man holding a phoneIn another excerpt from my ebook The No Contact Rule, I highlight the age old activity of wondering what he’s thinking. Between adding more meaning to his behaviour and judging things based on your own actions or on those of ‘normal’ people, it’s easy to expend a lot of mental energy and particularly when you’re already in NC, it’s important to try and get some perspective so you don’t get drawn into the madness of inconsistency…

Part of the process of NC is that as part of the natural progression of your grieving and healing, you’ll feel inclined to wonder what the hell he was thinking when he approached you to get back together or persistently attempted to make contact with you after you cut him off.

Whatever you think he’s thinking, you probably need to divide that by ten…at least….

You will likely try to imagine what you would or wouldn’t do and then be confused by his actions because when you rationalise and compare his behaviour with your own or with others, to you it defies logic that someone would say or do things that they don’t mean. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world. People are not always honest and sometimes, people believe they are being honest ‘at the time’ but they’re distanced from reality and they don’t think about the wider implications of their actions.

If you’re involved with someone who keeps hounding you to get back together only to disappoint you all over again, or who won’t leave you alone when you cut him off and then disappears or even gets nasty on you once you make contact, you’re with someone who reacts to their own fears and panic and says and does what he thinks will likely achieve him getting whatever he wants. If this means that he shuts you up, buys some more time, or very simply, finds himself back in the driving seat controlling the flow of things, then so be it.

He won’t be concerned about the casualties en route.

He’s very ‘of the moment’. He reacts and chases a feeling. He sees something, he wants it. Something doesn’t dance to his beat, it suddenly seems more attractive and recreates what he perceives as a feeling of desire in him. The fear and the panic he feels when he is not in control of you or how the relationship has ended, gets misinterpreted as a signal that he wants you, when in actual fact, he just wants to be in control and feel reassured that he can still count on you to be there.

He’s a flip flapper and even though he can’t commit to being with or without you, he wants you there as an option. Interestingly, his ego will want you to consider him to be your only option.

The likelihood is that when he pursues you after you cut contact or tell him that you want things to be over, he either believes (briefly) that he does actually want you and says that he will be and do and say whatever is needed to get back on side, or he knows exactly what he is intending on being and doing, but he says whatever is needed to draw you in, because his ego can’t cope without the reassurance that you’re still there.

He’s not thinking about you; he’s thinking about him. Whatever he needs at that time, whether it’s:

to be in control, to get confirmation that you still want him, to get a shag, to get money, to get a bed for the night, to get away from another woman, to have a shoulder to lean on by treating you like an armchair psychologist, to remind himself that he’s not alone, to make sure all the members of his fan club are still intact, that you’re not the one for him but you’ll do for now;

He feels that surely you’ve seen his behaviour for what it is so you know that he cannot give you what you want.

He is thinking about serving his needs not yours.

If he was thinking about you and your needs, he’d realise that he shouldn’t start something that he can’t finish and avoid putting you in any further pain.

This is something I refer to as faking a future with you so that he can get what he wants in the present. This is exactly what he’s thinking about.

After he chases, it suddenly occurs to him that your expectations of him may have increased to accommodate his pursuit of you or any promises that he has made. At this point he will behave like an asshole or slowly, and very passive aggressively, returning to his previous behaviour, so that it suddenly creeps up on you and find yourself back at square one. He has effectively managed down your expectations again and disappointed you.

He’s not thinking, or if he is thinking, he’s thinking about himself. He’s thoughtless, and that’s not exactly a great trait to have, and he also thinks he can talk and charm his way around. He may not have enough empathy to realise how deeply in emotional debt you are because he is not experiencing any, or only a little pain. This means he cannot comprehend that you are not coping with the pain.

If someone doesn’t know what was wrong in the relationship or understand how they have hurt you, they will continue to act without thought or regard because they have no understanding of what they have done to cause you pain. If this guy is never going to get it, this means that you’re wasting your time going back.

Your thoughts?


FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

40 Responses to So…What is he thinking when he keeps making contact or tries to get back together?

  1. am says:

    Very true. These men amaze me that they can go months, years, etc without making an emotional investment… it is unnatural and unbelieveable that they will pretend to in the relationship for lengths of time and yet have not an iota of feeling invested. I suppose on some level, us girls know they arent invested but think logically that they wouldnt still be with us, if they werent. Such a trick the unconscious mind plays to make us believe that. I was just watching the 20/20 with the wife of the cheating Governor Sanford. It amazed me that she seemed to know and accept his lack of investment in their relationship and how he so blatently would do just as he pleased, not taking her feelings into regard. It is almost unreal how some of these men are so completely disconnected from their behavior and responsibilty to others.

  2. Wow! How eerie. When I opened your email and saw the title of this post right after getting an email from someone I went out with last year. What are the odds of that? He wanted to get together for dinner after we haven’t seen each other for over six months. Truthfully, I like hanging out with him as a friend, but I don’t want a romance with him. I like the points you make in this article.

  3. Liliflower says:

    This post could not have arrived in my inbox at a more appropriate time! With two of these AC’s trying to make contact with me in the last 24 hours. It was starting to wear me down. Thanks to your post, I can maintain NC with renewed vigour!

  4. Tigger says:

    Thank you – amazing timing. After more than a month of no contact from me and a week of no contact from him (last contact was last Friday when his best friend texted that he was missing me), I have just received another text from him “Please talk to me”. And no I’m not going to… he chose to date other women not once, not twice but 4 times! Thanks for keeping me strong.

  5. Eos says:

    So true! Simple and sweet and to the point. Fabulous words and promises. Flowers, candy, jewelry, cards, vacations……….only to be disappointed again. It all boils down to bribery. He kept me suspended on a string with such actions. The action I never saw was true commitment or empathy towards the pain caused by his own fears and the pain that he caused in me by repeatedly destroying stable ground and trust. I’m the be all and end all when I have nothing to do with him or his bribes. When I’d give the benefit of the doubt, let my heart melt toward him, all was fine for a time. Until……The cycle begins again.
    I’m not a stickler for any religion but I like to draw upon wise words that have been written. Jesus said upon the cross “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He was begging mercy for the ignorant. That would be for me and him and all. If we learn we can consider ourselves closer to understanding, closer to religion and to God or the universe or what ever else you believe. Yes the people we love can be ignorant. They don’t get it and are far away from getting it. I try to have sympathy and compassion, and empathy but from a distance now. I can’t make him see, or feel, or relinquish his own pain. It’s sad, it’s a fact, and it’s his own torment to bear alone. I’m working on mine. Feel sympathy but don’t get dragged into propping him up. The kindest thing that you can do for your self or for the ex is allowing them to discover (or not) their own ignorance, They may never get that point. It’s not your job to make them see. They will or they won’t. You will not be with them if they do or don’t. You knew them when and are wise not to hold on until “if”, Just take a deep breath and let go and have faith that it will be alright.

  6. Rosemary says:

    Once again, this hits the nail on the head. Very true and insightful. I have found these articles very helpful.

  7. Trinity says:

    Thank you Nat, perfect timing. Like the other women I to was starting to feel warn down. I think it’s been about 6 months since he walked out and 3 months if NC. I’ve been hounded quite a bit and he seems to always try to get in my face @ work. It never made me feel like I wanted to contact him back but it does confuse me and makes me expend way to much energy trying to make sense of it. Even that doesn’t help a girl move on and frankly it’s upsetting for me when he acts this way. I’ve noted from day dot that all his actions comments have been purely based on what he wants, how he feels, what he needs. Such a very selfish man. “hey I’m going to break your heart, show little empathy on how your feeling, push for a friendship, stuff that up that by still blowing hot and cold, claim I understand u now need time away, get in your face and harrass you, then hand you an ultimatium of being friends now or you can no longer keep your friendships with my family” what a joke. I ended up through his behaviour @ work being manipulated into sending an email to explain the friggin obvious, I explained what he had done, how he had behaved and what I was trying to do. He claimed he had no idea why I hadn’t been communicating with him, yet he had harrassed a friend of mine to get answers and she explained in full, then sent me an email stating ” I know you need time out and I understand completly and will respect your wishes, your often in my thoughts” did you like that last but he threw on to try and get me to have hope? So when he claimed he had no idea, I called him in that lie and you no what he did? Changed the subject! I ended the 30 min email conversation at that point. I have lost all respect for this man , u see him now for exactly what he is and always was and I think that scares the crap out if him. That the one decent and kind person he had in his life, the one person that stood by him and believed in him now thinks he us a worthless man. Unfortnetly I don’t think this is the end, I’ve had about two weeks grace but I can see his pattern forming again. Starts with the staring, going to the side of the office where I am, him being loud with friends, then an email and trying to smile or say hello followed by cracking the shits like a child when I don’t respond. What worries me is he has used many things to poke his nose into my life, the last real hold he had on me was his family. Now that I know the type of person he is I wonder what’s next? Last week I went for a walk with a friend by work, what were the odds, there he was with a friend. Now our normal reaction was to not look, not create a scene and by pass him my walking a different direction. His reaction was to crane his kneck, making really obvious he had scene me, trying to get our attention and the kicker? He looked so happy and excited to see me. Very confusing and odd behaviour. What I’ve really noticed is come the weekend or holidays, he leaves me alone (thankfully) but what this tells me is that what Nat states is so true. He is reacting off emotions when he sees me, he wants control, he wants to believe I’m still that loyal, loving and authentic person he once had the good fortune of knowing. If I called him right now and said ” let’s get back together” he would say no. If I’m out of site, I’m out of mind. I believe him to be one of the most immature, selfish, manipulative, confused, anxious, lost and lacking in empathy man I have ever encountered. Whew!!’ I think I’m done :) time for a cup if tea :) take care ladies xxx

  8. freeatlast says:

    All very true and perfect timing. I had a text yesterday too!!!

    No way on earth am I going back to him again!!

  9. Lisa says:

    I can’t believe the timing of this one. Like everyone else, I’ve been no contact — haven’t seen him for a month, but last night at 2:30 am he called. . . and again today. Can I send him this post? I’ve been disappointed so many times in the last 7 1/2 years — can’t take anymore.

    • Tombochan says:

      Hope you didn’t send him this post. He won’t get it. He’ll just try to use this information to convince you he’s not like this. That he’s different. That you’re relationship is unique. No it isn’t. Hope you stay strong – I’m finding this the hardest thing I’ve done in my life but bit by bit I realise what is really going on.

  10. raven says:

    “He’s very ‘of the moment’. He reacts and chases a feeling. He sees something, he wants it. Something doesn’t dance to his beat, it suddenly seems more attractive and recreates what he perceives as a feeling of desire in him. The fear and the panic he feels when he is not in control of you or how the relationship has ended, gets misinterpreted as a signal that he wants you, when in actual fact, he just wants to be in control and feel reassured that he can still count on you to be there.”

    Actually I have to say that is horribly close to the bone because actually I think that’s what I have done too. Part of my journey on this site is realising how EU I have been too. Not comfortable to connect to, but it’s good for me I’m sure.

  11. Trinity says:

    @ Eos : The action I never saw was true commitment or empathy towards the pain caused by his own fears and the pain that he caused in me by repeatedly destroying stable ground and trust.

    The above comment really is true for many of us. I was accused of not trusting him, to him that meant ” I’d never cheat on you” however what he failed to see was that he repeatedly destroyed a stable ground, solid foundation that I’d spent months building with him and trust. Trust in his emotionally stability, his commitment to me, us and even himself. I resent that I spent so much energy, time and hard work trying to build a strong foundation with him only to have him think nothing of kicking it all down again and again. He might like wasting time, money and throw away things, people so easily but most of us don’t!

  12. Half Happy Soul says:

    WOW, Natalie, thank you!!! IT is my third day of NC and your words “hit” me – “He’s a flip flapper and even though he can’t commit to being with or without you, he wants you there as an option. Interestingly, his ego will want you to consider him to be your only option”.
    When I mentioned to AC that I met someone else and that new guy is serious about me, AC doesnt want to know me!!! HE wanted me only if I regard him as my Number ONE Priority, but I was his option for two years!!! He stopped contacting me, but it is for the best, as it will be easy for me to keep my NC…

  13. roastchicken says:

    once again you are soo right! my ex used to excuse his behaviour by saying ‘i did what i thought was right at the time’! Whether that was promise me all the things i wanted to hear in order to get back together or end the relationship when he couldn’t live up to my expectations (which, to be honest, were what anyone would expect from a half decent guy). He was giving me a little warning by saying this.. actually telling me he only lived in the moment. He was manipulative, lacked empathy.. i am on month 7 of no contact, and haven’t felt this good about myself for years :)

  14. natasha says:

    like a few others have said…perfect timing! i have received a few texts over the past week from the ex (none of which i responded to) about a month of NC, the last one was this afternoon so as you can imagine i literally laughed out loud when i checked my email and saw the title of this article. just like trinity mentioned, i too have lost any and all respect i had for this man. he is a joke and really it’s just sad….but that is not my problem anymore thanks to finding this site. it gave me the final push i needed to end a very unhealthy relationship BEFORE i found myself reduced to a shell of my true self. you are my idol natalie :)

  15. Stephanie says:

    Thank you, Natalie.

  16. Lissa says:

    I am so very confused by this man! I have told him twice that it needs to be over, but he almost instantly goes back to acting as if nothing happened. And I have allowed him to , thinking that he has learned something about what I want and need from our big blow-outs. But I am seeing it is as if he has NO CLUE…..did he NOT hear goodbye?? How can one be dumped, then call the next day as if nothing has changed??
    Again, I know I allowed it to happen….it is just such odd behavior!

  17. Vanna says:

    As a male member of our species, I can strongly attest to that. Unfortunately, the majority of people who I see that in today are methheads.

  18. Vanna says:

    I never really questioned what people really meant when they state they’d do anything for anyone until I read your post. Well, at least it didn’t seem like I did. I never got a chance to look at behavior, etc in a normal context (free of meth and other illicit drugs) until I took myself back to school and away from my “home environment.” It’s different. but still, no excuses for them though.

    By the way, I’m new to your blog.

  19. trinity says:

    @ lisa, i know exactly what you mean. A long time ago i had one X who would take off for months or id ask him to leave. Then he would call sometimes up to 6 months later and act like nothing had changed. Almost like he was continuing a converastion we started 6 months prior. Very, very odd indeed. Id ask Nat about that one but i can only assume its just another pasive aggressive thing from a Mr Unavailable/Assclown. Its like my recent X cheerily saying “Hi, hows it going *big Smile*” at work and me thinking “doesnt he understand how much he hurt me and therefor how much i want him out of my life, i dont like or respect you, leave me alone!” Like Nat said it seems to be just a simple complete lack of empathy. “Derrrrr why wont she talk to me” I love the way if you dont want to be friends or want to chat suddenly they are the wounded souls and your the horrible person. Take care XXXXXX

  20. Sophia says:

    I am so very, very confused. After 2 months of not seeing him, 1 month of NC, I answered the phone, not recognizing the phone#. It was someone he works with phone. He professed his undying love for me, wants me to move in, get married, whole nine yards. I’m sentimental, crying, tell him no way. He says please just talk to me. I say give me a couple of days to think about it. He comes over 2 days later. Talked, and talked. He spent the night. Went home for a couple of days,came back and spent the weekend with me. Just left.
    My head is spinning. I told him there is no way I will consider any of his proposition unless we go for councilling. We have broken up 5 times in the past almost 4 years. He says take a couple of days to think about whether or not I want a future with him and if I do, then he will arrange and pay for us to go to councilling. He wants us to forget the past and start all over. I am to blame for half of the breakups as I was EU at those times. I have been going to therapy and realize why I end the relationship when it was just because my needs were not being met or he wasn’t paying enough attention to me and why I was so insecure(this goes back to my childhood..abuse)
    I know I have changed thanks to therapy…can he change too?
    Sorry, just realized I should have written this in a blog.

  21. trinity says:

    Hey sophia,
    Just do what feels right i guess. You broke up for reasons and many times. Have they been resolved, can they be resolved? Also whats the rush, why dont you just be friends for awhile? See how you feel? I always notice when they want you back it always seems rushed, almost like they no they have to keep you confused to make “perhaps” a mistake in going back and wasting yet more time. Gathering by how confused you are, id say take your time coz it means you have concerns. If he really wants you he will wait. Hope this helps.

  22. ANNABELLE says:

    I am half way through the ebook. Mr Unavailable and the fall back girl.
    The more I read the more I felt the pain of the past just leave my body. It was as if you had been following me around for the last 2 and half years detailing my relationship with this man. I always thought he was EU and I even told him so when we finally slipt for the 4th time. and well….didnt he throw a little tanty about that! I wasa dismissing his feelings etc.. yada yada yada .. Since reading your book it has all become crystal clear to me. I just didnt know better.. and the status quo.,,, how spot on was that ? I always said to him.. i feel like your drip feeding me affection. I thought I was going mad. He said it was all in my head and my biggest enemy was my own thoughts.. He couldnt even tell me he loved me… rather choosing to scream at me saying I was needy etc and saying he shouldnt have to say it. Oh what a sense of relief i felt to read this book and I am only half way through. I can finally see the light. Fool me once .. shame on you (him) .. fool me twice…. shame on me… I have learnt to spot the signs now.. When I see they signs.. i will walk away.,,, and not look back. I cannot thank you enough as you really have helped me to see the light. I feel at peace now. First time in a long time. Annie

  23. skelly says:

    NML, amazing post! It was just the reality slap I needed to hear today. I have spent 5 years with a flip-flapping assclown who slowly destroyed my self esteem. I finally cut contact after reading your articles and to gain perspective. He is a user, he doesn’t care about me and it’s all about him. This article reinforces every doubt I had in the back of my mind and I’m finally moving on and healing. I look forward to every article, it gives me strength!

  24. Tammy says:

    What is it when he said “i’m bored” He said he is sick of hearing the same stories over and over every day about my work, and then he said his work too. That it’s all we talk about and nothing changes. He also said that even though he has said some very mean things to me that some of it rings true. That he has been trying to get rid of me for years. He said my constant accusations of him cheating have worn him down and the last time we had a huge fight about it changed something in him. Then after a week of no contact by him or me, he sent me an email saying “do you want to have a coffee and talk” when I agreed we met at our favorite coffee shop and he already had a coffee and said he didn’t want to go in there. Long story, but I told him I wouldn’t wait for him and he said he still wanted to date. ????? and that he didn’t want anyone else. I’m going crazy worrying about all this.

  25. Cheyne says:

    yes, the timing is perfect for this post! Right before Valentine’s Day these EUMS make contact to see where you’re at. Mine, very passive aggressively invited me to a party he’s having next Saturday. The invite was a mass email that he sent to 100 of his friends! But no personal phone call or email in over 2 months. Unbelievable!

  26. trinity says:

    @ Tammy and all other wonderful ladies. Thanks to Nat ive started to realise that anytime i couldnt make a decision, felt confused, overwhelmed, didnt trust that person, didnt know what to do, felt worried, thought i was going crazy, felt hurt or upset was because he was all wrong for me and doing wrong by me. It was my beautiful womens intuiation, gut instinct, subconscience screaming at me or what ever you want to call it kicking in, trying to protect me. If you feel worried or confused, step back and take your time, whats the rush. These men always try to rush us and again maybe its because 1. they’re acting on their own anxiety, fears, keen jerking to emotions instead of sorting them out for himself he drags you into the drama and 2. they want you confused, because while your all confused you make poor choices and you dont get time to see the real person he is. I think that scares the crap out of these guys “what if she finally realises im a complete loser” I dont think they can bare to know that someone who was once idilosing them now sees them for exactly what they are.After all most AC or EUM are controlling, so all that effort of trying to control us gets thrown out the window, must drive them nuts and im glad it does ! Take your time girls, dont make a decision until you can do so clearly, dont be bullied or rushed into things. With time to yourself to actually think instead of being confused and rushed by the X, you might find that your better off without him. Have a great day girls :) XXXX

  27. Sheerah says:

    Thanks for your blogs, but also for the comments.
    I’m going on day 2 of NC. I have to say it’s been much easier than the past; as I’ve been unsuccessful before. My X never let me go; it was always about him. He wants to give me scraps and crumbs but expects me to wait until he “comes around”. He needs time he says.. he always does this. He’s done and said horrible things to me, and I’ve always forgiven him. And then when I react, and defend myself, he takes those words, twists them, and uses them against me, and making those words bigger (mountains out of molehills). I’m astounded, frankly. But that only tells me he’s making excuses to divide himself from me. A person that wants to be with you will do everything to bring you closer, not make problems bigger and escalate. It’s like I’m constantly washing my hair, wash, rinse, repeat… wash, rinse, repeat.. yet somehow I always end up feeling dirty.. in the end. This guy is a piece of work. He always drew me in telling me everything I wanted to hear (we’re LDR) and gave me hope. But when I returned home or he did, it was clockwork, a couple weeks go by and boingo, he’s back to being apathetic and an assclown.
    I don’t know where my strength is coming from. Maybe I’m just exhausted and drained and am finally finding myself again. Years ago I never would allow any of this behavior. I was never this girl. But after a difficult divorce, with children and many responsibilities I’ve become an easy target for people that prey on the ones that lost their self-esteem. I feel robbed and violated. I feel betrayed and disgusted. I finally trusted someone again, and it was taken away once more. I’m losing hope in “man”kind. And I don’t want to carry these issues to any future relationships. I know now I need to divide myself from men in general to find me again. So I can be happy, and carry that happiness to the next person, instead of old bitterness and reflecting on pasts and comparing. I won’t lie though, I’ll always be guarded, no matter how much time passes. It’s difficult for me to trust anyone already, and this really sunk me.
    My current X wanted time and kept calling me a great friend. He said that we should just be this again, but, I just feel we’re always taking one step forward and 3 steps back. I never feel much progression. I did for a short period of time the last couple of months when I visited, but I was secretly preparing what may be the inevitable, and I’m disappointed again to be correct. He said that he just needed more time and space. But as I said, he repeatedly does this and I find that it’s just some lame excuse to give himself the freedom he wants between visits and so on. He would only create a scenario of love, comfort and security when another visit (by him or me) is upcoming. But I feel it’s only escalated to some fairytale.. that I’ve been living an illusion with him for so long I failed to wake up.
    I woke up this week. I called him and he seemed rather happy (but strangely so, almost too playful), with is “Hello”.. and I was rather slow with my words saying “I called to ask for a break. I can’t do this anymore.” I made it clear that I’m tired of getting scraps, that I will repeat that it’s black and white, no grays. You either stand by me 100% or leave me 100%. I can’t do this rollercoaster, I’m physically ill from it, and it’s affected me in such a way I cannot cope in my own life. I need to focus on more important things: i.e. my kids, myself, etc.
    He only muttered “uh huhs”.. and it frustrated me more. He said NOTHING reassuring or loving after over 2.5 years together as a couple (friends for 4 years+).. when I asked him what he thought, he only said “What do you want from me? I have nothing to say.”.. I was hurt again. I allowed that simply by asking. Certainly if he wanted to say something he would have. I told him when he wants this over (as he threatened), then so be it, and stop writing me and asking me “How are you?”.. What do you think I am?? Stupid ass question.
    I also told him if he’s not willing to be there for me, then he must MUST leave me alone completely so I can heal, and get better. I’ve tried this in the past and he NEVER respected my wishes. He ALWAYS controlled if we were to separate or be together. If I wanted to end it he would laugh. If I wanted to get back together he said no. Or wait. I never had say in anything about us. I told him that also.
    At the end of the phone call I said “don’t you have one nice thing to say to me?” He said “no what do you want me to say?”.. That choked me up, and I got so upset and I didn’t want him to hear me cry even though it was in my voice;
    I said “That’s really lovely. 2.5.. last week you told me I was your one and only love, now I’m just shit again..” and it’s true. Hot and cold for 1.5 years he’s played this game. I hung up on him repeated “Now you can leave me alone for good”. And he has.. but it hasn’t been long. And I don’t know when (I know he will because he’s that controlling) he’ll try to make contact with me. I know eventually he’ll be lonely and bored and seek me out.
    So far I’m OK which is a big deal for me. But I don’t know how strong I will be when he tries. I hope I don’t fall into his game again.
    Sorry for the long letter but I don’t have anyone to talk to. And I’ve become very unhealthy over this. That’s changed this week. It’s time for me now.
    Thanks for listening.

  28. Sheerah says:

    btw, he was surprised by my asking for a break.. he said “what??” in a confused way.. and i can’t believe it. he’s been dragging me for weeks now, and i’ve been asking him to please.. let’s work this out. life is too short. we love each other. so then, why is he surprised? did he think i’d idle by like some little puppy waiting on his beck and call??? seriously?

  29. Sheerah says:

    well he just wrote me.. what a surprise. it has been barely 2 days. we have worked on many projects together and i noticed him floating around, he was witness to many changes. now he’s writing me about it and complimenting me on it, not only to contact me but to reassure me that he’s not upset about the change, and/or that he likes it.
    the worst part is he simply cannot respect any of my wishes. i asked him to leave me alone, that meant in every count.. every way. and he always is sure to try to weasel back in so he can try to manipulate and control again. so exhausting. i didn’t reply and won’t. as he said.. “what do you want? i have nothing to say…”..

    • Sugarbaker says:

      Hi Sheerah, I have read your posts and Trinity’s along with all of the other comments on this board and have submitted a long comment of my experience that may help you to know that you are not alone. Like Trinity said, do not reply no matter how hard it is especially since it hasn’t been that long for you, at least it wasn’t at the time you submitted your post. I hope you are holding up okay. I am so happy to have found this article today about the no contact rule and wish I would have adhered to that rule a very long time ago! If you make back to this board I would love to know if you were able to avoid replying. If you didn’t, don’t be embarrassed, these men have a way of getting the best of us and there is always opportunities in these types of situations to get it right for the final time.

  30. Trinity says:

    @Sheerah. Hey :) please don’t reply!!! Everyone women here on this blog understands all to well what you have been through and what your going to go through. I’d suggest reaching out to friends, reading all Nats stuff on the no contact rule, blowing hot and cold, drip feeding information and when someone fakes a future. Her e book on the no contact rule is really helpfull also. Stay strong, reach out to friends and take care of you. But please do not contact him. This is you taking back some power (he won’t like it so expect more contact and tantys) this is your first step at feeling empowered, confident and better about you. Honest :) take care :)

  31. Andrew Wilson says:

    Hey there. Thanks for this. This completely describes the relationship that I have just ended only it’s the other wayvaround. She’s been doing the on off thing with me and it was completely doing my head in. I wondered how could she be so in love with me one minute and so cold and heartless the next. It was sooo draining and tough and I barely kept my sanity together through it all. This has helped me to realise that it wasn’t me she was responding to it was her own fears of inadequacy and rejection. While it hurts to know that I wasn’t truly loved it helps me to be able to move on.
    Thanks again!

  32. Sugarbaker says:

    Wow! Reading this article and the comments on this board has left me feeling relieved while at the same time I feel like crying for myself and over those who have had the same experiences as I have. As briefly as possible I would like to describe my experience with an ex for the past eight years. For the first six years we would break up and get back together over and over again and each breakup always seemed to be more painful and bitter as time went on. I finally got to the point where I had enough of being cheated on and being the fall back girlfriend whenever he would get bored with a woman or end a relationship with them. During this whole time, I dated very little between the breakups and had a short-term relationship that ended badly and I always found myself wanting to go back to this guy and blamed myself for many of the problems that existed in our relationship.

    To add insult to the injury, my self-esteem went into the toilet and I started to drink to relieve the constant pain and loneliness I felt and have now become dependant upon alcohol to keep the pain I feel internally at bay. For nearly three years I managed to stay away from this guy despite his several attempts (long periods in between) of contacting me via email wanting to get back together again which would leave me feeling conflicted and confused. I would respond to him telling him no and then feel like crap for doing so always wondering if things would be different between us because of the time spent apart and thinking that maybe both of us had grown up. Earlier this year I gave in to the temptation believing that I must have unfinished business with him. He seemed like a changed sincere man that was so happy to hear from me and I was willing to take that chance again. He charmed me right away and despite a few things, I was back into the game with him only to have that door slammed in my face again two days before my birthday back in April.

    Before that happened he told me that he was looking for a long-term relationship with me and more happy than he had been in along time because were together again but it didn’t take long before he fell back into the same patterns again. I began to see that I was settling and that he somehow was managing to manipulate me into accepting less than what I deserved from a man when in a serious relationship. Everything was on his terms and I saw clearly the controlling and manipulative behaviors that I hadn’t clearly recognized before. I should consider myself lucky that he dumped me out of the blue during a heated argument that escalated beyond what it should have been on his part as a result of him making plans with someone else on the evening of my birthday and not wanting to do anything to make it up to me.

    Yes, I cried the day after and am still hurt and have been trying to get through this again. However, I am resolved to never letting him do this to me again. My self-esteem has taken another blow over this and I hate that my thoughts are consumed with getting over him while still trying to function and deal with my day-to-day responsibilities without letting on to the enormous hurt I feel.

    One of the things that I have been bothered with is whether or not he will contact me again and how I will handle that. I now know that the only way to handle him is to not respond to him at all not even to say never again. I doubt that will be the end of it but at least I now understand exactly what I need to do to avoid ever falling back into this repeated pattern again. I also hope that I can break the pattern of forming relationships with men that are not emotionally capable of being in a relationship and spot the warning signs before I get hooked into another situation that is hard to get away from. I wish it was as easy as it is when dealing with salespeople or hearing fantastic deals that sound too good to be true and wonder why it is so easy to see through people like that than it is to see through men that are not good boyfriend material.

  33. JJ says:

    @ SugarBaker

    Six years is too long to just be in a relationship especially if we are not moving forward to marriage. We have got to stop letting these ass clowns come into our lives. They are only getting free refills without dealing with any of their own issues and constantly keep treating us the same. When you close that door you need to leave it close. I have an ex of mine that I dated over 5 years ago who has recently tried to contact me. I have not answered any of his calls and don’t intend to ever! Why because an ex is an ex for a reason and this is not the ex that I just broke it off with almost 2 months ago. He’s probably waiting for the chance to pop back up as well but he won’t have any access bacback into my life. You have to mean NC when you enforce it. Reconnecting months later doesn’t mean that anything has changed.

    • Sugarbaker says:

      Hi JJ,

      Unfortunately, I have learned that the hard way again! I am a smart woman but have not been the most smartest with the ex. I do not intend to and will not contact this person if they contact me even to say no to him and wish that I would have done that in the first place. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience!

  34. T says:

    I feel a little better after reading this article. My ex-AC broke up with me 2 and a half months ago and after the breakup/date I moved out of the house, I find out from someone at work he had been cheating on me and was involved with her fulltime, hence, him leaving me (and this was after me asking him repeatedly if anyone else was involved). Not only that but I also found out later he got the girl pregnant and they are getting married end of next month. Imagine that. All the damage he caused.
    He started about 2 weeks ago texting me on the regular after weeks of NC. I only broke NC when I first heard the news as he tried hard for me not to find out all he’d done.
    I know what he’s up to and I know he’s just thinking of himself when contacting me. He knows he’s f**ked up, he knows this girl trapped him by getting pregnant almost immediately after they began seeing each other and he’s “missing his old life” and thinks he can play nice now and smooth things out with me.
    I knew and know him initiating contact is all about him and what he wants/needs but its good to read about it to have that confirmed. What an idiot. He dug his own grave, he can lie in it.

    • Used says:

      Maybe he WANTED to get her pregnant, too. Highly likely, given the pregnancy occurring so soon! He wanted to be married to the idea of having or being with her, and so got her pregnant to tie her to him; and later did the deed (got married), making it all official.

      Don’t you go be un-official with him now!

      • T says:

        Not sure. He has a 10 year old son already and when his son moved in with us fulltime early last year, he saw it as an inconvenience. This pregnancy is another inconvenience. I got pregnant with him when we first started dating just like this other woman did but I decided that it was in my best interest not to have it. And I’m happy I didn’t. I believe this other woman clearly has her own self esteem issues, got sucked in by his charm but at the same time knew what she was getting into with him b.c she knew he was cheating. And I think she thought the only way to get a commitment from him was to keep the baby. I’m not saying this pregnancy was planned by her or whatever (what do I know really) but I’m saying that once she found out she was, she decided to lock it down/make it official by keeping it and then having to get married.
        Everyone who knows me/him/her and the situation said the same thing pretty much: he’s with her b/c of money (she’s a lawyer) and status. That’s the kind of guy he is. If he knows someone will make him look good or if he can live a comfortable lifestyle PROVIDED by someone else, he will. Which is quite pathetic.
        No worries! I have no worries of being unofficial with him or anything at all with him. I wont allow him to demote me like that and having me then being considered the other woman to the other woman.

  35. 3 years is long enough says:

    Eos hit the nail on the head with this one:

    “I can’t make him see, or feel, or relinquish his own pain. It’s sad, it’s a fact, and it’s his own torment to bear alone. I’m working on mine. Feel sympathy but don’t get dragged into propping him up. The kindest thing that you can do for your self or for the ex is allowing them to discover (or not) their own ignorance” (I keep thinking, “Can lead the horse to water, but can’t make them drink… My ex would wouldn’t ‘drink’ out of pure stubborness, an unwillingness to admit he actually needed me. There is no fixing a relationship like this, where one person will knowingly, willingly, and consistantly burn it to the ground, time and time again. I watched him destroy our love because he wouldn’t deal with his fears and issues. And I was powerless to stop him, because I can’t control what others do. I genuinely feel sorry for him, sorry for us, sorry for me… So many people in this world want love so badly, and EUMs who are lucky enough to have it, just throw it away like it means nothing, and like he has ‘so much’ love in his life, he can afford to throw it away. So sad.)

    and Trinity practically read my mind with:

    “I have lost all respect for this man , u see him now for exactly what he is and always was and I think that scares the crap out if him. That the one decent and kind person he had in his life, the one person that stood by him and believed in him now thinks he is a worthless man.” (I actually said the above to my ex, several times, again trying to ‘convince’ him of my worth…. How stupid of me… “How can you turn against and throw away, the one person in your life that truly believes in you, supports you, understands you, is always there for you, and loves you so much, like I mean nothing to you??” How utterly heartbreaking and devastating to be treated like this by the person you love. I truly have lost all respect for him now, seeing what he is capable of)

    Ugh. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of how I gave everything I had to him, was there for him, and put up with so much awful treatment from him. I can see now how I never deserved any of that, and that he also never deserved ME.

    Thank you to NML for showing us the light, and for all the survivors out there for posting and sharing their (oh-so-similar) stories. Coming here gives me strength to not contact, not go back, and learn to take care of me… As it should be.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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