Are you telling people what they want to hear or telling your ego what it wants to hear?

When we’re passive and yes, sometimes passive aggressive, we get into the rather tricky habit of telling people what they want to hear or more aptly, what we think they want to hear. We project our fears and beliefs about conflict, criticism, and also what we perceive as being ‘loving’, and we duck out of being honest, which is expressing the truth with respect. We are socially conditioned to think twice about being straight with people. Our younger selves were innocent and spoke our minds, and gradually through various experiences, we picked up messaging about the ‘truth’ that means that when we’re in situations that activate our pleaser tendencies and our guilt inclinations, we fear being upfront.

Occasionally telling people what they want to hear and not over anything of particular significance is one thing, but when we habitually tell people what we think that they want to hear, we not only wind up being dishonest but we also wind people up.

We have to start realising that when we’re letting people down, confusing and hurting them, we are not telling them what they want to hear; we are telling them whatever will limit our consequences and we’re also trying to influence that person’s perception of us. It’s a lot more ego focused than most of us will admit to.

Telling people what they want to hear is akin to believing that people want to be bullshitted. Granted, there are some people that prefer to live in LaLa Land and there are also people who think that bullshit is better in the short-term without regard for the bigger picture, but many of us have been around the block a few times to know that the ‘pain’ of the truth is much less than the pain of lies, deception, and having our egos pandered to.

Depending on what we associate with honesty, criticism, conflict, and rejection, when we are in the habit of telling people what they want to hear, which is really about what we want to hear, much of our reasoning is based on wanting to control other people’s feelings and behaviour. We reason that ‘honesty’ will make people angry, sad, or afraid and that what we’re doing is for their own protection but if we’re entirely honest, what we effectively ‘say and delay’, is about protecting us too.

  • If Mr and Miss Unavailables for instance, were more upfront, it would endanger their backup plan, shag, ego stroke, shoulder to lean on etc. It would also make them more vulnerable which is something that they’re trying to protect themselves from.
  • Future Fakers talk up the future because they reason that it makes a person feel good now while conveniently forgetting that it also enables them to get what they want right now too.
  • That person who keeps telling us what we want to hear and feels resentful and put upon, forgets that they had a choice about being honest and that granted, some people won’t react in an ‘ideal way’ to hearing no or whatever it is, but that actually, people who’d rather not be jacked around or been blown up at when the resentment boils over, will respect honesty a great deal more than what can amount to an absence of courage and yes, even integrity.

Passive aggressive people say one thing and do another, masking their resentment and anger with seeming compliance. Each time they consider being more direct, more upfront, more honest, that inner rebel that’s acting out reminds them of previous experiences of being ‘honest’. When they tell people what they want to hear and then undermine it with conflicting actions, lo and behold, it causes a great deal of hurt, frustration, and yes, upset. When we’re on the receiving end of this and eventually call a halt to the passive aggressive proceedings and even call them out on their behaviour, not only will feel they feel defensive and aggrieved but they will also feel resentful towards us and think, Ha! See, this is why I wasn’t honest in the first place and told him/her what they wanted to hear. Look at how they’ve reacted? They forget that the reactions are not about their belated honesty but about being jacked around.

As many a People Pleaser has discovered, not only are we unable to control the uncontrollable, but we’re also unable to control people’s feelings and behaviour by telling them what they want to hear.

When we base who we are on what we think might be running through the minds of others or how we think they will react, we are anything but ourselves. Each time we do this, we’re deciding that if we don’t think that people will do as we want, then we don’t have to bother being ourselves or honest. Who we are is down to our values not the whims of others. We end up hurting and silencing ourselves.

When we tell people what we think they want to hear, we set all parties involved up for disappointment plus we create unnecessary work. We blame our perception of what we think people want as the reason for not doing right whether it’s by others or by ourselves. Is the fact that a person may not respond as we might like, a reasonable justification for ducking out of the responsibility we have to be us? Is it truly better to bullshit now and backtrack or speak up later? In some instances, where  we feel under genuine threat, then it can be protective to a degree but then we also have to recognise that if the price of being with someone is our silence, that we’re endangering ourselves in a toxic relationship.

One thing that’s particularly infuriating is when we give people whose actions and words don’t match an opportunity to clarify and basically speak up, and then they do the whole telling us what we want to hear all over again and then gradually start blowing lukewarm and cold with their backtracking. Just be honest!, we think, but in the end, when what a person says doesn’t stack up, we have to take them at the evidence of their actions and the very presence of the inconsistency. Words are not enough.

All of us are guilty at times of telling people what they want to hear but when it’s our default habit, we’re defaulting to being inauthentic plus sometimes we tell people what we think they want to hear because we hope that they will reciprocate and then feel very aggrieved when they are honest and we aren’t spared from conflict or criticism. Resentment builds from these assumed IOUs that we’re creating.

The pleaser in me had many years of training but since I stopped, for instance, treating everyone like my parents (incl. my parents), I now tend to take the gnawing sensation in my gut as a sign to step up. Most times that I tell people what they want to hear, it has blowback and I hate feeling like a child so I try to reduce the incidences and learn from it when I do. I used to be terrified of my mother and gradually biting the bullet has slayed that dragon in my mind and put some much needed boundaries in our relationship.

While some people seem to have little shame about disappointing others, most of don’t like to be what we perceive to be the bearer of ‘bad news’. We don’t like to disappoint even if the right thing is to say no instead of saying yes now and having to backtrack later, no doubt with some big ‘ole waffly excuse and explanation. Doing it occasionally is one thing, doing it habitually will only lead to ill feeling. Telling people what they want to hear and either not living up to this or simmering with resentment about your pushed down feelings and opinions, is the real ‘bad news’ because it damages your credibility and your relationships.

The next time you’re tempted to tell somebody what you think they want to hear, ask yourself: Who am I protecting here – me or them? If it’s really about avoiding conflict or criticism, or about trying to influence their feelings and behaviour by appearing compliant and pleasing, reexamine your motivations and weigh up whether short-term avoidance is worth eroding your sense of self or a relationship for. Remember, if you’re not being honest, you’re not being you.

Your thoughts?

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63 Responses to Telling people what we think they want to hear leads to resentment on all sides

  1. Brenda says:

    Really good read, I think this can get even more complex, what if you were raised to ignore your own feelings or else face attack? I mean to the point where you never even learned to voice your opinions?

    Then it is not natural feeling to do that at all, and would just like to say for any women reading this you may be there right now, and no your NOT crazy if you don’t know how to even find the words, I know what it’s like to not even know myself right off, but it is not hopeless either.

    Sometimes we are rather trapped inside I think becasue we never really experienced permission from those closest to us to be expressive, therefore it doesn’t automatically feel natural to even do it, but more like some automatic attack will come.

    I can totally relate to that.

    • dp says:

      I hear ya, Brenda. My dad would not allow dissenting opinions. We learned very quickly not to go against his ideas out loud.Then I married a man who seemed to value my opinions, until we had kids and they began to regularly differ from his. Then HE taught me to keep them hidden, too. Divorced, I’m in my 40′s and just now learning to find my own voice. I just broke up with a MR UNavailable who was like the reincarnation of my dad. Talk about daddy issues..I got em. And subverting my needs to try to stay in a relationship with him was exhausting. Now, though, I’m trying to work through lingering intrusive obsessive thoughts about him. My poor heart. I’m feeling used up and done with love.. almost as bad as right after my separation. Geez. I need a margarita!

      • happy b says:

        I can relate too Brenda. When my mother was ill, family silenced me if I said things they didn’t like, like that she was being mean to me or that I wanted more time to play, etc. I realise now that it’s absurd to tell a child their thoughts are ‘wrong’ and that most adults expect without question that children think of themselves and voice their own needs. I hold to it now that no thoughts or feelings are wrong, since I’m a decent person, but I think it’s had some deep effects. I still question whether I ‘should’ be feeling things, whether I’m selfish or too demanding, and struggle very much to ask people for things or tell them my needs. It’s difficult not to put others first and I catch myself doing it a lot, though I’m slowly changing. I hope this consciousness of it is the road to recovery.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Hey Nat!
    Great article!!!
    My Ex did this a lot in our so called relationship, said things that he thought I’d want to hear. in the end however the truth came out and as it turns out he was basically afraid of what I would have thought if he did tell me the whole truth.
    funny thing is, when he did finally say what the really truth was, I wasn’t mad about it, but the habitual lies he told daily to protect himself from so imaginary “monster” That PISSED me off big time!!! and oh yes I did tell him this and I show it as well because words are nothing without action.

    • JLN says:

      I ended a relationship on Sunday for this very reason. Upon reflection, I’ve always suspected he wasn’t being open with me, that the relationship wasn’t healthy, and I’ve been making excuses for his being EU almost from the beginning; but the final straw was the a violation of the one boundary I made clear he could not cross: trust.

      After 14 months of dating, I caught him with his guard down and found out that he eats meat when he’s not with me, despite giving me the impression that he’s a vegetarian. Frankly, I could care less about him eating meat; I lived with a man for 6 years who ate meat. Not an issue, and I was clear that it was not an issue for me right from the beginning. So what else has he let me believe that isn’t true? Doesn’t even matter; he no longer has any integrity in my eyes, and as much as I’ll put up with a lot of crap, I won’t stay with someone I have zero respect for.

      Because as small as that little plant is, my respect for myself is growing every day.

      The timing of this article was perfect. It will give me the strength to stay out of this relationship, despite his insistence that it’s “not over, and this is just something we have to work through.”

      Great site. Sorry I left it 18 months ago. :-)

  3. ShepN7 says:

    @Brenda: that was well-put and gave me a wake up call. I was reading this and feeling guilty for not being assertive. I grew up being punished harshly for expressing feelings and thoughts and it feels like life and death at times to assert myself, or it is often not even on the menu of options.

    Thank you for your words.

    • blue74 says:

      Same as I (feeling guilty for not being assertive enough- not only in intimate relationships, in work it`s even harder- and never been allowed or accepted, but being punished, for having strong emotions/ feelings or an other opinion….
      In my experience very few people can take/ accept open words and different opinions. My circle of friends became over the years very small (2), because being assertive/ standing up for me often was the beginning of the end of a friendship, although I never been mean and ever tried to be fair and understand the other point of view too. But like my parents, friends punished me too and now I almost prefer to be a hermit… For being assertive you have to have a strong personalitiy-
      what surely is a wothwhile goal…!

  4. HappyAgain says:

    Brenda I agree w what you describe and thats when we have to start learning as adults how to do this. I learned to silence myself outwardly and inwardly and got very very far away removed from myself. Then here we are as adults having to learn to value our voices our opinions and ourselves and even before value oddly enough we even have to give ourselves permission because we’ve been denied by others and ultimately ourselves so long. It gets better as we keep practicing it.

  5. Nic says:

    I have posted here before, expressing my discontent with male relationships. This week however, I have consciously realised that my closest female ‘friend’ has been undermining and manipulating all my relationships since I have known her. What happens when you are expressive (as I am, and happily so), but the little niggly doubts you have get watered and grown into full blown relationship killers. She has been telling me for years what I thought I wanted to know about people and I trusted her judgement.

  6. DeflatedLady says:

    “One thing that’s particularly infuriating is when we give people whose actions and words don’t match an opportunity to clarify and basically speak up, and then they do the whole telling us what we want to hear all over again and then gradually start blowing lukewarm and cold with their backtracking”….

    THIS! NML, you have done it again! Hitting the nail on the head. This is my EU to a T. Every time I would leave him after his shady treatment he would literally put masses amount of energy into ‘winning’ me back and when I would say, ‘ok you said X .. but went on to do Y instead… why did you do that?’ (Giving a chance to clarify/clear the air/speak the truth) He would spout some BS just to keep me ‘happy’ . Once he no longer had the ‘hassle’ of chasing me back he would go right back to words and actions not matching.

    Its so infuriating as most of the things he would tell me I wanted to hear would relate to us spending time together or having a date night etc. It would be: ‘yes, we’ll do this/ go to that place/ i’ll make more time for you’ etc… alas, it would NEVER come to fruition and when I called him out on it he would immediately get ANGRY and snap ‘well you KNOW I dont WANT to go to that place’ OR ‘You KNOW I dont particulary want to speak to you for at least half an hour when I come home from work, but you continue to annoy me anyway’…. I would say well why SAY that you would do these things? Why say you wanted these things? … his response ‘Cause I knew thats what you wanted me to say?!’ Jeez Im not asking for you to donate a kidney, Im just asking for you to show an interest in us!!

    It also relates to when we were first together and I had a sneaky suspicion he was still in touch with his ex and would ask him. He was more than pleasant.. ‘dont be silly, Its you I want to be with , why would I talk to her’….. OR ‘ Nope last time I spoke to her was at least 6 months ago. you’re my life now, Deflated Lady, I have no interest in her’ Of course, I find out later down the line that he contacted her EVERY DAY for 18 MONTHS, telling her he loved her, couldnt live without her, wanted her back but just had to figure himself out, he wrote her a love letter for gawd sake AND took her away for the weekend! Then, as well as her, he would chat up several other girls looking for an ego stroke, telling them I was nothig, I was annoying, He doesnt know why hes with me yada yada. All the while being exceptionally nice/loving to me, moved into my apartment, future faking yada yada… I guess this was him ‘hooking me in’

    That was the first 18 months and im still with him and its nearly 4 years. It hasnt got any better as some of may note from previous posts.I want to leave and go back to NC (again!) but I feel worthless!! AC really are selfish and by telling people what they want to hear they clearly have no consideration for anyone other than themselves.

    • Stephanie says:

      Deflatedlady,

      You obviously know what the problem is you just need to get up the strength to leave this man! You will only continue to cause yourself more pain and will not get any better. You need to go back and read some of Natalie blogs on self-esteem and rebuild yours so you won’t be 5 years into dealing this b.s.

      • Sandy says:

        I agree with Stephanie Deflatedlady, come on what the hell are you still doing with him? Yes it’s hard I can attest to that but you do get there, yes it can take a while but a bit of pain for a few months is nothing compared to the pain you will put up with for years to come….why do you let this carry on the way it is, the guy is a complete waste of space, let him be a waste of space with someone else.
        I know you think I cannot go through the pain but not only do you go through the pain you come out the other side, as they say the best revenge is to live happily
        He is not going to change please believe that!!!

        • DeflatedLady says:

          @Stephanie
          Thanks for your reply,you are right about the strength. Funny thing is I did it before – went NC for 3 months…then a wobble over xmas resulted in breaking all that hard work and going back. And he hasnt changed one bit. Being with him actually makes me sad more than happy.I just need to start the process again and this site is helping. You are right – I am devouring as many of Natalies posts on this site as possible, its a massive help. Knowing people like you and the other ladies are out there is also amazing. It just encourages you that little bit more. I will get there, I know it! :) x

          @ Sandy
          Again, you take the time to reach me with words of amazing wisdom! Just hearing you say (well, reading your words – same thing) that ‘He’s never going to change’ makes it more real. Like… I feel if I keep giving examples of my situation over the years and someone says he’s a ‘waste of space’ its GREAT because these are the things I feel inside but I doubt myself so much that I end up doing a complete 180 and thinking ‘no, no… hes a busy guy. Its not him its ME’ … ‘hes not that bad right? He puts a roof over my head, right? (and doesn’t let a day go by without reminding you its HIS house lol)’I’ll just love him some more, not moan at him, improve MYSELF’ etc etc. As I type this I cant even believe what I’m saying out loud! feel like I’m going insane!
          Anyway. Today, after I posted my first comment I made a decision. Thats right, the NC decision! I’ve taken my stuff and moved to a friends and its been 12 hours NC!!! He has sent me 7 messages. I feel nothing. I know I will have a wobble here and there but that’s where this site comes in and I cant thank you enough, again, for taking the time to respond. By the time Im in work tomorrow morning it’ll be 24 hours NC and thats a great way to start. Hugs x

          • Sandy says:

            Deflated Lady (gosh maybe you should change your name to something more positive lol) thank you for your kind words but they are not words of wisdom they are words of being there, done that, got the badge.
            If I hadn’t had the strength to finally make that break a year ago I shudder to think what I would be like now…my self esteem (like yours) was in the toilet, I too also thought if I ran around like a headless chook, love him more, be everything that he could possibly want maybe that will change things and he will respect and consider my feelings ha yeah right..NC just made me see him for who he really is..not a very nice man at all (and thats being polite!!)
            I have my wobbles still and understand that you will to, but hold tight and it will pass, just remember that, it does pass.
            Big hugs and my thoughts are with you xo

            • DeflatedLady says:

              Thanks Sandy
              Im now a day and a half NC and he’s sent me so many messgaes/missed calls. I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and block him altogether. You are right, Im expecting the wobbles! I just hope BR can see me through. xx

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Deflated,

                BR can help but YOU have to do the work. You have to make the difficult decisions and stick to them. Prepare for a hard time. It is NOT EASY to maintain NC, but if you’re going to do it, be committed. Otherwise, it’s another waste of time. You’re going to feel proud of yourself and content some times and then other times you’ll feel depressed and wanting to give up and go back. But, DON’T. Stick it out because it WILL PAY OFF in the long run. Feelings come and go. Many of us have been where you are and we didn’t die and you won’t either. You just have to decide that you want a better life without out all the doubts, the games and the stress that you get being involved with him. You deserve more than BS. Your world does not have to revolve around him. Life is too short. Don’t waste any more of your precious time thinking about him. If you fall off the horse, get back on it immediately. You can do it. YOU.CAN.DO.IT!!!!.

          • Allison says:

            Deflated,

            You need to block this guy! You don’t need further temptation!

            If you feel any weakness, reflect back on what he did with the ex.

            This dude cannot be trusted! There is NO future!!!

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Deflated,

              You moved in with him? His house? For me there ain’t that much love in the world to put myself in that situation. I’m really glad you got out and had somewhere to go. PLEASE keep strict NC. If you talk to him you may be tempted to go back and that would be the worst decision you could make. Remember, every time you go back you’re treated worse than before. They don’t respect you. They know they don’t mean you any good and think you’re a fool to love them.

              • DeflatedLady says:

                Hey Tink

                We lived at his house for 2 years before I had enough, moved out and went NC for 3 months. Then, after my wobble at xmas, I moved back in at the start of the year. You are right in that I’ve now left, again and currently 1.5 days NC! I keep reading your words over and over again – Thank You, it helps . And you are correct as soon as they ‘win’ and you cave in/ go back its almost like they respect you even less than they did before!

                I know i’ll have my wobbles and my what if’s, but thats what BR is for, right? I can do this. Thank you xx

  7. Noquay says:

    My EU father would avoid conflict like the plague preferring to give the silent treatment instead. Since my youth, I get really irked when folks thoughts/feelings/actions are not in line and have really made sure mine always are. Like I’ve said before, I’d rather be told to my face that someone considers me ugly/bitcht/stupid whatever than put up with passive aggressive behavior. But true, honesty may get them my back retreating into the distance rather than the ego stroke they want.

  8. Lorraine says:

    I guess you can say that this is standard issue for EUM ACs. Can you imagine if they actually told the truth instead of what they think we wanted to hear. We wouldn’t be in this position for a minute.

    Sadly though, in the end, when we’ve had enough and see through their games and lies, it’s us who are hurt, they seem to be able to go on about their pathetic lives unfazed by their poor behavior.

    Deflated Lady you are so correct, they are incredibly Selfish individuals. Don’t know how I got here, but I am clawing myself out of this pit that I allowed this bottom dweller to push me into.

    And on the other side is me, who for what I have no clue, fed this guy’s ego and told him only wonderful things about himself. I sugar coated everything for him. I didn’t create the monster but I sure as hell contributed to his giant Texas size ego. I look back at some of the things I would do and say to make him feel good about himself and I cringe. I was never like this before, it’s something about these personality types that somehow train us to pump them up. I mean, granted I am a pleaser and a giving person, but these ACs take such advantage of that and use us to death.

    I’m still learning every day and all I can say is, NEVER AGAIN! Not with him or any other man who even remotely resembles a Mr. EU. My red flag antennae will be full on from now on.

    • rewind says:

      Wow…sounds exactly like me. I compliment and compliment and compliment this man. All the while, feeling so mentally abused. Makes no sense….

    • DeflatedLady says:

      Lorraine
      “Sadly though, in the end, when we’ve had enough and see through their games and lies, it’s us who are hurt, they seem to be able to go on about their pathetic lives unfazed by their poor behavior”

      This is very very very true and you know why they are never unfazed by their behaviour? because women like me, you and Im sure, many BR readers STAY with them and enable it. Even when we leave/ end the relationship you can bet your bottom dollar we’ve given our all and tried and tried and tried even though they’ve done nothing but lie, manipulate, control , abuse – anything else for A VERY LONG TIME. So they get on with their life thinking ‘I got away with sooooooo much with that one, I wonder how much I can put the next one through and pump myself up again’… and so it begins.

      I genuinely think AC’s have no soul. I know some men are simply EU but not necessarily an AC and all that jazz, but I’m talking about the ones like mine and yours. They use and abuse and its taken me 4 years to realise that’s ALL they’ll ever do. You HAD to keep pumping your AC’s ego because he is SO insecure deep down anyway, and that is all he’ll EVER be. And that’s not good enough for you, or me , or any woman. Where is the equality? And i don’t mean in terms of some feminism rant I mean equal measures of love and support for BOTH parties.

      My AC EU is SO insecure he would ask me did I think his chest looks good ? his arms? (he worked out every day and every time he walked past a reflective surface he would be assessing himself) I pumped him up so much!!He would then talk about his grandiose plans and I would nod, encourage, praise, you name it I did it. But when I needed it back? Nope. Nothing. Actually he became ANNOYED should I ever need his re assurance on something (usually the state of our relationship) LOL .
      ANyway I digress….. (sorry)

      Do not dare feel bad for picking him up, being a supportive, loving, ‘team player’. Complimenting him, trying to re-assure him, make him feel good. you did those things because you are a normal woman who has a kind heart and wants to make others feel good and happy. Too bad he’s a selfish d*ck that will NEVER appreciate nor reciprocate. Thats HIS issue, not yours. So dont look back and cringe, Look back and think, ‘I am bloody wonderful and if he chose to ignore that then fine. his loss.

      I can relate to this pit that you talk of clawing yourself out of. All I can say is keep bloody clawing. I am in the exact same boat (pit). hell i even turned round, went right back to the bottom of the pit and tried to dig myself away down deeper into the abyss. But WHY? They dont give a f*ck. Theyre selfish. So lets keep crawling together!! The light is there somewhere!!!!

      • Lorraine says:

        Deflated Lady,
        I’m dying here, don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The ex AC would do the exact same thing to me!!!! Gym rat – “Are my arms getting smaller?” “How does my chest look?” Always, “Do I look good”? Oh and I can’t forget the bedroom!!! I’m not kidding, he had skills, but afterward I literally had to praise his performance. Even an hour later, he would sit me down and want to know how great it was. We sometimes would go through a step by step replay on which orgasm felt best! OMG, how insecure… I haven’t thought about that for months. LOL Right afterward, he would point his fingers at me and say, who’s the man? UGH!!!!

        He also told me he wasn’t seeing or speaking to his ex when in reality I found out he had been involved with her for the last month of our relationship. Who knows how long they had been talking before then. When I realized what was going on I ended it. It was “you know I don’t speak to that bitch”.

        The first four years, whenever I would end it, he would also go crazy trying to win me back. This became a habit. I would not feel it was going anywhere, no commitment, etc, end it, he would chase me, try harder, the whole ridiculous cycle over and over again.

        This last time was different. No chasing. Didn’t try to come back. At least not like all the other times. Just some lazy texts telling me he loves me and misses me but that was it.

        Sounds like your guy and my guy are the same guy, huh? LOL I move two steps forward and one step back for the past five months now, but I’m hopeful that soon, very soon, I will feel nothing but embarrassed for ever giving him all that I did, especially my heart. He doesn’t deserve any of it and believe me, I gave him so much.

        We, all of us, deserve a caring, loving, and for God’s sake, REAL relationship.

        Please do right by you and get away from this guy. Don’t give him another minute. Minutes turn into years and one day you realize you’ve been spinning you wheels for what? Five, ten, twenty years? You don’t want that. You deserve more.

        It’s hard, it sucks, but it gets better. I realize more each day what a complete loser he was/is. I’m fine as long as I don’t have to see him, it’s only then that I get messed up. So run, as far away from this AC, go NC and I hope you don’t live nearby where you will run into him. It will get easier. You will get stronger.

        Start thinking about you and how great you are and how you deserve so much better than him. Believe it!

        Hugs…
        Lorraine

        • DeflatedLady says:

          Lorraine

          Noooooooooo!! Not another Gym rat! I swear I am giggling away reading this (not of your misfortune, of course) just at how pathetic THEY are! My AC EU actually toyed with steroids alot . sometimes I knew about it but most of the other times he lied about it or ‘forgot’ to admit it when asked (drip drip drip feed) AND OMG with the bedroom chat. Mine did that too (‘oh i’ve still got *it* haven’t I’) … however, Ironically, as part of his AC qualities he used to withhold sex from me for months and then somehow make me feel grateful when he did put out. And not only sex. He would pysically avoid me anyway he could. If we had to walk past each other in a narrow/small part of the house, for example, he would twist/turn his entire body in any way to suit not ‘touching’ me. I would hug him and he would stand there rigid, like a stone. It was awful!

          In the beginning, sex was often and enjoyable and it wasnt like over time we just ‘got used to each other’ or whatever, he genuinely would reject my advances, tell me ‘no’ and then one day when I asked him about it he flipped out and snapped, ‘you just want F*CKED, dont you, you SLUT! Is that what your previous boyfriends did, huh?’(WHAT?!)

          SO, yea, when we eventually did it once evry other month he would walk about like he was God’s gift lol.

          WHats the deal with the ex’s ? I think they actually only admit to the stuff WE find out. They wont then breakdown and tell you the whole story, they’ll test to see how much you know and then only admit that part of it!

          You are right about minutes turning into days/ months/ years. Its a horrible life to live not knowing whether you’re coming or going, what mood they’re going to be in, not feeling good enough.

          Thank god for Natalie and BR and of course all the women who are on this site for one reason or another. I am 1.5 days NC so long way to go but hey, one small step in the right direction xx

          • Lorraine says:

            Deflated,
            This AC also took steroids a long time ago. He told me he was such a “stud” back then. Yuck! It’s funny, he had to be the one to initiate sex, which was frequent, however, if I did, he would say, “you think I’m a machine”.

            Honestly though, I don’t think I could have stayed a week with someone treating me as coldly as your AC did. It must have caused so much anxiety and tension when he would go so far out of his way to not have any physical contact. Who does that? Maybe the steroids messed up his brain or something.

            Wow, Deflated, you should be happy and proud of yourself for getting the hell out of there. Please don’t go back. Keep coming here when you need strength and support but please stay NC. This guy doesn’t deserve you.

            To call you a slut because you initiated sex is abusive, I’m sorry, it is. You’ll get through this.

            I don’t know if he’s been trying to contact you, but if he does, maybe you should block him and free yourself completely.

            Big hugs..

      • Rewind says:

        Amen, Deflated!

    • Pauline says:

      When I went back over how I managed to get myself so tangled up with the EU/AC, I started a journal and wrote down everything from the start. In hindsight, I found that the red flags were there within the first 6 weeks of meeting him. Funnily enough, I admitted to myself in my journal that I heard the alarm bells going off in my gut and ignored them. I was in “love” and made excuses for what he was doing and saying because I didn’t want to lose this fantastic guy and suppressed my alarm bells. I also made the big mistake of thinking because I loved him so much he just had to feel the same about me. I thought that his possessive controlling behaviour meant that he loved me. How wrong was that!
      It wasn’t just him, a lot of it was my own bad love habits, believing in the power of instant attraction and blindly jumping in feet first, not spending the time to get to know him properly and if he was a good guy or not.
      Yeah, hindsight is a wonderful thing, thanks to Nat and BR I was able to look at me and see where I went wrong and make the necessary changes. He’ll always be the same EU/AC.
      I know how much I have changed, putting in necessary boundaries for me and what I will accept from friends and family and any man I may get involved with in the future.

  9. Sandy says:

    I used to listen to his grandiose plans, nod my head and pat him on the back, all the while thinking WTF and knowing these plans would never come to fruition..and yet before the AC I never had any problem saying what I thought or having constructive criticisim.
    Lately I find myself being more open and honest than I have been in the 5 years of being with him, the ME is coming back and it feels absolutley bloody amazing.
    Even at work I am speaking up for myself a bit more, what the hell happened to that person I used to be?? It’s like she disappeared and a pod person took her place and just let someone who was a complete A hole walk all over her which then impacted on every aspect of her life.
    Never again! I used to be proud of being called feisty and standing up for myself, my sister asked me what the hell happened to that person and I couldn’t answer her question because I didn’t know.

    • DeflatedLady says:

      Sandy,

      You. are. amazing. Don’t ever forget it! That feisty woman you were before AC came on the scene.. nothing wrong with that all, its a great way to be. You don’t take any BS, you can spot a ‘player’ from a mile off, you look after your own… but I’ll bet it was also a form of defense / sticking up for yourself because you were single and there’s only one of you so… you just keep your head up and get on with life… somewhere along the way when you met the AC there was something about being with him that made you think/feel ‘I don’t need to be this way (feisty/independent) as much because HE is amazing, HE makes me feel relaxed, I don’t need to keep up this defense, I can drop my guard a little.. there are two of us now. We’re a team and if I keep being strong female HE may not like it/want it. The knight in armour is finally HERE!(I may be WAYYY off but even if I am, I hope you can see where I’m going lol)… So basically, in a way, you were already managing YOURSELF down because you probably knew (deep down in your gut) that he was no good for you , probably due to red flags that were flying all over the place (from him) but were ‘ignored’ due to being in the “honeymoon phase”… but within the 5 years you had managed yourself DOWN meanwhile building him UP and reassuring HIM so actually that wonderful, feisty, spicy, kick- ass woman disappeared and was replaced with the ‘pod’ (to use your word!)
      Again, I know nothing of your situation, I’m just going on this one post, so if Im completely wrong, please forgive me!
      Are you still with him now? I hope not because, as the advice you gave me, he is a waste of space!! Not to be building you up or returning the love and devotion you are giving him!
      Hugs xx

      • Sandy says:

        In answer to your question I was actually married for 22 years in which my ex hubby (still friends after the divorce) accepted me for who I was..I think that was why I never spotted who the AC actually was as I was actually used to a nice man (divorced because we grew apart, married early) anyhoo he must have spotted me coming a mile off…had no idea of red flags, no idea that men like him actually existed. I thought relationships were good things lol ah so naive.
        I don’t need to be a team Deflated Lady I cope quite well as an independent woman and mother, but a little bit of me did like the thought of having someone to lean on occasionally but then again he was never there for me in times of crisis.
        Live and learn I guess.

        • DeflatedLady says:

          Sorry – I wasn’t meaning anything bad or trying to ‘sum you/your situation up’

          I just was trying to say you know who you are inside (independant fiesty woman, like me lol) but being with these men and them completely taking advantage just ruins you to the point your family & friends (if they stick by you – two of mine bailed) dont recognise you anymore.

          I pray you keep on this positive path of getting back to ‘you’ and getting out of this pod!

          Thanks for your kind words on my previous post xx

    • Gina says:

      Sandy, went through the same thing. I am initially a quiet person but I became really silent toward me around people who didn’t mean me well at all (I have since ditched the lot of them). Me is starting to come back too and you are right, it is bloody amazing, lol. I laugh most merrily and unashamedly from my heart knowing that gosh I am a really good soul and need not put up with being used. I only have one life and will no longer waste it pandering away to people who just didn’t give a shit about me. All the best with you, a force now to contend with…cool for you!

  10. DunrobINE says:

    Such a timely post! I just love it when a post comes that completely jives with where I am at. I am so sick and tired of BULLSHIT! I love this part of what Nat says….because I have regained the innocence of my youth and am much more able now to tell it like it is:

    “Our younger selves were innocent and spoke our minds, and gradually through various experiences, we picked up messaging about the ‘truth’ that means that when we’re in situations that activate our pleaser tendencies and our guilt inclinations, we fear being upfront.”

    The typical AC and some Mr. EUM’s would prefer that we tell them what they want to hear and they often even prescribe how we’re supposed to express ourselves. And my old patterns bought into pleasing and passively obeyed. Basically, don’t bother telling them anything except that the sun shines out of their arse…and say it really nicely and sweetly…and then I could keep my place on the pedestal of being Little Miss Perfect. No More. I’m on a Low BS diet now. Beautiful thing. No more “tell me what I want to hear and I’ll tell you what you want to hear..and we’ll call it love”. I want to yell aloud, “GET REAL”! :)

    • DunrobINE says:

      I also have to say that over time, I have developed more compassion for myself and, in turn, these AC’s and EUM’s. I wasn’t conscious of many of my patterns of behaviour. And I don’t think many of them are reading books or this site to figure themselves out. If it’s true that “If Mr and Miss Unavailables for instance, were more upfront, it would endanger their backup plan, shag, ego stroke, shoulder to lean on etc. It would also make them more vulnerable which is something that they’re trying to protect themselves from”…and they’re no more conscious of this than I was in my behaviour to blow smoke up their arses and keep myself in the position of Fallback Girl….then making them into monsters isn’t all that helpful. And it kinda blows their basic humanness out of proportion…I think sometimes we inflate them to monster status instead of seeing how sad it is that they are so defended and vulnerable and in need of protecting themselves. Some of them can admit to their shoddiness openly, but the second you agree with them, the anger and rage appears because it’s only okay if they hear it from their own mouth. These aren’t happy people. But I can’t say I was a truly happy person when I was functioning blind and unconscious to all of my relationship patterns either. At least we all have the ability to self-reflect and grow…and without these AC’s and EUM’s, we might never have had such a good opportunity to see ourselves so clearly. They can’t handle the truth. We can. What a gift :)

  11. Nat Attack says:

    DunrobINE,

    I can relate a lot to what you said. Yesterday, I celebrated four months of NC with my ex. As I continue to grow and develop confidence in myself, I feel a lot of my anger for him falling away. I no longer see him as a monster or as someone who is thoroughly fucked up. In fact, he has many good attributes–generosity, humor, patience. However, while my anger has abated, I know in my heart that I am done with him forever and have no desire to be with him. Because as lovely as he can be, he shows no capacity to deal with his childhood baggage and emotional unavailability. It is possible that he can change. I disagree (respectfully) with many BR readers with the idea of “once an EUM, always an EUM.” I disagree on the grounds that I have many flaws myself and I have worked very hard to become a better person. I do believe that my ex is innately a good person and has the capacity to show great love. HOWEVER, that is really up to him, and I can no longer to be there to support him and play therapist. I AM DONE.

    I find that whenever I cling to negativity of any sort, whether it be negativity towards him, myself, or the state of my life, it is because clinging is easier than changing my perspective. It is more comfortable to be sad. So I try to be just a little bit kinder to myself ever day. It’s difficult at times, but it goes a long way. And I read tons of BR!!

    I really do appreciate hearing the experiences of you ladies.

    • Stephanie says:

      Nat-Attack,

      The problem I have there are certain types of emotionally people. There are those that maybe emotionally unavailable but they aren’t malicious and there are those that are malicious to the core. I believe what makes the fallback girl different than the EUM is that she doesn’t mistreat the EUM. Even if she needs to work on why she stays, she shows nothing but care and love. On the other hand, the EUM doesn’t give a hoot about anybody but himself and could careless if your hurt or not. These people don’t change that much BECAUSE THEY DON’T THINK ANYTHING IS WRONG! To mistreat people and then turn around a pretend later on that you are a good person because somehow you develop a conscience doesn’t always atone for bad behavior.
      There are extremes to EUM/assclown behavior. Your ex may have been on the low end, but being with a person who has issues and won’t address is just as emotionally draining as being with someone who takes advantage of you. Overall, I don’t think that people change that much! I believe that people core character stays with them and unless something really bad happens they may change, but if they coast through life doing the same ole crap and suffer on consequence they will continue to be the a%#holes that they are.

  12. Karen says:

    As I get older, my memory gets worse.
    There are times when I can’t recall to whom I’ve told what, so I find it lots simpler just to tell everyone the truth so I don’t end up fumbling for an excuse.
    After enduring six horrid months with a passive aggressive who used telling me what I wanted to hear as an effective means of seduction (and hooking me back in over and over) I crave honesty and tact over any kind of bullshit flattery.
    And people who lie to me because they don’t want to hurt my feelings? Screw that–lying to me hurts my feelings.

  13. Tinkerbell says:

    It’s such a waste of time lamenting over these AC’s. It’s useless trying to figure them out, trying to find answers for why they do what they do. Why spend your time in that manner when you can concentrate on YOU. You can appreciate the stronger, wiser person you have or are in the process of becoming. That’s much more gratifying that wasting MORE time and giving them more headspace than you already have and they’ve never deserved. Enough. Be glad you’re out of the madness and put it behind you.

  14. Gina says:

    Sandy and DunrobeINE my heart goes out to you both in your current healing of wounds journey. Your testimonies have helped me (and I am sure many others) a lot to understanding what I went through, more understanding why I became entangled with the ex and similar types. The outcome has been really sad and demoralising for me and I am slowly picking up pieces of me which they will never get to ever see again. Continue on in your new found light and freedom ;)

  15. M says:

    I have some reservations about black-and-white approach to life because there are many different shades of gray in between, and colors too. I think this appeals to many people who are currently hurting, who are pissed and want justice. However, I think something called ‘diplomacy’ still dominates the world, and when it does not, violence erupts. Looking at the standoff between Ukraine and Russia now where is the absolute ‘truth’? Each side spins the story which is convenient to them. I really hope truth seekers don’t escalate it into a full-blown war. Same in relationships, being able to adjust is sometimes what makes it work. The question is where do we draw the line between absolute ‘truth’ and telling somebody everything you think is true. There is a psychology term called ‘splitting’. “Splitting (also called all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person’s thinking to bring together both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole.”
    Read this if interested:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_%28psychology%29
    As much as I feel for many of you ladies who got hurt badly by unworthy men, and I do read some pretty bad stories here, a story by JLN in comments today, breaking up with her boyfriend because she “caught him” eating meat when made it seem like he was a vegetarian made me smile. It could make for a very funny Seinfeld episode if they were still making them. Yeah, he liked her so much that he was acting vegetarian with her. Perhaps she talked about poor animals being slaughtered or something like that so he wanted to disassociate himself from it. Yes, he was not being completely himself, but I honestly think that she just wasn’t that into him, so it was a good excuse to break up. You know, sometimes I am asking myself where is the blog with all the happy stories about kind of relationships we all want. In theory all the strategies here are great, yet do we know of couples who live this dream? Could someone please write a few stories of people they actually know. Few people wrote here something like “I am dating a wonderful man now”. It would be nice to hear some stories of success not only “he ruined my last 7 years” kind of stories which make me sad more than anything else.
    Sometimes I feel that it’s either singledom, or learning how to adjust and perhaps be less harsh on your loved ones, of course to some degree until they cross some threshold. All people who are in relationships (romantic or friendly) seem to be doing some of that all the time. Question is where do you really draw the line.

    • Stephanie says:

      I have a success story. Not only did I start loving myself more, I also got rid of my assclown. I wasn’t mean or cruel to him, even though he deserved it. I actually am thankful, I met him because he was the reason why I made the changes that help me land a great husband and have a little girl that I adore. However, I never forget the things I went through in my past because it sometimes doesn’t take much to revert back. No disrespect, but we women tend to be more emotionally connected when it comes to relationship issues when it comes to men. I willing to bet you if you ask the average women how many times they have been cheated on and lie multiple times by boyfriends or men in general the percentage would be pretty high as opposed to men being deceived by women.
      As a man, there are things you will never be able to understand because you don’t think like a woman. As woman being able to relate to other woman who have been in similar situations as us gives us comfort that we are not alone in lifes journey and have some support to help us through. So yes, I am happily married, but I still feel a connection to women who are hurting like I was and need some reassurance that it does get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    • simple pleasures says:

      M, I have been happily married for over 30 years, with family, and now grandfamily. From the dating ages 16-22
      I had only good, decent, kind, respectful boyfriends. Some with serious intentions, some just enjoying the dating unfolding time. No one expected casual sex, dating and relationships were with a view to a possible future (marriage). But with the
      access to the birth control pill in the 1970′s, women started engaging in casual, transient sexual relationships.
      It was the liberation of women, who felt now they could get an education, have a career and not have to marry to have a fulfilled life. Thus, began a real breakdown of the nuclear family, and the rise of nonrelationships.
      Unfortunately with this freedom of choice women have attained they have also sacrificed what they long for, a
      committed man who wants a stable family.
      Sociologists and psychologists will be getting Phds examining the shift in social attitudes from our era. The hedonistic, self directed era. They will wonder why the family and community and neighborhoods were emotionally abandoned. Why it became everyone for himself.
      From age 28-30 I dated several men, all nice, decent men, and met my husband who I could totally be myself with, my best friend. And for over 30 years he has stood by me if I had acne, gained or lost weight, had career crises, family squabbles, health issues, and I by him. We don’t understand the lack of decent relationships with younger people. We don’t know if it is the bombarding of the media and radio songs warping people’s minds, the secularization of society leading to the demise of traditional morals and values. We shake our heads and are happy to be aging together until death we do part.
      That said, people as you say are not black and white, all good, all evil, we are many shades and colors with needs and problems the human experience challenges us with.
      From age 22-28 I was involved with a math professor. It was the only negative relationship I ever had. But it was powerful. I call it the “agony and the ecstasy” relationship. I finally ended it and would have landed on BR but there was no internet back then.
      I met my husband 2 years later and have been content since. But, I ran into mathman 30 years later and all my buttons from the past were pushed and I was in a whirlwind of emotions for 6 months trying to figure out why I was drawn to him while being happily married! From reading, soul searching, and BR I realize he was totally my father figure and that is why there was such a power and strong hold on me. My husband and I are involved in the same organization and are in the same room once a week. Understanding my unmet childhood needs which compelled me to this man and through BR among other things has helped me to resolve this man of my 20′s and my father. I have forgiven them and myself for selfish behavior on all our parts. But all 3 of us had psychological issues difficult to process. My husband has been the Rock of Gibraltar. Never felt insecure, knew
      I was going through something, supported me through the process, and only said, “I never could see what you saw in that guy”. I just tell him, “he was my father figure.” I am lucky.

    • Selkie says:

      I don’t see this as a black and white approach to life. I see it more as a way of determining who you are, deciding to act with integrity and in line with your values, and then being able to recognize who is compatible in your life and who isn’t. It isn’t a rule book, but a guide to living authentically. Only we can decide for ourselves what kind of formula this will be. If you feel it’s in your best interest to be more tolerant of people who add no value or take away from your life, then be authentic and live that way. Give more chances to folks who have wronged you if you feel you can do this without putting your own well being at risk. Others feel the need to tighten in the reins more than they have in the past when it comes to how they decide boundaries and what is true for them and what isn’t. The stories here are from the heart, and if you read long enough you DO see gradual success stories. I’ll add, the definition of success is different to all of us. I read success stories o her all the time, and they don’t have to represent a climb from rock bottom to getting married to the the best man they ever met. It can be about letting go, turning a corner, or having a personal epiphany. Best of all stories is people regaining sense of self and finding their feet again….no matter if these leads to dating or not. It isn’t JUST about relationships.

    • DunrobINE says:

      I’m pretty spiritual and tap into a lot of Buddhist stuff. I don’t like to label things good and bad. Everything just is…and no matter how bad an experience may seem, the goal is to find the seed of good. If you’re stuck on language and see things from victim/perpetrator standpoint, then it’s all about blame….I like to think of all this as a dance. We dance in relationships…and we each have our own steps and a bigger pattern together. Really, we’re kind of all “victims” – of our own unconscious patterns of behaviour and the unconscious patterns of others. Once we become more aware and start living more consciously, we dance differently little by little. We’re all learning. We all started out as wee innocent little babies that our Mothers held in their arms. We’re all humans….trying to avoid pain and find happiness. There comes a point where you feel grateful for all of your experiences without labelling them good or bad…they just are…and the glimmers of self discovery along the way are worth it all. Pain and joy go hand in hand. There is no perfect. No perfect person. No perfect relationship. No perfect anything. That’s the stuff of dreams and fantasy worlds. Good luck on the journey people :)

    • noquay says:

      M
      Learning to spot and deal with EU/abusive/addictive behaviors is kinda the point of this blog. I was married to a wonderful man for 12 years, it broke up due to my having to leave the area to find work. Yep, there are good, healthy relationships out there but it seems as though, societally, there is an increasing trend of non-accountability, lack of integrity, casual, meaningless relationships (or non relationships)not just in rships but also between members of ones community. You’ve probably read an earlier post or two about my being injured, colleagues offering without being asked to help, then not showing up, repeatedly. At the time when I was married, this sort of behavior would get one blacklisted in the community; now it is common, acceptable behavior. Imagine such behavior in a committed relationship and perhaps you can understand why so many of us are dealing with hurt. From what I have read here, many of us are trying hard to be persons of honesty and integrity; when we encounter someone who is neither, their behavior can be baffling because it is behavior that we would never dream of engaging in. From my experience that brought me here, I can attest that some folks are really, really good at hiding who/what they are for a long time. I don’t know if it is the breakdown of community, of dependence on Faceplant and other social sites rather than dealing w/folks IRL, I dunno. something has changed. One draws the line (hopefully) at lying, cheating, disrespect, addictions, abuse. The person who dumped her boyfriend over eating meat may be a dedicated animal rights activist for all we know; perhaps the dude put himself out there as being one too; we do not know. I am very anti-drugs, I would certainly dump any man (and have) that is indulging in recreational drugs. It is a matter of core values.

    • JLN says:

      M:

      You’re right: it was an excuse. It was also the final straw. It’s not the first time he pretended to be something he wasn’t. He also “punished” me when he was angry by not talking to me instead of telling me what was wrong. We recently went for almost a month without seeing each other because he was “stressed out” (and this is not the first time),and he warned me when we first started dating that if I asked any of his ex-girlfriends, they’d tell me he was an “asshole.” Even his friends have told me that they will avoid him for months at a time because he can be “downright mean.”

      So, yes, it was not the only reason I left the relationship.

      ~J

  16. On the other side says:

    M: The reason there are many sad stories on here is because a lot of us have turned to BR to pour out our pain so that we can heal, for me this has been a god send as it has made me realise I am not crazy that it happens to others and that has helped me a lot, if you read comments from people like Tinker bell they show how they have moved on become strong and are now in healthy relationships and that is the key, a lot of us due sometimes to our own experiences in life have become stuck in a cycle of being drawn to unhealthy relationships and the success is hearing ladies not being afraid to heal and live for a while getting to know themselves instead of rushing into a relationship without healing first. After a year from two very abusive relatinships thanks to BR I am healing more everyday and will some day be ready to be the healthy partner in a relationship . I am back in college enjoying my family and friends and have peace and yes i was to blame for some unhealthy issues in my previous relationships, mainly staying when it was so wrong. Now if this isnt a success story i dont know what is x

  17. M says:

    Hi,Stephanie, I think I know what you mean. I find that men in general don’t have similar kind of support for each other, or it is support of the kind of “how to get the girl”. I like this blog, like reading your comments. I like women more then men in general because of how emotionally connected you can be. But then, if many men cannot (don’t know how) emotionally connect as well as women, does that mean that we are doomed to have all these problems because there isn’t just enough good, evolved men for every good woman? Are we so biologically different as some research suggests? The pattern seems to be so similar: a man gets enthralled by a woman, he acts like the perfect man and she they fall in love. Some time later, he becomes more “himself” and relationship becomes abusive, she does not feel the same connection and becomes critical, he becomes defensive, relationship spirals down and they break up, he quickly replaces her with someone else and she spends much time recovering. Seems like for men to learn, it is going to take a few more generations of women teaching men lessons, but perhaps by that time we will go extinct. I hope I will apply lessons learned to my next relationship, however it seems to be getting harder to fall in love as we get older, past disappointments and hurts weigh on our shoulders too much and don;t create same sparks as before when we were more ‘naive’, before Baggage Reclaim education…

    • Allison says:

      M,

      OMG! If you go in with that attitude, you’ll never find a nice guy, but only attract creeps.

      I am not in a relationship, but have many friends, who are in healthy, loving, respectful relationships – this includes my parents. I have read of many women on the site who have found lovely men (Nat and Tink, are two examples)because they changed their attitude and behavior when it came to relationships, and life.

      There are great people out there, you must simply be receptive. I know that I chose EUMs, as I was EU, myself. Please try to be more positive, and I believe things will make a turnaround.

    • ruby says:

      M, I am really impressed that as a man you are trying to understand. A lot of men find that too daunting. For women all of this talking and reading and self-examining is helpful. I think it opens areas of the mind perhaps we didn’t realise were there. The last line of your comment is a little troubling, if you really feel that reading this website is in fact creating more confusion for you, perhaps you should stop?

  18. M says:

    simple pleasures, what a nice story, thank you. Today’s breakdown of the nuclear family is indeed so widespread.
    “We don’t know if it is the bombarding of the media and radio songs warping people’s minds, the secularization of society leading to the demise of traditional morals and values”
    I think everything of the above. My family was very traditional before the new era of information and hedonism. Things changed. I think we feed off each other and pickup the negative trends exacerbating the problems as they snowball. There is a new trend towards mindfulness but it maybe too weak to withstand the distractions from everywhere. Mindfulness would actually be bad for the economy, and that is what everyone is currently preoccupied with. We want our 401Ks to grow, we need more single people to buy more things and enjoy more pleasures. We need prices and markets to keep going up. Otherwise there is no market because simple pleasures are priceless!

  19. Tinkerbell says:

    M,

    I’ve been here a few years. Those that have been here as well know my stories and can attest that I’ve had my share of hell. I’ve posted a variety of not so lovely experiences. But the situation that brought me to BR was an affair with a married man. I posted a great deal about that experience which I ended after PERMANENT NC. I realized I had hit rock-bottom as far as self esteem went and knew I needed to change. With time and patience I did so. Then, when I was ready to handle a sincere, warm, loving relationship he showed up. As many BRers know it wasn’t easy in the beginning. We had our own special brand of a problem. But, with time and patience, again, it has worked out. The difference in this current relationship has been that he is a decent, caring, understanding individual. That may not sound like much but it’s the degree to which he displays these qualities that carry so much weight. We are highly compatible and plan for that to continue to infinity. One thing that I’ve found helpful was to strive to BE THE PERSON I WANTED TO ATTRACT. That’s exactly what has happened in my case. I could have just given up on myself but I never did. I was a strong independent young woman in my twenties and I knew that if I ever had been, but lost much of it over the years, I could get it back again. It has taken a helluva lot of work but I made it. Still not perfect but MUCH stronger, wiser and happier.

  20. Tinkerbell says:

    Connecting with someone who is mentally/emotionally healthy is key. Unfortunately, it takes time to know this. However, if you know yourself and know what you want out of life, it is far easier to see the red flags sooner and get out of an unhealthy relationship. We, as human beings are very powerful. We need to learn to use our power for OUR OWN greater good.

    • DunrobINE says:

      Glad you’re here Tinkerbell….and happy for you. This site, and the kind of encouragement that you (and others) gives…helps keep me REAL :)

  21. Tinkerbell says:

    Allison,

    You’re one of the ones who “knows” my trials and tribulations. Thank you for the good wishes.

    DunrobINE,

    Thank you, also. Anybody can accomplish the same. Like anything else, you have to want it bad enough.

  22. Tinkerbell says:

    M,

    You are new here. It is really way too soon for you to insinuate that everyone here is miserable and that there are no success stories. As Selkie and OTOS so aptly put it, there are many kinds of success stories. They all are not, nor should they be based on relationships. I would focus more on how to achieve my own personal contentment, satisfaction and conducting my dealings with others on the highest level possible. That, in itself, is not a small mission. You worry about the ills of the world. I think if more individuals focused less on being self-absorbed, and being the best person they could be, treating others with respect and consideration, it would be a better world.

  23. Madi Brown says:

    Hi all. I’m new here, and thanks for allowing me to weigh in on the topic. When you know better, you do better. We’re all only human, and I feel like sometimes we might tell someone what they want to hear, or toot our own horn in order to build ourselves up. That’s normal. When it becomes habitual—it’s abnormal. Do your very best to live your own truth or you might be the root of the PROBLEM. Liar.Liar.skirt on fire.

    For Reals, Love you the most,
    Madi Brown

  24. ruby says:

    This is my first time commenting, I came on here in November after suffering a painful dumping by what I now know was a Future Faker. I don’t even have words to describe how much reading the articles has helped me, I feel like I’ve had a friend to turn to who always has the best advice. I certainly don’t have a real friend like that! The more I read though, and as I feel better all the time about the dumping, I am realising that I can apply almost all of these lessons to my relationship with my mother. I’m hoping that my awareness of the situation is the first step towards being able to be honest to her and then deal with the rage that will inevitably come. I honestly have no idea how to NOT tell her what she wants to hear. I am so expert at it, I am like a professional pleaser with her. Have been all my life. Hence here I am at 33, very much alone with my thoughts and trying to figure out who I really am.

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!