A person can't keep throwing you away just so they can get high off the power to do so.

Some people jeopardise the things that they love or claim to love. Their way of feeling as if they love something, or to at least feel that it’s of value, is to put it at risk. They gamble and in their mind, it’s as if they have to take these risks to renew their interest and commitment. On some level they may reason for instance, that putting their relationship in jeopardy is what’s keeping the passion alive. They may even reason that if it wasn’t for the fact that they get up to their shenanigans, that the relationship would be some ‘boring’ type that they’re afraid of finding themselves committed to, and they may even reason that the rollercoaster of basically gambling with a person’s affections and trust and jeopardising the relationship from time to time, is what’s made it last.

At some point, they’ve learned to associate desiring something and it being of value, with high stakes and uncertainty, so they desire something or someone at their most, when they’re either unsure of whether they can attain it/them, or when they’re in danger of losing. Some people will put themselves and even the object of their ‘affections’ to the test by taking the risk to the brink. They may enjoy the power and the danger, even if the person on the receiving end is actually going through emotional torment and it creates a lingering trust issue.

People who jeopardise the things and people that they love, need to know that there’s a possibility that they can lose them.

Relationships, and in fact life, involves us having to be vulnerable. We have to make choices, decisions, and basically commit, and all the while, there are no guarantees. Often when we struggle to trust ourselves and others, what we’d really like is to know exactly how things are going to go so that we can eliminate or certainly significantly reduce our risk. That’s just not how life works. There is always the possibility that we can lose something or someone – that is how life works – and yet, when we say we’re going to commit to somebody, we are promising ourselves to that person, and for some of us, not only does our fear of commitment make us clammy and conflicted, but it also takes the edge off or even kills our desire.

When a person who puts their relationships at risk becomes ‘too certain’ and in control, it feels uncomfortable and that’s when they start to feel itchy footed and bored. They get too close to their feelings and thoughts and even if they don’t fully understand where these are coming from, there will be an element of underlying fear, inadequacy, and even resentment. They may be ‘bemused’ at being in possession of something of value and when for example, they know that they may have even misrepresented themselves in order to gain it, they at once start to devalue it from a sense of feeling unworthy and at the same time, once they’re in danger of losing and are out of control, they suddenly value it again and also feel worthy of ‘ownership’. If they have to fight to regain their position, it confirms, for a time, that they are worthy of that person (or thing). They may even feel as if the risk has leveled the playing field. Some like to feel the sensation of jeopardising something and then swooping back in. They feel powerful.

Of course when a person keeps jeopardising someone they love, even if it’s not what they consciously intended, it does sabotage not just the commitment but also the intimacy in the relationship. Where one is being sabotaged, so is the other.

By putting the relationship at risk, they actually get to control how vulnerable they are. No one can get close enough that it would hurt if they were to lose that person. Their actions also stop a person from truly knowing them in a deep way. Frustratingly and very painfully, a person who keeps putting their relationship at risk but is taken back time after time and so isn’t experiencing a great deal of natural consequences, gradually loses respect for the person who is attributing too much value to them. They may take greater and greater risks and become increasingly careless, all while chasing the feelings that they associate with desire and love. It’s exhausting, confusing, frustrating, and even emotionally debilitating.

If there’s little to no boundaries, it sends a message: This person isn’t ‘valuable’ to me because I can’t lose them. It’s why I stress that we should never give anyone the impression that there is no limit to what we will put up with because it says, ‘I don’t value me and you don’t need to either.’ Boundaries and treating and regarding ourselves with love, care, trust, and respect and expecting that from others, says, ‘Value and respect me, or step so that I’m free to be around someone who will, even if that’s just me, myself, and I for the time being.’

These feelings that they chase are temporary, which is why, until they address the root cause of their issues, they will just lather, rinse, repeat. Just like people-pleasing only makes us feel temporarily better or even ‘safe’, the high from risk taking is also temporary, which is how many people end up with gambling problems – too much short-term thinking and avoidance.


If you’re with somebody who keeps jeopardising you and your relationship, there comes a point, and preferably sooner rather than later, when you have to realise that you can’t keep being gambled and put in emotional harm’s way, just so that that person can desire you and know that you are of value. You’re a worthwhile and valuable person already and it’s important that you treat and regard you as such, even when another person doesn’t have the good sense to treasure you.

If a person keeps risking losing you, they don’t value you enough to not be putting you at risk in the first place. They’re too busy sabotaging things for the sake of their ego when they could be forging a mutual, loving relationship. You have better things to do with your time than to be fighting someone to stop throwing away what you have.

Your thoughts?

PS I’m doing my monthly guest spot on my local internet radio station this coming Tuesday March 4th at 7.15pm GMT. As always, I will be answering listener and reader questions. If you’d like to submit yours, send it natalie AT baggagereclaim DOT co UK. You can be anonymous.

PPS Early bird rates for Baggage Reclaim School – Build Your Self-Esteem and Reclaiming You ecourses – finishes this weekend.

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91 Responses to Some people habitually jeopardise their relationships in order to feel interest and desire

  1. Karen says:

    Natalie, I simply cannot understand how you continually reach into my mind, pull out a gnarled clump of confusion like it’s a wad of cooked spaghetti, then lay it all out, strand by strand, so when you’re finished I can see the big picture and instantly understand what was going on at the time I finally ended my last horrendous, covertly abusive relationship with a passive aggressive liar and cheater.
    Some major university needs to waive all the prerequisites and just award you a Ph.D. in the field of Advanced Assclownery.
    You make Oprah look like one of those phony psychics on late night TV who offers to heal you for just $49.99.
    Thank you so much for your wisdom.

  2. Stephanie says:

    This premise is so true! This is what happen when my ex assclown all of sudden he wanted to try having a relationship after treating me poorly and pretty much ruining any trust. It wasn’t until I was done when he all sudden had this renewed interest. If he had put as much effort into trying to have a relationship as he did to avoid one things would have not ended so bad. Oh well his loss was somebody else’s gain

    • Brenda says:

      Oh almost every single one did this, and I mean after YEARS of me suffering, and then another few years alone getting over it, Even after all that BS?, they have a right to get pissed if I am later on seen at the theater with someone? I cannot comprehend that, I cannot for the life of me UNDERSTAND not wanting someone for “MYSELF” then getting pissed when they have moved on, Sometimes I think they are just pissed I did not kill myself or something and sometimes I had those thoughts.

      But hell when it’s over it’
      s over and no amount of warning does the trick, I mean you can warn for so many years exactly what is coming YOU will move on and one-day NOT look at them the same way at all.

      You know it is funny no man ever had to warn my @ss like that becasue I never took one for granted like that, But I did make the mistake of threatening to leave, yet tried again only to have to leave again and only becasue what I wanted I realized would never gotten and had NO choice but to start dreaming of getting more for myself.

      And to be really honest I still do not really enjoy telling someone it is too late, I can see at the time they think they do want something, But yet see they are still having the same exact problems too.

      Sometimes it is kind of SAD even when you should be happy or something, it is just really SAD for them, Even more than me in the end.

      • stephanie says:


        I don’t get it either! I was there and would have done anything for him but he’d didn’t want that. He wanted to date other people and try to string me along and I until I said i’m done and meant it. They think you are never going to leave and when they are faced with that notion panic sets in. For me there was nothing he could say to change my mind. I had been to hell and back and I was not going thru that again.

        • Karen says:

          People with no self esteem often think anyone dumb enough to love their worthless asses deserves no respect. People also hide their insecurity by cheating, lying, acting arrogant and having to be in control.
          B O R I N G

        • Brenda says:

          Yes I know, when your in that the pain it’s so damn severe they have no clue the “FRUSTRATION” the complete and utter frustration, And I think this is where the PAIN is located.

          Knowing your doing things that should be appreciated, and the reality of person is just NOT what turned you on in the first place becasue you assumed it was going to GIVE and TAKE, Care for care.. and yet somehow we get stuck spinning our wheels like a hamster in a cage never going to really go anywhere.

          Because it is turning more and more to give and never receive.

          It is the hardest thing to face when what you thought was a Mr.Right turn into yet another Mr.Wrong.

          We gotta stop spinning the wheels sooner, get the hell out sooner it’s completely exhausting to keep running with NO real destination ahead.

          It’s not even fun the memories dragging on too long in trying for things VS actually having fun, really I would rather get out sooner then at least have some fun memories left to even have.

  3. Gina says:

    “Value and respect me, or step so that I’m free to be around someone who will, even if that’s just me, myself, and I for the time being”….pretty much Nat your entire article is ding dong so so true and definitely gives grand insight and explanation to how it is with the player and all-about-them types!

    In re to my situation, I stepped to be with me, myself and I which was never the case in the past. I seemed to have latched on to something or someone rather than figuring eventually that gosh, I do have worth and value so no need to be clingy elsewhere.

    Karen and Stephanie above, I couldn’t have worded it any better myself :)

  4. Brenda says:

    Exactly why the hell i could never UNDERSTAND why anyone wants to play hard to get? that totally perplexed me to NO end.. I always thought well why would I want to be with someone that only wants me hard to get for, then what your never gonna be married, you could never settle down!

    I do not think my issue was ever not playing hard to get but being too damn easy to start off with before, and really it’s no wonder I was thinking I HAD to with so many guys the rules where: “It’s all or nothing.”

    So I would go along with me giving it all on the promise they would too, and then only ending up being the only one working on a damn thing!!

    I do not think I need to play games, but simply take things slower and express when I am NOT happy and NOT put up with being unhappy and just accept I have needs period, and if that is not understood? oh well, At this age I do not have anything to loose anymore, I lost a whole lot more being with people who seriously most times did not even enjoy, and nobody would have looking back, constantly being told your not enough of something even when in fact you had lowered YOUR standards?

    Totally sucked, and I cannot even say the BIG one – becasue most were not even very big either.

    • Karen says:

      These assclowns intentionally seek out decent, honest people who don’t play games, so we don’t figure out they are playing games until they’ve already gotten what they wanted out of us and don’t give a damn that they finally got busted being rats.
      Natalie has such a following because she has decoded all the games, shown us examples we can relate to, then offers useful suggestions as to what we might do about it.
      If my ex knew how I mananged to finally figure out her scam and how I came up with ignoring her with 100% NC as the ultimate revenge without attracting bad karma, she’d check BR every hour in order to try to outfox me(again,)and maybe even try to burn Natalie with some elaborate new hoax (as if!).
      Natalie is like a martial arts blackbelt master who opened a dojo for the emotionally abused. I don’t think I’ll ever fall for the same shit again from a potential love interest.

      • Bethd says:

        Lol re Nat is the master and has addressed every game in the book. The problem with these emotional abusers is they are frauds who masquerade as human beings. Evil pretenders who attack through the heart. You can’t bargain or reason with them since most can’t feel empathy or remorse. We try to make them see the error of their ways but it’s an exercise in futility. Nat covers it all and makes it clear that the only road to peace and happiness is to shut the door and remove yourself totally from unhealthy, toxic people.

      • Allison says:


        These people, also know how to spot those with low self-esteem. If our self worth had been higher, we would never have gotten involved with these individuals. There are two parties here.

        Please recognize your participation – as your behavior is the only one you can change – so that you do not end up with this type of person again.

        • Allison says:


          Please don’t seek an excuse to speak to him.

        • Karen says:

          You’re absolutely right. Because we can only control ourselves, it’s essential to identify the root cause of why we are attracted to assclowns and cheaters. And yes, it is low self esteem that allows us to make bad choices.

      • Pauline says:

        You’re right Karen. I also think assclowns go for decent, honest people, perhaps it’s because they think they are great guys/girls but they aren’t and quickly revert back to their normal assclown ways, as that’s the comfortable and familiar. They justify their AC ways because their ego won’t let them admit they are shady so they blame the other person for making them lie, cheat, bust your boundaries big time and whatever other downright shady behaviour they indulge in, and so it’s easy to treat people like there is something wrong with them and not themselves.
        This was a continually recurring theme with the AC I got involved with.
        It took me a long time and finding BR to open my eyes to what this man was actually doing to me. I remember when I first started reading Nat’s posts and it was OMG and plenty of WTF’s as I kept reading and read so many women going through the exact same thing as I was. I was finally able to put a name to what I couldn’t articulate, I only knew there was something seriously wrong with the whole scenario and I shouldn’t be feeling like crap all the time. This was the first time in my life I came across an assclown and I was easy meat for him, I can see that now. I’d come out of a bad marriage of 20 years to an alcoholic and I can’t believe I was so simple minded and naive.
        What a learning curve I’ve had over the last 18 months or so, it’s easy to spot the AC’s, EUM’s, Narc’s, flip flappers, fast forwarders, future fakers et al and just avoid them without any drama. Thanks to NAT, BR and all the ladies on here.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      If he sends you a test, an email, a card, WHATEVER it is that he does, DO NOT RESPOND. Can you do that?

    • Tinkerbell says:


      You’re hilarious! “Totally sucked and I cannot even say the BIG one –because most were not even very big either.” LOL!

  5. anna says:

    that was spot on! awesome. helped me understand some thing new….and it may very well be what was going on in my relationship…

    i didn’t know people were so f-d up! guess i’d better wake up and stop being so naive!

    and more importantly, stop allowing anyone to devalue me…therefore, must value myself more, communicate that to others and probably will not find myself any longer with people who are careless with whom they are together with.

    thank you so much for all of your writing!!

  6. Jan says:

    You can get this with trauma-bonding, with people whose childhoods were devoid of the positive emotional energy people need from others, whether because of active abuse or “just” profound neglect. I need constant intensity in relationships because I can’t feel someone’s affection unless it’s very intense.

    The difference between me and an assclown though of course is that I stay the hell out of dating while I deal with that instead of pretending that it’s a healthy way to be. (For “assclown” read also: my mother.)

  7. T. says:

    Thank you. Does provoke some thought for sure. It can apply to both parties I suppose in some cases.

  8. Genki says:

    Such a shame it seems to be the case – I think it’s like a control thing. I really loved my husband & tried to understand his nature – but u could never enderstood why he had to cheat, lie & be a generally closed person. I put up with all sorts of rubbish, I still can’t understand why I didn’t stand up to him, but he would make me feel like I was walking on eggshells if I so much as express discontent. Now were split & all of a sudden he sees the error of his ways wanting another chance, I simply can’t stand that he just seems to want to control the situation. I always thought things should be so simple yet he managed to make fun things so difficult. I think he is very controlling. Thanks Natalie & u other intelligent ladies for making me so much more aware of how things seem to go with these kinds if people, it hurts to be split up, my daughter misses being a family but I just can’t get over all of the cruel things he did to me…..it’s like he didnt value my company at all he seemed to be always trying to avoid me & escape family things..it hurt a lot. Now he whinges poor me…but I can’t gather any sympathy he will never know how much his actions hurt me. I feel free without him. And now he seems to value me.

  9. gruvee says:

    @Karen – what a perfect testimonial!!

  10. Yoyo says:

    Sadly I think this is me. When someone has hurt or upset me I can angry and voice my feelings, I push people away and only feel close to them if or when its all figured out. I’m sure this is down to my insecurity and feeling not worthwhile and unloved. People eventually get tired of it though, or dont respond in the first place. I need to learn a healthier way of dealing with these things but not sure how to go about that. Letting someone hurt me or upset me isn’t a healthy option either, and I often feel that if I raise things in a quiet non dramatic fashion I often allow people to get away with poor behaviour which is likely to repeat itself. It’s definitely a control thing – I’m saying show me you care or leave me alone – there’s no grey area.
    Any thoughts on how to address the unhealthy behaviours in myself?

    • Mir says:

      No advice, just commiseration: This is me, too.

    • Lorraine says:

      Me too. I was the one always sabotaging the relationship. I would push him away every time I felt like I wasn’t getting enough emotionally from him. Sometimes it would make him try harder but that was always short lived.

      Now I’m realizing that being involved with him was so unhealthy. I always felt I was the reason he couldn’t give more emotionally. I would bend over backwards to please him and give to him, thinking surely now he will want to commit, etc. when that wouldn’t happen, I would push him away, break up with him, blah,blah…

      I still feel that it was about him, though. He is an EUM AC and nothing I did was going to make him commit to me.

      It still hurts though. I take two steps forward and one step back in my recovery. Yesterday I saw him walking to his car with his little boy. He had an overnight bag on his shoulder… It hit me, he’s with her, he’s happy, we are really really done this time. Maybe all that stopping me with hugs and kisses was just him wanting to clear his conscience of hurting me so badly.

      That said, I know I’m better off now, just falling into the “he’s a better man with her” pit. Beating myself up wondering why her? Pity party…

      • Pauline says:


        Don’t go down that track. Leopards don’t change their spots and however he was with you he will be the exact same man with the next woman and the next after her.
        This is all about his EU and AC behaviours and spare a thought for the next woman, she will be treated the same way you were until she wakes up and gives him the push.
        Get a grip girl, do you really want to go back to all the crap you received from him?
        What makes you think he has a conscience over what he did to you, assclowns don’t care how much they hurt you, they just think you’re silly if you keep hanging around after they have dished out some pretty poor treatment and you don’t opt out.
        As I found out with the ex EU/AC, the more I put up with his assclownery the worse he got. Until the day I looked at him and knew I didn’t like him one little bit.
        Let it go, he really isn’t that special.

        • Pauline says:

          Decent people and I include women as well as men, those with some conscience, honesty and integrity don’t keep hanging around and stringing you along, they go away and leave you alone.
          As soon as they realise they don’t love you or want you they let you know, they don’t turn into assclowns.
          I know it’s hard and it hurts, you have a lot of time invested in this man. If he had been a decent man who wanted a relationship with you do you think any of this would have happened?
          I haven’t had a lot of boyfriends but the ones I have had, I was in no doubt how they felt about me and they wanted to be with me, no flip flapping, no future faking and definitely no assclown behaviour.

          • Brenda says:

            Spot on.. I never in my life strung anyone alone, sometimes / most times they were decent about it, a few would try to say something to hurt my feelings.

            But in all of them I knew pretty fast and was not about to string anyone along for any bullshit from me, I don’t not just NOT see the reasons, But honestly I never even had the time, doing that to ME would only be taking time away from more productive things.

            So just in saying that, it must be whenever someone did not care that much for my time? they were not really all that concerned with their own or how they were spending it.

            For both it is really a waste of time, I know that I could never deal again with NOT knowing enough and not enough straight forward mature conversation, I never want my head spinning questioning anyone’s true motives again for as long as I live.

          • Lorraine says:

            Thanks, need a slap now and then. I know he’s not decent. I know he’s a huge Assclown. You know, I don’t even think ACs have the capacity to understand that they’ve hurt someone or if they do, they bury those emotions.

            I get it, it’s just that the pain creeps up on me now and then. I wish I could move. I know if I didn’t live near him and there was no chance of seeing him ever, I would be fine. But moving is not an option financially and my son has all his friends here. I couldn’t do that to him because of my poor choice in falling for an AC.

            I’ll feel better, I guess its all part of the healing process, right? Thanks for caring, you’re awesome!

            • Pauline says:


              I understand you’re in a tough situation with him right across the street, doesn’t make it any easier as a lot of other ladies on here can testify with the assclowns right under their noses all the time.
              All I can say is thank God the AC I was involved with moved house shortly after I gave him the flick. It used to make my gut churn every time I went out, dreading bumping into him in our local shopping area. He got very nasty when he realised I meant what I said, showed me who he really was
              What helped me to stop obsessing and beating myself up, was every time I caught myself thinking about him I would pull myself up and say STOP then find something else to do or think about. He was getting on with his own life (that didn’t include me). Hard in the beginning but it got easier as I found other things to do. I took up some part time courses at a local college that didn’t cost too much, met new people, joined a social club, new sights, sounds and experiences that had never included him, I never mentioned him to anyone new that I met and I stopped talking about him to my friends who were so sick of hearing about what an ass he was. (BR is different, we can let it all hang out here. Gets a lot of dirty water off the chest!)
              That worked for me so maybe you can think of other things for you to do that have nothing to do with him.
              It’s a gradual process getting rid of those soul sucking assclowns, I did it and lots of other ladies on here have too and if we can so can you. It’s a bit like that old Pantene ad slogan, “it won’t happen overnight but it will happen.”
              Best thing I did was take positive action that benefitted me.

        • Tinkerbell says:


          You see? You ran into him and you weren’t even at your running place. This is why I keep telling you to find somewhere else to run. You’re not making it any easier on yourself if you keep going there. NEVER, EVER get involved with someone living so close to you. It’s way too messy when it all goes south. Why don’t you just go NC? The relief and freedom you’ll experience is priceless.

          • Lorraine says:

            We actually haven’t had any real contact since the last week of January. Just the smile/wave while running a couple of times.
            So I do consider myself as NC.

            Living across the street is what makes it so difficult. I literally open my front door and his parking lot is directly in front of me. I hate it so much. Moving is not an option for me because of finances and my son.

            I will get past this, I know it. If I didn’t live so close and knew I would never see him again, I would probably be completely recovered by now.

            Please understand, I am not going out of my way to see him or run into him whatsoever. I’m just doing what I’ve always done, my routine hasn’t changed.

            • Tinkerbell says:


              Apparently my interpretation of NC is stricter than yours. I would not acknowledge him at all, but maintain a blank expression and move on. Since he lives so near you, there’s all the more reason to not give him any appearance of being willing to engage. A smile and a wave indicates to him that you might accept more from him. But we’ve gone over this before so I won’t repeat anything else. It’s very true that if he wasn’t living nearby you probably would be completely or at least close to being over him. That’s why I’ve advised you to never get involved with anyone that lives on your street or works at your job. It’s just not worth it if it doesn’t pan out. We all have to handle these situations our own way so all I can say is “Good luck”. Keep reading Natalie’s posts and her books.

  11. Tara says:

    Thank you for this! Helps me understand why my ex was that way and how I need to value me more!

  12. Noquay says:

    This happened to me when I was in my 20s, my second long term relationship, with, ironically, a psych professor. He pulled this same sort of thing, on again, off again, in the last year of our relationship and I finally cut contact for good and kind of withdrew from many things during this time. He was ashamed of me because he had a doctorate and I merely had two BS degrees in the sciences which I earned by working my way through school while also raising a brother. I was pretty burned out on schooling at that point and needed to just earn money, get secure, for awhile. After each withdrawal on his part, I trusted less and less until I no longer gave a damn about him. I could tell I did the right thing because I was sooo relieved afterward. Met him again, years later; I had grown a lot and he was still in the same rut. I socialized with his friends more easily than he did and man, did he resent it.

  13. L says:

    So true! It happened to me as well. One day I finally got myself together and walked away. Maybe she’s missed me sometimes since then. Who knows and… Who cares! She didn’t appreciate what we had -anyway what I thought we had.

    Great post as always, Natalie!

    • Karen says:

      You should see the extremes my ex is using to get me to contact her, and it’s all on Pinterest, for christ’s sake!
      I collect religious kitsch and she has seen my collection.
      Yesterday she pinned a pic of the Virgen de Guadalupe, and she’s Jewish!
      Natalie’s post came out only minutes before I noticed all that crap the ex pinned.
      Miraculously, the ex’s ploy to get my attention failed–unless she wanted NEGATIVE attention.

      • L says:

        Wow, she’s really struggling to get your attention now!I hope you stay strong! In my case this story is really old, I had to “break up” with her a year ago because she couldn’t deal with the fact that I’m a girl and not a boy. How nice is that?

        I put up with soooo many things for two years and thank goodness I mustered the strength to stop that crazy not-friendship-not-relationship thing!

        Btw I had to laugh with the Virgen de Guadalupe pic, it’s so typical of them, like “I’m not going to say I miss you but you should interpret every little thing I do and act accordingly -that is, come after me!”

        Good luck, sis!

  14. Genki says:

    Brenda – I know what u mean about the “theatre” episode – for all the time we were together all he seemed to be doing was chasing others & now that were split I think the thing he is lost concerned about is me meeting someone else. At the moment I’m scared to get out there, but that is a good thing cos in the past I’ve had a tendency to cling to people or idolise them – and mainly the wrong ones. If a man was very into me for some reason I would jeopardise things, I don’t know what it is – normal childhood – but I think it is just insecurity with me, & I seem to try to choose people that don’t outshine me with work / money…..which means I have chosen some losers. I’m really happy to be by myself & trying to find value in me, and spend more time evaluating people before thinking the world of them. Natalie – this site is so educational in so many ways thanks

  15. BethD says:

    Excellent Nat Exactly what my Narc Ex did the last few years of our 10 year relationship. The amazing thing is how shocked he was when I walked away for good. Pulled his can’t live without you routine for over a year. It’s 5 years and he still hasn’t gotten over it even though he has a gf and 5 backups. He still has to keep trying here and there. Thank God I am BR educated and know better than to think it is about his undying love for me as he proclaims. It has NOTHING to do with love and everything to do with control and winning. Pathetic little creatures who think they are all that and we will keep eating the bs they sling. There are consequences to playing mind games!~

    • lizzp says:

      “It’s 5 years and he still hasn’t gotten over it even though he has a gf and 5 backups.”

      That’s one backup per year plus acquisition of the so called gf at some point. Beth D, you’ve done well not to be part of this pig’s harem(no offence to pigs which I understand are quite intelligent animals unlike your ex).

      • Bethd says:

        Very true Lizzie It’s typical Narcissist behavior. He couldn’t get away with having the harem with me although he tried in the beginning. Could have been headed there at the end but I pulled the rug out beneath him fast. Now he is free to do as he pleases. Deep down they miss the person who called them out. It’s a challenge. It was a hard call for me to cut him out completely as he was very good to me for a lot of years but the disorder, crazymaking and chaos of who a Narc is will destroy a normal persons peace. I feel nothing but pity for his empty life and encounters but remaining friends with him just enables him to believe his behavior is not that bad. If you stay around someone who doesn’t feel their own shame you end up carrying it for them.

  16. Peanut says:

    If you spend time chasing the unattainable, you totally miss what you could have had elsewhere.

  17. AngelFace says:

    Emotionally Debilitating.!
    I’m making a hard copy of this post. It is that good! Thanks again Natalie, you just keep pulling the rabbits outta the hat!

  18. Wendy says:

    18 days NC today! Passed my ex on the road (we were both driving). He waved, just that lift your hand off the steering wheel kind of wave, so I did the same. I didn’t smile, didn’t look at him as I passed, nothing, but…

    I had a moment of weakness because I saw him, so I drove by where I thought he’d be 10 minutes later and sure enough he was there…Thank God he didn’t see me though…Why do I get those moments of weakness just to get a glimpse of him or his car again??? I almost called him, but I didn’t…That was so hard! Some days are SO HARD!

    My birthday is coming up and I have anxiety on how to handle if he calls me or texts me or what if he sends me a birthday card or what if he does nothing…Gosh, I loved him so much and all this just hurts so much…

    I had a “me” day today and had a nice day, but everywhere I went, I wish he was there with me or I wish I could tell him about things I saw/did…sigh…

    • L says:

      Don’t beat up yourself too much, Wendy! You still more time before you are completely “clean” (as in rehab) but you’re doing great and even though it’s normal you have some weaker moments, the important thing is that you stay strong. Believe me, it gets easier. It will!

    • Lorraine says:

      No one knows better than me how hard it is when you live so close to the ex AC. I understand exactly how you feel. Just seeing his car sets you back. You saw him and that wasn’t enough, you needed more. Just like the relationship, right? Always needing more emotionally…

      You showed more strength than you realize though, even though you drove to catch another glimpse, you didn’t call him and thats a good thing.

      Please try not to give this guy so much power and control over your birthday. Enjoy your day. It’s your day, not his. Ask yourself this, if he did text you or call or whatever, would that change anything? It will probably make you feel elated for the moment but will set you back emotionally and really mess up your head, again.

      Because of the close proximity, we need to work harder to get over these guys. But we’ll do it and hopefully soon, we won’t even notice if we pass by them in our car.

      Happy Birthday, Wendy, hope you have a beautiful day!

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Wendy, the early days of NC are incredibly rough. I am so sorry. Everything you are going through, I went through. I feel your pain. It will get better honey. Read and re-read everything you can on this blog. Nat helped me so much. If it wasn’t for her, I would have never figured out what the ex-AC was doing. Her recent post was exactly what I went through. I was constantly being rejected and devalued it happened so many times I lost track and I tolerated this abuse for 8 years! He future faked me and I went through way too much, googling his baffling behavior. I recently learned that the ex-AC was dragged out of a friends house by the police and he has now been diagnosed Bipolar. I am so grateful that I don’t have anything to do with him. It is no crime to have a mental illness, however, sometimes these AC’s are very psychologically sick. They cause unbelievable amounts of pain to innocent people. That was my situation, not knowing I was dealing with someone who is pretty much insane. Not all AC’s have a mental illness, I realize. But I had no idea that the ex AC’s antics were a result of being undiagnosed and unmedicated. Sometimes you have to look really close at behaviors that don’t make sense and acknowledge that you are dealing with something that is never going to get better and will probably get worse. If I had boundaries the whole situation would not have gone on for so long. What used to be a really painful situation having to break up with someone I loved so much, turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. Boy, did I dodge a bullet!

    • A says:


      Resolve to enjoy your birthday and not to communicate with him, even if he calls or texts – don’t respond.

      If you know that regardless or what he does or does not do for the day it won’t change your plans (and if you decide that you’re not allowed to respond anyway) you can focus on enjoying yourself.

      If you really need to analyze his contact or lack thereof, do it the day after.

      After I stopped talking to the AC, he sent some useless text late in the day on my birthday. The thing is, if he hasn’t been the guy you need him to be up until now, what difference does it make if he makes a phone call or not on your birthday? Too little, too late.

    • Bethd says:

      Wendy you are doing great. That is normal to want to tell them things. We all get those times. It passes, and gets better each day. Stay the course. You will open yourself up to meet someone wonderful as I did. The only thing I missed about my ex is the excitement from the drama and chaos. Once I realized that I began to heal. I also realized that his bad behavior was never about me, and I was powerless to fix him. NC gives you clarity and a chance to process this.

    • Allison says:


      The early days are the worst. The site, friends and staying busy will help distract you from some of the pain.

      Re. the birthday: Ignore! It is simply a birthday wish, and means nothing. You DO NOT owe him a response, plus, you will only open yourself to more hurt. Remember, the birthday wish is NOTHING!!!!

  19. Brenda says:

    My prayer: Dear Lord, I accept in full that I may not be liked by many for believing I have a choice, for believing I have rights and deserve things for myself.

    Also I accept that I was mislead, NO I could not please everyone, and NO I did actually FAIL becasue of that, at times in fact it was a complete success that in fact I did not and cannot and will not please everyone.

    And thanks even for the misery becasue from that I would never want anyone to suffer from so much unneeded BS, Nat was right I was also unavailable, just ignoring that you have real needs in fact itself is being completely in reality unavailable.

    For if I am not requesting my real needs be met? I am not even being known, and that is were all the loss was felt in the first place.

    Thank you and Amen.

  20. Nikki says:

    You’ve done it again!!! This is the exact issue of my former beau…and it’s why things ended between us. He us self-sabotaging. I hope he realizes he still has to deal with his issues and there are no shortcuts!

  21. Peanut says:


    That is really beautiful. I’m all weepy. In a good way :)

  22. HappyAgain says:

    Brenda that is nicely put. Yes, I’ve been emotionally unavailable.

  23. PhoenixRises says:

    What if you are the one pulling the on-off switch because you legitimately don’t know how you feel? I’ve been seeing someone for about four months and I still struggle with how I feel. There aren’t glaring red flags, and I do like him, but not sure I see a long-term future with him.

    I don’t want to hurt his feelings, cause drama (we are in a small social circle), or do the wrong thing for myself. Adding to the complication is a friend of mine who I have continued to get to know who I find attractive and I believe could be a good match for me, potentially better than the guy I’m dating (but then again, who knows?) I feel like I owe it to myself and the current guy to give this a real chance, but something in my gut says this probably isn’t going to last. How do I navigate this?

    • lizzp says:

      When you don’t know how you feel it is not ok to pull the off/on switch or lie to someone by omission by citing not wanting to cause drama or not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. You are not being honest with the guy and you are not giving him a chance to decide if he wants to keep seeing you knowing your ambiguity. After all your reading on BR surely you must know this?

    • Pauline says:

      If you don’t know how you feel about this guy after 4 months and your gut is telling you it’s not going anywhere, it’s time to have an honest conversation with him and let him go.
      Then you’re both free to find someone who you really care about and who feels the same about you.
      It sounds like you’ve given yourself and him time to get to know each other and see if there is something there and if there was you both would be feeling it by now.
      That’s what dating is for, it’s the discovery time and normal for people to do. Once you know you’re not that interested it’s time to let the other person go, do it honestly and face to face, NOT by text or email.

      • PhoenixRises says:

        Thanks all. I should have explained I have has several talks with him (in-person, because I know that is what he deserves) and yet it still doesn’t seem to stick. I have told him quite frankly that while a part of me has genuine feelings for him, there is a lot going on with me personally and I am not in the right space for a relationship. Everytime we talk he just agrees with what I say, so it’s hard to know what’s going on in his head.

        Bottom line: I know it has to end, I have tried to end it, but it hasn’t worked. I have asked for his help in not succumbing to any physical temptations so we can try to regain our friendship, but to no avail. I’m at a loss how to really commit to my words and I’m ashamed of myself for it since I am generally someone who says what they mean–and does it. So what gives?

        • Pauline says:

          Hey Phoenix! I don’t know if you will read this but here goes.
          You’re confused because what you say and what you do are different. You say you want to end it and then stay in contact and sleep with him again. Why should he stop sleeping with you, he doesn’t think you are serious in wanting to break it off and he’s not getting any message that you do.
          He’s not telling you what he’s thinking and agrees with everything you say, that tells me that he’s ok with the status quo and he doesn’t want to lose out on any of the benefits he’s currently getting.
          He’s NOT going to help you resist having sex with him and he doesn’t want the friendship card your trying to play.
          If you really want to end it, you have to go NC and mean it. That means no phone calls, no texts, no emails and no having sex with him. Cut him off! You can’t hit that reset button and go back to being friends, it won’t work.
          Up to you sweetie, I know you’re trying not to be the bad guy but you’re just twisting yourself into knots and making yourself feel bad about dumping him.

          • PhoenixRises says:

            Thanks Pauline! I know what I need to do but the fear of fallout had me chickening out–fear of hurting him, fear of regretting my decision, fear of gossip. The longer I wait, the worse it will get though! Unlike my past this guy is not an EU/AC, so I am still wondering if friendship may be possible later down the line…but I hold no expectations :/

            I have set a deadline for myself of when I need to do it, so if I hit that point–time to rip off the band aid!

    • Nigella says:


      You might never get a chance to read this note but I must nevertheless share my thoughts. I think your confusion itself is a form of clarity – a paradox that makes sense when you recognize that you are clear about your confusion. So before anything else it might be helpful to stop overemphasizing your sense of confusion. You “don’t know how you feel” about the guy you are dating. But you *do know* that you don’t know. In other words, you are aware of not knowing whether you like him enough to have a future with him. This awareness could or should be enough for you to decide whether or not to prolong the relationship. If it is taking you more than 3-4 months to commit wholeheartedly to this person, then perhaps you are simply not ready for a relationship at this stage of your life. Better not to string someone else along in the hopes of one day suddenly, effortlessly, definitely falling head over heels for him.

      Feeling committed and attached to someone is an amazing feeling especially if it is reciprocated. Last year when I was dating the ex EUM, I was asked out on dates by relatively interesting men and women, but I chose to commit to him. Love is ultimately not just a feeling, an attraction, a pull. Love springs from an inner core and conveys our willingness to make a choice. Unless you are emotionally prepared to make this sort of choice, it makes no difference who enters your life – they will always fall short. There will always be something or someone else distracting you or serving as an excuse for you not to commit fully to someone else.

      You said that you usually mean what you say and you have tried to end the relationship with him. This is all good but not great. Ultimately, actions do speak louder than words. It seems that he is fine with having something rather than nothing with you. Despite hearing the truth from you in several conversations, he is choosing to prolong the relationship by not opting out. He is therefore complicit in continuing something that might not serve him well in the long term. Irrespective of what he knows or does in response to your admissions, you’re still responsible for continuing something that doesn’t have your full interest. This is unfair to him and to you.

      Last year, the ex justified hiding his hesitations about our relationship by claiming in his break-up email that he feared hurting me. This quote perfectly captures my attitude on this matter: “Hurt me with the truth but never comfort me with a lie”. It didn’t hurt me that he couldn’t continue dating me. I didn’t need him. I simply expected him to be honest & consistent in showing me respect. Had he spoken the truth to me in person, I know I could’ve bid him farewell on the spot. Perhaps even considered befriending him down the road. I feel no need to rebuke or punish people for speaking their truth – however hurtful it might sound to me – but I do feel contempt for them if they (1) lie, (2) drip-feed, (3) do not mean what they say, (4) do not walk their talk, (5) rely on hints or nonverbal means to communicate their true feelings, (6) expect others to read their mind and to make a decision for both parties by calling off the relationship, (7) slow-fade or disappear instead of speaking the truth, and (8) hide behind a text or phone message to speak the truth.

      I share the above in the hopes of encouraging you to speak your truth and to walk your talk. Perhaps he’ll react bitterly or angrily towards you if you decide to end the relationship. But at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you didn’t mislead him or prolong your confusion. Perhaps you’re over-fearing or overestimating the extent to which you might disappoint or hurt him. Perhaps he is not as fragile or volatile as you fear he might be. Perhaps what you really fear is discovering that he might not be that hurt or that disappointed to let you go.

      Confusion is unpleasant and unnecessary. Over the years, I met some people who at times tried to exalt their confusion by citing psychoanalytical claptrap. Now I find it amusing to recall the way that the Liar tried to normalize his commitment-phobic behavior by referring to Jacques Lacan and his ramblings on the split-subject. Yes, according to some theories, we are not fully conscious or certain or confident about what we want. But when we know that we are not certain about something, then we cannot justifiably use the fear of hurting or losing a friend as an excuse for prolonging a halfhearted relationship.

  24. ThreeDLife says:

    Natalie’s article states my situation with the ex-AC so clearly: “Frustratingly and very painfully, a person who keeps putting their relationship at risk but is taken back time after time and so isn’t experiencing a great deal of natural consequences, gradually loses respect for the person who is attributing too much value to them. They may take greater and greater risks and become increasingly careless, all while chasing the feelings that they associate with desire and love. It’s exhausting, confusing, frustrating, and even emotionally debilitating.”

    I didn’t understand why he became so interested at the times when I cared the least, but this clears it up. He only wanted me when he couldn’t have me, then when I gave him another chance (which happened 3 times), he turned on the charm and the heat, only to go cold again when he felt he “had me.” I only wish I had known at the time. As Natalie points out, is is “emotionally debilitating.” I was so naive and trusting, only to have my trust betrayed time and again, each time in a more outrageous manner. He lost respect for me when I accepted his AC behavior, which I hd done under the flawed thinking that it was showing him how much I loved him. I didn’t dish out any consequences until now – it’s been 9 months of NC and I feel SO MUCH better.

    I wonder if he’ll ever get a clue that he’s chasing those feelings he associates with desire and love, but when he “gets” the relationship, the feelings don’t last? He is destined to repeat this cycle until he realizes it. Part of me wants to tell him, but another part realizes it would be pointless. He is not going to change, and it would only possibly re-open old wounds. I do pity him and feel bad for his next victim. Sometimes when I try to be helfpul it only ends in more pain for me.

    I wonder why he couldn’t just have been honest with me about his feelings rather than stringing me along and using me for his pleasure, all while looking for his next “relationship high?” His lack of integrity was appalling.

    I am so thankful for finding this site, and for Natalie’s wisdom. It also helps to read the stories of those who post here, and know I’m not alone. I wonder why we can see someone else’s circumstances with an AC, and realize they must get out, but it’s so hard to see it in our own situation? I was in denial for so long, and kept holding onto an unhealthy “relationship.” It took me a LONG time to finally let go, but it is definitely the right path to a more positive future.

  25. Tinkerbell says:


    Please take all that mental energy that you’re using thinking about that man’s problems and apply it to YOU. I’m proud of the fact that you’ve been NC for 9 months because it takes discipline to not go back. However, even though you may not be with him physically, you’re still back there mentally. You probably don’t realize this because it’s unconscious. You did the hardest work already. Now wipe the slate clean and forget him.

  26. Brandy says:

    So short story- got dumped in early December- he yoyo’d with me all through December on those ‘special’ days – I told him NC Jan 1- and no, I didn’t want to be his ‘friend’ – seriously- from fiancé to friend? Don’t think so. He let it go 3 weeks- sent me some little email – stupid me I responded – then he disappeared & yeah – I got a lot off my chest but it’ll be 30 days on March 7 of NC & it makes me happy. We broke up a few times but never like this or for this long- I kept taking him back now he totally devalued me. My confidence is in the toilet but we passed each other driving the other day & I felt revolted! Didn’t smile or wave & he was sucking back a cigarette (he had stopped smoking when we dated). Next time (if there is one) I’ll just ignore & look straight ahead. Just need to detach mentally but it’s a shit ton of poison to drain after 2 years with this creep. Lawrd help me!

    • Gina says:

      Brandy I admire your self-realisation!! And the fact you followed through on it. I love this true titbit from a guy “Once a girl is done putting up with your shit, “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean a damn thing. You have lost her.” I sense this of you, and pursue healing your wound with all the passion in the world like I did. It is so wonderful for me now and I predict this for you too. Drain all away here on BR and keep the no contact rolling….

      • Brandy says:

        Thanks Gina! Your words of encouragement really help. Today is day 30 NC! I was filled with anxiety when I woke up & went to go workout. Wouldn’t you know it- he was in his car grabbing coffee when I drive by- nope didn’t turn my head- wearing sunglasses so he couldn’t see my eyes & out of the corner of my eye I know he saw me & was stunned. I’m getting better at this- next time, I hope I won’t even care. The only reason I know there will be a next time is because we live in the same neighbourhood. Why couldn’t he have picked a different neighbourhood when he moved out?

  27. jewells says:

    Here’s a testament to how well BR education has worked so far with me (I know I still have a ways to go, but progress so far is amazing);
    I have always had difficulty with my AC father, and have been estranged for years, always taking personally his short comings. But, now that I have a grip on my own life, I’ve initiated contact again. And lo and behold, he does not have the same effect on my self esteem or confidence he used to. This could also be from the fact that he’s now 70, mellowed in his old age as well as the fact that his second wife has now divorced him. At the end of the conversation I asked what happened and despite his initial reluctance to talk about it, I got it out of him. He cheated. She found out and dumped his ass. Now, I never liked her because of her enabling and trying to ‘fix’ the relationship between me and my father. NOW I actually want to know her as she’s finally acquired a backbone and stopped being the fallback girl. Get this, the timeframe – while he was doing this was around the same time I had MY run in with the AC MM Narc. The irony was not lost on me and I told him straight that I had no sympathy for him. It really was a suck it and see moment for me with him. I think that conversation finally nailed it about the why’s of my poor choices in relationships and what I’ve expected from relationships and why I could never get it. Rose tinted glasses – firmly and squarely in the bin. I’ve realized that I’ve been holding my breath waiting for him to be the father he ‘should’ be, which is never going to happen. But, I can now forge something of a relationship with him based on accepting his flaws and, fingers crossed, as a result, forge a decent relationship with someone who displays characteristics I can now recognize that are healthy (thanks to BR), that I didn’t see before because I didn’t know what they looked like based on flawed modelling. Truly stopping with ‘waiting for a hug from a tree’.

    • Selkie says:

      Seventy years old and cheating!? Jeez, there is no end to this kind of shit. How sad for these folks who never stop struggling to fill the void. They tend to suck in everyone around them.

      Sounds like you turned a monumental corner in handling old triggers. Letting go of old baggage is incredibly freeing, isn’t it? Good for you.

      • jewells says:

        Thanks Selkie. I still have a ways to go, but definitely a big step and relief in fact. Now I’m in control of my life, my perceptions of myself and looking forward to only letting in those who enhance my life rather than detract from it. I’ve also established that I will tell him straight, will not but up with shite, so he seems to understand that to some extent at least. I live across the country from him, so he has no bearing on my life, if he wants any contact it’s on MY terms, so he has to be mindful. Funny how this is how I should have been living all along with all my relationships, oh well, better late than never.

  28. Lorraine says:

    Congratulations on 30 days, Brandy! I can completely relate to you and envy you for being so strong. Having the gumption to ignore and look straight ahead when you passed him. I’m a terrible people pleaser who feels insane guilt if I was to do that, but I’m learning and feeling stronger after re-reading The No Contact Rule.

    You are so right, it is a shit ton of poison to drain. For me, it was five years.

    I’ve decided not to run this week, (I’m going away anyway) and until I too have the gumption to run by and ignore, I will start running somewhere else.

    Stay strong Brandy, he sounds like an AC, friends, as if…


  29. LovefromNel says:

    Dear Brandy,

    The first thirty days are the hardest, I’m sure. So I think you have jumped the biggest hurdle.

    Begin to do things for you and that you really enjoy – these will help get your confidence back. Exercise, baking, shopping – whatever. Just focus on you. I always love getting a drastic haircut or colour haha!

    And be assured that you have made the best decision you could have – for you, your worth, and your own wellbeing.

    The guy sounds like a total doofus. Good riddance to bad rubbish, really. These men do not deserve to be in our lives. Being disgusted at seeing him is also a good sign.

    The last time I saw my AC, I felt that I should ‘do the right thing and be polite’ and I said hello to him. He didn’t deserve this courtesy and I wish I had never done it. But no matter, that was months ago, and I’ve reached the disgusted point now and there’s no turning back. He’ll be totally ignored next time.

    The best thing you can do is read Baggage Reclaim in every spare moment. I have never been more peaceful with being me, and being single in my late 20s, and happy in life, than I have since discovering BR. I have Nat and all of the ladies on here to thank for that.

    Best wishes to you.

  30. Wendy says:

    20 days NC today! I received a card from the ex for my birthday, but no text or email or call and for that I’m actually grateful it was only a card…

    My dad saw my ex running today and believe it or not, it was in my neck of the woods (We live in the same small town, but there’s obviously enough areas for him to run that’s not by my street, sigh)…My ex had told me he was going to stay away from my neighborhood, but I guess he is now feeling guilty for his self-sabotaging ways and hopes to see a glimpse of me or happen to pass each other jogging, sigh…Guess I can’t even take a walk around my neighborhood now…Darn it, this is so hard…And just a little history…When we met he was NOT living in the same town, he came here to be closer to me! This…is…so…hard!!!


    Kudos to you in not acknowledging him and for 30 days NC!

    • PhoenixRises says:

      Don’t stop doing what you love to do just because he is trying to play mind games…walk where-ever you want! :)

    • Janiqua says:

      Wendy, you seem to be doing so well! My ex bf’s bday is this coming Sat. I have been doing a lot of thinking about him and I fell off the NC wagon after about a month…it is really hard and I know what you meant in your post from a few days ago when you said you wanted to just tell him something…i feel the same way. some days i feel great, and others, i miss him still.

      it is different than how i felt initially. i do realize there is nothing i could do to change him though. i think a lot of what i miss is just the companionship. sometimes i sit here and wish we were able to be friends, but then i think about how horrible he has treated me and realize that would not have ever worked.

      sometimes i find myself feeling angry at myself for not breaking things off with him sooner, as actions do speak louder than words, but i think i just really wanted to believe what his words were saying and was really hoping for a relationship after not having one for so long…

  31. oregongirl says:

    I really need some moral support. Feeling bad because I just blew 45 days of NC and now I feel like crap. After 45 days he texts me “how are you” from a number that I forgot to block, and it made me feel so sick to my stomach. I answered “ok, miss you” for some stupid reason! Once he knew I still think of him, he knew he had me on the hook, he sent me 20 different texts today and they ranged from nice to mean. Glad you miss me. Thinking of you. Why did you break it off. You must be dating online. You were mean to me. Don’t worry, I’ve found comfort elsewhere! Etc. Etc. Now I’m just sitting here falling apart. I’m a mess. After 45 days NC I was feeling so much stronger and happier. Why didn’t I resist his little poke? Why couldn’t I just walk away? Why does he always bring me down? He just had to tell me that he’s found another woman to “comfort” him. Why do I even care? I’m having a hard time with this. Going to take a chill pill to calm myself down. Any advice? Please! I need some help here!

    • oregongirl says:

      I should add that we have been seeing each other for 3 years. He has been separated from his wife and living in a separate houses. He kept promising he would leave her but never did, so I ended it. It was a messy and painful breakup. After reading all of his texts today, I just sent one back that said “You will never be happy until you get a divorce. Glad you could find comfort somewhere else. She must not care about all of your married bullsh–. Losing me was the stupidest thing you ever did. Nobody will ever love you like I did.” I just had to say it to make myself feel better. But now? I just feel like crap. Why couldn’t I resist after 45 days? I feel like an alcoholic that’s fallen off the wagon. Please help me, sisters!

      • Bethd says:

        Just get back to NC. As Nat says you stuck your hand in the snake pit and you got bit. You just needed the lesson. He showed you who he is so you won’t make the same mistake. Don’t beat yourself up. Right back to NC. It will be easier now.

      • Wendy says:

        If it makes you feel any better, I went 67 days NC and fell off the wagon, so to speak…I’m now at 20 days NC and it is so tough…Please do not be so hard on yourself. Forgive yourself and tomorrow is a new day! Hugs to you!

    • stephanie says:

      Take a deep breath! Just forget about the text u sent it done! Believe me i know how u feel, i actually slept with mines and the next day i remembered why i went n/c. What I can tell you is just you have to see them for who they are and not the bs that comes out of their mouth. The reality is if hr is working on getting a divorce you don’t have anything to talk about. All the texts he is sending is his way of trying to bust your boundaries and get u to open their door. Don’t let him in!! Keep n/c and after awhile the anxiety u feel will go away .

  32. ThreeDLife says:


    The best bet is not to beat yourself up about it. It happens. Go back to NC and don’t look back! Next time you will be stronger.


    You’re right. Mentally, it is hard to completely let go. I keep reading BR trying to understand how this could happen to me. I don’t have a history of being with ACs. This was the first. I was married to a man of integrity who, unfortunately, passed away too young. I will get beyond it. NC forever! Thanks for your kind words.

    • oregongirl says:

      Thank you, ladies. I appreciate the support, more than I can say. Tomorrow morning I will get a Starbuck’s Latte to commemorate DAY 1 NC starting over again. I won’t beat myself up, and I will get right back in the saddle. I needed all of your support and I got it. Much thanks ladies xoxo

  33. HappyAgain says:

    Oregongirl, 30 days NC wasnt wasted, it was a great start. You fell off, get back on and keep going. You’re doing great. 31 here you come! :-)

  34. Brandy says:

    Gina & LovefromNel- thank you ladies! Being on this forum really helps! Just wish I had started it right on January 1st instead of giving him the time of day through January.

    I am so much stronger- I still have rough days but it’s getting easier. Yup- start doing things for yourself. I started working out & I’ve lost a ton of weight! My self-confidence has returned mostly because I realize how toxic he was. Boy- he fit everything in terms of being an AC- jealousy, controlling, manipulative- he broke up with me & he got mad at me! Now I think back to those crappy accusations about me cheating (I never did) and I just have to laugh about it now. Seriously? If you can’t trust your gf to go to a golf tournament & comes home at 11 instead of 9pm & you get drunk & accuse her of cheating- you have some serious mental health issues. Or accusing me of ‘dressing up for my co-workers’ – uh honey- I work in a professional office – and no, I’m not screwing every guy between here & at the office. Lol what a douche. Tried cutting me off from my friends – especially guy friends- lost his mind! I should have just left him the instant he started pulling this crap- but hey- I’m free now. Ladies, read Natalie’s Ode to I’m Not That Woman’ – works for me! I’m working on me now- sticking to those boundaries (boy this guy really needed them) and getting real with myself – that’s been the hardest part.

  35. Craig says:

    I’ve read this article 10 times. It is incredible. Truly incredible!!!

  36. I absolutely love and agree with your point of view in this article. You said all that I’ve been feeling. When you’re in a relationship with someone who pushes and pulls all of the time, it makes you feel insecure and horrible about yourself. You waste a lot of time trying to figure things out and fix them with no help from your partner. Your article explains why! I write about relationships and other confusing male behavior at

  37. Mike from Oztralia says:

    Firstly let me say what a wonderful site this has been. I recently broke up with a women just over two months ago after 2 years. I’m a divorced father, with <50% care of my 5 year old girl. During these past few weeks I've come back to Baggage Reclaim repeatedly to help make sense of some of what happened. It's also given me some strength.

    The woman I was with engaged in several modes of behavior Natalie talks about: at the end she claimed "She didn't have what it took, and I deserved better"; on at least four occasions she took the relationship to the brink of destruction (the final time I called it for what was). As much as I cared for her, in the end I knew the relationship had reached it's natural end. She had some wonderful qualities, but in the end you have to be able to trust the person you're with.

    This post really helped me appreciate just what an awful dynamic this "game" can be. Sure I'm a guy, but I'm not clueless. Out of the blue a new crisis would erupt to destabilize the relationship. Each crisis involved weeks of discussion, umming and erring on her part and me having to pass some test. At one occasion I asked the question "Are we together or not" – her response "Why do things have to be so black and white?" Well in my book, these things are black and white and for good reason.

    I've bought Natalie's NC book and it's helped a great deal. I'm a frequent reader of the blog.

    So thanks, much appreciated. It has helped me pass through a rough time. But after two months, the skies are a lot clearer and I know I made the right choice.

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!

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!