You're only human and feelings aren't facts. You may have felt compelled to forgive but it doesn't mean that the knowledge and reasoning existed to do so.

Sometimes we overestimate our readiness and willingness to forgive. We essentially forgive prematurely and then once we’ve had some time, or we start listening to our own feelings and thoughts, or we start observing the person, or grasp the full situation, we realise that actually, we’re still angry, sad and hurting. We realise that we haven’t forgiven, and this in itself may cause us to feel really bad depending on the associations that we have with forgiveness.

When you’re in this situation, you may have prided yourself on being able to forgive because it’s what ‘good people’ do and so you may feel quite ‘bad’ now. It will feel all the more worse because you may have pushed down your own needs, feelings, expectations, opinions etc., aka People Pleasing, and so not only are you contending with how you feel about the ‘event’ or even series of experiences that have led to this, but then you’ll also be battling with your guilt or anger about not having moved past it.

You’re caught between a rock and a hard place and the more you push down your true feelings and thoughts, is actually the worse you’ll feel.

In these circumstances, sometimes the forgiveness comes about due to having believed that if you forgave, that the situation would change in your favour. It hasn’t. It’s almost like wanting a refund or a credit note for the forgiveness expenditure.

Claiming forgiveness may have been about shaming you, or even blaming you. Their transgression may have been blamed on your ‘inadequacies’. Hopefully you’ve come to the realisation that blaming you for their behaviour was wrong in itself. Granted this may have been a decision based on your own interpretation but they, if they have integrity and a sense of responsibility and accountability, shouldn’t have been willing to let you take the fall while they benefited.

You may have forgiven under the misapprehension that you are both victims of a third party. Your anger gets deflected to the latter and it may consume you. Circumstances may have influenced your desire to ‘restore order’, whether it was outwardly (for instance with your social circle or family) or inwardly. This may work for some time but will become problematic if the original reasons (which are aside from the third party) aren’t addressed or continue to impact. You’re also going to struggle with your decision to forgive if new facts come to light due to drip-feeding:

This is when a person tells you that they’ve given you the whole truth and so you think you have the facts and then they keep drip, drip, dripping more truth so that you end up becoming confused and distrusting.

Certain factors may have dictated the original decision to forgive. You were over a barrel (or felt like it). It could be that you felt that you had to forgive due to believing that your options were limited.  It could have been down to dependents or for financial reasons, or social consequences, personal beliefs or any number of reasons. Whatever the reasons, they mattered at the time and possibly still do so it will increase your sense of being trapped.

Maybe you really did forgive and then they repeated the issue or even did worse. Sometimes even that may not be the cause – it may be that what they say when the issue is repeated or the way in which they go about things leaves you feeling that they’d felt entitled to your forgiveness without being willing to show remorse through their actions. They may say things now about ‘back then’ that undermine their original apology, explanations and promises. You may feel like a fool or that this latest issue has lifted the blinders off you and given you 20:20 vision.

Whatever the circumstances of your change in forgiveness position, it’s critical to remember something: You’re only human and feelings aren’t facts. You may have felt compelled to forgive but it doesn’t mean that the knowledge and reasoning existed to do so.

Equally you may have felt afraid for a variety of reasons and acted as if there was a real threat of something, when actually there wasn’t.

Feelings also change and sure, it may not be ‘convenient’ that they have but if you ignore the change in your feelings, you miss am opportunity to gain some insight into where the change stems from.

It could be that there’s underlying anger, hurt and resentment, that’s bubbling up or it may have been prompted by a specific event. It doesn’t have to be something big or even related to the original event – something (or someone) has ‘unplugged’ your hurt.

It’s also important to note that you make the best decision you can at the time, with the knowledge and awareness that you have at that time.

You may simply know more now than you did then or have a different perspective. Forgiveness is a decision to let go and move forward but saying the words isn’t enough – you have to keep making the decision and reflecting it in the supporting actions. If you’re unable to keep making that decision, it’s OK to acknowledge this because you’re putting you on the path to being authentic – with you and with the other party.

You are allowed to feel angry and hurt.

Sometimes we park these feelings because we fear allowing them ‘out’ and making the other person feel bad, as if there’s a time limit and it’s this act that compromises us and leaves us in deep pain. It also suggests that they have a right to peace and to move on but that we don’t have a right to feel what we need to feel. We forget if we allowed our feelings to come up to the surface and gradually dealt with them, that we’d probably truly move on from this experience a damn sight quicker than stuffing our feelings down and pretending that everything’s tickety-boo or erupting with frustration.

I’ll tell you what’s not going to happen: What you’re feeling and thinking isn’t going to just disappear. I mean sure, you can stuff it down some more or even have the same discussions or even arguments but ultimately, if it all leads to you not being able to face the issue (alone or with the person in question) or you can’t face you, what’s the point?

Often in these circumstances, we act as if we’re stuck with our original decision, as if to say that we can’t step back and reevaluate. This type of thinking around decisions is what can cause us to feel stuck and unwilling to back away from something that’s not working for us.

That said, forgiving prematurely doesn’t mean that forgiveness is off the table – it’s just that you need to honour your own feelings and ensure that you have the reasoning, knowledge, actions, and if relevant, the support and understanding from the other party to get there in your own time. You giving you a hard time over it instead of being self-compassionate and them giving you a hard time about it isn’t going to help, because ultimately, if you forgave prematurely, it’s highly likely that they moved on from whatever it was prematurely, and that means that you both stand to learn and gain from this.

Your thoughts?

 

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122 Responses to Sometimes we forgive prematurely and then feel bad that we’re not able to let go of the situation

  1. dancingqueen says:

    I learned this during my last relationship. Mostly due to a friend’s interference in my break-up. I had written my ex a pointed, polite but truthful email, identifying a few things that had happened right before we broke up, that I had not known at the time, and that would have changed my feelings about our “closure” talk being the way it was. Stupidly, I asked for advice before sending it, from someone who I now know is a big wimp when it comes to ever standing up for herself with men. By the time she convinced me to re-write it, it was a super gentle, almost kind little missive, with most of the valid points dismissed.

    Which of course, he was more than thrilled by.

    Bottom line 1) I never ask advice anymore from people whose boundaries are not intact and whose characters I don’t respect and 2) I feel much more clear about trusting my own judgment. That email was really appropriate and I should have just sent it. It would have been a good thing to have said.

    We need to trust ourselves more.

    • Karen says:

      I was involved with an assclown who I kept dumping because she kept doing the same shady stuff I had dumped her because of before. I’d always end up missing her good points so I’d forgive her myriad bad points and go back to her, thinking that she’d be so glad I came back and forgave her, she would improve her efforts so we could work together to create a loving, harmonious and authentic relationship.
      Nope. Each time I took her back the invisible SUCKER tattoo she’d put on my forehead would get larger, and her behavior actually got worse as her respect for me lessened with each reconcilation.
      Thank God the tattoo washed off and I realized my “forgiveness” was not genuine, it was merely a tactic I used, hoping it would make her stop being an assclown.
      Now that it’s over for good, I can forgive her for real, but I don’t need to tell her that. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves so we can free ourselves from resentments and bitterness toward assclowns we mistakenly believed were sincere. I don’t need revenge, closure or anything else from her. I think living with her own poisoned mind and black heart is revenge enough, and my karma stays clean and fresh, like little rosebud. :)
      I wish her well(ness), but I pity any therapist who’d accept her as a client.

  2. stephanie says:

    The funny thing about forgiveness when it came to my ex is that I forgave him but I just didn’t tell him. I forgave him so I could move on. Don’t get me wrong there were times I still get angry at some of the things he did, but I just moved on.

  3. happy b says:

    I realise that two family members, who have caused me so much upset that I need to think of forgiving them, will never say sorry. I’ve confronted both of them more than once with the things they do, one drinking and the other being callous, and neither has admitted the problem or even showed regret that it hurts me. What is one to do in this case? I find it hard to imagine someone I care about telling me that I persistently upset them or even traumatise them – and then even if I thought they were over-reacting or got it wrong, I would still surely express regret that they felt like this and try to put them right, or tell them I really do care, or will get help, or whatever? But these people just can’t do that. It’s like accepting any responsibility is just too much for them to handle, so they just look at me blankly and shrug it off, or give ridiculous excuses. So I think some kind of acceptance on my part is necessary – they’ve chosen not to take a good look at themselves or have a sincere conversation and don’t seem to have or want the tools to do it. It must be a common thing?

    It would unbearable to break things off completely since I care, so all I can do is divest in them without any more drama, recognise that as much as their behaviour harmed me, it did not at all reflect on me and I now have a brighter future where I can understand my worth, thanks to BR :)

  4. Magnolia says:

    Hey, that’s exactly what has been going on with this whole hiring process for me – there will be a time to be gracious, a time to be okay with their decision and to let go, but I needed the past couple of weeks to be furious and vengeful and think of how I’d like to slip a tube leaking noxious gas underneath my one colleague’s office door.

    I’ve been self-destructive, staying up late, eating whatever I want (even McDonald’s – that happens like once every two years), not exercising and even smoking cigarettes, (instead of smoking all the pot that is sitting in my cupboard next to a box of dishwashing detergent tabs). It won’t last. I don’t know why fury leads to this kind of behaviour, because you’d think I’d want the best revenge, i.e. living well, but there you have it.

    After staying in bed most of the weekend, I came into work yesterday and got back on track, and this morning I had a green smoothie again after about a week and a half of junk food. I’ll get over it, but I can’t say I’m fully past the stage of wanting to punch someone.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Mags, I ate ice cream, knocked back a lot of wine. So yeah, living well and revenge, whatever..I did quit smoking and gained 15 lbs. I think you have to do whatever you need to. However you get through it is how you get through it. Be gentle with yourself. I wouldn’t go to McDonalds, but Taco Bell, oh hell yeah..Take care Mags, sounds like you are living well.

      • DunrobINE says:

        Magnolia,
        sometimes fury leads to “this kind of behaviour” because it is these kinds of behaviours that help us to numb out the difficult feelings and avoid feeling them. Humans seem to have 3 patterns with respect to emotions – repress, avoid, react. Learning to BE with the feelings is hard to do, but I think it’s where the healing is at.

        Nat cleverly says, “As someone who wasn’t used to feeling all of her feelings and giving validity to them, to feel the good, the bad, and indifferent was mind-blowing – a habit of avoiding feelings (emotional unavailability) makes it very difficult to work through anger”.

    • noquay says:

      Mags
      Anger is healthy. In this case it will hopefully energize you to look for new options in new places. Dont punch out anyone until you get those reference letters!

      • Brenda says:

        Exactly: But women are not supposed to get angry, where for men it is acceptable – explaining why they move on faster, to hell with it do the anger then NO contact.

        You can be really forgiving and all that, yet if you had any pangs for someone at one time they will still play games.

        I think NO contact is not just for us but for them, otherwise even if they don’t have the “access” they used to, Maybe you don’t even see them the same way.. Seems they will just assume they still have the same access anyhow, and that’s enough to piss you off and get aggravated I think.

        No contact I think is for the other parties best interest anymore.

  5. Sandy says:

    I don’t think well actually I know I will never forgive him and that’s okay because I forgave myself, I forgave myself for putting myself through all his crap, for ignoring the red flags, for loving somebody who wasn’t worth my love, for putting up with so much abusive behaviour…I don’t think you need to forgive somebody to move on, it’s a lesson learned as far as I am now concerned, a lesson I will never ever forget but I won’t let that stop me being the best of who I am.

    • Sanntay says:

      Totally with you Sandy. As much as I feel like I needed to forgive him for my own sake, I knew I had to forgive myself first. And I have forgiven my mistakes, made out of desperation and yearning. Even though I’m reminded of that mistake daily, I’m trying hard to move on, but the hurt and resentment still linger. I feel like forgiving him will come in time, but that’s not important to me now. I’ve learned my lesson, and am still nursing my wounds, but not afraid to love and to be vulnerable again. I’m just better equipped, with BR knowledge, a greater sense of self worth, boundaries in tact, and trusting my intuition.

    • JustHer says:

      Sandy,

      I agree too. I don’t think I can find it in myself to ever ‘wish him well’ because I just don’t (it’s been way over a year). I am working harder on forgiving myself for not knowing what I felt like I should have known, yet I could never have known.

  6. CC says:

    I tried to forgave my father for helping my brother and sister buy homes, but not me and I’m the oldest. It’s not that he’s not willing, it’s more that when he helped my brother (many years ago), he felt forced into it by my brother and then when I asked, he said no and I took it to heart. Then later, when I asked how much would he give me, he wouldn’t tell me, so I felt I had to guess what I was going to recieve. This left me so confused that I didn’t want to deal with it, not too mention that the whole idea of buying scares me. Unfortunatley in all these years, home prices have skyrocketed here and now I would need a lot more money and that just freaks me out more. I have not been able to do it and move forward, have issues around doing it on my own due to always having contract work and waiting for a man to do it with. I should have done it but becasue my father was never straight with me, I never felt comfortable with it and the last time i asked was when they bought a place in Maui and then he said not now. So, here I am the oldest, and without and he won’t given me the money for other things like education. It all feels so unresolved and when I bring it up nothng concrete is mentioned. it feels like drip feeding… I decided to just let the whole thing go and not get any help at all since it makes me so anxious. The thing that bothers me is that 20 years ago when he helped my brother, I never expected to get help, I always expected to do it on my own, but never have. It was like that resentment took away my natural independence and now I feel very resentful. I thought the letting it go was like forgiving, but I don’t think it is. My father is an EUM just like the men I attract. I recently met a man who ia an ex drug addict, been clean for 25 years (so he says) and he told me he just broke up with a woman and is detoxing from that situation and is not available, but wants to be friends. I thought oh how honest, but then I realized it made me feel all confused, just like I felt with ex EUM and father. we are definately attracted to each other and I don;t want just friends, so this time I realized wow this man told me directly that he is EUM. This brought up feelings of being drip fed by my father. Any feedback would be appreciated as this has bothered me for 20 years! Thanks!

    • happy b says:

      CC, I can relate to what you say, I think you can control the resentment. From what you say about the house, it looks like it’s about circumstances as much as anything else – your brother was more pushy, you weren’t 100% into the idea of buying a house, timing.. and maybe, considering your dad is EU and that means he hasn’t always put you first, you didn’t want that kind of dependence on him?

      Similarly my brother got loads more help and stuff than I did, from a very young age I didn’t like to ask for things and getting huge presents made me feel awkward and indebted, guilty even, while my brother would take what he could like most kids. I don’t know why that is. I wonder if even as a kid I had an unhealthy relationship with my parents.

      As soon as you have more control over your life and invest in the solid, caring people rather than the ones who diminish your sense of self, the resentment should fade away because you’re so much better off away from whatever cycle you could have stayed in. It’s tough to realise the causes of such painful and hopeless relationships, and material instability, in your own backyard, something I struggle with too. But now no one can take away your independence now, it’s all in your hands.

      • CC says:

        Happy

        Thanks for your comments. I have always hoped that loving caring person I could count on and move forward with was in the form of a husband, but sadly, that hasn’t happened yet and I’m middle age, so now I am in a place where it all depends on me and more often than not, I feel like a failure becasue I could have bought a home, but kept avoiding it becasue of an old fashion fantasy, doing all that with a man…and becasue I didn;t want to have to push like my brother did. Now, I feel diminished in the presence of my family and it is so sad. Oh well, may God’s will be done. Were you resentful of your brother? If yes, how did you get over it? The only way I can is to let it go and say God’s will be done. Honestly, otherwise, I can go mad if I think about it. And many times I want to push myself to buy a place just to see what I can get from my father, but it’s just not in me to do this kind of thing,unless it feels right. The question fo rme is why doesn’t it feel right to own my own home. I’m too scared to even look.

        • happy b says:

          CC, same here, I planned for a man in my life too and now don’t have a house, and feel like I have nothing secure compared to my brothers. it will take me some time to have one but it does feel good to be doing it alone. It means when/if a man comes along, they are fitting into my life and I’m not instantly wondering whether we’ll do this massive thing together.

          As for my brother, I buried the feelings for a long time. As a kid I’d always covered for him and defended him and kept this habit into adulthood, while the resentment simmered along. I had a big revelation recently that he really doesn’t look out for my interests and has made me feel worthless, and that’s what counts, not why it is (parents’ failure etc.). And this was very liberating for me to understand, not sad like it sounds. It’s great to stop caring about what he thinks or feeling that nothing I do will ever be good enough, it really used to have a hold on me. I think it will change my life for the better, am already starting to feel the effects.

          Just like you said to Tinkerbell, they’re assholes. And I can’t resent an asshole because I know it’s a pretty miserable existence to be like that. Being kind and compassionate seems to lose out in the short term, but having lost a dear elderly friend recently, I saw that he had a very happy retirement because he nurtured people so well (including me when I was virtually broken), and that’s what is important in life. I also think those family members are EU/ callous/ uncaring because they were trapped by resentment towards their parents, so we can’t fall into the same trap. There are some really good people out there and they are definitely happier, joining community groups really helps.

          • CC says:

            Happy,

            Thanks for your words of encouragement. I did get an insight that my best case scenerio is if I don’t need the money from my dad. Anyways, I seem to have issues with big purchases, even when I can afford it, like now I need to get a new car and I had a male friend helping me, but he was such an AC that I dumped him as a friend and have not looked for a car since. I am very stuck in that old fashioned notion that a woman needs a man to make these purchases, both my dad and brother know about cars but they live in a different city and even though my brother, to my surprise said he’d come down to check out the car when I found one, I’m not doing it. My mother was like this, didn’t have anything to do with finances and big purchases, she didn’t even know how to write a check for the longest time. I seemed to have taken on this helpless dysfunctional role (at least I can write a check) that is not serving my life at all, although it worked for my mother, and my sister is opposite, she is the bread winner in her family setting. I need to get over this helplessness and yet I’m stubbornly stuck in it and my life seems to be passing me by….glads to hear you have made steps in a good direction.

            • Sandy says:

              You can do it CC, brought myself a car recently, didn’t ask an opionion from anybody, it was my money and my choice but then I have always been very independant, you don’t have to have a male in your life to make decisions like that..if you need to get it checked before you buy it just take it to a mechanics for a safety check etc after all you will be the one driving it, and so what if you didn’t manage to buy a house are you able to rent nice accommodation, pay for your own food, pay your bills.
              If I do need help (mainly with something that might need muscles) then I ask my brother but basically I cope by myself, it’s not hard to learn how to use electric drills or hammers or anything else for that matter…I always give it a go first and then ask for help if its not something I can manage.
              Maintenance on cars is something you can learn as well…it’s just a matter of asking someone who knows and then applying that knowledge for yourself, if there is no one to ask then Google is your friend :-)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      CC,

      It must be very painful to watch what your father has done in helping your siblings, but not you. How can he feel that helping to buy his son a house is more important than helping you further your education? You don’t sound like a person who is a leech and would enjoy depending on financial help from your Dad. You genuinely need help. It’s a shame and I sorry that he doesn’t see the unfairness of it all. Parents should never show favoritism or behave in any way that suggests it.

      • CC says:

        Tinkerbell

        Thanks for your words. Yes, I think it is unfair and I always thought my father was fair until my brother did what he did. It damaged me and allowed him to become prosperous. I wish I never had any siblings. I protected them when they were small as I was the oldest. And now, I feel like their attitude is ‘each person for themselves’ They are assholes. And my parents are assholes too, so why on earth do I think I can ever attract anything different. It’s no wonder it’s taking me so long to find a man I feel I can truly move forward with.

        • happy b says:

          CC, you can and will attract something different. By coming here, you are making a choice to move out of that role that’s been created for you, it’s an amazing jump. You didn’t have to do it but you did. You will get more control. It puzzles me that men in our families seem to fall on their feet with finding supportive partners without effort, houses etc. while we have to fight so hard for it and wonder if it will ever happen, but if it means seeing reality and being the best people we can be, I wouldn’t exchange it.

          • happy b says:

            By the way, I’m also pondering on the differences between resentment and not forgiving. As I’ve constantly forgiven poor behaviour from the people who are supposed to support me, I feel that forgiving them again leaves me open to more of it. But resentment gnaws away so should be curbed. That means I’ll forget but not forgive? Sorry if I’m being slow!

  7. noquay says:

    I think I have the opposite problem; taking too long to forgive. I have way too long a memory plus I absolutely suck at just letting things go, especially if there was a strong emotional investment on my part, and a primitive sense of justice and accountability. It took me a couple of decades to forgive my mother for being abusive, I’ve never forgiven stepmother #1 or her druggie, violent son for their abuses nearly 30 years ago. I may never forgive my grad advisor for abandoning me when my life was being threatened and for setting up the situation that eventually ended my marriage. Someday, I may be able to forgive the AC, when I am permanently away from him. I always have tried to own up to my own shortcomings, tried to avoid hurting others if at all possible, and apologize when I do screw up. I kinda expect the same level of behavior from others.

  8. DunrobINE says:

    I have been in the situation with an AC where I have forgiven, moved on…and then after 6 months of no contact, learned new information that showed me how royally duped I had been. The hurt, anger, pain, etc. was ignited into rage for a few days. But by being present to what I was feeling and not trying to numb it out with distractions, the feelings were felt, acknowledged and passed. I wrote a fantastic 3 page poem to sum up the whole relationship and realized that perhaps forgiveness is a process and the first round of forgiveness was just a beginning to the process. I think that as long as you withhold forgiveness, you are still holding on to the person in some way….that in forgiving, you are completely letting go. And forgiveness does not need to be announced to the person you are forgiving. Sometimes we have to forgive people who are dead and gone. Some people, like AC’s who are so tapped out they don’t even know they need to be forgiven, aren’t worth the words anyways (a narcissist’s experience of shame/guilt/remorse is not like a ‘normal’ person’s…they lack a sufficient conscience). So, in a nutshell….I think forgiveness is a process. I think forgiveness is necessary to fully let go. And spiritually, I totally agree with this beautiful quote, “To err is human; to forgive divine” (Alexander Pope):)

    • DunrobINE says:

      ….the fact that there was any hurt/anger/pain left in me that could be ignited into rage is also interesting. It just goes to show that grieving and healing are both processes as well….which is why Nat so wisely tells us to stop using one another to get over previous relationships. She says, “Every time you enter into a relationship with unresolved hurt from previous relationships, you hinder your chances of success…..The golden rule of dating and having relationships is that you’re only relationship ready if you’re over your past relationships and have let go of the emotional attachment that you feel for a person, whether that’s positive or negative”.

      I believe that withholding forgiveness is yet another form of negative emotional attachment.

  9. Peanut says:

    Fuck forgiveness.

    The only person I am working on forgiving right now is myself. I’m working on forgiving myself for passing up better opportunities and settling for mediocrity and heinousness in pseudo relationships.

    I am surely worth more.

    The biggest lie people will tell you is that a lack of forgiveness to people who have hurt you badly and anger toward them will make you bitter.

    My anger made me beautiful…

    And near happy again.

    Some acts are unforgivable and some people are worth being angry at until you plum forget about them.

    • Ellie says:

      Well said Peanut. I feel the same towards my recent AC. I planned to meet up with him today as he has some of my stuff at his place and I wanted it back. Needless to say he never showed up. Didn’t even get a text to explain why. That for me is unforgivable especially after all the crap he’s recently put me through (long story ..lol..posted on another article on BR) so now I’ve lost my things. I won’t be able to forgive him for a while. If ever. Ellie x

      • Peanut says:

        Ellie,

        I’d be fiery mad (as is appropriate). Sorry you lost your things. I’d walk away, too though.

        My ex never returned my jewelry like he said he would (which is actually really creepy/he is probably fucking wearing it).

        But, alas, it really is better to walk away. I am so tempted to contact him again, but I know if I do it’s the same old rat race to the bottom of hell for me in dealing with him.

        So I let it go. But, nope, I don’t forgive him ;) When I’m neutral, I’ll let it go, forget and move on! As of now, I just need to stay the hells away from him. xx

        Best of luck. No contact is a bitch (so hard sometimes) but it really really is for the best in the long run. Even the short run, really.

    • Poppy says:

      Peanut, I’m with you on this one! PMSL on the f*** forgiveness quote!

      • Peanut says:

        Poppy,

        Yes! You know, I find that people who say things like, “All that bitterness and anger toward so and so really just hurts you,” are most often really afraid of their own repressed anger toward someone they need to walk (or run) away from. I have no patience for that kind of nonsensical talk.

        It is normal and healthy to feel hurt and lasting bad associations with people who do bad things to us. And it is okay to feel anger. Anger is healthy, though, yes, abusive behavior is not good to anyone. That’s why no contact is the real gem in it all.xxxx

        • Peanut says:

          And once we get to a point of self forgiveness for putting ourselves in the line of fire as adults with subpar individuals (or groups), we do indeed let go of any feeling toward the exes. It’s a freeing thing, though the only way out is through.

          I find expressing anger (mostly at myself) a toughie, as there is the propensity to take it too far and omit healthy options (exercise, journaling, etc).

          It’s all a really difficult learning phase that never stops in this life.

  10. Demke says:

    I think forgiveness is just being able to let go… It doesnt mean you allow someone who did you wrong to come back in your life. It just means its okay to say, ‘I forgive myself for going back to this person, again, after so many repeated upsets, and I now need to leave that ugliness behind’. There are people who are very manipulative and narcissistic, who can do you wrong, shed crocodile tears… And you want to forgive, but deep down, you’re angry and resentful. And worst of all, it destroys whatever self esteem you have. Its about saying, ‘i made a bad decision to be with/listen to this person again, but i know better and am moving on.’

    We should be quicker to forgive ourselves, more than anyone else.

  11. There says:

    Just yesterday my exEUM wrote me an apology saying that he has realized that I was right (some months ago I was angry and told him that when you want someone to be around you make a commintment, instead of disappearing and expect the other person to stay there when you come back). He wrote that he couldn´t see it then but that he sees it now and he just wants to apologize for all the bad stuff.

    The thing is, it sounded more like he wants me to forgive him so that he can move on with his life and I think it´s unfair that he has my forgiveness when I still recall how he treated me and that makes me sad and angry and unable to move on.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      There,

      You’re not hurting him by not forgiving him. And, that is not to say you’re hurting yourself. I don’t believe in that. If people have hurt me or screwed me royally, forgiveness doesn’t even enter my mind. They’re just “dead” to me and I don’t feel a need to forgive myself for harboring bad feelings because I stop feeling anything for them.

  12. Leadbellie says:

    I think forgiveness is over rated.
    And its again one of these qualities that I don’t understand because it’s invisible. And because of my lack of understanding I have “forgiven” “for myself” people who have lost in life (losers) only to come back and do different but the same high cord of destruction to me.

    Acknowledging someone’s rotted behaviour is silent and requires nothing – it’s just a “knowing” – no reaction necessary – and then a clear decision to let them go free – into the wild – (preferably a forest with no exit) – where no more harm can be done.

  13. Lou says:

    My EU ex told me he had met someone two weeks after he was talking about getting back together with me- he told me this via text and added “I hope you’re okay with that”.
    I said it was fine and I hoped he was happy- I wanted to appear as the ‘good’ person, that no matter how low he stooped I could still be a decent person and wish him well. But I’m not fine with it at all; in fact it’s eating me up inside and I wish I knew how to stop feeling like this.
    This is someone who was so hot and cold with me I didn’t know who I was going to speak to from one day to the next. He would go for weeks ignoring my texts and calls, only responding when he felt like it. He dumped me twice over text. He dumped me for another woman then continued to contact me being sexual and suggestive when he was with her. He never called me on the phone and I mean never, we would literally use whatsapp for hours and I know he is doing the same with this new girl because he is on his whatsapp constantly. I know I need to stop checking it but I almost want to prove to myself that he hasn’t changed for her and he is still the same lazy, immature man he was when he was with me.
    Why is it that I know he’s an AC, I know he’s no good for me and I don’t even want to be with him anymore- yet I can’t get thoughts of him out of my mind? Has he changed now he’s with someone new? Is this is now, is he out of my life for good? I think I just feel so angry that he now goes on to have a happy relationship with someone new while I’m still left dealing with all of the sh*t he left in his wake of being with me- yet I’ve forgiven him and wished him well? I know I have been incredibly stupid when it came to him and I welcome any tough talk anyone wants to give me. I have had some serious self esteem issues which I’m now addressing but any advice on how to forgive myself rather than him would be really welcomed right now! x

    • There says:

      I think that you imagine him right now happy with another girl but at the same time you know that he is acting the same way as he acted with you. I don´t think that he is happy. First of all, that girl is his “new victim” and, second, he is not happy at all. I think that a happy guy won´t act as an EU, really. These people have a mind so confused that they can achieve any peace in their minds. Well, here I´m speaking in my experience (my EU exbf and my EU friends and family…).

      I´ve been reading Natalie´s NC book again today because I was falling again and I can tell you, until we fix our problems we can´t never get out of their influence.

      My advice is that you stop thinking about them and think about your plans for this week, maybe you can find things to enjoy yourself a lot.
      For me, dancing is the best, I´m taking dance classes four times a week including belly dance and salsa and it makes my day!
      Keep strong, don´t fall in the “fantasy” of thinking that he is happy now. He is suffering and making the new girl suffer, that´s for sure!

      • There says:

        A radical way to stay strong in your position of knowing that you are far better without him (and that the “new girl” is not lucky) is breaking NC. Everytime my EU ex does break my NC (agaisnt my will) I think that maybe he is different and has suffered an epiphany and changed and then he does something to make me come back to reality as he really is the same “***ho**” as always. Just test him and you´ll see. For me, it´s like I could eat chocolate cookies all day, like they´re tasty and I wonder: “I know I will gain weight but I can live with that” then I get acne and at the end everytime that I´m about a cookie my mind recalls the acne and then it´s pleasure and pain at the same time. As I continue the pain has more power than the pleasure and then I have given up on cookies. I still now that they´re delicious but – I don´t have acne and the olive oil and tomato on top of toasted bread is also delicious and does not give me acne.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          There,

          How is he breaking your NC against your will? Apparently, you want him to have access to you, or you would BLOCK him from all avenues of communication. It’s YOUR responsibility to prevent having contact with him, and not HIS responsibility to not contact you.

    • Poppy says:

      This sound very simple Lou, but someone once told me that if you can’t/won’t or don’t forgive yourself for causing yourself pain how can you forgive anyone else that has caused you pain. That’s the starting point I guess, the rest will follow. There is no particular way for anyone it’s whether you’re willing to forgive yourself and remember to knock that inner critic of a voice on the head with a club hammer. Should be quite effective I would imagine.

      It made a lot of sense to me. I hope it helps you too.

      • Poppy says:

        and when we know how we created the circumstances that caused pain it’s also a way to set ourselves free.

    • Lorraine says:

      Lou,
      I really feel your pain. I know how you feel, wanting to take the “high road”. You could have easily told this AC off and probably should have, but the nice person in you allowed him to get away with his shady behavior without calling him out on it. Welcome to my world!

      First, stop beating yourself up. You’re human, not stupid. Read the past articles about your situation, they are so helpful.

      I also wondered if my ex EUM AC was a better man now that he’s back with his ex. I know for sure that he’s not and either is your guy. They were EUM ACs before us and will be after us. Know this! Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in wondering if somehow he’s turned into a prince. He was a jerk to you, you should be focusing on how he doesn’t deserve you. He obviously isn’t worthy of you.

      We all need to know we deserve better and also, he went into this new relationship within two weeks after trying to get back with you, how could he possibly have changed in that time? Trust me, he will be the same with this lastest victim.

      Read the past articles and read and re-read Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. I know NC is the best way to get over someone even though my AC finds me in person to do nothing more than mess with my head and make sure I don’t forget him. I too can’t stop thinking about him, this is something we have to work on ourselves. I need to get a life and get busy. I am learning if we work on loving ourselves, we won’t care about them or who they’re with or if they’ve changed. Thats our goal!
      Hugs,
      Lorraine

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear Lou,

      I can empathise with you and your situation. I’m not going to give any tough talk, because that is not me at all. But I shall try to help in a small way.

      I think what you wrote in the text is fine actually. Let’s separate two things and I hope I’m not too zonky-tired this morning that I don’t make sense in explaining my two cents worth. So let’s separate the text message (let’s call it the mask of forgiveness, for this purpose!), and actual act of forgiveness within you (it’s not related to him at all, OK?).

      But first of all, he’s an absolute AC by the sounds of it. I was treated similarly – hot/cold and ignored and ‘too busy’. I was with him for quite a few months, and he ended things by slowly drifting off the radar. I called him on it, he apologised, so then I thought I was in the wrong so I apologised, then he ignored the next three texts. I haven’t seen him since. No closure talk, no goodbye Nel, I just got ignored. The coward’s way out.

      I was full of hurt, anger, resentment, and most of all, overwhelming sadness. I slipped into depression, and struggled to get out of bed, eat, work, walk my dog. My eyes were a puffy ball of redness. I would burst into tears at any given moment. But most of all, I couldn’t believe I’d let myself be treated so awfully again (it’s not the first time). Because there were signs and flags and behaviours that I should have acknowledged, had I known my boundaries. Anyway that’s another story.

      What I’m getting at is all the feelings that were going on inside me that left me thinking about him most of the waking day. And my gosh, I still think about him fairly often now too.

      But I haven’t forgiven him, sweetie. Why? Well, there’s no need to really. He’s not in my life anymore, he’s not apologised, and even if he did (and trust me, I desperately want him to), but really, I don’t think I could forgive such unforgivable behaviour. It’s not OK to treat someone like that (just as it is not OK for your AC to treat you as he is). But we can’t sit around waiting for their apology. If they’re the typical narcissitic ACs, they don’t even realise the flow-on effects of their appaling behaviour anyway.

      So…I’m losing my train of thought now haha! Back to my two separate notions – the text of forgiveness, and the act of forgiveness. Yes, the text did show you were a better person. He was probably expecting a rant about how awful a person he is. Well, he didn’t get it. And that’s his loss! He probably thought ‘oh geez, what a lovely woman I’ve let go. I’m a d*ck aren’t I?’. Well anyway, who cares what he thought! It’s no matter.

      Which brings me to the second notion of the act of forgiveness within you. Personally, I think the whole notion of forgiveness is a little over-rated, as a lot of these comments reflect, but I do think it is important to forgive YOU. Forgive yourself for any red flags you ignored. Forgive yourself for any behaviour you put up with when you should’ve stood up for you. Forgive yourself for whatever you may have done that is related to him in any way. Be kind to you. We all make mistakes. It’s life, and as I said on the previous post to Peanut, it is one big learning curve. You won’t make the same mistakes again (particularly after discovering BR), so forgive yourself for those too.

      But apart from the mask of forgiving him, he doesn’t need to be forgiven within you – if that makes sense. He’s out of your life (and thank goodness!), he’s not apologised, he’s not deserving. So let him move on with her (they probably aren’t so happy, but again, whatever, no matter!), and you can focus on you. You said you had some self-esteem issues, and I do too, so stay on BR, keep devouring the readings and the comments, and you’ll become stronger, wiser, better. And you’ll be ready for a man with sooo much more integrity than this one has shown you. Because he’s shown you what he is. He doesn’t need to be forgiven for that. It’s just him. And if isn’t a part of your life. He’s not deserving of that either.

      Anyhoooo, soooo sorry for rambling. I hope there is some sense in it and I didn’t get on my high horse at all.

      Love to you.

      From Nel
      xo

      • Lou says:

        Thank you so much to everyone for their kind and helpful comments. Honestly, this site has saved my sanity at times. I don’t think he will ever realise how much hurt and upset he has caused me over the time we have known each other and you’re right, this new girl is just his latest ‘victim’, someone with no prior knowledge of how much of an AC he actually is.
        As if his radar had picked up again, he TEXTED me late last night, just a pointless “hey, how are things?”. I actually laughed when I received it having just read all of your helpful comments. He’s pathetic and he’ll never change. I’m going to keep turning to this site and all of the decent people posting on it for support and hope that this time I can get this waste of space out of my life for good! x

    • noquay says:

      Lou
      Unfortunately, all you can do is never look back. He may have changed, he may have not. It seems as though this dude was a total douche and will continue to be regardless of who he is with. In retrospect, no reply to his arsehole message would’ve been best followed by complete NC. Wishing him well, followed by complete NC would be a close second. There’s nothing wrong with taking the high ground and being a decent person.

    • Elgie R. says:

      Late to this discussion, but Lou, the thing to do would have been to text “Terrific! I’m happy in my new relationship too! This is SO GREAT both of us! Did not take us much time to get over each other! ” Fake it til you make it, and take joy in throwing off your AC.

      He was trying to hurt you emotionally….these ACs love to play with our emotions, for whatever reason. They never outgrow the junior high mindset.

      I’m reading all these words on forgiving ourselves, not quite understanding the need to forgive myself. Life lessons are often painful. We will make mistakes. In my view, the greater need is to love ourselves. First.

    • CC says:

      Lou,

      He revealed his true character to you when he said he moved on. And you revealed yours too with taking the high road, why hold onto someone who doesn’t claims to not want you? He will probably do it again to the current woman. Woman are easily replaced in his immature mind, so even if he did come back to you, you would just be waiting for another relapse in this behaviour of replacing you in the future with another woman. I think this should be the point of no return for you.

  14. DunrobINE says:

    Maybe we don’t need to get hung up on the word forgiveness. Maybe it’s so hard for people because they think it is something they are GIVING TO the person that hurt them rather than something they are giving TO THEMSELVES. Perhaps forgiveness could just be re-worded as ACCEPTANCE. Most grief processes involve 5 stages….the well known Kübler-Ross model, commonly referred to as the five stages of grief, involves a series of emotional stages:

    Denial
    Anger
    Bargaining
    Depression
    Acceptance.

    It’s usually not a linear process and can be messy and go from one stage and back again to another. But the bottom line is you come to acceptance. And I think when you’ve fully accepted, and you’ve fully LET GO, forgiveness comes naturally. What’s the point of hanging on to anything? For some of us, we mistakenly and sometimes unconsciously think that if we withhold forgiveness, we are somehow protecting ourselves:

    Nat says, “Where has my anger and hurt gone? It’s gradually dissipated as my own life has improved, which admittedly wouldn’t have changed in the way that it has if I’d continued to hold onto the security blanket of my pain”.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Oh DunrobINE – totally agree! I just wrote a long rambling post to Lou above, and what you’ve said here is exactly what I was trying to get at! You’ve done it soooo much more succintly and eloquently! ACCEPTANCE! That’s what it is. I totally agree. Some people don’t need to (or deserve to) be forgiven. It is us just accepting what has occurred (whilst going through the other four stages of grief also) and moving on from that. Love it! Thank you. (Can you tell I never shut-up haha – I wrote about eight paragraphs above and all I needed was one word – ACCEPTANCE). Typical Nel! Thanks again, DunrobINE. Love Nel

      • Nickster says:

        Acceptance – yes! Brilliant.I was thinking this word as I was reading through and trying to remember what it was that allowed me to let go of the ex I was wretchedly addicted to. And it really is just facing what’s real. Yes, he/she really did do those awful things they did. Yes, we really did let them. Yes, we messed up when we went back to them again and again. And yes, it hurts like hell. It’s kinda about accepting all of it, piece by piece, as much as you can stand, whilst at the same time, knowing that we didn’t know any better, or we would have done better. Been reading a lot on Anxious attachment theory recently and it makes me realise that some of this is pretty strong childhood behavioural stuff that isn’t exactly our fault. All we can do is try and unlearn it by re-parenting ourselves, which is what Nat is so great at teaching us.

  15. amicrazy says:

    Well well, the ex MM/AC sex addict borderline narcissist control freak sent me an email on HIS birthday because I hadn’t “reached out to him” and by me ignoring him his life was a “living hell”. Followed by, “I guess you’re really pissed [insert: that I Future Faked, that I lied to you, that I blew hot and cold] and I hope you will find it in your heart to one day forgive me. I love you, I will always love you and I only want what’s best for you. I just wish you felt the same way about me.” Ladies, I can’t make this shit up. These men are unreal.

    Um, fuck off asshole. I am ONLY working on forgiving and understanding MYSELF. Then, I will be able to leave this lesson squarely where it belongs…in the past. One day I will “forgive” you which basically means you will no longer matter one way or the other to me. I literally could not care less whether you feel forgiven by me or not. You put me through hell (yes I allowed it for 5 long months) and now you want me to say that I forgive you so you’ll feel like less of an asshole? Wrong tree buddy. Go piss somewhere else.

    Ah, that felt good :)

    Almost 3 weeks NC. I think I might be past the Denial stage and into Anger. Hmmm ;)

    • Poppy says:

      Keep going amicrazy! Please don’t question your name anymore. Crazy, you are not.

      Tosser!

    • Sandy says:

      Lol love it!!

    • JustHer says:

      amicrazy,

      I honestly think that one day I will find out about a website which can only be accessed by ACs and which has templates on “how to fuck up her mind even more” texts.

      Honestly, this text was almost word for word the exact same text I got for MONTHS after we broke up. The exact same, “I love you and miss you so much. I will always love you and there never will be anyone else like you. I hope you get what you deserve” [insert more BS].

      I used to melt after EVERY text. Don’t do it. You sound amazingly confident and I feel so happy for you! You can do it :)

      • Rewind says:

        OMG…same text I always get too. “I love you. Miss your face. You deserve better. I am horny. How are you. I love you.” I used to fall for the crumbs every time, only to get hurt again and again. I do think there is such a website..haha. I actually think they stalk website like these to enhance their ways to get to us. Wow.

        • JustHer says:

          Rewind,

          Can you imagine that we won’t be surprised at all when we find out the source of the texts?

          I always fell because I thought, the things he is saying are so perfect, it’s like my own hollywood love story. Sadly, those are just for the silver screen!

          We’re too smart for them now :)

          Hugs, JH

      • amicrazy says:

        So glad to get confirmation that THEY are all the same and will never change. I am not budging! It was a rather long email full of guilt trips and mind games. At the very end it said “Please do not respond back”. I literally said out loud “FUCK YOU”. Trying to get the “last word”…the NERVE!! But then I remembered something that I read in Natalie’s NCR book. *I* will always get the last word because my last word is actually my ACTION of keeping my proverbial door closed and LOCKED. I showed the email to my therapist, she read it slowly, looked up at me and said (and I quote), “what a manipulative asshole”. I love her.

        I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I don’t miss “him”. Well, I know it’s not him specifically but the way that he made me feel….except then I remember how after all of the very high highs I would feel those tremendous and agonizing lows that had me questioning everything about myself. At least now it’s more of a dull ache BUT I know who I am, what I will and won’t stand for, and that I’m only taking steps that move me forward. I also trust that time and my actions will heal this hurt and I will find a place of neutral acceptance.

        I hope you’re doing well JustHer!

        • JustHer says:

          amicrazy,

          haha he might think so, but he HAS NOT had the last word – you have the choice of not responding – he can request whatever he wants, but the ball is securely in YOUR court.

          I don’t think the ‘missing’ feeling goes away easily. I still ‘miss’ him almost 2 years on – but I miss the closeness, the love, the care, not HIM. You can’t split him into two – with the love, comes the cheating and lying. It’s a package deal.

          I am doing well, amicrazy, and I hope we both make it so much further in the year to come!

          Love, JH

    • LovefromNel says:

      Amicrazy, wholeheartedly agree with Poppy (hi lovely Poppy!) that it’s time for a new name. Yes, what a tosser. And no, you are certainly not crazy. Go you good thing. Love Nel

      • amicrazy says:

        Thank you Nel! Yes, he is a tosser (love that term). I can’t believe I thought this man was going to be my everything. Talk about dodging the biggest bullet EVER.

        • LovefromNel says:

          You’re very welcome, amicrazy (can I suggest mixing up the current letters of your name and make it ‘amazingly’? Haha – because that is exactly how you are going!). When our hearts are hurting, it’s very difficult to see a silver lining. But, yes, we are the ones that have been ‘lucky’ in a way. We have indeed dodged a bullet. Stay strong. You are doing brilliantly (and amazingly)!

          • kiara says:

            ahhh you guys are all so awesome!! It’s reassuring there’s a safe little community of love and respect here!

  16. Lorraine says:

    When you forgive an ex-EUM AC prematurely, I think, you usually end up getting burned. To really forgive is to completely let go and not allow the person who hurt you to have any more power over you. If, (as in my case) you think you can forgive before you’ve really healed, you’re setting yourself up for more disappointment and pain.

    I tried for the past three months to go NC and I really want this person out of my heart, however, I’m not getting there. The last text he sent me was on Xmas Day and I ignored it! Yay, me!!! However, I felt guilty! On New Year’s I sent him a short email, telling him that I wished him the best in the New Year and that it wasn’t fair of him to continue contacting me as I just wanted a fresh start. Since then, he hasn’t contacted me, just happens to run into me once a week.

    The first time I saw him, I was really nice and acted like I was over the pain and smiled while my heart was breaking all over again. He put on his best charm, flirting, touching me, hugging me, kissing me (on the cheek) Then with this sad puppydog face, said, “see you”…

    I became despondent after that encounter. My actions and words were telling him that I forgave him, but my heart was telling a completely different story. I wish I could get angry and hate him.

    Again, this morning, he saw me walking and pulled up to me. I was on foot, he was in his car. I kept it moving, smiled, 10 seconds of smalltalk and said have a good one and walked away. The whole time, he had this pathetic sad look on his face.

    I don’t know if he’s toying with me or what… I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t be nice and act like all is forgiven. I’m so tired of crying, being depressed, some days unable to function.

    Another thing, how do you forgive someone who’s never apologized or shown remorse for hurting you? I allowed him to speak to me face to face as if he never did anything wrong. I should be apologizing to myself for selling myself so short and allowing him to carry on like he didn’t destroy me.

    Thanks for listening ladies, I’ll keep reading these posts and comments. They help a lot!

    Hugs…

    • JustHer says:

      Lorraine,

      I feel like these frequent meetings are doing you no good. As long s he can ‘catch’ you, so to speak, he will keep trying until he gets bored, which cannot be good for your recovery.

      I know you like where you go running, but perhaps it may be an idea to find a new place. One he doesn’t know about for YOU.

      • Lorraine says:

        Thanks Just Her. First of all, I tried running someplace else, however, after two months, I felt I was strong and ready to go back to where I’ve been running for the past 6 years – along NY harbor, its just beautiful and motivates me… Believe me, I know a part of me always hopes he will be there… We shared this love for five years.

        My goal is to be able to smile and run past him with just a wave or something until he realizes he should run somewhere else.

        I will take your advice though. If I keep falling apart when I see him or when I don’t, I will start running somewhere else again. At least until I feel I’m totally over this ASSCLOWN!
        It’s been so hard though but I’m starting to understand that I really need to work on my self esteem and believe that I deserve so much more.
        Thanks and hugs,
        Lorraine

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dear Lorraine, hugs to you. I’m saddened to hear of the crying, depression, inability to function. I’ve experienced it, and it’s awful. I won’t say, ‘it will get better soon’ because I know that the word ‘soon’ can feel light-years away. I can only say be kind to you.

      I may be being a little cynical here, but I don’t think he deserves your forgiveness, and particularly not without an apology. The two are intricately connected in my opinion. I don’t think you can give forgiveness without an apology. And even if you get an apology, you don’t immediately have to forgive someone either.

      As to remorse, well, if he can’t see any wrong in his actions, he’s a bit too self-absorbed and not self-aware I think. Typical narcissitic AC! There is an old saying: “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” If he can’t see his past behaviours as wrong, he’ll continue with those.

      You are brave for continuing to run where you do. I walk a mountain in the same place where my AC walks. He watches for my car in the carpark at the base, and doesn’t walk when I do. I don’t know what that says – whether I’m a big hairy ugly horrible monster that he can’t bear seeing, or whether he’s actually ashamed of what he’s done, or whether he doesn’t want a confrontation, or . . . the possibilities are endless.

      Best wishes and a massive hug.

      Love Nel

      • Lorraine says:

        Hi Nel,
        Thanks for your reply. You’re so funny. I’m quite certain that you are neither hairy, ugly, horrible or big! I guess we could analyze these idiots until we’re blue in the face on why they do what they do, believe me I’ve tried. I do know, they don’t think like normal people do, right?

        Whatever reason we would think of why he watches for your car or why my idiot makes sure to run into me at least once a week on my run is probably not at all why they actually do it. It’s easy for me to fall into the “oh he wants to see me” mentality. You know, he’s running into me on purpose, therefore, he still must love me and want to make things right, blah, blah, blah. And then I expect him to be on the run the next day and when he’s not there, my expectations explode into disappointment and I’m finding myself having to start all over again in healing.

        Do you think they just want to keep us wondering about them? I’ll never understand why these men can’t just let us go. I am not a needy, clingy person at all. For me, NC is so easy on my part. I’d chop my hand off before texting or calling him, however, I do have a problem not responding to an email or text. It’s just hard to let go when they keep showing up. I’m hoping that I will get so fed up with him and become bored with his games that eventually I won’t care anymore.

        That’s the plan anyway!
        Love to you,
        Lorraine

        • LovefromNel says:

          Hi Lorraine,

          Thanks so much for your response. I read over my previous one and I was like – oh geez, you sound a bit cray cray Nel! Haha. Despite my low self-esteem, I am not the horrible monster I proclaim to be hahahaha!

          We could analyse til the cows came home, absolutely! And I’ve done it too. But do you know what? I remember reading a comment on BR here (and I’m plagiarising again, sorry gals) that said: “It’s useless to try to analyse it. Believe me I have tried only to fail to understand again and again. Until I realised one very important thing – if I could comprehend him – I would be just like him. I don’t get it but I don’t have to either. He’s not my problem anymore. NC is for me and let it stay that way.”

          Which is sooooo very true. If we could understand them, we would be just like them! And who wants that? I don’t want him to take my kindness, my gentleness, my politeness. Nor do I want to be him – rude, obnoxious, arrogant, nasty, control freak. So I’d rather not know the reasoning behind his ‘stalking to avoid’ – so to speak. Like how weird is that? Watching me to avoid me? Of course I can’t comprehend it, because I would never do it, because I am not like him.

          And same goes for bumping into your runner-man. My thought process was the same as yours – “well, clearly if he’s running where I am, he wants to bump into me!” Who knows, Lorraine, but let’s leave them to their craziness! We’ll turn into them otherwise! Ergh ergh ergh!

          And I can absolutely relate about ignoring an email or text. I would find that the hardest part. NC is easy on my part, because he ignored my final three messages. There is nothing left for me to say. But if he did contact me (and it’s my birthday today and stupidly I am hoping for a small birthday wish from him, even though I did not text him four days ago on his), I would still have a lot of trouble not responding. So I absolutely understand, and can empathise with you there.

          Best wishes to you, and hugs again!
          Love Nel

          • Lorraine says:

            Nel,
            Have a beautiful Birthday!!! Don’t feel bad if he doesn’t contact you, consider it a gift! If he contacts you, it will eventually cause more confusion, pain, etc., etc.
            Remember, you deserve much much better than him!
            Love,
            Lorraine

            • LovefromNel says:

              Thanks so much, Lorraine. It was a beautiful day. No birthday wishes from the ex-EUM which is great really! Do you know, when I was seeing him last year, he had a massive falling out with his sister who he told he wanted nothing to do with her. Then a few days later, he told me he sent her a birthday message. I asked why, considering he told her he wanted nothing to do with her. He said ‘to f*ck with her head.’ For reals. So I’m thankful he didn’t contact me on mine. Who knows what game he’d be playing. As I said above, I don’t have to understand him, because I don’t want to be like him. Thanks again for the wishes, Lorraine – that does mean a lot! Nel x

  17. Sophie says:

    I’m confessing: I broke NC this week after several texts after new years, after 2 months of no contact from him. I followed Nat’s amazing advice re: “state the nature of your call” lol (well, I asked him point blank why he was getting in touch with me after what he did to me in the fall (leave me for a woman with no warning while I was recovering from a car accident).
    After some humming and hawing, he said that he missed me and has been thinking of me and just wanted to chat and see how I am doing (!)I told him that I was still angry at what he had done and really couldn’t speak to him. He then, typically, lashed out at me – that if I was expecting an apology it would never come because I had upset him too, that I was a snob and think that I am so special because of my line of work. That the reason he was still with his new girlfriend is that she doesn’t stress him out like I do. The abuse went on until I called him a name and told him never to contact me again. I’m still unsettled from this – angry because when he never bothered to contact me for 2 months i thought that he would never contact me again, so didn’t bother to put the appropriate blocks on. And maybe part of me needed to feel validated that he would get back in touch and tell me he missed me. But I think that, in line with this post, I was afraid of looking like I couldn’t forgive. That I was an angry, bitter woman who can’t let go and has to block people.

    I know that he is a total a**clown and typical narcissistic attention seeker. Nat’s advice is a gift regarding boundary setting and not getting flattered by lazy attention, and realizing that communication is really just looking for attention not to have any type of meaningful explanation of his past behaviour. Now need to really block him from now on.

    Not to go on and on, but the part from all of this that has left me sad is that I didn’t want to look like the angry bad woman. The non-forgiving, non people pleaser. That I felt hurt when he made me look like a drama filled stress case. Worse, he knew how to press my buttons of wanting to be the “good girl” and the people pleaser. No more early forgiveness, hell – I don’t even need to forgive him. I’m tired of being the good girl even if that means that I’m alone for a long time. It feels good to set boundaries (thanks Nat! I wouldn’t have made it through this without your posts)

  18. JenniferA says:

    amicrazy! That was amazing, you are well on your way! I always go into beat myself up mode and totally bypass anger at others by sinking into depression. The total lack of insight these guys have is astounding. And very sad.

    • DunrobINE says:

      That’s interesting….we all seem to have different ways of avoiding our feelings. For me, I get into anger easily and it helps me to bypass the real feelings that are hiding behind the big strong angry me. Going through the anger is important, but without better awareness, I would just stay angry and never get to the sadness, hurt, rejection, etc. feelings. The anger kept me in a place where I didn’t have to feel vulnerable. That was then. This is now though. Learning how to be present to ALL OF IT :)

    • amicrazy says:

      Jennifer,

      It is sad. I have to constantly remind myself that they aren’t “normal” and don’t think, see or process things the way someone with genuine feelings or empathy would. They just don’t. It really is that simple. Hard to accept sometimes, but simple.

      Not beating ourselves up is very hard. I, too, have struggled with that. My therapist really helps me with that struggle. Are you talking to a professional? I was hesitant at first because I am not the type to open up and share but my God does it help tremendously. I highly recommend it. Sometimes we just can’t do it alone!

      *hugs*

      • DunrobINE says:

        amicrazy -I like what you said here :)

        You hit the nail on the head…if he’s an AC, he IS a narcissist. And some AC’s have a lot of education and are savvy about a lot of things….so, they can put on a good act that makes you think that perhaps they’re ‘normal’.

        I think that seeking some kind of help is a necessary thing…BR is a great resource and it can help point you to what you need to work on with a counsellor. If you’ve been in a relationship with an AC, then you’ve been in an abusive relationship. Simple as that. I am certainly grateful for my experiences – one of the best teachers I ever had was ‘my’ AC – showed me exactly what I needed to learn about myself. And THAT is a gift :)

        • DunrobINE says:

          Actually, I’ve had two AC’s. The first one was for four years and got me into counselling. I learned lots about the wolf but not as much about my own patterns. AC number two only lasted 10 months from start to finish because my previous experience gave me an excellent bullshit detector…it just took me awhile to listen to it. But when AC#2 pulled the “let’s be friends” card when I ended it, I insisted on No Contact and then started searching the internet to justify my position with him….and that’s how I found BR!!! And I have learned OH SO MUCH MORE ABOUT MYSELF AND MY PATTERNS! So, not only have I forgiven the AC’s, I’m actually grateful for the experiences! I kinda look at things from a spiritual perspective….everyone I cross paths with is a teacher…everyone has a role…how have I benefitted from my involvement with all the people who have been part of my life? It’s a nice way to look at things actually. Good luck everyone!

  19. Leadbellie says:

    Amicrazy – why do I think you will melt back into his arms? What he’s said to you is any women’s low self-esteem dream! I hope you stay as strong as your powerful
    Words.

    • Poppy says:

      Have faith in the girl! I know when I received that dream message, years ago now, I jumped straight back into the sinking sand so to speak. Literally jumped with no thought to the previous pain I had encountered. Every emotion I had felt had very quickly dissipated into dust and the reset button was pressed yet again. It was, as you said, a dream to my low self esteem and validation at the time.

      At least amicrazy is thinking and straight thinking at that if you ask me. I think her self esteem and boundaries are firmly in place with her powerful words. Wish I had had her strength at the time. You go girl!

      • amicrazy says:

        LeadBellie, no way! No how! I didn’t respond and never will. I even (finally!) figured out how to have his emails automatically deleted. They won’t show up in my inbox at all! It’s empowering.

        Do I still think of him? Of course! Do I miss the way it felt in his arms? Heck yeah. BUT I don’t miss the crying, depression, secrecy, lies, cheating, etc etc etc. That’s what I remind myself of constantly. I feel so much better about myself already because I am not walking around carrying this huge burden and secret. It is NOT who I am or want to be.

        My therapist and I are working very hard on my self esteem. Right now my only mission in life is to learn to love myself and figure out exactly WHO I am without a man. I haven’t been single in about 12 years…and I’m only 32! She is a God send and I don’t know what I’d do without her. For anyone going through a similar struggle who isn’t speaking with a professional – I can’t recommend it enough. It has changed my life for the better.

        I’m not saying I’m perfect and that I don’t still cry or feel down or anything like that. I’m just making very big strides and I won’t look back.

  20. Tinkerbell says:

    I tend to be very stern with people who trespass or try to bust up my boundaries. I remember hurts for a long time. During the process of my inner growth and desire to be a better person, this quality is very difficult for me to overcome. I place a great deal of importance on respecting myself and others. When I’ve been disrespected in a major way, I don’t generally forgive the person. If they’ve used and abused me I simply forget them and they no longer exist in my world. Of course Christianity teaches us to love our enemies. Well, I’m just not perfect and I’m the one who has to live with this and be bothered about it more than anyone else. I find that oftentimes people are relatively unaffected by your not forgiving them. They’re way too focused on themselves. If they cared enough you wouldn’t have the problem of forgiving.

    • Rosie says:

      Tinkerbell-

      ” I find that oftentimes people are relatively unaffected by your not forgiving them. They’re way too focused on themselves. If they cared enough you wouldn’t have the problem of forgiving.”

      You are right.

      I can’t erase enemies from my mind as I’m too much of a “the universe is all connected” type for that. I don’t keep them around, just pray for them (when I’m ready to).

      You haven’t been posting as much. You’re either super busy and/or everything’s going really well for you. I hope so! :)

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Hi Rosie,

        Yes, everything for me is super busy and going very well. My “special friend” (not calling him Petie, anymore) has finally fallen madly in love with me. And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve cooled off a bit. But this way is better for ME and we continue being highly compatible and having fun.

        My computer is trying to die on me. And shuts off intermittently, which is very annoying and time consuming since I have to power it back on and start all over again. So that’s the other reason.

        How have you been? I hope the new year will bring you much success and happiness. Are you working. again? Are you still living with your girlfriend? Tell me your news. Hugs. Tink.

  21. rewind says:

    Interesting comments. I do believe Nat is correct that given enough time, we tend to move on with our life and “forgive” those that hurt us. That doesn’t mean we forget…just that we move on to better ways of living. I read some of these comments and the hate is so raw and strong. Please do yourself a favor and let go of the hurt and the anger and replace it with positive thoughts that don’t include the AC. I haven’t gone no contact yet with mine but know that when I finally get to that point, I will take with me all the horrible things he did and tuck them away. And when I see him a year from now, I can smile and say hi and be forgive because he no longer matters..and will never be able to get to me again.

  22. Sarah says:

    To the commenter above, Stephanie, who said that she simply forgave her ex and didn’t tell him because she moved on – thank you, I needed that.

  23. dancingqueen says:

    I liked what a few said: forgiveness is a process. There is a great Collette story that talks about the stages of falling out of love and it talks about how one day you will wake up, remember your scar, and pick and
    Pick but you won’t be able to feel that familiar comfortable sting…and you will almost miss it. It might even feel strange to not be able to draw fresh blood. But aftee a bit you will look up and smell the spring air coming through the window and notice the beautiful moonlight and all that will fill you and-shame!-make you feel like love did. I heartily recommend Collette. She was a woman who loved hard but who, after much trial and error, became a champion of herself.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Dancingqueen hello! I like the wound analogy (and one day missing it). No more fresh blood! Who is Collette? Is there a title? She sounds terrific. Love Nel

    • shattered says:

      I would like to know what you all think about this – I’ve been NC for months and have ignored the random texts from the ex AC asking if I’m OK. Last week I bumped into an ex colleague who I haven’t seen for 6 years. Turns out she’s living in the same town and is now married. She invited me to dinner next week, and there’ll be another married couple there who I know from years ago.I said I’d love to go. Obviously she’s thought she should invite a man to even out the numbers, so she emailed me yesterday to say she’s invited – the ex AC with the comment – ‘I don’t suppose you’ve met him but he’s really nice.’ I’m not going to cancel as I was looking forward to it. Should I just go and carry on as if he’s not the womanising player I know him to be or should I text him to let him know that its me (I doubt if she’s told him) and not another potential victim – in the hope that he’ll cancel? Of all the men in the world to invite….

      • amicrazy says:

        shattered,

        Firstly, I would NOT text HIM. Screw that. You have been strong in NC. Don’t break that now.

        I would only speak to my friend. Personally, I would tell her the truth…but maybe for you that depends on how close you are. If she is a friend of yours she would never want you to feel bad or undo your progress. Just my two cents.

        Do not text him!!!

      • Wiser says:

        Shattered,

        If it was me, I would definitely not go to this dinner. A big social event at a restaurant with 50 people would be ok, but a small intimate dinner will be a misery for you. Trust me on this one. I would be honest with the woman and tell her why you can’t come to this dinner (without embellishing or bashing the ex), but you’d love to see her and catch up and socialize with her another time. Do NOT text the ex and hope he’ll cancel himself. Don’t be so passive, waiting for other people (who you can’t control) to make this situation better for you. Be proactive and take the bull by the horns. Tell the colleague, it’s embarrassing but this is your ex with whom you had a very painful breakup and you just can’t sit next to him at dinner making small talk. If she has any awareness at all, she’ll totally understand. Missing a dinner with people who aren’t even in your life now is not a big thing – being set back in your healing by having to endure the ex’s presence all night will be a big thing.

        • CC says:

          Maybe your ex invited himself, especially if he found out it was you who would be his date. If you know it’s him, then he ought to knowit;s you too. I’d tell the friend about you and him.

          • LovefromNel says:

            Shattered, honey, I wouldn’t go if I were you. The friend will be very understanding if you tell her the truth. I would suggest responding to the email and saying that you do indeed know him and it is best if you didn’t go, but would love to catch up with her in any other situation?

      • Sanntay says:

        Wow, Shattered: If it were me, I would not go. That will be a very uncomfortable situation and it may be dufficult for you to really enjoy the dinner party with the ex-AC in the room. Do you think she’d uninvite him if she knew of your history with him? You certainly don’t want to give him an opportunity to try to play you since you’ve gone NC on him. Just my opinion. Good luck.

        • shattered says:

          Thank you ladies for all your advice. I don’t know my ex colleague that well – haven’t seen her for years. I don’t want her to know that I was seeing the AC – I feel so humiliated about how I was treated by him that I don’t even want to talk about it. Best not to go I suppose – and I was looking forward to catching up with my old colleagues too. I’m still amazed that its the AC she’s asked. What are the chances of that.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Shattered,

            It’s a rather messy coincidence? If it truly is that. I agree with all the above. Don’t go. About feeling humiliated over the way he treated you and you don’t want to tell your girlfriend the truth? You don’t have to go into details. Let her know it was “an unpleasant experience”. That says plenty without your revealing too much. If she’s your friend she’ll understand and you can see her another time. I feel bad for you that you would have to forfeit seeing your college friends, but I’m sure where there is a will there is a way without you having an uncomfortable evening because of his presence. You really need to weigh the pros and cons, here.

  24. Leadbellie says:

    Hi dancingqueen

    Re Collette – has she written several books? And is there a particular one to buy?

  25. On the other side says:

    Ha ha. Love you ladies on here your comments make me laugh everytime well sometimes sad ! But it’s good to step back and laugh at the crazy Bs these guys try and feed us makes you realise how insane they are to believe that we will continue to fall for it! Hugs to all x. Ps I think we’re all doing great, we’re here after all x

    • LovefromNel says:

      On the other side, laughing is the best medicine isn’t it? But BR, Nat, and you girls are the very best medicine of all. We are very much here, and learning, and being strong! We’ll be better people because of their BS, in the long run. It just takes time, and growing strong self esteem, and maintaining (or establishing) boundaries. Hugs to you.

  26. Sad times says:

    Reposted cos I was on the wrong post!

    I have been browsing this website for about a week now and thought I would share my story for a different perspective.

    I am 21 and have been with my now ex for nearly 4 years. We get on brilliantly and have had some amazing times together, we had a brilliant Christmas and new year we were both or so I thought happy when we are both in good moods we have a great laugh together and have a great sex life.

    I am in uni and He has quite a demanding job with a lot of responsibility and stress but loves it but is always stressing about money or his workload. I spent a lot of time with him and his family and I am very close to his mum and his sister. He is very loving and always tells me how much he loves me, how he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and we speak about the future.

    In October last year we had been having a bit of stress in our lives and he told me he didn’t want to do it anymore. Naturally and shamefully I begged for him to stay that things could get better and that we just needed to try. Things went back to being great upto the day after new year. He went back to being stressed and not the best company to be around but we still had some ok days.

    On the 12th he turned up it started by us cuddling and he ended it after we had an argument over something silly, he stayed for about an hour whilst I told him I didn’t understand and I didn’t want it and I wanted to stay in the relationship but all he could tell me was that he didn’t want it anymore, he was fed up of trying and he couldn’t see things ever changing or being different and he didn’t see the point anymore. It is safe to say I was heartbroken.

    Over the next week we continued to speak (mainly cos I pursued it) and i saw him 3 times where he said he still felt the same. On Saturday after seeing him and nearly crashing my car driving home as I was so emotional I decided to go no contact with him and told him it was making me worse contacting him so we are best having none at all and got no reply.

    I am upto day 4 and it is still breaking my heart but I have this false image in my head of him rocking up and apologising and explaining how it’s all these other stresses in his life and not me. It was only a few weeks ago he had a mini break down and told me as much as he loves his job he’s struggling with the high demands and that it was driving him mad as the money he got paid just about covered his overdraft and credit card each month but he was glad He had me there as it took off a lot of the stress.

    The complete change of heart has just killed me but he says that the stuff he said before he broke was him trying and he doesn’t think he meant it. I am still in touch with his mum and sister and they don’t understand what is going on with him either and said even over the past few days he won’t speak or tell anyone about it and is just keeping himself to himself. All I want to do is help him but he will not let me but it is so hard to get into my head that he just doesn’t want me anymore!!! I just wish my head would click and accept it and understand. At least I am sticking to the no contact but I keep wanting to find excuses like when I have finished my uni work I am allowed to text him. Or I will text him on his birthday in few. it is so hard :(

    • CC says:

      sad,

      is he much older than you? He clearly doesn;t feel good enough for you. or he has mental health issues that he’s not telling you about, or a something else…addiction issues? why the money problem all the time? Sounds fishy.

      • Sad times says:

        Only about 3 months difference. I do think he may be stressed/depressed but he says he isn’t, that he is so unhappy because of me. Unfortunately I broke no contact last night – I know I’m irritated at myself now but I felt like I had up and down hopes and wanted to get things clear in my head. He was in a very bad mood as he had been arguing with his parents and he told me he did it in October and was waiting to see if I would change but I never did. And one minute he said he wants to be on his own and have his own space but then next he was telling me I don’t have enough time for him and I have too many commitments (I have a horse-which he wished I never got in the first place as it was selfish). Neither of us were at the point were we wanted to move out or make them kind of plans so why does it matter! He said he literally wants to work work work work and make money but I never stopped him from doing so I always encouraged and supported his work. He also said that he wants to be the boss but he said I was the boss as I had the idea of having a quiet jan were we save on money by seeing each other less/not going out for tea etc. I only suggested this as he had his mini breakdown and said he was stressed due to money!! I just don’t get what his problem is and I do feel really crap to think I could have been the issue all along but had no idea.. But on the other hand I don’t want to be with someone so up and down and I don’t want to have to change myself to suit him. I have always been a very happy person and these last 2 weeks have been the most down weeks in my life! He has money issues all the time as he just can’t stop spending and has even just booked a ski holiday costing 700 and owes me 100, along with the debt he already has! It just sounds like he has all this hatred inside for me and how can you hide something like that from someone I keep them going and then make a u-turn on your opinion and personality!!

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Sad,

          I don’t want to be hard on you, but you need to back off. This guy is not making you happy, he’s confused, irresponsible and doesn’t know what he wants. You SHOULD NOT be lending (?) him money. You cannot buy love. It never works, and you show little self respect in doing that. You are still very young and you really don’t need the ups and downs with him. Kick him to the curb and take some time to think about what kind of man you want to be serious about before getting involved again. At your age you should just date CASUALLY and have FUN. If they want sex before getting to know you that’s all it will ever be. You deserve much more.

          • Sad time says:

            I know I need to it’s just so hard when my head is like things can be fixed, things can be fixed. He has never in the 4 years I have known him spoke or acted the way he has done in the past 2 weeks which is why I stupidly think I can fix it and having to accept I can’t seems to be coming to terms slowly. Just not quick enough. The money is owed from car insurance that I payed for him as he asked to be on it as we usually drive abroad for holidays. He wanted to be on it but said he will pay me back when he next gets paid. It just feels like everything was all good and then bam, I have been through the whole is their someone else, as everyone I have told who knows him as I do said he is either depressed or their is someone else and he is adamant there is no one else. It just doesn’t make sense and maybe I just need to accept it might never make sense. My mum thinks he holds resentment towards me for how my life is currently going and how his life is going. E.g I’m not exactly struggling for money and have quite a lot of free time even after working and being at uni. But I can’t imagine having a relationship for so long with someone who has them kind of issues! I feel like he hates me!

  27. Nat Attack says:

    I just realized one of the reasons why I am so angry at my ex. I’ve been so pissed lately. I don’t think about him quite as much anymore, but when I do, I’m filled with rage. I want to throw a huge rock at his face. Thankfully, we’re in different countries.

    I’m angry because he ruined my love for him. More than anything, I loved being in love, and I cannot love him anymore because he is a coward, a liar, and an asshole. Of course, that is being reductive. Of course he is a human being with good qualities as well. But my evaluation of his negative qualities stands. I hate him because he shattered my illusion of him as someone I could love and trust.

    I know that in the long run I will be grateful.
    I know that my illusion needed to be shattered.
    I know that despite all the crap there is a purity to what I feel now that is beautiful.
    I know that I would rather live in a painful reality than a lie.

    But for now, I still want to throw a huge rock at his face.

    • There says:

      This is so crazy. I understand your feelings perfectly but don´t you wonder why do you want to be in love and love someone who is a liar and a coward, etc?

      I mean, is he so special that spite of all that you want to love him and you are angry because of that?

      As I said, I have feeling the same and thinking that there´s something very wrong in my mind. Don´t you? I don´t want to offend you, it´s a fear that I have.

      • Nat Attack says:

        Dear There,
        Yeah, I know it’s crazy. Of course, he’s totally not worth the insanity. But finally understanding the logic behind my emotions is useful because so often I cannot. I wouldn’t say that this sort of emotion is necessarily wrong. Actually, I feel that it is quite natural and perhaps could be a sign of progress, if I don’t hold onto the anger for long. The fact that I’m angry at him for being unworthy means that I find him unworthy. I’m not trying to defend myself for my sake here, but you mentioned in your post you feel the same way, so I thought I’d give you my two cents.

        Lorraine, honestly I don’t think there’s a “better” way to feel pain. If you are vulnerable and nicey nice and smiling, that’s what’s honest and true for you. I think there’s a power to what you feel too. Of course, it makes sense that you want to move beyond that. Of course, you do. But I don’t think wanting to throw a rock at someone’s face is something I want to feel forever either. And believe me, I was way too nice to my ex, when I was still in contact with him three months ago. That’s part of why I’m so angry now. I’m angry at my self, most of all (working on that).

        I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of us…Hoping we’ll all find our own way.

    • Lorraine says:

      Dear Nat Attack,
      I loved your post. I only wish I could hate my AC and be angry. He destroyed me and there I am smiling and being all nicey nice when he talks to me and flirts. How did you do it? How did you go from being hurt and sad to powerful and angry? I need to know your secret.

      I want to be able to tell him to Fuck off with a smile of course and just walk away. I want to want to throw a huge rock at his face. He too is a coward, a liar, a cheat and a huge asshole. So where is the damn anger?

      Best to you, you’re awesome.

      Lorraine

      • Pauline says:

        Hi Lorraine,

        Where is the anger? Buried under too many layers of people pleasing, being a doormat, being the ‘good girl’, being scared of letting the anger out in case he wont like you anymore, trying to fix/change him and make him see you’re the best thing he could ever have.
        Lack of real boundaries that make you say ‘hey, you can’t talk to me or treat me like that you bastard, piss off!’, and mean it.
        If you dig a little deeper I’m sure you will find a few more reasons why you can’t find your anger and sense of self respect.
        Honestly you sweet girl, he must be wondering why you’re even giving him the time of day let alone allowing him to smile and flirt with you after everything he’s done to you.
        If you treated someone as badly as the assclown treated you, would you seriously expect them to be nice to you, smile and act as if nothing happened? Yeah, I don’t think so. Actions have consequences.
        Men know girls who respect themselves don’t put up with crappy behaviour – end of! If you are putting up with crap they lose all respect for you and that’s a fact.
        Hang in there, as Nat says once you take of that fur coat of denial and the rose tinted glasses you will recognise what a silly little boy he really is. Xx

        • Lorraine says:

          Pauline,
          To a tee, so accurate. I am really trying to work on my self-esteem. He really doesn’t deserve the time of day from me, does he?
          Thanks,
          Lorraine

      • Nat Attack says:

        Lorraine, I replied to you in the wrong place. But you can find my response to your note below my response to There. Thanks for the thoughts.

    • rewind says:

      Love this, Nat Attack.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Nat Attack, I wish I had written this myself. I feel EXACTLY as you have described. My ex is a coward, an arsehole, a control freak. I also would like to throw a big heavy rock at him. Plus kick him in the shins. Fortunately your ex is in another country. My ex is pretty much around the corner from my house. Ridiculousssssss!

  28. There says:

    Today I´ve read a post about understanding that a lot of the pain comes from our illusions and projections. And it makes me very sad.

    Sometimes it´s so great to hate him… I can blame him and think that I will never forgive him but then I realized that he was very mean to me but, at the end, I just didn´t care when he showed red codes again and again.

    There were so many red flags and I didn´t mind, I just throw myself into that.
    He said: “I really don´t want to hurt you” again and again, with a tone that meant that he knew that he was going to do it. And did I get away? No! I said: “Then don´t do it” and decided to trust what was cleary untrustworthy.

    Imagine that my roommate met him just once and she told me: “Sorry but this guy looks proud and selfish and it feels to me that he couldn´t be anyone´s bf”.
    All my friends and family, I mean ALL of them, told me that he was abusive and what did I do? I dated him as a secret. One year and a half lying to my family and friends. My Godness.

    Of course he was manipulative, etc, but…

    He wrote me two days before that he had realized that I was right and he was wrong and that he was sorry and wanted to apologize for what he did and I answered that it was also my fault and we must not repeat our behavious again and so we were ready to move on. He asnwered like OK and asking if we could talk and I didn´t answer. These two last days he has been near me working all day and he hasnt said a word to me. To be honest: I´ve been struggling two days wishing that he talked to me and we could be friends and even that he had discovered that I´m the woman of his life. I know that I´m happier by myself, I remember that I used to feel sad and angry all the time when I was with him.

  29. Learningtoloveme says:

    Sad times

    As hard as it is and we have all been there you have to back off. If. Give him space and no texts even if it is his birthday. No chatting to his family either. We all know it is hard but find other things to occupy your time. If he is unsure or asking for space he means it and crowding him or messaging him won’t help you. NC is hard but it is there to help you. Natalie has lots of posts on how to deal with this and we are all here too.

  30. Yana says:

    “But the witch hunter believes that she has little or no black heart. She assumes to some degree a particular air of righteousness. It isn’t that she lacks a little black heart, as she would like to believe and like to have you believe, but that she is extremely uncomfortable with her little black heart. She resists it in herself, tries to deny it, attempts to cast it out. But it remains, as it must, and it remains hers, persistently clamoring for some attention. The more she resists it, the more strength it acquires, and the more it demands her awareness. Finally, because she can deny it no longer, she does start to see it. But she sees it in the only way she can–as residing in other people. She knows somebody has a little black heart, but since it just can’t be her, it must be someone else. All she has to do now is find this somebody else, and this becomes an extremely important task, because if she can’t find someone onto whom she can project her shadow, she will be left holding it herself. It is here that we see the resistance playing its crucial role. For just as the person once hated and resisted her own shadow with unbridled passion, and sought to eradicate it by any means, she now despises, with the very same passion, those onto whom she casts her own shadow.”

    Ken wilber, No boundary

  31. kayakgirl says:

    Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I posted, but I’ve still been reading and learning from everyone here. :-) Those of you who remember, my “Mr. One Month” has a girlfriend and they love bomb each other on Facebook. Good for them. I’ve since blocked him and don’t really care.

    I also had an interesting encounter with a bus drive some two years back. Well, another interesting development with that POS. A year ago (Nov. 2012) he tried telling me about how he and his girlfriend were fighting and she had gone off to California to visit her son and that she was going to ‘give him (bus driver) her answer about what I assumed to be whether or not she wants him to leave, blah blah, right? Well, after digging around on Facebook I had found lots of pics of them all lovey dovey, so when he tried to come back that Christmas (2012) looking to get laid (while all his kids and inlaws visiting from out of town were in the girlfriend’s house…I kid you not), armed with my new information, I did NOT let him in my house, I was civil yet cold, and sat there on my porch while he continued to lie to me and feed me all kinds of BS about their relationship. It was SO INCREDIBLY EMPOWERING, and hilarious, to sit there and know he was lying. Sooooooooo, fast forward a year, this past weekend to be exact, I’m sitting at home in peace listening to some CDs when suddenly I hear a knock on my door. Didn’t think anything of it until – you know when you get flashes of intuition about something yet you don’t exactly know what or why? – I stopped dead in my tracks and waited. Another knock. Ok. So I tip-toe towards the door and put my ear up to it. I hear bus driver’s voice (“come on, Kathy”), he knocked again. In fact, he stood there and knocked for AT LEAST five minutes. Finally he gave up and left. I was very proud of myself for ignoring him. Curiosity had gotten the better of me so I looked on Facebook to see if I could shed light on this latest. Apparently his GF was in Florida over the weekend. And, AND, not only that, he was love-bombing her all over the place while she was away. OMG was I disgusted. I do admit that a small part of me was tempted to open the door; you know, it’s the stuff we all here suffer with, loving someone even though we know it’s not right for us. But if I had, all the work I’ve been doing this last year would have been for nothing and I’d have to start all over again. I would have believed anything he told me about his ‘situation’ as he liked to put it. But now, since I ignored him, I can see the words of one of Nat’s posts (I can’t remember the title but it had something to do with when someone like this comes back into your life after months or even years and we get nostalgic and think it’s meant to be, soulmates, love of our lives kind of thing): why would someone who I’ve not seen or heard from in over a year suddenly show up on my doorstep??? I had given him my number, so if he really cared he could have called, right???? I’m so much wiser now than I was a year ago. And even though Facebook stalking isn’t exactly healthy, it’s helped me see the truth of his ‘situation’, and now I can re-block him knowing just how big the pile of sh*t he is and that I was right to ignore him.

  32. Able says:

    What Peanut said x1000!
    The ex seemed more concerned about being hated , not necessarily forgiven . I had and still have a lot of anger and let her know about it. She tried belittling for it but I didn’t acknowledge that. Then she tried calling me names, less than perfect and should feel ashamed, not righteous . Didn’t let that in either. I think there’s a connection btwn the anger and not being ready or wanting to forgive it I find I’m more likely to forgive after a lot of time has gone by and I’ve stopped thinking and feeling about it almost all the time. I forgive when I’ve pretty much forgotten all about it/them. But even then I’d say it’s less about forgiveness and more about forgetting the specifics that hurt so damn much.

    She txtd me this week on behalf of her child. I think I’m beginning to feel sorry for her. But I’m still very angry.
    Forgiving myself for getting involved and ignoring the red flags is the next step for me.

    I can’t change other people– but that doesn’t mean I have to accept them and keep them close or in my life.

  33. Peanut says:

    Forgiveness isn’t a choice. It’s not something we decide and it happens. It’s an ongoing process.

    It’s a gift that comes about via validating your own thoughts, past, experiences, feelings, fears, and wanting the truth more than you want to be right or feel good.

    And it doesn’t last.

    It’s not a static place we get to where we are opened and free. There will always be something. As long as we are living, there will always be something.

    The trick is to train yourself to be honest about every feeling no matter how horrible it feels. It may not be reflective of reality, i.e., feeling like we’re stupid or deserving of abuse, but we must realize we think this and how it’s making us feel, find out why, and question the hell out of its power over us.

  34. Love says:

    Just after start the no contact rule and going for almost two months in four days I stumbled upon my ex sisters instagram account and saw my ex got engaged with the his current girlfriend. They got together after we broke up, and she gave birth to a baby boy in September last year. He dumbed me thru a text msg, refused to give me a chance after I pleaded and begged him to work it out. Refused to see me when I flew down to see him in Angola, rejected me numerous times and I still kept hope alive until yesterday when my world came crumbling down. I realised that I forgave him prematurely hoping it would change my situation. Maybe he would see the type of person I am. It was the only thing I thought I could do at the time. I really wanted him back and I told him we had to move on with our lives after we had met up and had sex twice in October. Just a few weeks after his son was born. I’m a angry woman; I’m bitter, confused and feel so betrayed. I feel hurt beyond comprehension the only thing that helped me sleep was my redwine. I feel like the biggest fool in history; all the signs were there and I still ignored all of them. Here I was pouring out my heart to him allowing him to take advantage of my body. I always wanted his baby but he denied me that. He lied to me, pretending all along that he loved and cared for me but he went back to his ex. He made me to believe so many lies while super coating it. I never saw this coming. This two years he never once said sorry, he came and said petty things stil blaming me for our breakup. And all I said was I’m sorry. He broke me; he hurt me and I nor once betrayed him in anyway. And right now I want to write him a nasty email and tell him what I really think of him. I hate him so much right now and don’t ever want to see him ever again. A angry woman.

  35. Leadbellie says:

    Amicrazy – You are TOTALLY my new Hero!!!

    I was just thinking today that it feels like I’m off drugs. And this is my undoing, because as soon as I decide I love someone (horrible men) they take up every single brain cell I have – I believe it’s called OCD in other worlds. I am just so ready to abandon myself. The worse the better for me because all that pain and drama takes me away from my own life.

    I get to ask better questions now. I won’t drone on with the pathetic and embarrassing details – but trust that I was treated like an object/bauble and that the douche bag felt he could be so cocky with me because I stayed and stayed and stayed. Until the deal breaker came….for me.

    What is it about my self that needs to be blurred over by someone wretched? What would it take to keep both eyes open next time, sniff, and run like hell if there is even something remotely familiar about the next ‘nobody.’

    What is it about me that I, not he, rejects so wildly?
    And what makes me stay thinking that this is the only way I know how to love…is to be in pain?

    I want to answer these questions. And I don’t ever want someone else to be centre piece in my life ever ever ever again. I know enough that this is not love. Love does not hurt. Hate does.

    xox

  36. Raquel C says:

    I have placed myself in situations like this so many times. I would much rather put the situation at hand behind me and not deal with and basically pretend that nothing ever happened. I then find myself thinking about it at weird times and getting upset but taking it out on other parts of my life. I never really understood I was doing this or why until I read this blog posting. I will try not to let myself do this anymore! Rebirth!

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!