person at the door turning 'nostalgia guest' away with 'Hello nostalgia! I have a prior engagement with reality!

Regardless of the experiences you may have with somebody, nostalgia may be catching you off guard. It’s that sentimental longing or wistful affection for a past that you have happy associations with… even if what you long for represents a small part of your overall experiences or is proving to be more about being nostalgic for the illusions and/or hope you had when you were together.

Lots of readers share stories with me about their struggles with nostalgia and while missing someone or feeling nostalgic is normal to a degree, where it becomes problematic is if you override negative associations or reality to the detriment of your self-esteem.

The slot machine of good times versus bad times is why some people can find themselves in very toxic relationships waiting for that ‘high’ to come around or put their hand in the fire of going for a re-run with a Returning Childhood Not-Such-A-Sweetheart.

Until you’re in a safe place where your feelings and thoughts pop up but they don’t derail you and you’re able to respond to them with some self-care and a gentle (and possibly sometimes sharp) tug back to reality, it’s best to treat nostalgia like that guest that likes to drop by whenever they feel like it and will overstay their welcome if you’re not mindful. Rejection is also another guest that needs to be told to push off before it takes over your home [head].

Don’t let nostalgia overstay its welcome.

When you feel nostalgic, you’ve almost got to say, “Hello old friend. Fancy seeing you here… again. It’s a shame that you’ve popped around unexpectedly but you can only stay for 15 minutes and then I’ve got to head off as I already have a previous engagement with real life.” You can do the same with feelings of rejection and then you’ve got to kick out your guest because they won’t leave until you very firmly ask them to / chuck them out or you replace them with happier house guests.

Do compare the perceived reward and nostalgia with the fallout.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by the perceived reward of reconnecting with nostalgia whether it’s torturing you with daydreams and then engaging in blame, shame, and rumination, or attempting to go back and recreate those feelings with your ex. This is how you get hurt by chasing a short-term high so you need to compare the pain you have previously felt versus any perceived joy.

Which one outweighed the other?

Would you be willing to put your hand back in the fire to experience those positive associations if it meant experiencing what you’ve already experienced in terms of the negative associations?

Also consider the impact on you when you take these detours.

Is it worth giving you a hard time just so that you can have the fantasy for what may be a few minutes or hours?

If you’re going to daydream for half an hour and then spend the rest of the day beating you up, it suggests that nostalgia isn’t something that you can afford right now and that you need to nip it in the bud before it derails your day.

  • Remember what has been said.
  • Remember what has been done and not done.
  • Remember how you’ve felt before – Is this really what you want to feel all over again? Do you remember the pain?

Don’t combine nostalgia with being reactive because you will act first and then think later when the nostalgia has passed. I’ve heard from so many people who’ve been impulsive and then got into awful situations.

It can be a quick slide down a slippery slope if you try to make a bad decision become a good decision by hanging around.

If you feel really overwhelmed by nostalgia, do everything you can to refocus your efforts in your own life. Don’t just sit there – move around, go out, immerse yourself in a project, go to a support group, walk, jog, go to the gym, journal, knit, garden, something. Whatever your typical response time has been in the past, supercharge your efforts, especially if it’s taken as little as minutes for you to react to the nostalgia.

Do make sure you identify if there are any triggers for the nostalgia – keep a Feelings Diary – and do use what you discover to help you identify where and how you can meet these needs in your life. Just because this relationship is over, it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t enjoy the things you miss with someone else, even if it might not feel like it right now.

The thoughts are natural but feeding them with illusions isn’t necessary and is the dangerous part of the daydreaming. It’s where you can be most vulnerable because when you feed it with the fantasy, you end up setting you up to give you a hard time. You can have the thoughts, you just don’t have to chase after them. You can also have the thought and then force yourself to move on to something else or respond with something that supports you instead of undermining you. The better you get at intervening is the less impacted you are by nostalgia – you can feel it, smile even and then return to your day.

It is easy to fall into the nostalgia trap if you’re not doing very much in your life right now – make new memories!

Your thoughts?

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126 Responses to Sometimes you’ve got to treat nostalgia like a guest that’s in danger of overstaying its welcome

  1. paolo says:

    I do this alot…So it’s a really good article again to be reminded that making good memories is key and just because the relationship is over, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you miss with someone else.

    • BethD says:

      Great article. We all do it especially if we once had a really good thing. My attitude now is to let go of the hurt. We had a really good run and I realize that its ok to acknowledge the good times but moving forward I need to remember the pain, why it didn’t work, and accept there is way too much water under that bridge for it too work again. Making new memories is the best medicine and realizing the best of what you had is in the past.

  2. Heather says:

    Right on Nat and just what I needed to hear today. When my mind wanders off back to la la land I say past and redirect myself to something that is now. My home, my friends, my present. It takes so much effort it seems to stay in the present – its much easier to fallback to old memories replay the tape but then comes the pain – then the butt kicking for even going back there. An unwelcome visitor for sure!

    • I'm the one you speak of says:

      I’m with you Heather… Right on Natalie. Redirect and self-care…stay in the present, its actually not too bad :)

  3. Glenn says:

    You’re dead right
    Sat here tonight after 5 weeks no contact thinking about the good times- thinking should I send her a text- but copletely ignoring all the crap and abuse this woman has put me through!
    Nostalger-step back and take a reality check!
    Thanks Nat x

  4. Jay Gee says:

    So helpful. Though I still have them, I am finally past the point of wanting to act on nostalgic thoughts and feelings. I realized over time that these urges were manifestations of my own disappointment and loneliness. They had little to do with him. When the urge to act out of desperation or loneliness used to strike, I did what any sane person would do: I sent myself text messages. Really! I would text message myself (instead of emailing, calling, or texting him) with gentle reminders that my feelings would pass and that the temptation I felt to return to an unhealthy situation would be like shopping or bread at Radio Shack–I would only feel more desperate and lonely, not less. I would also remind myself of how far I had come and how there is really no way to grow that doesn’t hurt from time to time. Believe it or not, it worked! I could slowly feel myself becoming my own friend and protector. A little over a year later of NC, and I am SO GLAD I never acted on those urges. Acting on them would have created an opening in the protective fence I worked hard to build for myself. He doesn’t deserve to come into my yard anymore and I know better than to “invite” him. Time is indeed a healer. Well. That, and timely text messages to oneself, apparently. :)

    • Melissa says:

      Jay Gee, sending yourself text messages is a great and totally sane idea! I like it. I think whatever gets you through a rough patch that is supporting your decisions is a great idea. I did something similar. I made a list on my phone of all the reasons not to contact and I would look at it whenever I was tempted to contact my ex. I also set up reminders on my phone to send me positive affirmations a couple times a day. I made voice memos on my phone of myself reminding me of all the things that I can do when I am feeling lonely to get myself out of a funk. And, lastly I downloaded a gratitude app for my iphone. The app allows me to make a list for each day things that I am thankful and I can take a pic to go with the day.

      So, who is more sane now? :) I am committed to my happiness and thinking about my ex doesn’t make me happy. I have noticed the connection that I think about him when I am lonely, so I am working on that in every healthy way I can think of!

    • Mandy says:

      Awesome idea! I might try that myself! It’s at those moments you just start to feel a loss of control and you panic – sending yourself that text can fulfill the urge to DO something to fix it…but you’re working on you, and not keeping someone around who shouldn’t be there. Kudos!

  5. CrazyCoyote says:

    This is just what I needed today. I’m trying to let go of a relationship that didn’t exist anywhere but in my head, and I’m having a hard time going NC. I still hold out hope that we can be friends, and it’s because of the nostalgia factor – I really enjoyed hanging out with him, even before I started blowing the relationship totally out of proportion in my imagination.

    My head knows it’s stupid. My heart is having a harder time figuring it out. It may take a couple more beatings from being “blown off without the common courtesy of a phone call or text” before it gets the message that even our friendship is unimportant to him. Hopefully then I can go find someone else that I can enjoy hanging out with.

    Thank you for this blog, and thank you to my best friend for pointing me here.

    • paolo says:

      CrazyCoyote..You do indeed have a great best friend…And i know how you feel about the relationship in your head thing.

  6. Anna says:

    Thank you . This post is very timely. It has been 4 months since I have initiated NC but I seem to be stuck on the hurt. I thought I was getting stronger but today, memories of good times in the past kept flooding back and made me feel very sad that I can no longer have that with the EUM. Unfortunately, I work with the EX so the NC part is really difficult. I keep praying and praying and praying some more that this phase will pass. Part of me welcome the pain because I know I need to accept this, own my part to how things became they are. Forgive myself, forgive my ex BUT there is also a part of me who wants to rush this phase and get it over with! it is very frustrating and humbling at the same time. Thank you for you, Natalie and for your supportive readers whose comments I also value. It is good to have this community who understands what I am going thru.

    (Signed) Surviving Sadness in CA

    • Deb says:

      Anna – hang in there. I too work with the ex. He is my boss f ou can believe that. It does get better I promise. It takes lots of time and work on yourself but it is worth it!! Still pangs occasionally but nothing that makes me want to get myself into trouble again.

  7. Simmy says:

    When I have a bad day, I seem to want to escape to the previous relationship in my head. I think of all the good times (which were so far and few) but seem to go over all the bits I loved. It makes me want to pick up the phone and call him but then I’ve learned that it’s my dignity and pride I miss the most. I’m over building up his ego with the attention I give him chasing someone that was more into himself than me.

    It was my first time falling in love in my late 30′s. I am grateful for the experience of experiencing the dopamine high (he seemed like such an alpha male but after all that was done, I can see he lacks confidence and had an inferiority complex).

    I no longer focus on the illusion but now I think about how insecure he is to constantly need approval for his self image, his constant desire to talk about him and him only, his lack of sexual foreplay (I had to only please him), his lack of courting and wooing.

    I thank God for the experience for without it, I would never have know the feeling of falling in love but I have to stop thanking him for the experience because he was nothing than a cardboard cut out in my experience. He gave me nothing.

    • Hope says:

      “I thank God for the experience for without it, I would never have know the feeling of falling in love but I have to stop thanking him for the experience because he was nothing than a cardboard cut out in my experience. He gave me nothing.”

      Very powerful and elegant, Simmy. I had a very, very similar relationship experience. The only thing I can add is that he was a cardboard cut-out of what I really want in a man.

  8. CoffeeCat says:

    Ah, looks like NML was rummaging around in my brain today! I have been NC for over a year (yay me!), and today for some bizarre reason I did some cyber stalking, and starting thinking, yeah, he was cute, aww, he said he loved me! Bad move! And along comes this post! Yep, I turned the computer off and took my doggie for a walk. Of course, my thoughts are still swirling a little, but the worst is over, and of course, I have to say I was a dummy for cyber stalking. I *know* I made the right decision to dump this jerk and that one decision led to the unwanted visitor storming my brain. It’s amazing how easy it is to start down that slippery slope, tho. I am a big Harry Potter fan and I always remind myself of Mad Eye Moody’s words…ever viligant!!!

  9. deborah says:

    Great post Nat…As hard as it may be sometimes, I know that it is best for me to say no to the pain. Not receiving love, care and respect from another human being is one of the greatest pains that I care not to meet any more. This experience made me feel so small, unwanted and taken advantage of in the end. These thoughts are what drive me to say heck no to nostalgia…Move on to the next….

  10. EUM-R says:

    It’s been almost a month of NC with exwife.

    This is strange, but at the same time that Natalie put up the article about legal retaliation, exwife was making legal threats by text. She was just sending a barrage of nasty texts. Also that she did not want to be anywhere near me at our son’s graduation.

    Our son just graduated high school! :-)

    I went early and took my parents. It’s a big school so it was in a big auditorium. It was great. We went early and got good seats. After graduation we took some pictures and son met with his mom separately. Later that evening, i get a call from her and what did i do…

    I answered :-( what an idiot i am for breaking NC. My lame excuse is that i thought it might have been my son using his moms phone to call me because he ran out of minutes.

    Exwife’s voice was soo sweet and NOSTALGIA kicked in. She was being so nice and I was just quiet… then in a surprised or somewhat shocked tone, she asked “didn’t u see me?!”

    I was like hmmm NO… actually, I wasn’t even looking! (I guess since she showed up later she must have sat in the next section behind us)

    The best part is that i did not say that to her (i just thought that was a funny reply and kept it in my head). I did not even answer/acknowledge her question. I just said OK good, i’m glad that you met up with Son. And there were a few more times in the conversation where she tried to steer it towards us [NOSTALGIA], but i put conversation back on track regarding our son. After all issues regarding son were addressed, she wanted to continue talking and started asking how i’ve been and what am i doing later and maybe get together…

    I politely ended the call… then cried.

    • Lochy says:

      EUM-R – just wanted to say that your comment brought a tear to my eye. How hard that conversation must have been and how well you handled it, despite the internal desire to do the opposite. What a fantastic example you are to us all, you should give yourself a well deserved pat on the back. Stay strong! :)

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Eum-R. That’s actually very good news, even though you may have not felt great after ending the convo. But, you’ve handled it with grace and she doesn’t know how it affected you. Keep it that way. Impersonal, and only re your son.

    • Mandy says:

      You should be really, really proud of yourself! That wasn’t an easy situation, and you handled it well. You are only human!

    • DiggingDeeper says:

      Hey EUM-R that’s good! I know I was really hard on you before, and I meant it, but I also mean this–great job–well done, and stay strong!

      Congratulations on your son’s graduation, :)

  11. desuhana says:

    I wish I read this 3 years ago when I decided to contact asscloswn after my ex and I broke up. AC lives in a different country and I am not sure if he was inflicted with the same nostalgia game or cruelly feeding my vulnerability. But three years of messing with my head and feeling like a fool and embarassed because I believed the illusion–he encouraged it. I’m trying to not beat myself up for letting it go on so long–I get so angry when I think about it. I was played.I was played. I was played. My ego is having a hard time with it even thought I’ve been no contact for 2-3 months. Wish I could just tell him to F’ off and that I see him for who he is and that he is an asswipe. Can I, can I just email him that last sentence? Can I call him out? Truly what asswipe string along a single mom who was struggling just to get food on the table while I was unemployed?
    Fortunately or unfortunately it was my only time dealing with an AC (or player, or narcissist, egomaniac) of this magnitude, so I guess I learned a lesson.

    Yeah, yeah I know I am doing that –I don’t want “him to get away with it” thing…just seems like it would be so darn satisfying…

    Really wish I saw this site 3 years ago…

    Anyway these writings have been a great help giving clarity to my situation and offering ways to extract from it. Thanks Natalie.

    • MSA says:

      Wow!! my 3 years from a LDR with an AC ended 2 days ago. I am day #2 NC :( it’s very very hard. I keep lurking on his FB. I know I’m better off without him, and it’s not his first time to hurt me. I gotta give it to him, he’s quite innovative in his BS, every time is a new story, new apology, new tears to take him back. But that’s it! I really need to stay away. He got his head stuck backwards at some b***h who cheated on him when he was most vulnerable and in mourning. After THREE years, he tells me this?!! I feel like I was living a big huge fat lamea** lie. A single mom too, still going through the separation and moving out process. All I can say is that I feel used to feed his insatiable ego and loneliness. I know I deserve better, and I will strive.

      Don’t break your NC, I need to tell myself this too. I am so tempted to give him a piece of my mind, but I know I’ll only seem like a bitter angry whiny ex-gf, which I resent. I took the blow with grace, with my head held high. When he tried to convey the same old “sorry I hurt you, you deserve better, blah blah blah” message through a friend, I said I didn’t want to hear it and asked the friend to tell him to stop. He’ll probably remain in the loops of his past until it eats him alive. I am and will move on.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        MSA. So proud of you. That’s the way. No whining. Just utter silence. It kills them.

        • kookie says:

          even if it doesn’t kill them, still worth it!!

        • BethD says:

          Utter silence really does kill them. Since I have gone both ways with my ex AC/Narc I understand the need to tell them off for closure. I have literally annialated my ex with the telling what I think of him drill. It only feels good temporarily. I end up feeling like a vicious, ugly person and that’s not who I am. The best way to handle is to clearly state you want no contact, and then do it. No explanations, trying to reason blah blah. They don’t get it,and you waste your energy. It only gives them ammunition to rationalize their shitty behavior and now they can call you the pyscho ex when describing you to their next victim.

          • Mymble says:

            Beth,
            I am afraid utter silence is very unlikely to be killing the ex MM, I suspect he rarely if ever even thinks about me. Well I may cross his mind this week as he will be in my town. However telling them off is much worse, I did it and I only briefly felt better but it was a waste of time. He even said”I don’t understand”. He thinks he’s a loving wonderful person (he told me this himself) and anything or anyone who suggests otherwise will be quickly brushed aside. Even he will pity them. Euw. Yuck.

            • beth d says:

              I am sure he thinks of you. He just knows he has nothing to bring to the table and recognizes the gig is up. The I don’t understand act is pretty typical. He understands but doesn’t want to be accountable for his shitty behavior so he brushes it under the table. You are right about the telling off. It only feels good briefly.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Beth. Soooooo true!

    • Liz says:

      @ Desuhana
      If you believe actions speak louder than words, then no contact is the last word.

  12. Claire says:

    Fantastic advice as always Nat! I so used to be this person.you always know how far you’ve come in life when the more articles you read, the more you think ‘this one is’nt for me because I already do that!!’ Simply wonderful, I really couldn’t go back to my old ways of thinking & doing for anything. Though I will,always,read your posts with great interest. You milady, are a godsend! :)xx

  13. Deb says:

    Wow – I feel like you are speaking directly to me and saying the things that have been in my head all week. I have been feeling so nostalgic over someone – a relationship that has been over for almost two years. But I have to see him in “real life” so I go through episodes of these horrible pangs of wishful thinking. But I know that the hour or two of pleasure will be followed by days and weeks of pain!! I can’t claim ignorance anymore, not like I could in the beginning. Thanks for the reinforcement!!

  14. BriA says:

    Yeah, nostalgia is a B! Sometimes I will start thinking of “old times” and I will get so depressed and worked up wondering for the 92573th time why things didn’t work out or why wasn’t I “good enough.” It’s so easy to forget that the amount of bad times you had with the person greatly outweighed the good. But, the good times is what keeps you hanging on. My Mom always tells me that if you keep trying to rationalize mistreatment, then you haven’t gotten angry or tired enough. As the song by R. Kelly (American artist) goes, “when a woman’s fed up, it ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

    • A Little Bit Stuck says:

      Bria, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been over it so many times, Im almost boring myself! My ex sent me two songs recently that would ‘help me understand how he’s feeling’ – Donell Jones, ‘Where I wanna be’ and Tyrese ‘Must be crazy’ – which totally contradict each other. I should have sent that R.kelly song back to him, ha! Love that quote of your Mom’s by the way :)

    • Tee says:

      Your mum is a wise woman, she sounds like mine. Sadly, i didn’t listen once and got burned!

  15. Tanorah says:

    Wow just decided to see what was posted and it was just a great reminder. He called earlier tonight, but I didn’t pick up. I did find myself daydreaming about us for a little but I knew I had to be strong.

  16. Robin says:

    Thanks for this! When I broke up with my ex I was sure this time and have been no contact for 5 months so far. Thought it was over but actually find myself nostalgic and even asking the what ifs!! I miss all that-sharing my real feelings, hanging out, celebrating milestones, we shared most values except for how we dealt with problems-but I do have to remind myself that things didn’t work out for a reason.

  17. runnergirl says:

    Oh yes, Mr. Nostaglia/MM/AC has been visiting me lately, not in person but in my thoughts. I’m not overriding the negative in favor of the positive, fleeting moments. I’m trying to deal with it with gentle self-care and a sharp tug with reality. I’m in the process of kicking Mr. Nostaglia out the door as I move along with my real life. That’s is such a comforting metaphor right now. Oh I remember the pain of entertaining that houseguest who wouldn’t leave and wouldn’t materialize into the guy I wanted. Being with you and BR has tempered my implusive streak. I spent the day planting plants and composing the email to launch my campaign…I sent it moments ago. My trigger for the nostalgia is the onset of summer. You are right, I can feel it, smile, and return to my day. The words seem right. Now, god dammit, I got to get my feelings to match.
    Mr. Nostalgia is getting kicked to the curb. I took so much time off to focus on me, I now need to get back out there.

  18. Juls says:

    Guilty as charged ! I have just got some not so great medical news and that lead me to thinking how great it would be to have some support. Your post has given me a jolt and helped to remind me how alone I often felt in my relationship because he was never able to be emotionally there. A girlfriend just rang to see how I am. She was so supportive so I know there are real people I can count on rather than allowing my emotions to build sand castles in the air. Thanks Nat for sharing your journey & wisdom :)

    • Lacy says:

      Julus I love what your saying this is something that I need to practice on, my x is constantly on my mind.

      The thing is that I can’t pic too many times he’s been there for me,he has let me down far more times than being there for me.So I’m left with what ifs, or if I’d done things differently would he had loved me?

      So I think the best thing is to fill those voids in other ways because just thinking of him and how I wished things could be is a waste of time because he’s not a part of my life hasn’t been and doesn’t want to be, I salute u for having a strong mind and I pray that my mind and heart become strong too.

  19. Lacy says:

    This is a good post Nat! The x keep popping in my mind like freddy kruger.

    It really is a mind thing and if u out weigh the bad and good memories the bad out weigh the good,and I think I’ll pass on the 10% good times the 90% bad is to hard to deal with,Nat u are an inspiration, thank u so much hugs and kisses! !

  20. Who is this person in the mirror? says:

    Very well written Natalie, Thank You!

  21. Mymble says:

    I read somewhere that our brains suppress/forget painful memories faster than pleasant ones. On the whole that’s a good thing and self-protective. I am glad that my recollections of old sadness and pain are dimmed and sketchy, who wants to re-live those things through memory? The problem with it is though when the times with the EUM/AC were much desired and occasionally very intense. If the suffering fades there’s a tendency to dwell on what seemed at the time so perfect. It’s skewed because you’re splitting the “good” from the “bad” whereas they aren’t really separate, they are part of the same relationship with the same person.

      • Robin says:

        I think we do have a tendency to glorify the good old days, but those negative emotions certainly help too, in reasonable amounts. The negative parts of my previous relationship are actually teaching me how to take things slow when I date/get to know someone I’m interested in, but to ask questions when things are getting stagnant and to let go (and not be so available, myself!) when the other person isn’t as interested. Oh, and to be in the moment. I feel like when I’m in the moment and facing reality for what it is, I’m not hurt as much. :)

      • Mymble says:

        Teddie,
        Negative emotions yes. Memories not so much. Eg if a loved one dies, over time you focus less on the death and the circumstances around it than the better memories of when they were alive and well.
        I have a lot of happy memories of my first BF and that’s okay cos he’s a nice guy, he was a big part of my adolescence and neither of us want to get back together.
        But with an AC you have consciously not let yourself forget or downplay the crappy stuff, cos otherwise the nostalgia creeps in.

  22. Chris says:

    Thank you Nat for being a great source of inspiration, common sense and healing balm for a bruised heart. I am proud to say I have maintained an amazing 8 months of NC. it is getting easier and as the gloomy winter fades and the sun shines that black cloud that hung over my mind is lessening. I have moments of nostalgia for the excitement and fun times but I can see him for who he is and I also see that I had a part in willingly building a fantasy relationship with an AC! Have you heard the song by Alicia Keys “101″ He has crashed that train hundreds of times, he enjoys hand picking women like me to take along for an emotional roller coaster ride, while he inflates his ego. When memories of him pop in my head I press REJECT! I refuse to let those fantasies clog my mind any longer and prevent me from being happy. I will continue reading and recommending you to all women i know including my 21 year old daughter. You have helped me grow through this in a positive way I just wish I had discovered you 4 years ago. Thank you x

    • Lucky escape says:

      WOW!! Came across this absolutely wonderful site and boy did I need it!! Love all the EUM/NC codes…. everything just slots into place now regarding ‘these’ men…..I feel empowered Nat and all the folk who post here… thank you, thank you soooooo much….. It’s been 10 months NC and it was difficult… he constantly emailed/text even sent flowers but guess what after so many times before being like a boomerang I decided enough!. The words weren’t matching the actions and as difficult as it was I knew for my sanity I had to let go even though I new he was the one(crazy I know) that’s what makes it so hard to understand all the feelings etc!! I have come to this site in the past month or so nearly every day and it has helped soooo much…. Mr EUM you are history :-) The crazy stuff he did was just unbelievable I thought I was going crazy…. I still get tearful but each day and this wonderful site gets me through…..Good luck to all of you and keep strong Thanks xx

  23. A Little Bit Stuck says:

    What an excellent post! Nostalgia is a killer. 2 months into the breakup and this is what Im struggling with. I think Im mistaking nostalgia for feelings. Nostalgia has left me cancelling activities with friends,kept me indoors pining, over thinking and in floods of tears. They’re just memories though – time to start living in the present again! I think Im finally getting to grips with the fact that its over and that Im actually better off without him. It took me 2months to get here but it feels GREAT to have moved forward to a stage where I honestly feel like I dont need him in my life in order to be happy!

    Those nostagligic memories are going to kicked out a lot faster then before. The ‘reward’ just isn’t worth the fallout!
    x

  24. Tabitha says:

    Like Runner girl I have found that the rather late arrival of summer here in the Uk has triggered some nostalgia in me. A stupid desire to contact him, remembering only the good times, and of course, the dopamine highs. That first kiss.
    So yesterday was the anniversary of our first proper date and I had to go into the city where that date took place. I forced myself to not think of him and to push thoughts of him away. I chose to carry on with my life rather than curl up in a ball having a “nostalgia day” So, at the event I forced myself to go to, I met a very nice man. I doubt anything will come of it, but it was so good to feel attraction to someone else and think, yeah, I could spend time with him and it would be fun. Actually it would probably be a lot more fun than hanging out with Old Whats his Assface (thanks Rev) So for all those in the early days of NC, please do stand firm and listen to what Natalie says. Recovery is not that far away and it is a far better place than where you were with the ex and better than where you are now. Keep The Faith.

  25. Lilly says:

    I may still feel very sad, but there will be no walk down memory lane for me. All I’d be doing is longing for some hoped for thing that never happened.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Lilly, I feel the pain in your words. Have faith, Hon, and stay strong. It’ll get better with time. Warmest wishes for your continued renewal. Tink.

      • Lilly says:

        Tink, you made me cry because you understand. I have come such a long way, but still have a way to go. I recently had an opportunity to attend a conference where I know the exMM/AC is presenting a paper and although I wanted to go I turned it down. Once upon a time I would have jumped at the chance. I must be improving.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Lilly. I DO understand. If things had not been sooo tragic for you I would say go to the conference. But sometimes it’s not wise to risk inflicting more pain on yourself especially when you’re not ready. Anyway, only you will know why you did not attend. He may or may not be looking for you, but there could be a million reasons why you’re not there. They don’t have to have anything to do with him, right? I think you made the best decision. Hugs to you.

          • Allison says:

            Lilly,

            You’re doing great! We can see how much stronger you’re getting!

            Hugs

        • teachable says:

          Yes you most definately are Ms Steel! Stay strong! T x

  26. Nancyw says:

    This was a great and timely post. I was just thinking yesterday how much fun I used to have with him at the beginning. But I also reminded myself how much pain I have when I see him followed by weeks of not hearing from him, lies, other women, etc. So those nostalgic moments are beginning to not mean anything. When they do surface, I just make myself rewind to all the terrible, manipulative and hurtful things he did to me.

    I just love this site. How cool would it be if we all got together in one big circle to laugh, cry and talk!!

  27. Jay Gee says:

    @Melissa. Sounds like we have similar ways of coping. Thanks for the app suggestion. I’m gettin’ it! Three cheers for positive self-talk and gratitude. :)

  28. noquay says:

    Unfortunately, I have a long and nearly photographic memory. I can always, as the drop of a hat remember exactly when either my ex husband or the AC did at the time, said, even what they wore. The contrast between a life where I had a wonderful husband, a supportive community, then the AC and my current situation ( doing my best to build a real life but very intellectually and emotionally isolated) is sooo damaging. I really do feel as though any meaningful life for me may be over. I contribute 200% to community, to the college, but it’s all giving and getting nothing back. Feel tired and drained. Memories came marching in after a particularly annoying first meeting with a dudeon line; wwasted time, gas (120 mile round trip) for someone that was really “off”. Was having bad thoughts ” now this kind of dude is all I am worth”, I am old, undesirable, top independent, etc. After quite literally slapping myself hard in the face, I went on a long run into the high mountains which, due to snowpack, became part really hairy free climb up a nasty slope so I could summit. Nothing like the possibility of immediate death to focus one’s mind, eh? Literally on top of my world. We women are very memory-driven whereas many men forget damn near every aspect of a relationship. Am going to try something totally crazy; applying for a presidency at a remote college in Canada. May not be qualified, but admin is the only level I can really move up to. Tramping around treeline made me realize that I could handle an alpine environment. On the other hand, the supply of educated men would be even more scarce in a remote territory than this state. An act of self- empowerment, not mindlessly accepting my fate. Good post Nat, really got the old brain cells working.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Noquay, You’re sounding well. You’re wanting to broaden your horizons and employ your educations, talents and interests more effectively, and that is always a good thing. Just take your time and think hard about about moving to a more remote area. You say you are older, so there’s much more for you to consider than if you were a 20 yr old. Plus, the probability of a smaller choice of eligible men? Wishing you well whatever you decide.

      • kookie says:

        It’s not remembering that sets you up for pain, but the power your own mind assigns those memories.I don’t know about the men not remembering business,my memory is shite, but the EUM i dated remembers everything about us, what i wore, what I said, what song was playing on the radio. I just remember a general feeling i felt, but I am worse of than him in getting over this because I assign more value to my vague feelings than he does to the very photographic recollection he has of us. So if you’re cursed with remembering alas, nothing you can do but you can do something about caring less about what you remember.

    • Reversal says:

      Noquay, loved your post :) You stated, “Was having bad thoughts ‘now this kind of dude is all I am worth’, I am old, undesirable, top independent, etc.”
      I must admit that I have these thoughts sometimes, too, and like you attempt to quell them by figuratively slapping myself hard in the face.

      I started asking others – men and women – what they thought of the quality of their respective dating pools, and I received terrible answers. I decided that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this shoddy behavior. BR has taught me that I am not desperate enough to accept shoddy behavior, and I have stopped accepting it. Just over this past weekend I finally realized WHY I started accepting it in the first place (more than 15 years ago!)… What a freeing revelation!

      I suppose the adage is true: you teach people how to treat you. If someone says something inappropriate, I call them on it. Heck, I straight walked away from one guy (a mere acquaintance I BARELY know) who commented on my body after I said “Hello” to him – like I should have taken the comment as a compliment. I mean, who has time for this type of crap?! In any case, I smile to myself a little every time I don’t accept inappropriateness and am getting ever used to being my own best friend and lover.

      All that to say, good on you Noquay – do what’s best for YOU!

  29. Free 2 Be C says:

    I received the link to this post shortly after I received an email from my corporate office to stop in by the office the next day for a meeting. When I received the email from my employer I was nerve striken. Not because of any impending work related matter, but because I would have to travel into and through my Ex’s neighborhood. Seven years of knowing her and driving through that area you can just imagine that landmarks, sights and sounds would all come rushing back at me, and as the evening prolong it was just a vicious circle of memories that I succumbed to. It as if every time I think I have moved on, something unexpected happens to open up the wound of lies and betrayal. I found myself beating me up asking the entire time why was I so blind? Regardless of any situation I should have seen it coming.

    BUT, I talked back to myself and said to myself “SELF, what did I really do wrong, was I the one that cheated the relationship, was I the one that was shady, and future faked, did I betray the trust? Was I the one that didn’t care and give everything and more? The answer was NO. I loved her as best as I knew how and cared and protected her while she did all the opposite.

    Therefore I should drive to work with my head up high and for every sight and sound that was good, there was also a hidden agenda of evil from that woman. I also remembered the support of many of you live @REVOLUTION who reminded me “I dodged a bullet to the head” that some peoples are a different animal just pure con artists. Then I remembered ALL of the pain associated with the relationship and took Natalie’s and my own advice. Why should I let myself feel that way? Why? Why should I allow her to have that control over me? Has she not done enough damage?

    So yes, don’t sink into the nostalgic road of emotions; Best to feel the pain so that you don’t go down that slippery slope that can open up a can of PAIN.
    On a second note, I agree with Natalie, dive into something that is so very important. Get all those good endorphins flowing. I went back to the gym, and not only has eating clean AGAIN and exercising freed me of so much negative energy and toxins, but has made me focus on my much needed health goals. I feel good and look good if I can say so myself. And that is good for the self esteem therefore I’ll take it.

    Those are my thoughts.

    • Revolution says:

      Free,

      You should see me beaming right now, reading your comment. Good for you. You sound like you’re on track, and that’s an inspiration to me. Dodged a bullet indeed. :)

  30. MovingOn says:

    Wow. After all the time I spent on this site, I should know better AND do better. I ran into him on Memorial Day. In my silly mind it was Divine Intervention. Yeah right! He said he missed me. I fell for it. He was so sweet. Sunday that just passed he was back to his old antics and got upset I did not invite him to a barbecue my cousin was having because he had to be at work. I lost it. Unleashed a lot of things he already knows. He doesn’t love me. He just loves knowing that he got me. Thanks for your articles. And thanks to everyone that shares. I see myself in your story and they give me strength. It has been 4 days of NC and I am taking it step-by-step. He will never change. But in order for me to get the change I want, I have to be the change I want to see. Gosh, this hurts. A lot!

  31. Tinkerbell says:

    Nat, I’m sure, as Chris just commented, we all wish we had known about this blog years ago. The title of this one is very catchy, the drawing very clever (LOVE IT) and as usual the content is priceless. We’re so lucky to have you holding us up, and as in my case keeping us grounded in reality. THANKS!

  32. Revolution says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post. And what I have realized is that I’m a bit cockeyed when it comes to entertaining nostalgic thoughts of the ex-EUM/AC. My tendency is, as soon as I have a painful “breakup” in any type of relationship, I immediately PUSH all memories, thoughts, momentos, etc. AWAY from me for a LONG while, because I just can’t deal. And then, when it’s “safe” again, and I’ve dealt with grieving the person, I revisit the memories of that person. There are pros and cons to this, I am sure.

    Just last month was the first time that I could crack open my journal that I had written during the time I was “friends” with the AC. It was weird reading my romantic notions of him, and all of the odd little notes I jotted down about him and our interactions. It doesn’t hurt anymore, like it did before. I mean, shit, it’s been over a year (and NC during that entire time). Still, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss him. But I know in my brain and GUT that I don’t want him back for any type of relationship. So that’s like a safety switch for me. Nonetheless, no matter how “over it” I am, it’s STILL unhealthy to let these thoughts build a nest in my brain. But it is nice to put it to bed (the relationship) and see it for what it was: the good, bad, and ugly of it. I’m such a sap sometimes, surprisingly. I am a very sentimental person, something the AC used to tease me about. But I’m learning to keep myself in check and plant my feet firmly in reality. And that includes acknowledging the good memories, and then putting them to rest. Those are my thoughts anyhow.

  33. pinkearth says:

    Thanks Nat. Your articles are always relevant and makes sense. How do you generate your topics so frequently?

    As for me, I think of him everyday but fortunately the longer I’m on NC, my mind gets clearer and I’m more certain that my decision is right. It’s been 7 mths, somedays are tougher…especially when I had a bad day but the thought of reconnecting and going through the same shit is enough to make me stick to my plan. It is time I put self first.

  34. Free 2 Be C says:

    Revolution,

    It was your message to me that helped put all of Natalies work along with the thousands of posters stories together for me.So thanks! And yeah somehow I can invision you beeming. I know it’s still not over and the true test will be is she ever reaches out or if I ever run into her again. And yes obviously I still think about the what if’s, but I now have the tools and the right mindset not to hurt me as it once did. My mantra is feel the pain! Cause you wont want to feel it for too long.

    I am not healed but I certainly feel better in knowing It was not me it was her, and that SHE IS NOT THAT SPECIAL!I proved that I could love, she proved she just the same as how I found her. BROKEN!

    FREE

    • Revolution says:

      Free,

      Here’s a big hug for you: (((HUGS))) I know, I know. I can be sappy sometimes. :)

      I like your mantra, “Feel the pain!” Mine was always “Run like hell from the pain!” Lol. Didn’t serve me quite as well as just “(wo)manning up” and dealing with it right away. But I’m learning. Baptism by fire and whatnot. You’re right that “she’s just not that special” in the sense that she (or any of our exes) deserve to be the final say in the matter of our future happiness. Glad to hear the healing in your “voice.” Keep it up, brother.

  35. Little Star says:

    Thank you Nat for saying this: “It is easy to fall into the nostalgia trap if you’re not doing very much in your life right now – make new memories!”
    IT IS NOT EASY, I am chatting to new man and even had few dates with him, he behaves like a real gentleman, nothing about sex or visiting each other, invited me to the music venue, party…but my mind always somewhere near my AC N2, I MISS HIM LIKE MAD! I even wanted to contact him in the morning and offer him to be friends BUT your post Natalie stopped me from doing that! WHY I can fill my life with new memories and a new guy? Why I have this stupid nostalgia?! He gave more pain than joy BUT I still miss familiarity, his voice, his smile, just HIM! I cant help myself, I do not want new guy, I want my ex:(

    • Marianna says:

      Little Star I feel the same. After two years of absolute singledom I decided to try, just dip my toe in and went on a couple of dates. Perfectly nice men but O.M.G did I ever swing straight back into missing him. And so much time has gone that I dont even remember the bad stuff I just miss him so badly it has stirred it all up again. It’s so frustrating, I want to meet someone healthy and be happy and move on and all I do is compare and contrast and I havent laid eyes on his damn face in two frickin’ years been NC for one! Oh Nostalgia indeed, gonna take some work and just when I thought I was done

      • Little Star says:

        Oh Marianna, you are so good, one year of NC, well done! I wish I was strong like you:) I had only four months of NC before AC contacted me and ruined all…You know, maybe because with new guy, I do not have “special connection” and he is not what I am looking for? That’s probably why your thoughts keep coming back to your ex? WE will compare our ex with current ones, it is always be there unfortunately. Thanks God, we have Natalie and girls/boys on BR, whatever we need encouragement/support/tough love we can always come here.
        Good luck with NC Marianna, please do not break it, trust me, it will be worse…all “madness” will be back on your door step!

  36. Tinkerbell says:

    Little Star. PLEASE don’t react tp the pull of nostalgia. Of course you miss him. I’m sure you spent time with him because THERE WERE GOOD TIMES. But, somehow, it wasn’t enough whether it was for or you or for him, somebody was not happy. Let it go. Refocus. Get busy doing other things. Give the new guy a chance but just be very watchful of him and take it slowly. Use all the knowledge you’ve gained here on BR. Remember. If it did not for out, nothing has really changed and it STILL WON’T WORK OUT. Sending warm wishes for you to stay strong. Tink.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      I meant if it didn’t work then, it won’t work now.

    • Little Star says:

      Thank you so much Tink, you are SO right…I already mentioned on BR: I work, I joined Meet UP group (by the way new guy is from there)and dating site, I go to gym twice a week, I do zumba and yoga, I try to be busy and have new memories. I know it is ridiculous to miss AC, I did not give a s@it before he contacted me in April! I wish I never answered his email…SO MY ADVICE TO EVERYONE – NEVER brake NC! It sucked me back and trust me Tink, I even feel worse this time around:(

      • Tabitha says:

        yes, it does hurt more second time round. The ex narc had a previous fallback girl he did the on/off with for 13 freaking years!!! She is probably certifiable by now.
        With regard to the comments made by some contributors about new guys not measuring up to the ex idiots. I have two thoughts about that. One is that, if they were the typical kind of furure faking, narc tendency douchebags we hear about on BR, then you are comparing a “real” man to a cardboard cutout fantasy guy. A mirage, a hologram that could not be sustained as was never real.
        Secondly, there is no rush. Despite being 47, I meet a lot of single men, just going about my everyday business, not doing online dating or anything. I have assessed a couple but not pursued anything. Not because they didn’t measure up to the ex, but because I knew I would just be passing time with them and, ahem, some of us know what it is like to be on the receiving end of that don’t we?
        I met a man recently who did actually excite me, but I still have slowed my roll and am happy to wait to see how he unfolds, and it may be a few months before I see him again. This really goes against the grain for me as I am a hundred miles an hour kind of girl. I just feel that the advice I have got from Natalie has helped me so much and so the slowing my roll advice may also work for me. Maybe it would be kinder to yourselves and to the “new guys” who do not excite or really interest you, to just not bother dating them. Wait. When someone special comes along, you will be so much better equipped to recognise their value, and to co-pilot a proper relationship.

        • Little Star says:

          Tabitha, your post made me cry:( Because that’s how I FEEL, I am not ready to meet anyone, I know, but the reason I am meeting new guys because I WANT TO FORGET MY EX. I cant even describe but it is the way of coping…I feel sorry for this new guy, as I keep postponing/cancelling dates, make excuses, I feel like an AC myself. Time to stop:(

          • Allison says:

            Little,

            That’s not fair. I know you would not want someone to do that to you.

            You can’t start dating until you’re over the ex. You need to do the work, not run from it.

            • Allison says:

              One more thing: My ex was not over his ex wife, and I can tell you, it was very frustrating and hurtful. My friend, from what you’ve written, you’re not that type of person.

              • Little Star says:

                Tink and Allison thank you so much for your support. Yes, I do not want to be AC, I am going to tell a guy that I am not ready for dating (today deleted myself from dating site). I am not scared to be alone, no rush, is not a fire as Natalie says…Love you xx

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Little Star. I may have been wrong. I should have paid more attention when you said you “don’t want the new guy and there’s no special connection”. Forget him. We all have feelings. You would be encouraging him to what end? That’s what EUMs do. I think it’s good that you’re staying busy. In time the memories of HIM will fade and you’ll be reading here and working on getting stronger in the meantime. Good luck.

  37. noquay says:

    Tinkerbell
    Thanks; yep, I am older. Thus far I have been rejected multiple times in my latest venture on two dating sites because of Where I Live. I live in a mountain town of about 2500. No good functional older men here. The nearest metropolis is 80+ miles away. If I get the presidency, I’d be in a remote town of 25,000. Not sure if the odds are better, especially if I am in an even more responsible and potentially intimidating position. Would have to leave the house here vacant, get one there, supporting 5 households. Or I can mark time here for 7 more years. I am thinking of this carefully; it’s mainly an exercise in self empowerment. Not mindlessly accepting the situation here. Don’t do either obedience nor passive acceptance well.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Noquay. I’m probably older than you. When we reach midlife and beyond our decisions weigh so much more heavily. I have the same thing going on, whether or not to relocate. In one sense I would probably be a whole lot happier and less lonely, but I’ve established a very good, comfortable life here and it would involve giving up a huge amount for the unknown. This is why I responded to you because I understand. Wish me luck as I do for you.

  38. Your post is spot on, Natalie! I dumped my ex and have been NC since March. The man seemed to only have time for work and a very open relationship which made me feel increasingly upset as welive in separate countries now. I refused to be a long distamce booty call, no matter what. Today, I was just hit by a bout of nostalgia… Despite the pain, he did give me solid career advice. But I’m determined to hang on to my NC commitment! Miss and let go!

  39. supercat says:

    When I get stuck on my mental hamster wheel start feeling bad and wondering how the f*** he could sacrifice everything we had, everything we shared… I remind myself over and over that we had totally different relationships with eachother, and my disappointment, sadness and pain are mine alone. He doesn’t feel this way!

    Every time I think these things, it seems like the first time… I suppose I am still looking for that “oh, now i get it” feeling, which still eludes me…

    • swissmiss says:

      i find nostalgia can ONLY be a useful tool if i use it to remind myself of the amazing magic i can create—the joy, devotion, loyalty and caring were MINE. the MM only triggered them, like 1,000 other events in my life. i make those great feelings, no one else. i own them, not him.

      as soon as i go the bodice-ripper/romance novel route with nostalgia, i know i am being bogus with myself. yes, there were lovely times. but taken as a whole, it was a grueling experience. open-heart surgery without anesthesia.

      i feel for you, DL, opening that door a wee crack. i know any contact will either set me back there or remind me how surrendered everything. i don’t want either. hope you soon have your equilibrium back…

      • Tabitha says:

        Swiss what a lovely post and great advice. Yes, that is exactly it, all those lovely feelings were mind and were generated by me. I can have them again as they were triggered by him but they were certainly not his feelings. All that warm fuzzy stuff came from within me and I can have it all again when the time is right. And this time I will also have my BR training to help me stay grounded. I am in no hurry.

      • gettingfound says:

        hey swiss, I really like your take on this. Indulging in nostalgia for too long can set you back weeks or even months if you let it. I find it funny how the more watchful I am with where my thoughts are taking me, the more I realise how much negative self talk I give myself and how often I drift into fantasy land, and do a reality check there and then and keep moving. Fantasy land used to be some kind of version of the long ago ex coming back into my life as the devoted, loving selfless person I always imagined him to be, him admitting how he had been miserable without me…yada yada yada gees I think I almost make myself want to upchuck writing that BS now!! This website has been amazing in transforming so many of my bad habits. Yet still such a work in progress as we all are!

        I know it may sound cheesy swiss but just keep barracking for you…sometimes when we dont ask for it life throws up some kind of reminder at us…whether it be we run into them on the street or the new guy at work has the same cologne as your ex…if BR has taught me anything, first and foremost it is be kind to you, and applaud your successes, and visualise a kind surgeon after your open heart surgery saying to you “I got that awful blockage out…you have a beautiful heart swiss” :) or something like that :)

        • Lizzy says:

          Lovely comment gettingfound X

        • Swissmiss says:

          Tx, gf, a real high note to complete my cardiac surgery! And the MD is so warm and caring!

          Yes, I do find thoughts spinning in my head, but give myself a mental slap and say STOP! BE HERE NOW! and focus on the birds singing, the wind in the trees…I let so much of life slip by with the MM.

          If I ever run into him, which is highly unlikely, I could see myself using one of the great meaningless phrases Nat indicated they sometimes spout to us, such as, “Whatever…it was what it was….” A little enigmatic Mona Lisa smile would be a nice finishing touch.

  40. DL says:

    Please be strong and don’t give contact a try on w him. After 7 years of ignoring texts/calls/emails I was made to feel “mean” by somebody else and decided to answer his call. Despite being happily married with two young children the contact over a period of 3 weeks has managed to have an impact of de-railing my happy life (I feel internally like I’m having an affair). I don’t need this! I’ve now sent him an email saying that I don’t want any more contact as I don’t want or need his friendship and now have to concentrate of burying “nostalgia” and sending him back to the “loser” box in my head. Distraction is the best technique. Good luck all

    • Allison says:

      DL,

      Why haven’t you blocked this guy?

      What does your husband think of this? If he doesn’t know, think how you would feel if the situation were reversed!

  41. Peanut says:

    My music instructor told me I could control my thoughts. I thought pft, “You don’t think like me.”

    That was probably a mostly true statement but the cognitive thinking process might be similar for everyone. Childhood experiences + societal influences + genetic makeup = programming.

    Beliefs are from programming; beliefs dictate thoughts which result from experiences, which then dictate what types of experiences we pursue and what we get from theses experiences.

    We can’t change the past, but we can change our beliefs by questioning the validity of our programming and our current beliefs. Then we can acquire knowledge, form our own opinions and new beliefs, while discarding beliefs that are not based in reality and do not serve us, then we can change our behavior and actions to align with the new programming that is beneficial to us.

  42. Peanut says:

    Ah, I stand to correct myself. Beliefs dictate feelings which dictate thoughts.

    • Emerldeyez says:

      Peanut, my therapist and I had that same discussion this week. I am still facing court. My ex has two DV charges and June’s date was moved to July. The ac has texted me, with threats, called my work and this past weekend when I didn’t answer the front door went aroun to the back. I called police.

      I have been connecting the dots from childhood father relationship to the AC. And working on changing the core beliefs. But also to get me out of the fear. There is some nostalgia but the reality is so much stronger. I have to have a healthy relationship with myself first before I can look for another man. I don’t want to make the same mistake again

  43. On Leaving Sugarland says:

    Natalie,

    I didn’t think that this post applied to me, but then I realized:

    As a result of working really hard on myself for the past two years, I really HAVE changed, and sometimes I long for the ‘old’ ME, and I say to myself, “Self, you were so happy back then, you were so…and so….,” but the truth is, although I had many moments of joy for which I’m truly grateful, I had some issues that I really needed to address.

    I experience these triggers when I’m feeling that internal struggle from the parts of me that don’t want to keep changing and moving forward.

    Thanks Natalie because, yes, this is the part where I usually turn back, but this time, I’m NOT turning back.

    I’ve been having a conversation with myself over the last two weeks because my healing journey seems to be getting harder and harder, as I keep discovering things about me that I need to heal-the most recent: people pleasing and OCD, and then I asked myself, if I never ‘beat’ the codependency, the anxiety attacks, the OCD; If I lose my temper when I don’t want to, or over-react; If I continue to struggle with procrastination and commitment; if I don’t enforce a boundary when I need to; If I…, in this moment, right here, right now, will YOU accept ME? And my answer to myself is YES. YES! I think I just found self-acceptance. ~~~:) :) :)~~~

    I realize now that I can continue to grow and change, but at the same time, I can love me, right here right now, strengths and flaws; now that’s a complete package.

    <3, ~~On Leaving Sugarland

  44. SK says:

    I just want to say this site keeps me sane. I read an article on here that said we think we are the only ones, and we are unique in our experiences, and I certainly thought that. What a revelation to know I’m not alone. So much wisdom floats around on here, I just wish I had found it 15 years ago, as where I’m sitting now, I feel like I’ve wasted the best part of my life….but onwards and upwards….NC is the only thing that’s going to work. Only three weeks…but I haven’t responded since the day he went. And I feel better for it. All the advice and tips ….love the sending texts to oneself idea….are so uplifting and do work. Thanks to you all. Stay strong. SK x

  45. teachable says:

    An error in this regard almost destroyed my entire life. It will years to mend the damage wrought. Funny how we tend to yield to this nostalgic (& rediculously foolhardy) thinking at times when we are most vulnerable. Make poor decisions as a result & watch the bonfire which once was yr stable happy life BURN. If anyone thinks they had probs causing them to b vulnerable BEFORE opening the door to an Ex who was not right the first time around for good sound reasons, try piecing the ashes together at the other end of yr foolhardy dodgy decision. For a variety of reasons some don’t live to tell the tale. So yeah, this nostalgia crap is SERIOUS business!

  46. teachable says:

    EUM R… you are now finally on the right track. Pleased to see you dealing with the real issues head on rather than escaping into non committed entanglements with new partners (pls forgive me if I’ve mistaken yr story for someone elses)

  47. teachable says:

    Excellent link Teddie. Perfect antidote to pop psychology which suggests focusing on positives at all times is desirable / helpful. What a load of poppycock. I regard tht rubbish with the same distain I have for the mumbo jumbo offered in ‘The Secret!’

  48. teachable says:

    Rev, sometimes we only think & feel what we do when we percieve it to be safe to do so. Were we to think or feel these things any sooner, it may threaten us in some way. This is normal. I relate to it. It is how I have reacted to the death of my now deceased ex/AC (also a very ill man.) I’ve processed the basic ‘death grief’ but not bigger issues yet b.c I am unable. I’m yet to ascertain whether or not it is certain my house is saved. We can only deal with so much at any given time. Focusing on you first is healthy. You’re doing great! T x

    • Revolution says:

      Thanks Teach! I figured you’d “get it.” :) You’re not doing so bad yourself, girl.

  49. teachable says:

    Peanut you are right. That is precisely the process of correcting cognitive distortions, old beliefs that no longer serve us etc.

    And all of the factors u mention come into play. The only one we cannot change is our genetic inheritance / childhood exp / life we were born into.

    The rest is up for grabs & malleable throughout the entire lifespan. It’s up to us to do the wrk & choose to grow :)

  50. KM says:

    Yea before even getting thru the first paragraph of the article I have to admit that yes, I do find my headspace frequented with what a total asshole jerk Assclown dickface pee-on, piece of shit which exits in the excrement of bigger dog shit may just get run over by a bus one day because apparently he doesn’t care who he bald face-lies to, backstabs, and puts at physical and emotion health risk because he’s all of the above.

    I may still sound angry but I am working on no longer beating myself up for going with him longer than I should have, thanks to Natalie’s coaching articles.

    I realized that there are red flags and sometimes we don’t want to face the obvious so it’s very good to be able to come on here and read about different flags.

    Secondly and just as important is noting the ever popular “I don’t want to put a label on things” after almost three months. Now it may sting at first but trust me when I say run like hell the other way-

    - just as you would if he told you about “how he cheated on his previous GF with her bestfriend…” or if he raises a hand to you (which happens more often than females care to admit) or uses forceful restraint unprovoked as in not in any “sel-defense”

    You tell him to stop right then and there and that you don’t need to hear any more of the story. I just about learned the hard way.

    As you already know (with Natalie Lu’s helpful words of wisdom) you are most likely dealing with a prime time Assclown (in the later case for sure) and an Emotionally Unavailable person in the prior scenario

    but lets face it–most of us get 2 in 1

    and its not just about whether or not there’s truth to the adage to not assume that you are an exception to the rule of his past behavior towards you or that he will change for you or whatever because that’s too blanket of a statement about any broad range of things.

    Point is that if he walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…a leopard doesn’t change his spots..and so on…better suited expressions which we all know how the endings to…some men are very insidious crafty in a shady way and controlling and basically looney-tunes

    Just get out as soon as you can. As soon as it dawns on you what is happening to you. Please I implore you if not for your own safety…

    And it’s totally true, unfortunately as soon as he displays a first sign of lizard like behavior, get out!

    please don’t kid yourselves– because you deserve to live life authentically and remain true to yourself and your needs and your emotions and be with a partner who makes you feel safe not fearful.

    I shouldn’t be so angry but my time and emotions and physical health started to waste away on an asshole jerk. It is taking time to recover.

    It’s been a good six months now of no contact with that dickface except for the fact that he recently unblocked me from facebook and I see his account pop up with his photo possibly more often because of sharing the mutual friend who introduced us :/

    but I remain strong. I looked at the boring crap he allows to be shown to friends of friends once and cease to be amazed. Yawn.

    Furthermore I am not catering or assuming he’s sending outerspace Batman smoke signals. He knows how to reach me. He’s not blocked from my mobile. He most likely will not contact me because as Natalie says in other writings he possibly finally “gets it”

    however making the move to unblock me from his Facebook is questionable. I never bothered him on there and all he ever knew were my thoughts on how it hurt me for him to exclude me online when we became serious.

    He talked about friending me than backed out thru disregard or lies. I realize this was a childish game to his.

    Verbally telling him to friend me on facebook was in vain. He lied half the time about it being deactivated when it clearly was not and he used it as a relationship weapon of mass destruction via secrecy lies and cheating. And this was a perfect example of how he refused to bring peace to a reoccurring fight that was easily fixable and nonboundary morals, beliefs, integrity busting.

    You may have seen me complain about this Facebook saga here before but really it is unbelievable how others try to wield their shady behavior powers and negatively impact a relationship or person who is intimately close to them on purpose.

    It’s not about facebook causing breakups and divorces or people placing too much importance on facebook.

    Garbage facebook interaction or lack there of or game playing with facebook and using it to toy with and aggravate your partner is much more telling about the instigating person’s poor attitude and blatant disrespect they have towards their partner

    and its only a matter of time before the offending party’s online social interactions are found out to be done in bad faith most notably through facebook (here in USA) and this only exemplifies, if not scrupulously magnifies, big potholes and deceit and secrecy and lies in the relationship and his treatment of you behind your back.

    In this respect, yes, bad facebook behavior is a red flag.

    At the same time I agree that a strong enough relationship to weather a storm does not need to take facebook into account if you are truly secure in the relationship, however I tried this and maybe for the wrong reasons, maybe ignoring the fact of what a dbag asshole jerk he was–

    –going from trying to be tough and telling him “Are you seeing someone else”
    he says “no.”
    And I repeat “Are you sleeping with someone else besides me? Because we did have a month long break.”
    And he is just sheepish.
    “Are you are banging someone behind my back– you better be protected”, because “we agreed to be monogamous and I need to know if/have you changed your mind”
    to which he nonchalantly got up and walked over to the kitchen leaving me sitting on the couch while stuffing his face with sweets and pretending to listen, going “uh huh”
    –basically not listening or paying me the attention of having just called him out on cheating! or at least having slept with someone else where he knew it was wrong to continue sleeping with them while he professed to be committed and monogamous to me!

    After my being with him for almost 2 years the grief he caused me has shaken my core and circle of trust as he was my first physically intimate and boyfriend/girlfriend relationship at 29 years old.

    And all of the crap he pulled on me and the stuff that happened to me while I was with him. the stuff he caused and did to me.

    I understand that they say it takes about half the time of the relationship and no contact to be well on my way over him.

    I guess that is 5 more months to go!

    And his unblocking me on facebook is most likely looking for an ego boost or shag. Thankfully he hasn’t tried reaching out. And if unblocking me was his way it’s pathetic, nosey bastard. And I know to avoid him like the bubonic plague. Suck it and see mantra…never thought that I would be in that situation just weeks after reading Natalie’s related article.

    Sure enough the date,later that night he goes “what do you want from me” then proceeds to cut me off shortly thereafter/not contribute to the conversation/watch the TV in front of him instead

    …what was ever good once even for only being days that can be counted on one hand with less than five fingers is no more…

    He reverted to his obnoxious bad abnormal behavior being the asshole jerk that he naturally is and the very next day

    followed by nine days of silent treatment emotional abuse punishing me for having feelings..

    before he wanted me to leave he said “why are you acting like this/ don’t give me that dejected look”. Well it was and will be the last time I see his dumbass with any purpose other than to put a banana peel in his path, again. Forget it. He’s just not that special.

    And as much as I’d like to block him on facebook I don’t want to bother with caring too much when he’s becoming a mere annoyance.

    And he is a rotten person who is old ugly and boring and not only looks like an asshole but acts like an asshole jerk too.

    I was mistaken and confused his looney tunes mentality for excitement.

    Sorry but unnecessary drama which has no purpose but to cause superfluous aggravation does not make an exciting relationship or make him an exciting person.

    He never took me to the city, to a museum, to a concert, or theme park or anywhere fun! Just going out to dinner and the occasional friend party which mostly consisted of the boys was boring unexciting and ALL ABOUT HIM.

    No flowers ever and he rarely kissed me or hugged me back hard that much.

    Most of the time he feigned interest and made stupid comments about my style or physicalities and wasn’t helpful or caring about what was going on in my life.

    He liked to start arguments more like fights over the most uncalled for things…start shit with me while taking advantage of my easy going nature.

    He made me feel ugly and not good enough to be taken somewhere like he took his 12 yrs younger (age 26) female co-worker to football games and not me.

    I knew it was a bust when he was more concerned about being late for tailgating with that bitch who showed up early and pounded on the apt. door and left when neither he nor I answered. He then practically kicks me out in the cold rainy morning on homecoming. Then has the nerve to call me from his apt. While I’m in the parking lot asking if I said something to her to upset her because she wasn’t answering her phone!

    Good lord! I’m the fucking girlfriend not this coworker hussy pimple face bloated wanna be university home schooled jungle freak moron who is constantly texting him and up in his grill with elementary math fraction questions she can ask her college classmates or professor about..,and her late nite texts went into the weekends in front of me he paid attention to her someone who wasn’t even in the room!

    And she was so up in his nuts. I told her over facebook sorry for not answering the door my boyfriend so and so of over a year was sick and I was not ready. The kunt had the nerve to not reply. Oh she knows what she was doing because she told on me and I heard it from him which caused him to break up with me in Oct before the burning my hand and him calling me mid November and trying to gas light me after not speaking to me after calling me horrible things and saying that I am “socially handicapped”…please. I’ve worked at one of the most popular prep wear clothing brands. But of course I let him get to me. And for him to gaslight and say that “we never broke up”. What does he take me for? I’m nobody’s secret GF and punching bag and that’s what I started to feel like while being with him.

    It was almost 2 years together and he cannot trust me alone at his place. And I know why (being the most trustworthy person ever–strangers leave their laptops with me to babysit while they run to BR break at school) he is not trustworthy himself. And still not trusting me when I trust him with my vagina is outrageous. Now I know his kind. Deceitful untrustworthy and not trusting of others because they lie and cheat themselves are his type.

    Like another responder on BR who warned to be careful of getting caught up with someone who is so broken that they spend their time trying to break you in the process of trying not to feel broken themselves. Best. Advice. Ever. And to add to that treat me like a joke and I’ll leave you like it’s funny.

    I was only good enough for him to talk talk talk about it and future fake.

    And the 37 y/o grownass cave manchild piece of shit had the nerve to say “I love you” to me back in November (who does that or try’s to pull that shit past age 24 at the latest, really?) when I asked “why do you really want me here?”

    And he didn’t mean it and he tried pulling some super rotten shit by having a friend (27 y/o boychild who I had met on a few occasions) stop by on purpose the next day.

    At least assclown had the decency to not answer the door and tell his friend to leave “the borrowed towel [inscribed Butt on one side and Face on the other] at the door and meet him up later”. If this wasn’t some cacamamey bullshit he was trying to pull then I don’t know what is.

    As I wasn’t completely dressed sitting on the couch when this occurred. I know damn well he was texting said boy to come over after we hit it a second time and third and please he’s not that good in bed.

    Before I say my final peace–hopefully he will find a bimbo gal pal who satisfies him better. Which brings me to the next conclusion about busting your boundaries and/or keeping a man around who forcefully busted yours on occasion out of fear of what will happen after the permanent breakup –he is just not worth it and not that special.

    My Assclown, God Bless him, he really did a number on me. I’m thinking of going lesbian and he’s the only man I have been intimate with and at my age of 30…well guess its never too late to find love, but he sure as hell made me doubt love. So fake evil men wrong hurtful antagonistic emotionally crippled no redeeming bone in his body pothead borderline functioning alcoholic asshole jerk! And that unnecessary drama is not excitement. When I told him “you drive me crazy” he said “in a good way right” and I was like “NO” but for whatever reason the conversation just could not progress. He can’t communicate his way out of a paperbag. And you’d think if he was so manly like that he’d at least have a bigger penis. Obviously not. Lose=Lose. I hope to never run into his sorry ass again. Amen!

    • Emerldeyez says:

      Km, I hear you and your pain. Anger is very cathartic! If I didn’t know better I’d say you were with my AC! You will get though this! And be a stronger, wiser woman. You deserve so much more. fLUSH!!

  51. Tinkerbell2 says:

    hi everyone
    great article!
    I’ve been looking for the forum here but i can’t find it – can someone post the link? (If there is such a thing as a forum?)
    I’m very much in pain right now because of an EUM i’ve been in love with for 4…years… :(
    I finally had the strength to delete this person from my social network which basically made me go straight to mourning and much pain for about 2 weeks. Then the 3rd week i was just starting to not cry every 4 minutes, i even had some laughs, and a few moments of clarity without the fog of pain in my stomach.
    But an SMS from him 2 days ago caught me off guard, it shocked me as i really thought it was over for good now that i’d made such a “drastic” move. He didn’t comment on this fact, just asked whats up and if i might want to go to the beach together. This is the first time he’s asked to do anything together – in daylight. In 4…years. I cracked and ended up responding today, i told him maybe, but that it depends on his intentions and that i won’t go back to how things were. Needless to say – i didnt hear back from him. And i have just had a very hard, nostalgic day. Could need some support :( Thank you.

    • Lucky escape says:

      One word for you…. FLUSH!!! I feel ur pain im now 9 months nc… so many times i hav wanted to contact him but i hav to remember his disrespectful bhaviour to me… can i suggest u do the same… he only wants to check up on u…. dont giv him the satisfaction… b strong remember why you went nc… keep reading this site it helps mentally but the pain inside for me is still there… it feels like a bereavement…. but he done what he done with no empathy and i cant forgive him so flush!!! B strong keep him out of your life… watch some rubbish tv hav a choccy treat pamper yourself… thnkn of u take care :-)

    • runnergirl says:

      Tinkerbell2,

      I’ve been there and was ever so sorry I gave in to the dangerous notasligic guest. You may have to get burned several times before you decide enough is enough. I would like to give you the support to stay NC. “This is the first time he’s asked to do anything together – in daylight. In 4…years.” Just for the record, I was involved with a MM and even we did things in public in daylight. There’s no reason to be a secret booty call. BTW, it took me several times before I finally had enough. I only wish I’d cut the strings sooner. Nat warned me each time. “Molly you are in danger girl”.

  52. Tinkerbell2 says:

    Thanks LE & RG
    The interesting thing to me is that i’ve spent about a year , since last July which was the last time i slept with him, fighting off his attempts to come over or having me over to his place. I never went to his place ever, because i never wanted to be put in the position that he could kick me out or i’d fall more in love seeing his things and possesions and having another image to add of him. Before last year, we slept together a few times which happened after i hadn’t seen him in about 10 months, and with absolute minimum contact. I did have feelings for him but was not involved and he wasn’t booty calling me or anything, at that point we’d just have the occasional talk online about life things which we had done a lot in the past. Somehow though last year one evening of life talk turned to him actually coming over after i hadn’t seen him in a year. I was – at the time- sad about another guy and ironically ended up rebounding with this one. I wasn’t emotionally attached after that and i recall thinking how incredible that was considering that for 2 years prior i had been SOOOO in love for a long time, we’re talking therapy and lots of tears here. Anyways, our sex was always amazing, even though by the time of rebound we’d actually “only” been together 5 times before. Unfortunately i forgot how easily it is to fall in love again, and the following weekend he came to see me again, we always had a great time and well, after that encounter i got attached again. At this point we were still having actual non sexual conversations on line, sometimes for hours at a time, or we’d go out for a beer, (i know, it’s not much), but it wasn’t 100% sexual all the time. But back to July last year, i finally decided enough, i can’t do it, my emotions were all over the place and it wasn’t fun for me. Everytime he made an attempt i told him no and he made lots of attempts to meet. I held myself until January this year where i caved and he ended up coming over. I didn’t sleep with him though, and after he left, he called me from the car to ask if im sure i don’t want him to stay the night… I told him to just drive home. And then i cried a lottttt because of course i wanted him to stay but not under those conditions. I thought i’d never hear from him again, but he kept trying until one evening he chat me up and i just told him im not going to be his sexual friend, that i’m too emotionally involved and that he should find another woman who’s on the same page as him. I guess normal guy would have respected my emotions and feelings, hearing that it causes me pain , he already knew this, but i told him again and again, and he just didn’t seem to want to hear it. I turned off the computer and phone. Then turned it on again later, when he suddenly called from his car saying he was on his way over. You’ll all undersand why i couldn’t say no i didn’t have energy and i was still full of some kind of hope. So he came over n we had a nice evening afterall, he had brought wine and we didn’t mention the earlier conversation. Then he began to make a pass at me n i resisted for a longlong time. We did end up in bed but we didn’t have full intercourse, i just really refused. Was such a conflict in my head. But it was much more intimate this time, and afterwards for the first time ever he let me sleep on his chest in his arms, n he held me (here goes nostalgia). In the middle of the night he suddenly grabbed me and hugged me so tight i couldn’t move n he caressed me for a while. Also our legs were on top of eachother through the night, like it was very romantic and not the usual colder keeping to ones side. How can i not think- after 4 years-that it meant something right? Well after 2 weeks of not hearing from him after, he contacted me one day just to meet up again. I was so hurt inside. And anyways i said i couldn’t, and in the same evening he tried AGAIN, and he chatted me up this time more sexual than ever, telling me he thinks about me all the time, when he wakes up when he goes to sleep, masturbates to me several times a day (erhh, why i need to know this?), and that i’m the best sex of his life etc. To make it short, basically this type of contacting me continued for a few days quite intensely, he was very determined to come over n have sex with me and very determined to let me know exactly what he loved about the sex with me and the more he spoke the more i began to feel like an object, he seemed to be sexually obsessed with me. He told me so many things , how he’s psychologically drawn to me and its not just the physical attraction and sex and that he doesn’t feel like this even for super hot women (ouch that one hurt). It was out of control, he told me he couldn’t even have a normal talk with me anymore without thinking about having sex with me. I felt more and more dehumanized. And after telling him several times that i can’t be that girl he comes to for sex and that i think that – he, knowing how it makes me feel, should honour that and seek warmth and affection and all that some other place (he admitted he also comes for that, and that i make him feel good about himself, his body and all that – basically that i boost his ego, which i already knew). Anyways, after that chat where he decided to just make a quick exit as if he was insulted or soemthing, it really hurt and i was very sad. The following day i couldnt take it anymore, i decided to finally block him on the social network. It was tough, but i did it. After that i felt nothing. But then suddenly in the evening the pain just started rolling in like tsunamis. I hadn’t heard from him, and he was gone, afterall i was foolingmyself for years that maybe someday he’ll wake up n realize how amazing i am and thats why i shouldnt delete him etc. i cried and cried , it was like a death, it hurt so deep. The first week i was numbing myself with tv series and crap food, the second week i began to cry less but was still sometimes overcome with intense emotions. Then the third week (last week), i was so busy with things and had days with no tears, i felt there was going to be finally a light at the end of this horrible tunnel. And then i got the text… :( Cost me 2.5 days of lack of concentration, beating myself up for texting him back, feeling rejected all over again since he never returned the text, reliving some of that pain all over again… Why couldn’t he just leave me alone y’know. It’s so mean. He knows exactly how i feel about everything, but still he tries as if nothing ever happened, business as usual. And to offer me to go to the beach, and i feel so stupid because yes, it did make me thing romantic pink thoughts of sitting there and talking and going in to the water together and all this love crap. When all he wants is just same old. :( I feel so stupid guys, so so stupid.

    • Little Star says:

      Tink2, do not blame yourself, these ACs knows how to manipulate us and make us to return to thier empty promises..we all had mistakes by believing them…

      I agree with Lucky Escape, FLUSH HIM! IT is very very hard, I was there so I can understand your pain and disappointment BUT we have to carry on and have to FORCE ourselves to move on, what kind of options we have?! You were his Fall Back Girl, nothing more nothing less, unfortunately. Accept the situation and stay away from this man. All the best x

    • DiggingDeeper says:

      “He knows exactly how i feel about everything, but still he tries as if nothing ever happened, business as usual.”

      That’s right, and he’s going to continue to do just that until you stop depending on this dude to do the ‘right’ thing, and STOP IT YOURSELF.

      I remember changing my work schedule, so I wouldn’t run into my male-’friend-AC-with a girlfriend after work, and one day, I got ‘lazy’, and I just thought screw it; I’m tired of avoiding him, besides, I want to see him, and sure enough there he was waiting for me, and we had fun; we laughed and we crossed lines (no sex), but I’m sure his girlfriend would have wanted to ring our necks, if she had been there.

      Anyway, I took responsibility for me, (and I didn’t believe in screwing around with another woman’s man), and I went NC with him because I thought that we were headed for sex, and I was afraid that I was going to eventually let it happen, or go crazy trying to stop it, because I didn’t give a sh$t about his girlfriend when I was sitting that close to him, and he was rubbing my back, less my values escape me, as I gazed into that perfectly,handsome face of his, and those… (ahem) exuse me.

      That’s why you have to have a plan to stay away from these dudes; don’t wait until he’s got his legs wrapped around yours, and your head is on his chest, to say–er, I can’t do this ’cause it’s not what I want; I want more…and ,… goes against my values…, so you need to help me–definitely NOT going to happen with an AC.

      What’s that saying’ er, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

      NC~~~it’s a beautiful thing. :)

      Good luck to you

  53. Lucky escape says:

    T2 please b strong… get ur family or friends around u… get out n about…. anything but b available for this ac!!! Do u really want a life like this? No… u dont! Yes it hurts…god i know thats why im on here…its been 9 months and i still ache!!! But i hav my pride and use my brain not my heart now. He has no empathy…guess wot we do with that…yep…we FLUSH!!! Wish i had this site 25 years ago would hav saved a lot of pain…so t2 b joyful knowing u hav the tools to recognise when a man is ac!! Hav a great day take care xoxo

    • Allison says:

      Tink2,

      This guy is a USER. Period.

      He doesn’t give a damn about your feelings or the fact that he is using you for sex. It’s demoralizing!

      You know where this is going, and if you want to get yourself to a healthy place, then either block all forms of communication, and change your number.

      End the crazy making, as it is certainly not love.

  54. espresso says:

    In that wonderful little book…Mistakes were Made (but not by me), the authors say that perpetrators never remember and victims never forget. I recommend it because it really talks about cognitive dissonance and how people actually DO think they are really nice and kind when in actuality they have been very hurtful and damaging to others.

    I am going through a really difficult phase of nostalgia and grief being triggered and really absorbing more energy than I want. I can’t always define a trigger. The nostalgia is not for the relationship with my ex but for the family “wholeness” that I feel our break up represents. I am at a dinner with my daughter and her family and think – we will never have these family dinners again, all of us together. I was grief stricken for a few hours when I thought my youngest would never have a wedding in our garden like her sister did. Now that is crazy because she wouldn’t even WANT to – but it obviously represented something important to me. It was another loss I have to “process.” This and other similar thoughts are enough to send me down a path of really physical pain. I try to get up, move, work, do future …all that stuff but honestly the pain is often overwhelming and I sometimes feel like I am scrambling emotionally to “right myself.” I do fundamentally believe that if my ex had taken advantage of the many opportunities he had to grow and develop insight (which is what he said he always wanted!!!) this wouldn’t have had to happen. I do care very much about family and so this is hard for me.

    At the same time I am also visited by memories I have suppressed for awhile or huge “aha” moments which explain why I was so upset, why it was a pattern and why he just “wasns’t there.” He is still doing the same things as we work through the transition period and I still feel I have to “arm” myself to handle things.
    And because I am not able to push this mix of nostalgia grief/ anger etc away like I would like to – I feel badly about myself for still being dragged down by it. I have had some really low days lately.
    Identifying this in this way is going to help me. Thanks.

  55. Tinkerbell2 says:

    Thanks everybody for your superkind words of support. It took me 4 years to block and delete this person and i’m definitely not going to put myself in a position where he can play on my emotions and try to take advantage of me again. It is quite amazing that he definitely has not internalized how much he has been hurting me (and i’ve explicitly said this to him several times quite seriously both over chat and phone and in real person). He just doesn’t seem to care enough and his own needs are of a higher priority. I didn’t sleep with him for a whole year, and the only sexual interaction we did end up having, was not with intercourse but i still count it. So one slip in one year where i repeatedly resisted, did not let him in my house , did not go to his house, did not meet him outside the house etc. It was the best thing to do in my life to delete him finally and i did begin to come to terms with the finality and that i should not hope for anything. But how much we cling to hope, it’s amazing.. that is what hurts, and that’s the hard part, to give up on the hope. The rejection is also quite hurtful and the lack or respect that he can’t even leave me alone when i’ve made it clear so many times and in the end by blocking him, that i’m not going to engage in anything with him. He doesn’t hear it, it’s such a lack of respect for me that he does not even let me heal my quite broken heart and spirit, in peace. I’m considering to change my phone nr. if i hear from him again because i’m afraid he will shake me again a few weeks from now. Although i also doubt i’ll hear from him again. But then again i’ve said that so many times, and even in the most dramatic instances where i was sure that’s it, he will not call or write anymore, he’s finally got it – he ended up contacting me. Regarding nostalgia – it’s a pretty powerful thing, it’s so biased that it basically erases all the negative things that also took place during the actual time, and it becomes a positive attachment to the past rather than thinking back on the negative things and being able to detach from it and see it for what it was. I also do think nostalgia can help sometimes, because in times of stress and hurt feelings, we want to feel good and nostalgic feelings can somehow provide this buffer. Guess the key is not to get stuck in nostalgia too long, as Nat mentions it turns to rumination and that can really make one depressed. What to tell you girls…i pray every day that i’ll detach from this man, that i’ll “FLUSH!” him out in every imaginable way, and that once i’m ready to love again, i will be able to make better judgement and give my love to someone who loves me back in a healthy way…

  56. Tinkerbell2 says:

    Thanks again guys for the words, you all said things that made me feel good and gives me some strength. We must stay strong!

  57. P says:

    Nat! you’re “scaringly” wise, love you! :)

  58. Belle says:

    I just realized that my ex has reunited with the girl he ditched me with and I feel heartbroken :( as if the events from 3 years ago are repeating themselves. I knew when they broke up and although it was clear he wasn’t looking for a second chance with me it helped me feel a little better. He tried to reconnect with me but I stuck to the no contact rule and now I regret it because I feel that maybe a window of opportunity has closed. If he gives them a second chance maybe it was not a rebound as a thought. It is terrible how much this bothers me.

  59. Tinkerbell says:

    Belle it should not bother you. He’s showing you who he is. He couldn’t get you, so he went with the one he could get. Love the one your with mentality. Who knows if he’s tried to get back with several more women. He’ll take anybody rather than be alone. Do you really want to be The One? Wouldn’t you want to be special, not just someone he uses for an ego stroke?

  60. Belle says:

    I don’t blame him for wanting to be with someone. That’s what we all do, no one wants to be lonely. He’s approaching 30 and many of his friends are starting families so he feels the pressure to settle down. But why with her and not me? Why give her a second chance after they broke up and he wouldn’t give me while I was always faithful to him and the same cant be said about her? That in the world makes her so special? Or maybe my faults were so great or the no contact rule worked to push him away.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Belle. You are not going to know his reasons. You went NC, not because it was something new to try out. You were fed up. He didn’t make you happy enough to stay with him. Be glad NC has worked. Why would you resume ruminating over a relationshit that ended 3

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Sorry: Computer glitch. The relationshit ended 3 years ago, Belle. Please don’t go backwards. Certainly you have not been preoccuppied with him for 3 years so why start now. I’m not trying to be harsh but be sensible. Do you revel in self-torture? Get out and get busy. He just isn’t that special. REALLY!

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!