is now remarried and I’m sure triangulating with a mistress, and I am still alone.
    I will be for the holidays too. I will have most of my kids and my grandchildren here, which is good, and I enjoy them, and their excitement, but for me, there is a lingering sadness about the time I wasted in the ten year relationshit. I’m still healing from all the damage. And there was a hell of a lot of damage. I’m practicing gratefulness now. Grateful to be so strong. Grateful to have survived such evil. Grateful that I still can love and be loved. Grateful that while my health is poor, I’m still alive. There are still days here and there, where I pray for death lol, but overall…just going with the flow. Sometimes that means one minute at a time, sometimes just an hour, but mostly now, just a day at a time.

    It dawned on me today, as I reflect about what happened in the last relationshit and why it ended that while I want the pain to end, that there are still days I wonder if I’ll ever really get past it, I’ve decided to renew my commitment to just healing it. I know I’ve come a long way, but still have a long way to go. That’s okay, I’ll take my time with myself. I deserve that after a lifetime of abuse. That’s how I’ll perceive the “season” too. I’ve begun to ask myself what I even LIKE about Christmas. Well, I love the lights and the Christmas tree. I had a fun time baking cookies with my granddaughter. This weekend, my daughter, granddaughter and grandson are coming over to help do the rest of the decorations for my place. I’m choosing to focus on that. I’m willing, most of all, the ride out the pain without distraction. It’s not comfortable, but I do learn more about myself when I stop fighting things I can’t control (he’s gone) and avoiding things that need fixing (me). It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.

    And really? It is just a month. I can’t wait for January, as another year will commence and I hope it’s better than the last. The further out you get and the more healing you do, “they” (whomever they are in the assholery department), won’t matter anyway. I won’t give them my power anymore. I’m trying to get it back for me. This is a remarkably different woman then I was two years ago, with my head spinning and vomiting like Linda Blair in the exorcist.

    It’s also almost two years of sobriety for me too. When I left him, there was no need for alcohol anymore.

    So here’s to a good bottle of Dasani water, a few christmas lights, a beautiful tree, love with the kids and grands, and my beloved wiener, and mostly freedom from the pain caused by others through abuse. It is absent from my life. It is quiet, drama free. I’m getting use to it and kinda enjoying it now.

    I wish you ALL peace this season. :)

  46. NiNJa says:

    What gets me about a lot of these posts, is the amount of labels assigned to the ex by the injured party i.e narcissist, sociopath, psychopath etc. A lot of them about!

    I read an article about psychopaths which described, shockingly, the person I was involved with at the time. I’m confident and clearly those red flag warnings were for everyone else, I was an exception to the rule!

    WRONG!

    Fortunately, I’ve been interested in personal growth for a long time which gave me the tools to scrape myself off the bottom of his shoe and back up to standing tall. Some of the more direct approaches offer up the notion ‘when you are pointing the finger of blame at somebody else – theres always 3 pointing back at yourself’

    and

    ‘I am/we are responsible for the people and situations I/we attract’

    Not sure about you but this annoyed me. Did this mean I was a narcissist or whatever and brought it all on myself? Well, yes. I had to take ownership and as an irresponsible person this was a big deal.

    Sites like this (that show you what low self esteem, low self respect, lack of boundaries etc is, how it looks and what it feels like) serve to invite you to correct faulty thought processes. Once you are aware of them, responsible for yourself and your actions, these future (insert acronym describing him/her) won’t even get passed the gate.

    Rather than doing a, b and c to avoid feeling x, y and z over Christmas. Celebrate. Celebrate that it’s all gone tits up. Get to know yourself. You can get to know about all the things you don’t want – so you can start to focus on what you DO want.

    Like this great and empowering site, theres another free site that is interesting/revealing and easy to do, for anyone struggling at this time of year and need a little more support/instant fix, I’m sure those familiar will agree, she helped when I hit bottom… The Work by Byron Katie (lots on youtube).

  47. teachable says:

    Lisa,

    If he did it WITH you he’ll do it TO you.

    Unless you want to be in yr 50′s (presuming you even get that far) & in the same position his poor suffering wife is in now, STAY OUT of this affair.

    You do not want a dishonest man who will without question cheat on you.

    End of.

    Your focus now needs to be on maintaining No Contact at all costs. I recommend Nat’s ebook on this as being help & regular check ins with us here. Your life is in the balance. Right now you are at a CRITICAL juncture & you need to choose which path you are going to take. Short term pain for long term happiness & the hard work it will take to get over this guy OR short term euphoria & who knows how many more years of sheer hell & misery? The choice is yours. To me it seems obvious. You’re already on the path of the former. You have nothing to lose (apart from one lying cheating MM) & everything to gain by staying on it.

  48. teachable says:

    I enjoyed reading about you attending that event Magnolia. It’s the sort of thing I would do. Right now though I’m too (insert rude word) to get out of bed. Xmas coming is just THE worst on top of all else here. I don’t cope well with Xmas at the best of times.

    Next year will be much better I’m sure. I’m looking forward that greatly. I’m hoping my health will have improved & if so, plan to volunteer at a homeless shelter feeding people xmas lunch. I was invited to do this by Nuns from the Sisters of Charity in my city (ie the Order Mother Teresa was known so well for) for whom I did some free paralegal work back when I was still working. I don’t believe in God but Mother Teresa has always been someone I admired greatly. I plan to make this an annual committment in fact & instead of wasting & of gifts for family members who don’t really care about me, I will donate gifts for people at the homeless shelter instead.

    So, I guess, even if I am a bit down that this xmas will be a bit crap, there’s always the next one to look forward to. And that dream coming true for me will make it very special indeed! :)

    Crawls back under the covers.

  49. Spinster says:

    Thank goodness, the holiday season has never been much of an issue for me when it comes to romantic relationships. (If anything, I used to block losers trying to fish around for someone to see the worm and bite the hook!) But I can see how others get sucked into it, and hopefully I won’t get sucked into it in the future if I get into a relationship.

  50. teachable says:

    Ninja I appreciate your sentiments but I think you overstretch the mark.

    To identify oneself as recovering from a specific type of trauma, for example, PTSD caused by abuse at the hands of a partner who was had Narrcissistic Personality Disorder or was a Psychopath, or whom possessed marked traits indicative of these disorders (&/or others like Anti Social Personality Disorder, Explosive Disorder etc), in no way shape or form suggests that the victim of that abuse, also suffers these disorders.

    The usefulness in identifying these traits in an ex (a psychiatrist would need to actually diagnose the disorder), is to distinguish such relationships from ordinary relationships, which simply don’t work out.

    The health impacts of the kind of abuse suffered at the hands of these individuals (which can run the full gammit might I add, in many cases, to include, financial, sexual, physical, emotional, & social abuse) are absolutely HORRIFFIC.

    Hence, this is not an excercise in putting the focus on the ‘other’. Rather, it’s about acknowledging that in these instances, these are not ORDINARY RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWNS people are trying to come to come to grips with. In fact, they are anything but. These dysfunctional relationships come with a whole host of features NOT FOUND in the breakdown of typical relationships.

    Not everyone @ BR is dealing with the sort of TOXIC r.ship breakdown which charactarises these relationships, but many, it seems, are. For those who ARE it HELPS to know we are not crazy & that there was a very PREDICTABLE PATTERN to everything we have experienced.

    With regards to the finger pointing business, if you read more closely you will see that in sharing anecdotes about ex’s, most of us are relating how WE responded to situations (often looking bk & cringing, lol), what OUR decisions were, how/ what WE are doing now to improve OUR choices & lives in this area, NOT focusing on what an ex or anyone else is doing.

    Stick around a have a read a little more. I think your sentiment although perhaps well intentioned but came across a tad clumsily (which is fine. But I just wanted to clarify at least how I saw things)
    :)

    • EUM Roberto says:

      Hello Teachable and Ninja

      I think you are both correct. I just finished divorce from 16 year marriage. She was physically, verbally, emotionally abusive (and crystal meth abuser) and i suspect she has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) because she would self harm and threaten suicide. I only stayed married this whole time to make sure my son turned out ok – he is 17 now and living with me.

      At first i was trying to figure out what was wrong with her and to make sure that i was not crazy because she would project/blame me for everything “It’s your fault i hit you!”

      After we separated and the now that the dust has settled from divorce, now i am looking inward and learning about why i allowed/tolerated this behavior and learning about healthy boundaries.

      So now i know what i don’t want and what i will run from (flush if i see these types of behaviors red flags).

      and now i get to figure out what i do like and what i’m attracted to and why.

      Happy holidays to BR community! Been reading this for over a year and is very helpful – thank you

    • k says:

      teachable,

      Excellent response. I’d like to add to this if I may:

      Antisocial Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, are part of the Cluster B of disorders. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines and clarifies the disorder in clinical terms, giving clinicians the ability to diagnose those who come for therapy or court ordered psych. evaluations, etc. I have studied in depth about the disorders and have been supporting survivors of personality disordered individuals for two years. Both my ex’s and my father were psychopaths, ie: Antisocial Personality Disorder, but only ONE of them was violent. Psychopath is not used as a label in the DSM, nor is sociopath, however, I do believe with the new DSM V there was discussion about adding “psychopath” to the diagnostic labeling, but I’ve not read up on that lately for updates as the new version is to be out in May of next year. ANYWAY….it’s “controversial” to “diagnose” others who exhibit the disorders. Well, I don’t agree with that and here’s why: We have an explosion of information all around us now, particularly on the internet, with regards to educating others about these disorders. This political season has brought MORE attention to the disorders too, but I see the discussion most when it comes to personal/intimate or business relationships with these people. They have a VERY intense, fill the room kind of energy to them that is vastly different than your regular run of the mill asshole. There are characteristics of these disorders that are ENTRENCHED and UNCHANGING. A specific pattern of behaviors that are consistent over time. These people are incredibly dangerous and extremely destructive. There is no way to dicuss them or to have a survivor discuss his/her experience without the label because the behaviors are that distinct. EDUCATION is key to understanding who these people are and how to avoid them. The following are characteristics: Lack of empathy, remorse or guilt. Extremely manipulative. Lack of compassion. shallow emotion (affect), exploitative, grandiose, overwhelming sense of entitlement. There are several red flags that signal involvement with a psychopath, sociopath, narcissist or borderline: LOVE BOMBING (in Natalie’s words, this is fast forwarding the relationship), manipulative, hypersexual, gaslighter, rewriting history, degradation, pathological lying, deceitful (from the VERY beginning of the relationshit), exploitive, assumes you to ‘soul mate” status, chronic infidelity (the disorders are not capable of monogamy), easily bored, extreme and reckless risk taking, verbally, sexually, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually abusive. Blames others and you for their problems. Plays the VICTIM (pity play), irresponsible, parasitic (financially too, even when he has his own money), and I could go on and on.
      While I believe education about the disorders to be very important not only for the survivor so she can NAME and clarify her experience (knowing what happened and why validates her), but also for PREVENTION purposes. If you don’t know what to look for or what to call it, how can you learn to AVOID it?

      I believe many on this site are victims of the disordered. It’s the same patterns of behavior for many of the ex’s here. Because the “p” word isn’t politically correct to discuss frequently just yet (I and many others are working hard to change that), you don’t HAVE to have the disordered label to see disrespectful, HORRENDOUS and ABUSIVE behavior. Natalie has done a great job here of outlining these behaviors with simple language that is universal and everyone can understand such as code red and amber behavior, ASSHOLERY, ASS CLOWN, EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE, pushing the reset switch (rewriting history), etc. It’s also referred in other terms such as bullies, assholes, abusers, etc.

      I’m tired and rattling, lol! I could talk about psychopathy all day, and well, I kinda do because I blog about it and still support survivors and research it, but I also know, being a survivor too, that if you’re HEALTHY and have boundaries, morals and values and understand clearly your vulnerabilities and GO SLOW in relationships, your chances of avoiding a disordered one, or kicking them to the curb early is more LIKELY. These people are predators and they are very good at siphoning out women and men who are vulnerable and don’t have boundaries, values, morals. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Natalie teaches about that here. An ounce of prevention in this case, is worth a pound of cure.

    • NiNJa says:

      Teachable, I missed your first reply.
      I disagree, having been shafted by a screw ball(s) :( I ticked all the boxes of co dependency, therefore I had my own screw ball mentality to attract the freak in the first place.

      No more

      You do what you like. I’d sooner look from a new perspective and see if that helps because I’ve missed life wallowing in anxiety and rage, sadness and confusion etc its too much for anyone.
      Dig your heels in an remain stuck, forever. No thanks my pity party is over

  51. teachable says:

    Also Ninja,

    I have to disagree with the new age hogwash that posits ‘we are responsible for the people / & situations we attract’. This is egotistical in the extreme! To suggest that we ‘attract’ situations is frankly, dangerous. I was told this once on a team building day in a new job. I told the facilitator running the session she ought not be working with sexually abused children if she was really so NIAVE as to BELIEVE such a crock of shite! (The job was working with abused kids! Turned out this woman had been watched one too many re-runs of ‘The Secret’. *Rolls eyes*)

    The ONLY THING WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IS CHOOSING WHO WE ALLOW INTO OUR LIVES.

    We don’t majically ‘attract’ abusers. It’s not something WE DID that brings them to us like flies. They try their schtick on ALL COMERS & then sit back & see who puts up with it.

    The only exceptions to this, are that there ARE traits which women involved with abusive men are likely to have I.e. low self esteem. However, this often isn’t the case at the START of the relationship; rather it results from the abuse endured DURING it. Otherwise, men with NPD (as most sufferers are male, although a small minority are female) tend to be attracted to women who are successful, attractive, empathic etc. Again, nothing there wrong with the WOMAN.

    Just had to say that b.c if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s this mumbo jumbo crap that ppl spout off as fact which is frankly, so rediculous, it’s ABSURD!

    • grace says:

      teach, ninja
      I think you’re both right. I went to a conference on human trafficking and apparently the traffickers can walk down the street and spot instantly those they can target. It won’t be strong women.
      However strong or weak she may be at the outset, though, by the time they’re done with the woman (or girl), she will certainly be in worse shape than she was before.
      I don’t believe these women/girls attract their attention. Nor do they deserve what they get. But certainly the only person who can get them out is themselves. Even if they are offered help, it’s still down to them to take it. That’s a leap of faith.
      Most of our situations aren’t as bad as being trafficked and we are no longer children. But yes we have differing levels of choice and understanding. We certainly ended up worse off because of what we have been through. It is still down to us to leave and rebuild.
      I don’t care anymore about the abusive ex. The injuries bother me sometimes but he means nothing to me. He could be a narcissist, psychopath, bogstandard EUM, personality disordered or Satan. I don’t care. It is not interesting. It took a long time to let it go but I don’t think it’s the plan to stay in the valley of death.
      It doesn’t matter what they think of you. Whether they think you’re strong or weak or attractive. Who are they?

    • Lilia says:

      Teachable, I completely agree! It´s completely childish to believe that everything that happens to us is somehow the result of our thoughts or intentions.

      Also, if things were so simple, then why wouldn´t we just be attracting pure bliss all the time? We would be quite stupid to have any trouble at all, if it´s a matter of just thinking about all the nice things we want in life and then just making them appear magically. I could think of a lot of wonderful things I´d want for myself, like winning the lottery, getting married to a Matt Damon lookalike who would be forever faithful, not getting any wrinkles…

      I think this new age mumbo jumbo isn´t only silly, but also dangerous. If you happen to run into bad luck, like getting cancer or having an accident or meeting an AC conman you also end up feeling like shit and putting yourself down because, according to this theory, YOU made it happen! So how can you pull yourself out of these situations if on top of everything else you´re the one who did this to yourself? So besides having a bad experience, you also turn out to be an idiot!

      I do think that you can analyse your role in some situations, like why you´re sticking around in a relationship that has proven to be bad for you, but I don´t think you can go as far as believing that everything happened in the first place because there is something wrong with you. Bad things just happen because that´s life, and life is much bigger and powerful than any individual´s wishes. The only thing we can influence – and this to a degree – is how we are going to deal with life´s troubles and how we are going to get out of bad situations.

      • dancingqueen says:

        teachable:

        Late the the conversation but totally agree. One of my super-abusive stepmothers was into all that new age crap and she once told me that I had chosen my birth and my life…this implying of course what it was…which included her being physically and emotionally abusive and being put up for adoption and then my beloved adoptive mom dying.I remember then, even as a kid, just wanting to say “Uh no, if I had my choice do you really think I would have wanted your crazy ass in my life? That was m dad’s and your choice.” Grr. I am all for owning things to a point, but when people start to say things such as “you chose the car to hit you, or kids choose to be abused…you chose to meet your rapist” Uh no, they chose to do it, and someone was victimized. Period.

        • K says:

          Teach,

          Agreed. No one asks for abuse and it’s NEVER okay under any circumstances. I think the new agey stuff takes things a bit too far during a time when “super responsibility” means being the victim was somehow your fault.

          It NEVER, EVER is.

          It’s awareness that gives us the opportunity to CHANGE things, including purging demons from the past that contributed to dysfunction.

          Every single person here is a miracle. I say that because I have seen many survivors NOT change and choose to stay engaged in drama, even after they come to awareness. YOU ALL are walking miracles because to face yourself in a naked, brutal truth is the hardest thing you will EVER EVER do!

    • Allison says:

      Teachable.

      I agree with many of your points but, I do believe that if we had had higher self-esteem, we would have bailed at the onset of the disrespect?

      There was something very wrong with me for continuing with such a silly ‘relationship,’ I should have exited much sooner. I was half the problem, thankfully I now know what I deserve: availability (no ties to ex), respect and love.

    • NiNJa says:

      Check out holosync by bill harris – changed my life. Not for the faint hearted and certainly no magic thinking involved. Dont take my word, experiment for yourself. Take the course.

      Children have no control over what happens to them. Vulnerability, size, weakness, fragility, easy to manipulate etc is the attraction for abusers. To blame them for situations out of their control is unprofessional to say the least.

      If I didn’t look at ‘me’ i’d keep attracting the same person/situations over and over. I believed myself to be dysfunctional and did something about it. Yes, it was ugly and there was a lot of melt downs but this course separated the wheat from the chaff in terms of therapies that actual work.
      The Secret used Bill Harris actually. He wasn’t happy since he was edited out of context, but ultimately if you read his blog from the beginning he explains all.

      Not sure its for you though.

      From Holosync…
      ‘There are four things you have a choice about—IF you are aware enough to see how you create them:

      1) How you feel…

      2) How you behave…

      3) Which people and situations you attract or become attracted to, and…

      4) What meaning you assign to whatever happens.’

      • K says:

        Ninja,

        That is the key: AWARENESS. Many people who get into these relationshits are not AWARE that perhaps childhood traumas are being acted out in a repetitive fashion with abusers. I didn’t “attract” my abusers, they were allowed to bust my boundaries. Because I didn’t have any. Nor did I have awareness as to why I was participating.

        I think it’s a miracle to come to awareness, even though it is painful initially and even for a time after. It’s when awareness happens that we become totally responsible for change. Change CAN’T happen without awareness. Denial is a very powerful force. I spent thirty years in my adult relationshits this way before I came to awareness. The pain of being in, was worse than the pain of being out, hence PAIN is a great motivator.

        • Lilia says:

          K
          I read somewhere that the only way to overcome your destiny is through awareness, which is also the road to wisdom. Translated, this means exactly what you say: when we live in denial it is like being programmed to behave in a certain manner (aka that is your destiny). Only with awareness comes free will.

          In my extended family there is so much denial going on, on so many levels, sometimes it seems like they are blind and deaf! I´ve grown a powerful aversion to all the excuses and bs. But then, when you face reality and start to see things as they are, others don´t like it because it threatens their own defenses.

          • K says:

            Lilia,

            Very true. I think one of the reasons I’ve been struggling through the healing process, is that after the last ex assclown, with awareness, I saw my life littered with unhealthy people. I’d been NC with my bio fam for a few years prior to ex AC curb boot, but I also saw friends that were unhealthy too.

            I had to do a lot of “house cleaning” in my life because there was so much BS. Even with two of my children too. It has been very, very hard. And very, very painful.

            But the aversion to dysfunction and abuse, was more than my willingness to put up with it anymore….

            Blind and deaf, yep. Unfortunately, many will remain that way because it’s safer under that warm fuzzy blankie of denial…

    • K says:

      Teach,

      I agree with you about what we “attract”. This is not only dangerous, but is very defeating. I have had many survivor say to me, “I’m a spath magnet!” So much so that I wrote a post about it.

      IT’s bullshit because you will meet and run across many people in your life through many situations and circumstances. You WILL be targeted by spaths no matter who you are or where you go. It’s up to US to ward them off with our health boundaries, and knowing our values, morals, etc.

      I DISAGREE with you however when it comes to a BEGINNING of these relationships. It is the MOST DANGEROUS time with a spath or narc. And SHE IS AT A DEFICIT WHEN THE RELATIONSHIP TAKES PLACE and CONTINUES. I have not met ONE survivor, not ONE, who was “healthy” when the psychopath got her. She had a vulnerability or an unhealed wound that allowed him to bust her boundaries.

      This is why fast forwarding in relationships is so dangerous. You MUST have solid boundaries and be very aware of your vulnerabilities and very HEALTHY in mind to see red flag behavior, which is usually seen at the very BEGINNING and fast forwarding is one of them. It is amazing how many times this simple red flag is MISSED. One of many

  52. lo j says:

    Ninja … I appreciate your post and recognize that you are speaking of taking responsibility for yourself and your choices/actions. It was a very humbling day when I saw my part and the hurts I’d caused throughout the years, to my children, others, and myself. And I feel empowered as well. No longer am I the victim, angry, or helpless. I have direction and peace and am not at the mercy of anyone or anything. Thanks for sharing.

    • NiNJa says:

      All credit to you lo j,

      Its difficult to take on a whole new perspective. In fact, difficult is an understatement! When you see things from a new angle it’s hard to believe you were ever immersed in those dysfunctional ideals. It feels good doesn’t it?

      Just keeps getting better!

      Merry Christmas

      x

  53. Tinkerbell says:

    Reflecting on my growth over the past year. Last year, at this time I was miserable waiting and hoping I would see the ex (MM) over the holidays. I knew off the bat that I would not see him on Xmas eve, Xmas Day, New Year’s eve or New Years Day because he had to be with his wife. I settled for this and for all the other crumbs he threw me. This year I’m looking forward to spending 15 days with my wonderful boyfriend. We are planning what we will be doing together on the above mentioned dates. He has asked me two weeks ago what I would like for Xmas. I was totally stumped as it never occurred to me what I might want from him. We both realize we don’t need to jeopardize our financial status, going all out with expensive gifts. We are VERY HAPPY just having each other. He is my gift and I am his. No tangible item can be better than what we have together.

  54. Tired says:

    Tinks thankyou for your kind words , i am better than i was a couple of months ago . I plod on tho the last two days set me back knowing hes left his wife for someone eles . My gut instinct knew back in march this new ow had turned his head and when she ob went nc in him he pursued me . Then she came back and i knew i was for high jump . Now they are together , i cant help feeling used a prop and now hes happy im just a disreguared piece of rubbish . I wish like him i could meet someone and not look back . And yes its the why her not me im sorry to say slips thro my mind . I stay nc but some days its so hard just to function .x

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      Tired…

      It hurts to hear you like this. Try to re-frame your thinking. He treated you like rubbish because HE is rubbish. He’s not happy. She’s not the love of his life. She’s a more willing victim. YOU had guts and strength and left this childish little man because YOU realized YOU deserve better than him.

      Don’t envy her. Instead, be grateful that YOU had the courage and the strength to have willingly walked away from this particular chamber of horrors and torture. Be proud of yourself for honoring yourself and doing right by you.

      Please quit focusing on him. He is nothing. Read the advice you give to others. You sound very strong and confident in those comments. Treat yourself they way you’ve been treating the people here who are hurting…with the love and compassion you so obviously have in abundance!

    • Victorious says:

      LPB is right Tired. You have come so far and should be so proud of yourself. He will do to her exactly what he has done to his wife, to you, and whoever else has had the misfortune to cross his toxic path. It worries me that you see another relationship as your way out of the pain. To be honest I think you need to come to terms with it on your own, slowly and surely, to avoid putting yourself in any more danger from potentially nasty suitors, especially over the holidays when everyone is feeling a bit silly/lonely/fruity. Look in the mirror and tell yourself what a fantastic independent woman you are and that you are going to have the most brilliant adventures in 2013.

  55. simple pleasures says:

    Today is the one year anniversary of when he decided to pull the proverbial rug from my feet. Right in the holiday season which includes my birthday. I was stunned, I never expected it. Last year was the first time I didn’t celebrate anything. My mood was blue.
    I spent the year grieving and doing what we all do here:
    1)googled all the information about personalities and mental health issues from Aspberger’s to a PhD in cockroach behavior to understand HIS behavior.
    2) Did all the introspection about me, in order to understand MY behavior.
    3)Tried to figure out HOW to stop thinking about him, how to forgive and let go.I followed every scrap of advice from NML and you posters.My
    mind and heart weren’t in it, I went through the motions but I joined clubs, made new friends, got
    a wonderful new job, and kept pounding your insightful comments into my head. Now I find I have lots of fun activities with a rich life with wonderful people.
    Now a year has passed and I ask myself today,
    “Well, what have you learned about yourself?” Some answers: I had repressed parent issues that surfaced when triggered by this father figure. That I have empathy and the joy to love. I am human and made a mistake, an error in judgment about the character of another person and potential for a loving relationship. I ignored red flags.
    I’m not bitter or angry just amazed at the way people treat each other, the variety of relationship experiences we have, and how people make significant moral decisions around intimacy
    and attraction. I think now before acting on the impulse of my emotion.
    “No contact” is a challenge since I must see him once a week. My detaching has taken much longer than I hoped. I still have some detaching time left so I’ll come to BR for Nat’s articles and your collective moral support.
    I hope some day when I am completely healed to share my story and advice to help others just
    starting the journey here.
    They say time heals all wounds.
    I just put up a Christmas tree.

    • selkie says:

      Simple Pleasures,

      “They say time heals all wounds.
      I just put up a Christmas tree.”

      That made me smile for you.

      Time does heal. First from stopping the heavy bleeding, to a scab we inevitably tear off from time to time as we unravel our pain, it gradually changes to a discolored raised scar that is still sensitive to the touch but no longer bleeds. Soon, the scars starts to fade, we have to look for it now to see it. We start to focus on other things. In time we forget the scar and the wound altogether. It becomes a story we have we no longer need to tell.

      • Kit-Kat says:

        Selkie… I do agree with the time does heal therory you suggest. And also sometimes we bump/pick the scab off and have to start the healing process over again.(i.e. breaking NC) However, I sometimes find myself comparing the person I was while with him and the person I am today…This has change me but I cant put my finger on how ?? I just know it has.

        • K says:

          Simple,

          I think this is the hardest part of healing…recognizing that it’s really TIME that will make the difference. We are such an instant gratification society, we want to be out of pain NOW, but pain serves a purpose in healing if we are willing to endure it. You’re doing VERY well for not being out such a long time and coming along just fine! Good for you for your willingness to endure!
          I feel inspired by your post!

      • runnergirl says:

        Simple Pleasures, keep putting up that tree…that made me smile too. My major break up with a MM was two years ago this month and my two anniversary with BR! Thank god. Selkie is right, it will become a “story we no longer need to tell”. Or maybe a story we only tell to help others. Along that line and in the holiday spirit, I just had an encounter with the exMM after over a year of NC at a pre-holiday party. I wasn’t expecting to see him and when he walked in, I thought my heart would do the pitter-patter thingy. It didn’t. Maybe after reading all of your brill posts Natalie and all the fabulous comments, I didn’t feel anything. Maybe some residual pitter but NO patter. It was a weird kind of stillness. Of course, we walked out together and it was like old times, however something was missing. The fantasy was missing. He wasn’t on a pedestal. He was just a middle aged, over-weight, white guy with nice hair and a cute smile…who is still MARRIED. So Simple Pleasures, I think you summed it up nicely: “I think now before acting on the impulse of my emotion”. I am pleasantly surprised at how little I felt. Maybe it is reality, living in reality, having values and boundaries? I would have thought seeing him would have ripped open the wound. It’s just so weird.
        I just put up a Christmas tree too.
        BR ladies, you are fabulous.

    • Allison says:

      Simple,

      It sounds like you have gained much and have come a long way! I can relate so closely to your story- time will make you even stonger.

      Enjoy the holidays and your new life!!!! :)

  56. espresso says:

    Christmas is when my caring for others syndrome goes into unhealthy overdrive as I try to “make others happy.” I don’t regret putting energy into the holidays when the kids were young – that was fun. But I can see that my resentment and sadness due to my ex not tuning in, being not helpful or not seeing any of my needs partly came about because I didn’t feel entitled to say, “no, that doesn’t work for me.” (especially at Christmas when we are all supposed to be so happy and loving). I would wait until it got to be too much and then explode or just cry. I remember several Christmases where I drove down to the beach, completely exhausted and sat in the car crying. My ex “knew” but didn’t have a clue.
    I am a generous-hearted person and am okay with this but need to understand why I often have felt that I have been left holding the stick and how I contribute to this. I definitely need more boundaries at Christmas and this year am going to really focus on that. I am really glad this was posted now because I need to do this prep work!

  57. Paris says:

    Jennifer, La Pintura Bella & Tammy,
    All I can say is Thank you. It felt so good to hear your responses. My best friend and I had a big argument Friday night about this but she apologized the next day.

    I know I’m healing & it’s so true about that was not him. Days I begged him to bring back that guy I met in the beginning and he never did. I thought for so long what did I do that was so wrong. My friends made sure I didn’t go down that path.

    Sharing with me, I did nothing wrong, except for the first time he disrespected my boundaries, I stayed and ignored the behavior. I’m sure with this site and positive affirmations this will be a great holiday for me.

    Thanks again.

  58. teachable says:

    Lilla. I concur. Of course, it our responsibilty to ask ourselves, why we did we STAY in a r.ship with someone who was abusive (if indeed we were IN one with them, in my case, I wasn’t), however, that is our only responsibilty. The rest of it you point out very astutely. I actually put it to that facilitator, so are you saying if someone is randomly hit by a car, through no fault of their own, or gets cancer, & has never smoked that they have ‘attracted’ this? The answer was yes! I resigned ON THE SPOT knowing I could not possibly work with such crackpots! Insane!!!!!! LOL

  59. teachable says:

    And Lilla. I watched The Secret because I was so sick of hearing about it & the type of fanciful majical thinking you describe, where one can conjour up ones desires merely by ‘intently focusing on & wishing for them’ is EXACTLY what it espouses. ie a load of rubbish. People who believe this shite & then trot it out to abuse survivors ARE dangerous, for precisely the reason you point out. This clap trap blames the victim of abuse rather than the abuse perpetrator for them having been abused! Newsflash. ANYONE can be a victim of abuse at the hands psychopath or narrcissict because they don’t START OUT being ABUSIVE. What matters is RECOGISING the abuse as abuse & OPTING OUT (because by the time it gets to this point women are often quite confused about this due to the minf*ckery inflicted upon them in these toxic relationshits, & the fact that part of the abusers MO is to ISOLATE them from ppl who will give them OBJECTIVE feedback, & therefore they tend to doubt themselves).

    • SM says:

      Teach that is NO lie. The worst AC I ever dated had read ‘The Secret’ and believed that hogwash. He just really believed it had turned his life around when really all it did was give him an excuse to keep emotionally abusing people. His thought was that people abuse you because you are weak, not because they are azzholes. Noone is strong enough not to be abused, the strongest lady I know who would stand up to anyone including her husband, was shot to death by him. The only thing we can do is work on our self esteem and heed the red flag warnings we see in the beginning. My niece is a target because she suffers from the abuse and abandonment by her parents and is slightly autistic. We cannot change what happened to her, but we are trying our hardest to help her learn how to protect herself from people/classmates who try to take advantage of her.

      • Lilia says:

        Teach, I also watched The Secret and besides insulting to my intelligence, I found it boring as hell. It´s incredible, how otherwise educated people will believe that crap. I´d rather believe in fairies, at least that would be more fun, lol!

        Did you know that they sell programs to train your mind to change the color of your eyes? (And to attract lots of money, the perfect partner, reduce cellulite, whatever.) You just listen to a bunch of CDs and your eyes magically change their DNA.
        Wow, if something like that exists I´d want some CDs to make my children stop quarelling all the time, and behave like the von Trap kids!
        Just being sarcastic, of course, but the point is that these programs actually imply that it´s my “fault” that I was born with a certain eye color and that I´m not a singing nun in the Alps.

        • La Pintura Bella says:

          Teachable, I concur about this idea that WE attract what comes to us being total BS. Like you said, we are responsible for staying once we’ve seen the writing on the wall, but attracting an abuser??? That not only doesn’t make sense and is blaming the victim (something this society is oh so great at doing), it literally makes my blood boil!

          I am a rape survivor. So by this logic, I attracted my rapist??? Sure I did. I asked for it, too. My bad.

          Also, my father is a narc. He can be very emotionally and verbally abusive. Again, I attracted this? Seems to me in case #2 I was born into this and had no choice in the matter at all. None. Zilch, Nada.

          These theories, best-selling books and films can be very dangerous because the author, theorists, whoever don’t think their entire premise through beginning to end. They make the theory fit their desired outcome a lot of the time and don’t look at ALL of the ramifications of what they are spewing out as absolute.

          In the case of my rape, it took almost 30 years for me to finally believe that on some level I didn’t cause this horrible thing to happen to me. If we start believing that we are responsible for attracting everything that happens to us, society will end up dealing with a lot of rape survivors, crime victims, abuse survivors who buy into that and become even more emotionally damaged and require even more services to heal properly.

          Just my 2 cents.

        • K says:

          Lilia,

          LOL! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that way! It is a bunch of crap! I couldn’t finish it.

          It is amazing that reasonably intelligent people buy into it.

          I don’t get it, but *eh* to each his own.

    • K says:

      Teach,

      The most dangerous time in the relationshit is the beginning. ALWAYS, ALWAYS,ALWAYS. The disordered are master manipulators and many of them very seductive in technique. FLATTERY in heavy doses like a drug are given to her. The LOVE BOMBING is the biggest most dangerous sign of a disordered or other toxic individual. It is the height of their deception, where they build up the most lies and the biggest fantasies for her to fly away on. Many women think that he is “so wonderful” at this stage, when the truth is, that he is so manipulative, deceptive and exploitive. One of the main reasons women have a tough time getting out is BECAUSE she remembers the BEGINNING with him. If these people removed their masks from day one, they’d never have victims.

      As easily and as fast as they attach is equally as fast as they will DETACH. This is why I emphasize so much about going slooooooooooow in relationships. Some spaths can keep the mask on for up to a year, but that’s an exceptionally good spath, most red flag behavior shows itself from the very beginning if we have healthy boundaries, self respect and can clearly see another’s disrespect. His love bombing IS AN INSULT.

  60. blessd says:

    Wonderful!site .couldnt ve come a better time.i feel encouraged

  61. Linda says:

    Dear Lilia and Grace

    Many thanks for your comments and you both are absolutely right. I am not anywhere near ready to cope with having him come into the home he left so easily and neither are my daughters. As you can imagine, in the 4.5 years, they too became very close to him so it would be unfair on them. Our little boy is too young to understand this year and hopefully by next year, I will have accepted things.

    I am sorry to hear you have been through this a couple times Lilia. When my first husband left, I was relieved but not this time. I just loved this man so much.

    Anyway, out of the two relationships, at least I have the gift of my beautiful children.

    I don’t feel I’ll ever let myself be involved with another man, not least because I don’t want to be hurt again but I don’t want my children to be hurt again.

    In the meantime, I will only be contacting him regarding our son and will take on board your kind advice. I had a really good day today for which I thank God.

    Kind regards

  62. Janina Moe says:

    What I want to say to all the women on this site that have dated married or emotionally unavailable or non committal men is that both women are victims in the case of the mistress and wife of a man’s selfish emotionally abusive behaviors and dishonesty. Number 2: All women need to raise their self esteem and don’t ever think that you deserve sloppy seconds from a man. You should all treat yourself as your own princesses and Goddesses and should never put up with a man not giving you all of his undivided attention and love. If he is incapable of fulfilling your every need all the time, cuz he is married,unavailable, a workaholic,alcoholic,Mama’s boy or whatever send him packing. Learn to love a man that is worthy of your love cuz he has shown that he adores, appreciates and respects you. If none of these are present from your man, then you need to ask yourself ” What is wrong with you, for tolerating dysfunctional and disrespectful behavior from someone who calls himself a man? Cheaters are sissies that are insecure and need constant ego boosts by sleeping with more than one woman. Love yourselves first! These men have no regard for anyone’s feelings but their own, no matter what comes out of their mouth. Actions speak way louder than words in my world. God bless all of you and strength to my fellow sisters out there!
    Janina

  63. lo j says:

    To no fault of our own, our childhoods being dysfunctional/codependent /abusive/with parents who are personality disordered, we feel “familiar” with these men (and they with us), hence there is an initial attraction on both sides. I was in dysfunctional relationship after another (emotional abuse) while my other friends from healthier upbringings went on to have healthier relationships. They didnt even date whack jobs. So was I attracting/attracted to these guys? You betcha. It wasn’t bad luck. I wasn’t stupid. I had had some therapy, read all the books, but that unconscious familiar from my upbringing was still there. It does not mean we are LESS THAN. And it is something we can change. That’s empowering, freeing to me. And yes, these whack jobs are no longer attracted to me, well, not enough for attempts for my attention, and I certainly have no attraction to them.

    • grace says:

      LoJ
      Yep, after my third (I lose count) crappy encounter in a row I suddenly realised, no one is this unlucky!
      I wasn’t kidnapped or attacked or penniless. I,m not referring to those situtations. I had choices regarding who i got involved with. It,s very freeing.
      Being love bombed, fast forwarded, pushed for sex, put down, ignored, compared to other women would send me running now. I have Zero interest in that. I don,t like charm either. I no longer fall for any of it. It,s repellant. I forget now why I found it so fascinating, that,s how much a person can change.

    • K says:

      lo J

      I have been approached by a couple of them since ex AC. One of them was a fast forwarder. He was SO obvious to me. I remained mostly silent throughout our early exchanges. I just LISTENED. It was the most amazing feeling…being an observer and having acute awareness in red flag behavior. I saw it within twenty four hours and never went back to the place he worked again (a store I use to go to everyday). THAT was a freeing experience for me, because the excessive flattery and seductive talk as well as playing the VICTIM, were all there. With last AC, this kind of talk would have been perceived by me as flattery, interest…this time it sickened me. I was SO PROUD of myself for seeing and believing and trusting in myself. I know these men will appear in my life. They are everywhere, but it isn’t about their appearance or believing I attract them, it’s what I DO about it that matters.:)

  64. lo j says:

    I use “whack jobs” as a catch all. Not politically correct, my apologies, and yes, I was and can still be one from time to time. Not meant to be hostile.

  65. teachable says:

    K. I’m on the same page as you. I have 20+ years behind me un tge social work sector. I have worked the whole gammit of roles. My specialty areas were as follows: (complete with oodles of ongoing professional development training in these areas)

    counselling & support work with women & children who are survivors of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, financial, ie the lot)

    working with women who are survivors of the abuse & sufferers of mental conditions including bi-polar disorder, BPD, MPD (now dissociative identity disorder), schitzophrenia, AOD issues (& hence dual diagnosis clients with very complex presentations), & various other mood disorders

    Male sex offenders (including teenage male sex offenders & adult male sex offenders. Of the adults, I was more in a research & policy role & would train & advise staff & evaluate our programs one of which was for a residential re-integration program for adult male sex offenders with axis 1 diagnoses (primarily schitzophrenia) post release from prison.

    I understand completely that women who fall for the charms of a narc or a spath are likely to be operating at deficit in one or perhaps even multiple areas of their lives when such types first arrive on the scene, but this ought not be equated with neccessarily being ‘unhealthy’. In many cases it may simply be that someone has been single for a long time (nothing unhealthy about that if one has been holding out for the right reason, waiting for small children to grow older for example), or that someone is distracted by work & financial pressure (again unless EXTREME, not unhealthy & rather, just a fact of life sometime) or perhaps even widowed after a marriage of many years & therefore unaccustomed to dating so somewhat naive! Others are not in any of these sorts of situations (as opposed to someone who really IS unhealthy, ie codependent, for example, or suffering a mental illness of their own) & can STILL suckered by a narc! Hence, it shouldn’t be automatically assumed that someone who fell prey to a predator was unhealthy. Some perhaps may have been (as ppl are reconising here), whilst others simply were not (I would put
    myself closer to this end of the continuum).

    I also agree that the START of a r.ship is critical to working out just what you might be dealing with & for this reason I too, since my late teens, have always taken a LONG TIME to get to know ppl before getting intimate. This is most likely why I don’t have a trail of unhealthy relationships behind
    me. There just aren’t any. There has only been this one unfortunate experience, with someone I was NOT in a relationship with, whom I had feelings for based our past relationship which was a normal relationship & not at all abusive. Even then, my contact with this person after realising I was being emotionally abused this time around, was very minimal. Still it was enough to be damaging & I have been humbled & moved on.

    To everyone else, I can see I’ve stirred up a bit of a hornets nest. Those who see things as I do, for whatever it’s worth, IMO, I think you’re sane. Of course, there are many things which are our responsibilty. However let me be clear. An abusers abuse is NOT one of them.

    To each their own though & if others view things differently it is not my place nor desire to attempt to dissuade you from whatever you feel works for you.

    Just don’t anyone try to tell me that survivors of abuse are responsible for being abused because they ‘attract’ abuse & abusive ‘situations’ to them. I have never heard a
    bigger load of BS in my life & seeing as this is my area of professional expertise, I’ll take my two plus decades of training & experience over your opinion anyday.

    PS No-one is stuck here. Big assumptions they are that some people make! LOL

    • K says:

      Teach,

      You are right and I appreciate the clarification.

      With the survivors I’ve worked with, if there wasn’t issues that they had that were “unhealthy”, they were VULNERABLE, which is what you’re describing. Predators like women too who are a challenge, ie: “healthy” but vulnerable. The differences I see with these women is that they have a tendency to get out sooner than those who do not. I know there are exceptions to the rules, but I underscore the importance of not only boundaries, values moral but to also be acutely aware of vulnerabilities. Predators LOVE newly divorced women, lonely women (single a long time), widows, unhappily MARRIED women (challenge!), and even women who are successful in every area of their lives, but are VULNERABLE in ONE area. He will exploit it. Still, I find this to be unusual…If you’re aware of your vulnerabilities and boundaries, and you know what a predator does, and what he looks like, the chances are pretty slim you’ll become involved. Healthy women, who have a solid sense of themselves, and their vulnerabilities and know the behavior of these guys, can see their games relatively quickly.

      I’m impressed with your professional bio teach! And you’re on the disability track too? You seem to have much flexibility, yet at the same time, in working with survivors, it can be very stressful and draining work, even if a passionate work if you love it like I do…

  66. teachable says:

    And Lilla. You are RIGHT. Self awareness is KEY. If I was coming to BR, with a story of how I’d had multiple unhealthy relationshits, & was wondering to myself, how on earth did THAT just happen, it WOULD be time to say, hang on a minute, maybe problem here is ME. In that case it might that my ‘people picker’ was broken & I needed to fix it! That however is not my particular experience.

    BR is a blending pot of all comers. Indeed I would not want anyone going through the above process, to shy away from it, as if one is going through such a thing, that is a VERY important process to go through & remedy.

    However there are also ppl like myself, who have already well & truely done that work, but who not being perfect (is anyone? lol), have found themselves dealing with a single experience & have therefore chosen to revisit it in a new & different way.

    I think the main thing is for ppl to think & believe whatever works for them. I know what works for me & although my progress is slow, it is steady, & given the weight of the issues I’m sorting through, I’m doing ok. More than ok really. My counsellor is amazed how I keep going. I just smile & think if you think THIS is bad… LOL

    PS My sister responded very well to the bounderies I just put in place to ensure I don’t flo her or allow her to dump on me. Feeling very pleased with myself. I figure if I can nail this stuff with my dysfunctional family by the time I’m ready to start dating again, I’ll have just about earned a black belt in boundaries! LOL

  67. lo j says:

    Teachable … what do you mean when you say,”I just smile and think, ‘if you think this is bad?’”
    Not sure what the hornet’s nest you speak of is either. Can you explain?

  68. teachable says:

    Ick Lillia. Be very careful whose advice you decide to take on board (as I can see you already are). I think Nat gives heaps of much needed SENSIBLE advice too. That’s why I come here.

    The statue idea cracked me up. Clients used to give ME little tokens of appreciation, but I never got a statue! I do believe yr token for Nat trumps my little offerings SPADES! LOL

    And I’m glad there’s no hornet’s nest Nat. I got enough balls in air here without adding anymore! Specially not ones that STING! Ouchies! LOL x

  69. teachable says:

    I do have one embarressing little confession to make.

    Being ill an all, & sick in bed a lot of the time I got bored last week & put up (I’m so blushing right now) an internet dating profile. Actually, I didn’t want to post a profile, but you couldn’t do a casual ‘search’ without creating a free one, so I did. I got the idea of ‘just looking’ from Nat’s Ppl Supermarket post, & I was sooo bored, that when an advetisement crossed my screen saying, ‘look at this’, I thought, oh why not… I’m just looking.

    Anyway, my profile stated, ‘I’m not sure if I’m ready to jump into internet dating yet BUT I at least single & have been for quite a while’. What was so funny, was NEXT, Nat posts the article about ‘Buts’. I looked at a few profiles, & thought sheesh, there’s so many fella’s here, even if I did feel ready, how would I know where to even start. I then decided the whole thing was completely rediculous & took the profile down 24 hrs later. So THAT folks, was my great foray into internet dating!!! I really don’t feel ready yet so I’m glad I took the profile down. I’d a visit that week also from a friend who,is about to marry a lovely guy she met through internet dating, the second such one to do so, & I think that made me a bit curious too.

    Reckon I prolly just saved myself a whole lotta holiday season crapola right there though!!! LOL

    I might feel like I’m the ‘snail’ of BR b.c I’m taking things so slowly, but I DO have a lot going on which needs my attention first & WILL get there eventually. I believe, I believe, I BELIEVE!!! LOL

  70. teachable says:

    La Pintura Bella. I’m sending GIANT hugs through cyber space. Exactly as you describe is the issue. The ONLY person responsible for rape, is the rapist. That is not say though, that as survivors, we can’t learn self defence & ways of decreasing the likelihood/statistical probability of such a thing happening again. Even so, it can STILL happen again & if it does, rape survivors ought always know that they are NEVER to blame for the abhorrent criminal behaviour of others. T Xxx

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      Teachable:

      Thank you for the hug. Believe me, I know I’m not responsible for the rapist/abuser’s behavior. However, I know that there is a common tendency to blame oneself in spite of knowing it wasn’t your fault. Don’t know why that is… Perhaps it’s a warped way of searching for a reason that this happened to you…or the hard to die victim blaming that people still engage in because it makes them feel more in control that it could never happen to them. Or maybe it’s survivor guilt. Don’t know.

      I brought it up because of the whole “envision it and it will be” and the “you are responsible for what you attract” philosophies that were being debated earlier. As a way to demonstrate how a lot of this stuff sounds great until you get into the VERY broad spectrum of human behavior. These philosophies, to me, seem to forget that real evil does exist out there, that truly horrible, devastating things happen to really good people every day through no fault of their own.

      If only it were all that simple, BUT life is never simple!

      Thanks again for the hug.

  71. teachable says:

    Magnolia, I think you’ve worked some of yr majic here as I’m feeling much better & at least laughing at myself & my above foolish antics!

    Grace, Remberto & others, I did see yr posts & am happy to see ppl thinking about what is actually quite a critical issue. That is, where DO we draw the line at what we are & are not responsible for?

    I’ve said my bit, so no need to re-iterate. No doubt Nat will maybe post something on this at some stage also. I would remind ppl though that are some here who ARE survivors of experiences in childhood, they genuinely had no control over.

    What we CAN & indeed ought to choose, is how we might respond to similar experiences, now, as adults. :)

    PS LoJ I saw your post but have declined to reply based on your previous comments to me in the past, which I considered to be quite unwarrented. I wish you well.

  72. lo j says:

    I wish you well, too. I have great compassion for you, as your childhood experiences were horrific and I can’t imagine how you survived.
    But I have not seen anyone here say that a victim, of rape, abuse in childhood, and other horrible experiences were the fault of the victim. I wasn’t to blame for my childhood or the abuse I endured and neither were you. I don’t know if there are philosophies out there stating that, I haven’t seen it, (especially regarding childhood abuse), and I just didn’t see anyone here saying that. Maybe you were speaking of other ‘new agers’ outside of the group, but no one here seemed TO ME, to be saying that. I know this is something you are very passionate about and may have picked up on that in your comments instead of feeling like you were implying some of us completely disagreed with your ideas. (Which, btw, if we did, would not be ‘wrong’.)
    So there was no hornet’s nest. And my apologies to you, sincerely, for anything I have said to offend you, or others. I have stepped out of bounds on here a time or two, and do in life as well, but am looking at myself to see areas I personally need to correct and why I am triggered by certain situations. My intent with you is not to provoke. I would like to be able to comment or offer alternate ideas without it being taken as such.
    I’m sorry Natalie for going off topic.

  73. Sandy says:

    8 REASONS WHY TO NEVER EVER GET INVOLVED WITH A ASSCLOWN MM
    1.Dont spen another minute helping him live out 100% Happy Life
    2.You are Making it possible for him to stay in an unfulfilled Marriage.
    3.Make him ACCOUNTABLE
    4. If he can Fall for You..Someone else will to.
    5.Take back control and discover what his true intentions where.
    6.Believe In YOURSELF
    7.The meaning of STUPIDITY is to repeat the same behavior and expect a different outcome.
    8. DONT BE TEMPTED TO TXT OR CALL HIM,IT WILL ONLY REAFFIRM TO HIM THAT YOU CANT LIVE WITH OUT HIM.

    GET OUT AS SOON AS YOU CAN BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT LOOKING FOR AN EXIT FROM THEIR WIFE,THEY ARE ONLY LOOKING FOR AN ESCAPE.
    I was luck to escape my awfull experience of only being involved with this assclown MM of 6months of my involement with him. Its been 3months since i DUMPED this scum bag,NO CONTACT and i have to say it gets better each day knowing I finally to control of my respect and love for myself.
    TO ALL OF YOU WOMEN OUT THEIR WHO ARE JUST GETTING INVOLVED WITH A MM OR THINKING ABOUT IT. FOR GODS SAKE DONT…RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN FROM THESE PLAYERS SMASH THEIR EGO AND DUMPED ONCE AND FOR ALL.
    Hang in their ladies and DONT EVER ALOW ANOTHER ASSCLOWN MM INTO YOUR SOUL,CUZ YOU ARE JUST THEIR TEMPORAY ESCAPE.. GOD BLESS OF OF YOU

    • swissmiss says:

      Sandy –

      Excellent point on ESCAPE versus EXIT. Driving around in the sunshine today, I thought, when I was with the MM I held the power to destroy the lives of several people, including my own. There were many actions I could have taken–demanding he leave, dying a slow death by waiting, telling his wife. I am so glad I ended it.

      I just finished Nat’s book and see I was an Unavailable, who picked an Unavailable. Anytime one of us would talk about leaving our spouses and having a future together, the other individual would draw back. How many times did he say, “I am here for the taking. Do you want me or not?” and I would answer not yet, I am not ready. Then of course, when I WAS ready, he offered ‘friendship’ and I went NC, where I have remained. So I can’t blame him for the roller-coaster. I helped build it.

      My point is: even though we were each married and Unavailable, we did not walk away from this affair so breezily. Not everyone gets off Scot-free. The experience has left each of us haunted and conflicted.

  74. K says:

    Lo J

    I see lots of stuff here I don’t agree with and I know some don’t agree with my viewpoints either. I don’t agree with all of teach’s stuff, nor even Natalie’s. We all have different experiences and they can all be contributions to helping others to recognize things about themselves through the sharing of our experiences.

    I certainly understand triggers. Any mental health professional, or someone well schooled in PTSD would understand that too. It happens, but recognizing it is very important so that you can identify them, and learn to work with it.

    I’ve been working with survivors of severe abuse from disordered people for two years. I’ve heard and seen some really WILD and crazy shit out of abusers, but I KNOW undoubtedly that none of the abuse is their fault. We don’t make an abuser abuse. He is what he is, but when we come to awareness about it and we know what it is, well…that’s where the work really begins. I’ve seen aware survivors move forward only to pick up another disordered one. Something wasn’t finished, a lesson wasn’t learned, but each of them KNEW, because they had AWARENESS what they were doing. Again, they weren’t responsible for the abusers actions, but they were for their involvement in totally blowing off red flag behavior.

    Obviously,as children, we are not. And it’s tragic.

    I hope you continue to move through your healing process. :)

  75. lo j says:

    K … abslutely agree

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!